2015 Election | KNKX

2015 Election

Daniel X. O'Neil via Creative Commons

A pair of Seattle City Council races remain up in the air after the latest count, with thousands more ballots still to be tallied.

The tightest race in town is still District 1, covering West Seattle and South Park, where the margin narrowed just a bit further after the Monday afternoon update.

Daniel X. O'Neil via Creative Commons

Despite strong leads for all of the incumbents in Seattle’s city council races, the new council will be younger and more diverse than the current one. That’s one likely effect of the new district elections. 

Women will make up the majority of Seattle’s new city council; and it will have two Latinas, one of whom is also Native American.

Paula Wissel

In Seattle’s City Council races, incumbents are all leading, including the city’s first socialist council member Kshama Sawant. Council President Tim Burgess, as well as council members Sally Bagshaw, Bruce Harrell and Mike OBrien, appear to be winning handily. Sawant’s race for Seattle City Council District 3 is closer.

Patrick Rodriguez via Wikimedia Commons

Early election results show that Tacoma voters appear to have rejected what would have been one of the most ambitious minimum wage hikes in the country, but they favor a more gradual hike that would phase in a $12 minimum wage by 2018, and link it to inflation after that.

By a wide margin, Washington voters have enacted a state law banning the trade in elephant ivory, rhino horns and certain other endangered wildlife parts. Initiative 1401 is passing with more than 70 percent of the vote in favor statewide.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Four years ago, Marty McLaren took on a well-funded Seattle School Board incumbent and won on a promise to question the district establishment.

Now, early results of Tuesday’s vote show she herself is in danger of losing to an insurgent challenger, Leslie Harris, who says McLaren has become too much a part of that establishment.

In early returns, Washington voters were favoring professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman’s latest tax-limiting initiative.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Washington voters passed a ballot measure that would outlaw sales of items ranging from lion skins to elephant ivory.

The first batch of election results Tuesday night showed Initiative 1401 with an overwhelming lead in early returns across the state. The measure would ban the purchase, sale and distribution of parts or products made from 10 endangered animals. They include lions, elephants, rhinos, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks and rays.

Offenders could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Seattle Departemnt of Transportation

Seattle voters are getting ready to choose who will represent their district. Seven district seats will be decided, as well at two at large positions. KPLU’s election series, Back On The Block, revisits issues affecting each district and introduces us to the candidates.

Paula Wissel

It is hard to miss the gentrification taking place in Seattle’s Central District. Walk around the neighborhood and you see modest houses being torn down to make way for pricey condos and upscale businesses going in.

David Nogueras / KPLU

Seattle voters are getting ready to choose who will represent their district. Seven district seats will be decided, as well at two at large positions. KPLU’s election series, Back On The Block, revisits issues affecting each district and introduces us to the candidates.

Paula Wissel

Replacing aging bridges and re-paving major arterials are two things a Seattle levy on this year’s ballot promises to do.  Seattle Proposition 1 would put $930 million into transportation projects over the next 9 years.  It's a replacement, of sorts, for Seattle's Bridging the Gap levy, which is expiring. However, the new property tax measure will cost homeowners more than the old one did.

AP Images

 

Five out of six incumbents running in a crowded Seattle City Council field will advance to the fall election, according to the Tuesday night returns in the 2015 Primary Election.

One likely exception is councilwoman Jean Godden, who sits third place in Northeast Seattle’s District 4. Godden had 21 percent of the vote as of last night, Rob Johnson had 34 percent and Michael Maddux had 23 percent.

Johnson, who’s leading in that race, heads the Transportation Choices Coalition, a non-profit that advocates for transit, biking and walking. Maddux is a paralegal.

In all nine races, the top two vote-getters will move on to the Nov. 3 general election.

Paula Wissel

Seattle is making it easier to track development projects in the booming city. An interactive online map on the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) website lets users click on any current permitted building project. There are more than 100 in just the downtown area.

A click on one of the blue dots brings up every document tied to a particular project, from the mitigation being done for building on a steep slope to the construction timeline to architectural renderings.

Paula Wissel

Seattle’s Central District has long been the hub of the city’s African American community -- in part because until the late 1960’s, racist housing covenants and redlining prevented most blacks from living elsewhere in the city.

Even after fair housing laws were passed, the area continued to have the largest percentage of African Americans. Now, long-time residents say they are being forced out by gentrification. And they worry about what is being lost. 

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

To get a sense of why many in far-flung Seattle neighborhoods were eager to move to district-based representation on City Council, head to 125th and North Aurora and start walking south.

There are auto shops, shabby motels and several marijuana stores. But it's not the type of retail that illustrates the case for district-specific council representation; it's what the walk to the store lacks. The sidewalk often peters out and disappears, leaving pedestrians nose-to-nose with traffic.

“In 1954 it was like this, and in 2015, it’s just dirt. Just a dirt path,” says retired teacher Richard Dyksterhuis.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

The promise of light rail goes far beyond people’s hopes for swift passage between Seattle neighborhoods and the airport; It’s also supposed to deliver money in the form of commerce to business owners it rolls past.

But that’s not really panning out yet for many residents of Seattle’s District 2.