Naveed Jamali on running for city council, and the threats he’s received

Jan 7, 2019, 1:22 PM | Updated: 1:34 pm
Naveed Jamali...
(Photo: Jason Rantz)
(Photo: Jason Rantz)

Naveed Jamali is running for Seattle City Council to replace the retiring Sally Bagshaw in District 7, and has been busy drumming up support. But in the process he says he’s been receiving threats on Twitter.

“This was not someone who was responding to a policy position that I have. Instead, he started saying things like he was going to see me in person, he was going to make me pay for a whole host of things,” he told The Jason Rantz Show.

Jamali is a former FBI undercover intelligence officer who was working against the Russian government, and an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve as well. He’s made regular appearances on MSNBC as an intelligence analyst and recently published a memoir about his time working against Russian intelligence.

“Am I looking over my shoulder? No. I spent three years working undercover against the Russians; it takes a lot to rattle my chain. But when he started mentioning my family, that was not OK with me.”

Despite the threats, he has no plans to drop out, and addressed some of Seattle’s core issues:

On transportation

Instead of red light cameras and proposed blocking the box fines, Jamali is interested in another approach: “At rush hour, during the ingress and egress points of the city, they have traffic enforcement officers, not police officers, directing traffic,” he said. “The reality is you can’t use an algorithm to program those red lights. We don’t have a good mass transit solution, so until there’s an alternative, it’s not fair to punish people who have to drive.”

On Seattle police

“What I’m concerned about is how do we get police to do their job, to recruit and retain them, but also have a set of standards we can hold them to. I don’t think there’s an appreciation for the difficulty of their job, and the city council isn’t looking to grow the Seattle Police Department in any reasonable way that’s in line with other cities.”

On the city council’s relationship with Amazon

City councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda and Lisa Herbold are in New York to meet with labor groups and activists opposed to Amazon’s expansion there, and for Jamali, it highlights the disconnect. “Can we just agree that this is probably the worst time to leave the city of Seattle?” he said. “We’re about to start a significant project that’s going to have an impact on almost everyone who lives in Seattle. They should be here manning the ship.”

RELATED: Rantz: Seattle council members on mission to sabotage Amazon in NY

“To come in and say Amazon is evil and that they deserve to pay is the wrong way to negotiate with them. There’s room here. We could have sat down with Amazon and looked at meaningful ways to impact things. Do they have a vested interest in roads? Do they have a vested interest in schools? Do they have a vested interest in homelessness?”

Why should a conservative vote for you?

“There are three questions I want to ask when I’m on city council about any project that’s put before me: What is the problem that that solution purports to solve? Does it solve it? Is it a priority for Seattle? That has nothing to do with being a Democrat, a Republican, a conservative, or a liberal,” he said.

“I want to see this city succeed, and the way to see this city succeed is to be objective, to be pragmatic, and here’s a shocking term: to be transparent. If you can’t defend your decision and you’re not willing to defend your decision, that’s a red flag.”

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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Naveed Jamali on running for city council, and the threats he’s received