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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The City Council Will Vote Soon on Their Own Potential District-ification

Posted by on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 1:41 PM

City council had better gear up for a little chat about district elections! According to City Clerk Monica Simmons, the charter amendment to switch Seattle City Council elections to a seven-district system (there would then be two at-large seats) officially has enough signatures to qualify for the fall ballot.

King County Elections has been checking the 45,000 signatures that the campaign turned in this June to see that there were sufficient valid signatures by registered voters. "We heard this morning that yes, in fact, there was sufficiency," says Simmons by phone. Now the city attorney's office will draft a resolution and submit it to the council, who will then be able to vote to send it to the ballot.

But the county needs to get this decision from the city by August 6, so pretty soon, the council gets to have a fun chat about something they really don't want to talk about—they punted on the issue when they passed a public campaign finance bill recently, and given the way the map has been drawn, there's no way the sitting council members could all make it back to the council in this districted system unless they move (or buy a lovely summer cottage in another district). Awwwwwkward!

I have a call out to Council President Sally Clark to see when the council will consider this (it'll have to be the next couple weeks) and how she expects that discussion to go. I'll update when I hear back. Fun times!


Comments (14) RSS

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Baconcat 1
Do we have a handy chart or map with all the councilmembers and which district they live in?
Posted by Baconcat on July 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM · Report this
bgk 2
Stupid Question: If the people have gotten this on the ballot with our signatures, what exactly is the City Council doing?
Posted by bgk on July 16, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
any of them with a personal interest should be disqualified from voting on this!

oh wait........

Posted by dumber question on July 16, 2013 at 2:30 PM · Report this
@2 Just the way stuff works. They're the legislative body of the city, they need to act to send it to voters just like the state leg has to vote to send initiatives to the ballot. If this were an initiative, council would have the option of enacting it themselves or adding a competing alternative to the ballot, but this is a charter amendment so apparently they don't. But they still have to officially pass it on. Wheee! Democracy! It moooooooves sloooooooowly.
Posted by Anna Minard on July 16, 2013 at 2:32 PM · Report this
City Council putting this on the ballot is purely a ministerial function. They have to do it. If they don't, proponents would go to superior court and have a judge order it done.

The districting plan has 7 districts and 2 seats remain at-large. For those districts with more than one incumbent living in them, the "extras" could file for the at-large seats.
Posted by Citizen R on July 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 6
Which members would this potentially remove? There might be some interesting politics involved depending on the answer.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on July 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 7
@5 as an example, I think both Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen live in West Seattle.

So, one could be the "District" rep and one would be at-large.

How do you decide which is which? A district primary? It would have huge implications, as the positions while equal in de facto power, are different.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on July 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM · Report this
From what I can tell this is the layout of councilmembers in districts:

1st district (West Seattle):
Tom Rasmussen

2nd district (South-East Seattle):
Sally Clark
Bruce Harrell

3rd District (Capitol Hill):
Richard Conlin

4th District (U District):
Jean Godden

5th District (North Seattle):

6th District (Ballard/Greenwood):
Nick Licata
Mike O'Brien

7th District (Queen Anne/Magnolia):
Sally Bagshaw
Tim Burgess
Posted by Hermit Hot 100 on July 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
Licata vs. O'Brien. Now that would be hilarious.
Posted by Noicons on July 16, 2013 at 5:02 PM · Report this
MrBaker 10
"5th District (North Seattle):

We've noticed.
Posted by MrBaker on July 16, 2013 at 5:34 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 11
I'm going to call this the Goodspaceguy proposal. We keep voting this stupid idea down again, and again, and it keeps showing up on the ballot.

If this gets enacted, prepare for Southeast Seattle to get a royal screwing, with eight Councilmembers freed up from ever having to visit or return a phone call or email. Oh, well, as long as Republicans block everything in D.C. and Olympia, we might as well get screwed by City Hall, too.
Posted by kk in seattle on July 16, 2013 at 8:41 PM · Report this
@11, Southeast Seattle is already getting a royal screwing, so what will change? They don't have any money, and neither McGinn nor the current council could give a shit. Neither could you, nor could the Stranger and its hipster wannabe readership.
Posted by Noicons on July 16, 2013 at 10:13 PM · Report this
The push for Districts is not about current Councilmembers. It is about giving neighborhoods more voices and actual voting power in their future.

I don't think the Public Financing measure was put on the ballot for the sake of the current councilmembers. Both proposals are geared to towards future reform for future candidates.

Seattle Districts Now does have website if you want to know more.
Posted by Zander on July 17, 2013 at 12:51 AM · Report this
" Southeast Seattle is already getting a royal screwing"

Screwed by its own residents. But in terms of taxpayer money? Southeast Seattle sucks up police, education and levy funds like a vacuum cleaner.
Posted by Sugartit on July 17, 2013 at 6:41 AM · Report this

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