The District 3 seat is more than a podium. It must be filled by an effective, experienced representative. That person is Pamela Banks.

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SEATTLE’S new City Council District No. 3 is diverse in many ways. Extending from Interstate 5 to Lake Washington, it encompasses the Central District, Capitol Hill and low-density neighborhoods along the lake.

District 3 is eclectic, cosmopolitan and progressive. Its appeal and proximity to downtown are bringing intense growth, gridlock, gentrification and concerns about loss of character.

The Times recommends:


Pamela Banks

Pamela Banks

Seattle City Council District 3

Strengths: Management and leadership abilities; an advocate of the underserved.

A longtime resident of the district, Banks made a career of advocating for underserved residents. ... Banks’ impressive abilities to manage and lead were demonstrated at the Urban League, where she rebuilt the organization and restored its programs ..."

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A slate of strong candidates are eager to guide District 3 through this period of transformation, but the best choice is Pamela Banks. A longtime resident of the district, Banks made a career of advocating for underserved residents before she was named president and chief executive of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle in 2012.

When she was a city employee, Banks provided neighborhood outreach services, was a community liaison as light rail was developed and worked on a foreclosure-assistance program.

Banks’ impressive abilities to manage and lead were demonstrated at the Urban League, where she rebuilt the organization and restored its programs after contracting scandals gutted its funding. The financial discipline, outreach and perseverance this required would be assets on the City Council.

The incumbent, Kshama Sawant, has political smarts and has done an extraordinary job calling attention to her socialist crusade for the working class. But this isn’t a job for an ideologue, especially now that it’s a district position. District 3 needs a collaborative leader to work with other districts and balance resources and investment.

The District 3 seat is more than a podium. It must be filled by an effective, experienced representative who would primarily serve the district — all of its residents and businesses — while working constructively to lead the entire city.