Today's Winner: Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn
Here's a perfect follow-up to this morning's Fizz item about Mayor Mike McGinn's upcoming urbanist agenda fundraiser. (You'll remember that Sightline executive director Alan Durning, Seattle's version of climate change guru Bill McKibben, sent out an email urging fellow green wonks to attend a McGinn fundraiser that's being sponsored by groups such A-P Hurd's sustainable development firm Touchstone).
The addendum: McGinn rolled out some impressive endorsements today.
Never mind Seattle's version of Bill McKibben. McKibben himself, the all-star anti-climate change polemicist who brought the environmental crisis to the masses with a series of Rolling Stone feature stories about CO2 levels, the XL Pipeline, and a political campaign to divest from oil companies (he also founded 350.org), endorsed McGinn today.
Civil rights leader Van Jones, President Obama's former special advisor on green jobs, also endorsed McGinn today.
Van Jones is known for making environmentalism a civil rights and economic justice issue. He was forced to resign from the Obama Administration early on (Republicans pounced on his lefty record) and has since founded a progressive group called RebulidtheDream, an effort to build a grassroots counterpart to the Tea Party.
Today's loser: Seattle taxpayers?
Update: The Seattle Department of Planning and Development let us know that the Alliance for Pioneer Square will be paying to operate the initial loo. However, the city still hasn't signed a contract with the group (which the council will have to approve), and any expansion of the program will require either additional private-public partnerships with local groups or public funding).
Two weeks ago, Mayor McGinn announced plans to bring the "Portland Loo" to Seattle—a stainless-steel, private public toilet that the city will install (at the expense of developer and former PubliCola co-owner Greg Smith, who is paying for the project in exchange for a height increase) at the west end of Pioneer Square's "Sinking Ship" parking garage.
The city won't pay for the initial toilet, but plans to install additional loos "in other neighborhoods throughout the city" if it works out in Pioneer Square.Willamette Week has painstakingly documented, the loos frequently don't work and cost nearly $90,000 a year to maintain—one reason the city is marketing the restrooms to other cities (as WW put it, "paying for loo upkeep by selling more loos.") Seattle is Portland's first eager customer.