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Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Times Flounders

Posted by on January 26 at 12:35 PM

The lead editorial in today’s Seattle Times trashes the city council for narrowing its field of candidates for council position 9 to six minority women, charging that its choices “revealed a lack of vision and boldness.”

The Times has it exactly backward. All the council’s candidates are extremely well-qualified, with long histories of community involvement.

Nonetheless, the Times argues, the council should have rejected at least some of its female choices for a man with “credibility” and “gravitas” like conservative realtor Robert Rosencrantz or Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce president Darryl Smith, who fell out of favor because of the way he handled the siting of a Latino day-labor center in his neighborhood. (Contrast the Times’ depiction of Rosencrantz and Smith with their condescending description of finalist Venus Velazquez, who is “young, Latina, passionate.” Those Latinas! So fiery! So passionate!)

Both Smith and Rosencrantz have run for council unsuccessfully before - Smith once, Rosencrantz twice. Neither has ever made it past a primary. With so many qualified female candidates, it would be ridiculous for the council to appoint someone who has already been rejected by the voters simply to avoid the appearance of political correctness.

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Although I have issues with the councils picks (or the process itself), their editorial is just bullshit. Then again, the Seattle Times opposed big-time the election of councilpersons by district. So they see to be totally head-up-ass on Seattle issues.

ps: that editorial smells like Balter


Yes, both Darryl and Robert have run for Council and lost. Does this mean they are not qualified? No. Qualifications and voting patterns are separate issues as this city constantly reminds us.

We have no idea if any of the final six would win in an election yet you say they are qualified. Maybe on paper, but they have not been tested in polls.

And the way the Council conducted this process screams of "political correctness". From the get go, several members allude to the fact that the finalist would be a woman of color. If that isn't politically correct, what is?

I never said they're not qualified. What I meant was that it's anti-democratic to anoint someone the voters have rejected.

...rejected twice in Rosencrantz's case...and rejected in the Primary to boot.

Smith and Rosencrantz may very well be qualified, but I think it would be wrong for the Council to appoint someone who has lost. They could certainly run again, and maybe even win, but if the people of Seattle have said “No” to someone, how can the Council justify appointing them?

I don't doubt that the final candidates are well-qualified, but I have a hard time believing that the six BEST-qualified candidates, out of a hundred or so, all happen to be non-white, and five (?) of them happen to be non-male. I understand the council's desire to make itself more diverse, and I think that's perfectly laudable. But the question raised by the Times editorial (which, I agree, is pretty vapid overall) is whether the council is also seeking diversity of opinion. My hunch is no--I think the council wants someone who looks different and thinks the same. Maybe that's fine and I'm just feeling contrarian today. I do think a minority woman is a good choice for the council; I just can't quite explain to myself why.

I love this ... if they all been white males, hardly anybody would have said "boo" and if they had, it would have been greeted by mass eye-rolling. JEE-ZUS-KEY-RICED the very fact of this conversation annoys me.

dude, you've got it backwards. 6 women, 5 who are of color.

and by the way, some people would take issue with the words "non-white" and "non-male." sure it's may make your point, but the implication is that male and white are the yardsticks agaisnt which all others are compared.

Thanks @. It's hard to know what words to use--"person of color" sort of sounds like a Martian to me.


If you had an ounce of maturity you would see even with qualified people, the Times (yuk) and PI (just as left as stranger) made sense on how patronizing the council process was. I am black and this process makes me want to scream to the very well intentioned council "thanks, but no-thanks."

The selection preference process was awful.

It will be very safe Sibonga.

I have lost interest. Friends said Venus during questions from Rasmussen said she had no connectiond to gay issues and would not be good to represent them. Huh?

Is that now OK, as a woman of color.
How about queer people of color?

Heard that council is no longer leaning toward a 'caretaker'. I say Sharon will be the last one standing.

I agree that the editorial was lame. I agree that it would be bad politics for the Council to pick someone who has run and lost. I like Rosencrantz, but I think he has little chance of winning. I like Smith and think the Council would benefit from having an entrepreneur on board. I think he should run again. I also think we should keep trying for districts. Balter and the Times missed the boat big time by swinging out against it.

Actually, I doubt that there WERE "six BEST-qualified candidates" of the 103 who applied. I would guess that the top tier of candidates are about equally matched. A lot of factors always go into appointments, including personality, political viability, and, yes, race and gender.

I Slogged my thoughts on this earlier.

The Times assumes because there are no men as finalists, therefore, these women must not be AS qualified. Crap! Mierda! Merde! Toro shit! They are qualified; some have experience as Executive Directors, political office holders, community and union organizers, one of 'em has built hundreds of units of low income housing , one is an experienced lobbysts and they are all more qualified than lazy ass Compton or "I need a nap" Mcgiver.

I agree with Erica, by praising the dudes'qualifications and not mentioning the women's, they are basically saying, they ( the women) are not as qualified as the white men.

I dont like the finalists and not because I dont beleive they are qualified, Im just not happy with the fact that theyre not really that ideologically different from the majority centrist-right council, which would leave Licata alone and without a solid progressive ally.

The Times also forgot to mention that Smith misrepresented his actions in the whole CASA Latina fiasco. Nobody said he didnt have a right to oppose the move, but for him to use his actions as an example of colaboration is dishonest. He should have just stuck to his position and not try to use it as an example of him working together with the Latino community.

BTW, Does anybody know why Rasmussen was so hostile to the Latino applicants? I'm not suggesting anything, I'm just asking, he sure seemed hostile to Valdez and Bocanegra, though, I didnt see his exchange with Venus.

U Smith--Venus did not say she had no connection to the GLBT community, nor did she say she wouldn't be a good representative for them. Looks like your friends are unreliable.

Robert Rosencrantz' flaw is that he presents new ideas and concrete proposals to deal with issues facing the city, and he actually believes people care about experience, competence and ideas. City Council is proving through their selection process that they don't care about competence either. Council continues to ignore real issues in favor of feel good legislation. And every election cycle they go out to the voters and tell us what a wonderful job they're doing. It's like they cut off our leg then hand us a band-aid and expect us to thank them for the band-aid. Unfortunately for whomever they select to replace Compton that person will always be perceived as someone picked primarily for their race and gender, not competence.

Mike above - thanks for the set straight, so to speak.

Not that it matters at this point, but Juan Bocanegra is a true red lefty - I would make him the mayor if I could wave that wand.

His political activism is the definition of progessive in action --- years and years and years. His application statement / resume sounded like a movie script - The Life and Times of Juan

The council. of course, would be afraid of his character and opinions.

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