Morning Fizz

Polling Shows Strong Support for Transportation Levy

Polling from early September looks good for transportation levy, contributing looks limp for districts, and things look stressed for Bertha.

By Josh Feit October 23, 2015

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 #FBF ... That's the original Fizz logo. It's Friday!

1. Sounding fed up with the "chatter" that says the $930 million transportation levy may actually be in trouble this season in typically tax-happy Seattle, Sound View strategies, the political consultants helping the "Let's Move Seattle"  campaign, sent a memo to the press yesterday that begins as follows:

There's been a lot of chatter, based on speculation and anecdote, in the local media recently about "levy fatigue" and supposedly widespread public opposition to the Let's Move Seattle Proposition 1 transportation levy.

That speculation is contradicted by recent polling data.

And indeed, the polling numbers are good; though footnote, the polling was done in September.

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The polling, done by local pollster EMC, found the measure ahead 63 to 34—and still ahead 58 to 35 after getting pummeled with negative messaging...

As in: "Opponents say the city is being deceptive by calling this a replacement levy because it will cost nearly twice as much. Seattle is already unaffordable for many homeowners and renters and a billion dollar property tax measure like this one will only make it more expensive for poor and middle-class families. They also say this measure spends too much money on projects that won't do anything about traffic congestion."

By the way: Last week,  we ran a guest op-ed, "10 Reasons People are Voting Yes,"  supporting the levy and addressing those complaints

The levy will cost the median home ($450,00) about $270 a year. And as our op-ed noted:

2. The median value household will pay an additional $12 more per month—a completely reasonable investment in our city’s future.

 And my favorite part of the op-ed:

3. Let’s Move Seattle Invests in Safe Routes to Every Public School. Getting our kids to and from school safely is critically important. This is why the levy will make safety improvements including new sidewalks and better crossings at every public school in Seattle. In the first three years alone, schools with the highest proportions of low-income kids such as Bailey Gatzert, Martin Luther King Jr.,West Seattle, Dunlap, Dearborn Park, Northgate, and Roxhill to name a few will be prioritized for these important investments. The levy also changes our approach to Safe Routes by focusing on needs up to one mile away instead of just at the school.

2. We looked into whether the new district election system translated into an abundance of district donors.

The answer is a resounding no

For example—and I'm not picking on her because we endorsed her opponent—it's just that this is stunning: in North Seattle's District Five, frontrunner Debora Juarez has just 11 individual  donors from her district. That's only three percent of her contributors.

Just five of the 14 candidates running for a districted seat are relying mostly on in-district contributors. The champion on that front is District Six (Ballard, Fremont) candidate Catherine Weatbrook, who's challenging incumbent city council member Mike O'Brien (facing a ugly backlash against the Ballard tent city); 68 percent of Weatbrook's donors live in the district. Weatbrook is the anomaly.

3. Finally, and I acknowledge that this is just chatter: But a source of a source tells me that thanks to the dewatering mission to rescue Bertha, the water mains in Pioneer Square are suffering damage from soil settlement. The old joints are too brittle and fragile, and the neighborhood-wide ground settlement is too much for them to bear.


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