The Municipal League Foundation today released recommendations on City of Seattle Proposition 1, and Seattle City Charter Amendment 19, to appear on the November 5 General Election Ballot.
The Municipal League Foundation Board voted to support City of Seattle’s Proposition 1, concerning the creation of a system to publicly finance city council election campaigns. The Municipal League is dedicated to improving the caliber of elected officials and the quality of public decisions. This legislation is a well-considered and recalibrated restoration of an effective City of Seattle program that existed from 1979-1984. If Proposition No. 1 is successfully implemented, it has the potential to expand the number of qualified candidates and the competitiveness of campaigns which is likely to positively affect future Council decisions. To ensure this program is not misused by individuals who lack a serious commitment to public service, the Municipal League encourages the City to continue monitoring and adjusting the system to ensure it best serves the residents of Seattle.
Full Summary with arguments for and against, can be found here: Munileague 2013 City Prop. 1 Recommendation
The Municipal League Foundation Board voted in opposition of Seattle City Charter Amendment 19. The Foundation’s Ballot Issues Committee was not persuaded that there is sufficient evidence that the current at-large representation is not working or needs to change. While the Municipal League promotes efforts to make government more accessible and accountable, we do not believe this Charter Amendment would necessarily accomplish these goals. The potential for a balkanization of city government and in-fighting between districts and representatives on issues of land-use, housing, services and available resources would be detrimental to effective city governance. Additionally, while the proposed district map is drawn geographically according to population from the most recent census, it has the potential to promote a majority voice at the expense of more marginalized districts.
Full Summary with arguments for and against, can be found here: Munileague 2013 Charter Amendment 19 Recommendation
Ballot recommendations are determined by citizen volunteers who study the issue and review information on all sides. The recommendations are then reviewed and approved by the Municipal League Foundation Board, whose focus is on promoting effective government.