In brief: There are more than 50 City Council candidates running in the primary, more than in any other primary in the last 50 years; the Washington State Democrats voted to allocate national delegates in next year's presidential primary via a traditional primary vote instead of the caucuses that our state has used in past years; and there was a flurry of activity in the state legislature in the lead-up to this Wednesday's cutoff to pass non-budget bills.
Sunday, April 7th - Saturday, April 13th, 2019
Image from The Seattle Times / Mark Nowlin
Last Week in Seattle
Election Watch 2019:
  • The City Council pushed back its public forum for the 13 candidates to fill Rob Johnson's vacant seat to tomorrow (from this past Friday). The Council's final vote to select a temporary replacement is still scheduled for 2 pm next Monday, April 22nd--whoever they choose will serve out the remainder of Johnson's term until the November election, at which time the winner in District 4 will be immediately sworn in (as opposed to waiting until January, which is customary).
  • Meanwhile, more than 50 people are running for the 7 open positions on the City Council, including the permanent District 4 seat. Dan Beekman at the Seattle Times looked at the broad trends in the election cycle thus far...and you should probably go ahead and bookmark Crosscut's excellent map-based guide to the various candidates now.
  • The newest candidate of the bunch is freshman school board member Zachary DeWolf, who works for the regional homelessness services coordinating agency All Home and is challenging incumbent Kshama Sawant for her District 3 seat.
  • Sawant is the only incumbent to draw serious opposition this year--but she's also raised more money than anyone else in the field thus far. 
  • For a preview of what's in store for the candidates who prevail and end up eventually making it onto the dais, Erica C. Barnett pored through the hate mail that councilmembers received following a viral video of a man using his public comment time at a committee meeting to berate the council for not paying more attention to him...and, unsurprisingly, found that the women of color on the council received by far the most vitriol, noting at one point that "more emails were addressed explicitly to [Teresa] Mosqueda—who...was not even at the meeting—than to Mike O’Brien, who was."
  • The Washington State Democrats voted to use a primary election to allocate delegates to next year's presidential convention, rather than the caucuses that our state has used in the past. 
  • And Governor Inslee, who's running for president on an anti-climate-change platform, got his own televised CNN town hall.
Homelessness and housing affordability:
  • Because of Erica C. Barnett's reporting on the issue, the City got more granular in their statistics for the number of people who exited homelessness thanks to City-funded homelessness programs (short version: from 2017 to 2018 there was a 17% increase in the number of people who were "moved from homelessness to housing or prevented from homelessness," and a 46% increase in the number of people who were "maintained in PSH [permanent supportive housing] or moved to other housing from PSH.")  
  • The City's new enhanced shelters, which offer more services on-site and are open 24 hours a day (as opposed to kicking people out at 7 am), were more effective in 2018 than they were in 2017, with an exit-to-housing rate of 21% vs. 13%, although many of them still fell short of the goals set by the City.
  • Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda collaborated with an Everett-based company called Pallet that builds low-cost, pre-fab temporary shelters that can be erected in a matter of minutes and house four people apiece for a press conference at City Hall plaza to call for the City to invest at scale in temporary solutions to homelessness like Pallet's. 
  • And the tech-company advisory council that Mayor Durkan formed in the aftermath of the death of the head tax released its first 7 projects, 4 of which were focused on homelessness and housing affordability (including an affordable housing search created by Zillow that the company will host and maintain over time).
Meanwhile, in Olympia:
Real Estate Corner
Crosscut's David Kroman looked at the lack of resources to enforce the new statewide requirement for landlords to accept low-income Section 8 rent vouchers. 

KING 5's investigative team continued their deep dive into east King County's ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing) affordable real estate program, this time exposing a loophole through which many of the units, which are intended to be permanently affordable, are instead being snapped up by flippers at foreclosure auctions and then sold for market rate. 

Residents of a SeaTac mobile home park negotiated a deal with the developer who's purchased the site (and plans to build a hotel and apartments there) to give each resident $10,000 and free rent for a year until development starts next June. 

And Sarah Anne Lloyd at Curbed Seattle looked at what $3,000/month will rent you today across Seattle. 
Thank you to everyone who's sent me a real estate referral or used me as an agent yourself! The city of Seattle is my geographic area of expertise, and while I'm also very good at helping sellers get top dollar for their homes, my true passion is helping first-time homebuyers get homes that they love quickly and easily.

f you need a residential real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home of any kind--or you know someone who does--I'd love to be of service. My website is here, or see here for client reviews. 
Quick Takes
SPD installed a mobile surveillance tower in the parking lot of the Safeway in Mt. Baker, because the store is "the main source of 9-1-1 calls in the entire precinct." [KUOW]

Nearly 4,500 Amazon employees have now signed an open letter calling on the company to do more to fight climate change. [Seattle Times]

Erica C. Barnett looked at 11 bike lane projects that were cut from the City's most recent Bike Master Plan update without notice. [The C is for Crank]

Carolyn Adolph traced Boeing's current 737 MAX woes back to its decades-long strategy of grafting modern components to the base 737 from the 60s rather than investing in a brand new plane. [KUOW]

King County announced that its Trailhead Direct bus service for hikers will return this summer with more routes (for a total of four). [The Urbanist]

City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda announced that she's pregnant, making her likely the first pregnant City Councilmember in Seattle history. [KUOW]

The Seattle Times announced a donation-based fund to support deep investigative journalism at the newspaper. [The Seattle Times]

Nieman Lab looked at the business model behind the parent company of local daily newsletter The Evergrey. [Nieman Lab]

Marcus Green looked at the rise of homeschooling among local families of color as a way to escape the race-based disparities in educational outcomes in Seattle Public Schools. [Seattle Times]

Seattle City Light still doesn't know why 25 power poles collapsed on East Marginal Way South two Fridays ago; and KING 5 interviewed a couple who was injured when one of the poles struck and destroyed their car. [Seattle Times, KING 5]

There's no more wifi in the downtown transit tunnel, but there is still cell service throughout. [Seattle Transit Blog]

A Seattle Center maintenance crew accidentally threw away two historic gargoyles that were removed from the historic Mercer Arena (which was demolished as part of the construction of the new Seattle Opera building) and were intended to be restored. [Crosscut]

And Tyrone Beason looked at one model for restorative justice that's being used by a local non-profit as an alternative to youth incarceration. [Seattle Times]
Upcoming events this week
4/19, 6 - 10 pm: PacSci Happy Hour [Pacific Science Center]

4/19 - 4/21: Sakura-Con 2019

4/20, 12:00 pm & 4:00 pm: Seattle Cheese and Meat Festival

4/20 - 4/21: Seattle-area Easter egg hunts

4/21, 4  - 7 pm: Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival

Sol Villarreal
Broker, Windermere Real Estate
Sol's Civic Minute: What's happening in Seattle, in 60 seconds per week.
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