Weekly Update: 12/15/19

My first meeting on the City Council will be Thursday January 9th at 7PM at City Hall (21630 11th Avenue Des Moines, WA 98198). There will be a brief ‘swearing in’ ceremony at the beginning. So… you know… mark your calendar. 😀 By the way, Des Moines subscribers to Comcast can watch this (or any City Council Meeting) on Channel #21.

This Week

Busy week! Monday afternoon I will be sworn in as your City Council Member. (This is the ‘real’ swearing in; the thing on 9 Jan is ceremonial.) Apparently this is necessary so that I can deal with some emergency–you know, like *someone loses the nuclear football.

Monday at 1-3PM there is a round table at the Burien Community Center to discuss the closure of the Annex. This is a concern for the many Des Moines residents who use services of the organizations that are being kicked out.

B-Town Blog Article

There is also a City Council Meeting at Burien City Hall you may want to attend at 7PM to let their City Council know how you feel.

On Tuesday there’s not only more Salmon counting with Saltwater State Park and Trout Unlimited but at 9AM there is also the last meeting of the year for SCatBD at SeaTac City Hall. This is a big deal because the group will be discussing their legislative agenda for 2020. If you are concerned about any transportation issues–and that means anything from Shuttle Buses For Seniors to Light Rail to Sea-Tac Airport, show up and let your voice be heard.

South County Area Transportation Board

Tuesday also has a meeting of the Burien Airport Committee at the Burien Community Center at 6PM. Again, the discussion will be about 2020. I encourage everyone who is concerned about Sea-Tac Airport to attend their meetings. They have the only properly functioning Airport Committee in the region and its something I am working very hard to try to bring to Des Moines. We should be leading the fight on airport issues.

Friday I’ll be meeting with State Rep. Mike Pellicciotti of the 30th District. Rep. Pellicciotti has been a big advocate for our region on airport issues and I want to discuss how we can extend the number of homes that are receiving noise mitigation as far south as Redondo.

Last Week

Tuesday there was the never-ending Salmon Counting. 😀 There was also the the last Port Of Seattle Meeting of the year and it was packed with people freaked out about the use of facial recognition at Sea-Tac Airport.

A quick word on this: People new to politics need to understand that there is often a double-speak. When the Port voted to approve the first policy in the nation on limiting the use of biometric scanning, what that really means is, “We are totally doing this.” 😀 I know that sounds cynical, but the Port is acting as sort of a ‘trial run’ for the rest of the nation on this stuff. The actual fighting is yet to happen and no one who cares about this issue should feel great about the Port Commission’s new policy. Quite the opposite.

Wednesday was the last StART Meeting of the year–which Des Moines is currently not a part of. Cards on the table, I was not a fan of withdrawing from the StART. Of course, I was never a fan of the StART to begin with. 😀

Thursday I met with Des Moines Aviation Committee member (and Quiet Skies Puget Sound founder) Sheila Brush. The thing I’m trying to get local activists to understand is that we need a different approach–there are waaaayyyyy too many groups going in waaaaaay too many separate directions (like the StART) and it’s diluting our effectiveness at just the moment in time when we should all be pulling in the same direction to fight the SAMP. I have no idea if I was persuasive, but we’ll keep at it! The job is to convince.

A short rant on ‘complaining’

Speaking of which, I get a certain number of complaints about my complaining. Before the election, most people only saw this guy in a Red Wings hat giving angry public comment at City Council Meetings. What they (you) didn’t see was all the stuff leading up to those comments. I wasn’t talking to the public, I was talking to the City Council about issues I had already communicated to them. You (the public) were walking in on the middle of a conversation. I never expected the public to ‘get it’. I expected the City to get it. I wasn’t being rhetorical. I tell people over and over: If I had felt listened to by the City? I would not have run.

(Lesson for incumbents: When someone repeatedly takes the trouble to make public comment on an issue, try really listening. Unless you don’t care about the risk of being replaced, of course. 😀 I’m not being snarky. Just something I’m telling myself going forward when I feel like checking my cell phone or otherwise not paying attention when the public speaks. )

Now, with what I’m writing here, I still get lots of very reasonable complaints about a lack of ‘context’. Eg. if I comment on the SR3 Wildlife siting at the Marina, you can’t see all the reasons for my concerns because you probably haven’t seen all the background–in fact, there is no public presentation available on line explaining what is going on. That’s partly on the City for not making that info available, but it’s also my fault for not providing more context. However, if I put in all the footnotes and background and ‘explainers’ on every topic (like the airport) I’d be here all day! But the point is very well taken and in the future I’ll try to do a LOT better with giving you links to places where you can read more.

Like I keep saying, I’m learning how to do this as I go.