It’s Time for the Seattle Chamber to Stop Supporting the City Council

So Amazon is now making noises about moving. It’s no wonder, since we have a Council and a Mayor who have fallen all over themselves trying to appease lefties, progressives, socialists, and even communists who think all housing should be run by the government. Yet I read in Publicola that the Seattle Chamber of Commerce is now concerned about all this. That’s weird. They endorsed all these people. And they endorsed Jenny Durkan who is handing out money for free college. Where’s that money coming from? I think Chamber CEO Maud Daudon is about one of the smartest people in town. I even wanted HER to run for Mayor (see my post in Crosscut). It’s time for the Chamber to get real about what Daudon is saying: the Chamber should unendorse the Councilmembers it supported. Symbolic, I know. But it would send a real message. 

Hello Maud,

Ironic seems like the right word. Maybe sad? I don’t know. What do you think?

You were quoted as saying this by Publicola

Chamber of Commerce CEO Maud Daudon said the city has implemented policies that are “at best unfriendly, at worst, outright hostile toward the needs of our largest employers.”

It’s actually kind of funny, I guess, in a peculiar way. The Chamber has consistently supported this Council with the exception of O’Brien, Sawant, and Herbold.

However, all the members you endorsed fell over themselves to pass the scheduling legislation (and other “hostile” policies). What exactly do you say to Councilmember Bagshaw, for example, about that vote? How did you hold Councilmember Burgess accountable? What about Harrell? Is it working?

We tried a few years ago to work with the Chamber. I was more or less uninvited from the CASE meetings by George Allen.

I had members of our group get very upset about the fact that we were mixing with the “downtown people.” Our folks suspected that the Chamber was not supportive of their businesses and that it would abandon them when pressed.

I am pretty sure you’ve supported Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning(MIZ), which is going to have a devastating impact on small and medium sized builders, the builders who build the vast majority of housing in the city.

I wouldn’t be writing this if I had seen the Chamber make a much harsher and public critique of the total abandonment of good economic principles by the Council. And I wouldn’t be writing this if you hadn’t said anything or said that the business community shared the blame for the Amazon situation by coddling the Council and not acting sooner.

But you spoke as if these people were somehow completely out of your influence.

It’s not too late. We need to see the Chamber get more active in opposing these bad policies, including MIZ, a policy that make many projects infeasible, will have an inflationary affect on the housing economy, and, in the end, is completely illegal. We need your help!

Kshama Sawant isn’t the problem. It’s the lack of spine from her colleagues, a condition that has been helped along by the wider business community that has not heaped disapprobation on them for voting along with her, again, and again, and again.

I have to be blunt. We’re running out of time. And if this trend continues with the next Mayor, whoever she is, we’re doomed to have higher and higher housing prices and this group of Councilmembers will respond with even more inflationary policies. Our city is really teetering on the edge.


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