Tag Archives: Washington State

King County judge pulls sanctuary city measure from Burien ballots

judge liz berns

The judge who made the ruling: Elizabeth Berns

The good judge stated the language in the petition was “inflammatory.”

About the judge who made the ruling:

“Judge Berns has been active in the LGBTQ community helping others understand domestic violence and sexual assault within that community. She has co-authored a chapter on LGBTQ Minorities and Sexual Offenses in the Sexual Offense Bench Guide for Judges, and a chapter on LGBTQ DV in the Domestic Violence Manual for Judges. She is the Project Chair for the King County Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Coordinated Response Oversight Committee, and is on faculty for the National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges for judicial education programs entitled “Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases.”

From Seattle Times: King County Elections is pulling an anti-sanctuary city initiative off the Nov. 7 Burien ballot, following a Thursday court ruling. The initiative calls for repealing a city ordinance, passed by the City Council in January, that bars police officers and other city employees from asking about a person’s religion or immigration status.

King County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Berns issued a preliminary injunction Thursday morning declaring the ballot measure invalid on several grounds, including that it exceeded the scope of authority granted to initiatives and deviated from state requirements “for the contents and form of a petition.”

“It was a little overwhelming to get to this point,” said Hugo Garcia, a member of Burien Communities for Inclusion, the group that sought the injunction. “But yeah, I’m very happy.”

The initiative, pushed by the organization Respect Washington, sparked a fierce immigration debate in Burien that mirrored the national one prompted by President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about Mexicans being criminals and stealing American jobs.

Burien Communities for Inclusion cited language in Respect Washington’s petition to argue that it used inflammatory language that misrepresented the ordinance it sought to repeal.

The petition said the ordinance “threatens the safety of every Burien citizen and legal resident by allowing criminal aliens, like the one who shot Kate Steinle in San Francisco, to prey upon others inside our once peaceful town.”

Trump, among others, has cited Steinle’s murder in 2015 by an undocumented immigrant illegal alien as justification for cracking down on illegal immigration.

The plaintiffs also successfully argued that the petition intruded upon the city’s rights to govern its own affairs.

“It tells the city of Burien what kind of instructions to give its employees,” said Dmitri Iglitzin, a lawyer for Burien Communities for Inclusion, which includes city residents and other immigrant advocates.

Neither Respect Washington nor its lawyer could be reached immediately for comment.

Janine Joly, senior deputy King County prosecutor, said Thursday she had not yet heard of an appeal filed by the group. If Respect Washington did appeal, and won, she said a court would have to issue emergency relief to get the initiative back on the ballot.

The deadline for sending ballots to the printer is Thursday, said King County Elections spokeswoman Kafia Hosh. “Our team is working right now to create new ballots without the measure,” she said. The county is required to send ballots to overseas residents and service members by Sept. 23.

Garcia said the initiative had created a lot of fear in Burien, even for him, a naturalized American citizen who came here from Mexico when he was 8. “As a Latino male, I don’t know that cops are going to be able to differentiate whether I’m documented or undocumented illegal,” he said.

DCG

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Seattle’s homosexual mayor resigns, finally, after fifth allegation of sexual abuse

Ed Murray with husband Michael Shiosaki

Both Dr. Eowyn and I have chronicled the sexual abuse allegations of embattled Seattle mayor (tomorrow he’s a former mayor) Ed Murray.

In April, Dr. Eowyn reported that Murray (demorat) was accused of having sexually molested a 15-year-old boy in the 1980s. At the time, Murray would have been in his early 30s.

From her blog post:

“Lewis Kamb and Jim Brunner report for Seattle Times that on April 6, 2017, a 46-year-old man with the initials D.H., a resident of Kent, Washington, filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court, claiming that Ed Murray had “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old crack-cocaine addicted high-school dropout. Murray gave the teen payments of $10 to $20.

Murray vehemently denied the allegations and abruptly canceled a scheduled news conference about police reform.

Two other men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, had accused Murray of abusing them in the 1980s when Simpson was 13 and Anderson was 16 years old. Both men had known Murray when they were growing up in a Portland center for troubled children.”

In July, I reported that it was revealed that the mayor was investigated by Oregon Child Protective Services (CPS) in 1984. The CPS determined that Murray should never again be a foster parent. From my blog post:

“…a child welfare investigator in Oregon concluded in 1984 that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son, The Seattle Times reports.

The Oregon Child Protective Services investigation validated Jeff Simpson’s allegations of abuse, according to public records the Times obtained.

Mayor Murray has publicly denied the allegations and made it a point that prosecutors in Oregon decided not to charge him years ago.

“Other than the salacious nature of it, I don’t see what the story is,” Murray told the Times. “The system vindicated me. They withdrew the case.”

Now comes news that the good mayor is resigning due to a FIFTH sexual abuse allegation. Apparently five is his unlucky number.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that he will resign after a relative became the fifth man to accuse him of sexual abuse.

Murray released the following statement:

I am announcing my resignation as mayor, effective at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business.

I’m proud of all that I have accomplished over my 19 years in the Legislature, where I was able to pass what were at the time the largest transportation packages in state history, a landmark gay civil rights bill and a historic marriage equality bill.

And I am proud of what we have accomplished together at the City during my time as mayor, passing a nation-leading $15 minimum wage, and major progressive housing affordability and police accountability legislation, as well as negotiating an agreement to build a world-class arena that I believe in time will bring the NHL and NBA to Seattle.

But it has also become clear to me that in light of the latest news reports it is best for the city if I step aside.

To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.

In the interest of an orderly transition of power, Council President Bruce Harrell will become Mayor upon my resignation, and will decide within the following five days whether he will fill out the remainder of my term. During this time Director of Operations Fred Podesta has been tasked with leading the transition.

A cousin of Murray accused him of sexual abuse, The Seattle Times reports. The Times reports that Joseph Dyer says that he was molested by Murray in the 1970s when he was 13.

“There would be times when I would fake sleeping because I didn’t want him touching me,” Dyer told the Times. “And that’s when he would molest me.”

Murray told the Times that he denies the latest allegations. He says there is a “backstory” between his family and his cousin’s family. Murray believes they want to “finish” him off.

Murray canceled his appearance at the KeyArena announcement — it was later completely canceled. He told the Times he questions the timing of the accusation. “It’s never been our intent to take down the mayor,” Seattle Times reporter Lewis Kamb told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

Murray’s cousin is the fifth person to accuse him of abuse.

Allegations of abuse originally surfaced in the beginning of April. Since then, the man who filed a lawsuit against Murray dropped it; he then filed another lawsuit against the City of Seattle demanding millions. His lawyer, Lincoln Beauregard, tweeted the following on Tuesday after news of the latest allegation broke: The truth normally prevails…

Murray has vehemently denied the allegations. He wrote an op-ed in which it alleged conspiracies of “political take down.”

Though the lawsuit against Murray was dropped, several notable names in Seattle, including two council members, have called for him to resign. The city’s LGBTQ Commission and Human Rights Commission also called for Murray to resign.

Murray previously said he will not step down before his term ends. “I continue to believe such a course of action would not be in the city’s best interest,” he said in July. “That is why I am not going to resign, and intend to complete the few remaining months of my term as mayor.”

Murray dropped from his race for re-election.

DCG

NFL player Michael Bennett claims racial profiling by LVPD…omits a few details from his story

michael bennett

Bennett (l) and his buddy Kaepernick.

I’ve told you about this NFL player before. He’s writing a book entitled, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable (due out next year) and he won’t stand for the national anthem until he “feels like everything is equal.”

This past Wednesday he went public with an incident he had with the Las Vegas Police Department in August. We know there are two sides to every story yet it’s quite interesting that Mr. Bennett omitted a couple important details from his story. Read on…

From MyNorthwest.com: Michael Bennett addressed reporters Wednesday afternoon, hours after he posted an open letter to Twitter detailing a disturbing encounter with Las Vegas police during which he was forcefully held to the ground and handcuffed by an officer.

(From Bennett’s Twitter post: ““A police officer ordered me to get on the ground,” Bennett wrote. “As I laid on the ground, complying with his commands to not move, he placed  his gun near my head and warned me that if I moved he would ‘blow my (expletive) head off’.”)

“A lot of people of color have dealt with this before,” Bennett said. “And I hate that it happened to me, but I’m lucky to be in the situation to have the platform to continuously speak on injustice.”

Bennett said he told his family, teammates and head coach Pete Carroll about the incident after it happened in late August. After seeking advice about how to handle it, Bennett ultimately decided to make a public statement.

“There’s a lot of people who experience what I experienced in that moment,” Bennett said. “And they’re not here to tell their story.

“It’s an emotional moment for me. I know a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, did he want this on himself?’ I didn’t ask for this moment. It just happened to be me… any moment, I could have made the wrong decision. Whether move or (make the officer feel) like I was resisting or doing something wrong, and (the Seahawks) would be wearing… the patch with the No. 72 on it.”

A clearly emotional Bennett stood at the podium at Seahawks headquarters in Renton and fielded questions for nearly seven minutes before pausing during a question about his family.

The question was about a statement he made last year about being a black man in America – how even great accomplishments or fame cannot protect or make people of color immune from racism, racial profiling or police brutality.

“I try to tell my daughters every single day that they matter, and that…” Bennett said, before quietly walking out of the auditorium.

Cornerback Richard Sherman, who spoke to reporters shortly after Bennett’s exit, said Bennett’s own encounter is evidence in itself for the causes Bennett publicly supports — including his controversial decision to sit during the national anthem.

“Mike is literally sitting, taking a stand, doing everything he can to combat the same thing that he experienced,” Sherman said.

“And people are so worried about him sitting down during the national anthem that they completely miss that message a lot of the time. They want to be more angry at the action than the message. And that’s an unfortunate part of the world we live in nowadays. I wish that people would take it for what it is and make a difference.”


And what exactly did the Las Vegas Police Department have to stay about the incident that occurred in late August? From USA Today:

Las Vegas police said that there is no evidence to Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett’s accusation that he was racially profiled by the department during an incident outside a casino. 

Las Vegas Police Department undersheriff Kevin McMahill held a news conference Wednesday to respond to Bennett’s allegations, which he revealed earlier in the day.

“Many of the folks today have called this a incident of bias-based policing, police officers focusing solely on the race of an individual that they’re going to stop,” McMahill said. “I can tell you as I stand here today, I see no evidence of that. I see no evidence that race played any role in this incident.”

The officer who apprehended Bennett didn’t have his body camera on and it was not immediately clear why, McMahil lsaid. He added there are 126 videos from the officers that will be reviewed, and if those reveal that “any policies or training was violated, those officers will be held accountable.”

In a social media post, Bennett claimed he was singled out for “simply being a black man.” He added that “the officers’ excessive use of force was unbearable.”

Officers responded to reports of a possible active shooter in the casino around 1:30 on Aug. 27 after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight.

While searching for an active shooter, an officer noticed Bennett crouched near a gaming machine. Two officers gave chase when the individual (later identified as Bennett) ran out of the casino and onto the strip. Both officers were armed with handguns, and the arresting officer did not turn on his body camera.

“You hear the officer approaching the door saying, ‘There he is.’ He gives chase, Mr. Bennett jumped over the wall, our officer jumped went over the wall immediately there after,” McMahill said. He said Bennett was detained for 10 minutes and released.

Bennett said he was not given “any justification” for his apprehension.


So Mr. Bennett is “crouching” during an active shooter situation? Understandable if he knew what was occurring. But if he didn’t know it might be an active shooter situation, then why is he crouching behind a gaming machine?

Even if Bennett didn’t know of the active shooter situation, why would he choose to run from a police officer? Guess it’s just one of those things that might make us white people uncomfortable.

DCG

DACA rescinded: Get ready for the drama…”End of life as we know it”

paul quinonez

Paul’s Twitter profile pic. From his Twitter bio, “From the best state in Mexico: Colima.”

Want to be the “best you can be,” Paul? You can start online here.

Surprisingly, there are very few sympathetic comments on the liberal Seattle Times web site.

From Seattle Times: Paúl Quiñonez Figueroa wakes up around 6 a.m. every day, anxious.

“I could literally wake up to the end of DACA,” he said of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which since 2012 has allowed young people brought to this country illegally to live and work here.

As a 22-year-old DACA recipient, the waiting has been killing him. “He should announce it already,” Quiñonez Figueroa said Friday in his Northgate apartment.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did it for the president. Sessions announced an “orderly, lawful wind-down” of DACA over the next six months. The Department of Homeland Security will accept no new applications.

Current DACA recipients, however, will be allowed to work legally until their two-year permits expire. That gives Quiñonez Figueroa until February 2019.

“Having a few extra months to prepare for the end of life as we know it is not treating us with empathy or with heart,” Quiñonez Figueroa, an activist with Washington Dream Coalition, said immediately after Sessions’ remarks.

And he was infuriated that President Donald Trump, who had pledged to show heart when dealing with Dreamers, “did not have the decency to face us.”

Now, he’s looking toward the congressional debate that Trump and Sessions have set up as they left the fate of DACA recipients to the legislative branch.

Quiñonez Figueroa, who works as a legislative assistant to state Rep. Shelley Kloba D-Kirkland, said he and his peers plan to press members of Congress to vote on a new DREAM Act introduced this year. The bipartisan bill goes further than previous, failed versions; those eligible would include not just young, undocumented immigrants illegal aliens who go to college or serve in the military but also those in the workforce.

Unlike DACA, it would provide a path to citizenship.

Quiñonez Figueroa said, however, “we’re not going to be used as bargaining chips to put down our parents, to put down our friends.”

He was referring to speculation that Trump and some Republicans might try to trade passage of the DREAM Act for items on the president’s agenda less friendly to immigrants: building a wall on the border with Mexico, hiring thousands of new Border Patrol agents and placing new restrictions on legal immigration.

If Congress tacked such addendums onto the DREAM Act, Quiñonez Figueroa said, DACA recipients like him would seek to kill the bill, he said.

His views represent something of an evolution in the Dreamer movement. It has generated tremendous momentum in part because people brought here as kids are often seen as blameless, unlike other immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally.

But some are so uneasy with being in a special category that they no longer want to be called “Dreamers” — a term they feel connotes virtue unique to them. “We’ve moved far beyond that,” Quiñonez Figueroa said.

He and others want the parents who brought them here to have the same protections they do, even while that is a much more controversial notion.

‘Best I could be’

For a long time, Quiñonez Figueroa was angry about being uprooted from his home in a small town in the Mexican state of Colima, about 500 miles due west of Mexico City. He was 7. “I remember my childhood as happy — normal,” he said. “Why did I have to grow up undocumented illegally here?”

Only last year, when he returned to Colima while studying in Mexico for the summer, did he realize the poverty of his hometown, the challenges his cousins faced in getting to college and the dangers of a country beset by drug cartels.

Then, his parents’ decision to reunite the family in the U.S. — where his father had been working construction and was finding return visits increasingly hard because of toughening border security — made more sense.

He remembers the trip in the back seat of a car, eating potato chips and trying to keep his younger brother quiet as they crossed into California, driven by a legal resident. His mother followed a week later, taking a riskier trip through the desert that she never talked about.

Eventually, they made their way to Eastern Washington, where they had extended family. Quiñonez Figueroa mostly grew up there. Tutored by his mom, who had wanted to be a teacher but couldn’t afford the necessary schooling, he was placed in a program for advanced students.

He threw himself into extracurriculars: volunteering as a bilingual interpreter, running cross-country and playing tennis, joining the debate and Spanish clubs.

“I had to be the best I could be,” he said. Otherwise, he wouldn’t get the private scholarships he needed to go to college. Even when DACA came into being right before his last year of high school, and he was deemed eligible, he couldn’t get federal financial aid due to his status.

As the Trump administration has been keen to point out, DACA recipients are still considered undocumented illegal even though the government has granted them permission to work here temporarily.

Accepted by Gonzaga University, Quiñonez Figueroa benefited from Washington’s version of the DREAM Act, approved while he was there, to allow undocumented students illegal aliens to get state financial aid.

He quickly built up his résumé. He interned for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, in Washington, D.C., and got a fellowship to spend a summer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs.

After school, he worked as an Eastern Washington field director for Sen. Patty Murray’s re-election campaign, and was interested in working for the federal government. But undocumented immigrants illegal aliens are not allowed.

So he turned to local politics. In his job as Rep. Kloba’s assistant, he does everything from running the office budget to helping arrange town-hall meetings.

Not ready to give up

It was in Mexico last summer that Quiñonez Figueroa realized how American he has become. Participating in a program that brought DACA recipients to study side by side with Mexican students, he picked up on subtle but distinct cultural differences, like the way he and his peers would complain about service they found lacking.

“We were called ‘arrogant Americans,’” he recalled.

He nevertheless discovered he could get by in Mexico if he had to. His Spanish was passable. There were opportunities for college-educated professionals like him.

Staring down the possibility of a forced repatriation, he said it wouldn’t be end of the world, but added: “I’m not ready to give up.”

His game plan: go to graduate school and hope that by the time he’s done Congress will have passed a law allowing him to stay.

DCG

Seattle mayoral candidate announces free college plan for high school graduates

jenny durkan

Demorats love giving away “free” stuff.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan announced Monday a proposal to provide free college to Seattle students, should she become mayor.

“At the end of the day, it will be the exception that kids don’t start a program for college,” Durkan said. “It is a necessary road to success. Completion of a degree, for me, is success.”

Durkan notes that one out of four Seattle graduates do not pursue a higher degree after high school; 1/3 for students of color. Her solution is called the “Seattle Promise” plan. It is partially modeled from an existing program in Seattle called the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program. It would provide tuition for every graduate from a public Seattle high school at any community college in Washington state. Four-year universities will not be included. Durkan said that she would implement the program as soon as possible; within her first potential year as mayor.

Durkan estimates that the program will cost between $4.3 – 5 million in its first year. It will rise to $7 million after that. Durkan further promotes that Seattle can implement such a program without finding new revenue sources. (HAHAHAHAHA.)

“We have identified areas we could tap,” Durkan said. “We will be working with stakeholders, obviously the city council and others … it is clear looking at the budget today that we do not have to come up with new revenue sources to fund this.”

Some sources Durkan mentioned would be from the upcoming renewal of the family and education levy, as well as the recently-passed Seattle soda tax. Funds from the Sound Transit 3 levy, slated for education, could also be a source.

“The beauty of this program is for the relatively small amount of money we are investing from this city, the return for our kids is tremendous,” she said.

“It’s not just covering tuition and class fees,” Durkan said. “A critical component of this is we will have advisers and mentors for kids … to help them work through their college applications and financial aid forms. And when they get to college, there will be someone to advise them on what classes to take.”

Durkan said that the Seattle Promise plan is part of a larger vision to address affordability in Seattle, as well as the achievement and opportunity gap in schools.

“For many in America, two of the most important investments are a college degree and a home,” Durkan said. “Today, for most families and young people in Seattle, these investments in the future – college and a home – are completely out of reach, particularly in communities of color. Under Seattle Promise, our kids will know they have a debt-free route to enter the workforce career-ready or pursue further studies at four-year colleges and universities.”

“In the era of Trump, if we want to implement bold progressive ideas to address social and economic inequality and make our city more affordable, we are going to have to act on our own, at the local level,” she said.

DCG

Two police officers suing socialist Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant for her irresponsible comments

sawant always screaming

Socialist Sawant…maybe having to pay for spreading lies will help keep her mouth shut.

Good. This socialist has been blabbing false truths since she took office.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle police officers Scott Miller and Detective Michael Spaulding are suing Kshama Sawant as an individual for “having their reputations ruined by an ambitious politician, doing so for personal gain.”

The lawsuit, filed by Williams, Kastney and Gibbs, claims Sawant, acting beyond her scope as a city councilmember, personally defamed the two officers who were involved in the shooting death against Che Taylor after he allegedly pulled a gun on them. A gun was found at the scene and a witness corroborates the story from Miller and Spaulding. A King County inquest jury found that Taylor, indeed, posed a threat of death or serious injury to these two officers.

According to the filing, “…having never spoken to the officers, their attorney, the department, and with the investigation still incomplete, Kshama Sawant was publicly pronouncing these officers ‘murderers’ and referring to the shooting as a product of ‘racial profiling.’ As a consequence of her rhetoric, the lawsuit alleges the officers were “publicly berated and chastised” and Miller had to move.

“Citizens of this community have this right (to file the lawsuit),” said Kevin Stuckey, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. “Kshama Sawant said those things but it’s up to a jury to decide.”

This is the second lawsuit filed against Sawant this month. Carl Haglund’s attorney says Sawant introduced a law prohibiting landlords from raising rents for buildings that do not meet basic maintenance standards. She referred to the legislation as “the Carl Haglund law.”

DCG

Council candidate wants to increase Seattle’s tax on guns and ammo

jon grant

Jon Grant: doubling down on taxing firearm owners

Seattle collected much less tax payer money than anticipated with their new gun tax. The solution to that? Raise the taxes…brilliant! From candidate Grant’s website:

However, in the year since it was implemented it has become clear the law does not go far enough. The revenue created hit less than half its projected goal and therefore the tax on guns and ammunition must be doubled to fulfill our promise to adequately fund critical research on gun violence.  

The city already spent in previous years $275,000 from the General Fund to start up research projects at the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center. Now the city is in the red in its research spending and we must require the gun industry to shoulder the costs some of those costs.

I would expect nothing less from a “community organizer.”

From MyNorthwest.com: One of two candidates vying to replace Seattle Councilmember Tim Burgess wants voters to double down on the city’s gun tax.

Jon Grant, who is running against Teresa Mosqueda for the seat being vacated Tim Burgess, says Seattle is being hit hard by gun violence and the gun industry needs to be held accountable.

The current tax of $25 per gun and 5 cents per round of ammunition was originally estimated to bring in as much as $500,000 in its first year. The money would be used for gun violence research and programs to reduce gun-related crimes.

The tax brought in just over $100,000 in 2016, according to documents the city recently provided after a public records battle with TheGunMag.

Grant says doubling the tax to $50 a gun and 10 cents per round of ammunition would beef up the research funding and ensure the gun industry shoulder’s some of the costs of gun violence.

Burgess spearheaded the effort to bring a gun tax to Seattle.

DCG