by Dr. Stephan Blanford and Misha Werschkul
Since the pandemic’s onset, Washington families have experienced a rolling crisis in jobs, hunger, health, and education. The prospect of eviction hangs over far too many. Food insecurity has skyrocketed. Child care facilities have closed, many of them permanently. And a rocky transition to remote learning is now impeding students’ educational progress. The acute stress on children and families may harm kids’ health, their education, and their ability to earn a living.
Continue reading OPINION: Washington’s Children Shouldn’t Have to Relive Our Past Mistakes
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
UPDATE: Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office has confirmed that the mayor plans to use both JumpStart (payroll) tax revenues, which are currently earmarked for housing, people experiencing homelessness, and small businesses, and money from the Transportation Network Companies (Uber/Lyft) tax to help pay for her $100 million “new investment” in BIPOC communities. The details of that spending would be hammered out by a task force whose members Durkan will soon announce. (More information in original story, below.)
In a pre-recorded message complete with background music, multiple backdrops, and B-roll clips from around Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan unveiled a 2021 budget proposal today that relies heavily, as PubliCola was first to report, on revenues from the JumpStart payroll tax passed by the City Council earlier this year. The council expressed its intent to wall off the revenues from the tax for direct COVID-19 relief to Seattle residents in the first two years and to spend the money in 2022 and beyond on affordable housing, non-housing projects outlined in the Equitable Development Initiative, Green New Deal investments, and small business support. Durkan vetoed the spending plan (the council overturned that veto) and allowed the tax to become law without her signature.
Continue reading Durkan Unveils 2021 Budget that Uses JumpStart Tax to Fill Shortfall, Fund $100 Million in Unspecified BIPOC Investments