Well, Seattle, with Donald Trump out of the way, it appears we can go back to our regularly scheduled political programming.
Which is grinding up and tossing out our own.
With the news Monday that Mayor Jenny Durkan will be yet another one-term leader for the city, and that schools Superintendent Denise Juneau is out after just one term of her own, the city’s core public institutions are facing upheaval and vacuums of leadership at maybe the worst possible time.
Add the resignation a few months back of police Chief Carmen Best, and it’s been a rough go for some of Seattle’s “firsts.” The city’s first lesbian mayor, first openly gay and Native American schools superintendent and first Black woman police chief — all drubbed out after just a few years in the Seattle protest and process machine.
The reasons vary for each one, and all faced huge challenges they sometimes failed to meet. But there is one overarching theme. Despite being trailblazers, each was seen, instead, as not blazing enough.
“Sure, kick Juneau out,” wrote Matt Halvorson, an equity-in-schools advocate in Seattle, on his blog Rise Up for Students. “But only if we are finally committed to transforming everything — right now … we have been unable or unwilling to lean into the real root causes, which are systemic in nature: racism, classism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, extractive capitalism and militarized colonialism.”