A wide range of groups is hosting the Mobility Forum series. (Cascade Bicycle Club)

District 5 Seattle City Council candidates will square off at 7pm tonight in the first of a series of mobility-focused forums that The Urbanist is co-hosting alongside a number of other local advocacy organizations. The D5 forum will take place at Haller Lake United Methodist Church and will also be streamed on Zoom and posted to The Urbanist’s YouTube.

Register for the Zoom link or to attend live. “All four forums will be hybrid events: in person and streamed on Zoom,” the host committee notes. “CART and ASL will be provided through Zoom. All venues are wheelchair accessible. All primary candidates in each district have been invited to participate.”

The Seattle Mobility Forum series will head to District 3 next on Saturday, June 10, followed by District 4 on June 12, and District 1 on June 14. For more details see below. Video from the latter three forums will be posted to The Urbanist YouTube page after the fact.

Colleen Echohawk, who ran for Seattle Mayor in 2021 and earned The Urbanist’s primary endorsement, will moderate the D5 forum tonight. Crystal Fincher, a political consultant who hosts the Hacks and Wonks podcast and serves on The Urbanist board, will moderate the D1 and D4 forums next week. South Seattle Emerald founder Marcus Green is moderating the D3 forum.

Those four races are open and lacking an incumbent. After a string of retirements, only Districts 2, 6, and 7 have an incumbent councilmembers running for reelection. Check out our coverage for more on crowded primaries in District 1 and 3 races and in District 4 and 5. With seven seats up, the political lean of the Seattle City Council could change significantly heading into next year, when the Seattle transportation levy is set to be renewed. It will be a pivotal election for local transportation policy.

Hosts of the Mobility Forum series include: 350 Seattle, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, Cascade Bicycle Club, Disability Rights Washington, Puget Sound Sage, Seattle Subway, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Seattle Transit Riders Union, Transportation Choices Coalition, The Urbanist, Transportation for Washington, Teamsters 117, Washington Bikes, Washington Council of the Blind Advocacy Committee, West Seattle Bike Connections, and Duwamish Valley Safe Streets.

“While our needs – as caregivers and transportation workers, as young people and disabled people, as BIPOC leaders and climate champions – may be different, we all need to be able to get around our community safely, reliably, and in ways that will lead us to a sustainable climate future. At this series of four forums, we will learn about how candidates for Seattle City Council will support our needs and build towards a more accessible city with mobility justice for all,” the hosts wrote in a press release.

From the pedestrian safety crisis to struggling and slow-to-rebound transit service, this will be the forum series dedicated to tackling the thorniest mobility issues.

District 5 Forum on June 5

District 3 Forum on June 10

District 4 Forum on June 12 – Postponed in solidarity with striking UW researchers

  • Where: University of Washington, Savery Hall Room (260 Chelan Lane, Seattle, WA 98195)
  • When: 6:00-7:30pm Monday, June 12th Postponed!
  • Moderator: Crystal Fincher
  • Zoom and in person registration link
  • D4 Facebook link

District 1 Forum on June 14

Ballots will arrive in mid-July and August 1 is the last day of the primary. The top two candidates in each race will move on to the General Election in November. The Urbanist Elections Committee will publish its endorsements in July.

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Doug Trumm is publisher of The Urbanist. An Urbanist writer since 2015, he dreams of pedestrianizing streets, blanketing the city in bus lanes, and unleashing a mass timber building spree to end the affordable housing shortage and avert our coming climate catastrophe. He graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington in 2019. He lives in East Fremont and loves to explore the city on his bike.