Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw says a town-hall meeting hosted by Councilmember Kshama Sawant at City Hall last week was really a “political rally designed to inflame emotions and get one council member re-elected.”
Um, with all due respect, Sally, that is total bullshit. And it is also a truly unfortunate and unnecessary distraction from the growing crisis over Seattle’s lack of affordable housing.
To be clear, I was at that town-hall meeting. I was the second public speaker on the agenda. And I spoke totally about policy. Not politics, policy. There wasn’t anything political in anything I said. Pure policy wonkery. Period.
Councilmember Sawant had invited me to speak so that I could present my proposal to tap into city and county bonding capacity to build affordable housing. In fact, she did more than just invite me. She and her staff twisted my arm to take an hour out from a really crushing schedule last week—to speak about policy! And a policy that has nothing directly to do with Sawant’s pet project of pushing for some sort of legal rent control.
It was, by the way, the exact same policy pitch that I personally made to Bagshaw just two days earlier at the 43rd LD Democrats’ straw poll. Was our one-on-one conversation a “political rally” too, Sally?
Sawant’s council colleagues would do better for themselves and their city by directly addressing housing affordability rather than attempting to distract from the issue by launching bullshit ethics complaints.