Good news & bad news for those seeking change in Seattle
January 5, 2024
As we turn the calendar to 2024, we have good news and bad news to report from Seattle City Hall.
The good news is that extreme progressives such as Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold, and Andrew Lewis are no longer on the Seattle City Council imposing their destructive policies onto Seattle residents and employers.
Seven of the current nine city councilmembers were not responsible for the reckless council actions of the past few years which resulted in record-setting homicide and drug overdose death rates, homeless encampments across the city, depleted number of rental units, and a mass exodus of employers and small businesses. During the 2023 council campaigns, nearly all the new members pledged a reversal away from the failed progressive policies of the recent past.
Yet the bad news is that irresponsible progressive special interest groups who supported the previous unsuccessful policies are well-funded and are deeply rooted in the City of Seattle bureaucracy. Even though their extreme beliefs have clearly been rejected by the voters, they will continue to loudly and aggressively push their reckless agenda (this was seen in their protests in council chambers when the city council finally passed a watered-down drug-possession law in September and in how they have physically threatened those collecting signatures for moderate initiatives).
Clearly Seattle is at a very important crossroad and the nine members of the city council will decide which road the city takes. Do they continue the harmful progressive policies which have failed in Seattle and other West Coast cities, or do they return to more moderate responsible measures which previously resulted in the “Emerald City” often being named “The Most Livable City” in the country?
The signs of moderation are clearly visible in other formerly progressive communities and in Washington state, where lawmakers had passed some of the most extreme Left-wing measures in the country during the past few years.
On December 20, the progressive-dominated Everett City Council passed mandatory sentencing of repeat offenders to reduce crime in their community. This is a dramatic change from those on the Left who previously supported many anti-police measures at both the local and state level just a few years ago.
At the state level, the Let’s Go Washington team announced that it had over 425,000 petition signatures on six separate initiatives to the Washington State Legislature (325,000 signatures are needed). Included with a parental rights proposal and four tax reform measures, is Initiative-2113 which will remove nearly all the restrictions Governor Jay Inslee and Democrat state lawmakers placed on police pursuits in 2021. It is strongly endorsed by the Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs which believes the initiative is necessary for law enforcement to protect the public.
Once certified by the Secretary of State, the police pursuit and the other five initiatives will go to the 2024 Legislature. There lawmakers can pass the measures (which is doubtful since progressive Democrats control the Senate and House), in which case they become law right away, or they will go onto the November 2024 ballot for the voters to decide. The legislators can also place a competing proposal onto the general election ballot, which many people believe progressive legislators will do – mostly to confuse the voters.
These two examples are among the many which illustrate that we are certainly at a political crossroads. Yet, for the city to move forward, the Seattle City Council will need to first clear up some of the wreckage of its past. These include lifting restrictions placed on law enforcement, strengthening watered down drug possession and public use laws, replacing restrictions and enforcing anti-camping laws, supporting police to stop the continuing exodus of officers, and removing taxes and regulations which are causing high paying jobs to depart the city.
As previously stated, the extreme progressive protestors will not easily give up the ‘gains’ they have made while Councilmembers Sawant, Herbold, and Lewis had their influence in Seattle City Hall. In less than ten years they doubled the size of the city budget and placed many of their activists within important jobs of the rapidly expanding city bureaucracy.
These extremist will do all that they can to have the new city council forget the promises they made to voters and instead vote for the scatterbrained progressive measures they are demanding.
With your continued support and involvement, Change Washington will be there as your voice to remind councilmembers why they were elected and ensure they get the job done.