Who’s the best District 4 candidate for biking and safe streets?

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Seattle City Council Districts map.As noted in our previous posts, Seattle Bike Blog is not doing official endorsements this primary. Instead, I’ll be going district-by-district, posting videos from the MASS Coalition’s transportation forums along with a roundup of transportation-related endorsements and other notable news items and thoughts.

District 4 is a great example of the downside of changing to district-based elections. There are so many good candidates in this one race, yet the city can only elect one of them. Meanwhile, there are districts with few good options. It just seems like such a waste.

For example, Cathy Tuttle is running for District 4. Cathy Tuttle! The founder and longtime Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Just check out all these stories we’ve written about her and her work. And those are just the ones where I remembered to tag her name. Not only did she found and build a new safe streets non-profit organization, she was able to get it established enough that it could continue to thrive even after she stepped away. That is very rare. Only a tiny percentage of grassroots non-profit orgs ever survive their founder, and it takes great leadership to achieve this. Honestly, I’m not sure a Council seat is any harder than what she’s already done. And we know she’d be great for safe streets issues.

But she’s gotta somehow beat a dynamic cast of other candidates, many of whom have great things to say about biking and safe streets issues.

Shaun Scott, who racked up the most endorsements from transportation orgs (he’s the only D4 candidate who got the nod from every org we’ve been tracking below), has great things to say about transportation issues. And he is consistent in connecting it to issues of housing affordability and climate justice.

Emily Myers has also talked about the need to complete the Bike Master Plan and to “stop centering cars in our decision making process about how we improve transportation in the city,” as she said during the MASS forum (video and transcript below). Her answers to Lester Black at the Stranger were also particularly strong (be sure to check out the spreadsheet of responses).

And we haven’t even talked about Joshua Newman yet. Newman is a longtime neighborhood organizer who, instead of fighting new bike projects, says he wants to see neighborhoods with safer streets, more bike lanes and better transit.

Here’s a look at some endorsements:

In the previous District 4 race, the top two candidates (Rob Johnson and Michael Maddux) were both very strong on transportation issues. The anti-change, anti-bike lane candidate Tony Provine didn’t get anywhere. This year, however, the anti-change, anti-bike lane candidate is Alex Pedersen, who is clearly better funded and more organized than Provine. I’m still holding out hope that he doesn’t make it through the primary, but I worry that a race with so many good candidates will lead to a lot of vote splitting. I guess we’ll see.

But we know for sure that a couple great potential Councilmembers will be sitting out the general election, which is a bummer.

Here’s the video from the Move All Seattle Sustainably District 4 transportation and housing forum:

Rooted In Rights not only produced the video and added captions, they also created this handy transcript if you prefer to read candidate responses instead (.txt).

You can also hear each candidate give general statements in this cool Seattle Channel online voter’s guide.

This post is also a chance for you all to share your thoughts and promote your favorite D4 candidates in the comments below. Did I totally gloss over or miss something important? Let me know in the comments below. If you work for a campaign, you are welcome to participate, as well. Just please disclose which campaign you work for.

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11 Responses to Who’s the best District 4 candidate for biking and safe streets?

  1. Matt says:

    District 4 continues to impress with our embarrassment of riches and one turd sandwich. Like you, I worry that we’re too fragmented to keep Pederson out of the general and somewhat concerned that the various camps won’t really show up if their person doesn’t get into the general. Will Scott voters show up for Myers? Will Tuttle voters show up for Scott? With our odd year elections, there’s a real danger of especially younger voters not voting in the general.

  2. DOUG. says:

    Anybody But Alex!

    I’m voting for Tuttle in the primary, but will gladly vote Myers, Scott, Newman, or whomever else makes it through to the general if Cathy does not.

    • David says:

      Ditto! I’m all in for Cathy, she’s undeniably prepared, right on the issues and tenacious as hell. I think she might be the only one who can best Pedersen, because she’s free of special interest baggage and as a 35-year Wallingford homeowner can counter his claim to such voters. However, I will work enthusiastically for whoever might run against the candidate who can’t be bothered to respond to issues of street safety and transportation fairness.

  3. Mark Ostrow says:

    I don’t live in D4, so I can’t vote for any of these excellent candidates but Cathy is a friend and mentor who has inspired me to give back to my community. She’s a true leader. Empowering, smart, visionary, and impatient to move our city and our planet onto a sustainable path.

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