by Rod Lotter
– The Capitol Hill Times –
July 18 marked the beginning of what is likely going to be a wild political season here in Seattle, and all across the nation. This date is when the first ballots were mailed out to Seattle residents in regards to elections for congress and representative seats, as well as a few ballot measures and levies.
The votes will be tallied by August 7.
Here are some of the key ballot measures that Capitol Hill residents will be affected by:
United States Representative – Congressional District No. 7
This race figures to be a pretty close one, according to many news sources. The 7th spans most of Seattle, as well as all of Vashon Island, and some portions of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Tukwila, SeaTac and Burien. Although there are seven candidates running for the Congressional seat, only two of them will get enough votes to make it to the primary election in November. By most accounts, those two people will be incumbent Jim McDermott (D) and 30-year old newby Andrew Hughes (D), who is a Seattle University graduate and has raised enough money to compete with McDermott. But, Hughes has his work cut out for him, as McDermott has held the seat since 1989 and usually gets somewhere around 75 percent of the total vote in the primaries.
Here are the other five candidates that will appear on the ballot:
Don Rivers (prefers Democratic party)
Goodspaceguy (prefers Employment wealth party)
Scott Sutherland (prefers G.O.P. party)
Ron Bemis (prefers Republican party)
Charles Allen (prefers Democratic party)
Ballot measure: Children and Family Services Center Capital Levy
This ballot measure seeks to add an additional 7 cent tax for every $1,000 in property value. The money raised from this levy would go to fund a new Children and Family Justice Center on 12th Avenue and East Alder Street. Part of the money raised will go towards the building and expanding of the juvenile detention center and facilities. The argument in favor of the measure states that the current facility does need to be improved and that it cannot meet the demands of a growing city in the future. The argument against the measures states that the city relies too heavily on property taxes as a means of raising money for capital projects, and the people of Seattle have already taken on too much of a tax burden.
Ballot measure: Regular Tax Levy Including Seattle Public Libraries
This measure seeks to raise funds to help out our ailing library system, which has been hurt by budget cuts. By voting for this measure, libraries across the city – including the Capitol Hill branch – will be able to stay open later, have more books on the shelves and have better technology available to visitors. The argument in favor of the measure states that libraries are awesome, and the people of Seattle should not squander the opportunity to improve an already great library system. The argument against the measure states that this is only a temporary solution and is another property tax imposed on the voters, rather than holding the government accountable for its failings when it comes to funding Seattle’s cherished library system.