Tag Archives: Opinion

OPINION | ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Takes On the Northwest’s Abortion Politics

by Megan Burbank


Grey’s Anatomy is one of those TV shows set in a version of Seattle that often feels like it has nothing to do with the real city. There are the obligatory aerial shots of the Sound and the Space Needle in the pilot episode, sure, but it can be hard to suspend disbelief when you know Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital — with its glass walls perpetually rain-streaked, and an endless parade of increasingly baroque tragedies unfolding within them — is really in California. Aside from the Queen Anne exterior location for Meredith Grey’s house, this is a show that mostly takes place in a hospital. It could be set anywhere.

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OPINION | Diverse Voices Are Needed to Understand Public Safety and Security in Seattle

by Jacqueline B. Helfgott, Brandon N. Bledsoe, and Katie Kepler


The Seattle Public Safety Survey, now in its eighth year, is administered annually from Oct. 15 to Nov. 30. The survey is part of the Micro-Community Policing Plans (MCPP), a collaboration between Seattle University (SU) Crime and Justice Research Center and the Seattle Police Department (SPD), focused on police and community engagement at the neighborhood level.

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OPINION | Tukwila’s Minimum Wage Vote Should Spur More South King County Cities to Act

by Sandy Hunt, Debbie Aldous, Julianna Dauble, Tim Martin, Shannon McCann, and Elaine Hogg


On election night, Tukwila voters sent a clear message that the statewide minimum wage is too low for our high-cost region. City of Tukwila Initiative Measure No. 1, which raises the city’s minimum wage to parity with the higher standards in SeaTac and Seattle, passed by a large margin.

We lead the Highline, Tukwila, Renton, Kent, Auburn, and Federal Way Education Associations. Together we represent several thousand educators working in communities all across South King County. We think it’s time for more cities to follow Tukwila’s recent example and raise their minimum wages.

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OPINION | How My Black and Indigenous Ancestry Guides My Perception of Generational Wealth

by Lauryn Bray


When I was 18, my grandfather told me that in 1936, the U.S. government cut a check to my great-grandmother for $2,000 and took her land in Oklahoma. She had inherited a farmhouse that sat on several acres. This property had been in my family for decades, and from what I understand, it did not go willingly. $2,000 in 1936 — when my great-grandmother would have had custody of this property — is worth about $42,879 now. Needless to say, she was ripped off.

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OPINION | Bail, Ransom, Wealth Transfer, and Real Community Safety

by Sadé A. Smith


Inequitable bail laws allow bail companies to extort the poor for the little wealth they have. By working as a proxy for the courts’ cash bail system, bail companies are allowed to engage in extreme wealth transfers in exchange for your freedom. In reality, the U.S. legal system has normalized ransoms. Here’s how it works: If you are charged with a crime but not convicted, the court has the option to set bail. If you can’t afford to post bail, you are stuck in jail pretrial, despite being presumed innocent until proven guilty. You are caged until your case resolves. This process can take years. The courts make their determination based on the statements of police and charges determined by prosecutors. You have no way to refute these frequently baseless allegations. The court presumes the police are telling the truth, despite mountains of evidence that police lie in reports regularly. To obtain your freedom, you must pay the full amount to the court or pay 10% to 15% of the bond ordered by the court to a bail company. The bail company pays the full amount and will be reimbursed once the case resolves. In short, you exchange your limited resources for your freedom. The bail company keeps the 10% to 15% you paid no matter what, even if they are fully reimbursed by the court. They also secure collateral for the full amount. If you fail to appear in court (at times for any reason), and the court forfeits your bond, the bond company keeps your 10% to 15% and can collect on the collateral you signed over in exchange for your freedom. In any other circumstance, a contract leveraging your freedom in exchange for money would be null and void, but the criminal legal system allows it. Already economically depressed families have lost homes, vehicles, and other property as a result. In a disparate system that we know is racist, the central question should be, what about having money makes you safer for the community?

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OPINION | We Must Listen to the Students

by Mark Epstein and Michael Dixon


Almost 60 years ago, in the middle of two decades of civil rights activism that changed our country,  James Baldwin delivered a speech to teachers, in which he declared that the purpose of education is for students to look critically at their society and to have a vision of change they are willing to fight for. Without such a perspective, he says, we will perish, or follow the worst example of a Nazi youth movement.

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OPINION | Why Caring for Trees Is So Important in Urban Environments

by Cedar Bushue


I have my own tragic experience which attests to the devastation a city can go through if there are not large amounts of tree canopies. When I was in AmeriCorps NCCC during the spring of 2013, I was sent to help with Hurricane Sandy disaster relief. I saw vast amounts of urban sprawl and a complete lack of meaningful tree canopy, both downtown and along the residential neighborhoods by the coast I helped. Since that experience, I have since become increasingly more interested in the benefits trees provide and have recently been helping out a tree doctor. 

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OPINION | Of Course Roe Played a Role in the Midterms: Most Americans Support Abortion Access

by Megan Burbank


As the “red wave” telegraphed by pundits failed to materialize in this year’s midterm elections, I heard one refrain again and again: Abortion mattered after all.

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OPINION | Honor My Service by Being Honest About U.S. Addiction to War

by Michael T. McPhearson


If you Google “How many years has the U.S. been at war?” I’m sure the answer will shock you. I’ll let you do it for yourself. Some will not believe the source; others will accept it at face value. But as a combat veteran who joined the U.S. Army at 17 and grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, near Fort Bragg, I have watched the U.S. wage war for over half a century. 

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OPINION | WA GOP Mailers Are Spreading Misinformation About Abortion

‘Partial Birth Abortion’ Is a Right-Wing Invention

by Megan Burbank


With abortion rights top of mind for Washington voters as we count down to the Nov. 8 general election, some Republican party candidates are using campaign literature to reinforce longstanding myths about abortion. Earlier in October, the State Republican Party distributed mailers claiming Democratic candidates support “partial birth abortion,” abortion “until the due date,” and “no safeguards.”

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