Tag Archives: Seattle

General strike, rally called for this weekend in Seattle

trump-triggeredFrom MyNorthwest.com: Better stock up on essentials before the weekend — just in case. A National General Strike, a Seattle area strike, and a rally have been called for. And as with any event in Seattle, whether it be a Seahawks game or a protest march, locals should plan for traffic and other interruptions.

A general strike means no working, no school, and no shopping. For many people, this should be easy. According to the Facebook event for the general strike, it will run from Feb. 17-20 (Friday through Monday). It covers the weekend and Presidents Day, which some workers have off as a holiday.

The event is organized by General Strike USA. It’s a bit wordy, but according to the event page:

WE DEMAND RECONSTITUTION. Disrupt the economy until we have a government, instead of being had by one. This is how we stop Trump and the entire corrupt political establishment before they destroy us and the planet we call home.

At this dangerous point in our history, we must confront a bitter truth: any political system that can allow Donald Trump to come to power is not a system worth keeping. Indeed, our elections, as controlled by the major political parties, offer us merely a contest of personalities rather than a choice between real alternatives. These contests mask the major parties’ underlying unity in a neoliberal economic establishment that serves the wealthy few at the expense of the impoverished many.

The general strike promotes a change of the system, not a change within the system, and encourages dismantling the establishment.

So far, the Facebook event has more than 2,000 people signed up, nationally, to participate, with 3,000 more interested in taking part. And 22,000 more have been invited to strike.

General strike in Seattle: A separate, unrelated general strike is organized in Seattle amid the national event. The Solidarity Strike is slated to take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Feb. 17 at Volunteer Park in Seattle. It is organized by Solidarity for Justice in Education.

As the organization’s name implies, the strike is more focused on Washington’s education system as lawmakers are in session, attempting to fully fund it. The State of Washington has been ordered by its own Supreme Court to fully fund education. But there has been a tug-of-war between Democrats and Republicans on just how to do that.

The event notice states: Solidarity Demonstration to #Resist the WA Senate Republican proposal to fund education by undermining collective bargaining rights of Education Workers. All Labor Unions are welcome and encouraged to stand in support of this Legislative attack on Unions. No Right to Work in Washington.

The Seattle event has 1,300 people interested in taking part, and 324 confirmed to go. There are 1,600 more invited to come. Comments on the event’s page seem to have a theme — it would have a better turnout if organizers planned it on the weekend, instead of during the workday.

Free Daniel rally: Before Seattle’s strike in Volunteer Park, another event has been put together at the last minute by a range of organizers, including Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

The “Free Daniel Rally Against Deportations Fight Trump!” is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Seattle Federal Courthouse in downtown Seattle. At least 1,000 people are interested in attending, and more than 200 have committed to going. Another 1,400 have been invited.

The event is partially motivated by a series of immigration roundups and detainments. Then, locally, Daniel Ramirez Medina was detained after he had an encounter with the law. He is covered under regulations passed under the Obama administration that allows immigrants who entered the country as minors to stay in renewable two-year periods. That regulation is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The Facebook event states: Over the last week, Trump’s administration has detained and deported 600+ immigrants. Here in Seattle, on Tuesday 2/14, Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old father who has received repeated approval to stay and work under the DACA program, was taken by ICE.  Medina has a court appearance on Friday during the rally.

The Department of Homeland Security argues another perspective. It says that those protected under DACA can be deported if they are perceived as threats to public safety.

According to a press release from DHS:

On February 10, Daniel Ramirez-Medina, a gang member, was encountered at a residence in Des Moines, Washington, during an operation targeting a prior-deported felon. He was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and was transferred to the Northwest Detention Center to await the outcome of removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

This case illustrates the work ICE fugitive operations teams perform every day across the country to remove public safety threats from our communities when they encounter them. ICE officers, along with their law enforcement partners, have and will continue to enforce our nation’s laws to protect public safety, national security, and to preserve the integrity of our immigration system.”

DCG

 

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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

Seattle to offer employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave

murray

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 Mayor Murray is leaving the light on against Trump

climate-change

Doesn’t this token action contribute to climate change? Seattle wants you to participate in the worldwide “Lights Out” event to “celebrate a commitment to the planet” yet now they want you to leave lights on? One thing you can count on from the proggies: inconsistency.

From Mynorthwest.com: A light in a window has been a sign of invasion from America’s enemies. It has been a symbol of Irish oppression. It has even been a simple sign of good news or welcome message to weary travelers. Now, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is using lights to send a message: While some American leaders are shutting the gates, Seattle will leave the light on for immigrants and refugees.

This week, in Seattle, lights will be a sign of the city’s opposition to the current United States president and his recent executive actions. Mayor Murray is asking his city’s residents to shine a light. In turn, it will send a message of support for immigrants and refugees, and also opposition to an administration he has called “authoritarian.”

While it isn’t exactly a message in a window, Murray is asking residents to shine a light at their home at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Mayor Murray organized a Facebook event called “Shine a Light in Support of Immigrants & Refugees.” The idea is simple, take any luminescence and feature it at one’s home. It could be a candle, a flashlight, a lantern, even the glow of a cell phone screen. The mayor is asking people to take a photo and post it on social media with the hashtag #ShineALight.

Murray’s message on his Facebook event states:

As I’ve said throughout these dark days of unconstitutional and unAmerican executive orders from President Trump, we refuse to repeat discriminatory chapters of our past. It’s time to send a bright, unmistakable message of resolve and unity in support of immigrants and refugees.

On Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7 pm, go outside and shine a light from your home – be it a candle, a smartphone, a lamp or a flashlight – and post pictures to social media using #ShineALight. Together, we can show hope and unity as we fight back against dark forces seeking to divide us.

Murray ends his Facebook message urging Seattle residents to donate to organizations ready to fight Trump’s administration. He points out the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the ACLU of Washington.

DCG

Seattle, King County move to open nation’s first safe injection sites for drug users

constantine-and-murray

Constantine and Murray

Well, this should be a real enticement for tourists to visit Seattle.

From Seattle Times: Seattle and King County will create two safe-consumption sites for drug users, the first of their kind in the country, as part of an effort to halt the surge of heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths in the region, Mayor Ed Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine announced Friday.

The sites, stocked with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, aim to save lives and connect people dealing with addiction to treatment services.

Murray and Constantine said they will move forward with all the recommendations of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force that they convened last year, the most controversial of which are the safe drug-use sites.

Other recommendations include increasing access to naloxone and medication assisted treatment drugs like Suboxone. “The crisis is growing beyond anything we have seen before,” Murray said. “We can do something about that.”

No locations or funding have been announced, but Murray said the first of the two sites will be in Seattle, and the second will be outside the city. He also acknowledged that getting funding may be more difficult with the new presidential administration.

There are still big battles to come, as an “implementation work group,” chaired by Patty Hayes, the director of Public Health – Seattle and King County, tries to determine funding and locations for the sites, which are likely to spur protests from surrounding neighborhoods.

“These things have to exist, physically, somewhere,” said Daniel Malone, director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, and a task force member. “There is significant trepidation about a location becoming an area that gets really damaged by having this particular activity happen there.”

Both Murray and Constantine were resolute that they could deal with any political blowback caused by the locations of the sites. “Whatever our discomfort with this as elected officials, as a community, put yourself in the place of a parent who is trying to save his or her child,” Constantine said. “We can put up with a little discomfort in order to be able to help that family heal and help that child recover.”

Said Murray: “Our biggest challenge is ahead of us, making it operational.”

The sites aim to quell the flood of overdose deaths and to connect drug users with health care and long-term treatment. They also aim to move drug abuse off sidewalks and out of alleys.

More than 600 used needles were found in Seattle’s urban core in November, said Brad Finegood, a task force member with the county Department of Community and Human Services.

“People use drugs all throughout our country,” said Caleb Banta-Green, a public health professor at the University of Washington specializing in drug abuse, and a task force member. “People use in public; they don’t want to use in public, and the public doesn’t want them using in public.”

Although no such sites exist in the United States, Vancouver, B.C., has had one since 2003. Drug users come to get clean needles and inject in a safe, supervised environment. Naloxone is used multiple times a day and is credited with preventing nearly 5,000 overdoses at the site in Vancouver.

But the site has not stopped overdose deaths outside its walls. There were 914 overdose deaths in British Columbia, which has about double the population of King County, in 2016. That’s a record number, one largely driven by the rise of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller that is as much as 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Heroin overdoses killed 132 people in King County in 2015. The death toll rises to 209 when overdoses from prescription opioids — which are, molecularly, virtually identical to heroin — are included.

In the state Legislature, Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way, has introduced legislation that would ban safe injection sites throughout the state. “We must stop the push for decriminalization of drugs,” Miloscia said earlier this month. “Standing idly by while addicts abuse illegal drugs is not compassionate, and it does not solve the problem.”

Another potential complication: While local law enforcement is on board with the sites and Gov. Jay Inslee has said they are a local decision, the task force has not consulted with any federal agency to discuss a possible federal law-enforcement reaction. Task-force members compared the consumption sites to needle-exchange programs, which the federal government initially opposed but nevertheless allowed localities to implement.

“This is an extension of our needle exchange. We’re treating this as a local issue and we’re using tools that we have,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, the county public health officer and the task force’s co-chair. “We don’t routinely, and we haven’t in this case, consulted any other authority, and we don’t think we need to.”

DCG

Donald Trump will publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal aliens

maga

This will no doubt trigger the pro-sanctuary city mayors. Works for me.

From Daily Mail: Donald Trump will publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal immigrants aliens under an executive action he claims will ‘enhance public safety’.  Trump signed the order on Wednesday which also stated that sanctuary cities that refuse to arrest immigrants over their illegal status will lose federal funding.

The list, also known as a Declined Detainer Outcome Report, will include a comprehensive list of criminal activity committed by illegal aliens that will ‘better inform’ the public.

The document states that the 300 sanctuary cities which currently exist nationwide violate federal law as they attempt to ‘shield aliens’ from deportation. Trump added that these cities have caused ‘immeasurable harm’ to Americans.

Although the president does not have power to withhold all federal funding, he can pressure cities to comply by cutting grants. The administration also plans to crack down by hiring an additional 10,000 immigration officers. 

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio vowed not to ‘deport law-abiding New Yorkers’ in a news conference on Wednesday. Mayors in Santa Fe, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston have all defied the president’s order and pledged to protect immigrants illegal aliens.

New York Police Department has a list of 170 criminal offenses that are not covered by the sanctuary policy, such as felony assault, rape, murder, terrorism, and gun smuggling and witness tampering, the New York Post reported.

NYPD is required to report illegal immigrants aliens charged with those crimes to federal law enforcement. 

DCG

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

ryan-asbert

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