1. Check out our twitter feed from the latest mayoral forum last night where the focus was on "safe streets"—an urban planning catchphrase for building cities with a focus on on pedestrians (and bikers) as opposed to cars.
Digs all around. Incumbent Mayor McGinn slapped state Sen. Ed Murray for supporting the 2007 roads and transit initiative (which McGinn's Sierra Club came out against because of its emphasis on roads, breaking with the rest of the environmental community at the time). Spoofing Murray's boasts about collaborating, McGinn said: "I don't want to tell [future generations] we collaborated to build highways."
Harrell went after Murray (the new top challenger?) too: After Murray said he was inspired by urban design in Amsterdam, Dublin, and Barcelona, Harrell went all populist, saying he hadn't been on Murray's European adventure, but he'd been to Portland and liked what he saw.
And socialist Mary Martin took a swing at capitalism: "We can't bike our way out of capitalism.The capitalist class is not going to get on a bike and ride away."There were also some ideas in the mix. Harrell said he'd institute a vehicle license fee to pay for sidewalks, and Kate Martin said she'd have private landowners pay to fill in the gaps in sidewalks between intersections (the most expensive and complicated parts of sidewalks) paid for by the city.
2. Mayor Mike McGinn continues to rake in money from city employees, despite vowing during his first campaign to "stop the practice of city employees contributing to the campaigns of the elected officials who manage them or write their budgets."
According to the latest election filings at the city, in the last week, McGinn received a total $525 from several high-level city officials, including budget director Beth Goldberg ($250), acting parks department director Christopher Williams ($125), Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs director Magdaleno Marcos Rose-Avila ($50), and deputy budget director Hall Walker ($100). All four have given to McGinn's campaign before.
The city is the top employer of McGinn contributors, right before "not employed" and Vulcan.
For a look at the latest numbers, check out yesterday's Afternoon Jolt. Winner: Peter Steinbrueck.
3. Andrew Glass-Hastings, a former senior advisor to ex-mayor Greg Nickels, is now a transportation advisor in the King County department of transportation, a job that involves sitting in on closed-door meetings on transportation policy with county executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Mike McGinn. Glass-Hastings sat in with Constantine and McGinn just last week.
Glass-Hastings also happens to be an enthusiastic supporter (on Facebook anyway) of one of McGinn's top rivals in the mayor's race, state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol). He's listed as a Murray endorser on Murray's campaign web site. And the same day he was meeting with McGinn last week (Wednesday), he was cheering on Facebook: "Great news for Ed Murray ..." with a link to Murray's new endorsement from the Washington Conservation Voters.
Is it a conflict of interest for someone who's backing Murray to participate in high-level policy discussions with the mayor? Glass-Hastings says it isn't.
"I’m not there to influence the mayor; I’m there to provide information to Dow" about issues like where all the Metro buses that use the viaduct will go when the structure comes down, Glass-Hastings says. "I have a professional role in my job, and I am able to do that job independent of the political fray."
Public employees are allowed to, and frequently do, support (and even work for) political campaigns on their own time.
4. At this point, it almost seems like they're targeting him. For the second time (the first was back in 2010), Dex has delivered a pile of Yellow Pages to city council member Mike O'Brien's home—despite the fact that O'Brien opted out of phone-book delivery on the industry-run Yellow Pages opt-out website.
O'Brien sponsored legislation that briefly allowed Seattle residents to sign up for a city-run and -enforced opt-out program; however, the yellow page publishing industry sued (on the grounds that a city-run opt-out system violated their right to commercial free speech) and won, forcing the city to shut down its system.
From O'Brien's blog: "After working for three years to reduce the distribution of unwanted yellow pages phone books in Seattle, guess what was left on my porch yesterday? A re-usable bag with two phone books in it. Whoops!" (Maybe someone at the Yellow Pages distribution center has a sense of irony?)
O'Brien's office says residents who get phone books after opting out can file a complaint with the industry web site. After the unwanted delivery, O'Brien called industry officials to talk about how the new system is working. An O'Brien staffer says the industry folks seemed "pretty sheepish" about delivering a stack of phone books to the city's most prominent opponent of mandatory phone book delivery.