Tag Archives: Seattle

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

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

An attempt to foster trust: Seattle-area transgender cops featured in HBO documentary

I’m sure this will foster more trust with the Seattle Police…until a victim has to wait more than an hour for the police to respond.

From The News Tribune: Two local transgender law enforcement officers — one a Seattle police officer and the other a King County sheriff’s deputy — are the subjects of a documentary on HBO.

“VICE News Tonight” correspondent Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani interviewed Officer Tori Newburn and sheriff’s Deputy Jamie Deer for the program.

Newburn is the first openly transgender officer on Seattle’s force. He had begun his transition to male when he enrolled in a police academy in 2014. “People wouldn’t know I was transgender unless I told them,” Newburn said.

Deer began his career in the Sheriff’s Office as a woman. When he began to transition he knew he had to come out as transgender.  “I would rather face an armed suspect … than having to come out to 700 co-workers,” Deer said. “To open yourself up like that was terrifying.”

Newburn and Deer said they hope their coming out will foster trust between the transgender community and law enforcement agencies. “It’s a long process to earn trust back when trust has been broken in the past,” Newburn said. “My hope is that me coming out as a transgender police officer will be another layer in building that bridge.”

“Trans Law Enforcement” premiered Thursday on “VICE News Tonight.” It is available on HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO On Demand.

As the transgender community has gained visibility, legislation affecting them has increased in the form of so-called “bathroom bills” that require transgender people in public buildings to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate.

In Washington, proponents failed to get a measure on the ballot in 2016.

h/t Maziel!

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

Burien, Washington declared sanctuary city by narrow council vote

illegal

From Seattle Times: Burien is about to become a so-called sanctuary city — joining Seattle and King County — after the City Council voted narrowly late Monday to bar city employees from asking for documentation of a person’s immigration status.

The ordinance passed on a 3-2 vote, after Burien Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and Deputy Mayor Bob Edgar left the meeting at 10 p.m., without voting. Councilmember Nancy Tosta, who supported the sanctuary city ordinance, said that Krakowiak frequently leaves meetings at 10 p.m., after they’ve gone on for three hours. Krakowiak and Edgar did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Councilmember Nancy Tosta supports illegal aliens

Councilmember Nancy Tosta supports illegal aliens

The scope of the change is limited because Burien does not have its own police department. The city relies on the King County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement, and that agency has long had policies restricting deputies from holding people strictly based on their immigration status. King County has also, since 2009, barred employees from asking about a person’s immigration status.

Olympia passed a similar resolution, declaring itself a sanctuary city, last week.

There is no set definition of what it means to be a sanctuary city, but Burien’s ordinance is broadly similar to the county’s, and is meant to limit local officials from enforcing federal immigration laws.

“We recognized the concern and fear that many people in our community are feeling within the current political climate, and we had letters come in expressing a desire for the council to take an action,” Tosta said. “Several of us believed it was important to make a statement to our community showing our values as a council.”

Burien’s ordinance says that civil immigration enforcement has traditionally been a federal responsibility and that shifting the onus to local agencies drains their limited resources. Part of the city’s goal, it says, is to foster trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement.

Debates over sanctuary cities have intensified since the election of Donald Trump in November. Trump has vowed to take federal funding from cities that shield residents from federal immigration authorities. But many urban centers, Seattle included, have doubled down, reaffirming that local law enforcement will not ask about someone’s immigration status, except in rare scenarios.

That’s been the law in Seattle since 2003. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray held a news conference the day after the election, promising that it would remain the law.

“We have a new administration coming in who has directly targeted numerous groups of people,” Burien Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz said, of the president-elect. Berkowitz had proposed a more expansive resolution, modeled on the law in San Francisco, but that was defeated 4-1.

Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz supports illegal aliens

Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz supports illegal aliens

Katie Hiedeman, a Burien resident who pushed for the sanctuary city ordinance, said that about 30 people spoke at the meeting in favor of it, with only a few opposed, before the vote, which happened after 10:30 p.m.

She wanted the ordinance passed for practical reasons — so that people, perhaps concerned about their immigration status, won’t be afraid to talk to police if they’re a victim or witness to a crime — and as a show of support. “These people have been in our community for maybe decades,” Hiedeman said. “Their children go to our schools, they go to the stores we shop in, they’re at the parks, they’re on our kids’ soccer teams, they are ingrained in our communities.”

maga

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

ISIS sympathizer, suspected in 3 King County killings, won’t face death penalty

A precedent against the death penalty was set in Washington state when they let Gary Ridgway off the hook. Now an ISIS pig will be on the taxpayer dime for life as well.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg

From Seattle Times: A man suspected of killing three men in Seattle and Skyway in 2014 will not face the death penalty, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg announced Friday.

Ali Muhammad Brown, 32, is accused of killing Leroy Henderson in Skyway, and Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle. Brown is believed to have fled to New Jersey days after the latter two shootings.

Satterberg said in a news release he decided against seeking the death penalty after reviewing the case and speaking with the victims’ families.

ISIS pig Ali Muhammad Brown

ISIS pig Ali Muhammad Brown

Brown, 32, is charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree murder in King County. Brown is being held in New Jersey, where he recently was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree robbery and several other crimes. He also is awaiting trial for one count of first-degree murder in Essex County, N.J., as well as another robbery charge in Ocean County, N.J.

It could take more than a year for those cases to be resolved, the prosecutor’s office said in a news release. When that happens, Brown will be returned to King County to face charges.

Prosecutors allege that Brown, a Muslim man, killed the four men in a fit of rage over the U.S. government’s role in the Middle East. He was on a federal terrorism watch list and wrote in his journal that he planned to follow the Islamic State group and “learn the ways of jihadis.”

serious

Brown is accused of fatally shooting Henderson shortly after 11:45 p.m. April 27, 2014, as Henderson was walking home from a Skyway store. Deputies linked Brown to the slaying through the 9 mm bullets and casings found in and around Henderson’s body.

Said was driving Anderson-Young home from R Place, a gay club on Capitol Hill, on June 1, 2014, when they were shot. Brown had reportedly met up with Said over a gay social-networking app, then connected with the two men outside the club that night and got into Said’s car, according to charges.

“The murders took place less than 17 minutes after two witnesses saw Ali Brown leave with the victims in Said’s car. There is no evidence to suggest that Said and/or Anderson-Young were armed, and these murders do not appear to be motivated by robbery, drugs or any other crime,” Seattle police Detective Cloyd Steiger wrote in investigative documents.

In a January 2015 interview with The Seattle Times, Falana Young-Wyatt, mother of Anderson-Young, said she didn’t feel strongly about whether Brown should be condemned to death row. She said she only cared about his swift return to King County to face trial.

“I want him to look me in the face,” she said. “I want him to know my son’s life matters. I just want justice for my son.”

DCG