It’s here! It’s time!
As we speak, ballots are sitting in mailboxes, decaying on countertops or in voting drop boxes where they belong. Real Change will never tell you who to vote for (by nonprofit law), but we will encourage you to fill in that bubble like it’s the most vital standardized test.
Here’s the thing — Washington state is one of the easiest places to exercise your right to vote. It’s only gotten more accessible over time, giving people the ability to register on Election-Day Tuesday at a polling place to maximize the number of Washingtonians who can participate in elections.
States that make it difficult are disingenuous at best. Voter fraud is vanishingly rare, and people who use it as a reason to make voting more difficult should be viewed accordingly.
Vote. There’s a lot you can do to make a difference in your community, but almost nothing with a cost-benefit analysis as good as voting.
RELATED ARTICLES: Q&A's with Seattle City Council candidates
District 1: Lisa Herbold, Phil Tavel
District 2: Mark Solomon, Tammy Morales
District 3: Egan Orion, Kshama Sawant
District 4: Alex Pedersen, Shaun Scott
District 6: Dan Strauss, Heidi Wills
District 7: Jim Pugel, Andrew Lewis
The Seattle City Council is considering modifications to the mayor’s budget proposal this week. According to Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who is leading the process, council members have proposed nearly $590 million worth of changes to the plan.
Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed $1.5 billion in general fund appropriations for the 2020 budget, half of which is dedicated to “public safety,” meaning the police and fire departments. The actual budget clocks in at $6.5 billion, with the lion’s share dedicated to utilities and transportation.
Of the $1.5 billion in general fund appropriations, only 10 percent — or $143 million — goes to health and human services, a category that, among other things, includes the response to the homelessness crisis. In comparison, “administration” takes up 20 percent of general fund expenditures and arts, culture and recreation total 12 percent.
At a public hearing on the budget on Oct. 22, much of the conversation focused on additional spending for health and human services specifically targeted at the homelessness crisis. The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD program and outreach provider REACH also requested bumps in funding specifically to deal with heavy caseloads.
Burien is now the second city in the state to pass “just cause” eviction protections, meaning that landlords are constrained in when they can evict tenants.
Proponents of the legislation say it will help to stymie displacement caused by “discrimination and retaliation.”
“Uninhabitable living conditions, displacement, homelessness, discrimination and xenophobic threats will no longer be such strong dangers to the tenants of Burien,” according to the press release.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
Read the full October 30 - November 5 issue.
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