Ken's View: Hearing from representatives; Plus we need your help
It’s happening in King County
The daily paper doesn’t do a thorough job of reporting actions and activities by the King County Council, relying instead on the usual fireworks at Seattle City Hall. But just down the street, a dedicated group of public servants (ncluding staff) are 'toiling upwards in the night' to spend your tax dollars.
Unless you are an email recipient from your elected representative at the county level, chances are you don’t hear much about what is going on. Some Councilmembers are better than others keeping their constituents in the know.
On the Westside, where you live, Peter Von Reichbauer produces a regular newsletter sent via email. It is packed with items that affect the ives of people here. The nubby texture of his reports (including pictures) is reassuring that he is doing the job well. Pete has been around a long time and has a powerhouse staff that puts together his newsletters.
(At the city level Lisa Herbold offers a weekly newsletter to constituents and responds to inquiries through her staff frequently).
Next best, is Jeanne Kohl-Welles who holds forth in the Ballard area. She sends regular updates as news releases. We use most of them in print or online.
Not so communicative is our man in West Seattle, Joe McDermott, whose once-in-awhile pats on his back come along.
Least communicative is Dave Upthegrove, whose district includes the Highline area. Unless he is running for re-election, and asking for money, we don’t hear much from him.
I don’t know. Maybe you gotta ask…
For Auld Lang Syne
I had to laugh when I looked at our staff pictures on this page. Everybody is a senior. We have all been around a long time. And working on the paper. Now, and in the throes of a viral pandemic, putting out a weekly product has become problematic.
We love what we do and hope you like it too. We just cannot continue without significant revenue.
Google, Facebook and Craigslist have stripped away most advertising from newspapers. It is essentially through small, local businesses and subscribers that we have been able to survive as a business.
We have a strong internet presence on our Westsideseattle.com website. Everything that goes in print is also on our website along with ‘online only’ features.
This product made from dead trees is clearly no longer a sustainable model. Newspaper companies that use ‘newsprint’ all face the same dilemma. Those companies are all scrambling to cut costs and increase revenue from a website. The printed newspaper is a buggy whip. Fewer and fewer people want a buggy whip these days. We hope to be able to continue, perhaps even offer a slightly different product less frequently in the future.
But for now, what a grand, grand time it has been telling the stories of the lives of people here.
We have always been around (Okay, since 1923 in West Seattle anyway) and will continue to have a presence in the community.
If you appreciate the print newspaper, and our near century of service to the community we would certainly welcome your help. We have a page set up where you can donate even a little.
Ken- What the hell are you talking about? I send out detailed e-newsletters to more than 10k people every two weeks, and also post detailed updates every single month on all of the local blogs in my district-- and have done so for years. I also send printed newsletters quarterly, hold regular town hall meetings, post information in relevant facebook groups, and even purchased advertising space in Kent & Renton Reporters to get COVID information out to constituents. I also personally immerse myself in the life of the community being present and accessible. I also drive out information on my county facebook page (which has the 2nd highest following of any council member) and my twitter feed...often providing personal video updates to give timely reports. It sounds like your email must not be in my system or perhaps you don't live in my district. Any suggestions for other outreach is always welcome.