Central District natives Omari Tahir-Garrett and Bruce Harrell announce mayoral campaigns. Going to be a very interesting campaign season. Other candidates in the race for mayor so far include incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn, City Councilmember Tim Burgess, real estate broker Charlie Staadecker, state Senator Ed Murray, former Greenwood Community Council President Kate Martin and former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck.
Omari Tahir-Garrett announced his candidacy for Seattle mayor with a one-line email in his signature all-caps style:
LIKE I PROMISED JUDGE MCBROOM I AM BACK AND RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE THIS YEAR 2013.
…Few CD activists are as controversial as Omari, who was a leader of the Colman School occupation in the 80s and early 90s. That effort eventually resulted in the Northwest African American Museum, which is not the cultural center Omari had hoped it would be. Just last year, Mayor McGinn cancelled a town hall at NAAM due to disruptions led in part by Omari.
…With a very public assault on his record and his propensity to disrupt public meetings, Omari has alienated many people. But his refusal to be silenced and his never-ending dedication to the causes he believes in has also earned him a following. And no matter how people feel about him, he is certainly a notorious force in the CD.
City Councilmember Bruce Harrell announced his candidacy for Seattle mayor Tuesday, and his campaign set up shop at 23rd and Union next to Earl’s Cuts & Style.
Harrell has housed successful political campaigns at 23rd and Union in the past, but this time he is entering an already-crowded mayoral race with several other heavy hitters vying to the job.
Declared candidates so far include incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn, City Councilmember Tim Burgess, real estate broker Charlie Staadecker, state Senator Ed Murray, former Greenwood Community Council President Kate Martin, former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck and, as we reported previously, Omari Tahir-Garrett.
CDNews does not typically endorse candidates for office, but we will certainly be covering the issues and debates that directly affect the Central District.
Here’s an excerpt from Harrell’s press release outlining changes he imagines for community centers and community outreach:
To support his vision, Harrell stated he will convert the majority of the community centers to Empowerment Centers, giving youth, seniors and all people the tools and curriculum to be successful. He will create 20 Community Service Officers (CSOs) with approximately 4 in each precinct, reflecting the communities they serve. The CSOs will strengthen the police department’s community presence, build relationships and conduct meaningful outreach for the police department and facilitate a program known as Saving Streets and Saving Souls that bring faith communities, gang outreach workers and mentors to the most troubled parts of the city and downtown.