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Goddamned Seattle Liberal Hypocrites

2011 April 26
by unavowed pharisee

(Note: There’s almost nothing more pathetic than anonymous web rants, and so it is with mixed feelings that I’m posting the anonymously submitted piece below. It’s a raw and rambling rant, and could use a hefty dose of nuance, but it does, I believe, hold a kernel of truth. — dan bertolet)


I can’t even believe Seattle’s liberal hypocrisy.

Density is good, so long as I get to live in a single family neighborhood. I want to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by growing my own arugula and riding my bike to work, but I won’t actively support housing density near jobs and transportation (which is the single best way to reduce GHG emissions). I am against the tunnel because it’s expensive and might result in more car dependence, but I won’t support upzoning neighborhoods directly adjacent to the most expensive infrastructure investments in our region so that people can actually use them. I think it’s important to support homeless people and their services, so long as the services are only provided downtown, because “those people” aren’t in supposed to be in my neighborhood.

Goddamned Seattle liberal hypocrites.

Our elected officials (and the City generally) are the best examples of liberal hypocrisy. You can’t get elected in this City without being liberal, which last time I checked meant being super against global warming. Elected officials love to crow about growing their own food, make sure that everyone sees them in their biking clothes, and will spend however much of the City’s money to protect bicyclists. However, when it comes to making the decisions that have the biggest impact on GHG emissions, electeds get scared. I’m talking about making good land use decisions. As we all know, density around jobs and transit are the things that do the most to reduce GHG emissions. But our elected officials don’t want to make good land use decisions.

Pioneer Square? No, we don’t want to give 10 extra feet of height because we’re worried about preserving the historic nature of Pioneer Square. Good idea—preserve the neighborhood in amber forever and see if people want to live there. Why don’t you just require 1890s clothing and horses and buggies while you’re at it? That would definitely help people want to locate in a neighborhood in the heart of downtown which will reduce GHG emissions.

South Lake Union?  No, we don’t want to allow a lot of density because we want to preserve every single existing view of the 50-year old Space Needle.  Wow!  A whole 50 years!?  That Space Needle is sure old and therefore important!  And, I tell you, views of the Space Needle really help reduce global warming.

South Downtown Rezone?  No, we don’t want to allow higher FARs and heights because it’s zoned industrial and we’re afraid of what the unions might say.  By the way, the areas being rezoned haven’t actually been in significant industrial use for 20 years, and are located two blocks away from the highest capacity transportation station on the West Coast. That’s using fantastic planning principles.

Station Areas?  God forbid we raise heights and densities much more than 40 feet (which is only 5 feet taller than a single family home) because it will ruin the character of the single family neighborhood.  I think by character what they’re really talking about is the ability of the rich white people who own single family homes around transit stations (here’s looking at you Mount Baker and Roosevelt) to be able to walk from their single family homes to one of the largest transportation infrastructure improvements in the region!  It’s like your own personally chauffered light rail line!  And a great use of regional resources. And certainly results in increased ridership and reduced GHG.

Time to call out Seattle’s liberals for their hypocrisy.  If you say you’re for something, then actually make choices and decisions that reflect your beliefs. It’s time to hold people, and their elected officials accountable.  Otherwise, you Seattle liberals are no better than what Bill O’Reilly says you are.