NEWS GLEAMS: First PayUp Legislation Passes City Council, New ORCA System, & More

curated by Emerald Editors

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

✨Gleaming This Week✨

Photo depicting the to-go bags gig workers delivered to Seattle City Hall. A close-up of one of the bags depicts a stapled receipt that reads "PayUp, Uber Eats Delivery, Faisal R., Date: 09-28-21, This Job Paid: $0.02 after basic expenses."
Local gig workers delivered 400 to-go bags outside Seattle City Hall on Feb. 16, 2022, to draw attention to the wages they currently receive from app companies, including Uber, DoorDash, and Instacart. (Photo: Alex Garland)

Seattle City Council Unanimously Passes PayUp Policy for Gig Workers

Seattle City Council voted unanimously on May 31 to pass the first in a series of bills around PayUp legislation. This bill will ensure that gig workers on apps, like DoorDash, Instacart, and Gopuff, are paid at least minimum wage plus expenses and tips. The legislation, which is the first in a suite of bills focused on labor standards protections for app-based workers, also creates more transparency in employment terms and how payments are split between workers and app-based companies, as well as protects flexibility and transparency in employment issues related for app-based workers.

“This law takes the first few steps to finally recognize and respect gig workers’ humanity,” explains Carmen Figueroa, Grubhub worker. “Passing PayUp means I can earn a wage in which I can thrive and flourish in society. I’m one of thousands of people with hidden disabilities who depend on gig work to make a living. By passing PayUp, Seattle City Council has finally shown that we are not disposable and should not be exploited.”

The full text of the ordinance is available on the City’s webpage. A summarized version of the ordinance is available on the website. The bill was drafted and introduced by Lisa Herbold (District 1 – West Seattle/South Park) and Andrew J. Lewis (District 7 – Pioneer Square to Magnolia).

Councilmembers also voted 7-2 for an amendment declaring their intent to develop policies by next summer to protect workers on so-called “marketplace apps” like TaskRabbit and Rover, which were excluded from the ordinance in a last-minute committee vote.

Silhouette of male-presenting youth reading a book against a sunset.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

King County Library System Invites Readers to Track Their Summer Reading

From June 1 to August 31, 2022, the King County Library System (KCLS) encourages King County residents of all ages to participate in its annual Summer Reading Program. Participants ages 5 and older are invited to track their time spent reading over the summer.

Patrons who read for at least 500 minutes, or preschoolers who complete 25 early learning activities, will be commemorated on their library’s Community Board and will receive a KCLS Reader patch featuring artwork by local artist Erin Wallace. Participants who make it to the 1,000-minute mark, or complete 50 early learning activities, will also receive a KCLS Reader journal featuring Wallace’s artwork, while supplies last.

Residents may also participate in fun and educational activities in-person and virtual programming all summer long, such as arts and crafts workshops, music and magic programs, outdoor StoryWalks, STEM learning opportunities, and a variety of literary events.

Visit for more information, including reading recommendations and a list of events. Use the Beanstack app to log reading hours, or pick up a reading log at your local library.

Photo depicting a hand holding four blue ORCA cards against a wood-grained background.
Image attributed to Oran Viriyincy (under a Creative Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0 license).

ORCA System Launches New Website, Cards, and Smartphone Apps for Transit Across Puget Sound

On May 16, the new and improved ORCA system launched for hundreds of thousands of transit customers across the Puget Sound region. All current ORCA cards, including youth, senior, ORCA LIFT, and reduced fare cards work with the new system. ORCA customers do not need to get a new card. New features include:

  • New ORCA website: features real-time card loading, mobile phone accessibility, more payment options, and the ability to manage multiple cards.
  • Smartphone app: Use the myORCA app, available on Apple and Google Play, to manage your account from any location 24/7.

To get the most up-to-date information about ORCA service over the next few weeks, visit:

Safer Seattle Initiative Takes Place on National Gun Violence Awareness Day

For National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, June 3, please join Community Passageways, Regional Peacekeepers Collective, and Seattle Community Safety Initiative Partners for the “Safer Summer Initiative Launch” Gun Lock Box Giveaway and Community Awareness events. The events will be held in Seattle, Skyway, and Kent at the following locations: 

  • Seattle Community Lock Box Giveaway
    10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
    Parking Lot on 23rd Ave & Jackson Street, Seattle, WA
  • Skyway Community Lock Box Giveaway
    12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Grocery Outlet Parking Lot
    11445 69th Pl. S. Seattle, WA 98178
  • Kent Community Lock Box Giveaway
    2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    City Hall Square
    220 4th Ave. S., Kent, WA 98032

Our content is funded in part by advertisements. To inquire about advertising with the Emerald, check out our media kit and fill out our application for more info.

The South Seattle Emerald website contains information and content supplied by third parties and community members. Information contained herein regarding any specific person, commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the South Seattle Emerald, its directors, editors, or staff members.

Before you move on to the next story …

The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With around 1,000 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible.

If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn’t have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference.

We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!