News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

It’s Election Day – Vote!

November 3rd, 2015 by Mike

You’ve had that ballot for weeks.

It has to be postmarked by today to be counted in this year’s general election.

As we wrote in October:

Seattle’s first-in-a-century election of city council members by district is the focus of our upcoming November general election.

But the ballot also features the largest levy in Seattle history, more than doubling the size of the transportation levy it replaces.

Today Crosscut has a piece looking at six things to watch in Seattle and statewide.

For an off-year election, there’s a lot riding on what voters decide today in Seattle, King County, and Washington state. An historically large tax levy is on the ballot in Seattle, as is new money for children’s programs in King County and a new attempt to require a two-thirds majority for state tax increases, which could have enormous implications for the state’s finances.

If ballot returns are any indication so far, these decisions will be made by less than half of registered voters.

Specifically on the transportation levy:

If Mayor Ed Murray’s $930 million transportation levy package passes, it will be spun as a continuation of the norm for Seattleites, proof that we’ll say yes to any new property tax. But if it fails, the implications are pretty enormous.

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That tweet from Let’s Move Seattle was fluff not fact

October 15th, 2015 by Mike

Remember last week’s tweet from Let’s Move Seattle, supporters of the $930 million transportation levy?

Several readers wondered, “can this be true”?

In comments, Swede said: “Did they only doorbell Prius owners with Obama stickers? I would love to know what question they asked to garner 0% opposition – nearly statistically impossible.”

Swede – and several others – is correct.

The truth is this is an example of extreme – counterproductive? – spin, centering on the word “doorbelled.”

In politics, as in everyday life, “doorbelling” means going door-to-door, talking to people (and asking for their support). You find out what people (at least the ones who answer the door) think.

That’s the opposite of what Let’s Move Seattle did. We know this because of a series of tweets over the last few days, and because of @ButterflyForge, who kept at it.

If you haven’t followed this on Twitter, here’s a condensed sequence.

Original tweet from Let’s Move Seattle:”We doorbelled 600+ households in Maple Leaf this weekend. 74% support, 26% still deciding, 0% oppose.”

@ButterflyForge @LetsMoveSeattle @MapleLeafLife: “The person doing the polling talked my guy. He told her under no certain terms that he opposed it. 0%? Is that a rounding error or something like that? c’mon now, not true! Or doesn’t his opinion matter?”

@Let’s Move Seattle: @ButterflyForge @MapleLeafLife “What is this 0% poll message? Send us a message at brock@letsmoveseattle.com with more details.”

@ButterflyForge: @MapleLeafLife @LetsMoveSeattle “They explained in an email that it wasn’t a poll. It was visiting homes of people who were already supportg”

@Let’s Move Seattle: @MapleLeafLife @ButterflyForge “Never suggested it was a scientific poll, or even a poll. Just happy about a good day canvassing.”

@Maple Leaf Life: @ButterflyForge @LetsMoveSeattle “Visiting homes of identified supporters and advertising it as “0 percent no? That’s downright fraudulent”

@Maple Leaf Life: @BrockRides @ButterflyForge: “So, to be clear, you didn’t randomly doorbell homes in Maple Leaf. You canvassed known supporters.”

@Let’s Move Seattle: @MapleLeafLife @ButterflyForge “of course, we believe everyone in Seattle is a ‘likely supporter.’ 😉 But, yeah, we had slightly better data to think they’d be more likely than not to support the Levy. again, it was a canvass, not a poll. Standard campaogn stuff.”

Then don’t send it to us as news.

Ballots arrive this week.

Update:


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Absentee ballots arrive -but the council election is next fall

April 10th, 2015 by Mike

Absentee ballots for the April 28th special King County election — what? You didn’t know there was one? — started arriving this week.

But that election has only one issue for Seattle residents: Replacing police and fire radios that date back to the 1990s.

(The total is $246 million. Estimated cost is $2 monthly for the median homeowner. The levy lasts nine years. Today’s Seattle Times editorial in support is here. The only opponents appear to be rural folks worried about levy lids. Why it takes a special property tax levy to buy emergency radios is … complicated. But it’s worth noting the radio system spans 39 cities plus the county and lets their first responders talk to one another.)

The election of major interest comes this fall, when Seattle City Council members will be elected by districts. The filing deadline for that contest is May 15.

Since we last wrote about the Fifth Council District, which includes almost all of Maple Leaf, one additional candidate has filed – Debadutta Dash. The latest filings are here.

That election is generating mounting interest. Mian Rice (son of former mayor Norm Rice) stopped by Maple Leaf Life South recently while out doorbelling. A supporter of Sandy Brown (“transit investment and sidewalks”) showed up with fliers last week. And David Toledo commented on our previous post, introducing himself (sidewalks!).

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Crowd-sourced Voters Guide gets librarian fact-checkers

November 3rd, 2012 by Mike

By Sarah Elson, UW News Lab

Most voters’ guides simply aim to inform. But the Living Voters Guide, which was created in 2010 by the University of Washington’s Engage Project and the Seattle civic nonprofit CityClub, strives to start discussions between voters to help them make sense of the major initiatives on the ballot. This year they’ve added librarian fact-checkers to make the crowd-sourced voters guide more trustworthy.

“The guide is kind of what people thought about these ballot measures,” explained Travis Kriplean, the developer of the Living Voters Guide. “The ballot measures are often controversial and also a bit hard to understand, so it seemed like a good way to get people to talk about them, because there are surprisingly few places for that to happen.”

The website summarizes each of the eight statewide initiatives and lists pros and cons from other users on either side, so voters can create their own list in the middle compiled of the factors that are most important to them.

Anyone can post on the guide as long as they have an account on the site. Kriplean estimated that about one out of every three people who visit the site actually contribute to it.

Kriplean said the guide’s strength is in showing what people are thinking about across the political spectrum. However, it doesn’t have a strong informational base, so it’s hard for users to discern which points are true.

To make the guide more trustworthy, he’s enlisted the help of Seattle Public Library librarians to fact-check claims that other users want verified. The librarians spend a maximum of two hours researching the claim and then write a report about whether the claim appears to be accurate. The report is posted within 48 hours.

“Our approach is not to say, ‘This person is right or wrong,’ or ‘This is true or false,’ but to say if it’s an accurate statement,” said Chance Hunt, Seattle library partnerships and government relations director. “We then provide citations and additional information for people (who) want to do their own level of comparison with the information that’s available.” [Read more →]

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UPDATE: the forum is on. Don’t forget tonight’s Maple Leaf council election forum

October 17th, 2012 by Mike

A reminder that the Maple Leaf Community Council’s Candidates and Issues election forum is tonight.

The forum runs from 7-9 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St. Past forums have drawn from 30-150 neighbors. Free child care is provided on site by Camp Fire.

According to an email from the council, attendees include:

Gerry Pollet – 46th House Seat 1

Sylvester Cann – 46th House Seat 1

Sarajane Siegfriedt – 46th House Seat 2

Jessyn Farrell – 46th House Seat 2

Seattle Seawall Levy – YES

Seattle Seawall Levy – NO

R-74 – Marriage Equality – YES

R-74 – Marriage Equality – NO

I-502 (Marijuana) – YES

I-502 (Marijuana) – NO

I-1240 Charter Schools – YES

I-1240 Charter Schools – NO

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UPDATE: the forum is on. Don't forget tonight's Maple Leaf council election forum

October 17th, 2012 by Mike

A reminder that the Maple Leaf Community Council’s Candidates and Issues election forum is tonight.

The forum runs from 7-9 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St. Past forums have drawn from 30-150 neighbors. Free child care is provided on site by Camp Fire.

According to an email from the council, attendees include:

Gerry Pollet – 46th House Seat 1

Sylvester Cann – 46th House Seat 1

Sarajane Siegfriedt – 46th House Seat 2

Jessyn Farrell – 46th House Seat 2

Seattle Seawall Levy – YES

Seattle Seawall Levy – NO

R-74 – Marriage Equality – YES

R-74 – Marriage Equality – NO

I-502 (Marijuana) – YES

I-502 (Marijuana) – NO

I-1240 Charter Schools – YES

I-1240 Charter Schools – NO

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All 10 Seattle City Council candidates show up at Maple Leaf election forum

October 19th, 2011 by Mike

Seattle City Council incumbent Jean Godden and challenger Bobby Forch answer questions from residents Wednesday night at the election forum.

All 10 candidates on the Nov. 8 election ballot for Seattle City Council were on hand tonight for the Maple Leaf Community Council’s Candidates and Issues Night.

So were about three dozen neighborhood residents. So the ratio between candidates (adding in staff) and audience was a hearty 1-3.

Most of the candidates’ positions can be found at the website of the Maple Leaf Community Council (which sponsored the forum) here.

Much of the discussion revolved around jobs, transportation, trust in police, the environment and sidewalks. Plus some issues the Seattle City Council has little control over, such as schools or bus service.

Later in the evening presentations on the Families and Education Levy, the Liquor Sales and Distribution Initiative and the road tolling (Initiative 1125) issues were set.

A highlight of the early evening came from Brad Meacham, who is challenging incumbent Councilman Bruce Harrell. Meacham was intensely critical of Seattle City Light, and in a Q&A said: “I’ve been told that the best way to get something done at Seattle City Light is to make a campaign contribution to Bruce Harrell.”

To which Harrell responded: “Thank you.”

Signs for incumbent City Council members outside Olympic View Elementary School Wednesday night.

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Don’t forget tonight’s candidate forum at Olympic View

October 19th, 2011 by Mike

All 10 candidates for Seattle City Council have confirmed they will attend tonight’s Candidates and Issues Night at Olympic View Elementary School.

Representatives from the various ballot measures have also been invited to the forum, which runs from 7-9 p.m. at the school, 504 N.E. 95th St.

The event is sponsored by the Maple Leaf Community Council, which notes:

You will be able to ask candidates questions after hearing them give a short (3 minute) presentation. Even if you already know who you are voting for, you can still attend and ask questions of all the candidates. There will be Q&A for the ballot measures, too!

Free child care is provided. To see a the council’s candidate questionnaire, click here. The election is Nov. 8.

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Don't forget tonight's candidate forum at Olympic View

October 19th, 2011 by Mike

All 10 candidates for Seattle City Council have confirmed they will attend tonight’s Candidates and Issues Night at Olympic View Elementary School.

Representatives from the various ballot measures have also been invited to the forum, which runs from 7-9 p.m. at the school, 504 N.E. 95th St.

The event is sponsored by the Maple Leaf Community Council, which notes:

You will be able to ask candidates questions after hearing them give a short (3 minute) presentation. Even if you already know who you are voting for, you can still attend and ask questions of all the candidates. There will be Q&A for the ballot measures, too!

Free child care is provided. To see a the council’s candidate questionnaire, click here. The election is Nov. 8.

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Still time to make it to tonight’s school forum in Maple Leaf

October 11th, 2011 by Mike

The candidates are there….but they could use more of us.

There’s still an hour left of tonight’s school forum at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St.

The event got off to a slow start (at right is the scene 10 minutes after it was to have started) but the issues are good.

For background on the candidate race, here’s a story from our news partners at The Seattle Times.

For news about today’s dust-up between District 2 candidates Kate Martin and Sherry Carr, take a look at this post from our sister site My Green Lake.

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