As a Seattle Transit Blog staff writer and adviser to STB’s editorial board, I participated in interviewing 18 of the 47 candidates running for Seattle City Council in the seven newly created council districts and two citywide seats before STB made its endorsements last week. The board chose candidates who were most closely aligned with its core principles, which include support for thoughtful transit investment, spending on key bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, density and transit-oriented development, and concentration of resources into high-quality corridors. They also gave points to candidates who shared the board’s skepticism of taxes on development and policy that promotes auto-oriented lifestyles. They did not interview candidates who they knew did not share these values, or in their view didn’t have a genuine chance to win, because they didn’t want to waste anyone’s time.
In the interest of giving readers more information about the candidates than we could fit into a brief endorsement, I posted some outtakes from the interviews in Districts 1-4 today. (Part 2, featuring the rest of the candidates, will be up tomorrow). I encourage you to check them out (Bruce Harrell has a pointed thing or two to say about how his approach to getting things done differs from Jean Godden’s), and in the spirit of the more gossipy nature of this blog, here’s one outtake I didn’t include over there, about concerns that District 4 candidate Rob Johnson, supported by some of the same “downtown” interests that backed Mayor Ed Murray’s 2013 campaign, will be a “yes man” for the mayor.
“The mayor’s endorsed another candidate in this race. He has very publicly endorsed Jean. He hasn’t done that with other candidates. He’s working it for her. So I think we’re going to have some disagreements on stuff, particularly when it comes to transportation. [SDOT director] Scott [Kubly] and I like each other. I was on the committee that recommended Scott. I think Scott’s doing some good stuff. I don’t think he’s perfect. I think there’s a lot of opportunity for collaboration. I don’t think of myself as a yes man for the mayor. The mayor’s thrown me out of his office.”
Read the rest here, and check back tomorrow for Part 2.