A Post About Something Inspiring. No, Really!

[ Justin Carder, Michael McGinn, Denny Onslow, Michael Patten, Tony To, and Knute Berger ]

It happened yesterday at a CityClub lunchtime forum on “Tough Times in the Livable City.”  A recurring theme in the discussion was the question of how, in a time of declining tax revenues, can we maintain the public services that are essential to livability, such as public schools and transit.

The first question from the audience came from City Council candidate Sally Bagshaw, who asked Seattle Great City Initiative Executive Director Michael McGinn where he would make budget cuts.  In the 2008 presidential debates, Both McCain and Obama repeatedly dodged similar questions.  But McGinn didn’t.

McGinn began by reminding us that voters rejected a roads and transit measure 2007, only to approve a transit-only package a year later; and also that in March 2007, 70% of Seattle voted against replacing the viaduct with a tunnel.  He went on to point out that apparently the State has an extra $2 billion lying around to build a tunnel, and then finished by stating, “I’d start there.”

The muffled oohs and groans that erupted from the audience were an indication of what McGinn certainly already knew — that most of the people in the room were supporters of the deep-bore tunnel, or if not, they at least understood that disparaging the tunnel is a risky political position to take.

In recognition of his willingness to state his beliefs, however unpopular they might be, I hereby award Michael McGinn the prestigious Hugeasscity Badge of Integrity.  Whether he likes it or not.