Elaine Thompson/AP

Also: D.C.’s hard road to safer streets, and lessons from an old map of Denver.

What We’re Following

Head-to-head: How much political power does $1.5 million buy in Seattle? Not as much as Amazon might have liked, according to election results from this year’s city council race. That’s how much the tech giant spent in its home city to back seven pro-business candidates through a political action committee.

And according to results over the weekend, just two of those candidates won. Among the most noteworthy losses for Amazon: The victory of Kshama Sawant, a pro-labor city council member in the Socialist Alternative Party who’s long been a thorn in the side of Amazon and other large corporations.

Sawant called her campaign a “referendum on the Amazon tax,” a reference to a per-employee head tax that would have gone toward funding homelessness initiatives in the city. That tax was successfully killed last year after a $25,000 Amazon campaign.

Now that she’s won, Sawant says passing a new tax on Amazon “and Seattle’s biggest businesses” is among her top agenda items. Read Sarah Holder’s story on what became the most expensive council race in the city’s history: How Seattle’s City Council Race Became the Amazon Election

Nicole Flatow


More on CityLab

D.C.’s Hard Road to Safer Streets

As the District lagged on its Vision Zero goals, bike and pedestrian advocates in Washington turned traffic fatalities into a rallying cry, and got results.  

Andrew Small

Instead of the Big Apple, NYC Could Have Been La Grosse Pomme

If the first European explorer to reach New York Harbor had gotten the name "Nouvelle Angoulême" to stick, NYC might be NAC, according to a new documentary.

Feargus O'Sullivan

What an Old Map of Denver Can Teach a Newcomer

There’s more to the fast-changing Mile High City than beer, hiking, and skiing. An old map gave me a clue about where to look.

Andrew Kenney

To Survive Climate Change, We’ll Need a Better Story

Per Grankvist is "chief storyteller" for Sweden’s Viable Cities program. His job: communicate the realities of day-to-day living in a carbon-neutral world.

Feargus O'Sullivan


What We’re Reading

How California became America’s housing market nightmare (Bloomberg)

A win for the prosecutor reform movement: Former public defender Chesa Boudin wins race for San Francisco DA (The Appeal)

Jeff Bezos asked Michael Bloomberg months ago if he’d consider running for president (Recode)

Copenhagen dispatch: The city that cycles with the young, the old, the busy, and the dead (New York Times)

Activists float “sinking house” along the River Thames (Evening Standard)  


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