2018 Year in Review: Seattle Civility on Trial

It's been a year full of scandals

This article appears in print in the December 2018 issue, as part of the Year in Review featureClick here to subscribe.

Former Mayor Ed Murray was just the first in a march of disgrace...

Boys Behaving Badly

#MeToo, the hashtag that became the rallying cry against sexual harassment and sexual assault, began generating meaningful conversations around sexual misconduct—which, it turns out, is everywhere, even in Seattle, where we have our very own list of guys behaving badly: nightlife and restaurant impresario David Meinert (11 women accused him of sexual assault); Seattle Mariners executives Kevin Mather, Bob Aylward and Chuck Armstrong, charged with misconduct involving backrubs and more; and artist Chuck Close, whose disability (he’s in a wheelchair) never stopped him from acting lewd and lecherous. Add author Sherman Alexie and King County Democratic chair Bailey Stober to this misogynistic mix. Alexie, reported NPR, “traded on his literary celebrity to lure women into uncomfortable sexual situations.” Stober resigned in April, while simultaneously denying and admitting the charges against him: “Many of the allegations…are untrue,” he said. “However some of them are true.”

Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

Less than 24 hours after Senator John McCain’s death, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant blasts him on Twitter, saying, among other things, that the Arizona senator “shares responsibility for hundreds of thousands of deaths.”

Thin Ice

Raphael Sanchez, a former chief attorney for Seattle’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, steals the identities of undocumented immigrants, creating fake ID cards and opening credit cards in the victims’ names. He also claims three immigrants as dependents to get deductions from the IRS.

Wells Fargo Redux

A year after pulling the city’s account from Wells Fargo, the Seattle City Council renews its contract with the bank, after finding no one else would take the city’s business.

Back to the USSR

The Trump administration expels more than 60 diplomats and closes the Russian Consulate in Seattle in retaliation for Moscow’s role in poisoning a former Russian spy in Britain.


Doug Dixon, general manager of Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, has colleagues shove Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien out of a party celebrating the Nordic Museum opening. Why? O’Brien supports completing the Burke-Gilman Trail’s “missing link,” which would impact Dixon’s business.

Related Content

Bringing fresh ideas to Seattle magazine, Seattle Business magazine


What Every High School Parent and Student Should Know

A note from the editor

A note from the editor

The West Seattle Bridge may not be open until 2021; the Farmers Markets are starting to come back, and the Tulip festival would like you to stay home, please. All the news you missed in between reading about coronavirus.