Meet Mike McGinn

Divisive. Embattled. Ousted.

These are all terms attributed to former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who lost his bid for a second term in November 2013.  Yet, spend more than five minutes with the Sierra Club activist and it’s hard to see where those claims stem from. Serving from 2010-2014, McGinn’s tenure was filled with notable accomplishments. He presided over a period economic growth and urban growth that resulted in a record-low 4 percent municipal unemployment rate, helped add hundreds of new housing units to the city and worked with the city council to pass a education levy that added millions of dollars to Seattle’s public schools.

Yet, McGinn’s terms was not without controversy. As Mayor, McGinn fought hard against a proposed tunnel replacement to the Emerald City’s aging Alaskan Way viaduct. His protracted battle to block the option culminated in a 2011 referendum, in which Seattle Voters overwhelmingly endorsed the subterranean route. McGinn never recovered his political capital after the vote and ultimately lost his bid for reelection in 2013 to a state legislator who had pushed for the tunnel in the state’s capitol, state-Senator Ed Murray.

I sat down with the Mayor McGinn for an interview about his time in office, among other issues. I’ll post the highlights as they are transcribed.