Morning Fizz

Field Organizers and Super Geeks

Seattle Times begins rolling out council endorsements, campaigns get aggressive

By Josh Feit July 2, 2015

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1. The Seattle Times started to roll out its city council endorsements this week. The paper has begun with two north Seattle districts, District Four—Eastlake northeast to Sand Point, taking in both the U District and Wedgwood—and District Five in Northeast Seattle, including the radically transforming (demographics and development) Lake City. 

They picked transit advocate (and super geek) Rob Johnson, the head of Transportation Choices Coalition, in District Four, noting that Johnson is a good fit for a district that's home to three future light rail stops, two in the U District and one in Roosevelt. (Editorializing myself here: Johnson has, indeed, been talking about transit-oriented development—he also nerds out about "stitching together" the neighborhoods around the Montlake bridge—for at least a decade before it was fashionable.)

Something noteworthy about the Seattle Times take on District Four—the one-sentence write up of the longtime incumbent, Jean Godden, goes like this: "She has been a strong member at times, especially on gender-pay disparities, but it is time for her to step aside."

In District Five, the Seattle Times chooses LinkedIn exemplar—King County judge, power lawyer, Native American tribe advocate—Debora Juarez.

 2. Speaking of city council races. I don't know if it's because she's doing so well in fundraising ($92,000 raised with $62,000 cash on hand as of the May reports, compared to her nearest competitor, who's raised $53,000 with $23,000 cash on hand) or if she's nervous regardless, but citywide Position Nine candidate Lorena González, who's facing off against neighborhood activist Bill Bradburd, recently started advertising in Democratic and women activist circles for a full-time, paid field organizer.

The job—a hardcore regimen of  "mobilizing" and "outreach" to coordinate district-by-district leaders—is a Saul Alinsky prescription for grassroots organizing. 

According to May's campaign reports, Bradburd spent some money ($500) on "campaign work," but González's aggressive play—by the way, she spent $15o last month on the Paul Wellstone campaign training seminar (a modern-day Alinksy boot camp)—indicates that this race is going to be as brutal as the current summer temperatures.

3. Speaking of citywide candidates. I've got a mini feature on rock musician candidate John Roderick in this month's edition of the magazine. Roderick is running in the at-large Position Eight spot against incumbent city council president Tim Burgess and rent control advocate Jon Grant.

4. And speaking of Seattle Met, in case you missed his CNN-worthy scoop this week, deputy editor Matt Halverson broke the news that the Girl Scouts of Western Washington turned down a $100,000 gift because it came with transphobic guidelines.

Cheers Matt. And three cheers Girl Scouts of Western Washington!

From CNN's followup:

Girl Scouts of Western Washington council head Megan Ferland said she felt "very sad" after receiving that letter. But shortly thereafter, she says she decided to return the money.

"Girl Scouts is for every girl," she told Seattle Metropolitan. "And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to."

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