Tag Archives: Washington State Legislature

Kirsten Harris-Talley: Why I Am Not Seeking Reelection

by Kirsten Harris-Talley


The pandemic and the last three years have been some of the most challenging, illuminating, and devastating years of my life. And I know I am not alone in that. 

One of the bright spots was being asked by neighbors to run for state representative in the 37th LD. It was not the first time I had been asked; I have been asked over the years to run for everything from school board to city council to federal congress. One of the best pieces of advice I received and always took to heart: When you run, your entire family runs. It is true. Which means the triumphs and hurts you experience as an individual are also experienced by your partner and your children. It was not an easy decision to decide to run in 2020.

And it has been just as challenging to come to the decision that I will not run for a second term.

Continue reading Kirsten Harris-Talley: Why I Am Not Seeking Reelection

Birth Doulas Rally for Pathway to Certification in Washington State

by Megan Burbank


When Seattle full-spectrum doula Jasmyne Bryant meets with a client for the first time, she often encounters one of two responses. “As Black and Indigenous doulas, when we’re interviewing clients who are in our community, who are also Black birthing people, it’s not nearly the same as interviewing with a white birthing person.”

Continue reading Birth Doulas Rally for Pathway to Certification in Washington State

With Advocates Watching Closely, State Legislators Propose Office to Respond to Encampments

by Leo Brine

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


On Thursday, Feb. 24, House Democrats amended legislation creating a new office to deal with encampments in public rights-of-way, removing many of the provisions that homeless advocates feared would be used to sweep encampments indiscriminately — and leaving unanswered questions about what its actual impact would be.

Continue reading With Advocates Watching Closely, State Legislators Propose Office to Respond to Encampments

OPINION: Tech Companies Want to Write Their Own Rules on Data Privacy. Don’t Let Them.

by Brianna Auffray and Hillary Haden


The collection and processing of personal data is what makes many of our digital interactions possible. It’s what allows you to search your Gmail inbox or get personalized recommendations for movies. But the practice has also brought us what Harvard business professor Shoshana Zuboff has termed “surveillance capitalism.” An entire industry now exists to collect and sell your data to companies, which in turn use it to learn more about you and determine how you’re likely to behave in the future. 

Continue reading OPINION: Tech Companies Want to Write Their Own Rules on Data Privacy. Don’t Let Them.

OPINION: State Considers Clean Energy Equity Program

by Beth Doglio and Ben Silesky


Washington’s solar industry is booming. The end of 2021 saw a record number of residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar projects installed, in part due to the solar investment programs designed by the state of Washington in 2005 and again in 2017. Homeowners and building owners who install solar see their electricity costs plummet and enjoy the clean energy the sun provides to keep their homes and workspaces warm and comfy while simultaneously reducing their reliance on the fossil fuels that contribute to climate change. Unfortunately, solar still remains out of reach for millions of Washingtonians due to upfront costs, unsuitable roofs, and tree cover. Furthermore, about half the people in the state rent their homes. 

Continue reading OPINION: State Considers Clean Energy Equity Program

With Backing of Build Back Black Alliance, YIMBY Housing Bill Moves Forward

by Leo Brine

(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


The House Appropriations Committee narrowly passed Rep. Jessica Bateman’s (D-22, Olympia) housing density bill (HB 1782) on Monday, Feb. 7, by a 17-16 vote, and sent it to the House Rules Committee with a “do pass” recommendation. Her bill would require cities with populations greater than 10,000 to rezone single-family residential neighborhoods for more housing options, such as duplexes and fourplexes.

Continue reading With Backing of Build Back Black Alliance, YIMBY Housing Bill Moves Forward

The Morning Update Show — 1/24

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Monday, Jan. 24

LIVE — Katrina Johnson of WCPA | LIVE — Enoka Herat of ACLU | Police Accountability Bills in the State Legislature | LIVE — Brad Finegood of Public Health – S&KC | Fentanyl Overdoses in King County

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 1/24

New State Laws for 2022 Expand Voting Rights, Create Capital Gains Tax, and More

by Ben Adlin


Expanded voting rights, limits on disposable plastic utensils, and increased access to attorneys for young people questioned by police were among the changes to state law that took effect with the new year. While most laws passed during the last legislative session took effect in July, a number of notable changes didn’t take place until 2022.

Other newly effective laws include a ban on the use of Indigenous names and symbols for most school mascots or logos, the establishment of a new capital gains tax, and planned increases to the minimum wage both in Washington and the City of Seattle.

Here are some of the biggest new changes to Washington State law:

Continue reading New State Laws for 2022 Expand Voting Rights, Create Capital Gains Tax, and More

A Highly Compelling Session: An Evaluation of the 2021 Washington State Legislature

by John Stafford


“The Legislature has just wrapped up an historic and truly extraordinary session. It has been the most innovative, having produced unprecedented and legacy making advances as all-encompassing as any session in the last 25 years.”

— Governor Jay Inslee, April 25, 2021

The Washington State Legislature has just completed its 2021 session — a 105-day event charged with passing three state budgets (operating, transportation and capital) and hundreds of policy bills, conducted exclusively online. From a liberal perspective, this has been an exciting and momentous session, with major legislative achievements in a wide range of areas.

I’ll evaluate the 2021 Legislative Session in 14 different areas: state budgets, tax reform, pandemic response, economic relief, housing and homelessness, K–12 education, health care, racial justice, criminal justice, gun control, labor, climate change, growth management act, and other, and give the session an overall grade. 

Continue reading A Highly Compelling Session: An Evaluation of the 2021 Washington State Legislature

What Became of the Legislature’s Big Plans for Police Reform?

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


At the beginning of the legislative session in January, police accountability appeared to be front and center on many legislators’ agendas. By the time the session ended last Sunday, April 25, lawmakers had narrowed a broad array of police reform proposals to a core list of bills that expand the State’s role in police oversight and tactics, although some efforts to address gaps in police oversight — particularly police union contracts — fell short.

The agency that will play an enforcement role in the legislature’s police reform efforts is the state’s Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC), a group of civilians and law enforcement officers appointed by the governor that has the power to issue — and revoke — licenses to work as a law enforcement officer in Washington. On Sunday, the legislature sent a bill to Gov. Jay Inslee that will expand the CJTC’s authority to investigate officers for misconduct and suspend or revoke their licenses, a process known as decertification.

Continue reading What Became of the Legislature’s Big Plans for Police Reform?