According to a report by our news partners at The Seattle Times, Mike O’Brien won’t be the only one campaigning for the 6th District Seattle City Council seat in the 2015 General Election.
The Seattle Times reports that Ballard community leader Catherine Weatbrook has joined to race and registered a 6th District campaign. Before Westbrook registered Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien was the only candidate in the race.
The 6th District (pictured in the map above) includes Ballard plus the surrounding neighborhoods of Fremont, Phinney Ridge, Loyal Heights and sections of Greenwood.
The 2015 elections will be the first to be conducted by district. Candidates who seek election must have lived in our district for at least 120 days prior to announcing their campaign.
Weatbrook is well known in the Ballard community and currently co-chairs the City Neighborhood Council, which is the elected, citizen-led advisory group that coordinates city funding of neighborhood programs.
According to the report, 47-year-old Weatbrook’s campaign will focus on issues related to urban design and transportation.
“We’re having growing pains in Ballard,” Weatbrook told The Seattle Times. “What’s been built has exceeded our expectations and we haven’t had the transportation to match it.”
Weatbrook, who has lived in Ballard since 1994, believes that new buildings in our neighborhood should be constructed “on a human scale.”
“It has nothing to do with style,” Weatbrook told The Seattle Times. “It has to do with walkable and bikeable communities where people are willing to walk around because they feel safe. It has to do with not walking next to a blank wall or an empty storefront.”
According to the report, Weatbrook confirms that she will not be taking sides in the controversial development debate in our neighborhood. “It’d be too simple to call me pro- or anti-development,” Weatbrook says.
Other 6th District candidate, Council Member O’Brien, chairs the council’s land-use committee, and according to The Seattle Times, recently tried to create a compromise while putting together regulations for local apodment construction.
O’Brien is best known for his environmental and social-justice advocacy. He sponsored Seattle’s plastic bag ban, advocated for homeless people to live in their vehicles on church parking lots and supported campaign finance reform.
“While I think Mike is a nice guy and I have a lot of respect for him, I don’t see him in the community,” Weatbrook told The Seattle Times. “I don’t see him connected to the district. That doesn’t mean he can’t become that. But I think I have a long record of being connected to the district.”