‘Not as progressive as we think we are’: Crank reflects on race and politics in Edmonds

Alicia Crank at an October candidate forum. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

Reflecting on her recent loss to Vivian Olson in the Position 5 Edmonds City Council race, Alicia Crank had some thoughts to share about race and politics in Edmonds.

“Overall my experience was positive,” said Crank, a member of the Edmonds Planning Board who also ran for council in 2015, shortly after moving to Edmonds from Mountain View, Calif. (She lost that race to Dave Teitzel, who isn’t seeking re-election.)

However, as an African American woman campaigning in a city where just 1% of the population is Black (according to the latest U.S. Census) — Crank was open about the downsides too. Doorbelling — which many believe is critical for candidates in order to win a local race — “was probably the most unpleasurable,” Crank said. “We keep saying Edmonds is welcoming and everyone belongs, but some of the looks I would get from people when I came up to the door.”

In particular, Crank remembered one man who opened the door to her to make sure she saw he was wearing a gun holster. “Frankly, I was scared,” she said.

And then there were people who closely inspected her name badge indicating she was running for office, “to make sure it was real,” Crank said. “That did not inspire me to be out there as much as I was able.”

“I didn’t want this race to be about race but unfortunately it was becoming that way, even though it was quiet,” Crank said. “The microaggressions were just insane.”

She recalled her experience at a candidate meet and greet event, sponsored in late August by the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition. “There were a number of people that have lived in Edmonds for quite a long time that would kind of stand off in the distance and just glare at me. Then they’d whisper, and glare again.”

“I acted like it didn’t bother me, but as soon as got to my car and started driving home, I started crying,” she said. “It’s the first time that I could remember just feeling helpless. I wish they would have said the n-word instead of giving me those looks.”

Crank said she wasn’t the only one who noticed the behavior. “Others around me saw it too,” she said.

“Everyone picks a side — I get that,” Crank said. “You don’t have to hate one person to support another. It just seemed so rampant. I tried to stay above board and keep it positive.”

When the general election results started coming in Nov. 5, Crank said she was “definitely disappointed.” But she said she became angry when she looked at how the other two council candidates running for open seats were doing against their opponents. Despite the fact that all of them — Crank, Laura Johnson and Susan Paine — were considered progressive candidates, Crank was the only one who was losing. She also noticed that several other candidates of color across Snohomish County — including Superior Court Judge Edirin Okoloko and Superior Court judicial candidate Cassandra Lopez-Shaw — were being defeated.

“Maybe our county, our city isn’t as progressive as they think they are,” Crank said.

Crank also pointed to mistakes on the part of her opponent Vivian Olson that she said deserved to be highlighted, including Olson’s use of an Edmonds Citizens Tree Board photo in campaign literature (Olson wrote a letter to the editor in October apologizing for that) and her plan to use a photo of her daughter’s high school soccer team, wearing game day t-shirts and holding her campaign sign, without the permission of their parents.

In an interview Wednesday, Olson apologized for both incidents, stating her intent was to show through the photos various aspects of her community involvement. “I regret that — I should have taken more time plowing through the rules and learning what the rules were,” she said.

Another incident Crank cited involved face painting at a recent Edmonds Day of the Dead celebration, when Olson said she asked a school acquaintance of  her daughters — who was doing traditional face painting at the event — to paint her campaign symbol on the face of her supporters. Olson was criticized for cultural appropriation after she displayed a photo on her Facebook page of one child wearing the painted logo, and so she removed the photo.

“Again, I regret that,” Olson said.

“Shortcomings in my knowledge led to missteps including ads highlighting different hats I have worn over the years (the “Soccer Mom” one with my daughter and her t-shirted teammates among them),” Olson added in a written statement. “I hope those hurt will accept my sincere apology and give me a chance to re-earn their trust.”

Despite the challenges Crank faced during the campaign, she said she appreciated supporters who had her back. “I created a new family and group of friends,” she said. That support was especially important, Crank said, because she was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer — her second battle with the disease — while campaigning.

As for her future political aspirations in Edmonds, Crank said she’s not sure yet if she wants to throw her hat into the ring for appointment to the council seat that will be vacated when Mike Nelson becomes mayor. She has a demanding job as corporate relations officer at the YWCA Seattle King Snohomish County and plans to refocus on her work there now that the campaign is over.

“I just want to enjoy being cancer free and celebrate the holidays,” Crank said. “I’ve been done with chemo for seven weeks now. I’m just trying to catch up with life.”

— By Teresa Wippel


  1. Funny how easy it is to throw the race crutch out there. Anyone knocking on doors now days gets the stink eye no matter your skin color. This is just another example of someone using their skin color to play the victim. I know, I watched my dad do it all the time.

    1. As a white public official, I know this to be untrue. I would say 95% of my door-belling interactions were fully positive. People were happy to see a candidate come to their door. But numerous candidates of color tell a different story in this region. It’s heartbreaking.

      1. I have to disagree that “anyone knocking on doors now gets the stink eye.” I knocked on over 150 doors this campaign season and I was very pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response. . Not only were the vast majority of people welcoming and friendly, most even went out of their way to thank me for caring enough about our city to be spending my free time canvassing. Given Alicia’s impressive administrative experience and her strong record of public service I too, expected if not a win, certainly a closer race. Much of racism is unconscious. I do not believe Alicia Crank is playing the victim. I was at the ENAC forum and can verify that what she describes observing sadly did occur. I admire her courage in sharing her experience. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a color blind society and as a white person, I can’t know what a Black person experiences. What I think is important is that rather than being defensive about or dismissive of her comments, we listen to what she is saying to gain a deeper understanding of her experience as a Black woman running for political office in Edmonds.

    2. I think it’s funny how you said nothing about the rules that were broken/violated by Olsen. With your logic, Olsen was also using the race card, so maybe your father was just trying to establish balance. Also if Crank was using the race card, she would have mentioned her experience before the race was over when such a tool as the race card would be helpful…but Crank was just giving her interpretation of the vibe that people emit when facing someone they have stereotypes about. She didn’t use a race card, but it’s funny how you jumped on that lame “she used the race card” horse. Give Crank the credit for doing something you don’t have the guts to do…make a positive impact on our wonderful city and it’s citizens.

  2. As a long time resident of Edmonds I recently realized how far we are from being an open and welcoming community. Please know there are many of us that appreciate you running for office. We might not be as vocal as those carrying gun holsters but we are here. We are not going away and we are raising families that have beliefs aligned with yours.

  3. I am sorry for your experience but truth be told; I think anyone doing door to door campaigning get a bad reaction. I don’t want anyone approaching me at my own home. Please rethink your reaction to the responses you have received.

  4. Thank you for a well-written article, Alicia.

    Please DO throw your hat into the ring for the vacated city council seat. We need great leadership.

  5. It’s ironic that doing exactly what the safe storage ordinance asks – either lock up your gun or carry it around your home – was scary to candidate Crank. If mayor-elect Nelson and the majority of our Council prevail in their appeal, Edmonds may look a much scarier place… But according to Nelson et al, we’ll be safer!

  6. “Progressive” does not equal Progress… the term “Progressive” has sadly, over-time, become laden with many negative connotations.

  7. Please do run for the vacated seat. I voted for you previously and would be happy to do so again. Well I see diversity as a plus it would not be my main reason for voting for you. I believe you have a passion to see Edmonds thrive and the drive to implement this.

  8. Hi Alicia, I voted for you!

    As for door-belling, I know I don’t like to answer my door when there is an unknown person on the other side – whether it is a college kid with a do-good/non-profit spiel, a devout individual who wants to save my soul, or even an earnest political candidate. Your negative door-belling experience might be more reflective of where our society is right now (I guessing the gun holster guy probably answers his door that way for any unknown person). Even though I don’t like answering my door, I do answer it and had nice conversations with Susan Paine and Jim Orvis (campaigning for Neil Tibbott). So please don’t give up on Edmonds, we appreciate all that you do. Hope you get that open seat.

  9. Thank you Alicia for running again and putting yourself out there to all kinds of criticism. I know there were some positive experiences too and for me – that is what I try to hold onto and let the negative melt away. Would you say campaigning this last year was more difficult than when you ran against Councilmember Teitzel? I found this year to be more negative than the past for a number of reasons and wondered if you felt the same or if it was about the same for you? I am so happy the chemo is over and let’s kick that cancer out of you forever.

    1. I was born and raised in the Edmonds area one of the declining natives I would say. I know if anyone comes to my door ….if unexpected…I’m going to look at them funny…I would just say I would be more concerned that the candidate really knew the heart of our community. It’s relevant to me that Alicia moved here from California then decided to run for office. Perhaps that was a concern for some. In contrast to the 1 percent estimate of African Americans in the Edmonds community. Mountain View census demographics only cite just over 2 percent…not a striking difference. I love the Edmonds community and my colorful family has always felt home here. Perhaps one should be more affirming of the community that they are hoping to help manage. I see these as relevant factors.
      I wish Alicia blessings and a speedy recovery.

  10. This editorial, I believe, is a precedent. I cannot recall a time when a losing candidate used the press to criticize the winning candidate’s campaign.

    1. Mr. Wambolt, let’s me clear on one point: both local news editors reached out to me (not the other way around) to ask what my experiences were during the campaign. I responded. I’m not seeking anyone’s validation of what my experience was. Had I won, the experiences remain the same. Accept it or debate it, it doesn’t change anything for me.

      1. I grew up in Edmonds – I came in 1950. We left a very diverse neighborhood & even though I was 6 I yearned for that diversity. A black doctor and family moved in – they soon left, we had one black boy in hi school
        – he left. I grew up and moved back in 1974 – yippee we got a Black Seahawk player in our neighbor – he and his family left – I fully supported Alicia because she was fully qualified – she remained upbeat and carried on – please don’t leave – you r compassionate, knowledgeable, engaging and always willing to smile – don’t leave Edmonds – I have a dream and I don’t want
        this dream to not come true – you go girl –
        I see kids of color walking and they seem ill at ease!!! This is racism!!!! I want Edmonds to be a city that welcomes all colors. Once I went to a class on racism and I felt I stood out and apologized for being white – they all embraced me and said you aren’t white you’re pink.

      2. This isn’t about who approached who, you call for progress and inclusivity but use your platform in part to disparage the winners campaign, a working woman and mom? I would be more curious to hear what things *you* would do differently, or the ways you chose to combat these microagressions to incite the change you want to see. You feel the playing feild wasn’t level, how do we fix that? As community members what kind of support or events can we attend to show our support and combat this problem? Complaints about the article are not questioning the validity of your feelings but the *point* of this article. Do you want to lead this community, or do you want to drag our name through the mud?

        I’m sorry your experience was lousy and I hope to see your name on ballots in the future as you grow as part of our community!

      3. Who called who is not really relevant to my comments. The fact remains that I have never before seen the winner’s campaign being criticized by an opponent.

  11. A few years ago we volunteered at the Edmonds Art Festival wearing the blue shirt and badge.

    We photographed the EAF event. As a Black photographer with a caucasian wife we got the “looks”.

    We decided we would not do the EAF again.

  12. I’m so sorry that you had that experience, Alicia Crank! The worst thing that happened to me this campaign with somebody asked if my parents are illegal immigrants. 

  13. Black people usually move away from here. I agree with what Alicia is saying, in a different way. White people in this area are generally uncomfortable around black people. I’m not talking about older conservatives, per se. A half-competent black republican would win in a landslide around here. A white progressive often desperately wants someone of color in their orbit to prove they are not racist – a token. There are POC who realize this and some can masterfully use it to their advantage, and others who sort of fall victim to believing that the placation they are getting from “allies” (as woke people say) is genuine racial acceptance. I can give specific examples of how POC are treated like children around here, but want to keep this comment general and high-level.

    In reality, the language policing, the appropriation of black problems by white politicians, the inclination people have to over-react to perceived (or real) trespasses in racial etiquette, makes POC a liability – sort of like owning a firearm and not being trained to handle it. It could go off unless it is in a holster. So, there is an almost universal discomfort. At the same time, the Black Exodus was going on long before King County was named after MLK (as apposed to Rufus King). The MLK namesake was a way to placate POC, partly in the hopes they would stop leaving. Housing prices are being used as a contemporary excuse, but black people have been leaving for longer than that, and wealthier black people that can afford the housing are leaving too. Poor white people are staying put. White people here don’t know how to relate to POC, whereas in a backwards place like Texas people seem to at least understand each other. I’ve lived in 5 southern states, but also citing the reasons black people give for leaving here.

    Play the hand dealt to you Alicia. If voting weren’t anonymous, you would have won. The vacancy appointment process won’t be anonymous. You’re be a great Councilwoman, which I couldn’t care less that you’re black. Let’s see who they appoint.

    1. Thank you Matt, for such a well-reasoned and positive response. I know this woman and you are correct – she would be a great councilwoman because she understands Democracy and the representative process for all citizens, whether recent citizens or original ones. I am a PCO and I finally gave up doorbelling because of feeling unsafe (as a woman alone), and so I now mail my sample ballots and other materials to the citizens in my precinct.

      1. Stephanie, agreed. Alicia would be incredible on the council. I’ve doorbelled as a PCO too. People equally hate seeing a white guy knock as well, but I think Alicia is right about some feeling of her feelings. She should get a gun and CCP herself, to counteract some fears if nothing else. Alicia, I formally invite you to go shooting with me. You have my info. 🙂

  14. Alicia Crank lost because most people are tired of being subject to “progressive” thought and policies. Simple as that. They have seen the degeneracy, lawlessness, criminality and lack of civic engagement which has been imposed upon Seattle and do not want any more of it.

    Do not play the race card for your failure Ms Crank. You misread the will of the people who are tired of the above. If your policies were sound, they should have nothing to do with your skin color. Additionally, the reason people are afraid and suspicious of answering their door to strangers is directly due to a lack of upholding the law in support of those citizens who do not commit crimes in our society.

    1. I think Alicia is mostly independent. I voted for her. I do think she is correctly identifying discomfort people have with POC, but she is [in my opinion] incorrectly attributing it to some type of regression. As you point out, this area is over-progressive. This area is the opposite of racist; I’d call it white-guilty and artificially awkward. I’ve heard Nelson voters say that the Council is too old and white, and somewhere in there people who make comments like that see Mike as Edmonds’ first black mayor. POC are fully co-opted.

    2. Mr. Phillips, looking at how Edmonds voters actually voted, they are NOT “tired of being subject to ‘progressive’ thought and policies” ~ two other equally “progressive” candidates, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson, easily won their respective contests; both are white. It’s hard to conclude that color played no role in Alicia’s defeat.

      1. Roger, according to your theory it’s racist to run against someone of color. There’s no other reason Alicia lost. Democracy needs Affirmative Action too. :/

        1. I didn’t say that at all, and it’s the wrong inference to draw. I am making an observation, based on what I saw in this election, that race appears to have been a factor in the outcome of this one contest. I’d be happy, delighted in fact, if someone came up with solid reasoning that I’m wrong, that color was not a factor in the outcome, or the margin. (I’ve been wrong before, as friends and family will attest…)

        2. Matt, that is exactly what Roger is saying. But somehow he wants us to convince him that he is not saying what he is saying……(?)

        3. Roger, you’re looking for reasons other than one person being a better candidate than the other, or running a better campaign? A campaign requires everything from strategic yard sign placement, door belling, name recognition, campaign statements in the mailers. Why even have a vote is what you’re suggesting?

          Sometimes name recognition alone has enough of an effect to sway votes. See the case of Alvin Greene.

      2. To assert that Nathan Monroe and Judge Okoloko lost because they were male would be an unfair and unfounded statement, and a slap in the face to a majority of voters. Your accusation in the Olson/Crank race is no different.
        There are fine reasons why Ms. Olson received the most votes. Some commenters have referenced her being a veteran. There are plenty of admirable traits to be expected with such service: honor, respect, strength, heart, decisiveness… Based on my professional exposure to DoD contracting officers, I am optimistic that Vivian’s background brings a certain bent toward fiscal management. These qualities have nothing to do with the skin color of either candidate.
        Should the minority of voters accuse our city and county of male bashing because Nathan Monroe and Judge Okoloko lost? No way! Though we may not understand, Iwe can presume the majority of people had good reason to vote for the other candidate and did not discriminate on the basis of gender.
        It’s one thing to pat your candidate who lost on the back. It’s something else to turn around and slap the majority of your neighbors in the face.

  15. Please do run again Alicia; many of us were delighted that you were a candidate and really thought you would win. It is important that we have representatives from as many cultural groups as possible in Edmonds. The experience and thoughtfulness of individuals from different groups not only helps all of us understand different perspectives, but also gives access to broader creative thinking as we address the serious problems facing our city and our nation. Do stay involved in Edmonds; we need you. I send best wishes for a complete recovery and soon.

    1. Thank you Alicia, we certainly had a beautiful discussion when you came to my door. All the best that you stay healthy. Edmonds can be difficult as a newcomer. When I moved here about 12 years ago, I could not believe how white it is here. Two years ago as a 64 year old white man, nicely dressed, new car, I stopped by the house of a new neighbor just a half block away. Knocked on the door to introduce myself and welcome them to the neighborhood. The lady of the house answered the door. There was a total look of fright, and I felt like a rapist. I left after saying hello, and showed her where my wife and I lived. The whole situation did not go well. For you to win over a majority of voters is going to be difficult. Most people here are very liberal Democrats which means nothing when it comes to race. You would feel more comfortable joining the Republican party and running for a higher office.

  16. Thank you for running, Alicia. I am sorry to read about your experiences and so glad you are done with chemo. It is crucial that our community continues to have these conversations and I am thankful for My Edmonds News for the reporting they have done and for writing about the results and the challenges POC who run for office face in our region. Representation matters.

  17. I congratulate both Alicia and Vivian for running. I’m not sure who determines who gets the Progressive label or whether that should even be relevant to this election. Alicia, I am certain your contributions and impact will continue to be appreciated and felt as you grow into the community. This loss could potentially be attributed to “time in the city” and not to race. I’m not diminishing what you felt or perceived – but could there be another perspective? Vivian and her family have been here for many years contributing and it could be more people were just more familiar with her.

    Based on the new council dynamics, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Alicia appointed to the vacant seat.

    1. “Crank said she’s not sure yet if she wants to throw her hat into the ring for appointment to the council seat that will be vacated when Mike Nelson becomes mayor. She has a demanding job as corporate relations officer at the YWCA Seattle King Snohomish County and plans to refocus on her work there now that the campaign is over.”
      Based upon her statement she should not apply for the city council opening. Fully doing the duties of a city council member is very time consuming; we need council members who are able to take that on.
      I don’t believe that Judge Okoloko lost because of his color; he should have won, but lost because his opponent ‘bought’ her election.

  18. Since so many people have commented saying that race was likely not a part of Alicia’s doorbelling experience, I want to share my experience doorbelling for candidates recently. I’m a white woman and I doorbelled hundreds of doors in the past two years in Lynnwood, not Edmonds I realize, but close. I never had these reactions from people that Alicia is explaining. Sure, some people looked hesitant waiting to hear what I had to say, I assume to see if I was selling something. But I would gesture to my badge or handout and say where I was from and I was greeted with everything from disinterest in the materials to being thanked profusely for my volunteer time and invited into living rooms to discuss more. One time I did have an old, white man act very intimidating to me when he first opened the door, but immediately softened and was nice once I smiled and introduced myself. Walking up to the doors of strangers I was very aware of my white privilege for sure! I was not seen as a threat at all. No one treated me suspiciously or in a way that made me feel unsafe or scared. To the people who are saying Alicia’s experience is not about race, check in on your own white privilege that makes you able to think this is the case. And if you don’t believe in white privilege, I recommend you take some time to research it and read up on it.

  19. Identity is not only about race, ethnicity, and gender. It is an error to contemplate it solely in those terms. Identity can also be about where one lives, education level, marital status, religion, etc. People can be sorted, ranked, and categorized into an innumerable variety of boxes. As the boxes proliferate, the harder it becomes to define a positive form of identity politics. It becomes much easier, however, to advocate a negative form. You may not be able to advance your own identity, but you can attack others for theirs. The greater the number of identity splinters, the greater the opportunity to use them to injure others. This trend is only likely to accelerate as politics becomes increasingly a matter of lifestyles and the mutual loathing they now inspire among Americans.

  20. Anyone who runs gets my kudos. However, I do NOT like anyone coming to my door. Most of the time I don’t answer it. We have a lot of theft, casing, or whatever going on in this day and age. Black or White I don’t discriminate. It is a easy thing to blame outcomes. My advice would be to congratulate the winner, not list why you didn’t win and move on…there is always other years. But people will remember now what you said..

  21. Please do not give up on Edmonds. Many fine people live here. I voted for you and I am hoping you will be an involved and familiar face around town for many years to come. Fighting cancer and running for office can both be devastating experiences. Allow yourself time to heal then throw your hat into the ring again.

  22. I’m not an expert, because it’s not part of my experience, but it seems to me that a woman who’s grown up Black in America has probably developed a pretty good sense of when rudeness is just rudeness and when it comes with that extra special layer of bias. Denial and dismissal of Ms. Crank’s experience are more examples of exactly what she’s describing. We all need to do better.

  23. My wife and I attended one of the candidate Q & A sessions which included both Alicia and Vivian. We did not know either one. Based simply on that one occasion we listened carefully to all of the candidates and concluded that Edmonds could not possibly elect a superior candidate for either council or mayor than Alicia Crank. Alicia you just blew us away with your maturity, your thoughtful, organized, and articulate responses. You have depth and purpose not in evidence (to us anyway) in any other candidates. Please, please, persevere and apply for the open council seat. We need you in Edmonds government! We realize that you need to overlook some of the incredibly biased, negative outlooks from some amazingly anachronistic people but we are supercharged over the possibility that you might be part of our government. You can count on me for support any time you need it.

  24. Ron Wambolt, I agree with your comment that Judge Okoloko should have won. I’m curious as to your statement “I don’t believe that Judge Okoloko lost because of his color; he should have won, but lost because his opponent ‘bought’ her election.” What do you mean by that?”

    1. Sorry; I should have been more explicit. Ms. Alexander put $112,000 of her own money into her campaign. Mr. Okoloko’s contribution into his campaign was only $51,000.

  25. This will be my final post regarding the 2019 Edmonds elections.

    Thanks to everybody that ran for office. It would really take a lot to put yourself out there for all to review. Especially for a part time positions that don’t pay for the torment you are put through. Unfortunately, there are people that are only going to look for the bad in a candidate they do not support and not the positive that person wants to bring into the office. I believe we ended up with a good mix of elected officials that will do a good job.

    One thing that was easy to see was the divide that has come into politics all together. Edmonds has not been excluded from this divide. It seems that the thought that you’re either with us or you’re against us drives many people. In todays world it seems like you’re either liberal or conservative. You’re either left or you’re right. You’re either democrat or republican. There is no middle ground. It seems like conservative democrats and/or liberal republicans would be oxymorons. I believe this is fueled for the most from the RNC, the DNC, and the mainstream media. This is another story.

    As for Edmonds, I have friends on both sides, and I must tell you that I have observed more hateful/divisive words coming from people on the left than I have heard from any one on the right. When I look at the results, my belief is most of the wins went to liberal democrats. I have not seen a single article coming from someone on the right slamming any liberal that won a position. I have seen several from people on the left whose person didn’t win. When I went to the several meet and greets for the candidates this year, I expressed concern that our Edmonds representatives are heavily slanted to the left. I believe we should have each candidate provide their political preference/affiliation so the voters that do not have the time to attend or do not have the time to educate themselves about each candidate would be able to clearly see the leanings of our council and mayor. For those that will say these positions are nonpartisan, you’re fooling yourself.

    I can tell you that I reviewed each candidate and voted for the person I thought would be the most fiscal conservative. I didn’t care what the candidate looked like. I wanted people that were going to stop the craziness in our government spending.

    I am probably one of the people that Crank referred to in the back of the room at the meet and greets. I did not approach any of the candidates and I stood or sat while they made their way around the room. I must be one of the scary ones because Crank and Nandi did not stop and talk to me. I will admit I thought about it when I left and thought it was odd watching them move around the room shaking people’s hands and I was avoided. If they had I would have been happy to talk to them and express to them what I was looking to see in each candidate. Using the mindset that has been expressed in the press, would this be reverse discrimination?? They didn’t come and talk to me because of my looks??

    Now is time for the newly elected mayor to step in, set the tone for his time in office, and help calm the voters. I hope there are people that read this and self-reflect that MAYBE I am one of those people that are helping separate people instead of bringing people together. Maybe I can be supportive of someone I didn’t vote for or support. We all need to get back to the middle so we can all talk again.

    1. Hi Chris, please don’t assume that I found you “scary” if I happened not to shake your hand at the ENAC forum. There were over 50 people here and I didn’t have time to shake everyone’s hand. Also, I mostly stayed at my table and did not “work the room.” I personally do not find Edmunds voters to be “scary.”

  26. What I find most disturbing is how many people are afraid of people knocking on their door. How can you claim to be part of a welcoming community if you refuse to answer the door to a stranger, or, dare I say, neighbor?

  27. It is a sorry situation when neighbors cannot knock on neighbors doors without a fear-filled response. That said, I have done a lot of doorbelling for candidates over the years and have occasionally met anxious responses. However, most people who find out you are out to talk with neighbors about candidates are appreciative and polite. I believe Alicia Crank’s characterization of the reception she received. The article has more to say about how far we still have to go as a community that claims to welcome diversity.
    Bearing in mind this is an article written by someone who quotes both candidates, not an op-ed piece one candidate has written and used to criticize her opponent, I see additional prejudice expressed by those who make the assumption one candidate chose to write an article that disparaged another.
    The quote from the candidate who will be serving on the council that, “I should have taken more time plowing through the rules and learning what the rules were,” she said.” concerns me even more than all the focus on what Alicia Crank is quoted as saying. I hope city codes and rules of conduct for an elected official will not be taken as lightly as the rules for running for office apparently were.
    I would encourage any of the candidates who did not win their bid for election to put their application in for the open seat. I trust the council to make the best choice from the candidates available. They will be well aware the citizens who care about the process will be watching.

  28. This whole discussion reminds me of the state Supreme Court election in 2012. The governor appointed Justice Steven Gonzalez that year, and he was on the ballot in the August primary. His opponent was an unknown attorney named Bruce Danielson, widely seen as unqualified for the office.

    Gonzalez ran a vigorous campaign to keep his seat, but Danielson did no campaigning at all; he sat out the whole thing. But that unqualified non-campaigner carried eastern and southwest Washington by a wide margin — https://results.vote.wa.gov/results/20120807/Supreme-Court-Justice-Position-8_ByCounty.html

    Only the Puget Sound counties saved the election for Justice Gonzalez. Too many Washington voters looked at the names on the ballot, and they voted white.

  29. So what you are saying is people from Eastern and Southwest Washington by a wide margin are racists and/or idiots? Interesting?

    1. Mr. Dale, I’m only reporting what happened in this particular election. Each of us is free to draw our own conclusions as to why.

  30. 52 replies and counting. If nothing else accomplished, Alicia, you at least got people talking about the issue of “race” in Edmonds. My personal view is that we are all people of the same race, the human one, and the mere use of the term “people of color” is racist in nature. The ultimate answer is so called “racial” intermarriage that will eventually mix us all up as to so called “color” and then we can move beyond all this racial difference and superiority and inferiority theory nonsense that bigots and bullies have used for ages to try to oppress people they hate, fear, or want to dominate economically.

    At the micro level here in Edmonds, I’m hoping the new Council and Mayor will try to take a look at changing to a district concept for electing our Council persons. Maybe we could start with a non binding vote next year to see what the electorate writ large thinks about this idea.

    Voting as city districts would be a great advantage to candidates like Alicia as they would have a much smaller group of people to try to get to know and, in fact, many would already know her. It would cost much less to run, as you would need less signs and meetings held all over town. It would also be much easier to get input on policy decisions to the Council and Mayor as they would affect groups of people in different geographical areas. With the districts to study housing issues already established, the “bones” of this potential change are already in place. This would also negate having three or four Council persons living in the “Bowl” area and 2 or three not (or however this tends to break down at any given time).

    1. I agree with Mr. Wright. electing council members form districts where they reside will be the most affective method of insuring a representative city council for the entire community. I’ve been told that that process has been mandated from the state level, have not fact checked that but hopefully that would move the bar to make the process get moving forward.

      1. While voting districts would be an advantage to candidates, I fear they would do a disservice to the citizens. When each council member has to answer to every voter, I suspect they are more likely to listen to every public comment, rather than favoring those from their district. I want to be able to offer public testimony that is weighed equally by all members of the council, not just one; and not have to lobby citizens of other districts in order to be heard.

  31. I would agree with the elections by district because it would take us one step closer to having a electoral college on a local level. Next would be to take the electoral collage to the state level and we could get away from King County ruling most of the state elections.

  32. Speaker Pelosi says Democracy is a dangerous approach to choosing the next POTUS.

    Mike Nelson broke election laws (got into trouble with the AG even), also broke Edmonds Ordinances (see 3689) by being a Councilman who is also a lobbyist for an organization that holds contracts with Edmonds. Mike is the mayor because of Democracy.

    Alicia lost the election, but the electorate is the problem? Democracy isn’t the correct process?

    Patently, Democrats aren’t democrats any more.

  33. The whole object of voting by district would be that every citizen would have at least one elected city official that they could easily interact with on a regular basis and everyone would at least have some direct representation based on where they live in the city. What’s more efficient, having five or more neighborhood town hall meetings with all the Councilpersons (as has been suggested and even tried on a limited scale) or having a regular district meeting with one council person? It could be understood that anyone in town could attend any given neighborhood meeting or all of them if they so chose; so they could make their opinions known to more than just their own Councilperson. It could be mandatory that all district meetings are well publicized and that all Edmond’s citizens would be welcome to attend. You will also still have the opportunity to address the full monthly Council meetings and use the 3 minute venue to make your comments to all the members.

    The system we have now encourages block voting by Council persons who have perceived mutual interests and/or a hidden agenda to back the Mayor on a given issue or a hidden agenda to back a given special interest group such as the business lobby, the real estate lobby, the environment lobby etc.

    I recently read an article about a town in Eastern WA. where the population was more Hispanic than not, but there was virtually no representation of Hispanics on the Council. The town switched to the district system which put several Hispanics on the council. There is now a push by some in the town establishment to go back to the old at large system due to some perceived loss of control apparently.

    1. With our current system, I have found our council to be attentive and receptive to thoughtful reason offered during public testimony. I like the current system, and fear districting would break it.

      The way it is now, the council knows if the public gets to talking at a local coffee shop, grocery store, or My Edmonds News, they are each beholden to everyone.

      With districting, the vast majority of council members could do as they please and ignore any one public voice, because only one answers to them – block voting would be worse! And if I got to talking to someone at the store, they would only have influence over only their one council member. The voice of the people would be fractured.

  34. Good Mr. Thompson, then you should have no objection to my idea of presenting the idea of going to the district system up to a public vote of all Edmond’s citizens to see what the majority opinion is on this possible change. It seems to me that majority rule should apply on this. From my point of view we need to have some “fracturing” of the voice of the people because so many people feel they aren’t being heard as evidenced by the late push back of the “voice of the people” on both the Housing study and Waterfront connector issues recently. If the majority of people favor the status quo, then so be it. I question that the majority of people think we have great City Govenment as is. We are building fun stuff (parks and meeting centers) while we let our roads, sidewalks, trees, buildings etc. deteriorate. I don’t think our system is working so good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.