Rantz: Voter delivers devastating takedown of Seattle Council’s disinterest in listening to the public

Mar 20, 2019, 5:46 AM | Updated: 10:06 am

Public comment periods at any council meeting tend to be a mixed bag of professional activists and mentally unstable people showing up to yell.

RELATED: Seattle City Council candidates set for first forum Thursday night

But every once and awhile you get someone who hopes to earnestly discuss an issue that’s important to them and others. When that person comes, you expect a council to at least put down their phones for 120 seconds and show some modicum of respect, even if the person shows up frequently.

Unless, of course, you’re an elitist on the Seattle City Council that doesn’t care what you say or think.

In a video spreading on Facebook, a man is shown at a March 11 public comment period to discuss the state of our Democracy, but he didn’t get a chance to make his comments.

He was instantly ignored by a disinterested council. That disturbed him.

The man asked the council to actually look at him while he was speaking. Instead of paying attention, Councilwoman Debora Juarez scolds the man for wasting his 120 seconds while others, like Kshama Sawant and Lorena Gonzalez were swiping and typing on their cell phones, not caring what the man had to say. He’s not a professional activist bussed in to back some union-driven agenda; he’s not a donor to a campaign. He is just a Seattle voter and, in this city, these voices don’t matter.

“It’s real discouraging to come up here and see all the heads down, it’s like…,” the man said before being interrupted by Juarez telling him “…you’re on a two minute timer here, so let’s go.” For a moment, Councilmember Mike O’Brien looked up from his phone.

The man stood silent for several seconds, aghast by this treatment. He had no intention of yelling or causing a scene. He just wanted to feel listened to by a council known for pushing fringe policies without seeking input from the community they pretend to represent.

“So it was unreasonable for me to ask that people look up and give me their attention?” the man asked. It was met with a reminder from Juarez that that he only had a minute and 30 seconds left.

The man then folded his prepared statement. He paused briefly before delivering a cogent and brutal takedown of this current council. He pointed to the underlying elitism. When Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle) spoke last week, he said she was given several minutes and garnered the attention of the council. Everyone else? They were limited to one minute presentations.

“It reminded me of George Orwell’s famous scene from ‘Animal Farm’ about how all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others and that’s how I feel like I’m being treated now, just because I was kind of asking for your attention, like I noticed you all very attentive to Ms. Jaypal last week. And I immediately got a hostile response back from you. I don’t understand that.”

The council stayed silent. That prompted him to ask if they ever responded to constituents and again Juarez reminded him of his time limit.

At this point, despite begging for their attention, Councilmembers Rob Johnson and Sawant return to their phones. Gonzalez rests her head on her hand, waiting for him to shut up.

“Well, it’s all on tape and I think it’s a pretty sad commentary that you think that asking for you guys to look up off of your computers and give attention during the short period of time was an unreasonable thing,” the man said. “I really feel bad about that.”

He shouldn’t feel bad. He should feel empowered to work harder to boot the incumbents out of office and vote in council members who don’t just want to hear from the public, but actually listen to them.

This is a council that, in-between calling cops racists murderers, won’t let them do their jobs to tackle criminals stealing from taxpayers to feed a drug addiction. This is a council that passed a job-killing head tax despite it being deeply unpopular, only to then walk it back, begrudgingly, under this belligerent complaint that the public was persuaded into their position because of big business propaganda.

This is a council that only listens to you when you force them to. And even then, as this man found out, it doesn’t always work.

This behavior is shameful. But it’s what we’ve come to expect from this activist council. We deserve so much better.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Trooper tells Gov. Inslee to ‘kiss my…’ in final sign-off before vaccine mandate

A 22-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol signed off from his final shift with some parting words for Governor Jay Inslee: "Kiss my..."
11 hours ago
Bothell Mayor...
KTTH staff

Former Bothell mayor cautions ‘defund the police’ is on November ballot

Former Bothell Mayor Mark Lamb breaks down November's municipal elections, and why the city has to mobilize against 'defund the police.'
2 days ago
Kathy Lambert...
KTTH staff

Councilmember Kathy Lambert decries recent demotion as ‘unacceptable, dirty politics’

In a KTTH interview, King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert explicates her belief that she's being silenced over her political positions.
4 days ago
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle school cancels Halloween over ‘equity,’ says Black kids don’t celebrate

A Seattle school canceled a Halloween parade because they don't think Black males celebrate the secular holiday.
5 days ago
tahoma, TikTok...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: School equity leader out after racist and vulgar TikTok videos spread

A local school district's equity team leader is no longer in her role after parents discovered her racist and vulgar TikTok videos.
6 days ago
Tina Podlodowski...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Whoa! WA Dems chair Tina Podlodowski voted for Donald Trump twice?

Did WA Democrats chair Tina Podlowdowski twice vote for Donald Trump? Shocking, if true!
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles


How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Rantz: Voter delivers devastating takedown of Seattle Council’s disinterest in listening to the public