FOR ALL YOU civilians, the summer months may be about the beach, pi� coladas, and romance, but for us politicos, it's all about doorbelling, licking envelopes, endorsement meetings, and position papers. Summertime is campaign time.
Whether you are trying to build up chits for your own political future, hoping to find a staff position with a winning candidate, or even something as quaint as wanting to change the world through the ballot box, you need to spend your summer working on the right campaign.
Since all politics is local, what better way to dive into your political summer than with the race for the Seattle City Council? Five members of the council are up for re-election this year, and each of them has challengers. Here's Seattle Weekly's guide to the top three campaign opportunities for summer '03: what you gotta believe to work on them; the fringe benefits; and the odds of victory.
Incumbent: Judy Nicastro
You must believe: Judy is the spunky Jersey gal who stands up to mean old Mayor Greg "Boss" Nickels.
What she stands for: "Renters rights, affordable housing, public safety, and jobs, jobs, jobs."
Networking opportunities: There's a good range of shoulders to rub up against because Judy is all over the map politically, and her support base shows it. Choose from amongst Blair Butterworth (the James Carville of Seattle politics), radical street fighter John Fox, and even major developers like Dick Hedreen and Martin Selig.
What volunteers do: Bake dog biscuits, hit the festivals, help with pub crawls, and "fun data entry."
Betting line: Conventional wisdom says she is the most vulnerable of the incumbents, since she has pissed off a lot of interest groupsmost importantly labor.
Contact: 206-498-1270,www.reelect- judy.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading challenger: Kollin Min
You must believe: Kollin can use City Hall to turn Seattle into Ecotopia.
What he stands for: Jobs, affordable housing, supporting education, and quality of life.
Networking opportunities: This guy is so connected, you could run a server farm through him: Min has worked as a corporate lawyer at power firm Preston Gates, as a staffer for Democratic state House Speaker Frank Chopp of Seattle, and as director of the Cascade Conservation Partnership that raised $50 million to buy forest land; and to top it off, he married Hollywood money.
What volunteers do: Doorbelling, research on issues, creative ideas, licking envelopes, and carrying yard signs around Green Lake.
Betting line: In the primary, his money and connectedness should help separate him from the large field of Judy's challengers. After that, it's anybody's guess.
Contact: 206-933-3129, www.minforseattle.com, email@example.com
Incumbent: Margaret Pageler
You must believe: Political show horses hog the gloryit's time to reward a workhorse.
What she stands for: Clean streets, clean water, and clean energy.
Networking opportunities: Pageler has served on the Seattle City Council for 12 years. She was Mark Sidran's main ally, helping to push through all the "civility" measures: Don't sit on the sidewalk, no peeing in public, etc. She has strong ties to the business community and utility wonks. Learn how to wear sensible shoes and a gray flannel blazer.
What volunteers do: Yard signs, "technical help on databases."
Betting line: She applied to be head of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, so her opponents will say she no longer really wants to be on the council; Seattle City Light fared terribly in the energy crisis and since Pageler knows more about the utility than any other council member, she'll be called to account. Does that add up to a losing record? Don't bet on it.
Contact: 206-721-0585, www.margaretpageler.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading challenger: Tom Rasmussen
You must believe: Margaret broke City Light, and Tom can fix it.
What he stands for: New leadership from a man of experience.
Networking opportunities: Old folks and queer folksRasmussen has run the mayor's office for senior citizens under both Mayors Nickels and Schell, and he is on the board of gay political organizations like the Fairness Lobby and the Privacy Fund. He also worked for Seattle City Council member Jeanette Williams for 12 years.
What volunteers do: Mailing parties, community events, and doorbelling.
Betting line: Rasmussen will have to figure out how to avoid turning this race into "Battle of the ܢerwonks"in order to beat Pageler, he must inject some fun and zip into his campaign alongside the serious issues.
Contact: 206-923-2003, tom4seattle- @msn.com
Incumbent: Heidi Wills
You must believe: Smiling constantly is the sign of a good public servant.
What she stands for: Conservation, alternative energy, and a cooperative partnership with Mayor Nickels.
Networking opportunities: Get in tight with the Moxie Media/Washington Conservation Voters mafiaa fun, lively, smart group of yuppies involved in politics, government, and environmental causes.
What volunteers do: Wills' consultant John Wyble plans to use 300 volunteers to create a whopper of a field campaignvoter I.D., get-out-the-vote phone calls, etc.
Betting line: Wills has already raised over $112,000. She also seems poised to win the trifecta of current Seattle politicsthe mayor's machine, labor's army, and Prius-driving tree huggersso she'll be very hard to beat.
Contact: Moxie Media 206-322-6009, www.heidiwills.com, email@example.com
Leading challenger: David Della
You must believe: Heidi broke Seattle City Light, and David can fix it.
What he stands for: Economic recovery through supporting manufacturing and biotechnology; strong oversight of City Light.
Networking opportunities: If you want to partner up with veterans of important social justice movements like the Rainbow Coalition and labor organizing in communities of colorJuan Jose Bocanegra, Cindy Domingo, and Tyree Scott, to drop a few namesthis is the campaign for you. Della served in the Norm Rice administration and currently works at United Way of King County, so the breadth of do-gooder contacts should be excellent.
What volunteers do: Organize house parties, do literature drops, and march in parades with David.
Betting line: To catch fire, Della has to convince Seattle's voters to lay the blame for City Light's poor performance of latebig rate increases, staggering debtat Wills' feet.
Contact: 206-325-4719, ddella@ speakeasy.net