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.
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