Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell was the first mayoral candidate to go up on TV (his cable ads began running on Tuesday), but incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn won't be far behind.
McGinn's campaign will begin airing a $60,000 cable TV ad buy on Friday.
McGinn's ad stars El Centro de la Raza leader Estela Ortega, a prominent McGinn endorser and civil rights activist, who asks: "What if Seattle had a mayor who made education a priority? Expanding early learning programs. Supporting after school activities. Investing in school health centers."
Ortega is referring to the 2011 $232 million families and education levy, which funds supplemental early learning programs, after school programs, and health programs that provide "wraparound" support for Seattle Public Schools. McGinn consistently hypes the fact that the levy, (which, by the way, Seattle voters have approved by large margins four times since 1990), was doubled from $117 million in 2004. The levy, funded by property taxes, also includes more metrics of success and accountability and focuses on programs in Southeast Seattle.
McGinn is right to be proud of pushing the levy, but the council, especially council member Tim Burgess (who took a lead on it), also deserve credit. (And honestly, I never find it satisfying as an accomplishment boast when mayors—former Mayor Greg Nickels did this all the time—take credit for measures that voters pass themselves.)
Sticking to the education theme, Ortega then asks: "What if we had a mayor who launched a citywide attendance campaign because kids can't learn if they're not in school?" (This is a reference to an effort McGinn launched in October 2011—Be Here Get There—to keep kids in school.)
After video of McGinn working with his daughter on homework, Ortega concludes: "We do. And his name is Mike McGinn. And that's why I'm supporting him for mayor."
The ad begins running on Friday and will air until the August 6 primary, his campaign says.