Category Archives: Public Policy

Why the Landlord Lobby Should Fear the Washington Tenant Movement

by Gina Owens

Washington tenants face skyrocketing rents, unduly harsh eviction laws, and weak enforcement of tenant protections. Several years ago, I was in a car accident that rendered me disabled and unable to work. While I was in the process of getting Social Security Disability approved, I was evicted because I could not pay my full rent. Prior to the accident, I had had two decades of good rental history, but that did not protect me.

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Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) Report on the King County Sheriff’s Office

by Neal McNamara

SEATTLE, WA — The King County Sheriff’s Office should revise its internal investigations complaint process, an independent group has found. The county’s Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) asked the Connecticut-based Daigle Law Group to assess the effectiveness of the complaint process, and the report was presented to the King County Council Law and Justice Committee on Tuesday. Continue reading Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) Report on the King County Sheriff’s Office

Sound Transit Drops Initial Card Fee for Disabled, Senior, and Low-Income Riders

by Brian Bergen-Aurand

The first one is free. After that, they’re still three dollars each. But transportation officials and advocates alike believe it’s a step in the right direction.

In a move to encourage more riders to enroll in ORCA card programs in the Puget Sound region, Sound Transit officials announced that they have made initial ORCA cards free for senior, disabled, and low-income riders when they join.

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At Forum, SPD Chief Candidates Answer Tough Questions On Race

by Neal McNamara

(This article originally appeared on Patch.com and has been republished with permission.)

SEATTLE, WA — The three candidates for the open Seattle police chief job met the public Wednesday night at a forum at the Seattle Vocational Institute in the heart of the Central District. The police reform group Not This Time organized the event, which was largely an opportunity for Seattle’s black community to ask the candidates about issues like racism, profiling, and officer-involved shootings.

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Columbia City Ale House Employee Detained by ICE Agents

by Carolyn Bick and Alex Garland

Miguel Martinez decided to work a double shift at Columbia City Ale House Tuesday. He was tired, but looking forward to getting home to his children, who are visiting from Florida, where they live with their mother. Ambling outside into the sunshine for a quick break and to move his car before his next shift began, Martinez met with the last thing he’d expected: two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents dressed in plainclothes. Continue reading Columbia City Ale House Employee Detained by ICE Agents

Over 400 Immigrants in Seattle Naturalized on the Fourth of July

by Susan Fried

In the midst of continued protests and uncertainty over the Trump administration’s policies around immigration and an unprecedented backlog of pending citizen applications, 498 people from 84 countries became United States citizens at the annual Fourth of July Naturalization Ceremony at Seattle Center.

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Red Flag Laws Should Not Target Mental Illness

by Brian Bergen-Aurand

Following last week’s murder of five journalists at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, several more states have passed or are seriously considering passing “red flag laws” or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). Such laws allow police officers, family members, and domestic or intimate partners to petition courts to temporarily remove firearms from a person they claim may present a danger to themselves or others. A judge determines the validity and (if so deemed) length of the removal. Many states limit the restriction to a maximum of one year and allow for appeals.

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