1. In an interview with Q13 Fox's C.R. Douglas yesterday, former mayor Greg Nickels said he "might run again" in the future. Calling himself dissatisfied with McGinn's performance, Nickels told Douglas, “As mayor you need to think of yourself as mayor of everybody. I think that inclusive agenda has been lacking.”
“I’m really concerned with the things I see, like the police department,” he said. "I think confidence in the police department, that’s a very important and difficult thing to achieve and once it’s lost, it's lost for a long time.”
Nickels also called his comment giving the city a "B" for its handling of the December 2009 snowstorm "a really stupid statement."[pullquote]“As mayor you need to think of yourself as mayor of everybody. I think that inclusive agenda has been lacking.” —Greg Nickels on Mike McGinn[/pullquote]
2. Sound Transit just released its August ridership numbers for light rail. Compared to July, weekday ridership was up an average of 603 riders a day, Sunday ridership was up 3,146 riders a day, and Saturday ridership was up 3,153---a hike Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray attributed at least partly to Seafair.
3. Roosevelt High School's theater was filled almost to capacity as residents commented on the proposed Roosevelt upzone last night. All nine City Council members attended the meeting and had the pleasure of listening to testimony from more than 80 people.
The controversial zoning proposal by Mayor Mike McGinn and Tim Burgess increase building heights from a maximum of 65 feet to a maximum of 85 feet around the Roosevelt Way light rail station. The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association originally proposed a competing plan that would relocate the highest limits and would allow for fewer housing units overall.
The majority of the (mostly elderly) crowd was decidedly hostile to the mayor's proposal—when blue-blazered RNA President Peter James first noted the 85-foot proposal during his presentation of RNA's original proposal, a large portion of the crowd erupted in boos. Similarly, some attendees hissed when James mentioned "the mayor's [proposed] 85 foot [height limits]."
James's remarks were mostly measured, but he couldn't help but land a few populist (Brooks Brothers populist?) jabs at the end of his remarks, accusing the city of relying on "white papers, Harvard professors, and billions of blog posts" for zoning policy—that comment got a standing ovation from about three quarters of the crowd.
4. Pramila Jayapal, founder of the immigrants' rights group OneAmerica (formerly Hate Free Zone) announced yesterday that she'll be stepping down as the group's director in the spring of 2012 after leading the organization for ten years. According to OneAmerica spokesman Charlie McAteer, Jayapal, also a member of PubliCola's illustrious ThinkTank, will be taking time to write "and reflect on politics, race, and immigration and see what’s next."
McAteer says the group is doing a national search for Jayapal's replacement.[pullquote]Sen. Cantwell—called a hero in Frank Rich's review of the book—comes across as a total stud.[/pullquote]
5. The White House is pushing back against the hype around former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind's new book (out today) about Obama's muddled response to the financial crisis.
But not US Sen. Maria Cantwell's staff. They're psyched about the book because Sen. Cantwell—called a hero in Frank Rich's review of the book—comes across as a total stud.
Here's one glowing Cantwell excerpt:
“Summers's rule for Geithner, “don't admit to mistakes,” was the first of two. The other rule, in answering questions, was “don't make policy.” Cantwell's goal was to undercut the latter proviso. She was displeased, as were several Democratic leaders, with the choice of Geithner and Summers. “The best tactic was to get them to say [in confirmation hearings] what they were willing to support, so that we could hold their feet to the fire [later],” she said, adding that she expected Geithner and Summers eventually to cave in to Wall Street, at which point she could start “raising hell about their lack of backbone.”
Which, obviously, she did.
From her Day 1 opposition to Obama's bailout to her defiant position on Obama's Wall Street reform package, Cantwell has stuck by her populist principles.
Fizz is glad Sen. Cantwell is getting props. We were disappointed in Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi's final wrap on the Wall Street reform bill which gave Democratic Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) the starring roles for trying to implement the Volcker Rule, which would have strengthened the wall between commercial and investment banking.
The Volcker Rule, however, was a watered down version of what Cantwell fought for: Reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, which completely separates commercial and investment banking.
More recently, Cantwell made good on her threat to hold the Obama administration's feet to the fire by demanding that the wonky reforms she managed to get into the Wall Street bill weren't gutted by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
6. Speaking of our cool US senators. Here's this morning's tweet from US Sen. Patty Murray: