Written with contribution from Sheriff David Clarke
Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan famously said of the early establishment of the “CHAZ” in her city, an “autonomous zone” set up by anti-cop protesters which would go on to shelter numerous crimes as well as lead to the loss of life of two young men, that it was simply a “block party” and her city would enjoy a “summer of love.”
That didn’t age well.
Although, amazingly, this likely isn’t the reason that Durkan is now opting to step down once her term is up.
It’s probably because she’s not far-left enough.
Jason Rantz writes in an op-ed for Fox News that while the mayor has been “rendered powerless” by a City Council that has largely turned against her, she faced increasing pressure from “the city’s most vocal and fringe activists, pressuring her to adopt their dangerous plans, including defunding the police.”
“If Durkan had a council to support her, she could withstand activist pressure and lead the city. But the Council is with the activist community. And Durkan hasn’t been able to lead,” Rantz explains.
“With the current mayor now on her way out, the city will become even more unbearably progressive,” he assesses.
He explains that Durkan was about as mainstream as it was going to get for a Seattle politician still able to garner enough support to justify a shot at reelection.
But since taking office in 2016, the political environment has gotten far less friendly to anyone even resembling a moderate.
And, following the death of George Floyd over the summer, Durkan’s city became one of the epicenters of far-left protests and riots that only ramped up the heat for this “moderate.”
It is inevitable then, as Rantz assesses, that “Any mayoral hopeful must now bow to the will of the activist class.”
“If they don’t, there is genuine fear that protesters will quite literally show up to their door to bully them into submission. What moderate Democrat stands a chance in Seattle’s political environment, when Durkan barely won the election in 2016?”
He points to city councilwoman Teresa Mosqueda and King County Executive Dow Constantine, two major guides in the region’s move towards the “hard left.”
There have been murmurs that both may be seeking a run.
Then there’s former mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver, who participated in the CHAZ as well as other demonstrations and is “almost certainly” ready to “wage another campaign.”
“The frightening reality is that with any one of these voices in a position of greater power, with a city council on their side, there’s no telling what could happen to this once-great city,” Rantz warns.
As other cities have tried to slow-walk their approach to radical progressive policies like defunding the police and steep taxation, Seattle has gone full boar Marxist without even looking back.
“In the middle of a surge of homicides, the Council defunded the police department by 18%. As we see a significant uptick in overdoses, the City Attorney effectively legalized personal possession of drugs while the Council funded heroin injection sites over treatment,” he explains.
As the pandemic raged, the Council forwarded a payroll tax that had already repelled Amazon jobs out of its native city—when there was a “moderate” in office, by the way.
Whether Seattle can take any more of these destructive policies, “we may just find out,” Rantz concludes.
“But I fear that if it becomes so untenable, businesses will stop expanding or opening, and so unlivable, those who can will continue to flee.”
Let’s hope that those residents who flee don’t move to another city, elect new progressive politicians, and destroy another city.