All seven of the Seattle City Council’s district seats are up for grabs this year. The two candidates in each district with the most votes in August’s primary election advanced to the Nov. 5 general election.
The following City Council debates, held in locations throughout Seattle, represent a series of events hosted by Seattle CityClub, with The Seattle Times, Seattle Channel, KUOW, KCTS/Crosscut, KING-TV and KOMO-TV as media partners.
District 1 includes West Seattle neighborhoods such as Alki, Delridge, Fauntleroy, Gatewood, Highland Park, Pigeon Point, South Park, Sunrise Heights, West Seattle and White Center.
Phillip Tavel touted himself as a newcomer who would bring change to the council at a debate that took place Oct. 10 at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, while Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold argued that Tavel’s business record shows he’s unfit for office.
District 2 includes South Seattle neighborhoods such as Beacon Hill, Chinatown/International District, Columbia City, Georgetown, Seward Park, Mount Baker and Rainier Beach.
Tammy Morales and Mark Solomon diverged sharply on multiple issues in a debate held Sept. 17 at the Rainier Arts Center in Columbia City.
District 3 includes Central Seattle neighborhoods such as First Hill, Capitol Hill, the Central District, Mount Baker, Montlake and Madison Park.
Incumbent Councilmember Kshama Sawant and challenger Egan Orion clashed on Sept. 26 over corporate taxes, rent control and whether Sawant’s combative political style amounts to counterproductive grandstanding or a grit necessary to win progress for working people in the city. The debate took place at Town Hall.
District 4 includes Northeast Seattle neighborhoods such as Eastlake, Fremont, Laurelhurst, Magnuson Park, Maple Leaf, Ravenna, Roosevelt, Sand Point, University District, Wallingford and Wedgwood.
Council candidates Alex Pedersen and Shaun Scott were asked during their District 4 debate Oct. 5 to express admiration for each other on at least one point. It didn’t work out very well.
Pedersen touted his own history interacting with neighborhood groups and paid his opponent a backhanded compliment, telling voters that Scott delivers consistent answers to such groups despite perhaps lacking knowledge about hyperlocal issues.
Scott countered, praising Pedersen for being able to “learn on the fly” about climate change, saying he believed his opponent had come to appreciate the gravity of the crisis “sometime during the primary.” The debate was held at University Lutheran Church.
District 5 includes North Seattle neighborhoods such as Bitter Lake, Broadview, Greenwood, Lake City, Maple Leaf, Northgate and Wedgwood.
Challenger Ann Davison Sattler relentlessly attacked the work of the Seattle City Council and her opponent Councilmember Debora Juarez at a debate Sept. 21, while Juarez pointed to progress the city has made on homelessness and stressed her work on issues significant to her North Seattle district. The debate was held at the Greenwood Senior Center.
District 6 includes Northwest Seattle neighborhoods such as Ballard, Crown Hill, Fremont, Green Lake, Phinney Ridge and Whittier Heights.
Dan Strauss argued that he would hit the ground running as a Seattle City Council member, while Heidi Wills decried the polarization that has consumed Seattle since she left the council 16 years ago, as the two discussed homelessness, police accountability and the opioid epidemic in a debate held Sept. 21 at the Greenwood Senior Center.
District 7 includes Seattle neighborhoods such as Belltown, Chinatown/International District, Downtown, Interbay, Magnolia, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, Queen Anne, South Lake Union and Westlake.
No matter what, residents of Magnolia, Queen Anne and downtown Seattle will elect a new City Council member next month who wants to hire more police, replace the Magnolia Bridge and bury last year’s business head tax. That’s because District 7 candidates Andrew Lewis and Jim Pugel, during a Sept. 26 debate at Town Hall, took similar positions on some of Seattle’s most divisive political issues, opting to draw distinctions largely based on endorsements and experience.