This may have been the most divisive issue the SECB drunk-texted each other about this whole election. But we thought (and drank and smoked) long and hard, and we say yes.
Much like public financing measure Proposition 1, this measure would make it easier for less wealthy, less politically connected candidates to run. Right now, all nine council members are elected citywide, which means they all answer to the same set of lobbyists and donors. This charter amendment would create seven districts that elect one council member each, while two other council seats would be elected citywide.
This would make running for office more affordable and make council members more accountable. Instead of appealing to the city's population of 600,000 people with expensive glossy mailers, a candidate could run in a district of only about 88,000 people. That could be reasonably accomplished with a good ground game. In other words, the kind of progressive, grassroots candidates we dream about could actually have a shot in a district. And Seattle denizens would always have at least one representative at city hall designated to hear them out.
We hear the concerns of people wary of the measure (hence our drunk-texting). They're afraid this could hand over power to another evil: The campaign is run by "neighborhood activists" who have opposed density, have opposed transit, and basically want to send Seattle back to 1972. We don't want the council beholden to those backward activists. And if this districting measure passes, it will conflict with the public financing measure, possibly requiring the city council to send voters another ballot measure next year to reconcile the two.
But the benefits outweigh these criticisms. Right now, the council mostly suckles at downtown business's rich, creamy teat; one solid representative would be an improvement for nearly everyone in the city. Best of all, this measure would mean the whole council is up for reelection in 2015, and half of 'em would have to run against each other, finally forcing them into competitive campaigns. Our dream come true! Vote yes.