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.
Barack Ogona says
Between Murray and Inslee we are seeing a total lack of economically grounded leadership. Their pie in the sky Utopian promises backfire every time and put their constituents further down on the totem pole. Please go take a simple Econ 101 class so that you can join the adults in real conversation about these issues and how to solve them.
You think this is the first time he stacked a committee give the appearance of consensus? What about the Minimum wage committee? They scrupulously poured over all the data, spent weeks crunching all the numbers……and magically came up with the exact same number as the communist agitator had been pushing. What a stunning coincidence.
Yes, Mayor Murray’s rejection of several recommendations from the advisory committee is proof he successfully stacked the committee in his favor. Logic, how does it work?
We can only pray that our mayor get his head out of his boyfriend’s ball bag and start doing the job that we’re paying him to do.
Eastside Sanity says
Dan Covey says
And yet I heard this morning that Expedia is moving it’s offices from Bellevue to Seattle. Personally I don’t understand why any business would move to an area that was more expensive, with a higher regulatory burden, but I’m not an Expedia shareholder. So just in case someone asks me to back up my claim, I live in unincorporated King County some distance East of Seattle, my modest home is worth about $270 a square foot, Zillow says Seattle average is $374, one example of less regulation? I don’t have to have my vehicles emission tested (or have a parking sticker to park in my neighborhood).
Personally I don’t understand why any business would move to an area that was more expensive, with a higher regulatory burden, but I’m not an Expedia shareholder.
Those are not the only considerations, and even if Seattle, compared to Bellevue, is “more expensive, with a higher regulatory burden,” those were obviously not the determining factors in Expedia’s decision to move.
And yet I heard this morning that Expedia is moving it’s offices from Bellevue to Seattle.
This move was announced shortly after Seattle’s minimum wage rose. I noted the irony of restaurant owners in Bellevue worrying about their businesses (apparently, many Expedia employees regularly spend $$$ in several Bellevue restaurants) after Seattle’s minimum wage increased.
… my modest home is worth about $270 a square foot, Zillow says Seattle average is $374, one example of less regulation?
Possibly, but the higher land values in Seattle, driven by our increasing population of well-paid professionals, may be a larger factor.