As the November election approaches, and it becomes more and more clear who the two candidates for mayor will be, it’s important to focus on who would be best for the International District.
This neighborhood is unlike any other in Seattle and any new mayor of Seattle needs to understand its problems, issues, and challenges.
During the primary, it was actually former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck who was the most informed about the neighborhood. When the Asian Weekly met with Steinbrueck, he gave intelligent, well-defined answers to specific questions. He understood the daily challenges, and he had a strong plan.
Compared to Steinbrueck, Murray and McGinn still have some work to do.
McGinn understands that there’s a need in the International District. Over the past year, he and his administration have paid more attention to the neighborhood. His administration has worked with the community to lower parking rates, introduce bilingual street signs, win grants, and make the neighborhood safer. McGinn’s even reached out to ethnic media, requiring city contractors and departments to have ethnic media communication plans. But there’s always room for improvement. If McGinn wins another term, we hope he does more.
He’s had a good start, but this is an election year. Even with his strong campaign McGinn is in second, showing that a lot of Seattleites are unhappy. If he wins, we hope McGinn chooses a path of collaboration in the future.
Murray, on the other hand, is still a bit of an enigma. While he did put together the gay marriage coalition and he did cosponsor a bill with the late Kip Tokuda opposing I-200 while in the Washington House of Representatives, we still don’t have many specifics about what he would do to help communities of color. More dialogue is needed between Murray and the International District. Murray is a reasonable man, and if he wins, the Asian Weekly will have very high expectations for him. (end)