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Monday, October 27, 2008

Bellevue’s Business Establishment: Yes On Proposition 1!

posted by on October 27 at 15:17 PM

Last week, I reported that the Bellevue Downtown Association, which represents downtown Bellevue developers, landowners, and businesses, had endorsed Proposition 1, the mass transit expansion measure. I called the BDA “Kemper Freeman’s own group,” a reference to the largest landowner in downtown Bellevue and a member of the downtown association’s board. Since then, some close readers have pointed out that the real Freeman-controlled group isn’t the BDA, but the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, which Freeman used to chair and in which he is heavily involved.

Well, today, the Bellevue Chamber voted 22 to 18 to endorse Proposition 1 — a huge break for the group, which has consistently opposed light rail in the past. Of all the communities served by Proposition 1, Bellevue (specifically, Freeman’s own Bellevue Square) may see the biggest benefit. But the Chamber’s endorsement remains a huge burn on Freeman, who tried to get the group to make a “no” endorsement.

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Some day we will have built a world class transit system and the Eastside will no longer be a soul-deadening wasteland of strip malls and six lane boulevards.

Posted by elenchos | October 27, 2008 3:25 PM

22/40 = 55%.

In the belly of the east side beast, 55%??

What do the polls say, are there any that describe both the project and the tax?

Posted by PC | October 27, 2008 3:39 PM

This is really encouraging news.

It's time for us to begin to understand Bellevue as a part of the larger metropolitan area. The ideal of hopping on a light-rail system in Seattle and whisking away (one can hope, right?) to another downtown business core will completely expand the notion of our city.

Seattle and Bellevue have been at odds for far too long, and I think this development portends an increase in goodwill and understanding between the two cities.

Hooray! :-)

Posted by Timothy | October 27, 2008 3:42 PM

Speaking of taxes, I hear PC wants to rescind property taxes in favor of Big Socialism taxes under Comrade McSame and Reichsfuhrer Eyman.


Well, that's another question.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 27, 2008 3:43 PM

Bellevue's just terrified that Seattle's homeless will ride the train to their Safe Eastside Home. And, they will.

Posted by Tiktok | October 27, 2008 3:49 PM

"Some day we will have built a world class transit system and the Eastside will no longer be a soul-deadening wasteland of strip malls and six lane boulevards."

That is the very reason pro-sprawl/pro-freeway right wingers on the eastside fear light rail so much. Along with more human-scale development comes...(cue the scary music) voters!

New urbanist design and development is also the reason no-growth NIMBY's and luddites on the west side of the lake fear and loathe light rail so much...

Surprised Mr. X hasn't chimed in yet.

Posted by Gary | October 27, 2008 3:51 PM

Yeah, TikTok - same goes for Pacific Place Mall. That place is teaming with homeless people!

Posted by Gary | October 27, 2008 3:53 PM

Downtown Bellevue could stand to have a few more homeless. It's looking a little too clean, a little too nice.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 3:53 PM

Will, I am surprised you would engage in bitter slander.

As you well know, I have often said I like social democracy a la Europe and Canada...I think you often speak highly of Canada. And I've never said I would do away with property taxes in fact I often say let's have higher taxes. To pay for things that are good.

Didn't you read my brilliant riposte to seajay? When he claimed that Ireland's growth rate was due to their lowering their business tax rate, I did a little research and showed that really it was due more to them getting massive subsidies equal to 4% of GDP from France and Germany and the EC....I was making the point that higher taxes on the rich (in that case, the richer nations in the EC) turned into social investment for education and roads and stuff really works to enhance productivity and make a better society.

And yes, I think it's perfectly honest to say, hell if the right wing calls that socialism -- what they have in Europe -- sure, I am a socialist.

Aren't you?

don't you want health care nationalized like in Canada and more money for transit and stuff?

Gee it's so funny that if you ever say one teeny tiny thing against the God Obama these really weird posts pop up accusing you of saying all kinds of shit that you not only never said but that are directly contrary to most of what you did say.

I guess that just proves the point that underneath political diffs. we are all more similar than different, eg just like the righties have their tribalistic rituals so do folks like Will in S. To the point where he has to make up shit about someone else.

Higher taxes = Good. got it?

Especially when taxing the rich more. Got it?

Because we need opportunity to spread around.

Oh btw since you asked Will, thank you, I'd pretty much cap it at that 39% level Obama is talkingaa bout. You know, that level we had under Bill Clinton that Obama is now saying is juuuuuuust riiiiight. Damn that Bill did a lot of things right. Anyway no, I'd be against those 90% marginal rates we used to have that helped create this whole right wing frame that people like even will are falling into today by denigating socialism.

If higher taxes is socialism then yes a la Scandi nations Japan Auzzies Canicks let's go for it, eh?

As for prop 1, oh that's what's getting him. I didn't take a position on it but I guess merely mentioning that 55% in the middle of Bellevue where they get the best new service isn't so great is so annoying to Will that he has to make up shit in response.

Oh, glad we cleared that up. You can't make a genial observation...if you're not drinking the kool aid about something, you're the target.

Fucking classic tribal behaviour. Just like the fundamentalist Christians...or any group.

Now go enjoy the sunshine, it's a bit silly to feel threatened just because someone does the math and points out that 22/40 is 55%.

Think about that. 55% right in the heart of Bellevue, the best served area in this light rail expansion.

Huh. Wonder what the level of support is in all the places that are not served?

Posted by PC | October 27, 2008 3:58 PM

"Seattle and Bellevue have been at odds for far too long, and I think this development portends an increase in goodwill and understanding between the two cities."

Ah, another reason Kemper Freeman has spent millions fighting light rail in the region. He is obsessed with crushing Seattle with his own weird version of new urbanism: scrubbed and sanitized for your convenience.

One of Kemper's many shell organizations, Eastside Transportation Association, recently ran a bunch of radio ads targeting "the Emerald City Mayor". Seriously, I think these guys are afraid of being connected to Seattle. You will often hear Kemper Freeman brag about how "he never comes to Seattle."

Talk about civic pride and regional cooperation! More proof that the most petty people are often those held in the highest esteem.

Posted by Gary | October 27, 2008 4:10 PM

Didn't Roads and Transit last year squeak onto their endorsement list by roughly the same percentage?

Posted by AJ | October 27, 2008 4:12 PM

Yeah, but what they really wanted was 405 widening, big new ramps connecting 405 to 520, and a new 520 bridge. It's surprising they are in support of a transit-only measure. And testament to the people who worked on making this endorsement happen. By the same token, eastside voters have been fairly strong in their support of transit in recent years. Bellevue simply won't be able to continue to grow in 10-15 years, if light rail (or some form of grade-separated transit) is not built to connect that already-gridlocked downtown to the rest of the world.

Posted by Gary | October 27, 2008 4:24 PM

@9 - it's called fair use. I was making fun of your posts. Heck, the titles I gave them showed that.

Sense of humor among neocons: ZERO.

Sense of entitlement to your middle class tax dollars to fuel their ultra-rich fantasies: TEN.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 27, 2008 4:33 PM

And so it begins...Rich Guys looking for Welfare.

First it was T. Boone Pickens lobbying the Gov-Uh-Ment to buy his overpriced wind turbine services.

Now real estate developers want King County to cattle drive customers into their empty malls.

I say no...let these billionaires build their own light rail system. It's on 20 billion -- that's 1 billion a piece from each of the 20 or more billionaires in Bellevue.

Go to it...1000 points of light...

Posted by John Bailo | October 27, 2008 5:02 PM

John Bailo, the Grover Norquist of Kent.

Posted by The Artist Formerly Known As Sigourney Beaver | October 27, 2008 5:15 PM

@1 and 6,

Fear not, those 6-lane boulevards aren't going anywhere (just like mass transit hasn't gotten rid of them in London or Paris).

By the way, as it happens, I think one of the great weaknesses of ST1 was that it didn't go to the Eastside (in no small part because New Urbanists wanted to use it to gentrify SE Seattle instead).

Posted by Mr. X | October 27, 2008 5:19 PM

@14: Aw Jeez, Bailo. Fake populism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Posted by J.R. | October 28, 2008 10:28 AM

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