Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is well-known for his thin skin when criticized, and thus he could not have been looking forward to yesterday’s press conference in the University District to talk about re-zoning. Protestors were sure to be there.
So, Murray grasped at a tragic event near the University that morning – the death of homeless man run over in a tent next to I-5 by a suspected drunk driver– to try and win the crowd over.
Even such shamelessness did not work, as the Times reported that Murray was “met with boos”. However, it was Murray’s need to try to justify what he was proposing by exploiting a tragic accident that really deserved the catcalls.
According to the Seattle Times, the mayor said “The conversation we’re having today cannot be divorced from the tragedy that happened this morning.”
In Murray world, someone who had died in a tragic accident – potentially caused by a drunk driver – was a good tool for trying to deflect criticism of his administration, which is short on solutions for solving challenges related to either affordable housing or homelessness, but big on engaging in “conversation.”
And, by this morning, Murray had managed to connect the tragedy to another one of his favorite topics, raising taxes. According to Crosscut, “for the first time, despite the recently approved $290 million housing levy, Murray brought up the possibility of raising taxes to supplement what has not — and perhaps will not — arrive from outside the city. Murray wanted to be clear he was not proposing taxes, simply the ‘conversation.’”
Unfortunately for Seattle residents, you can guess how this “conversation” will end – and your wallet will be lighter.