Municipal League of Seattle is founded on May 23, 1910.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 12/11/2001
  • Essay 3495

On May 23, 1910, the Municipal League of Seattle (now of King County) is founded. The Municipal League quickly becomes a leading organization in the area's Progressive Movement. In the first decades of the twentieth century it initiates independent evaluations of political candidate qualifications and champions key governmental reforms.

Following World War II, League visionaries such as Ben B. Ehrlichman (1895-1971) and James R. Ellis (b. 1921) led major regional campaigns to reform the King County Charter, to establish the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (Metro), and to fund infrastructure via Forward Thrust bonds and other public investments.

It also conducted an important investigation of graft related to construction of the West Seattle Bridge in the 1970s and successfully advocated public disclosure of campaign finances. In 1988, the League absorbed a quasi-independent Eastside chapter to become the Municipal League of King County.

Sources:, the Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "Municipal League -- A Snapshot History" (by Walt Crowley),

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