Laura Loe
3 min readOct 22, 2019

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Who Should Seattle’s District Council Candidates Listen To?

When you run for office, a lot of people want you to listen to them.

It is unfathomable to me why Alex Pedersen, District 4 City Council candidate, is missing event after event that would deepen and broaden his understanding of critical issues facing Seattle. Here is the list of events, forums, questionnaires, and interviews Pedersen has missed.

I attended most forums during the 2015 primary when I was working for a District 4 campaign. At those events, I received an education on city government, public policy, met journalists and developed political connections that have grown into deep friendships. I had misconceptions changed, and superficial policy stances deepened. Candidate forums are time-consuming and emotionally draining for candidates, but they can always send a surrogate in their place.

Participating in forums develops relationships with future colleagues and is crucial for coalition building to move legislation forward. Human connections are at the heart of good decision making. Is Alex Pedersen forming those connections to people outside of his already established circles in District 4? Is he being advised to stay home in case bad press is generated from his unpopular opinions? Why isn’t he sending someone in his place?

When Seattle moved to seven geographic district-based city council seats the hope was that issues like lack of sidewalks in District 5 and lack of equitable housing, or safe streets infrastructure in District 2, would get the spotlights they deserve. Based on Pedersen’s behavior, districted seats have also encouraged the attitude of “Not in my district? Not my problem.”

Please take a look at the list of events Pedersen has missed: here.

Pedersen failed to show up for The Stranger & Washington Bus’ Candidate Survivor, a Real Change News co-hosted Online Forum, 2019 Seattle City Council Housing and Homelessness Voters Guide, Seattle Human Services Coalition Forum Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) Forum, and Seattle Disability Rights Forum. (Read more from C is for Crank).

Pedersen also missed the “Seattle City Council Candidate Forum on Police Accountability Forum” on October 16, 2019.

Seattle City Council Candidate Forum on Police Accountability Forum — October 2019

The Police Accountability Forum was hosted by Seattle’s Vietnamese Community Leadership Institute, ACLU of Washington, Legal Voice, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH), GSBA, CISC, El Centro de la Raza, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence, Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), CAIR Washington, Coalition on Homelessness, Byrd Barr Place, Latino Civic Alliance, Mothers for Police Accountability, OneAmerica, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Faith Action Network, Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) of WA, Not This Time, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Seattle’s Women Commission, QLaw: The LGBT Bar Association of Washington, John T Williams Organizing Committee, Disability Rights Washington, Public Defender Association, A. Phillip Randolph Institute Seattle and more.

I am troubled that Pedersen missed the forum on police accountability when this is one of the most important issues facing Seattle, particularly since Charleena Lyles was killed by police in District 4. By failing to show up and listen to fellow candidates, future colleagues, Seattle voters and valuable community perspectives, Pedersen is sending a message to some Seattleites that he will not listen to them.

Find your city council district and help get out the vote (GOTV) for candidates today by contacting their campaigns.

Mail in your ballot by Tuesday, November 5.

Vote early and track your ballot here.

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Laura Loe

Laura Loe is a renter, an educator, a musician, and a gardener from Colombia/NY/LA/Chicago who has lived in Seattle for over 10 years.