Seattle’s Next Mayor

Since July, I’ve had a bad feeling about the Seattle Mayor’s race. Ed Murray was collecting endorsements left and right, wealthy groups were funding a new PAC, and he had lined up the vast majority of official support from the Democratic party. Polls where trending his way and the other serious challengers fading with only a small shift in support to Mayor McGinn. I was thrilled when McGinn made it through the August Primary but things can’t be good when the sitting incumbent collects less than 30% of the primary vote.

Seattle is set to miss a huge opportunity. Mike McGinn is a kind, thoughtful, intelligent, passionate guy. He has the right vision for Seattle. That vision has obvious risks but uncertain opportunities for established interests. But it’s the vision we need. We need step function changes to address Climate Change. We need creative solutions to our transportation problems. We need balanced policies that enable fantastic economic prosperity while overcoming the continuing effects of institutional bigotry.  His strategic error at the beginning of his Mayoral term was to overemphasis opposition to those established interest and sour the relationships. Maybe, as Goldy suggests, he never really had a chance. The second half of his term has been markedly different, and he’s been quite effective despite the earned and unearned handicaps. Nevertheless, between the primary results, fund raising differences, and media coverage, I expect him to lose the election. The recent poll results reinforce that analysis.

I’m sure Ed Murray will be a fine, if status quo mayor. The lights will stay on, the streets will stay clean, and businesses will grow. But I don’t expect him to actively pursue the changes our city and nation need to address our key 21st Century problems. He’s lukewarm on completing the missing link and wants a Sound Transit to be even more regional than it is. How can he push for an overhaul of our transportation or land use system when he is using an outdated 20th century paradigm? I could be wrong – I actively hope I’m wrong – but I’ll put money on the table that says I’m right.

If McGinn loses, we’ll find out in the future. But until November 5th, I’ll continue supporting Mike and encourage others to do so as well.

[Edited: 16/10/2013 for grammar]

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