Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien announced today he won’t be running for re-election.
The longstanding District 6 representative has been in city council for about a decade, first elected in 2009. He becomes the fourth incumbent who plans to step down from city council — Rob Johnson, Sally Bagshaw, and Bruce Harrell have all announced their departure from office.
O’Brien’s work on city council has been considerable: he helped ban plastic bags in Seattle, worked to create the democracy voucher system, and worked to find housing situations for the homeless, including the former encampment on Market St.
However, O’Brien’s reputation in Ballard has been a mixed bag. He’s been criticized for his approaches to homelessness and his support of the city’s head tax. And just last May, he was shoved out of a party celebrating the Nordic Museum opening. Not long before that, he hosted a town hall meeting that erupted in an angry shoutfest.
As the Seattle Times reports, his resignation marks “the end of an era” — next year, the council will include no one elected earlier than 2013.
Three other candidates have so far announced their campaigns for District 6: Kate Martin, Jon Lisbin, and Jay Fathi.