LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Are There Two Buriens?’

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Are there two Buriens?

The simple answer is Yes and No. It really depends on the context of how you ask the question. There is certainly a perception of “East” versus “West” of Ambaum Boulevard in Burien, but I won’t be looking at that directly. I wanted to look at this question in regards to the most recent election (November 8th, 2011).

First some asterisks of note. I didn’t split the 34th precincts between east and west of Ambaum. So, in relation to East versus West in the 34th pre-annexation scenario, that hasn’t been analyzed. I also did not include any under-votes (blank), over-votes, or write-in candidates. The vote count per race was not uniform so I totaled the three races and averaged out the vote count.

In the following scenarios, there were no changes in who won the overall election. In this regard, there is only one Burien.

The scenarios are: Voting in the 11th. Voting in the 33rd. Voting in the 34th. North Burien voting. 34th pre-annexation voting. Burien voting removing Pre-annexation 34th. Burien voting removing North Burien.

  • There are 22,405 registered voters in Burien. Of those, 11,283 or 50.36% voted.
  • There are 7,545 registered voters in the 11th. Of those, 2,703 or 38.82% votes were counted.
  • There are 3,285 registered voters in the 33rd. Of those, 1,243 or 37.83% votes were counted.
  • There are 11,575 registered voters in the 34th. Of those, 5,589 or 48.28% votes were counted.
  • There are about 7,108 North Burien registered voters. Of those, about 2,578 or 36.26% votes were counted.
  • There are about 9,353 34th pre-annexation voters. Of those, 4,610 or 49.28% votes were counted.
  • There are about 13,052 Burien voters, removing pre-annexation 34th. Of those, about 4,925 or 37.73% votes were counted.
  • There are about 15,297 Burien voters, removing North Burien. Of those, about 6,957 or 45.47% votes were counted.

Where one might argue that there is a divided Burien is in how many, in each scenario, vote. First, the 34th district represents a little more than half of Burien’s registered voters. Adding to the argument is that about half of these registered voters voted. Combining the 11th and 33rd legislative districts yields just under half of Burien’s registered voters. Yet, only about one third voted. The theoretical voting power, in a West Versus East of an Ambaum Boulevard scenario, is about equal in Burien. In practice there is a self-imposed difference.

Another view where you might see a divided Burien would be in the race for Position 6 in relation to the 34th pre-annexation vote. All of the other scenarios closely matched the general election numbers. In this scenario, however, Robison defeated Wagner by just 23 votes (2,294 to 2,271 out of 9,353 voters). The rest of Burien elected Robison over Wagner at much higher rates (2819 to 2089 out of 13,052 voters).

Also, the “rest” of Burien (about 60% of registered voters) out-voted the pre-annexation 34th by just 343 total votes.

Some perceive the “West of Ambaum” crowd as noisy, but they also vote. They are about 40% of the city and it is their voice that is heard since they take the time to vote.

Where any politician can get in trouble is representing the interests of the voter, over the interests of the citizens. This slippery slope runs both ways when a politician represents the interests of the citizen over the interests of the voter.

I did this analysis to try and unite our community, and to call attention to our self-imposed inequities in how we vote. I would love it if every citizen voted. It’d be nice to have 100% or near 100% voter turnout. Our representative government works best when everyone participates.

Thank you,
Joey Martinez

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17 Responses to “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Are There Two Buriens?’”
  1. elizabeth2 says:

    “Self-imposed inequities in how we vote”?

  2. Coverofnight says:

    Again…..OH…..MY…..GOD!…..did Joey Moretaxes really write this article? Really, what is the purpose of this diatribe – to start a fight between neighbors? Does the Democrat party put out a handbook on class warfare tactics? He writes, “…I did this analysis to try and unite our community, and to call attention to our self-imposed inequities in how we vote.” Oh please…do us a favor and get out of public service….seriously, you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    I want to see a show of hands – who else besides Moretaxes asked this question?

    • CON, I like that… Joey “MoreTaxes” Martinez.

      Truth of the matter is I do want more taxes… as in:

      More federal taxes spent here. More state taxes spent here. More county taxes spent here. More sales tax collected here.

      I’m all for OPM (Other People’s Money) spent here in Burien.

      Joey Martinez

  3. Rob says:

    Well Joey, The truth is yes there is a west of ambaum Versus East of ambaum bias in Burien- always has been, probably always will be. I was raised on the west side, and currently live on the east. Just something I have always noticed myself.

    • Rob, doesn’t mean we have to like it! Now, I’m not saying that we take anything away from the “West” side at all, simply that the “East” side start voicing itself by voting. I want everyone to vote!

      Joey Martinez

      • elizabeth2 says:

        I think this bit about east and west is hooey. “Self imposed inequity”, wanting the “east side to vote” and wanting everyone to vote is NOT SO HARD…..

        Here is the process for those who have taken the time/interest to register…..when the mail comes with your ballet WEEKS in advance of the deadline, tear open the envelope. Read the ballot. Mark the ballot according to the instructions. Put he ballot in its protective envelope, put it in the outside envelope. Seal the envelope and sign. It can even be marked with an “X”. Mail it. Although not publicized, the elections people have said they will even take it without postage.

        Not a tough process. Months prior to elections, there are people everywhere trying to get peopel to register…store parking lots, libraries, wherever.

        It cannot get too much easier. The ballots come in many, many different languages to accomodate voters with diverse linguistic backgrounds.

        So, if with all of that, people find themselves with Mr. Martinez’s “self imposed inequity” of not voting, they deserve whatever happens in an election. It is their responsibilty to vote. This is where we voice our opinions and exercise democratic rights.

        Mr. Martinez says “Where any politician can get in trouble is representing the interests of the voter, over the interests of the citizens. This slippery slope runs both ways when a politician represents the interests of the citizen over the interests of the voter.

        There is no “slippery slope”. If you are a citizen and you want to be represented, you want your voice heard, you want east or west to be understood. VOTE. A real citizen = a voter. Period.

        • Elizabeth2, Thank you. That is, essentially, what I was pointing out. You just happened to say what I was trying to say more directly. You don’t vote, you don’t get to complain. It’s so important to vote and it’s so much easier now than ever before.

          I did want to re-itterate that it is any politicians job to represent even those who do not vote and, especially, vote against you.

          Joey Martinez

  4. Ian Gunsul says:

    good job of bringing all that information together.
    it should be even more interesting around here when re-districting is implemented next year.

    • Thanks and agreed! It will be an interesting redistricting.

      Joey Martinez

    • Ian, it appears the latest legislative redistricting has Burien split between two districts. The 11th will be out. The dividing line will be 509 between the 33rd (east) and 34th(west).

      West Seattle dominates the 34th and the 33rd is dominated by either SeaTac or Kent. Normandy park and des Moines are also in the 33rd.

      We will see if these maps hold!

      Joey Martinez

  5. Feral Dog says:

    Yup, There`s the one that annexed and then the “other” one. lol

  6. stopitalready says:

    There is one Burien; just different sections of it. No different from any other city. Self-imposed inequity? Save it. The majority of those reading this are most likely on the west side and I presume pay the most in taxes. There is your OPM and it comes right out of Burien. But as Margaret Thatcher said “The problem with Socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

    This is coming from someone who was a candidate for council? Wow. Why am I in this basket? The one going to hell that is.

    • Dear sir or miss, the difference between the socialist labour party in in England and myself is this: They tried to legislate these changes, and took down England with it.

      I want to do this the democratic, free market way. I want to ATTRACT federal, state, and county dollars to Burien. I want to ATTRACT people to spend money in Burien. I want a vibrant business climate in Burien.

      Attracting the right businesses as well as providing for our current businesses does two things:
      1) Keeping local dollars local is how you sustain a community.
      2) Attracting outside dollars locally is how we grow a community.

      With the right kind of growth we will be able to provide, to all of Burien, a better quality of life.

      Joey Martinez

      • stopitalready says:

        The cash cow has bled dry. Free trade died with NAFTA and NATO. There is no difference between the US and Europe. Their train just left earlier than ours did. We are on the same track of destruction.

        It would be better to encourage people to become more self reliant; The New Deal created a nation of serfs.

  7. btowner says:

    could the current annexations really more about voter redistricting ?

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