City NPR Listeners on Venus Velazquez
posted by October 19 at 12:35 PMon
A lot of callers wanted to talk about Venus Velzquez this morning when I was on KUOW’s Weekday. And a number of those callers seemed to be reconsidering their support for her in light of her DUI arrest.
Their concern launched us into a long discussion of politicians and illegal behavior, politicians and hypocrisy, and so on.
But for me the Velazquez issue is not about hypocrisy (I’m not sure what the hypocrisy would even be in this case) or even so much about the illegal behavior. It’s mainly about judgment. If you’re going to drive home while drunk, or while tipsy, it’s not very smart to do it a few weeks before you’re up for election to the City Council, and right at a time when alcohol-related allegations are swirling around another City Council memeber. That Velazquez would do so suggests a less-than-savvy political mind.
I suppose you could spin it another way and say that Velazquez is a risk-taker, and that this might be good for the council: Someone willing to break a few eggs, and a law or two, if need be. But I don’t think that’s how most people are seeing this.
In any case, here’s what I see as the biggest lesson of the Velazquez DUI imbroglio: The need for more light rail and better mass transit.
I’m being somewhat facetious here, but only somewhat. I mean, look at what it’s come to: Politicians are now getting DUIs because they can’t easily get home from a Ballard bar without driving!
If we’d started getting serious about light rail and mass transit years ago, maybe Velazquez could have hopped (or staggered) onto a train or a reliable bus (or even a monorail) to get home. That’s what a lot of responsible drinkers do in other big cities.
Venus Velazquez: A victim of her own bad judgment, sure, but also yet another victim of Seattle’s lack of good mass transit options.