Category Archives: Voices

New City Council Dynamics Have Shaken Up Seattle

by John Stafford

INTRODUCTION

The arguments for the Seattle City Council’s 2015 transition to district elections (of the nine seats, seven are elected by district and two are at-large) are well-chronicled.  District elections increase the prospects for the representation of people of color by enabling districts with large concentrations of them to maintain their demographic voting advantage, which would be diluted in a citywide race.  Indeed, the 2015 elections produced a council with five women, four people of color and a socialist.  Second, the lower spending requirements for district elections induce more candidates to run, which increases the scope of public dialogue.  In 2015, there were 47 candidates (for nine seats) relative to 10 candidates (for four seats) in 2013.  Third, district elections encourage policy that promotes neighborhood distinctiveness.  Fourth, the district focus places an emphasis on the basics of city service – neighborhood policing, parks maintenance, trash collection, etc. – that are at the heart of city government.  Fifth, they generate broader civic engagement and ground-up rather than top-down policy.  Finally, district elections encourage more equal representation across socio-economic groups, rather than a more concentrated representation of affluent interests. Continue reading New City Council Dynamics Have Shaken Up Seattle

Dear the Beauster: Who is More Powerful, God or the Seattle Teacher’s Union?

by Beau Hebert

Dear The Beauster,

 I’m hoping you’ll settle a debate my roommate and I have been having over the last month. For background he’s a deist and I’m more of an agnostic. The question we have struggled to come to terms on is: Who is more powerful, God or Seattle Teachers and the Teacher’s Union?

 Sincerely,

Agnostic Debater of God vs. Teachers Continue reading Dear the Beauster: Who is More Powerful, God or the Seattle Teacher’s Union?

Dissecting the Washington State Caucuses

by John Stafford

(Disclosure: I am a member of the Democratic Party in South Seattle, and am a supporter of Bernie Sanders.  On March 26, 2016, I ran an area caucus (comprised of six precinct caucuses) on Beacon Hill.)

INTRODUCTION

The 2016 Democratic Caucuses, held in Washington State on Saturday, March 26, from roughly 10:00 a.m. until noon, have generated considerable debate.  The issues raised can be divided into several categories:  attendance and demographics; the merits of a caucus versus a primary election system; timing; and the ethics of superdelegates.  This article explores each of these topics. Continue reading Dissecting the Washington State Caucuses

Dear The Beauster: I’m a 30 Year Old Who Knows Too Much About His Mom’s Love Life

by Beau Hebert

Dear The Beauster,

 I’m a 30 year old who has currently moved back into my mom’s house in Skyway. She and my father have been divorced for years and she has a pretty active love life. I wouldn’t mind it that much, except she and her gentlemen friends are pretty loud when they’re doing “the deed.” It would be bad enough if this was a roommate, but it’s my mom!!! How in the world do I have this conversation with her?

Sincerely,

Disturbed by Mom’s Moaning & Groaning Continue reading Dear The Beauster: I’m a 30 Year Old Who Knows Too Much About His Mom’s Love Life

2016 State Legislature: Short Session Blues

by John Stafford

INTRODUCTION

For those interested in a State Legislature that effectively handles the peoples’ business, the 2016 Legislative Session will be a severe disappointment. For those who have followed the past several Legislative Sessions, this disappointment will be nothing new. The Washington State Legislature has become highly adept at taking a long time (six of the last seven years have gone into special session) to accomplish very little. There are, of course, powerful reasons for this ineffectuality, and these will be explored below. Continue reading 2016 State Legislature: Short Session Blues

Dear the Beauster: North Seattle Gives Me the Heebie-Jeebies

by Beau Hebert

Dear The Beauster,

 Every time I have to head north of Seattle’s Mt. Baker neighborhood my flesh starts to crawl. Going to Ballard last weekend induced dry heaving. Avoid it as I might, I know I’m going to have to venture to North Seattle at some point – what suggestions do you have for me to not plunge into despair whenever I do?

 Sincerely,

North Seattle Gives me the Heebie-Jeebies. Continue reading Dear the Beauster: North Seattle Gives Me the Heebie-Jeebies

Dear The Beauster: I’m A Victim of Workplace Passive Aggressiveness

by Beau Hebert

Dear The Beauster:

 I know Seattle is known as the most passive-aggressive place on Earth, but the people at my job take it to the Nth degree! Disagreements are met with a smile, a head nod of agreement, and then a raged-filled email a half-hour later. I’ve tried to bring this up, but when I did at a company-wide meeting, my co-workers said, “I’m not sure what you’re talking about, I don’t think we have a problem.” Later that day, I got 5 emails saying, “We do, indeed, have a problem, but can we work it out over email.” I don’t know how to thrive in this environment or what to do. Help!!!

                                      – Victim of Workplace Passive Aggressiveness Continue reading Dear The Beauster: I’m A Victim of Workplace Passive Aggressiveness