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Exit Interview: Seattle City Council's Sally Clark

Who'll replace former Seattle City Council member Sally Clark?
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark speaks at a viaduct event on June 3, 2011.

  Marcie Sillman talks with nine-year Seattle City Council veteran Sally Clark, who is leaving government for a job at the University of Washington.


When you joined the City Council in 2006, what is the one word that best described Seattle?

I'm going to say neighborhoods. And if you ask me what is the word that describes Seattle today, I don't know that I would necessarily use a different word. But the context is different now, the way that people engage in their neighborhoods or think about how they define their role in their life in the city is a little bit different in this time period.

A self-evaluation for time on the City Council

There are a lot of things on my list that I wish I could've checked off, but I think that's true of any council member when they're on their way out. You can't get all the work done and that's part of the cool thing about the job: The next person comes in, decides what their priorities are, grabs the baton and goes.

On polarization in government and finding solutions at the city and state level

I think you've got a lot of urban places that are struggling with how you respond to the pressures of disparities – wealth gaps, income gaps. Cities are by no means the best place to work out these problems.

Federal government, state government would be better to figure out these holistic answers to it. Cities are struggling to do it and so you see wedge politics come in.