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Seattle head tax referendum huge rebuke of out-of-control council

A man holds a "No Tax on Jobs" sign in Seattle as signature gatherers attempt to get a referendum on the November 2018 ballot. (Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash)

Members of the Seattle City Council stopped listening to the public and now they’ll start to pay the price.

RELATED: Seattle head tax 101

Over the weekend, the grassroots No Seattle Head Tax group announced they exceeded the nearly 17,000 signatures needed to land a referendum on the November ballot to repeal the city’s head tax.

This shouldn’t just be seen as a stinging rebuke of the council’s untenable position of attacking businesses to address the homelessness crisis. It should be seen as the first step by an annoyed public to take back Seattle from the activists who have led us down such a disastrous path.

“Everybody’s mad, everyone has had it,” Marianne McCreary told Q13. “I’ve lived here for 35 years. I see tents, I see needles, I see garbage. It’s awful. I’m ashamed of our city.”

It takes a lot for Seattleites to be so upset that they say no to a tax. But what’s apparent is the council has no clue what to do about the homeless crisis, and rather than present any meaningful plans, they go to a tax-first policy where they come up with the plans after they get the money. It’s more maddening when you realize the council is mostly ignoring the consultant we paid to help us solve this problem. Why? Because their blind adherence to Progressive groups demand it.

The head tax plan was never popular with Seattleites. If the council listened to their constituents, and not the special interest groups, they’d know that.

But this council, with ideologues like Mike O’Brien, Lorena Gonzalez, Teresa Mosqueda and Lisa Herbold, often ignore the people they actually serve and, instead, side with organizations that they ideologically support (and count on to stay in office). Indeed, these council members coordinated coverage with a long list of far-Leftist organizations to change the negative media narrative about the head tax.

Assuming the signatures are verified, you can’t underscore the magnitude of their accomplishment. In just a few weeks, they did what other groups can’t when given months. How? The Progressive groups will come up with their narrative: paid-signature gatherers pushed on by greedy businesses accomplished this; it wasn’t grassroots. That is, of course, demonstrably false, but these groups don’t work in facts, they work in an environment of bullying and fear tactics.

The truth is, they got these signatures because the public feels ignored by the council. And we are. We tell them our opinions on a host of topics and we’re ignored so that these council members can get a celebratory tweet from Working Washington or the SEIU.

The council does not care what we think. The public said no to the head tax, so naturally, the council unanimously passed it. The public doesn’t want heroin-injection sites, so naturally Mosqueda pushes for mobile units and Sally Bagshaw seemingly wants to explore providing the heroin. The public asks for Interim-Chief Carmen Best to lead the Seattle Police Department, so naturally, Gonzalez helps push her out in favor of an outsider. We show up to meetings to overwhelmingly say no to a low barrier Tiny House Village in the heart of South Lake Union, so naturally Bagshaw says she supports the plan.

We’ve reached a boiling point and the public won’t stop with the referendum. What’s next? The council member’s positions.

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