A no vote is a vote to discontinue the Houghton Community Council.
A no vote will give each Kirkland neighborhood equal voice.
Our statement at a recent candidate forum!
Every four years, residents of the Houghton neighborhood vote on whether to continue the Houghton Community Council (HCC).
Due to an archaic agreement 53 years ago, Houghton Community Council wields powers that no other neighborhood in Kirkland has.
Kirkland is made up of over a dozen neighborhoods, but only Houghton has a council with veto power over the Kirkland City Council when it comes to its neighborhood land use and zoning regulations.
As such, the HCC gives a few Kirkland voters much greater political power than the rest of the city. Due to a relic of the merger, the votes of Houghton residents count for much more than the votes of other Kirklanders.
The HCC is a significant impediment to equity in Kirkland. The city's equity consultant Chanin Kelly-Rae notes that the HCC’s decisions have implications outside its own disapproval jurisdiction that impact the entire City of Kirkland. Affected sectors include K-12, higher education, business/commerce, and residential. Since the city is incentivized to compromise with the HCC and to pass land use policies that the HCC won’t veto, the members of the HCC end up with an outsized voice in the early stages of Kirkland planning. (Read more here!)
Essentially, the HCC’s unique powers enshrine a system in which some voters have more say than others in decisions that affect all Kirkland residents.
Imagine if that veto power were given to all 13 neighborhood councils. Urban planning would be impossible.
So the HCC remains unique, with disproportionate influence over our fast growing and evolving city.
This is inequitable and undemocratic, undermining Kirkland’s goal of ensuring inclusiveness and diversity as it shapes our city's future.