LOCAL NEWS

Sawant: Council should make political statement over Mayor Murray

Jul 25, 2017, 6:05 AM | Updated: 10:37 am
Mayor Murray...
Four men have come forward, accusing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sex abuse. (AP image)
(AP image)

Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez was not as adamant Monday as she previously was about urging Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to step down. But her council colleague Kshama Sawant didn’t hold back.

“If we say a lot and then it’s a normal transition [to the next mayor], then ultimately where do we stand with sexual violence survivors?” Sawant said during the council’s Monday morning briefing. “Are we going to take the kind of action demanded by the situation or not? Those are the questions facing us. It’s not entirely administrative and legal, it’s primarily political.”

RELATED: Mayor Murray will not resign from office

Sawant was absent during last week’s briefing when Gonzalez asked for Murray to consider stepping down. The request came after it was discovered that an investigator in 1984 concluded that Murray sexually abused his foster son. She also promoted forming a council committee to ease the transition to a new administration.

Murray replied in a July 21 letter reaffirming that he is not leaving office early. He supported the idea of setting up a committee to ease transitions between mayors:

Given our shared interest and your recommendations, I would like to propose something innovative: a joint mayor-council transition coordination committee to execute a plan for ensuring a smooth transition of power to the next mayor and newly seated city council.

Murray wrote that he has assigned his chief of staff, Mike Fong, and Director of Operations Fred Podesta to work with Council President Bruce Harrell to set up the transition committee.

“I’m incredibly grateful that he took the time to listen and that he took the time to respond in the manner that he did,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez’s statements Monday were vague as to whether or not she still wants Murray to resign. She said she favor’s the mayor’s transitional committee idea. She also said that the council should be prepared for any situation. Gonzalez said that the decision for Murray to leave office is his alone, but that a cloud lays over city hall amid the allegations.

“It provides us both with an opportunity to have assurances and an independent understanding of whether the mayor is continuing to be effective in his role as mayor given his position that he will not resign,” she said.

Transitioning from Murray

Gonzalez hasn’t been the only person to suggest Murray should resign. The city’s LGBTQ commission has asked him to step down as well. But in his letter, Murray argued it would be a bad transition to the next administration if he resigned. That sentiment is echoed in a letter from four former Seattle mayors, which states that such a sudden departure would hamper day-to-day operations at the city.

Sawant, however, disagrees.

“Obviously there will be some challenge, but I do believe that challenge is being exaggerated,” Sawant said. “I mean, all the work is being done by the people who run the departments and the people who work under the heads of the department. That work will continue. There will be, obviously, some transition.”

“So I urge the council to not emphasize that transition so much and keep in mind that it is an important task we have of making a political statement in favor of sexual violence survivors,” she said.

“It is unacceptable that a mayor of a major city is using his position to amplify those attacks,” Sawant added. “When he questions the legitimacy of his accusers’ allegations, it gets a platform that the survivors don’t have. It’s a unique situation that deserves an unprecedented response.”

Local News

crime, domestic violence...
MyNorthwest Staff

Three people deceased, one injured in Tacoma shooting

The Tacoma Police Department says three people are confirmed deceased after a shooting Thursday. 
18 hours ago
bike...
Kathryn Altena

King County Board of Health delays vote to repeal bike helmet law

After a public hearing on a proposed repeal of King County's bike helmet law, the county board of health decided to delay their vote.
18 hours ago
jim walsh, washington lawmaker...
Heather Bosch

Washington lawmaker is locked out of capitol over COVID vaccine mandate

A Washington state lawmaker says he's been locked out of the state capitol in Olympia over the COVID vaccine mandate.
18 hours ago
Sammamish...
MyNorthwest Staff

Sammamish scores top spot on list of best small US cities to live in

A new list has crowned Sammamish, Washington, the nation's best small city to live in, marking the latest in a string of recent accolades.
18 hours ago
world cup...
KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Seattle among cities competing for hosting duties in 2026 World Cup

Starting Thursday, World Cup officials will tour cities across the United States, including Seattle, to determine which venues will host games in 2026.
18 hours ago
Seattle fundraising...
Nick Bowman

Seattle mayoral race fundraising hits highest total in nearly two decades of available data

With just a few weeks to go until ballots are due, Seattle's two mayoral candidates have reached record fundraising heights.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

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.
...
Comcast

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.
Sawant: Council should make political statement over Mayor Murray