Omari Tahir-Garrett announced his candidacy for Seattle mayor with a one-line email in his signature all-caps style:
LIKE I PROMISED JUDGE MCBROOM I AM BACK AND RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE THIS YEAR 2013.
He then copied and pasted the full text of a 2002 Seattle Times article about his sentencing hearing following an assault conviction for striking then-mayor Paul Schell with a bullhorn at 23rd and Union (Tahir-Garrett maintains that he used his fist, not a bullhorn).
Few CD activists are as controversial as Omari, who was a leader of the Colman School occupation in the 80s and early 90s. That effort eventually resulted in the Northwest African American Museum, which is not the cultural center Omari had hoped it would be. Just last year, Mayor McGinn cancelled a town hall at NAAM due to disruptions led in part by Omari.
With a very public assault on his record and his propensity to disrupt public meetings, Omari has alienated many people. But his refusal to be silenced and his never-ending dedication to the causes he believes in has also earned him a following. And no matter how people feel about him, he is certainly a notorious force in the CD.
Both Omari and his son, Wyking Garrett, ran for mayor in 2009. The Seattle Times reports that Wyking, active organizer of the Umojafest Parade and PEACE Center, is considering a run this year, as well. Stay tuned.