Balance

What is balanced government?


Balanced government
is government that represents the interests of all the citizens, even those who don't have money or an ideological lobby behind them.

What we're doing right

Seattle has all the tools in place to ensure balanced government: robust public disclosure laws, a strong legislative review process, and a long tradition of pragmatic governance. Native residents and transplants who have been here for a while remember a time when we did it right. As the city grew bigger, denser, and wealthier, we lost our way.

What we can do better

In the past decade, the City Council has been captured by the "social justice" ideology. The social justice worldview holds that certain members of society (wealthy people, White people) have "privilege" over others and that their privileges need to be taken away, by un-Constitutional means if necessary. This ideology has led to a number of bad things: Neighborhoods are told they must tolerate homeless, drug-addicted people living in their parks and on their streets. Wealthy people are told that they are to blame for social ills and lectured about doing their fair share. Councilmembers blockade public facilities and stage political protests from inside City Hall. Meanwhile, essential City needs go unmet.

What I'll do to help

Most of the councilmembers are measured, pragmatic people, but they are en thrall to a few extremists and dare not stand up to them for fear of being labeled "privileged" or lacking in compassion. I will stand up to the radicals' bullying and rally the other councilmembers behind the banner of common sense and good government. I will personally censure any councilmember who calls for open disobedience to federal law, and I will work to ensure that the Council represent the interests of all the citizens and not merely a handful of paid social-justice advocacy groups.

Specific Actions

 Full Disclosure Law. I will propose legislation that requires councilmembers to disclose the names and affiliations of anyone who helps them write laws, along with any relationships they have to the city. If a developer is getting contracts or special treatment from City Hall and they are helping CMs create laws, that information should be made known to the public. If a labor union or PAC is funding a CM and also advising him on policy matters, that information should be out there.

 Neighborhood Councils. I will work to repair the connection between local neighborhood councils and City Hall that was broken when Mayor Ed Murray declared these groups persona non grata and stopped funding them. Neighborhood councils need to do a better job of representing their neighborhoods, but for now, they are one of the most democratic and accessible institutions we have. We need to help them along, not shove them aside.

 Restoring the Press to a Watchdog Role The Seattle Times and other local news sources have lapsed in their duty to keep a watchful eye on government officials. I will encourage media to take a much closer look at what I and my colleagues at City Hall are doing. Government needs to have a strong "adversary" to keep it honest.

Vote for David Preston, for City Council, Position 9