It's Seattle Primary Season
And I went to some debates.
Seattle friends, did you get your ballots yet? Primaries are especially crucial in the Washington election system where only the top two candidates — picked in the primaries — continue onto the fall election. Additionally, we have a couple levies on the ballot.
This year's extra important because all but 2 Seattle City council members are up for reelection. Additionally, your vote matters even more because these 7 are district seats, and you can only vote for the candidate in your relatively small area. Don't sleep on city council choices the same way Seattle slept on our last mayoral election and put in the corporatist Jenny Durkan.
Last week, I attended District 2 debates to hear candidates running in my neighborhood. We heard from candidates running for King Co. Council District 2 Position, Port of Seattle Commission Position 2, and Seattle City Council District 2 Position.
While these debates — especially the Council position with 7 candidates — have some disadvantages, they do give you a really great idea of who these candidates are. Hopefully, the moderators also ask some questions that can distinguish the candidates from each other, even if you live in a somewhat politically homogenous area. If you hated MSNBC asking raise your hand questions to the approximately 75 people running for Dem POTUS nominee, it also doesn't work well when the group is smaller and the issue is more specific like stopping planes flying over my neighborhood at all hours. (Most candidates promised this, but it ain't ever going to happen.)
The thing you should also know about any local elections is that there will always be someone running who's wholly unqualified and maybe shouldn't have a microphone in a quiet room. (And that's not even the people who politically you disagree with.) Just breathe.
But local elections are the MOST important elections you can vote in. These are the roles that affect your daily life the most. They are where your vote matters the most. And do not think that big corporations and PACs will ignore putting money in local elections — they spend a ton to influence these too, even if they may not be as obvious as the NRA and Congress.
Onto the voting, here's who I voted for and why. (Sorry, I only cover my local votes since I write this newsletter on my own time.)
Approved — King County Proposition No. 1: Parks, Recreation, Trails, and Open Space Levy
Do we need massive WA State tax reform, so property taxes aren't the only way to raise funds? Yes. Does this mean we can neglect our green spaces in the meantime? No. With our climate emergency, we need our green spaces more than ever, and other programs like the aquarium and zoo.
Girmay Zahilay — Metropolitan King County, Council District No. 2
Zahilay and Larry Gossett were both at the debates I attended. It became clear that while Gossett has served King Co well, it's time for fresh ideas and a younger voice. Zahilay is an impressive candidate, and he spoke to the contemporary needs of the most marginalized in our community — people of color, immigrants, poor people, and homeless people and all those intersections. I also appreciated that he specifically address how our public transit isn't getting green enough soon enough for the climate emergency and brought in environmentalism as the human rights issue it is too. Zahilay was also born, raised, and post-college returned to South Seattle, so his Seattle cred is there too.
Preeti Shridhar — Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 2
Everyone, but Nina Martinez, showed up for the debate, and this one was hyper-focused on the airports since my neighborhood is in a flight path. In fact, one of the candidates had to remind everyone that we had seaports too.
Shridhar had run before and lost but addressed how she'd learned from her mistakes. And she's someone who specializes in diversity and inclusion, lives and works in the South End, and does Port-related work.
In the Stranger's endorsement of Sam Cho, they mentioned Cho being the only candidate who supports legalizing sex work as one of the ways he wants to stop sex trafficking. I really wished he would've brought this up in the debate, where he often came off as a bit snobbish and like the candidate groomed for politics, but also with major business success. I don't think he'd be bad if he got elected; he just rubbed me the wrong way.
The Seattle Times endorsed Grant Degginger, who was frankly unimpressive and didn't have any new or innovative ideas. He was the mayor of Bellevue, and this is probably why he got the endorsement.
Ali Scego and Dominic Barrera were good candidates, but a bit narrow in experience and focus. Scego was the only candidate who brought up the idea to put solar panels on unused Port lands (many of which are too toxic for human use). Kelly Charlton was a terrible candidate, who every time the climate emergency was brought up, he said, "the next generation" will solve it. We don't have that time, dude.
Fred Felleman — Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 5
These candidates didn't come out to the debate. However, Felleman is the only candidate who got endorsements from both the Stranger and the Seattle Times, and if those two agree on a single candidate, then the other choices are probably really terrible for the job.
Tammy Morales — Seattle City Council District No. 2
Morales is the candidate with the most experience and the one who can speak to the needs of the South End. She's also the one with a good chance at winning, and with seven candidates in the race, this is important. Morales came close to unthroning Bruce Harrell in the last election, who is retiring from the City Council.
Durkan and the Seattle Times endorsed Mark Solomon, but they are both an endorsement against Morales (who Durkan called a "socialist" because she takes attacks out of the GOP's playbook apparently and my read-between-the-lines with the Time was they wanted to endorse Ari Hoffman, but know he'd lose and they'd get yelled at more). Basically, if those two combine powers, it's probably best to not to do what they say. Also, I'm not sure the Times editorial board has been to South Seattle in the last 10 years, except driving on I-5.
Solomon is a safe candidate, one of those fairy tale moderates, and likes cops a little too much. Hoffman is a hyperbolic corporatist, who yelled at the debate audience after they hissed and booed him, and talked about being catalyzed to run due to people having sex on top of graves in a Jewish cemetery. (The Times left the sex part out of their editorial.)
Chris Peguero is another candidate that I really liked, but ultimately, doesn't have the same experience level at Morales, or base of support to win. His debate performance was flat, and I listened to his Seattle Sucks interview where he said he hated debates, and it showed. I do hope to see him again on my ballot.
Phyllis Porter is a one-issue candidate around biking and transit. I agreed with everything she said re:transit, and she had hints of being a bridge-builder, but not strong enough on all the issue concerning the city. Henry Dennison didn't know how to explain the socialist platform, and Omari Tahir-Garrett seemed to just have wanted someone to listen to him.
Yes — City of Seattle Proposition No. 1: Property Tax Renewal for The Seattle Public Library
Do you like books? Do you like public spaces you don't need to pay money to be in?
📮📮📮 Make sure to return your ballot by August 6!
Finding Home, Vol. 2: The Healer by Hari Conner ⭐ 5/5 stars
I love this series so much, and I cannot wait for the third volume. This fantasy queer love story, driven from characterization and all about personal connections, is beautiful. The art is likewise stunning.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton ⭐ 5/5 stars
**spoiler alert** Not perfect, but I did really enjoy this book.
Nella's lack of ability to piece family secrets together worked well to limit the narrative knowledge and be a different type of unreliable narrator. Some secrets were easy to figure out, like the husband being gay, but others weren't. (Honestly, at the start, I kind of thought Otto and Nella would hook up.)
I wish Johannes hadn't died, given the "bury your gays" trope. But it felt realistic that the Meermans double-downed on their lies and killing him via the state/church. I also wish Otto had more characterization than how others (white characters) react to him because of his black skin and hair. We're given too little to give him justice.
I enjoyed the three types of women: Nella, Cornelia, and Marin, and how they interacted with each other and learned from each other's mistakes. Not to mention all their different definitions of power and control.
Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells ⭐ 5/5 stars
Murderbot may claim to want solitude and to leave the corporate space, but they cannot help getting involved with humans and other bots. This one left me with some feels.
Solitaire by Kelley Eskridge ⭐ 5/5 stars
Loved how this book viewed a specific type of dystopia, defied my expectations, and surprised me. Disclaimer: I know the author and think she's pretty great too.
Things I wrote recently
On my blog:
A Community Approach to Leadership and Teamwork
Anyone who calls themselves a leader — from world leaders down to small companies — needs to address how they think of teamwork, and have active conversations about what teamwork looks like at their organizations.
Bittersweet Goodbyes and New Trails
After two and a half years, Friday, July 5th, was my final day with CMX/Bevy. When you work at startups — the incredible ups and downs — can feel even more impactful. In my time with two major programs, CMX Summit and the CMX Pro membership program, the team went from 0 to 100 mph, iterated in different ways, led with our hearts, and joined the Bevy crew.
Reviews on my comics blog:
- Bae O’Wolf and the Mystery of the Collected Mysteries Vol 1, book by Catie Donnelly, rating 4/5 stars
- Blackbird #1, #2, and #3, book by Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel, Paul Reinwand, Nayoung Wilson, Triona Farrell, Jodi Wynne, and Dylan Todd, rating 5/5 stars
- Bombshells United #16, #17, #18, and #19, book by Marguerite Bennett, Sandy Jarrell, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Siya Oum, J. Nanjan, David Hahn, Aneke, and Wes Abbott, rating 3/5 stars
- Captain America #3, #4, and #5, book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Sunny Gho, and VC’s Joe Caramagna, rating 2.3/5 stars
- Check Please!: Year Two, book by Ngozi Ukazu, rating 4/5 stars
- Die #1, #2, and #3, book by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles, and Rian Hughes, rating 5/5 stars
- Finding Home Volume 1: The Traveller, book by Hari Conner, rating 5/5 stars
- Giant Days #46, #47, and #48, book by John Allison, Max Sarin, Jeremy Lawson, and Jim Campbell, rating 4/5 stars
- Ghostbusters: Answer the Call #1, #2, and #3, book by Kelly Thompson, Corin Howell, Valentina Pinto, and Neil Uyetake, rating 2.6/5 stars
- Letters for Lucardo: Fortunate Beasts Vol 2, book by Otava Heikkilä, rating 5/5 stars
- Long Lost #4, #5, #6.1, and #6.2, book by Matthew Erman and Lisa Sterle, rating 2/5 stars
- Lumberjanes #57, #58, and #59, book by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, AnneMarie Rogers, Maarta Laiho, and Aubrey Aiese, rating 4/5 stars
- Sleepless #4, #5, and #6, book by Sarah Vaughn, Leila Del Duca, Alissa Sallah, and Deron Bennett, rating 5/5 stars
- Supergirl #18, #19, and #20, book by Jody Houser, Steve Orlando, Carmen Carnero, Michael Atiyeh, Steve Wands, Vita Ayala, Jamal Campbell, Carlos M. Mangual, Robson Rocha, and Daniel Hernriques, rating 3/5 stars
- The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #1, #2, and #3, book by Bryan Hill, N. Steven Harris, Dexter Vines, Steve Buccellato, Dearbhla Kelly, and Simon Bowland, rating 2.6/5 stars
Green thumb update
I guess neglecting my garden and plants for a lot of the spring has backfired into me being pretty unhappy with my garden this year. Reclaiming my time.
We released hundreds of beneficial insects, and most of them have fucked off by now…which means the bugs are back. Ants are particularly driving me bananas as they are farming aphids. Picking off caterpillars that are decimating my kale, along with whitefly.
I did have my first good-sized harvest with cooler weather yesterday. It is time to plant fall crops, or at least start them inside as it's too hot to germinate.
Left: North garden: peas, beans, cucumber, basil, cilantro, kale, carrots, beets, lettuce, peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, marigolds, watermelon, poppies, and parsnips.
Right: South garden: turnips, eggplant, borage, cerinthe, moss roses, sage, watermelon, corn, kale, chives, tomatoes, poppies, peppers, cucumber, basil, marigolds, and radish.
I'm pretty upset about the cancelation of Tuca and Bertie. One of the few Netflix originals that has felt really original, and certainly part of their "diverse" lineup, but they didn't advertise it and then canceled it. But don't worry, someone in Netflix ads is defending the company.
The Crane Wife by CJ Hauser — About the beauty of self-love and joy.
Just vote please,