by Sally James
The new COVID-19 vaccine is not quite available in Seattle today, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended it for almost all ages last week. State health authorities say plenty of this new vaccine will be here within a few weeks.
Continue reading What to Expect in King County in the Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout
by Lauryn Bray
Democratic State Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, who represents South Seattle, announced her candidacy for the public lands commissioner Wednesday at a press conference at Seward Park. She followed the announcement with a mile-long walk-and-talk through the park.
Continue reading Sen. Rebecca Saldaña Launches Campaign for Department of Natural Resources Lands Commissioner
How Washington’s history with labor movements gives Washingtonians a unique perspective on recent labor strikes.
by Christopher Lara
Hollywood officially ground to a halt when the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) began a strike after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) fell apart.
Continue reading OPINION | Connecting Washington Labor History and the Hollywood Strike
by Megan Burbank
On Wednesday, Aug. 16, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Food and Drug Administration should revoke its approval for mifepristone, one of two drugs commonly used in medication abortions. The case has drawn widespread attention, given the impact it could have on access to mifepristone and spurred confusion about whether medication abortion is still available.
It is. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to be clear on this point: Mifepristone remains legal and accessible in states where abortion is, and will remain that way until the case makes its way to the Supreme Court. If you take away just one piece of information from this column, that should be it. But if you want to know more, let’s dig in.
Continue reading OPINION | What The Latest Mifepristone Ruling Really Means
by Arvia Morris and Iris Antman
To address expected population growth, promote economic development, and develop a more sustainable transportation system, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has been studying an ultra-high-speed ground transportation (UHSGT) system between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland, Oregon, for the past six years and is required to report progress to the Washington State Legislature. Its most recent report to the Legislature is shockingly substance-free, casting doubt on WSDOT’s ability to communicate effectively about this enormous infrastructure commitment. Most egregiously of all, the report does not include any updated cost estimates, which is not only essential information but is also required by law in updates such as this.
Continue reading OPINION | WSDOT Must Be More Transparent About High-Speed Transportation Project
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 Shamaar Thomas
Washington’s health care workforce crisis is representative of the same uphill battle others states are fighting across the country, with burnout among the most significant problems after the pandemic. A recent poll from the WA Safe + Healthy coalition shows that 49% of health care workers in Washington are “likely to leave the health care profession in the next few years” and 79% report burnout. To combat the health care workforce crisis in King County, the nonprofit collaborative HealthierHere launched a $5 million effort in January to support 39 local health care organizations in addressing workforce challenges. The effort’s goal is to help organizations meet their workforce needs, address challenges, and ultimately continue providing culturally responsive care to their communities, said HealthierHere’s interim CEO Thuy Hua-Ly.
Continue reading HealthierHere Launches $5M Effort to Address Washington Workforce Crisis