Jean Godden

Jean Godden wrote columns first for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and later for the Seattle Times. In 2003, she quit to run for Seattle City Council where she served 12 years. She now writes for Westside Seattle and has been a co-host on The Bridge, aired on community radio station KMGP. You can email tips and comments to Jean at

Seattle’s Ailing Downtown, and Some Suggestions

A friend, a student of urban planning, advised that downtown needs more businesses that work well for the city's captive participants: those living in downtown apartments and condos, residents of retirement communities as well as the office workers, many of them younger, who will return when their offices reopen.    

Masks: Fashion Statement or Reason to Protest?

Never before (not even during the 1919 flu outbreak) has a piece of flimsy fabric taken on such broad, far-reaching significance -- on one hand adopted as a fashion statement and on the other sparking such outrage. 

EPA Betrays the Duwamish River (Again)

In recent years – significantly during the Trump era of climate denial -- there has been pressure on the EPA to roll back cleanup requirements, allowing higher levels of PCBs and other chemicals in the Duwamish, the most polluted rifer in the nation.

On a Tour with a Cartooning Librarian

Equipped with her trusty pencil (maybe a pen now) she irreverently cartoons everything she spots during her strolls across the city: from vintage fire hydrants (would you believe we have 18,000?) to company logos stamped on the bricks that paved Seattle streets.

Once More, to the Barricades for Abortion Rights

For those with long memories, it is incredible to believe that we are still discussing women's reproductive rights nearly half a century after the U. S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade by a 7-2 majority.

The Good and Bad (So Far) Of Seattle’s Pioneering Democracy Voucher Program

One adverse consequence of democracy vouchers in Seattle elections has been the increasing clout of independent-expenditure PACs. So much for getting big wealth out of our elections.

How a Dogged Miami Reporter Bagged Her Big Story on Jeffrey Epstein

Without Julie Brown's reporting and without her painstaking reexamination of justice gone astray, Jeffrey Epstein might still be flying high, consorting with the elite, and abusing young women.

Power Grab: Seattle City Council Engineers Moves Against a Lame Duck Mayor

A new laws create a new budget office to prepare forecasts, duplicating an office that already exists. In a comic twist, the law says if the council dislikes the economic forecasts, it can ignore them.

Are We Headed Back to the Dark-Alley Days for Abortions?

I'm sharing a personal story. I'm hoping it will serve as a reminder of the risks that anti-choice activists would have us face.

When Journalists Run…

From one who has been there -- I can report that, if Kristof does choose to run for Oregon's governor, the journalist will face multiple hurdles.

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