The Smartypants Guide to the October Civic Cocktail: Chat with County Exec Dow Constantine

Join us for cocktails, snacks and smart talk about King County and the fear of levy fatigue in Seattle as city voters face multiple spending measures on the fall ballot.
Crosscut archive image.

Dow Constantine

Join us for cocktails, snacks and smart talk about King County and the fear of levy fatigue in Seattle as city voters face multiple spending measures on the fall ballot.

What's on the mind of the man who leads 2 million of us locals? Find out when our popular Civic Cocktail series returns from summer break to host King County Executive Dow Constantine (next Wednesday, Oct. 1).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent figures, King County was the second-fastest growing major county in the nation in the year ending July 1, 2013. That kind of growth has put plenty of pressure on the county's transit (one of its major responsibilities), courts and regional parks. As Metro Transit riders awaiting a round of service cuts next Monday know full well, revenues aren’t keeping up with needs and costs.

In the October edition of Civic Cocktail, journalist Joni Balter will quiz Constantine about transportation, climate change, public health and other pressing issues. And the discussion, with plenty of opportunity for audience questions, is a timely one: On that very same day (Oct. 1), the County Council starts reviewing the proposed 2015 budget which Constantine unveiled today. Last year, The Seattle Times called Constantine the “state Democratic Party’s biggest hope for higher office.”

And there's more.

During the second half of our Civic Cockatil program, a panel of public policy experts will discuss the fall ballot issues consuming that other big local government — the City of Seattle. The oft-discussed phenomenon of levy fatigue hasn't materialized in Seattle yet, but this could be the year. In August, voters approved a parks levy measure by a relatively narrow margin. The fall ballot contains competing measures on a pre-K levy, additional financing for Metro routes within the city and a citizens’ initiative calling for a $5 vehicle license fee as a way to restart that old transit dream: a monorail system. Panelists include public affairs strategist Tim Ceis, political and public affairs consultant Sandeep Kaushik and Seattle City Councilmember Sally J. Clark.

Host Joni Balter will be joined by journalists C.R. Douglas, political analyst, Q13 FOX News; West Seattle Blog's Tracy Record; and Crosscut's Joe Copeland. We hope you'll be there too.

Wednesday, Oct. 1 at Tom Douglas's Palace Ballroom (2100 Fifth Ave). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The program begins at 6. Admission is $12, but Crosscut and City Club members pay only $10. (Yet another reason to become a Crosscut member.) The ticket price covers light appetizers; a no-host bar is also available.

You can register for Civic Cocktail here. It is sponsored by Seattle CityClub, Seattle Channel and Crosscut. If you can't make the Oct. 1 Civic Cocktail there will be other opportunities (eight to be exact) — and each program is broadcast later on Seattle Channel.

Whether or not you attend, here's some reading that will turn you into a smartypants on King County and the fall ballot.

King County

Dow Constantine seeks to improve Metro-Sound Transit cooperation, Seattle Transit Blog. 

The value of quality, by Crosscut's Michael Godfried, which includes a discussion of Constantine's adoption of a quality-control theorist's work.

Is Dow Constantine more powerful than Mike McGinn?, Seattle Magazine, an insightful 2011 profile by Chris Grygiel.

City politics

Leftward ho, Seattle!, by Crosscut's David Brewster, looking at the leftist imperative at Seattle City Hall. 

Seattle Metropolitan Parks' District, A tense 'yes,' by Knute Berger and Bill Lucia of Crosscut. 

King County Elections voters guide statements on the early childhood measures, the monorail city transportation authority vote and the Metro Transit funding measure


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