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Dwight Pelz: City Council #8, Seattle

Pelz began his public life as an activist fighting corporate and government interests pushing the WPPSS nuclear generation project in the 1970s – a notorious boondoggle that would eventually waste billions of Washington residents’ money. Since then, both as a state legislator and King County Council member, Pelz has continued to stand up for policies that call for prudent use of resources and sensible land-use and transportation planning.

He led the legislative effort to preserve Metro Transit after passage of I-695, and has been the King County Council’s most outspoken advocate for Sound Transit’s light rail. As a member of the Regional Transportation Investment District, Pelz shot down proposals to widen highways without investing in major transit projects.

“The ‘We can build our way out of gridlock’ myth ran into a serious load of reality while Pelz was on the RTID board,” says Cascade Chapter political committee member Becky Stanley. “He refused to allow taxpayer dollars to get spent on projects that would do nothing to ease congestion.”

What Pelz does favor is encouraging density in Seattle’s urban core by building new communities around light rail that free people from their cars. He supports zoning changes that will allow high-rise residential buildings in pedestrian and transit-oriented neighborhoods. Pelz also has experience with progressive drainage and habitat issues, having chaired the Green-Duwamish Water Resource Inventory Area for five years developing salmon conservation plans.

The Sierra Club expects Pelz will bring an active, politically astute sustainable growth agenda to the City Council. We look forward to seeing him work.