At Wednesday’s Friends of Seattle get-together, I got the impression that our city council candidates aren’t big drinkers.
This may be a problem.
You see, Seattle city politics can be awfully dull. Everyone is for parks. Everyone supports the schools. If we had the money, we’d hire 5000 new cops. When it comes to transit, the question isn’t “why?”, it’s “where and how much.” There are lots of lopsided votes on the council. Lots of 9-0, or 8-1. Consensus matters, maybe too much. On most issues, the difference of opinions between the members can be a matter of degrees.
The interesting stuff is in the details, and if it takes a PBR tallboy to coax it out, so be it.
Venus Velasquez told me she wants young people to be able to buy houses in Seattle. My reply was, “House? I’ll never afford a house in the city.” She said “home” might be a better word to use. In the downtown area, the condos being built are mostly luxury units. The developer community is going to learn soon that you have to serve the whole market, not just the high-end folks. Venus and the other candidates ought to have (eventually, I know it’s early) specifics about how we’re going to accommodate young families in the city.
Venus is running to succeed Peter Steinbrueck on the council, and claims him as a supporter. While I don’t know a lot about the challengers, I do know some about the guy they’re looking to replace. Peter Steinbrueck stands for something. On the great issues facing the city, he’s not afraid to pick a side and fight. Venus told me about how she’s good at solving problems and bringing people together. Sure, that’s important, but sometimes you have to pick which side is going to be the winner. These campaigns for council should be about what decisions they’d make and why.