And then there were… 14
Primary season is over and while the election results are not yet final, it appears that November is shaping up to be a contest between two competing visions of Seattle: one pushing for progressive policies and a more conservative movement that has earned the backing of the business community.
A field of 55 was winnowed down to 14 after the Aug. 6 vote. All three incumbent councilmembers — Lisa Herbold (District 1), Kshama Sawant (District 3) and Debora Juarez (District 5) — led in their races.
Herbold and Sawant will be taking on opponents endorsed by the Civic Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (case) a political action committee (pac) organized by the Chamber of Commerce. Phil Tavel, a public defender, is looking to unseat Herbold and Egan Orion, who heads a nonprofit, will square off against Sawant. Juarez was endorsed by the pac in her race, and her challenger will be Ann Davison Sattler.
Districts 2, 4, 6 and 7 were all wide open after their respective councilmembers announced that they would not be standing in the election.
Longtime community organizer Tammy Morales and former community service officer Mark Solomon will square off in District 2. Former Real Change interim editor and historian Shaun Scott will take on former council aide Alex Pedersen in District 4.
District 6 will be won by either council aide Dan Strauss or former City Councilmember Heidi Wills. Prosecutor Andrew Lewis will vie for District 7 with former interim Police Chief Jim Pugel.
Real Change has contacted each candidate and invited them for an interview, so keep your eyes out for those Q&As focused on social and economic justice in coming weeks.
Mega block mania
Seattle plans to sell a chunk of properties in South Lake Union for $143.5 million and snag 175 units of on-site affordable housing, $78.2 million for housing and $5 million for homelessness programs in the process.
The Mercer Mega Block, as the 2.8-acre plot is known, was one of the biggest publicly owned pieces of property left in the city and located in Seattle’s tech hub. City officials engaged with bidders in a largely private process hidden from the public eye. Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a company best known for life sciences development, came out on top.
Alexandria will build a life sciences complex on the site. The final details have yet to be worked out.
The company will be on the hook for the cost of the property and a new community center, among other benefits. Half of the proceeds will be plowed back into homelessness programs, according to the city.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
Read the full August 14 - 20 issue.
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