Mayor, City Council races critical for Tukwila’s future | Editor’s note

In talking with them and watching them at City Council meetings and candidate forums, I don't sense any hidden agendas or underlying political (yes, I know the council is nonpartisan) philosophies that run counter to what's good for the city.

I don’t know how the voters of Tukwila are going to pick their next mayor.

De’Sean Quinn and Allan Ekberg are strong candidates, with a concern and love for their city and its residents that run deep.

In talking with them and watching them at City Council meetings and candidate forums, I don’t sense any hidden agendas or underlying political (yes, I know the council is nonpartisan) philosophies that run counter to what’s good for the city.

Nor apparently are Ekberg or Quinn running for office because they have an ax to grind with the city or they’re angry about some issue that didn’t go their way.

This may seem like a low bar but I place it there because some cities – big and small – simply can’t field a full contingent of candidates who have at heart what’s best for the city.

Perhaps it’s a sign that Tukwila is a politically mature city with a sophistication made necessary by its strategic location in the region and by the challenges it faces as a city that’s poor, diverse and rich all at the same time.

Incumbency won’t help voters make their decision in the mayor’s race as both candidates sit on the City Council. You can read their own words about why they are the better candidate in this month’s Tukwila Reporter or online. And you can read my stories on the two candidates which I hope will offer insights.

Something will resonate, maybe a promise or just how they tell their story.

For sure, the candidates are discussing the right issues – protection of the city’s single-family neighborhoods and how to make residents safe. There is nothing more important than quality of life for residents young or old or single or married.

The Tukwila Reporter isn’t endorsing any candidates in this year’s election (nor has it in the past). But I can say, if we did, our decision would be as tough as yours in the mayor’s race.

For some thoughtful guidance, read Chuck Parrish’s column. And school Supt. Nancy Coogan offers the Tukwila School District’s perspective on why a close working relationship between the city and school district is important.

And consider what the city’s next generation of leaders – its teenagers – had on their minds when they asked candidates for mayor, City Council and School Board thoughtful and sometimes profound questions at a student-organized forum at Foster last week. [You can watch a video of the forum here.]

Based on their questions, it’s clear they want the environment protected, they want to feel safe walking on Tukwila International Boulevard, they want older businesses on the Boulevard protected (probably some operated by their parents), they see their parks as places to connect residents and they want to improve transit in the city, including to the Tukwila Community Center.

The candidates did a good job explaining what has been done or why something can’t be done. But the underlying tone of the questions was a “call to action” for the city’s leaders.

I think we’ll be hearing more from these teens. Their ideas matter – and they are watching.


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