Morning Fizz: A Democratic Socialist Society
Caffeinated News and Gossip featuring the new mayor, the new city council member, and the same old lack of transportation action.
1. As we mentioned Friday, city council member Richard Conlin conceded to his socialist challenger, Kshama Sawant, last week. In a statement Friday, Sawant said her election shows that "a majority of voters are fed up with the corporate politicians who have presided over the widening chasm between the super-rich and the rest of us" and reiterated her three-part campaign platform: a $15-an-hour minimum wage, rent control, a tax on millionaires "to pay for mass transit and education," and ultimately "a democratic socialist society."
But first, she'll get assigned to head up a committee—likely, if the experience of past council freshmen is any example, something low-profile like utilities.
Conlin, with 16 years on the council, is tied with Nick Licata (who was just reelected) as the longest-serving current council member.
Salon has a long interview with Sawant—the first official socialist on the city council in more than 100 years, and one of the biggest come-from-behind campaigners since 2009 Mike McGinn—today.
2. Mayor-elect Ed Murray announced a 43-member (!) transition team last week, designed, he said, to "look like Seattle." It's a wide range of folks, including representatives from business (Downtown Seattle Association director Kate Joncas), labor (King County Labor council executive secretary Dave Freiboth), environmentalists (Cliff Traisman from Washington Conservation Voters) and numerous ethnic groups. Check out the whole list here.
3. As King County Metro kicks off three months of meetings to plan for service cuts of up to 17 percent countywide (the first one is this Wednesday, from 6 to 8pm, at the Federal Way Community Center, the Washington State Transportation Commission has just released the results of a survey finding that 60 percent of respondents said they're willing to consider raising taxes to pay for transportation.
The special legislative session for Boeing ended earlier this month with no transportation package; state Sen. Curtis King (R-14) has proposed a $12.3 billion package that would dedicate just 2 percent of its funding to transit and improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.