This week, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray retreated from his proposal to jam more people into the city’s single-family neighborhoods. Murray’s proposal would have impacted 94 percent of single-family zones in Seattle and essentially challenged the “idea that all families can live in their own home on a piece of land.” The proposal came about courtesy of Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) committee.
Murray now is asking the public to “weigh-in on how to best increase affordable housing in denser neighborhoods.”
Of course, the reason Murray cited for backing down from his idea was not the preposterous nature of it all. No, it was because the media “derailed the conversation on [housing] affordability.” Murray said,
“In the weeks since the HALA recommendations were released, sensationalized reporting by a few media outlets has created a significant distraction and derailed the conversation that we need to have on affordability and equity.”
Murray’s statement is more than a little misleading. KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz explains,
“Actually, the reason he create the HALA process was because he wanted to pretend to find consensus to push some of his extreme ideas. So he stacks a committee filled with people who think like him to craft a proposal that pushes ideas he wanted. It gave him the appearance of consensus building. But in this case, it failed because no one in their right mind would back half the recommendations they put out there.”
Rantz goes on to explain why Murray’s blame-the-media strategy doesn’t quite make sense. Rantz,
“Rather than admit his idea wasn’t popular, he’ll go after the evil media in the most cowardly of ways. If there is a media outlet out there that is incorrect in their assessment of his recommendation, he can reach out to them and invite them to a discussion. He couldn’t defend his plan — a plan he didn’t think you would read — so he retreated. You mean to tell me if he had a brilliant, game-changing plan he’d simply abandon it because “a few media outlets” were unhappy? How many times has he moved forward with plans where more than a few media outlets were unhappy? This is a rather pathetic argument by someone trying to save face for pushing such a deeply unpopular plan.”
The frustrating part of it all is that Murray—and the far-left Democrats who run Seattle—routinely concoct new policies that, in the end, make the city more expensive. Rantz,
“For example, every time Murray and the Seattle Department of Transportation take lanes away from cars, purposefully making traffic difficult so that you might give up your car, they’re simply forcing people to live closer to work. And when the jobs in Seattle are mostly tied to high-paying tech jobs, like the ones at Amazon.com, they’re making it expensive to live here because rich people will be moving here and developers know they can charge high rent. You could allow the developers to build higher up without getting hit with astronomical fees that the city will squander, which would, in turn, create a higher supply of apartments at a lower rent. But the city won’t do that.”
It appears that Murray really has only himself—and his fellow Democrats—to blame… in the embarrassing single-family zone proposal and the problem it attempts to solve.