Dori: Oh happy day! Mike O’Brien not seeking reelection
Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien has just announced he is not running for reelection for his council seat in November. He’s the fourth incumbent to opt out of reelection; Rob Johnson, Sally Bagshaw, and Bruce Harrell are also not running.
Mike O’Brien treated the people in his district who wanted to take back the streets with nothing but snide condescension. Mike O’Brien, who has never wanted for anything a day in his life — he went from Clyde Hill to Lakeside to Duke University — condescends to everybody.
If you’re too poor to be able to give the government an extra $500 to $1,000 per year by driving through the tunnel, his solution was to toll every downtown street — that way, people would not avoid the tunnel’s cost by using side-streets.
This is the man who let my childhood neighborhood get taken over by drug vagrants and crime. At a community rally in Ballard last year, residents told O’Brien they had too much crime in their neighborhoods, and that he was enabling it with his lax policies toward drug vagrants. He told them to “call 911.” The residents started shouting at him because they all knew that 911 wasn’t even responding to calls due of all the crimes out there.
When one of our listeners, Erika Nagy, asked him why drug users are not being arrested, he said, “Do you agree that the war on drugs was a failure?” Mike O’Brien, you’ve got needles and other drug paraphernalia all over your district, and drug addicts conducting car prowls and home break-ins regularly. Is what you’ve created better than the war on drugs?
Nagy, who has since become something of a community activist in Ballard, told me that O’Brien had been doing some polling and was very surprised to learn he had a 22-percent approval rating.
“I’m hoping that people have finally woken up … I think it’s at a point where everyday citizens can’t ignore it anymore,” she said.
Nagy and the other activists, including groups like Speak Out Seattle, plan to begin holding forums and getting the word out about the candidates and their platforms as early as they can so that Council District 6 residents have all of the relevant information before November’s election.
“We’re going to make it as easy as possible for voters to be informed,” Nagy said. “But you do have to [get] informed and vote responsibly.”
Because she has two small kids, Nagy is sticking with the activist role and not throwing her own hat in the council ring. But we do very much need to get some sane people like Nagy on the council right now, people who want change and real solutions in Seattle.
The danger is, there are a bunch of Marxists from Kshama Sawant’s group, Socialist Alternative, who are hoping to get those council seats and take Seattle to full-on socialism. We cannot let that happen — if it does, things will get even worse in Seattle than they are right now.