Acting locally

Mike O'Brien for Seattle City Council 2013

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien

Here’s a proud announcement: I’ve made my first 2012 political donation!

The lucky fella was Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who’s started his re-election campaign with the “10 x 1,000 Challenge.” The challenge: He won’t accept any larger-than-$10 donations until he’s raised his first $10,000 from 1,000 people giving $10 each. (As of today, he’s got 200 donations to go.) Here are some reasons why I went for it:

– O’Brien spearheaded a terrific opt-out phone book program that reduces both waste and hassle for Seattleites. Says the Seattle Times:

Since the program began last May, more than 75,000 Seattle residents and businesses stopped their yellow-pages deliveries, removing 375 tons — more than 419,000 books — from the waste and recycle streams, according to city officials.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) calculated that the city had spent as much as $300,000 a year to recycle phone books.

– He supports measures (e.g., $80 car tab fees) to increase funding for public transportation.

– He was the lone vote on the Seattle City Council opposing the super costly, not-helpful-to-surface-traffic deep-bore waterfront tunnel through downtown.

– He endorsed Bobby Forch, an excellent candidate, for city council.

– In 2011, he supported legislation early on to mandate paid sick leave for Seattle businesses.

– During his last election, his opponent’s campaign was largely financed by landlords and realtors. As a rule, I support anything landlords and realtors oppose.

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