Category Archives: General interest

Urge Washington Legislators to End Eyman Push Polls on Our Ballots

Washington State Legislators – Pass SB 5182 now!

Washington State needs to end Washington taxpayers subsidizing Tim Eyman’s anti-tax initiative campaigns. They need to stop putting his so called Tax Advisory Votes  on our ballots. They are really anti-tax push polls.

Why are legislators allowing this abuse of our ballots to continue? It is time to end this abuse of our electoral process.

The language used to write the ballot titles for these so-called advisory votes was written by Tim Eyman, not the State’s Attorney General as all other ballot titles are.

Eyman’s ballot titles inflammatory language biases voter’s opinions. Requiring phrases like “legislature imposed”, “without a vote of the people”, “costing …in the first 10 years” and “for government spending” are phrases that are not neutral but are meant to bias against a “maintain” vote and all taxes and revenue increases in general.

Special interest polling does not deserve a place on our ballot. The fact that these push polls benefit a private initiative business and were written by that business to promote its anti-tax political agenda is even more objectionable.

End this abuse of our ballot. End this taxpayer subsidy of these Eyman push polls on our ballot.

Pass SB 5182 introduced by Senator Patty Kuderer!

Send Washington State legislatures an e-mail today supporting SB 5182.

Go to Action Network Now.

Majority Rules 2020 Primary Endorsements – Washington State

Majority Rules Endorsements –

August 4, 2020 Washington State Primary

Governor –  Jay Inslee

Lieutenant Governor –  Denny Heck

Secretary of State – Gael Tarleton

State Treasurer – Mike Pelliccotti

State Auditor – Pat (Patrice) McCarthy

Attorney General – Bob Ferguson

Commissioner of Public Lands – Hilary Franz

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Chris Reykdal

Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kriedler

1st Congressional District – Suzane DelBene

2nd Congressional District – Rick Larsen 

3rd Congressional District – Carolyn Long 

4th Congressional District – Douglas Mckinley

5th Congressional Distrct – Dave Wilson

6th Congressional District – Derek Kilmer

7th Congressional District – Pramila Jayapal

8th Congressional District – Kim Schrier 

9th Congressional District – Adam Smith

10th Congressional District – Beth Doglio

Donald Trump and Hitler’s Speeches – My New Order

The following quote is taken from an article in Vanity Fair written in Sept. 1990 by Marie Brenner. The article is entitled After the Gold Rush. Trump is not known to be a reader. Yet it appears that Trump had one book he liked.  Trump was fascinated with Hitler and his propaganda speeches. The book was the sequel to Meim Kampf entitled My New Order.

“Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.

Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

“Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.

Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”

“I don’t remember,” I said.

“Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”)

Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”

Is Ivana trying to convince her friends and lawyer that Trump is a crypto-Nazi? Trump is no reader or history buff. Perhaps his possession of Hitler’s speeches merely indicates an interest in Hitler’s genius at propaganda. The Führer often described his defeats at Stalingrad and in North Africa as great victories. Trump continues to endow his diminishing world with significance as well. “There’s nobody that has the cash flow that I have,” he told The Wall Street Journal long after he knew better. “I want to be king of cash.”

See also – Donald Trump’s ex-wife once said Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, Business Insider, Sept 1, 2015

WA State House of Representatives Rules Committee 2019 – Democrats

 

Washington State Legislature – Democrats on House Rules Committee 2019

Name Phone Email Leadership Position LD
Frank Chopp (360) 786-7920 Frank.Chopp@leg.wa.gov House Speaker 43
Pat Sullivan (360) 786-7858 Pat.Sullivan@leg.wa.gov Majority Leader 47
Eric Pettigrew (360) 786-7838 Eric.Pettigrew@leg.wa.gov Majority Caucus Chair 37
John Lovick (360) 786-7804 John.Lovick@leg.wa.gov House Speaker Pro Tempore 44
Tina Orwall (360) 786-7834 Tina.Orwall@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore 33
Marcus Riccelli (360) 786-7888 Marcus.Riccelli@leg.wa.gov Majority Whip 3
Monica Stonier (360) 786-7872 Monica.Stonier@leg.wa.gov House Majority Floor Leader 49
Larry Springer (360) 786-7822 Larry.Springer@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Leader 45
Lillian Ortiz-Self (360) 786-7972 Lillian.Ortiz-Self@leg.wa.gov House Majority Caucus Vice Chair 21
Christine Kilduff (360) 786-7958 Christine.Kilduff@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Floor Leader 28
Mike Chapman (360) 786-7916 Mike.Chapman@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Whip 24
Kristine Reeves (360) 786-7830 Kristine.Reeves@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Whip 30
Bill Ramos (360) 786-7852 Bill.Ramos@leg.wa.gov House Assistant Majority Whip 5
Jared Mead (360) 786-7892 Jared.Mead@leg.wa.gov House Assistant Majority Whip 44
Steve Bergquist (360) 786-7862 Steve.Bergquist@leg.wa.gov 11
Lauren Davis (360) 786-7910 Lauren.Davis@leg.wa.gov 32
Noel Frame (360) 786-7814 Noel.Frame@leg.wa.gov 36
Sharon Wylie (360) 786-7924 Sharon.Wylie@leg.wa.gov 49

see also as google document:  House Rules Committee  Democrats

Make Voter Registration Easier in Washington State

Action needed – Two bills currently before the Washington State Legislature will make it easier for voters to register to vote. They have both passed the House and have had a Hearing in the Senate State Government Committee but need citizen input now to get out of committee for a vote by the full Senate.  Please contact committee members and urge them to vote these bills out of committee. The deadline for bills that came from the other house to be voted out of committee is March 29, 2017.

HB 1468 – changes the deadline for voter registration from 29 days before the election to 11 days
HB 1513 – authorizes 16 and 17 years old to sign up to register to vote when they turn 18

Contact members of the Senate State Government Committee to vote these bills out of committee for a full Senate vote. Send an e-mail or call:

Mark Milosca – Chair    mark.miloscia@leg.wa.gov    1-360-786-7648
Hans Zeiger   hans.zeiger@leg.wa.gov    1-360-786-7648
Sam Hunt   sam.hunt@leg.wa.gov    1-360-786-7642
Patty Kuderer   patty.kuderer@leg.wa.gov    1-360-786-7694
Kirk Pearson   kirkpearson@leg.wa.gov     1-360-786-7676

You can also call the toll free  legislative hotline 1-800-562-6000 and leave messages for all of them.

Additionally you can contact your own State Senator and urge her or him to contact Mark Miloscia and Committee members to act on these bills. They need to hear from us. Click on the bill links and click on “Comment on this Bill” and it  will send your message to your  legislators.

www.majorityrules.org like on fb – majority rules

What happened? What do we do now? Living in Trumpland

For many here is America, the world has changed. They have woken up in a strange land called Trumpland. Democrats, progressives, liberals, independents and even some Republicans are asking what the hell happened.   How did we get here and what do we do now? Below is some recommended reading that attempts to give some insight as to this new reality that has set in. Suggestions are offered by some as to what to do. This is an ongoing search for answers. I will add new articles as they emerge.

Indivisible Guide –  A Practical Guide for resisting the Trump Agenda   has been written by former Congressional staffers, Jan 2017. They give suggestions based on the success of the Tea Party as to how Progressives can fight back, to limit the negative impacts of the GOP and Trump. They also provide links to Indivisible groups that have formed across the country.

‘Data-driven’ campaigns are killing the Democratic Party. Politico Feb 12, 2017  – This article argues that data driven campaign over the last 4 cycles have resulted in catastrophic losses for Democrats.  It urges connecting with voters through storytelling, having a clear message that reaches voters on an emotional level.

A Low Tech Guide to Becoming Politically Active, New York Times, Feb 8, 2017 – Lots of good advice here – the title in the print edition is “How to Turn Your Facebook Rants Into Real-Life Activism”

How to Build an Autocracy, Atlantic March 2017  – Good discussion of the ways Trump and Bannon are working to convert our democracy to an autocracy that benefits the wealthy.
David Frum – “What is spreading today is repressive kleptocracy, lead by rulers based on greed…Such rulers rely less on terror and more on rule twisting, the manipulation of information, and the co-option of elites.

What Effective Protest Could Look Like, Atlantic, Feb 6, 2017 –  “Perspective From the Right, for Effective Challenge From the Left

Post-Fascist Europe Tells Us Exactly How to Defend Our Democracy -Yes Magazine Jan 13, 2017 – “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are 20 lessons from the 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.”

10 Investigative Reporting Outlets to Follow, Bill Moyers, Jan 13,2017  – “Here are some new organizations to follow as well as a few established ones  that are working to uncover the truth.

A Guide for Rebuilding the Democratic Party from the Ground Up, VOX, Jan 5,2017 -“Organizationally, the US right is light years ahead of the left. A leading political scientist explains what Democrats should do to change that”

To Stop Trump, Democrats Can Learn from the Tea Party, New York Times, Jan 2, 2107 –  Op-Ed – “The Tea Party’s ideas were wrong, and their often racist rhetoric and physical threats were unacceptable. But they understood how to wield political power and made two critical strategic decisions. First, they organized locally, focusing on their own members of Congress. Second, they played defense, sticking together to aggressively resist anything with President Obama’s support. With this playbook, they rattled our elected officials, targeting Democrats and Republicans alike.”

The Democratic Ggame Plan for Making Trump Miserable – and Regaining Power,  New York Magazine, Dec. 23, 2016

What Those Who Studied Nazis Can Teach Us About the Strange Reaction to Donald Trump, Huffington Post Dec 19, 2016 – “While its Important to watch the President Elect Closely, We also Must be Mindful of Our Own Response to Him.”

Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained, VOX, Dec 19, 2016  –  The Electoral College is a rigged archaic voting system that violates the one person, one vote 1962 Supreme Court Decision that changed state elections..

99 Ways to Fight Trump, Do One, Do them all, But do Something

Steve Bannon and Breitbart News, in their own words, New York Times,  Nov 14, 2016 – Bannon and Breitbart News in their own words – necessary reading to help understand the man behind Donald Trump.

Trump’s Choice of Stephen Bannon Is Nod to Anti-Washington Base, New York Times , Nov 14, 2016 – ” In naming Stephen K. Bannon to a senior White House post, President-elect Donald J. Trump has elevated the hard-right nationalist movement that Mr. Bannon has nurtured for years from the fringes of American politics to its very heart, a remarkable shift that has further intensified concern about the new administration’s direction.”

Steve Bannon, Trump’s Top Guy, Told Me He Was a ‘Leninist” Who Wanted to ‘Destroy the State’, TheDailyBeast.com,  August 21, 2016, – When the President’s top advisor’s goal is to tear America apart not build it up we as a nation are under siege. That is what is happening now.
Daily Beast – “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed. Shocked, I asked him what he meant. Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.”

Uneasy About the Future, Readers Turn to Dystopian Classics, New York Times, Jan 27, 2017 – Big surge in dystopian classics happening as people buy copies of Margaret Atwood’s Tales of a Handmaid, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, and Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. Not surprising considering what is happening.

Shape Tomorrow, Register and Vote –  the Democrats’ Sleeping Giant – Down with Tyranny, Jan 18,2017  – Case Study on successful impact of registering people to vote.

Autocracy , Rules for Survival, New York Review of Books, Nov. 10, 2016, – “But Trump is anything but a regular politician and this has been anything but a regular election. Trump will be only the fourth candidate in history and the second in more than a century to win the presidency after losing the popular vote. He is also probably the first candidate in history to win the presidency despite having been shown repeatedly by the national media to be a chronic liar, sexual predator, serial tax-avoider, and race-baiter who has attracted the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Most important, Trump is the first candidate in memory who ran not for president but for autocrat—and won.”

Will Complacency and Progressives Let Trump Win the Presidency?

Michael Moore in his comments to Bill Maher at the Republican National Convention makes a strong point. Complacency by Democrats and independents who think Trump has no chance of winning and then not voting could tip the election to Trump.

Voter turnout has been going down in our elections as voters disengage. Progressives will contribute to this problem by not voting for Hillary and continuing to dwell on her negatively rather than looking at her pluses compared to Trump.

There is no way progressives win with a Trump victory. Progressives can put pressure on Hillary and Democrats in Congress if we take back the Senate and the House. Nothing will happen positively with a Trump win and Republicans holding both houses of Congress.

Some of us have lived through numerous Republican Administrations and seen the power of the presidency. And as President  Obama has shown the President does have the power to affect a lot of things despite not controlling Congress. including Supreme Court nominations and who gets appointed to run the Government and executive orders. But a President Trump combined with a Republican House and Senate would be a wipeout for Democratic programs and American society in general, reversing decades of progressive action.

We win by being involved, not by sitting on the sidelines and complaining or disengaging. Turnout for Protest votes like Brexit have consequences. Who turns out to vote can have tremendous impacts. Younger voters were expected to vote “remain” but voted in lower numbers than older voters.

The same impact of low voter turnout by particular groups supporting Democrats happened in the US in the 2014 Senate and Governor’s race resulting in the US Senate being taken over by the Republicans. As Sam Wang noted in his post in the American Prospect entitled “One reason the Democrats Lost So Big in Midterms:Exceptionally Low Voter Turnout”:

A larger question is why voter turnout hit a new post-World War II low. Compared with 2012, the number of votes cast dropped by about 42 percent. Democrats lacked a coherent message, de-emphasized their own policies in immigration and health care, and sidelined their highest-profile messenger, Barack Obama. Instead, issues such as Ebola and ISIS dominated the news. Relative media inattention to the election may have depressed turnout more than usual. These and other factors affecting turnout are inherently difficult for pollsters to anticipate. In 2014, the Midterm Curse, which this year afflicted both pollsters and Democrats, was in all likelihood caused by exceptional voter apathy.

Lower voter turnout by Democrats  this year could help Trump become President despite lagging in the polls. Some of the reasons for lower democratic voter turnout could include:

  • Lack of a strong motivating message by Democrats that Hillary will move forward strongly on addressing issues like income inequality, increasing job creation, opposing bad trade agreements, funding educational opportunities and expanding health care for all.
  • Progressives sit on the sidelines upset because Bernie Sanders was not nominated.
  • Progressives vote for a third party candidate like Jill Stein.
  • Democrats think there is no way someone like Trump can be elected and don’t bother to vote.
  • Young voters who supported Bernie Sanders become disenchanted and don’t vote.
  • Voter suppression efforts prevent enough Democratic voters from voting in key states
  • Progressives and others believe FOX News, Roger Ailes and other right wing media that Hillary is “evil” and don’t vote.
  • Progressives and others help spread the right wing message that Hillary is “evil” and cause others to not vote.
  • Conservatives continue to believe Trump represents the middle class rather than the 1% he really represents.

There can be other reasons also but the real challenge is convincing Democrats and independents that this election is a change election and that Hillary is the change agent. Put the blame for income inequality on Republican tax policy. Lowering taxes on the wealthy as Trump proposes will only make things worse.

Not raising the minimum wage means that more people may have jobs but can’t afford basic things like food and housing in the current economy. Trump and Pence oppose raising the minimum wage. Hillary has proposed significantly raising the minimum wage to $15/hr.

Trump and the Republicans oppose acting on climate change and support continued mining of coal for producing energy. Hillary proposes shifting to green jobs and renewable energy.

Hillary has proposed overturning Citizens United with a Constitutional Amendment to help get Big Money Out of Elections while Trump has been silent on this and Republicans oppose any changes.

These and other issues point to a clear difference in the direction the country would move under their Presidency. Hillary’s positions represent a significant change from the direction Trump wants to go and that Republicans have so far prevented us from going.  Elect Hillary and boot the Republicans out of Congress and the people of America can really move forward to a better American future for all, not just the 1%. That is real change!

Surprise – US Court Rules Kids Have a Constitutional Stake in the Future

A Federal Judge in Eugene, Oregon has confirmed the right of a group of plaintiffs representing young people to sue the Federal Government over its climate change policy.

As noted in a press release from Our Children’s Trust   entitled “Federal Court Affirms Constitutional Rights of Kids in Landmark Climate Case” that was posted on the website Common Dreams:

On April 8, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the federal District Court in Eugene, OR, decided in favor of 21 young Plaintiffs, and Dr. James Hansen on behalf of future generations, in their landmark constitutional climate change case brought against the federal government and the fossil fuel industry. The Court’s ruling is a major victory for the 21 youth Plaintiffs, ages 8-19, from across the U.S. in what Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein call the “most important lawsuit on the planet right now.” These plaintiffs sued the federal government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property, and their right to essential public trust resources, by permitting, encouraging, and otherwise enabling continued exploitation, production, and combustion of fossil fuels.”

The case is significant in that the judge ruled that the young plaintiffs had standing to sue and that the outcome of the case would involve climate science. The central question will be a presentation of climate changes impacts  on the future of the young people and the responsibility of the Federal Government to act on behalf the public trust doctrine.

As Our Children’s Future noted:

 “In denying the motions of the federal government and the fossil fuel industry, the Court’s decision framed the issue as follows: “Plaintiffs are suing the United States … because the government has known for decades that carbon dioxide (C02) pollution has been causing catastrophic climate change and has failed to take necessary action to curtail fossil fuel emissions. Moreover, plaintiffs allege that the government and its agencies have taken action or failed to take action that has resulted in increased carbon pollution through fossil fuel extraction, production, consumption, transportation, and exportation. Plaintiffs allege the current actions and omissions of defendants make it extremely difficult for plaintiffs to protect their vital natural systems and a livable world. Plaintiffs assert the actions and omissions of defendants that increased C02 emissions ‘shock the conscience,’ and are infringing the plaintiffs’ right to life and liberty in violation of their substantive due process rights.”  The Court’s decision also upheld the youth Plaintiffs’ claims in the Fifth and Ninth Amendments “by denying them protections afforded to previous generations and by favoring short term economic interests of certain citizens.” Finally, Judge Coffin upheld Plaintiffs’ assertion of violations under the public trust doctrine, ruling that there is a federal public trust and plaintiffs’ claim can proceed.”

You can click on this link to read Judge Thomas Coffins’ “ORDER and FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATION “

See also:

“Sorry, Feds: Kids Can Sue Over Climate Negligence, Judge Says”  Nation of Change

Judge greenlights Oregon climate change lawsuit against Federal government”  – Oregonlive.com

 

 

Musical Chairs in Washington’s 48th LD races

Democratic Representative Cyrus Habib announced today that he was going to run for the State Senate seat in the 48th LD in east King County. Candidate Joan McBride, former Mayor of Kirkland, announced that she was dropping her bid for Senate and would run for Habib’s House seat.

Joan McBride was the lone Democrat to challenge Senator Rodney Tom in the 48th LD. Rodney Tom, while professing to be a Democrat, bolted the Democratic Party two years ago when he aligned himself with the Republicans in the State Senate. This Legislative session he was the so-called Majority Leader as a result of joining with another Democrat professing to also be a Democrat  – Tim Sheldon of the 35th LD, and aligning themselves with the minority 24  Republicans to be part of a “Majority Coalition”. Continue reading

Do District Elections for Seattle Make Sense?

A third initiative effort is underway for district elections for Seattle City Council members. Two previous efforts have not been successful with the voters. The current proposal is for a hybrid system. It proposes to divide Seattle  into 7  districts and elect a Council member from each one.  Two additional members would be elected city wide. Right now all City Council members are elected citywide. You can see the proposal more specifically by visiting their website at Seattle Districts Now.

The real question is what is broken and is it necessary to radically change the current system.

Would district elections of Seattle City Council members be good for Seattle? The proponents argue that current  Seattle City Council members are out of touch with the neighborhoods and don’t respond to constituents. They argue  that they have no one to take their neighborhood problems to and that having one Council member elected from their district will solve that problem.

I believe it is wishful thinking to make the  assumption that the district person elected is going to somehow be more responsive  to neighborhood concerns and things will be better than the current situation. There is no guarantee.  Council members  are elected for 4 years so it would be 4 years before someone could run again to change things.  And there is the danger that district Council members may also  pay a lot less attention to  issues in other districts as well as city wide issues.

There is also the problem that even if you get a good District City Council member, you still need 5 votes out of 9 to get things done on the Council. Former City Council member Sam Smith was fond of repeating this over and over.

Dividing the city into districts means that because 7 of the new Council members would each only represent 1/7 of the voters and only 2 all of the voters, that this combination would give the Mayor more power and diminish the power of the City Council compared to the current City Council /Mayor structure where they are all elected citywide.

Right now nine City Council members represent all voters and voters can approach any of the nine City Council members for help. Council members are responsible for the whole city, not just 1/7 of the city. Under district elections you are pinning your hopes on one City Council member to be your primary representative.

What if that city council member is not responsive to your needs? Going to any of the other 6 district Council members probably will not be as successful because they are much less likely to feel the need to respond to your concerns as you are no longer their constituent who can vote against them. And if the issue does not involve a neighborhood in their district they are more likely to not get involved.

It’s just like trying to talk to a state legislator about a problem in your legislative district and he/she is a representative from another legislative district. He/she may listen to you but will more than likely tell you to talk to your own elected representatives.

You have 2 other city wide City Council members to try but it is not the same as having 9 possible council members to approach as you can now.

In addition proponents of district elections  argue that it is too expensive to run for Seattle City Council and that being able to run in a smaller area means more people can run and have a chance of winning without having to raise big dollars. In the 2011 cycle, incumbent City Council members raised on the average about $250,000 and most challengers usually raised much less. Money means outreach and voter contact and without it is is difficult to run.

I have run twice for the Seattle City Council myself and came in third twice. I understand the money problem but  I also think that with this proposal  people may be  putting too many hopes on the idea that changing the election process will generate more success in electing neighborhood candidates. I think the problems are bigger than that.

One basic fact will still remain. Most incumbents in Seattle are pretty well versed on the issues before them and have name recognition and media exposure that challengers usually do not. Not all challengers are qualified to run for office, lacking experience in city issues or campaign experience. Voters need a reason to throw an incumbent out.  And they need some sense that the challenger will do a better job.

It is a false assumption to assume that incumbency, name recognition  or money will no longer be big factors in who gets elected. Once elected in a District it will be hard to remove incumbents. One only has to look at how long some state Legislators have stayed in office and how  hard it is to challenge them.

As to money I believe the same interests that support the current elected City Council members will still put their money into candidates that represent their interests. Money will still be a significant factor in City Council races.It is highly likely that most of the current City Council members will adjust to a new system and either run for a District seat in the area they live in or one of the two citywide seats and some will move if need be to another district to run.

The downtown interests and developer interests and business interests that neighborhood groups point to as funding the current Council members are not going to declare defeat or ignore City Council races because of District elections.  They will support the same people who represent their interests whether they run in District elections or City wide. They will also recruit candidates to run in Districts to represent their interests if current Council members do not run in those districts. And expect they will spend as much as now to elect their candidates only the efforts will now be focused on a much smaller population of voters.

Business interests will still be able to target their mailers to voters in the Districts and will still be able to draw contributions  and support from business interests citywide as well as PAC donations.

Meanwhile I think neighborhood candidates will have a more difficult time raising money because neighborhood people across the city will be less likely to give money to elect a candidate not running in their neighborhood. It is similar to what happens now in electing State Legislators. Most of their individual donors live in their legislative district. And other money coming from PAC’s will have the same strings attached as if they were running citywide.

Perspective neighborhood candidates will also have to face the limitations of running based on where they live.   With district elections the options will be limited to either running against the incumbent in your district or for one of the two city wide seats.  If their district incumbent is entrenched or popular or both their options are limited for running.

Right now perspective candidates can pick any incumbent city council candidate to run against  or any seat. They can pick who they consider the weakest incumbent is. With district elections they would have to move to do that if it isn’t their incumbent district city council member. Moving unfortunately is not an option for most people or candidates, particularly challengers who are not guaranteed to win in any sense of the word.

Unfortunately  moving would take you out of the district you live in, raising the issue of being a carpetbagger. In addition it would remove you  from your previous district  connections and involvement and credentials  that supposedly are one of  a neighborhood candidate’s assets to running in a district. And if you lose you have to wait 4 more years before you can run again in that district. Right now if you lose you can run again in two years  if an open seat emerges or you just decide to run again against a different sitting incumbent.

Suppose you live in a District that has an incumbent neighborhood advocate like say Council member Nick Licata and you want to run. You’re not going to run against him so your only option is to run for one of the two citywide seats up every 4 years, which may also have 2 popular incumbents. Do you move? Your options to run have now become much more limited and the options of other good candidates have also become more limited, because of the restrictions that district boundaries place on your ability to run.

These and other concerns need to be weighted carefully before neighborhood advocates and others charge forward with significant changes to how we elect City Council members.  I believe difficulties will still remain and it will be just as difficult to get elected as it is now.  Downtown and business interests will still play a pivotal role in funding and electing candidates and are not going to concede the City Council to neighborhood advocates.

The prime criteria to get elected will still remain – the need to be a credible candidate with a clear  compelling reason for voters to vote for you, the ability to articulate a vision for the future of the city, not just your neighborhood, the ability to raise money, the ability to communicate your message to voters and the ability  connect with the voters.