On Wednesday, March 18, the District 4 Seattle City Council candidates will once again meet before a live and local audience.
A forum is being held at Sand Point Community Church’s Perry Hall (4710 NE 70th Street) from 7:30-8:30 PM. Candidates have previously met before District 4 residents on two occasions (before the Eastlake Community Council and the Roosevelt Neighbors’ Alliance).
Nancy Bolin (with the View Ridge Community Council) will moderate the event, sponsored by Hawthorne Hills Community Council, View Ridge Community Council, Laurelhurst Community Club and Ravenna-Bryant Community Association.
Wednesday night’s event is the last scheduled one for the current candidates before the Northeast District Council forum on Wednesday, June 17.
We will be attending this event and will provide live coverage below (as reception at the venue allows).
Thanks for following along! I’ll update the post with more info after I see what showed up on twitter during the event.
Forum is over, Hawthorne Hills folks have a business meeting following, but audience can chat up candidates if they’d like.
TP: I want to reengage residents with city government. Have that opportunity with the new district elections. Wants to see the spirit of public service reinvigorate city governance.
JG: Loves her job. Mentions the wage gap in Seattle again. “We can do better than that!”
RJ: No other candidates here with kids, as he does. Wants to be advocate on council for schools. Wife works at PNB, so he also has an interest in the arts side.
TL: Parents came to US when he was 8yo. Father kissed the ground when he arrived to Lynnwood apartment. TL asks his students at UW now “Which is better: Democracy or benign dictatorship?” They say the latter.
MM: Looking forward to greater civic involvement now with District elections of council members.
Q for JG: How will you balance District 4 concerns with city-wide concerns?
Think I do that already with current work on council. And today was on the BGT looking at the condition of the trail.
Q for RJ: Magnuson Park uses.
Mag a great opportunity to build more afforable housing in Magnuson. But access is an issue. Area needs good service.
Q for TL: What committee would you want to serve on? Same as TP: Land use.
Q for MM is about parking. How to have enough?
A cyclist himself. Reducing dependency on cars going forward is important, but current transit system isn’t ready for this yet. Support isn’t all there yet.
Questions now from the audience, submitted on cards.
TP gets “Thoughts on the Mayor’s transpo proposal today?” Happy to see sidewalks included. Seems to be a step in the right direction…details not released yet.
Really would enjoy seeing the candidates just discuss stuff with each other in front of an audience.
Candidates now asking the candidate to their left questions.
I cannot keep up with this part of the discussion, but the audience and the candidates are enjoying it very much, I think.
Lightning round! Seven questions, with cards. YES or NO only. No maybes.
Vote in favor if districts?
In favor of parks district?
Support rent stabilization? (not control)
Tax subsidies for pro sports arenas legal? Much grumbling and unsure
If we get a road diet, should we also have growth diets? (question dropped because most didn’t agree with moderator’s definition)
Do you support the transfer of zoo elephants to Oklahoma?
Support a tent city in District 4?
[I am perpendicular to the candidates and cannot see the answers! But I know others have taking pictures of their answers and I shall fill this info in later.]
MM: We are surrounded by boundaries. We have to grow up. Need to make sure that stakeholders are heard. People need to profit from the growth in the city, not just the developers. Tax dollars collected in the proposed Business Improvement Area should be spread out equally throughout the area.
TP: Stakeholders have not been heard. Growth is inevitable and welcome, but must be managed. Don’t’ want to destroy the character of our homes or distrust those who are in the last few affordable housing that exists.
JG: Selective growth, around transit stations, and with care, to keep the character of our neighborhoods.
RJ: Suburbanization of poverty. Drive until you qualify for housing. Density is a part of the conversation to fix wage inequalities. Supports the Business Improvement District for the U-District. Conversation needed about a greater variety of available housing. More for families, more for low income.
Q: Seattle expects to add a lot of new residents and jobs in the upcoming years. Various upzone plans are in the works for the U-District. Do you support these upzone movements?
TL: Not against growth, but opposed to 340-foot towers in the U-District. Additional 12 floors above the UW Tower. We are not a vertical city. We are a horizontal area. What about the low income groups who cannot afford these new high rises. We need to manage the growth. You have your bike lanes, good for you. But what about those who get pushed outside Seattle. Opposed to runaway growth.
TP: We do need more choices. But a heavily subsidized streetcar not a good choice. Need more east-west connections. Linking the buses with light rail, essential. Sidewalks, near schools, for those with difficulties walking, essential. Modes should be integrated. Don’t want to displace parking, especially in a business area. More investments in transportation and to make sure it all works together.
JG: We need choices. Thanked Rob for his help getting the money for the Capitol Hill streetcar. Named dropped Cliff Mass (walked with him today on the Burke Gilman Trail).
RJ: Transportation Choices Coalition. Describes all the different entities involved in the UW Station: City, Sound Transit, Metro, more. Coordinating all this is difficult, within my wheelhouse. Sidewalk needs right now are $2 billion.
TL: Is purpose of city to move people around, or to enhance our lives? Prefers the latter. Streetcar feels like a new shiny gizmo. Cities are for walking around, seeing our neighbors.
Q: Council seems to have a love affair with streetcars. How would you priorities streetcars with other infrastructure? [Strikes me as a weird question for NE Seattle]
MM: Streets are for all users. Part of our overall transp plan, yes, as long as it doesn’t back up the other modes in the process. Separated rail. Mentioned the Bridging the Gap 2 levy from recent news.
JG: Agree with needing more police. More have been able to be hired, but it does take a year to train new officers. In the meantime, U-District is working on being a Business Improvement District, for instance. Crime is down in major categories.
RJ: Neighbor had house robbed recently. Fake landscapers saw no one was home, went in the back, came in, took everything. More resources are needed. Speaks of the LEAD (?) program that MM also mentioned, being used currently in Pioneer Square. Well regarded program showing good results.
TL: More officers would be great, but getting it done seems difficult. Ask U-District police from restaurant days: Why so much crime? These folks get released so quickly. Talks about a program called “Eyes on the Street,” with neighbors taking more responsibility. What can we do about this problem NOW.
MM: We do not have an adequately sized force. As council member, would like an office in the district and to ride along with beat patrols occasionally. More services are needed, help connect repeat offenders with services.
Q: Lots of property crimes, theft in NE Seattle. City’s responsibility or that of wealthier neighborhoods (Like Laurelhurst hiring their own police.)
TP: Seattle’s police force is the smallest for a city its size. Responsive force who can do more community policing. Police reforms have gone in the right direction. More investment needed.
Michael Maddox (MM): Passing the Parks board stuff, and his 12yo daughter who could totally be president if she wants to. [Got behind with TLs answer, sorry for lack of detail.]
Tony Provine (TP): Working with his community group (Ravenna-Bryant Community Association) to get projects done, for instance the work with the city on Sisley properties (and the park announced last Friday).
Q: You’ve all served your communities in many ways. What are you most proud of?
Jean Godden (JG): Very proud recently working on ending the gender wage gap. We will be passing paid parental leave in April.
Rob Johnson (RJ): Exec Director of Transpo Choices, passing the Sound Transit ballot measure. Proud of his kids as well.
Taso Lagos (TL): Proud of the restaurant in the Ave (Continental), experiences with homeless sleeping in front of the store led to founding a group that gets the homeless off the street.
Crosscut’s Ben Anderstone just gave the audience a run down of District 4
Moderator giving a brief bio of each candidate. There are expanded bios as pamphlets for audience members.
All five candidates are here. Nancy Bolin could not be present due to a family emergency, so someone from the Hawthorne Hills Community Council is stepping into the moderator role.
Apparently the forum was supposed to start at 7 PM. I only ever saw 7:30 when I searched for information, but the room was still filling up at 7:15, so here we are at 7:31 getting things started.
Things just getting started here at Sand Point Community Church. Room is packed.