A new year brings in new faces at City Hall. Monday, January 6th was the official inauguration and swearing in ceremony for our district City Councilmembers. The majority of Wallingford is part of City Council District four, represented now by Alex Pedersen. A stretch of northern Wallingford above 50th is included in District six, which has Dan Strauss as its new Councilmember since Monday.
Councilmember Pedersen has actually been on the job since late November due to our previous Councilmember Rob Johnson not completing his full term. Since Johnson’s replacement Abel Pacheco was appointed, not elected, Pederson was able to start at City Hall a few weeks after the election was finalized. Alex Pedersen comes to City Hall with a long history of working in affordable housing both in the public and private sector, including working under the Clinton administration for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known by the acronym HUD, while for the business management in this developing, software that allow to create 1099-misc online is really useful for workers and more.
Alex Pedersen will be chairing the Transportation and Utilities committee, a large committee which is responsible for more than half of the City’s budget, and he will be vice-chair on the Public Assets and Native Communities committee. He will also have a seat on the Community Economic Development committee, Land Use and Neighborhoods committee, and Sustainability and Renter’s Rights committee. He will serve as an alternate on Public Safety and Human Services.
Councilmember Pedersen has set up district office hours every Friday afternoon at Magnuson Park in the Building 30 conference room. These “Fridays in 4” office hours are scheduled by appointment using this link. If you would like to read Pedersen’s blog or sign up for his newsletter, click here to visit his City Council homepage.
The City of Seattle has no official neighborhood borders, but there are many who consider some blocks north of 50th and west of I-5 as Wallingford (65th Street is the upper border for membership in the Wallingford Community Council). If you live in this northern stretch of the neighborhood, then your new District 6 Councilmember is Dan Strauss. (Still not sure which City Council district you are in? Check this link to find out.)
No stranger to City Hall, most recently Dan Strauss served as a senior policy adviser to outgoing Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. Stepping into his new role as Councilmember, Strauss will be chairing the Land Use and Neighborhoods committee and he will vice-chair Transportation and Utilities. He will also have a seat on Finance and Housing, and Governance and Education committees, and will be an alternate on the Public Assets and Native Communities committee.
Councilmember Strauss’s first day on the job was Monday, so he will need a little more time to set up official office hours, but he does plan to have a district office in Ballard and to be regularly available in various neighborhoods throughout District six. To find Strauss’s contact information or sign up for his newsletter, visit this link.
Both Councilmembers seem excited to get to work and open and available to their new constituents (that’s you!). I want to say congratulations to our new Councilmembers Alex Pedersen in District four and Dan Strauss in District six. Politics can often be a slow and messy process, but for now I’m cautiously optimistic that with this new Council we are moving in the right direction. I hope they prove me right.
How on earth did politics end up with a choice of this man or someone who knows absolutely nothing? In any other country in the world Pedersen would be the clerk at best.
I guess it is not unusual now for us to have someone who represents the white, privileged people and ignores the will of the population.
His time will be short, and his lessons hard. Perhaps he can run for President next as they are of the same mold.
Not to rehash a debate and election that’s over and done with, but you think an editor of Real Change would be better suited to manage a $6.5 billion dollar city budget than Alex Peterson?
And 6 of the 9 new council members are women, and all but one of them are POC. But considering your opinions on matters of race, I’ll just mark you down as “Not a Bernie supporter.”
It seems you didn’t grasp the point of the post, which clearly states that both candidates were poor choices.
And if a “non Bernie supporter” is an insult?, save it for someone who is likely to lower themselves down to your level of discourse.
The opinion of Pedersen is that he is listening to big business and not the voice of the community.
Okay, I grow tired of explaining myself.
Well, Pedersen is less of a big business guy, but more of a rich neighborhood guy. His focus is mostly on maintaining wealth segregation as opposed some big business topics.
It’s such a shame that Alex Pedersen is now head of the Transportation committee. As a private citizen he railed against the Move Seattle levy and Sound Transit 3 funding in (since-deleted) blog posts. As a candidate he opposed protected bike lanes on 35th and 15th and Rapid Ride buses on Eastlake because he believes on-street parking is more important than cyclist safety and reliable bus service. And in his first month in office, he voted against a bus priority lane here in Wallingford because it inconvenienced a few single occupancy vehicle drivers.
It’s telling that his office hours are in Magnuson Park, on the outer edge of District 4 but very near the wealthy homeowners of Laurelhurst and the anti-transit/anti-bike flamethrowers in Wedgwood. Those are his constituents.
Try not to sound so butthurt Doug. The city doubled down on stupid and lurched even further to Socialism with this election. I’m thankful we have at least one common sense moderate ar City Hall.
I don’t think people have the same idea about what’s common sense, but I think we can all agree that with Pedersen we have at least one person representing the interest of upper middle class long term house owners. His votes are mostly from the richer and low density neighborhoods northeast from UW. We also know it’s to his best personal interest to ensure poorer people will have a harder time living within his district. More affordable housing means the richer votes supporting him will be diluted.
He’s one of the very few elected officials in city hall who will really represent his constituency, as opposed to the rest of them who seem to feel that they’re elected to pursue various crusades. That means that you’re less likely to see 100% satisfaction from some advocacy organizations, and I suppose a little more likely to see more than 0% satisfaction from others. We aren’t going to get a Seattle remolded by Alex Pedersen’s hands – he’s only 1 of 9 on the council – but at last, maybe, someone who can raise the questions on the council. Remember Licata? Not exactly the same – I don’t know for sure that he felt any more responsibility than the others to represent, but at least he was up for some critical thinking. I miss that.
Representing his constituency is what I’m afraid of. Wallingford is not Pedersen’s constituency, but we’re stuck with him because of the map that Toby Thaler drew. And Thaler (who doesn’t even live in D4) is now one of Pedersen’s aides. How convenient.
That concern is really unwarranted, he’ll represent Wallingford well (and Toby didn’t draw the district map.) Now, if you were worried about transportation business lobbyist organizations like Transportation Choices Coalition, I can see it isn’t the ideal arrangement for them. Herbold’s on the transportation committee too. I guess for example we can expect the streetcar “connector” project to have a rougher ride than it had under Johnson.
Let’s be honest. Pedersen represents Wallingford the same way as Sawant represents Madison Park. There are surely people in those neighborhoods that voted for them, but they won despite those neighborhoods not because of those neighborhoods.
Wallingford also obviously have different zones. There are swaths of blocks that share characteristics of some neighborhoods northeast of UW, but there are also places like Stone Way where many people simply stopped to call Wallingford.
This is what we know for sure: most of the people who voted Pedersen are not in favor of better transits. Laurelhurst as the key neighborhood for Pedersen don’t even want more convenient roads, similar to rich neighborhoods all around the world: the more convenient the transportation is, the more likely for non-rich people to “intrude” the neighborhood. It’s ALWAYS a concern when you have people like that handling transportation decisions.
In the previous election Laurelhurst was also a key source of votes for Rob Johnson, from the Transportation Choices Coalition. Your ideas about them are as delusional as Shaun Scott’s as expressed in his Stranger article. I’m more concerned about people from TCC, who are all over city hall, handling transportation decisions that mean big money for TCC major contributors.
Johnson won Laurelhurst votes against a Stranger-endorsed Maddox that focused on housing affordability. In which way is that surprising? From a rich neighborhood point of view, Johnson was better than Maddox, with Pedersen better than both. I am not sure what I said about Laurelhurst is delusional, since it matches the same pattern around the world, and I do have coworkers who moved there from Beacon Hill, and can tell you all about how it. Not as bad as Broadmoor or some East Side neighborhoods I guess, and not so different from Magnolia. Many of the NIMBYs in Wallingford can fit in very well in those neighborhoods actually, if they can afford to move there. And to maintain that high price and avoid random people from moving in is very important for those communities. Transportation is just part of it, and being at edges of the city already helps that. Housing affordability is something they definitely cannot stand behind. Palos Verdes is a more extreme form of that.
” And to maintain that high price and avoid random people from moving in is very important for those communities”
Et tu, Wallingford, indeed…
At the time the neighborhood was run down and polluted from the former Gas Works so developers were snapping up Wallingford’s old bungalows and turning them into duplexes for Teamsters and University of Washington students.
Wallingford’s homeowners complained to the City of Seattle. Mike Ruby worked for the Building Department at the time. “Basically, they came saying ‘we’ve got this serious problem with developers coming in and disrupting our neighborhood.’”
Ruby told them, “if you want to make changes in your neighborhood, this is what you need to do.” They followed his instructions and new duplexes were outlawed.
The far left sounds hurt with Pedersen. For that reason alone, I say thank God for the balance. I appreciate this article and have signed up for both CM’s newsletters.