In the age of e-mail, this looks even more ridiculous.
Slightly misleading headline. Here's why: Seattle's City Council doesn't have the authority to kill junk mail. But it can pass a resolution urging the state legislature to establish a Do Not Mail Registry, similar to the Do Not Call Registry that mortally wounded telemarketing.
19 states have tried to pass some version of this bill. And 19 have failed. Largely because the direct-mail industry has a lot of money (and therefore influence) and rightly assumes any such legislation would be very bad for business. Also vigorously opposed: The United States Postal Service.
Postmaster General John Potter last year told Congress that do-not-mail efforts "threaten the viability of the mail." A statement which makes Potter sound uncomfortably like a Western Union rep talking about the threat posed by telephones in the middle of the last century.
The popular support is there -- a 2007 poll showed that 89% of voters would approve of a national registry. But again, all the council can do is ask nicely. The real work would be left to the legislature. And, if you haven't heard, their hands are a little full at the moment.