EDITOR’S NOTESince our creation in 2007, The B-Town Blog allows residents running for local office one free post for their candidacy:

Hi neighbors, don’t forget to turn in your ballots by Tuesday, August 1. You can drop it off in any mailbox (no stamp required) or in the ballot collection boxes outside the Boulevard Park, White Center, or Downtown Burien branches of the library.

There is still time to register to vote and have your voice counted! If you know any first-time voters or those who will be 18 by November 7, let’s help get them registered (in person, at King County Elections).

If you live in Burien, I’m on your ballot for City Council, position 4. I am running a truly grassroots campaign—I have not received any donations to my campaign from corporations, PACs, or SuperPACs, and I have not yet received any of the (legally maximum) $1200 individual contributions. (I would be happy to accept such a donation, to be clear, but I’m afraid I’d have to recuse myself from voting on matters directly benefitting you.) I want to represent ALL of Burien’s residents, not just the donor class and the already well-off.

Money is less important than people. My community asked me to run for Council because housing is a human right. The people’s interests are not being served by the current council majority, approving sweep after sweep of our homeless neighbors and their property, shuffling them from one plot of public land to another without a plan for housing the poor people left with nowhere else to sleep. We need services, not sweeps. We can end homelessness in Burien—by housing people. Affordable housing needs to be within reach for all Burienites, including the most vulnerable.

The actions (and inactions) of my opponent the incumbent have received condemnation from the 33rd Legislative District Democrats, the Burien Planning Commission, the Burien Human Services Commission, the County Executive’s office, and more, and has led to at least a dozen volunteer commissioners resigning in protest. Our city needs trusted leadership that will treat all our community partnerships with respect. 

I have called Burien home for 19 years, and I love our diverse and thriving community, our dedicated city staff, our engaged residents and volunteers and professionals all over the city and county that make our community so special.

For more information about my campaign platform and priorities, see prior B-town Blog coverage, linked below. You can donate to my campaign at neighbors4drm.com or by texting “daniel” to (888) 444-8774.

Voting is the centerpiece of a healthy democracy. Get out the vote and turn in your ballot by August 1!

Thank you,
Daniel Reed Martin

Thank you to the B-Town Blog for being a great example of responsible local journalism. Past coverage includes:

My plea for housing over sweeps from April:

“We need emergency housing. Shelter housing. Housing of all kinds. Wraparound services. And we need to clarify and reaffirm our commitments and partnerships to work together, all of us, to meet the critical needs of our community.

“In the meantime, we have the choice to be hospitable or inhospitable to our neighbors.”

letter I joined requesting the animal shelter not use donor’s funds to displace humans:

“This property was offered for lease explicitly to displace the current residents, who are among the most vulnerable and marginalized in our community.”

“We urge you to reconsider the ill-advised decision to steer this organization into controversy and poor use of funds this way.”

“It only deepens the (in our view, mistaken) belief that we do not have the resources to take care of both vulnerable humans and animals. This is not at all what an animal shelter should be using critical funds for.”

B-Town Blog Candidate Questions

The B-Town Blog’s thorough candidate questionnaire (Parts 12345678, 9, 10) has given candidates a great opportunity to comment on the pressing issues facing our community, and provides a side-by side comparison of how we approach the issues our community cares about. I have plenty of space to make my case for housingdemocracy, and public safety as the critical issues I want to focus on as your Councilmember.

In Part 1 I describe my background and involvement in Burien, including as part of the core team of the Severe Weather Shelter. Other highlights include: 

Threats to the functioning of our democracy – whether they happen in Ukraine, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Tennessee legislature, or the Burien City Council – are too alive and well to be ignored.”

“During the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020, hundreds of Burienites, led by our youth, took to the streets to demand justice, to demand change, to demand leadership that listens to and follows the priorities of the people. Our city has stepped up in participating in pilot programs of diversion and co-response along with law enforcement, but our city still spends about half of its general fund money on the police contract. This is problematic because it leaves fewer resources to the public to invest in community-based solutions, where the public is taking care of the public. Public safety is a thriving public.”

Nobody should be sleeping outside in Burien. No one should be left with no other options than to pitch a tent on a public easement and hope that their government doesn’t rezone or enter a private lease to kick them off.

“With nearby shelter and inpatient beds full, with housing in impossibly short supply, the least the city could do is to provide some public accommodation for the dozens of people living outside in our city. Public toilet and hygiene facilities at the minimum should be provided. The city’s offer of no-strings-attached money for tiny homes could have been acted on over a month ago.

“Instead, this council has engaged in “scapegoating”, “bullying” behavior that drove out an entire volunteer Planning Commission and sparked resignations and complaints from dozens of other commissioners, as well as denunciations from the county Democratic party and the 33rd Legislative District Democrats.”

Sweeps represent a failure of imagination and a failure of hospitality at a fundamental level. Our country’s, and our region’s, history of sweeps, from Native removal to racially restrictive covenants to so-called vagrancy laws is nothing to be proud of. We don’t “run people out of town” based on their skin color or religious beliefs or gender expression, anymore. But in trying to disappear unhoused people without criminalizing homelessness, this Council has evoked some painful and dangerous history.

“We cannot keep saying no to our community without something to say yes to. I have watched in dismay as this council has said no to public sanitation, no to designating a site of last resort, no to a citizen that knows how to read public records, no to even considering King County’s offer of $1.3m no-strings-attached funding…”

Human Services Commission

I also joined a letter with my fellow Human Services Commissioners (reporting from Publicola), in solidarity with the Planning Commission Chair who was removed and the rest of whose members resigned in protest.

“We, as a commission, have observed with great frustration City Council’s responses to events preceding and following the tent encampment within our community, and the lack of public debate or leadership from City Council to evaluate the merits of King County’s offer to provide housing and funds to the City. We are concerned about the absence to date from City leadership of tangible efforts to appropriately address these very real human service needs.”

“Your treatment of these issues, our unhoused neighbors, and our fellow commissioners leave us unsure that you are interested in addressing human services in a comprehensive way.”

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.