As has been said a million and perhaps a billion times over, "better late that ever" which is probably self-serving since I am sure the majority have both made up their final choices and put their ballot in the nearest mailbox. But if you are interested in my opinion, read on especially if you want to know why I strongly feel that Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council incumbent, and vying for the Council District # 3 seat, is not only not qualified to remain on the council but clearly fraudulent and dishonest, misrepresenting herself as a socialist. Take note of this current cultural fact in today's America, that self-labelling is rampant. If Sawant called herself a ballerina it would be easy to see if she can actually dance. Just as the Independent/Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist, there is again no evidence this is true unless being a reliable vote for NRA initiatives makes you a socialist but that is highly doubtful. Another thought is why would someone want to be something they are not?
Anyone then can and will call themselves anything minus proof and real accomplishment. Add water and mix appears to be the prevailing message and recipe. National candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson ask us to believe they are qualified to lead a huge and complicated nation without any viable evidence proving they have the experience to have their fingers inches away from the nuclear trigger.
You might call this a national tread and disease that is highly infectious, which might explain why someone like Sawant, an upper-Caste and upper middle-class emigre from India can be placed in a similar category, having become ill by close association. But superiority it appears is an essential part of India's cultural and societal dialogue. America's inherent classism pales in comparison to India's theologically-based class prejudice. When God says you are inferior you know without any doubt you are in deep trouble. Didn't American 18th and 19th Century slave owners say their ownership of other people was sanctioned by their God? Watch out is all I can say!
City Council District # 1----Lisa Herbold over Shannon Braddock. Two very similar candidates. I like Herbold's idea for endorsing one for one replacement for affordable housing, making the City and developers accountable. My first apartment in Seattle in 1973 was $85.00 a month, this for the second floor of a house overlooking Green Lake. I rented a 4-bedroom house on Capital Hill in 1975 for $240.00 a month. I bought my first home, again on Capital Hill, a co-op apartment in 1987 for $29,000. In 1998 I bought another Capital Hill co-op apartment for $35,000. As we all well know, those kinds of prices are long gone. It is a mistake to let developers take over Seattle like they have in San Francisco. I lived in San Francisco in 1979-82, and our Glen Park flat was $300.00 a month. I am guessing that the same flat is now renting for $3000.00 a month. How is that reasonable?
City Council District # 2----Tammy Morales over Bruce Harrell. Morales is another fair housing advocate. Harrell of course is one of those eight City Council votes that sold the local taxi industry down the operational river.
City Council District # 3----Pamela Banks over Kshama Sawant. My basic assessment of Sawant is that she is disingenuous, not a sincere individual despite theoretical pretensions to the contrary. Some important background information is that she is from the largest middle-class grouping on our planet, a number surpassing the population of the United States. This pool of privilege exists while nearly half of India's population is under-nourished, creating catastrophic conditions for the poor. While India sends satellites orbiting into space, millions of Indian babies are born stunted due to their under-weight and malnourished mothers, the infants sentenced to lower IQs and less than average physical heights. Sawant's mother was a school principal and her father a civil servant. While Sawant grew up in a literate household and graduated college with a computer degree, 37 percent of India's population of 1.28 billion people remain illiterate. Not a good statistic.
I find all this relevant because Sawant calls herself a socialist but nothing in her background provides evidence she has ever involved herself in the actual day-to-day mechanisms of true socialist activity. A retiree drawing Social Security is more closely involves in a "socialist" action than Sawant. Listen to any tried-and-true GOP supporter angrily rave about FDR and his "New Deal" to fully appreciate what I am saying.
Sawant came to this country and got her PHD in Economics from North Carolina State University. She then taught at Seattle Central Community College. It all sounds reasonable but I don't see where her claims to be a socialist comes in. And if she is looking to help people out, freeing them from unfair bondage, why isn't she doing that in India, her country of origin?
I think the answer to that is simple, answering why so many of her fellow Indians are flocking to the USA and Seattle. For the money, honey, for the money! Professionals in the United States make a hell of a lot more that those in India. It is true. Check it out. Tell me one story of an American-born professional moving to India for the big salaries over there. I would like to hear it.
You might by now be curious why I am concentrating upon Sawant and her contradictions? Sawant was the eighth vote uncapping Uber, Lyft and Sidecar operations in Seattle. Her odd explanation backing her vote for an Uber company valued at the time at over 40 billion dollars was that corporate expansion was inevitable, implying there was no use in resisting Big Money and Big Government interests. I was seated in the audience when she said this. It was both shocking and confusing, her vote making little sense.
And also during this time period I witnessed Sawant speak on more than one occasion during City Council proceedings, lapsing into what I saw and heard as incomprehensible rants. All of the council proceedings have been recorded and her unusual performances are public record. Check them out and see what you think. Aside from the Uber vote, in general I question her overall effectiveness as a public official.
As for her opponent, Pamela Banks, she is currently running the Seattle Urban League, whose stated mission is to provide support for African-American and other underrepresented communities. If the immigrant population driving taxi in Seattle isn't underrepresented, then I don't know the definition of the term. I know it has been said that Banks is supported by big money interests like Alaska Airlines. She has disavowed this kind of backing.
Council District # 4----No position. Michael Maddux and Rob Johnson seem to hold nearly identical positions concerning City issues. A coin flip, near as I can tell.
Council District # 5----Debora Juarez over Sandy Brown. Juarez is a Puyallup Indian who has served as staff attorney for the Native American Project. I believe her empathy would be a plus on the City Council.
Council District # 6----Mike O'Brien over Catherine Westbrook. O'Brien was the lone positive vote toward stemming the Uber tide.
Council District # 7----Deborah Zech-Artis over Sally Bagwell. Zech-Artis recognizes that Seattle's lights (stop & go signals) are not synchronized, telling me that she more awake than at least 98 % of those folks running Seattle. As for Bagwell, I find her both naive and disinterested concerning City of Seattle issues. I would love to see her behind the wheel of an Uber vehicle. Maybe we can collect a fund and buy her a used Prius and get her started. Wouldn't that be something like sweet justice for someone prone to making disingenuous statements?
Council District # 8----Jon Grant over Tim Burgress. Grant is the former director of "The Tenants Union of Washington State." Sounds good to me, someone who will finally protect renters in Seattle. Burgess was and is a reliable Uber vote. What else do I need to say?
Council District # 9----Lorena Gonzalez over Bill Bradburd. I like both candidates but I am endorsing Gonzalez because she has the potential to become the City Council's resident idealist. Bradburd, perhaps more of a pragmatist, would also be a good choice.
And that folks means my time is up. All the other measures and candidates I leave to your good discretion. Unfortunately I hear, however faint, taxi's siren song beckoning me to the unforgiving urban reefs. I can only hope that my posting today added something to the overall discussion. If nothing else, you know I am not a Sawant fan. If I have one guiding principal, it is sincerity. I attempt that in my own life and expect the same from others. It is simple while remaining complex. Be who you claim to be minus digressions. Anything short of that means I don't trust the person's motivations. I don't see how my position will ever change upon this most important subject, honesty being, or should be, everyone's personal policy.
And be sure to pet your cats and dogs daily. Very important!