In this, the year 2009, can it really be true that so many of the choices on the upcoming Fall ballot are still questions that are the subject of contentious debate; on which our citizenry must vote; that represent such a clear distinction between backward and forward, yet that could go either way?
Let us review the choices one might naively assume would be staggeringly obvious to the majority of human beings with a pulse:
R-71: Is there a sane person among us who believes that in a few decades when people look back on this era they won’t be wondering what the hell was wrong with us that it was such a struggle to legally recognize same-sex marriage? A shame that the brain disease that causes so many to be somehow threatened by love between two people doesn’t also cause permanent laryngitis.
I-1033: What will it take for us to finally and permanently put a fork in Ronald Reagan’s “government is the problem” mantra of idiocy? How many past examples do we need of how tax limits like I-1033 fuck over important government institutions like public schools? When will enough people open their eyes to the fact that in those other developed nations where tax rates are higher than ours, the people actually live quite well?
Seattle Housing Levy: Most people have no choice but to be aware of the cost of housing, and here in Seattle, it is pretty much universally recognized that we have a problematic, growing lack of affordable housing. And as history has repeatedly shown in cities all over the world, there is very little that can be done about it aside from government subsidy. So then, how is it that the modest levy on the current ballot isn’t a slam dunk at the polls? And for that matter, shouldn’t significant funding for affordable housing be a permanent part of the City budget that doesn’t depend on begging the voters every few years?
King County Executive: A closet Republican ex-local TV news anchor model with zero civic experience and no ideas is polling ahead of a progressive, experienced politician with a proven record of forwarding the cause sustainable urbanism. Totally “move to Canada” material.
Seattle Mayor: The volunteer-driven, well-informed, neighborhood activist, environmentalist, and urbanist versus the corporate exec who never bothered much with civic affairs before he paid his way into this election, and has demonstrated limited understanding of the issues and no notable vision. Based on the popular perception of Seattle as uber-liberal and hyper-green, one might expect no contest. But the perception is not the reality.
Seattle City Council Position #8: One guy understands the environmental and social benefits of density, recognizes the urgency of addressing climate change, believes car drivers should pay the true costs of their actions, and has a record of strong support for transit, as was recently demonstrated in his work to get last year’s Proposition 1 on the ballot and passed. The other guy, not so much on any of these issues, and also is opposed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Ditto the previous paragraph on the perception vs. reality of the Seattle populace.
All six of the above could go either way come election day.
So are you ready to say it with me now? Go ahead, howl it: ….W! …T! …F!!!!!!!