The Greenwood Senior Center and PSARA are sponsoring a Town Hall meeting with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn on Monday, October 14, from noon to 1:30 p.m., at the Greenwood Senior Center. Mayor McGinn will be available to answer questions from the audience regarding his record during his first term and what he plans to accomplish in his second term. Susan Levy, Outreach Vice President for PSARA and a former instructor at Shoreline Community College, will be the moderator.
The Town Hall was originally planned as a meeting for both candidates. Sen. Ed Murray, the other candidate in the race, initially accepted the invitation to participate. His campaign made a request for a moderator that was uncommitted in the mayoral race, a request that Greenwood Senior Center and PSARA believed was very reasonable. Once we found a moderator acceptable to both candidates, each candidate agreed to participate.
Three weeks later, Sen. Murray’s campaign decided not to be part of the Town Hall. The reason given was that PSARA’s President is personally a strong supporter of Mayor McGinn and was unfairly critical of Sen. Murray’s legislative record. While both PSARA and the Greenwood Senior Center were disappointed in Murray’s decision, both organizations decided to proceed with the forum giving participants an opportunity to raise their concerns with the Mayor.
The Town Hall meeting will be an opportunity for audience members to address whatever questions they have for the Mayor. The only limitation will be that questions be no more than one minute in length so as many people as possible get the opportunity to address their questions to Mayor McGinn.
This is a hotly contested race. Mayor McGinn’s record as a first term Mayor and his leadership has been a subject of fierce criticism by Sen. Murray and his supporters. In turn, Mayor McGinn has both defended his record and raised questions about Sen. Murray’s legislative record and also his role as leader of the state Senate Democratic Caucus which lost its majority status in 2013 when two Democrats defected.
The Seattle Times, which has been a strong critic of the Mayor since his election, has made clear their strong opposition to the reelection of the Mayor as has the majority of downtown business interests including the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and some very large developers. Sen. Murray has a very clear fundraising advantage and there is a well-funded independent expenditure campaign that will be supporting his candidacy.
Sen. Murray is receiving very strong support from many leaders of Seattle’s gay and lesbian community. He has been endorsed by the building trades council and several building trades unions, the firefighters union, the transit workers union, the longshore union, the Seattle Police Guild and several other unions.
Mayor McGinn has been endorsed by the weekly newspaper, The Stranger, and appears to have a strong base of support among younger voters and environmentalists. He also has a much stronger base of support from leaders in Seattle’s civil rights community, communities of color and immigrant communities. The primary results reflected significantly more support for Mayor McGinn in the south end of Seattle.
The Mayor has been endorsed by many of the unions representing lower wage workers including the grocery workers union, hotel and restaurant workers union and two of the service employee unions. He has also been endorsed by the Machinists union, the Office & Professional Employees Union, the postal workers union, a few building trade unions and several other unions.
We hope you will join us for this unique opportunity to question the Mayor. Please bring a brown bag lunch if you wish to eat during the Town Hall. Greenwood Senior Center and PSARA will provide coffee, tea and water and some light snacks.
While it is unfortunate that Sen. Murray has withdrawn from the Town Hall on Oct 14, the meeting will provide the opportunity to go into more depth with the Mayor, examine his record for the first term and learn what he hopes to accomplish should he win the election.