Office of External Affairs

April 10, 2019

From the VP – The 411 on Seattle City Council D4 excitement

Randy Hodgins

While the University of Washington has a “world of impact” and is the University “for Washington,” the majority of our students, staff and faculty call Northeast Seattle home. UW’s Seattle campus, the U District offices for Co-Motion and UW’s pediatric dental clinic at Sand Point are just the most visible signs of UW life in Seattle City Council District 4 (D4). With so many and so much calling D4 home, here’s a quick primer on the current municipal electoral excitement in our neighborhood.

First, D4 City Councilmember Rob Johnson recently stepped down from his seat on  April 5and now the Council finds itself needing to fill his seat with someone who can serve between now and the end of November when the City Council election results are certified. The Council’s rules and the City Charter set a 20-day clock and process for filling the seat. You can find everything you need to know about the candidates for the interim position and the Council’s process here.

Thirteen people are now vying for the appointment to this open seat. The Council will hold a moderated public forum with the applicants this Monday evening, April 15 in City Hall, followed by formal presentations by the candidates to Councilmembers on April 17. Final selection by the Council is slated for April 22. The person selected will represent D4, chair the Council’s Land Use Committee, and shape the City budget for 2020 before being replaced by the winner of this fall’s election.

Turning from the D4 interim appointment to this year’s election, an important reminder – Seattle’s Council is made up of nine separately elected members serving four-year terms. Two members serve at-large and were up for election two years ago. The remaining seven are by district and up for election this year. For this year’s district races, there will be a primary in August and a general election in November. May 17 is the candidate filing deadline. Already, 10 people have filed campaign paperwork with Seattle Ethics & Elections to run for the D4 seat.

The months between now and election day November 5 will provide many opportunities for UW students, staff and faculty to meet the candidates for D4 and the other districts in Seattle. (By the way, King County Council seats are up, too.) Housing affordability, transit operations, utility costs, unsheltered homelessness, taxation, parks – the D4 councilmember will have a hand in it all, but they’ll be better at their job if they hear from you. Oh, and those Democracy Vouchers you received in the mail? Go here to learn how to use them. Your voice and your vote matter!