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Articles by Claire Thompson

Claire Thompson used to be Grist's editorial assistant. After disappearing into the wild for a while, she is now attempting to reenter society.

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Seattle is already known as one of the nation’s greenest cities (in more ways than one). Local political controversies brew left of center, and environmental inclinations are practically a prerequisite for running for office. If no candidate poses a fundamental threat to the city’s signature sustainability, how much is really at stake in today’s mayoral race?

Incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn was a relative unknown when he ran four years ago — the lawyer, Sierra Club leader, and avid bike commuter had never held political office, but he pushed a pro-transit, grassroots agenda to defeat then-incumbent Greg Nickels, who had an impressive enviro record of his own. Nickels was notorious for being difficult to work with, and McGinn’s reputation has followed the same course — his thorny leadership style has become his most well-known weakness.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

But McGinn didn’t disappoint when it came to upholding Seattle’s reputation as an international leader on urban climate and sustainability issues. He’s made his opposition to coal-export terminals loud and clear and brought together a coa... Read more

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