Burien City Council Candidates Forum
The League of Women Voters (LWVSKC) hosted a Burien City Council Candidates Voters’ Forum this week (October 3rd) at the Burien Library. All six candidates were invited to speak on the panel, but only three attended – Cydney Moore (incumbent, Position 2), Patricia Hudson (Position 4), and Krystal Marx (Position 6). The opposing candidates – Linda Akey (Position 2), Kevin Schilling (Position 4), and Alex Andrade (Position 6) – were conspicuously absent. But why?
Burien-News has confirmed that all three candidates – at the time of invitation – informed the LWVSKC that they had prior campaign engagements already scheduled. They asked the League if another date was possible, and the LWV decided against modifying the event time or date. If the League knew there was a conflict for ALL THREE, why would they not accommodate ALL candidates and serve Burien constituents by rescheduling? Why would they advertise that all candidates were panelists?
According to the moderator Vicci Rudin, the goal of this forum was to “provide city residents with the information which will help them be informed and knowledgeable voters.” But how are voters truly informed if only one side is present? The integrity of the League would have been greatly enhanced if they had made it clear to the audience why only some candidates attended instead of leaving the audience and outside viewers to reach their own conclusions.
Approximately 35 people attended the forum, advertised as “nonpartisan.” The event opened with The League’s “Land Acknowledgement” statement. It was live-streamed by the B-town Blog, but the recording is not posted as of this publishing date. The format featured direct audience questions, which each panelist had the opportunity to answer.
A few audience members commented that they hoped to hear varying opinions from opposing candidates, and they expressed disappointment that only some of the candidates were present. Unsurprisingly, the progressive council hopefuls frequently agreed on issues.
Audience inquiries included housing affordability, improved youth activities, accessibility and transportation, climate action plan, preventing greenhouse gasses, and supporting senior citizens.
Additional questions included: What is your ideal Burien? Why are you the best choice for your position? What is the last thing that changed your mind? Which neighborhood do you live in? How did you grow and learn from your mistakes?
Oddly, no one seemed remotely curious about how the candidates intended to resolve issues related to crime, homeless encampments, prostitution, human trafficking, open drug use, theft, violence, small businesses concerns, safety, budget, economic development, etc.
Since this was a “nonpartisan” event, wouldn’t at least one question have challenged the panelists? It seems not. Burien has been a hotbed of debate on volatile issues, but here, the candidates focused heavily on equitable housing, transportation, sustainability, behavioral issues, public services, and the climate.
Near the end, candidates were asked by Meg Van Wyk (LWVSKC) what issues they would like to see further discussed. The candidates answered as follows:
Krystal Marx – self-defense and conflict de-escalation
Patricia Hudson – leadership development and training on respect
Cydney Moore – homelessness
As Burien residents, please remember to vote in this important local election. Ballots will be mailed on October 18th before the Primary Election on November 7th.