Yesterday when I turned in my Seattle mayoral primary and special election ballot, I was interviewed about my mayoral choice by Ana Sofia Knauf of The Stranger. I'm typically reserved politically—it's something that I think about (surprisingly often) but don't necessarily like to communicate. But typically if I'm a asked a direct question, I'll respond. I think Ana Sofia did a great job taking some really rambling answers and turning them into real normal-people sentences. But I think I came across as a bit of a doofus thought no fault of the reporting, just not being practiced in expressing these things orally. Let's do some director's commentary.
"I take a lot of the Seattle Transit Blog endorsements and a lot of The Stranger's endorsements. The Stranger's endorsements are a tad left of where I am and the Seattle Transit Blog ones tend to be a tiny bit too pro-developer for me."
I wish I had more mental wherewithal to elaborate about this on the spot. I think the best example of this is that my City Council Position 8 choice, Jon Grant, supports a 25% affordable requirement for housing built by developers. Seattle Transit Blog would say that this would deter growth. The thing is, I want a government that will push the issue to find out if 25% affordability, but also be willing to consider alternate strategies to building affordable housing in the near-term if the 25% affordable rule cuts overall development. I don't think candidates are adequately incentivized to discuss their policies this way (they have to establish that they are making the correct decisions). In the absence of individual candidates applying the scientific method, I want the overall government to be forced to operate is such a way. I want my overall voting choices to reflect I think hindering development would be bad, but my perception is that developers are plenty profitable at the moment, and how would anyone know where the optimal line is. I want my choices to create an environment where experimentation and deliberation flourish.
My entire answer to "As you vote for a new mayor, what's the most important issue on your mind?"
I can't do these questions. It's embarrassing. "What did you do today?" "What are your hobbies?" Buuuuuhhhh. Somehow they trigger to me actually forget who I am as a person. It's terrible.
I wish a said something along the lines of finding creative ways/riding the state super hard to institute progressive taxes. I wish I said something about how embarrassing I find the Seattle Police, both from the perspective of their clear and fatally tragic inability to deescalate as well as how poorly they handled situations when I actually needed them.
Sometimes you just forget the word "policies" at a really inopportune time.
"To some extent, I'm not super keen always on the idea that everyone in politics should be an outsider. I like the idea of there being some establishment people in there—look at how terrible things are federally. That's what liking an outsider got us, the country at large."
Of course this last sentence is the lead in the Facebook link to this article because it's the part that I like the least in retrospect. Way too close of an implicit Trump comparison to two mayoral candidates who I would be absolutely thrilled to vote for. What I was trying to express, in too few world was this: I find the Trump presidency to be disappointing/embarrassing in three different categories of ways. First is that the policies and proposed changes coming from it are antithetical to the political decisions I would like to see made. Second is that it is disorganized and cannot impose its agenda, regardless of my feelings on agenda. Third is that it comes across as mean, flippant, and dismissive. I have no fear of Moon or Oliver from a way one perspective. And I don't think that either of them have given evidence of acting in ways two or three. I'm just not sold of the idea of "outsider cred" because I think there's a danger of any outsider candidate being less cautious and politic, and thus inadvertently creating type two or type three situations. I think what doesn't communicate, and I needed to communicate, was that I do there should be some outsiders in political systems. It's just useful to have a mix, and I try to ensure that my other choices create a mix.
"I moved here about six years ago. I came here for a software job, so I feel culpable in that sort of space...Even though in some ways, I'm sort of the face of the problem, I don't want to be contributing to that."
Is this weird and gross? I can't decide whether this is weird and gross. On one hand I don't want it to come across as "look at me I'm a hero because I care about people who aren't me", and I'm not sure it doesn't. On the other hand, I think it's terribly important that the city does not become a monoculture of highly compensated people in the tech industry. I think it would be a terrible circumstance, not because people in the tech industry part is terrible, the monoculture part is. I consider myself very fortunate to have friends with life experiences both like and unlike mine. Why would I want this to no longer be the case? If I'm unwilling to cease to exist, then my voting choices are my lever.