Mayor Mike McGinn marked his first meeting as a member of the Sound Transit board last week by making a lengthy campaign speech for his upcoming light-rail expansion proposal.

McGinn's speech was surprising, only because all the other new board members' introductory speeches were standard-issue, such-an-honor-to-be-chosen affairs. In contrast, McGinn's remarks sounded like the beginnings of a stump speech for November 2010.

"I made a very serious commitment ... to give Seattle voters a choice to expand light rail in the city of Seattle, which is something we hope the Sound Transit board will see as a valued extension, paid for by Seattle citizens, to a system that will continue to grow regionally," McGinn said. "The voters have spoken … and we’re going to push [light rail and the First Hill streetcar] through."

What you think of McGinn using his Sound Transit seat as a bully pulpit probably depends on what you think of his light-rail expansion plans. As a fan of rail expansion (although not necessarily McGinn's nascent plan, which hasn't been fleshed out yet), I think McGinn is smart to come out swinging for rail early. Particularly if his seawall bond measure fails to make it past the council, keeping rail on voters' minds sets him up to come out with a popular levy in November.
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