Sunday, June 05, 2011

No Thanks Mike - My Letter To City Council Candidate Michael Taylor Judd

I received an email from Michael Taylor-Judd asking for my support of his candidacy for the Seattle city council position 1. This was my reply.


I am Seattle native and lifelong Northwest resident. I'm sure your a fine individual and mean well, but I cannot support you with my vote or political influence for city council since I disagree with your decision to oppose the deep bore tunnel.

I think that it is unwise to oppose the tunnel at this time. I beleive the horse has left the barn. I see it as the real compromise between the bicycle and transit oriented surface options folks and the real transportation needs of the city, region and people who must get around in vehicles that take their goods and themselves to market.

I-5 is not a option really and most of the objections I have seen to the tunnel I consider elitist, naive and out of touch with reality.  Almost all of the state's political types to date have supported the DBT with the exception of Mayor McShwinn, council member O'Brien and the entire staff of the Stranger. I know these well meaning people have considerable political influence with citizens who are not well inform about this complicated issue. Also I believe that these vocal interurban progressive types have little commuting, business or getting goods and services to market experience.

If anything the continuing attempts to stop the project will be what causes cost overruns.
Which as we really know is a false premise since there are always cost overruns with capital projects of this scale. The question is how to limit the cost overruns, which the state seems be taking seriously so far in-spite of the atmosphere created by the naysayers.

I have written extensively on this subject (of the DBT) in my blog. In the progressive blogosphere I know I am a contrary opinion on this issue and others. I am hoping that citizens, other then the folks I referred to above, will inform themselves about the full impacts of not building the DBT at this late stage of the process and vote to continue the construction in the upcoming special August election. At this point I think it would be a grave mistake not to support the tunnel.

One other main point I would like you to consider. I think that the tunnel would ultimately bring about the entire revitalization of the waterfront and as a side benefit create up to 30,000 long term union wage construction jobs in the community, and many service jobs and small business jobs after it's completion. This would undoubtedly be a major stimulus program for the community during the time that it is badly needed. Something that you as a politician in these difficult economic times should consider a top priority.

Finally I think we have talked enough about what we must do to replace the crumbling viaduct and seawall. Citizens of the Seattle deserve leaders who take action. 10 years of talking and "milking the mouse" on major political decisions of this type is long enough. 

Danny O'Brien

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