by Paul Kiefer
(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The Seattle City Council’s Public Safety Committee is considering a $5.4 million cut to the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) 2021 budget to account for an equivalent amount of overspending by the department last year. During the committee’s regular meeting on Tuesday morning, councilmembers received a briefing from the council’s central staff on the potential impacts of those cuts on a department still reeling from a spike in attrition in 2020.
Continue reading Seattle City Council Considers Cutting SPD by $5.4M in Response to 2020 Overspending
by Paul Faruq Kiefer
(This article was originally published at PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
U.S. District Court Judge James Robart convened a hearing Thursday to address how Seattle’s path to compliance with the federal consent decree has changed in the wake of last summer’s racial justice protests. The consent decree — the agreement between the City and the Department of Justice (DOJ) that empowers the federal court to oversee reforms to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) — dates back to 2012, when the DOJ investigation found that SPD officers frequently used excessive force without consequences.
In Thursday’s hearing, Robart made clear that Seattle’s path toward an end to federal oversight is still murky and that SPD’s response to protests last year added another obstacle. To end federal oversight, the City first needs to achieve compliance with the terms of the consent decree and remain in compliance for two years; Robart uses input from the City, accountability experts, and a court-appointed monitoring team to decide what “compliance” entails.
Continue reading Federal Judge Concerned about Future of Seattle’s Consent Decree
by Carolyn Bick
In an effort to better support people who either are or may be infected with the novel coronavirus who would not be able to quarantine themselves at home without risking financial hardship, Public Health – Seattle & King County will be rolling out a financial support program for people infected with the novel coronavirus.
The program has not yet been formally announced, but Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin briefly talked about it in a press conference on Nov. 6, as he was answering the Emerald’s question about the driving factors behind the rapid and concerning rise in COVID-19 cases in South King County, and how — aside from encouraging behavior modification — PHSKC plans to try to combat this rise.
Continue reading As COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket in South King County, PHSKC Plans to Unveil New Financial Relief Program
by Elizabeth Turnbull
On Monday, the King County Equity Now (KCEN) Coalition unveiled the Black Brilliance Project, a Black-led, community-based research team set to investigate health, public safety and racial equity solutions, with the goal of providing direction and authority on how City funds should be applied toward meeting these needs in 2021.
The Black Brilliance Project’s first 50 members were on-boarded last week, and the project will ultimately consist of over 100 paid research positions, occupied by various members of the city’s Black community, some of whom spoke at a press conference on Monday.
Overall, the project will survey the needs of the Black community and provide a potential avenue for community members to be involved in budgeting decisions as an alternative to City-formed task forces that usually decide how money for the Black community is allocated.
“When we say community voice we don’t mean some task force that is cherry-picked by white wealthy people who already have access to political power,” said KCEN research director Shaun Glaze during a press conference Monday. “Instead of having pre-set priorities, instead of having hand-selected task forces, we are pushing for a community voice and community power to be at the center.”
Continue reading King County Equity Now Announces Community-Based Research Team
by Emerald Staff
The Public Information Officer for Washington Emergency Management Division (WEMD) has issued the following Emergency Alert:
“There is [a] super massive cloud of smoke outside of California and Oregon. The wind is changing direction and it’s coming your way tomorrow. You have today to prepare. Let your family and friends know.”
WEMD recommends taking steps to ensure your safety:
Filter your air: Create a box fan filter to keep the air around you as unpolluted as possible. This video will walk you through it (a Spanish version follows the English version). Alternatively, invest in a professional filtering device if possible.
Shop now: Don’t wait to grab essential items.
Stay home: If you don’t have to go out tomorrow, don’t.
Stay updated: Find air quality forecasts here.
Visit the Department of Health website for more information on how to protect yourself from smoke.
Featured image via Washington State Dept. of Ecology.
by COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network
May Day arose as a day to celebrate the working class and our life and death struggles for liberation. We honor that legacy of resistance and solidarity today.
We are facing an unprecedented situation in the history of workers’ struggles and the racial capitalist system of exploitation and expropriation. Amidst the chaos of COVID-19, the rich continue to prioritize profit, private property and control over our bodies and labor. The police and military surveil and criminalize our acts of resistance. They will gladly sacrifice human life to continue the relentless pursuit of profit.
Continue reading OPINION: May Day 2020: People Must Be Put Before Profits, Every Human Is Essential
by Carolyn Bick
Author’s Note: If you are in crisis or need help, scroll down to find a list of helplines and resources at the end of this story.
Years ago, Ariel Gliboff fled her abuser by getting on a plane, and flying far away. It was hard enough then, she said. But now, with a stay-home order in place for Washington State?
“Honestly, this situation we are currently in is worst-case,” said Gliboff, the Redmond-based host of The Domestic Violence Discussion podcast. “I hopped on a plane, and I left the state, and that was how I escaped. And if I were looking to that these days, with the restrictions on flying and even public transportation — even on buses — that would just limit my options on how I would leave.”
Continue reading For Domestic Abuse Survivors, Staying Home Has Its Own Dangers