Seattle voters made their frustration known
November 10, 2023
Many naysayers said it couldn’t be done.
But this week Seattle voters made their voices heard when/where it matters most – the ballot box. Residents completed an unprecedented turnover of the city council where likely only one of the nine city councilmembers who voted on the disastrous 2020 & 2021 “defund the police” measures will still be on the council.
And that one councilmember (CM Dan Strauss representing Ballard, Fremont, and Green Lake neighborhoods) is currently barely ahead and during his reelection campaign he repeatedly admitted that his support for the anti-police measures “was a mistake.”
Polls repeatedly showed that Seattle voters were dissatisfied with the actions of the Seattle City Council. They were tired of the extreme measures taken by the councilmembers that appeared to be politically motivated and only made problems (violent crime, homelessness, drugs, retail theft, housing, etc.) worse.
Seattle residents were frustrated that in such a short time the country’s once “Most Livable City” had decayed to such conditions that it was no longer a safe and clean place to live, work, or visit. They rightfully blamed the actions of the Seattle City Council.
With approximately 20% of the vote still to be counted, it currently appears that the “moderate” slate of candidates are ahead in six of the seven races (again, the one exception is the repentant 6th Council District’s CM Strauss).
Thus, of the nine Seattle councilmembers who voted on the devastating public safety, homelessness, and decriminalizing drug measures supported by extreme activists in 2020 and 2021, only CM Strauss has a chance of remaining.
The roster of the 2020-2021 Seattle City Council Members and their fate:
- At-Large Councilmember (Council President) Lorena Gonzalez – Gave up seat for her unsuccessful bid to become mayor.
- At-Large Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda – Appears to be winning her King County Council race and will need to resign from Seattle City Council. (The other eight CMs will select her replacement.)
- District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herboldt – Declined to run for reelection.
- District 2 Councilmember Tammy Morales – Currently down 3% in reelection bid.
- District 3 Councilmember Kshama Sawant – Declined to run for reelection.
- District 4 Councilmember Alex Pedersen – Declined to run for reelection.
- District 5 Councilmember Debra Juarez – Declined to run for reelection.
- District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss – Currently ahead by just 0.7%.
- District 7 Councilmember Andrew Lewis – Currently down by 7.2%.
This major overhaul of city hall began in 2021 when moderate business owner Sara Nelson defeated a well-known extreme activist to win the At-Large seat CM Gonzalez vacated and moderate Ann Davison defeated the pro-violence activist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy to become Seattle City Attorney.
We should note that CM Nelson appears to be the big winner in the 2023 elections, as she campaigned for many of the moderates on the ballot – even those running against incumbents.
The election currently appears to be a very strong victory for those who want a serious change from city hall. Voters clearly are tired of the extreme political demagoguery that appears to have controlled the council’s actions the past few years. Voters want results, not divisive fiery speeches.
Much still needs to be done. The council will need to spend a lot of time dismantling many of the council’s previous failed policies.
The extremists are not going away. They will continue to push their radical agenda and we can expect to see them fill the council chambers to make their demands known.
Thus, we cannot let down. We must continue to fight for responsible and workable solutions. It is easy to declare that the next couple of years will be very interesting in Seattle.