Category Archives: Civics

LimeBikes in Seattle: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

by Mary Hubert

We’ve all seen them: masses of green bikes dropped seemingly overnight in Seattle—on trails, by the side of roads, in parks, and everywhere in between. Arriving shortly after the ill fated Pronto bike program failed, these bikes seem to be a low-impact way to encourage bike commuting and make traveling from Point A to Point B a bit easier. Folks who can’t afford a bicycle now have the option of biking somewhere cheaply. Busy entrepreneurs late to their meetings can roll instead of walk. Shoppers can pedal home with groceries in tow rather than lug them in a backpack up that huge hill.

But just how useful are these LimeBikes and what do Seattleites think of them? Continue reading LimeBikes in Seattle: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

How Effective is Seattle’s Tenant Relocation Assistance Law?

by Erica C. Barnett

Later this year, City Councilmember Kshama Sawant plans to introduce legislation that would require landlords who raise their rent more than 10 percent to pay lower-income tenants the equivalent of three months’ rent should they move out because of the resulting increase. The proposal, based on a similar law in Portland, is aimed at addressing “economic eviction,” when tenants are forced to move by rising rents. Continue reading How Effective is Seattle’s Tenant Relocation Assistance Law?

An Opportunity for Bold Democratic Party Leadership? The 2018 Washington State Legislative Session

by John Stafford

Introduction

The 2018 Washington State Legislative Session is now underway. There are two types of legislative sessions: long, 105-day sessions in odd-numbered years (e.g., 2017), in which the state’s operating, transportation and capital budgets are created; and short, 60-day sessions In even-numbered years (e.g., 2018), in which small adjustments are made to these budgets in order to accommodate changes in economic growth, inflation, caseloads, etc. Thus, this will be a short, 60-day session, although it will be a complicated one, as there is much to accomplish. This article will discuss five themes and 12 areas of legislation in the 2018 Session. Continue reading An Opportunity for Bold Democratic Party Leadership? The 2018 Washington State Legislative Session

What’s Next for Seattle’s New Era Floating Bike Shares

by Ari Cetron

(This article was originally published on the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted with permission)

It’s a bit of a chaotic test. They get dropped almost everywhere — some literally dropped, for real — and by the end of January, the first electric-assist versions will be on the streets of Seattle. With the city allowing the multi-colored “floating” companies to operate during a Wild West trial period, It’s not a question of whether Seattle will continue to have a bike share program, it’s just a question of what the final rules will be. Continue reading What’s Next for Seattle’s New Era Floating Bike Shares

Sawant Introduces Resolution Opposing PSE Refinery Project

by Will Sweger 

Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant, along with activists from the Puyallup Tribe, Tacoma Redefine, the Sierra Club, and 350 Seattle came together Tuesday morning to issue a statement in opposition to the construction of a liquid natural gas refinery in Tacoma. In her latest move connecting national issues to local government conduct, Sawant introduced a city council resolution to oppose the facility currently under construction by Puget Sound Energy (PSE). Continue reading Sawant Introduces Resolution Opposing PSE Refinery Project

Tipping the Scales: What Will the Slim Democratic Majority Mean for These Four Bills Waiting in the Wings?

by Ashley Archibald

(This article was originally published in the Jan 10 issue of Real Change and has been reprinted with permission)

A New Year, A New Legislative Session

Lawmakers returned to Olympia to kickoff a legislative marathon with a regular session on Jan. 8 that will wrap up on March 8. That gives relatively little time for legislators to get through a raft of pre-filed bills, as well as the hundreds that have languished in the House Rules committee, waiting to see the light of day in the Senate. Continue reading Tipping the Scales: What Will the Slim Democratic Majority Mean for These Four Bills Waiting in the Wings?

Move to Provide Families of Police Violence Victims with Lawyers Passes Committee

by Kelsey Hamlin

Last year, on June 24, a 20-year-old named Giovann Joseph-McDade was shot to death by Kent police. The inquest hearing investigating the circumstances of his death by law enforcement was held in December. His mother, Sonia Joseph, was not prepared emotionally or financially for what befell her. Continue reading Move to Provide Families of Police Violence Victims with Lawyers Passes Committee