The primary is only seven days away, and right around this time on Tuesday, August 4, we’ll have a pretty clear idea who’s likely to survive and continue on to the general election. But in the interim, amid all the anxiousness and uncertainty about the outcome—and anguishing over whether we’ve done all we can—I don’t want to forget something fundamental about this campaign: It should also be fun.
Politics, after all, is and should be exciting. At its core, long before the broken promises and hypocrisy and soul-crushing clichés, the electoral process represents the purest expression of our democracy—a chance to be elected by one’s peers, and then to represent them and serve in the public’s interest. It is completely and fascinatingly human, and we have an opportunity as candidates to have a hand in improving the lives of thousands of people. With so much at stake, the very thought of winning someone’s vote—even a single vote—is deeply humbling and inspiring. That’s a feeling I don’t ever want to lose or forget, regardless of whether I succeed in this election.
The same is true of remembering why I decided to run in the first place. The next City Council will face enormous crises and crossroads in Seattle, from improving transportation to expanding affordable housing to preparing for a changing climate. But we are also campaigning to help lead one of the most dynamic and beautiful cities in the country, and preserving the many joys and idiosyncrasies of Seattle life needs to be an integral part of any plan for our future.
Seattle’s population isn’t growing by accident. Legions of wide-eyed newcomers are drawn to the incredible trails and hiking and camping and bicycling and running and skiing and sailing and boating in the Pacific Northwest. They’re coming for our unmatched culture of craft cocktails and microbreweries and beer festivals and wineries, and a restaurant scene that is endlessly tantalizing for every taste and appetite. They’re coming to enjoy our legendary music and theater community, with shows every night in scores of venues across the city. They’re coming for college or to start a new job, and they’ll soon be packed into the stands to cheer for the Sounders and Seahawks and Mariners. There’s simply so much to do here—so much to love, so much to want to be a part of—and that sense of opportunity is absolutely central to the Seattle experience, no matter where your passions take you.
So I’m trying to close out this (potentially) final week with all the optimism I can muster, and last weekend gave me a tremendous boost that will carry me through Tuesday and beyond. My parents were visiting from South Dakota, and they were excited to join me and my wife Danielle knocking on some doors—a new experience for them—on Saturday and Sunday. It was really fun to be out there with my mom and dad, and to see how much they felt the electric charge of campaigning for something local and engaged and hugely important. Afterwards on Sunday, we treated ourselves to frozen yogurt at Menchie’s on California. That’s one of dozens of moments I’ll never forget from this race, and I hope there are a few more fun surprises ahead.