Tag Archives: Washington State

Former Seattle mayoral candidate: Security guard followed black people because of white supremacy

nikkita oliver

Nikkita Oliver sees white supremacy everywhere…

Nikkita Oliver, a community organizer and BLM supporter, ran for mayor in Seattle this year. She came in third in the primaries and didn’t make it to the general election ballot.

Since she’s not going to be in the public life, I guess she’s somehow got to stay in the public eye.

From MyNorthwest.com: Former Seattle mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver says video she took inside a grocery store of a security guard following two black teens is further proof of racism in modern America.

“While I’m walking through the aisle … I see two young black people walk by me,” Oliver said in a Facebook video.

As a youth worker here in the neighborhood, I noticed them. I see them. I gave a little head nod,” she said. “Then I also see a security guard walk by me very swiftly. It wasn’t my desire to get into anything at the Safeway … I turn and I’m thinking ‘Is this security guard following these young people?’ And I see he is following them. He’s following them very quickly.”

The incident happened at the Rainier Beach* Safeway in Seattle. Oliver confronted the security guard and started recording her interaction with him. In the four days since the video was posted on Nov. 12, it has been shared 2,150 times, and has been viewed nearly 333,000 times. The only insight into the video is from a second video Oliver posted two days later. In the second video, she explains how she eventually confronted the guard about his behavior. According to her, he said “I’ve been doing this job for a while now and I know how to spot when someone is going to do something.”

(*In 2015, Rainier Beach had a population that was 31.4% black compared to 29.6% Asian and 22.7% white.)

Oliver said that the young men noticed her confronting the guard and told her that they knew they were being followed.

At this point, Oliver’s Facebook Live video takes over, recording her interaction with the guard who leads her to store management. Those officials explain that they hire an outside company to provide security and then gave Oliver the company’s phone number.

In response to Oliver’s video at the Rainier Beach grocery store, Safeway issued the following statement: Discrimination is contrary to who we are as a company and how we serve our customers and communities. We take the allegations seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation.  The security individual featured in the video is employed by a third party security service, and he is no longer assigned to a Safeway store.

Oliver did not respond to requests for comment from KIRO Radio, or any other media, following the video inside the Safeway store. Instead, she posted a second video in response. Oliver explains that from her recent experiences with media, “stories get spun and get used for click bait, and get used to make us look like we are in the wrong.”

“People are always questioning whether or not people of color are truly being followed through stores; whether or not the stories we are telling about microaggressions and how white supremacy impacts us in our daily lives are true,” she said. “And I wanted to make sure people could see that. I also wanted to actively challenge that because we live in a society; right now are seeing white supremacy and the problems with it and the problems with patriarchy.

Oliver said she has called the security company and Safeway’s corporate office. She did not have any contact with either company at the time of the recording.

“This stuff really happens to our young people, day in and day out,” Oliver said in her video response. “Stores don’t want to take responsibility for it. Security doesn’t want to take responsibility for it. But it’s racist, it’s white supremacist, and it’s wrong.

DCG

Advertisements

Bloodsuckers: Seattle council approves tax on Airbnb rentals

self licking ice cream cone

As I’ve told you – here, here and here – there’s never enough money that Seattle demorats can’t get their hands on.

From Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council voted Monday to tax operators of short-term rentals, such as those listed on Airbnb. Beginning in 2019, the city will impose taxes of $14 per night for entire homes and $8 per night for rooms.

In addition to paying for the city to set up and administer the tax*, the proceeds will be used to support community-initiated development projects and create affordable housing, according to the ordinance.

(*Self-licking ice cream cone n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence.)

The council was scheduled to also vote Monday on regulations for the short-term rental industry. But Councilmember Rob Johnson persuaded four of his colleagues to join him in voting to refer that legislation back to his land-use committee for additional discussion.

As now proposed, the regulatory ordinance would require all short-term rental operators to obtain a license and would cap the number of short-term rentals operated by a single person or company at two.

People and companies operating short-term rentals before Sept. 30 of this year in an area including downtown, Uptown and South Lake Union would be exempt from the cap.

There may be debate at the committee level about where the boundaries of the exempted area should be and whether listing platforms such as Airbnb should pay fees.

DCG

Socialist Seattle councilmember wants to double proposed head tax

sawant2

Cough up more money you rich businesses!

There’s never enough of your money that Seattle proggies and socialists can’t get their hands on.

From MyNorthwest.com: If Amazon can afford to spend billions on a second headquarters, it can surely afford to pay a head tax.

That was the sentiment from Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who wants the proposed tax on the wealthiest 10 percent of businesses in the city to be increased from $100 per employee to $200.

Council members Mike O’Brien and Kirsten Harris-Talley proposed a head tax for approximately 2,200 businesses who gross receipts value is at least $5 million per year. They say a business would pay an additional 5 cents an hour per employee to help “alleviate Seattle’s homelessness crisis.”

The two proposed the tax during the city’s budget process. If approved, the tax would have an effective date of early 2019. It would raise between $20 million and $25 million each year, according to O’Brien.

But why not up the ante? Sawant says.

Assuming the tax was increased from $100 to $200 per employee, Sawant says the city could raise at least $50 million a year. Amazon would pay about $8 million a year; not much when you consider the company’s yearly revenue, she says.

“That is less than six parts in thousand of one percent of their 2016 revenue,” she said. She added the fractions are “so small, it doesn’t even make sense. “It’s 1/625th of the money they … intend to use to build a new campus.”

Sawant proposed increasing the tax on Election Day.

The company announced earlier this year that it would invest $5 billion and create as many as 50,000 jobs.  If approved, the tax would fund affordable housing projects and emergency services.

There has been pushback from the business community. Many have voiced concern over the tax in a city that is already costly to operate in. Not every business is as wealthy as Amazon, after all.

“I urge you to abandon the idea of a head tax,” Bartell Drugs chair George Bartell wrote in a statement. “We are a significant employer here in Seattle and we reached a breaking point on the city-imposed fees and costs. Instead, I ask you to spend the money already raised for homelessness prudently and effectively and that you continue to partner with the significant number of non-profit organizations that are rallying to confront this issue.”

DCG

Tax dollars at work: Seattle to defend loud mouth socialist Sawant in defamation lawsuit

sawant always screaming

Socialist Sawant…always screaming about something.

Did you really believe that a socialist would cough up her own money?

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell decided the city will defend Councilmember Kshama Sawant in a defamation lawsuit brought against her by two city officers.

The Seattle Times reported Thursday that in a letter Bruce Harrell explains his reasoning that Sawant “was speaking about issues important to her constituents.”

By city charter, Harrell had to decide if Sawant made the alleged statement “within the course and scope of employment.”

In the lawsuit, officers Scott Miller and Michael Spaulding claim they were defamed when Sawant falsely declared they had committed a “brutal murder” in last year’s fatal shooting of Che Taylor (read about that here).

The city also is representing Sawant in a separate defamation lawsuit brought by a property-owner who took issue with Sawant referring to him as a “notorious slumlord.”

Assistant City Attorney Joe Groshong has said he wouldn’t be surprised if total litigation costs exceeded $300,000 in both lawsuits.

DCG

Ruh roh: Accuser files new suit against former homosexual mayor Ed Murray, adds Seattle as defendant

Ed Murray with husband Michael Shiosaki

We’ve told you about the homosexual mayor of Seattle (now former mayor), Ed Murray, and the sexual abuse allegations against him. See the following:

Looks like Murray, and now the city of Seattle, are going to be busy meeting with their lawyers.

As reported by Lewis Kamb from the Seattle Times: A Kent man who earlier this year withdrew a lawsuit that helped expose a wider alleged child-sex-abuse scandal that drove Ed Murray out of public office has refiled a legal case against Seattle’s former mayor.

Delvonn Heckard’s new lawsuit not only accuses Murray of repeatedly raping and molesting him as a teenager, but also blames the city of Seattle for enabling Murray to use his political office to slander Heckard and other alleged victims for months during the former mayor’s public denials.

“Acting within the scope of employment and utilizing his position of power as bestowed upon him by the citizens of the City of Seattle, Mr. Murray spread false and harmful information about Delvonn, and his attorneys, in an effort to win re-election and extinguish these claims,” the lawsuit contends.

The suit, filed Monday in King County Superior Court, accuses Murray of making “false assertions” that included calling Heckard a liar motivated by an anti-gay political agenda. It names only Murray and the city as defendants, but also contends that Murray’s personal spokesman, his lead attorney, his husband and his campaign team “acted in concert to perpetuate this fraud.”

Heckard’s 13-page complaint also blames “many members of Seattle’s political elite” — specifically naming Seattle City Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Sally Bagshaw — for empowering Murray’s attacks on victims by refusing to seek the mayor’s removal from office.

“The failure to act was a form of negligence that permitted Mr. Murray to continue to use his power to defame the assorted victims,” the suit states. “These actions, enabling, and watching future leaders of the community accept Mr. Murray’s endorsement, caused added emotional distress and humiliation to Delvonn, and childhood sex abuse victims everywhere.”

Murray, through his personal spokesman, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for City Attorney Pete Holmes said early Monday his office had not yet received a copy of Heckard’s lawsuit and doesn’t typically comment on pending litigation against the city.

Murray, 62, a former state legislator in his first term as Seattle mayor, resigned on Sept. 12 about two hours after The Seattle Times reported his cousin, Joseph Dyer, had become the fifth man to publicly accuse him of child sexual abuse decades ago.

Aside from Heckard and Dyer, Murray’s accusers include Jeff Simpson, Murray’s live-in foster son in the early 1980s; Lloyd Anderson, who lived in a Portland children’s group home where Murray worked as a counselor in the late 1970s; and Maurice Lavon Jones, who claims Murray paid him for sex when Jones was a teenage prostitute in Seattle in the late 1980s.

Heckard is the only accuser to sue Murray. His latest legal complaint partly echoes details included in the initial lawsuit, filed in April. Both suits allege Murray began paying small amounts of cash to Heckard for sex in 1986, when Heckard was a homeless 15-year-old drug addict roaming the streets of Capitol Hill. Murray’s pay-for-sex relationship with Heckard allegedly continued over the next four years, the suit contends.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Big rate hikes for health insurance will slam Washingtonians

O laughs

Obamacare going as planned…

This is not happening just in Washington. I have health insurance with BCBS OK and pay $550/month – up from $380/month last year. I have no co-pays (I pay the full contracted price when I walk through the doctor’s door) and a $6,800 annual deductible. BCBS informed me that my wonderful plan is being eliminated and I will soon receive my options for next year. I can hardly wait to see how much I get slammed.

From MyNorthwest.com: Open enrollment for health insurance in 2018 starts on Nov. 1 and thousands of people in Washington state will see big increases in their premiums.

The state’s insurance commissioner will officially release rates next week, and his office is warning that hundreds of thousands of people who do not get their insurance through an employer, will see a rate hike in the double digits.

Some 330,000 Washingtonians don’t get health insurance through an employer.

“I’m one of the folks who has to go out and get insurance on my own,” said Edward Weatherly, who is currently working a temp job. His monthly premiums?  “It costs me about $430 a month,” Weatherly said.

And the state’s insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler, says rates for 2018 will go up – by a lot. “We’re looking at rate increases that are going to be in the 20s (percentage). We haven’t seen that, except going back before the Affordable Care Act,” Kreidler said.

The ones hardest hit will be the middle class – people who don’t qualify for a subsidy.

“It’s that person who doesn’t receive any help that I’m worried about. That’s going (to) say, ‘I’m going to hit the wall and I can’t afford this any longer,’” Kriedler said.

Weatherly is one of those individuals. He says it’s already difficult to make ends meet. “In addition to the rent, it’s pretty tough every month,” Weatherly said. “And there have been a couple of times I’ve thought about letting the insurance go.”

It gets worse – the insurance commissioner says people who are not subsidized with the most popular “Silver Plan” could see even more dramatic rate hikes. “On top of the mid-20 percent rate increase, they could see a 9 to 27 percent (increase) on top of that,” Kreidler said.

He says one reason for the steep increases is the uncertainty coming out of Washington, D.C. “I don’t care if they call it ‘Trumpcare’ whatever it is. But you’ve got to do something to make sure you’re taking care of the people. Access to affordable quality health insurance,” he said.

Weatherly says he’s hoping for a change.

I’m hoping we just get to a point where it becomes a right. So many things that we argue about, at both the national and the state level, that to me in the overall scheme of things don’t mean anything. It’s not life and death. Whereas health insurance, to me, is life and death,” Weatherly said.

The state insurance commissioner plans to release official rate hikes Thursday. Where you live could also impact how much your rates will go up, and the rates will be broken down by region, insurer and plan.

DCG

Bloodsucker: Seattle council member wants to toll drivers who try to avoid tolls

mike o'brien

Mike O’Brien: One way or the other, you will pay

There’s never enough taxpayer money that Seattle demorats can’t get their hands on.

Earlier this week I told you about how two Seattle council members were proposing a new business tax that would place fees on the city’s top earning companies to fund programs for the homeless. This comes after the council approved an income tax on the wealthy (for individuals making over $250,000 per year), yet that will face a legal challenge.

Now this: A Seattle council member wants to toll folks who drive alternative routes to avoid a highway toll. That’s liberal logic for you.

From MyNorthwest.com: A Seattle council member thinks he may have a solution to drivers avoiding tolls — another toll.

“To maintain the bus service, what we need to do is make sure that there aren’t more cars on our streets downtown,” Councilmember Mike O’Brien told KIRO 7.

As the council considers its next budget — expected to pass before the end of the year — O’Brien wants the city to look ahead a couple of years to when the Highway 99 tunnel opens under downtown Seattle. Drivers will have to pay a toll to bypass downtown surface streets.

Some studies suggest that drivers will likely avoid the tunnel toll and move to surrounding streets, according to KIRO 7. In which case, O’Brien wants to establish another fee to keep people from doing so.

“Folks that are on (highway) 99 that are going to try divert to get out of the tunnel, because that they don’t want to pay that toll, do we have some sort of toll that says, ‘You are going to pay a toll one way or the other’? So if you are going to use the tunnel, just use it,” O’Brien said.

London has a similar system — known as congestion pricing — to cut down on snarled traffic in its central district. Traffic volumes decreased by 10 percent, KIRO 7 reports.

O’Brien is currently pushing for $200,000 in the next budget so the city can study the potential toll before the tunnel opens in early 2019.

DCG