Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a savvy legislator and strong progressive voice in regional politics, is the best choice to represent northwest Seattle on the Metropolitan King County Council.
Since joining the council in 2016, after 23 years in the Legislature, Kohl-Welles demonstrated she’s still a deeply engaged, ardent public servant. She’s active not just on the council but an array of boards and task forces addressing grand challenges such as affordable housing, growth management and the arts, and also serves as the current chair of the county board of health.
Voters in council District 4 — west of Interstate 5, from Shoreline to downtown Seattle — should elect Kohl-Welles to another term in the Nov. 5 election.
Challenger Abigail Doerr is a campaign organizer and former advocacy director at Transportation Choices Coalition, a lobbying and advocacy group supported by labor and big firms profiting from regional transportation spending. Doerr moved to an apartment in District 4 shortly before the filing period; she previously lived in District 8, where she could have run against Joe McDermott, who favors additional local funding to supplement Sound Transit’s Seattle light-rail budget.
Doerr led the $54 billion ST3 campaign — and hopes to substantially increase county spending on transit, housing and county building retrofits. While these are all important and deserve ongoing support, taxpayers are already investing heavily in them. Doerr’s talk of “doubling down” on such spending should be worrisome to those concerned about affordability and the county’s struggles to fully fund core services, such as courts and roads.
Both Kohl-Welles and Doerr are die-hard progressives, with similar values and concerns about the environment, public transportation and housing needs. So voters must decide which would be more effective and pragmatic as their representative in regional governance.
The choice is clear. Voters would benefit more from the substantial district knowledge, fiscal expertise and demonstrated legislative skills that Kohl-Welles offers District 4.
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.