Posted by: Gentry | August 2, 2007

The Seattle Stranger Endorses… Joe Szwaja (again)

The Stranger, Seattle’s only Weekly paper still doing endorsements, endorse Joe Szwaja for Seattle City Council, Position 1, over rivals Jean Godden, Lauren Briel, and Robert Sondheim. We at the Joe Szwaja campaign would like to thank the Stranger Election Control Board for endorsing Joe with such enthusiasm. Here’s a quick highlight:

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=279325

Szwaja supports strong measures to increase police accountability. Unlike incumbent Jean Godden, he would amend police-accountability rules so that the police chief can’t overturn the disciplinary recommendations of the Office of Professional Accountability, which investigates police-misconduct allegations. He supports a proposal by Nick Licata to require the police chief to go through reconfirmation every four years—the same as every other department head. (Godden does not.) Szwaja said he would not vote to reconfirm embattled Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske.

On climate change, Szwaja is both more radical and more pragmatic than Godden (whose green credentials seem limited to voting to purchase offsets for City Light’s already minuscule greenhouse-gas production). An early proponent of the surface/transit option for replacing the viaduct, Szwaja wants to reduce Seattle’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 4 percent a year—a far more ambitious plan than the plan Godden has supported.

Read the rest at TheStranger.com. Then, when you finish reading, please drop them a letter to thank them for their support. Interestingly, the Stranger also supported Joe in his campaign for Congress in 2000. So what exactly is it that they like about Joe Szwaja, here’s the highlights from 2000’s endorsement for some background:

http://new.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=4970

Szwaja (pronounced “shh-WHY-ah”), who fought sprawl and convention center giveaways in the 1980s as a four-term city council member in Madison, Wisconsin, is squarely focused on checking corporate power. He prioritizes fair trade over free trade. He puts campaign finance reform at the top of his list. Finally, he’s boldly suspect of the booming new economy, rattling off reality-check stats; for example, 80 percent of wage-earners have seen salaries stagnate or drop during the last 20 years. While his solutions to this skewed balance of wealth are vague (promote living-wage jobs), we think this brainy high school teacher–who, incidentally, won a UN human rights award in his spare time–deserves a chance to refine his politics under the spotlight of a general election.

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