NOTE - GSBA has not taken a stance on Charter Amendment 19. The opinions below are solely those of their author(s).
Charter Amendment No. 19 changes the way we elect City Councilmembers from citywide election of nine Councilmembers to seven Councilmembers elected by geographic district and two elected by all Seattle voters.
By voting YES, you will have a Councilmember living in, elected by, and responsible for representing your area of Seattle. Currently, no one on the City Council represents your specific neighborhood or community and each Councilmember has to represent 630,000 people.
Charter Amendment 19 is important for Seattle because:
- Under Charter Amendment 19, there will always be at least one member of the Council ensuring your neighborhood gets a fair share of resources such as parks, community centers, libraries, public safety, human services, pedestrian improvements, and road maintenance. A YES vote on Charter Amendment 19 means you will finally have a Councilmember advocating for the specific needs of your community.
- By retaining two “at-large” Councilmembers and the Mayor representing the whole city, Charter Amendment 19 ensures regional and citywide needs will have a voice.
- Each district under Charter Amendment 19 will have about 88,000 residents, meaning a grassroots candidate can win against an incumbent using good old fashioned legwork and people power. Under the existing system, candidates must use expensive mailers and television ads to reach hundreds of thousands of voters. A YES vote on Charter Amendment 19 opens the door for qualified younger or less well-connected candidates.
- Of the 50 largest U.S. cities, Seattle is one of only three still electing all its Councilmembers citywide. When San Francisco adopted district elections in 2000, the cost of an average Council campaign fell from $188,000 to about $74,000.
- NO NEW TAXES are needed for Charter Amendment 19.
Charter Amendment 19 is a good-government proposal with strong bipartisan support, including the Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, the King County Republicans, 46th District Democrats, Senator Adam Kline, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Wells, Senator David Frockt, Senator Sharon Nelson, Senator Maralyn Chase, Representative Gael Tarleton, Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (ret.), Representative Jessyn Farrell, Representative Gerry Pollett, King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, and thousands of voters just like you.
Learn more about Charter Amendment 19 at SeattleDistrictsNow.org