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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Eight Legislators from the Seattle Area Announce Support for Seattle-only Metro Funding Initiative

Posted by on Tue, May 6, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Ben Schiendelman of Keep Seattle Moving, filing the groups initiative at city hall on April 25.
  • Anna Minard
  • Ben Schiendelman of Keep Seattle Moving, filing the group's initiative on April 25.

As Anna Minard reports in the current Stranger, a group of Seattle transit advocates have an idea for fighting back against Metro service cuts.

In her piece, Anna explains why the most recent attempt at saving Metro, Prop 1, went down hard in King County—and how we're all being used as pawns in an Olympia power game on this one. Then Anna moves on to the Seattle transit advocates' idea, which people are calling Plan C. This plan recognizes that while Prop 1 lost county-wide, the citizens of Seattle...

...passed Prop 1 by a mile. The election won't be certified for another week, but early results show it passing by as high as 78 percent in some [Seattle] neighborhoods. Overall, it enjoyed a more than 20-point lead in Seattle proper, a number that will almost certainly rise by the time all late ballots are counted.

So it's time to call Olympia's stupid bluff and move on to Plan C: a Seattle-only tax to fund Seattle-only transit. Screw the state's hostage-taking tactics.

Now eight state legislators are on board with this idea:

Rep. Cindy Ryu (32nd LD), Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, (34th LD), Rep. Eileen Cody (34th LD), Rep. Gael Tarleton (36th LD), Sen. Adam Kline (37th LD), Rep. Eric Pettigrew (37th LD), Rep. Jessyn Farrell (46th LD), and Rep. Gerry Pollet (46th LD).

Notably absent from the list, off the top of my head: Sen. Jamie Pedersen (43rd LD) and Rep. Reuven Carlyle (36th LD). I'm sure there are other notable absences.

While we more fully sort out who's on board and who's not on board with this initiative, a question:


Comments (29) RSS

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Notably absent is the City fucking Council, which should be falling all over themselves to embrace this.

You'd think they would want to go into the 2015 election being hailed as heroes for saving the buses...
Posted by junipero on May 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
Where are the out of touch 43rd?
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
@1 is correct
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM · Report this
I wish Prop 1 to passed countywide but the suburbs voted it down. The only logical thing left for Seattle to do is go it alone. I like that this initiative is a progressive tax and not a sales tax or fee on cars.
Posted by politickling on May 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Frank Chopp?
Posted by DOUG. on May 6, 2014 at 11:50 AM · Report this
theophrastus 7
it can credibly be snarked that any 'No' vote on your poll comes from some fine person sitting at their computer outside Seattle.

(yes yes "Seattle-only property tax", but consider how if this were to go forward it would affect transit in King county outside Seattle. sure.. @#$'n-em! but that's why 'No' roughly means an outside Seattle voter)
Posted by theophrastus on May 6, 2014 at 12:08 PM · Report this
No one from the 43rd? Chopp, Pedersen, and Walkinshaw all MIA? Fuck.
Posted by gnossos on May 6, 2014 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Kinison 10
Will this pass? its the 2nd initiative that raises property taxes. Either you vote to fund parks, or vote to fund buses. Tough sell for the average citizen who doesn't want to give their landlord a reason to jack up the rent.

Oh and remember when people were planning to vote against the deep bore tunnel saying 100,000+ cars being directed into downtown traffic wasn't a big deal. But when it came to eliminating bus routes, putting 50,000 cars on the streets, omg this will lead to carmageddon!
Posted by Kinison on May 6, 2014 at 12:46 PM · Report this
Our great masterminds in City Hall already have future property tax levies firmly planned out for the next x years. Funding transit is not part of their plan, thus the MIA.
Posted by Citizen R on May 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM · Report this
10: I don't drive on the viaduct. I ride the bus every day.
Posted by tiktok on May 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Can't vote Yes on this unless Schiendelman does something about his hair. We, the voters, cannot bear it through multiple months of campaigning. Will have to tune out.
Posted by Roses on May 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 14
@10 The tunnel was a crappy solution because...well...Bertha.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on May 6, 2014 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Roses, I CUT MY HAIR ON SUNDAY. :) You can safely endorse.
Posted by Ben Schiendelman on May 6, 2014 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 16
I want a horse.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on May 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM · Report this
JonnoN 17
@16, start a horseshare program. Maybe you can get Wells Fargo to sponsor :)
Posted by JonnoN on May 6, 2014 at 2:58 PM · Report this
I vote neigh.

Okay really I think that's a fun idea, I just wanted to say that.
Posted by Ben Schiendelman on May 6, 2014 at 3:02 PM · Report this
How about we give the suburbs what they want? We pay for our bus routes with... Congestion Pricing. Charge every car that drives into the city $10.
Posted by mattro2.0 on May 6, 2014 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Fair enough Ben. You've got one Yes vote for the haircut. Do away with the hipster facial hair attempt and swear we will never see sideburns and you'll probably eke out a second Yes vote from this household.
Posted by Roses on May 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM · Report this
@20, I live in the burbs. I have a car. I also ride and appreciate the Metro. I voted to increase the cost of tabs and sales tax to fund the Metro. Sadly, there were many more people who could not see the logic.
Posted by VioletGirl on May 6, 2014 at 3:48 PM · Report this
Twilight Sparkle 23
The suburbs are SEATTLE's urban sprawl. This is a nice little fix for the short term, but long term, we will have a much harder time curtailing further sprawl and making our suburbs more dense and sustainable if we can't come up with a regional solution. Failure to do so will only mean we lose time in the fight to make our region a more dense, transit oriented place, with transportation options for all. Preserving a transit oriented island in a sea of sprawl sounds like failure to me.
Posted by Twilight Sparkle on May 6, 2014 at 4:02 PM · Report this
MrBaker 24
Sen. David Frockt (46th) is missing but the two Reps are repping.

This tax doesn't increase routes to get me out of my car. I am forced to drive regardless. At least with this proposal my car isn't a money cow to be milked. I will vote yes on this one, and no on all other proposals going forward.

It's insulting to me that my rep played this off as a temporary fix until Olympia provides a solution.
Attn: Rep Farrell, property taxes are forever. At no point do I expect Olympia to do anything at anytime.
Posted by MrBaker on May 6, 2014 at 5:24 PM · Report this
@23, if the so-called suburbs keep cutting transit's throat by opposing every measure they believe will cost them too much money, how can we continue to rely on a "regional solution"? We have no choice but to go city solution since the region won't cooperate.

@24, the tax may not increase routes, but your trips won't be delayed or impeded by more cars joining you.
Posted by neo-realist on May 6, 2014 at 7:21 PM · Report this
@Ben I love that you get involved in the comments. If I could vote, I'd vote yes, but alas I'm just a lowly immigrant.
Posted by j2patter on May 6, 2014 at 8:11 PM · Report this
But stupid question, what is causing the crisis. Is it less funding from the state, or increase costs or both? Wasn't there a crisis last year and they cut services and raised prices? What is causing year after year crisis with metro and can we solve this, or will this just solve this year crisis. Is there a multi-year plan?
Posted by j2patter on May 6, 2014 at 8:16 PM · Report this
Twilight Sparkle 29
@26 Obviously we can't. Preserving service in a small portion of the Seattle metropolitan area is absolutely better than preserving it nowhere. Our region loses big time either way though. Only 15% of us live in the city limits of Seattle, and people commute all over the place. I live in the CD and ride to UW, so no worries for me, but my wife, who needs to get to Bellvue for work, not so much.
Posted by Twilight Sparkle on May 6, 2014 at 8:30 PM · Report this
Short answer is "less funding from the state? How can you get less than $0?"
Seriously. Washington state ranks dead last in the whole country for transit operations funding help from the state. Mississippi does more. Texas does more. Rhode Island does more. DC House Republicans have never suggested a budget with such a small role for transit. We have always paid for it ourselves, through taxes on ourselves, this measure just eliminates the step where we have to get permission from Oly to pay for it ourselves. Which is great.
Posted by JonCracolici on May 6, 2014 at 8:31 PM · Report this
MrBaker 31
@26, nope, if metro still went where I need to go then there would be a bus for me to ride on that route. Since there isn't a bus that travels that route then the invisible bus route will not get cut, and the invisible people on the non-existent route will not start driving.

There either is a bus for me to ride or there isn't. And there isn't.
Posted by MrBaker on May 6, 2014 at 9:35 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 32
A real mayor would pull the plug on the Tunnel and fund Seattle Transit today.

Excuses don't cut it anymore.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 6, 2014 at 10:24 PM · Report this
The crisis was caused 15 years ago when I-695 removed metro's primary stable funding source.

Since then, Metro has lurched from one temporary funding solution to another, only to be dropped back into crisis mode when the temporary measures expire. They are extremely dependent on sales tax revenue right now, which fluctuates dramatically with the economy, leading to unkept promises and unexpected cutbacks. Their latest temporary solution, the car tab fee, is set to expire in a matter of months, and the State government has not authorized a renewal.

And during all of this, ridership has been constantly increasing. Service is getting downright terrible on core routes with frequent crowding, delays, and extremely poor schedule reliability.
Posted by Lack Thereof on May 9, 2014 at 4:51 PM · Report this

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