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- Bold reform. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel exemplifies this agenda, with his big three targets: lousy schools, terrible murders, and crippling municipal debt. Burgess and Sims or a longshot like Rep. Reuven Carlyle would have the best claims to this agenda.
- Regional statesman. This is the Brookings Institution formula for regional coordination, greater political clout and thinking comprehensively about transit, urban growth and smart allocation of resources. Denver and Minneapolis are leading examples, with Seattle a woeful laggard. Bozeman, Bryant, Murray, and Sims (as well as long-shot Maud Daudon, head of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce) seem most suited to this course.
- Liberal/lifestyle magnet. This is the school of thought associated with Richard Florida, by which if you create an Amsterdam-like city that smart young people want to live in (nightlife, liberal tolerance, gay-friendly, affordable, lots of transit and bikeways), they will flock to the place, and tech start-up businesses will follow. Seattle is totally into this strategy, and McGinn, Murray, and Steinbrueck would seem the best ambassadors.
- Cluster-maker. Pick a rising sector, such as clean energy or advanced manufacturing, and rush to the head of the class. Seattle already has two: software and aerospace. Available for a new mayor to push: green economy, biomedical, tourism. Best candidates for this: McGinn, Bryant, Burgess.
- The forgotten basics. Cities like Seattle are increasingly globalized and technologized, hence very neglectful of those with modest educations or struggling to find an up-escalator in this economy. A social-justice agenda would help them. Boston is a good example of this approach, where multiple “ladders” of upward mobility for all classes and neighborhoods are a big part of the city’s agenda. Equally neglected in Seattle: potholes, public safety, schools, parks, and the have-less neighborhoods. Part of this agenda is smarter management of the bureaucracy. Best advocates: Burgess, Steinbrueck, Sims, Harrell, Shen.
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