Tag Archives: Seattle City Council

Homosexual Seattle mayor to give State of City address at mosque, slams Trump administration

ed-murray

Trump Derangement Syndrome on steroids: Where you have a homosexual mayor and advocate for the LGBT community giving a speech in a Muslim place of worship, in which their Islamic law considers homosexual acts a punishable crime.

From KIRO7: Mayor Ed Murray plans to give his State of the City address next week at a mosque in North Seattle. The address on Tuesday, his spokesman said, is meant to stand with the Seattle Muslim community “as we fight sanctioned discrimination by the Trump Administration.”

Murray made the announcement Monday with City Council President Bruce Harrell. This will be the first time Murray has held one a major speech to Council outside City Hall, though previous mayors have done so, his staff said.

Idris Mosque was opened in 1981 and is open to Muslims and non-Muslims.

“Both the City and Idris Mosque are committed to the American ideal of separation of church and state,” Murray’s spokesman, Benton Strong, said in an e-mail statement. “With this address Mayor Murray and Council are standing with Seattle’s Muslim community in their house of worship as we fight state sanctioned discrimination by the Trump Administration.”

“Throughout its history Seattle has stood with communities facing persecution from the government, including during the civil rights era at Black churches. “

The address will be given during a special Seattle City Council meeting which will be open to the public. It will be led by Harrell at 9:30 a.m. Doors open an hour earlier.

DCG

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Seattle to offer employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave

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Progressive Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Guess who is vying for re-election?

Update: This was unanimously approved by the council, of course.

From Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council is set to vote Monday on whether to offer city employees up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave, rather than the four weeks they are offered now.

Mayor Ed Murray is asking for the change. It was less than two years ago that the council approved the existing benefit for new parents, making Seattle the first city in the Pacific Northwest and one of the first cities in the country to offer paid parental leave.

Employees would become eligible for 12 weeks after working for the city for six months. The benefit would apply not only to births but also to placements of children into homes through adoption, foster care and legal guardianship.

When Councilmember Kshama Sawant proposed 12 weeks of paid parental leave last year, her proposal was voted down.

Monday’s legislation would also give city employees a new benefit — up to four weeks of paid leave to care for family members with serious health conditions. The four weeks would be available every 12 months and employees would need to first use some sick leave and vacation leave.

Extending the parental-leave benefit to 12 weeks would cost the city an additional $2.6 million per year, according to the legislation’s fiscal note. Offering the new family-care benefit would cost an additional $436,000 per year, for a total of about $3 million.

Rather than refer Murray’s legislation to a committee for review and discussion, the council has chosen to take action on it immediately. Seattle has more than 11,000 employees.

DCG

Seattle business owner calls 900% tax bump a ‘money-grab’

sawant

That’s to be expected in socialist Seattle.

From Mynorthwest.com: The City of Seattle wants to expand its police force and will do so through a new tax specifically aimed at businesses. And for at least one small Seattle business, that means a 900-percent tax bump.

Brothers Bob and Jack Toepfer, who own a small construction company called Toepfer General Contractors in Phinney Ridge, were among the many Seattle businesses who received notice last month of a business license tax certificate increase. While many likely did not see a major change, Toepfer’s annual license tax went from $110 to $1,000 per year.

The pair reached out to KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson to vent their disapproval of the tax bump, which they said “blindsided” them and other nearby businesses. The brothers said they wished the city would have informed them sooner of the increase so that he could have gathered signatures in opposition.

“I look at this as like the money-grab of the Seattle City Council,” he said. “I don’t see this as a Democracy in the city anymore, and I see this as kind of a tyrannical reign of this council and this mayor.”

The City Council unanimously adopted Ordinance 125083 in July of 2016 and implemented last month. The ordinance’s aim is to increase funds to double the original goal of expanding the city’s police force from 100 new officers to 200. To do that, the annual business license tax certificate fee of $55 was pushed to a graduating rate based on a business’s gross revenues.

The ordinance states that the goal of the new tax structure is fund a “minimum of 80 percent of the total anticipated annual costs” for the new goal of expanding police staffing and other law enforcement initiatives.

Bob said that while he respects the police, he doesn’t agree with businesses being responsible for shouldering the full tax burden to support them. “To expect one segment of the city’s population to bear this financial responsibility without any warning, meeting or chance to discuss a more metered out implementation is to me another “anti-business” move by this arrogant city council and mayor’s office,” he said.

“We have the utmost respect for police officers, we go to a gym in Ballard with several of them, but I just think that’s the wrong way to try and raise money for police officers to put it all on businesses.”

Beyond that, Bob said the tax doesn’t make sense. “It’s also an unfair tax because you can do $2 million in revenue and our profit margin is 10 to 15 percent, so you are making $100 or $150,000,” he said. “It doesn’t really equate. Somebody could do a $500,000 and make $400,000, so it’s just your gross revenue before taxes, but it’s about $8 million I think is what they figured.

Jack said he tried to find out more information on the tax, first calling the Business Finance Office, then trying the Seattle City Council, which pointed to the Mayor’s Office, which pointed back to the council. Then tried the Chamber of Commerce, who he was told approved of it after negotiations. Messages seeking comment have been left with the Chamber and City and City of Seattle Licensing & Tax Administration office.

Bob was not impressed with the representation for Seattle business. “I don’t feel that the Chamber of Commerce represented most business owners,” Bob said. “I think they kind of got in bed with the Mayor and said, Oh, this is great. But they didn’t represent … everybody I talked to on Phinney Ridge that owns a business that had their license increased was disappointed and feels blindsided.”

Jack said this tyranny includes the rental housing registration, push for the $15 minimum wage, mandatory sick leave, sick safe harbor leave and the recent proposal for family medical leave.

“Really, what it is is mandating how businesses run as if they run our businesses,” he said. “Basically, as a business owner or a free person in this country, they’re trying to take my liberty away and run my business the way I want to run my business.”

Jack said the government is meant to help regulate small portions to grease the skid of an economy, but not to take it over. “It’s arrogance is what it is,” he said. “It’s arrogance and disregard for what truly makes an economy in any region and businesses make the economy for a region. And they’re thumbing their nose at that.”

DCG

Seattle’s ‘X Party’ candidate would give voters total access

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Ryan Asbert

I would not be surprised if Ryan became the next face of Seattle politics.

From MyNorthwest.com: There’s a new political party in Seattle. It’s not Socialist. It’s not Democratic, or Republican. In fact, it’s you. It’s the X Party.

The X Party is essentially Seattle voters at large. The idea is that an application will be available to all Seattle voters who will log in and make their voice heard on any legislation. The elected official will vote as the people demand.

That elected official, in this case, will be Ryan Asbert. He announced his intention to run for Seattle’s 8th District on Reddit recently. “I am going to build a web application that anybody in Seattle can log into and use to vote on any upcoming legislation,” Asbert told KIRO Radio’s Jason and Burns Show. “I’ll basically be digitizing my seat, putting it up on the web and letting the citizens partake in the process.”

“Beyond that, we got a number of additional features we plan to drop on top of that,” he added. “The ability to propose legislation, discuss legislation, even post video analysis.”

The 8th District seat is currently occupied by Tim Burgess who will not be running for re-election. It is a citywide seat, representing all Seattleites. It’s why Asbert wanted to run the X Party for the seat, instead of limiting it to one region in the city.

There is a sub reddit page for the party and a website for The X Party.

The X Party

In current democracy, a resident could ideally contact their elected official and make their voice heard. But with the X Party, Asbert wants to take things to the next level, adding extra transparency. “The idea is that everything needs to be as transparent as possible,” Asbert said. “So everything we have access to, you have access to.”

Asbert notes that there are similar apps out there, such as Capitol Bells. But those are merely recommendations. His software system and candidacy will only work on the premise that he votes as the majority of Seattleites instruct.

Part of the digital democracy system Asbert has in mind is a board that monitors the software system. That executive board of the party will be elected, as well, by users.

And in the end, what most Seattle voters say yea or nay to, that’s the way Asbert will go. “It’s not my job to impose my beliefs on my constituency,” he said.

But there are some issues that will have to be worked out, Asbert notes. “There are some blind spots,” he said. “For instance, there has been some concern about some vote brigading. What if all of a sudden a bunch of people sign up and pass a bill to build a Death Star?”

The solution for Asbert as an elected official will, therefore, be to educate the public. Such as Youtube videos explaining the full extent of issues and legislation, and interaction via the app.

The next round of council elections will be next November.

DCG

More Libtard Butthurt: Multiple days of anti-Trump protests planned in Seattle

butthurt

The TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is going to blow the BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) off the charts.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle voters did not come out in favor of President-elect Donald Trump during the last election. Protests erupted in the city after he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton. Now that Trump is slated to take over the Oval Office on Jan. 20, people in Seattle plan to continue their opposition with a series of anti-Trump protests and events.

There are three major events planned and targeted at President-elect Trump.

Brothers and Sisters,

We don’t have a moment to waste in getting organized against Trump’s racist, misogynistic, anti-immigrant, anti-muslim, anti-lgbtq rhetoric, proposals, and cabinet members.

Join the Resist Trump Coalition and my office at City Hall to help build the biggest possible protests against Trump on January 20th and 21st.

Detailed information about the agenda for this meeting will be provided asap.

Solidarity! Kshama

The event specifically cites opposition to building a wall on the Mexican border, stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline, ending rape culture, and supporting Black Lives Matter. The Facebook event page reads:

The Democratic Party has proven they are incapable of stopping Trump. It is time to build a new party for the 99% based on the united power of all exploited and oppressed people, on movements for social and economic justice, on the belief that we CAN do better than this corrupt and rotten system!

#ResistTrump !! #OccupyInauguration !!

  • Jan. 21: The day after the inauguration, the “Women’s March on Seattle” is planned between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for downtown Seattle. A route for the march has yet to be released, but the Facebook event page states it will be announced once approved by city officials. The women’s march is organized be four private citizens. As of Tuesday morning, the event has 29,000 people signed on for the Seattle march, with 41,000 more people interested in attending.

The event announcement reads:

In solidarity with the march taking place in Washington, DC, we will march in Seattle. ALL women, femme, trans, gender non-conforming, and feminist people (including men and boys) are invited to march. We are showing our support for the community members who have been marginalized by the recent election.

The Seattle women’s march is meant to coincide with the larger, national march on Washington D.C. that same day.

DCG

Seattle voters will soon get $100 in ‘democracy vouchers’ to donate to candidates

seattle-democracy-voucher

Yes, Seattle voters approved this: Taking money from private property owners to redistribute to the candidate(s) of their choice. How progressive

From the Seattle Times: Seattle voters will receive “democracy vouchers” for the first time next week. The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission plans to mail the taxpayer-funded campaign-contribution vouchers on Tuesday to every registered voter in the city.

Each voter will get four $25 vouchers to distribute among candidates in 2017. The City Council’s two citywide seats and the City Attorney’s Office are up for election. The vouchers will be part of mayoral races starting in 2021 but won’t be allocated to candidates as Ed Murray seeks re-election next year. Mayoral races are the city’s most expensive and the wait will allow the voucher program more time to accumulate funds.

Seattle voters ensured the city would be the first in the country with democracy vouchers when they approved Initiative 122 in 2015. The “Honest Elections” measure authorized a 10-year, $30 million property-tax levy to pay for the program.

People not registered to vote can obtain vouchers as long as they live in Seattle, are at least 18 years old and are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or green-card holder. The voucher-program application for nonvoters is available in 15 languages.

People participating in the program will sign the vouchers, assign them to candidates and mail them back to the elections commission. When given vouchers, candidates will relay them to the commission.

The commission, which is mailing out postage-paid return envelopes along with the vouchers, will verify them before releasing the money they represent to the candidates. Each voucher will have a unique identification number and bar code.

Only candidates who apply to and qualify for the program will be allowed to receive money from vouchers. To qualify, they’ll need to drum up a baseline number of campaign contributions, take part in multiple public debates, adhere to lower campaign contribution limits and agree to special campaign spending caps.

People with vouchers will be able to look up which candidates have qualified for the program by visiting the city’s website. Thus far, City Council candidate Jon Grant and incumbent City Attorney Pete Holmes have qualified.

The commission will publish a list of the candidates who have received money from vouchers along with names of the people who assigned the vouchers. In other words: If you assign a voucher, your support for a candidate will become public information.

The levy paying for the program will raise $3 million per year — not nearly enough to pay for every voter’s four vouchers. That sum would be about $50 million. But the campaign spending caps ($300,000 for citywide City Council candidates, for example) should work to limit the number of vouchers that will need to be paid out.

Wayne Barnett, executive director of the elections commission, said one aim of the program is to get more people involved in the electoral process. People who contribute to campaigns are later on more likely to volunteer and more likely to vote, Barnett said. “We know that only 1 to 2 percent of people in Seattle ever make a contribution to a candidate for city office,” he said. “So ideally this will get more people engaged.”

Another aim of the vouchers is to level the playing field for grass-roots candidates “who otherwise would in no way be able to raise $150,000,” Barnett said.

Opponents of I-122 said the voucher program would be complicated to supervise. They said the city would spend $28 of every $100 on administrative costs. The commission has the program under control, Barnett said. To run it, he hired René LeBeau, who previously helped King County Elections move to voting by mail.

I-122 opponents also warned about shenanigans and predicted the program would mostly benefit membership groups able to drive many vouchers to certain candidates.

Barnett has asked the state Public Disclosure Commission for advice on the program and Washington’s ban on bundling but has not yet heard back, he said. Bundling is when an individual or intermediary group collects many contributions on behalf of a candidate.

I-122 proponents said the bundling rules that apply to regular contributions would similarly apply to vouchers.

Proponent Aaron Ostrom, executive director of the progressive activist organization Fuse Washington, hailed the program’s launch. “This is an exciting chance to strengthen democracy and level the playing field in Seattle,“ Ostrom said. ”Candidates can compete based on their values and leadership abilities rather than their connections to wealthy friends and corporate donors.”

DCG

Beloved Seattle café closes because they were ‘crushed’ by ever-growing costs, including city’s new minimum wage

I anxiously wait for comments from the socialist and $15-minimum-wage supporter, Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant.

government solve all problems

From MyNorthwest.com: The owner of a beloved cafe and bakery says the costs to operate in Seattle contributed to the sudden shuttering of its doors.

Alcena Plum, former owner of Louisa’s on Eastlake, says the closure is reflective of a city that is becoming increasingly expensive to be in.

“I don’t want to put this all on the minimum wage, but it was definitely a factor,” she told KIRO Radio’s Tom and Curley. “There were ongoing issues with the business for years.”

Plum says the business was struggling to make ends meet. The city’s minimum wage law, which requires employers with 500 or fewer employees to pay at least $11 an hour by Jan. 1, was hurting Plum’s bottom line, she says.

However, there were other factors that played into the closure. “This type of business doesn’t necessarily bring in enough revenue to employ as many people as I was able to employ before,” Plum said. “Then service goes down because I don’t have enough staff or our wait times are longer for food because I can’t afford to hire enough people in the kitchen. Never mind the huge labor shortage for kitchen staff in this city.”

Plum says it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates — or any candidates at all — to work in the food service industry. The people moving to Seattle and King County are all doing so to work in the tech industry, she says. She’s not wrong.

According to Gene Balk with The Seattle Times, the number of people born in Washington and living in King County declined. Between 2014 and 2015, their number fell by more than 17,000 — a 2 percent drop,” Balk writes. “There are now 850,000 Washington-born residents in the county or 40 percent of its total population.

By the same token, Seattle’s housing market became the hottest in the nation as the booming tech industry drives record population growth, GeekWire reports. Transplants “flock to the region” for tech jobs.

“People are working in tech,” Plum said. “You don’t have people moving into [Seattle] to work in a kitchen … It doesn’t pay the most, although the wages are going up.”

Plum says when she places ads for the cook, she now gets zero response.

What is possibly the most frustrating part of the closure for Plum is she had to put 20 people out of work with only a day’s notice. Some of her employees had worked at Louisa’s for 18 years or more. Plum started a GoFundMe campaign to try and help her former employees.

As far as other restaurants go, Plum says they are probably tackling similar issues. However, some establishments may have multiple restaurants or are backed by more money. “Look who is backing them. Where is money coming from?” Plum asked. “That’s a question above my pay grade. I’m a single mom with a café-bakery. I don’t know how people make this stuff work anymore, to be honest. We were being crushed under the weight of debt and things we weren’t able to pay for anymore.”

Residents of Seattle shouldn’t be surprised if they see menu prices continue to increase due to ever-growing costs, Plum says. As for smaller places like Louisa’s go, Plum doesn’t hold out much hope. “Places like mine won’t survive this.”

DCG