Yesterday, the Seattle Times Jonathan Martin wrote that, after Seattle’s historic $15 per hour minimum wage moment, the city will be back to “deliberate, bland, center-left politics.” In fact, he states that, if Seattle politics were a dish, it would be lefse with a rainbow sprinkle.
What I remember best about lefse (a potato pancake) is that it traditionally would be wrapped around lutefisk, cod fish treated with lye and herbs. While definitely an acquired taste, lutefisk and lefse – the way my grandmother made it – were interesting but hardly bland. It was a dish that had flavor—pungent in one bite and maybe simple the next, but most importantly it did its job as sustenance.
The lefse quote isn’t Martin’s only rhetorical riposte. He calls Seattle out saying, “Name a past instance – before this week – when Seattle went far out past peer cities on important policy. I can’t.” Yet city government is here to serve the public and run a city, not to grab headlines. And center-left or not, Seattleites demand a pretty progressive city:
Think about paid sick leave for 100,000 workers. Think of recycling, which we know so well that we tend to take sorting trash for granted. Think of the plastic bag ban and the yellow pages opt-out. Think of the Council’s “ban the box.” Think of Seattle selling its interest in the Centralia Coal Plant, our investments in conservation, and our historic settlement with the Department of Justice over combined sewer overflows, allowing us to use environmental solutions like rain gardens and natural swales. These might be some of those rainbow sprinkles to which Mr. Martin referred.
I could go on, detailing the simple and rock-star legislation involved in governing a municipality, though this might prove cumbersome. The day-to-day may not be left-sexy, but it enables a first-rate city.
Rainbow sprinkles? It is Pride month.