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Voters’ Pamphlet Statement

Voters’ Pamphlet Statement for November 2013 election

Politicians get to serve at large regardless of whether they are elected at large or by district.  It is only We the People who have our jurisdiction restricted by districting.  In comparing the city and county councils, the King County Council is also comprised of nine members, and all nine have jurisdiction over you as a resident of this county, yet you are prohibited from participating in eight of their nine elections because the King County Council is elected by districts.  BUT CURRENTLY, NO ONE CAN RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL WHO IS BEYOND YOUR REACH AS A VOTER.  Let’s keep it that way!

Districting also causes elections in which incumbents run unopposed: e.g. in 2009, 4 of the 5 districts electing someone to the King County Council had no challenger: only the incumbent’s name on the ballot.

City council members should be accountable to all of us.  Districts pit the interests of one geographic area against the others rather than addressing the common good.  We need to elect the best qualified candidates who will work for the common good, regardless of where they live in the city!

The districting advocates’ argument is that geography trumps freedom of choice.  Their argument is that you are better off to have to vote for someone you may not like who lives in your district than to have the freedom of choice to vote for the candidates of your choice regardless of where they live in town.  Just because someone lives in your part of town doesn’t mean that he/she shares your political ideologies.

And city council members are under oath to represent the entire city, not just their neighborhood.  For neighborhood politics you should go to your neighborhood councils.  This is why we have neighborhood councils.

If Charter Amendment 19 passes, in the future most city council candidates will be off limits to you: beyond your reach as a voter.  Protect your choices: Vote NO on Charter Amendment 19.

Note: A wealthy Seattle business person financed the districting campaign by paying for signature-gatherers to collect the necessary signatures to put districts on the ballot.  Don’t let money dupe you into forfeiting your choice of candidates.

Statement prepared by Marjorie Rhodes, Choices Not Districts

206.600.0141 voice mail

Email contact: choicesnotdistricts {a*t} gmail {d0t} com


REBUTTAL of FOR Districts Statement

(also see Extended Rebuttal page)

Amendment 19 will restrict us to three councilors. Currently, we each get nine councilors to lobby.

Councilors take oath to represent the city, not just a slice: public safety and utilities are citywide issues. We don’t need councilors with tunnel vision.

Retaining only two at-large councilors will not ensure that citywide needs are met; it takes five for a majority.

“[L]egwork” is fine in sports but the political playing field should not discriminate against physically handicapped candidates.

And, doorbelling works for well-connected candidates. Bob Ferguson, first running for county council, took a year absence from his law practice to doorbell his district. Few have the financial independence to do that.

With decennial redistricting, taxpayers will incur costs; and many will be bumped into different districts.

Pro-districting’s supporters are incumbents elected by district. No surprise!

In 1975, 1995 and 2003 Seattleites rejected districts. Let’s do it again.

by Marjorie Rhodes, Herm Ross