by Lauryn Bray
With three hours to go before a $1 million offer expired, the Burien City Council voted 4-3 Monday, Nov. 27, to accept King County’s offer and build a hotly contested tiny home village (THV) for the homeless in the Boulevard Park neighborhood.
Continue reading Burien City Council Accepts King County’s $1M Offer to Establish a Tiny Home Village on Seattle City Light Property
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The Seattle City Council narrowly rejected Councilmember Andrew Lewis’ proposal to fast-track a bill empowering City Attorney Ann Davison to prosecute people for drug possession and public use, voting to allow the bill to go through the regular committee process. The impact of the vote is that the Council will take up the bill after they return from the regular August recess, allowing Council staff the time to draft amendments and analyze the latest version of the legislation.
Continue reading Council Declines to Fast-Track Law Empowering City Attorney To Prosecute Drug Users
by Anna Morenz, M.D., and Jonathan Staloff, M.D., M.Sc.
Primary care is underfunded in Washington State, with only 4.4–5.6% of total medical expenditures dedicated to primary care according to a recent executive summary presented to the Washington State Legislature by the state Office of Financial Management. This compares to average primary care spending of 14% in other high-income countries. As a result, performance on primary care quality measures in Washington, such as appropriate cancer screening, falls well below the national average. The benefits of robust primary care have been well documented: Primary care not only improves overall life expectancy and reduces all-cause mortality, but also reduces racial health disparities and the adverse effects of income inequality on health. Despite this clear need for enhanced investment in primary care, the 2023 legislative session was a profound disappointment for primary care, and legislators and Gov. Inslee should double down on efforts to improve support of primary care in our state.
Continue reading OPINION | Unmet Promises From the State Legislature: The Urgent Need for Primary Care Investment in Washington State
New research shows how community engagement is integral in its success.
by Sarah Goh
With a growing population in the Pacific Northwest, the call for better public transportation heightens. This March, Washington’s State Legislature signed off on a transportation milestone, allocating $150 million to a high-speed connection between Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
Though this funding could reduce congestion, cut carbon emissions, and better connect these coastal cities, a high-speed rail that travels above 200 miles per hour between major cities has never been done before in the United States. How will Washington get started? How will the State ensure a successful project?
Continue reading Plans Develop for High-Speed Rail in the PNW
by Lauryn Bray
In April, three child advocacy organizations released a new report outlining progress made toward accomplishing goals introduced with Washington State’s 2018 passage of Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 6560, which states that “beginning January 1, 2021, any unaccompanied youth discharged from a publicly funded system of care in [Washington State] will be discharged into safe and stable housing.” The report is the product of a collaborative effort between the Center for Children & Youth Justice (CCYJ), the Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC), and TeamChild, and it puts forth recommendations for successful compliance with SSB 6560.
Continue reading Child Advocacy Organizations Outline Recommendations for Supporting Discharged Youth
by Lauryn Bray
The Seattle City Council recently released a memorandum announcing that the Council will discuss and possibly vote on Council Bill (CB) 120586, an “ordinance relating to the possession and public use of controlled substances,” on June 6. The vote will determine if the provisions introduced in a new state law will be adopted into Seattle Municipal Code, giving the City Attorney’s Office (CAO) jurisdiction to prosecute cases of known possession or use of illegal or controlled substances.
Continue reading Proposed Council Bill Would Allow City Attorney’s Office to Prosecute Drug Use and Possession
by Ben Adlin
Skyrocketing housing prices have reshaped much of Seattle in recent decades, displacing longtime residents, scattering the city’s historical BIPOC communities, and contributing to a growing number of people without homes. And more people continue to arrive: According to recent U.S. Census data, Seattle was the country’s fastest-growing big city during the year ending July 2022.
Continue reading Advocates Say Housing Levy Is Critical to Keeping Seattle Affordable and Inclusive