I 💙 Spreadsheets, Election Night Precinct Data Edition

I am finally, after sixteen years of post-college experience as a “software engineer” learning to understand and love spreadsheets. So much so that I’ll inefficiently figure out how to do something in a spreadsheet to answer a question as opposed to just writing a script or dropping the data into a proper structured data store with a more programmer focused query language. But spreadsheet formulas, etc. are programming! I am fairly certain that some business spreadsheets I’ve seen are self-aware and planning to throttle us all. Anyway, I can do this. I am a professional.

Tonight I dumped the August 1st primary election night precinct level results CSV file into a Google Spreadsheet and decided to do some programming. You can find the original csv on the elections website – look on the “Download results” tab to see what’s available. The specific file I played with is this one. Note that all the screenshots on this post are using the election night results only. The final precinct results won’t be available until August 16th, sob, though at that point I can just replace one tab in my spreadsheet and voilà! It will all update.

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Complain where it counts!

Some weeks ago a building project was brought to the attention of a neighborhood social media group. The main concern of the original poster was that the project (with ~90 residential units) would not have enough parking (only three). Some of us disagreed as the building was going to be very close to light rail and bus stops for multiple buses. There were dozens of folks commenting on various aspects of the project, in opposition and support, but the parking issue was the main concern. The thread seems to have been contentious – after a while I ignored all the new comment notifications and now I can’t find it. It must have been deleted.

The original post included a link to make a comment on the project. So I did. I wrote in support of the project having almost no parking because I believe it lowers overall rental costs. I got an email today with a summary of all activities on this project so far, including a recent review meeting which summarized public commit received since the last solicitation.

This is all the comment they received since last November and before a meeting at the end of July:

No public comment was offered at the meeting. Two emails were sent in prior to the meeting. One requested additional off-street parking with the project, the other felt that not providing off-street parking was appropriate to help lower the costs of residential units.
All public comments submitted in writing for this project can be viewed using the following link and entering the project number: http://web6.seattle.gov/dpd/edms/

The moral of my post here is not to shame my neighbors for not submitting comments. Or not shame them very much: complaining communally is a time honored bonding exercise we all engage in. But if you do really care, submit your comments! You might be only one of two.