In brief: Election Day is this Tuesday--that's two days from now if you're reading this on Sunday--so be sure to get your ballot in by then! No need for a stamp; just be sure it's either postmarked by Tuesday or deposited in a ballot dropbox by Tuesday at 8 pm. 
Sunday, October 28th - Saturday, November 3rd, 2018
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Last Week in Seattle
The midterms are upon us:
  • Election Day is this Tuesday, November 6th, so be sure to get your ballot in by then! Everything you need to know about how to send in your ballot is here; go here if you need to get a replacement ballot (spoiler: you can print one online and mail it in, as long as you get it postmarked by Tuesday), or here if you want to track your ballot to be sure it was counted. For a list of election-night parties, see here.
  • Turnout in King County is on track to be roughly on par with 2016's presidential election, which would be higher than any other midterm turnout in history; meanwhile, Marcus Green looked at why voter turnout in South Seattle, which has the highest concentration of both low-income residents and people of color, is consistently the lowest in the city.
  • Seattle Met and Crosscut both published their own last-minute voting guides, and KUOW put up a handy post with audio from their debates on the four statewide initiatives that are on the ballot. 
  • I-1631's campaign for a carbon fee was endorsed by the New York Times and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, while its oil industry opponents increased their funding total to $31 million.
  • Outside money from both sides continued to flood the 8th Congressional District race between Democrat Kim Schrier and Republican Dino Rossi, making it one of the most expensive House races in the country.
  • On the state legislative level, Democrats have raised significantly more money than their Republican opponents; an incumbent Republican state Representative named Matt Shea was referred to the FBI over a pamphlet he wrote that contained instructions for holy war against liberals; and state Senator Joe Fain, who local woman Candace Faber said on Twitter last month raped her in 2007, made headlines for literally erasing his opponent, a woman of color, from his final campaign mailer of the election. 
  • Speaking of Fain, over a month has passed since Faber's tweet, and despite Fain himself saying that he plans to cooperate with an investigation, there still hasn't been any official word that one will happen
  • Hundreds of Google employees from the company's Seattle and Kirkland offices took part in a mass walk-off that saw more than 20,000 participants around the world to protest the company's treatment of Android creator Andy Rubin, who was quietly given a $90 million severance package in 2014 after an internal sexual harassment investigation found the accusations to be credible.
  • Seattle Public Schools agreed to a $500,000 payment to settle a former employee's claim of sexual harassment by her boss at the time. 
  • And Washington state implemented a first-in-the-nation online portal that allows victims of sexual assault to track the testing status of their rape kit online...although there's still a massive backlog of untested kits that shows no sign of being resolved at any point in the foreseeable future. 
The housing affordability crisis:
Real Estate Corner
Case-Shiller's monthly data release showed that in August of this year (the month when the median home price in Seattle proper dropped to $760k from its high of $830k in June, a point from which it's since started to rise again), the median home price in the three-county Seattle region was still up 9.6% from August of 2017. As a result of decreased buyer demand, however, the average home in Seattle is now selling for 99.4% of its list price, vs. 106.3% in the spring--rather than having to compete with each other to bid up home prices, most homes are now selling for list price or slightly less.  

The percentage of houses in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan region that had to decrease their list prices was 22.0% in September of this year, more than double the 10.4% rate from September of last year. 

KUOW's Anna Boiko-Weyrauch looked at the likely impact of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake along the Seattle Fault (the one that roughly follows the route of I-90 through Seattle and Mercer Island) on buildings across King County, vs. the likely smaller impact of a stronger earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Pacific coast (the one that was the subject of that New Yorker article). 

The City posted tips for homeowners on how to proactively prevent landslides on your property during the rainy season. 

Facebook announced that it's signed two leases for big new office spaces in Bellevue

One real estate developer is trying to make Renton into the next regional tech hub

And Curbed Seattle's Sarah Anne Lloyd looked at what $2,600/month will rent you right now. 
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
Amazon is reportedly planning to announce the location of HQ2 this month sometime after Election Day, and a site in Northern Virginia is one of the current front-runners. [Washington Post]

City Councilmember Kshama Sawant's affordable housing proposals for the City budget didn't receive any support from her colleagues. [Capitol Hill Seattle]

According to a national dating podcast, Seattle is "the worst city in America to find true love." [KOMO News]

A sense of community is getting harder to come by for many LGBTQ seniors who are aging in place on Capitol Hill. [Seattle Weekly]

Lime (née LimeBike) announced plans to start rolling out a point-to-point carsharing program in Seattle, in addition to its successful point-to-point bikesharing program. [GeekWire]

The long-delayed construction of the so-called Missing Link in the Burke-Gilman bike trail is scheduled to being this winter. [Seattle Bike Blog]

A municipal bank study commissioned by the City Council showed that creating one would be technically possible but extremely difficult in practice. [Seattle City Council Insight]

David Kroman looked at the arguments for and against SPD's latest "end demand" prostitution sting. [Crosscut]

"No city has added more tech jobs in the last two years than Seattle..." [GeekWire]

A hearing with SPD's federally appointed consent decree monitor is scheduled for tomorrow over the controversial SPD union contract that Mayor Durkan has proposed and that's now being considered by the City Council. [Seattle Times]

Hundreds of people gathered at the Temple De Hirsch Sinai on Capitol Hill at a vigil for victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. [Capitol Hill Seattle]

City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda asked the City Budget Office to examine the feasibility of exempting tampons and other menstrual hygiene products from sales tax. [KING 5]

A great local Onion-style parody site called The Needling evidently now exists (sample headlines: "Quaint brick building doubles as earthquake coffin"; "All clever IPA names tapped out; Georgetown brewers devastated"). [The Needling]

WSDOT announced a two-day celebration of the tunnel and farewell to the viaduct on February 2nd & 3rd. [Curbed Seattle]

Meanwhile, part of a Highway 99 overpass in Sodo that was built in 2011 required a repair after sinking 2 inches in the soft fill on which it was built. [Seattle Times]

U.S. News & World Report ranked the UW the 10th best university in the world. [KING 5]

And four volcanoes in Washington state--Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, and Glacier Peak--were ranked as among the most dangerous in the country by the U.S. Geological Survey. [Seattle Times]
Events this week
11/6: Election Night parties

11/7, 6:00 - 7:30 pm: Civic Cocktail: Protecting Orcas + Election Review

11/8, 7:30 pm: Seattleness: A Cultural Atlas

11/8 - 11/15: 10th Annual Cinema Italian Style

11/9, 8:00 - 11:59 pm: SAM Remix

11/9 - 11/12: Seattle International Auto Show

11/9 - 11/17: 6th Annual Seattle Turkish Film 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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Windermere Real Estate Co.
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