Two big public meetings tonight: First, the mayoral candidates (along with city council incumbents and challengers, including Richard Conlin and socialist candidate Kshama Sawant) will participate in a human-services-focused debate hosted by the Seattle Human Services Coalition at the Garfield Community Center.
Simultaneously, state senate Republicans will host the first of nine meetings on a potential state transportation funding package in Bellevue.
Here are some of the questions we'd like to hear folks answer tonight.
For McGinn: Your opponent has pledged to restore the city's Office for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, which you eliminated early in your term. Domestic violence assaults have increased 60 percent in the last year even as crime in general has declined citywide. Do you now think the office needs to be reinstated?
For Murray: You've been talking a lot about downtown crime. There was a fatal knife attack by a reportedly schizophrenic man in Pioneer Square on Friday night. Your opponent has said the city hasn't had much success getting funding for mental-health services from the state legislature, where you've spent the last 18 years—most recently as budget chair and Democratic leader. Do you and the state, as opposed to the city and the mayor, bear more responsibility for these types of crimes?
For both Ed Murray and Mike McGinn: Which one of you has recruited more student volunteers from Garfield High School?
For Sawant: You've said you would pay for many of your proposals, including affordable child care, mass transit, and affordable housing, with a tax on millionaires. How do you propose to impose a tax on Seattle millionaires, and have you figured out how much money a theoretical Seattle-only millionaires' tax would actually generate?
And a followup for Sawant: Much of your platform centers on policies that would help women—including increased funding for domestic violence prevention and prosecution, affordable child care, and access to services for immigrant and refugee women. At the same time, you've criticized Conlin for supporting an anti-panhandling law that would have arguably protected women, who feel particularly vulnerable when they're being targeted by aggressive men demanding money. How do you address the seeming contradiction between your pro-free-speech position on behalf of panhandlers and your support for women's right to feel safe in public?
For Conlin: You were the only council member to vote against paid sick leave. Why?
And a followup for Conlin: You also voted for the panhandling ordinance. Why?
For the Republican senate transportation leaders: Given that King County is the biggest contributor to the state transportation budget—a recent WSDOT study showed that the King County provides a full third of the state's transportation dollars, but only gets 95 cents on the dollar back from the state—are you willing to ask your GOP colleagues, most of whom hail from net receiver counties, but oppose the transportation packagd, if they're Socialists?