Pictures from the crowd: Capitol Hill Pride 2017


Seattle Pride 2017 will be remembered for the record heat that nearly melted Sunday’s parade — and an important protest that briefly brought it to a halt. It should also be remembered for a rekindled Pride presence on Capitol Hill with new organizers pumping life into Saturday’s Broadway street festival while on-Hill Pride weekend traditions like Saturday night’s Dyke March still contined strong and other elements like Trans* Pridealready in its fifth year! — drew huge crowds. Here is a look at the fun and messages from Capitol Hill Pride via the viewfinders and mobile devices of festival goers, dancers, doggie drag friends, and more. Thanks for sharing your pictures and videos. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Washington’s 43rd District Democrats 2017 Endorsement Results

From the 43rd District Democrats

Mayor

Jessyn Farrell

Website: http://www.electjessynl.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessyn.farrell

Twitter: @jessynfarrel1

 

Seattle City Council, Position 8

Teresa Mosqueda

Website: http://teamteresa.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeopleForTeresa/

Twitter: @teresacmosqueda

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Capitol Hill Community Post | Broadway has a new Pride organizer

From the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce

We are pleased to announce that the Capitol Hill Chamber, Broadway Business Improvement Area and PrideFest have joined forces to organize the Capitol Hill Pride Event on June 24th !

Today the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce (CHCC) is launching a partnership to work with Seattle PrideFest and the Broadway Business Improvement Area (BBIA) board to host next Saturday’s Pride event on Broadway, now called PrideFest Capitol Hill and encompassing the area from Pine Street to Roy Street at the north end of Broadway. This partnership builds upon years of working together on successful community events such as Clean Sweep and Hilloween to ensure the Capitol Hill Pride continues to be an amazing event for visitors, businesses and entertainers.

If you are a business, organization or individual who paid for a booth with the former event organizer, please request a booth and provide proof of payment at www.pridefest.org/caphill to receive a complimentary space. If you are a brick-and-mortar business located between Pike St and Roy St, you will also receive a complementary space.

Read the full press release here: http://www.seattlepridefest.org/caphill/

Capitol Hill Community Post | Rep. Macri Special Session update – homelessness, Paris, gun safety, budget negotiations

From Rep. Nicole Macri, 43rd District

My bill to retain key tool in effort to end homelessness passes House

The legislature began a second special session on May 23 to finish our work on the state budget and bills necessary to implement the budget.  My bill, House Bill 1570, the Washington State Housing Opportunities Act, is one of those necessary bills, and I’m glad to report to you that it passed the House recently.

President Obama’s top advisor on homelessness, Barbara Poppe, wrote this op-ed in support of my bill.

The Washington State Housing Opportunities Act renews and expands the Home Security Fund, one of our most important tools to address housing affordability and homelessness. Since the legislature first enacted a surcharge on real estate documents to create the Home Security Fund twelve years ago, we have seen a statewide per-capita decrease of nearly 20 percent. In raw numbers, however, the actual number of homeless persons has climbed.  The surcharge invests in a range of interventions including domestic violence programs, services for homeless youth and young adults, permanent supportive housing, and emergency shelter.  Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Seattle Central College students helping school celebrate 50th anniversary

(Image: Seattle Central)

From Seattle Central

Seattle Central College is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is capping the festivities off by showcasing the work of its graduating class. The theme of the celebration is “Central to Inspiration,” and it will feature a variety of student projects.

Among the graduating class is Lauren Gibbons, who is receiving a degree in the Apparel Design & Development Program. After dropping out of high school, Lauren received her GED (from SCC) before joining the Army Reserves and being deployed to Iraq as a Civil Affairs specialist. Upon returning from her tour of duty, Lauren decided she wanted to pursue a career that focused on her creativity. Seattle Central College’s Apparel Design & Development Program is helping her realize that goal.

“The program has made me more confident,” says Gibbons. “Now I feel I can go out and not only get a job but get a job that is going to be really fulfilling for me.”

 

EVENT DETAILS

  • What:“Central to Inspiration,” a year-end open house, showcasing a wide range of student projects, from clothing and furniture designs, to digital art and service-learning projects, the final event of Seattle Central’s 50th anniversary celebration.
  • Where: Broadway Edison Building,Seattle Central College, 1701 Broadway Seattle, WA 98122,
  • When:Wednesday, June 14, from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Who: Prospective students and community members. The event is free and open to the public.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Mayor Murray, Councilmembers Herbold and Sawant unveil tax proposal for high-income households

From the City of Seattle

Today, Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmembers Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) and Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park) unveiled a joint proposal to begin shifting Seattle to a more progressive and sustainable tax structure, through a tax on high-income households. The proposal would place a 2 percent tax on joint filers’ income over $500,000 and single tax filers’ income over $250,000. The estimated $125 million in new annual revenue would allow the City to lower the burden associated with property taxes and other regressive taxes, replace federal funding potentially lost through President Trump’s budget cuts, enhance public services such as housing, education, transit, and/or create green jobs while meeting the City’s carbon reduction goals.

“Washington state’s tax structure is the most regressive in the country, putting the burden on many of our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Murray. “Leaving cities with only regressive tax options puts the heaviest burden on working people, families and communities of color. By replacing a system that relies too heavily on property and sales taxes with a progressive income tax, we can ease that burden and generate revenue to invest in Seattle priorities – human services, education, affordable housing and reliable transit. This remains one of the major shortcomings of our city and state, and it is finally time to fix it.”

“I ran for office four years ago on a program of a $15 per hour minimum wage, to tax the rich, and for rent control,” said Councilmember Sawant. “We won $15 by building the 15 Now grassroots campaign. Now we’re on the cusp of taxing Seattle’s rich, because socialists, activists, and community organizers have tirelessly built up our movement over the years. Our movement will continue to organize in our interests, against big business and the super rich, to make Seattle affordable for all.”

“People earning $20,000 a year devote two entire months of pay to their yearly tax bill; the 1 percent pay their annual tax bill in only six days,” said Councilmember Herbold. “A tax on high incomes will give Seattle a more equitable revenue structure to fund affordable housing and services addressing homelessness, education, transit, and climate change, and it could also be dedicated to lowering other regressive taxes and replacing federal funding potentially lost to Trump budget cuts.”

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) has found Washington state’s existing tax structure to be the most regressive in the nation, disproportionately hitting low-income households. ITEP found in 2015 that state and local taxes paid by the 20 percent of Washington families with the lowest incomes amounted to 16.8 percent of their income. In contrast, the tax burden for the 1 percent of families with the highest incomes was 2.4 percent of their income.

“Households with incomes below $21,000 are paying, on average, 16.8 percent of their income in state and local taxes, while those with incomes above $500,000 pay just 2.4 percent said John Burbank, Executive Director of the Economic Opportunity Institute, which co-leads the Trump Proof Seattle Coalition. “It is reasonable for Seattle’s wealthiest residents, who currently pay the lowest tax rates, to pay a little more to make Seattle a better place for everyone – including themselves – to live, work, raise a family and do business.”

The City Council will conduct an initial public hearing regarding this proposal on June 14. It is anticipated City Council will take final action by mid-July.

 

Capitol Hill Community Post | City evaluates zoning changes for Mandatory Housing Affordability

From the City of Seattle

Public comments on alternatives accepted until July 23
Today the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that studies three alternatives for zoning changes needed to implement Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) in Seattle’s urban villages and other commercial and multifamily residential zones across the city.

MHA helps ensure that as Seattle grows, development supports affordable housing for low-income families and individuals by either building rent-restricted homes on-site or making a payment to the Seattle Office of Housing fund for affordable housing. To implement MHA, the City would grant additional development capacity to allow for construction of more market-rate housing and commercial space.

“Implementing MHA is one of many actions the City is proposing to address housing affordability,” said Sam Assefa, director of OPCD. “We look forward to community input on the DEIS, especially on our analysis of impacts resulting from MHA implementation. Your feedback will help us finalize our recommendation on how to guide growth with additional affordable housing, while working to reduce displacement risks.”

Seattle is currently the fastest growing large city in the United States. The average rent for a Seattle two-bedroom, one-bath apartment is $1,863. The average rent in Seattle has increased 55 percent since 2010. Twenty percent of Seattle renters now spend more than half their income on housing.

The DEIS issued today examines the potential effects of zoning changes that will implement MHA in multifamily and commercial zones in Seattle, areas currently zoned Single Family Residential in existing urban villages, and in urban village expansion areas identified in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

The three alternatives considered in the DEIS include:

  1. “No Action” that does not implement MHA requirements on new development, but maintains current zoning and building heights as Seattle grows.
  2. Changing zoning to guide additional housing and job growth to urban villages in a similar pattern as the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan, but without specifically considering displacement risk or access to opportunity.
  3. Continuing the urban village strategy, but varying zoning changes and development capacity based on each urban village’s relative level of displacement risk and access to opportunity, as identified in the Seattle 2035 Growth and Equity Analysis.

Both action alternatives would generate at least 5500 new affordable homes from development in the study area over 20 years. The No Action alternative, however, would generate only about 200 additional affordable homes in the study area through the City’s existing Incentive Zoning program. The Draft EIS identifies environmental impacts and mitigation measures for each alternative. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Councilmember Sawant Introduces Bill Requiring Voter Registration Cards Be Provided to All New Tenants

From the City of Seattle

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) introduced a bill to require that landlords include a voter registration card and voter registration information among the required documents provided to all new tenants in Seattle.

Seattle’s voters need to update their registration every time they move to participate in Washington’s vote-by-mail system. Renters move more frequently than homeowners, and studies show that renters are less likely to be registered to vote than homeowners. This bill will provide renters with the tools they need to re-register, or register for the first time. 

“In a system that is overwhelmingly stacked against us, working class people, young people, and communities of color are routinely disenfranchised. This is especially true of Seattle’s renters, who are increasingly being uprooted by skyrocketing rents, and forced to re-register to vote every time they move. This legislation will take one step toward helping working people fight for their rights, including for rent control,” said Councilmember Sawant. 

“The tenants who reach out to us face regular displacement, sometimes as often as every few months. These moves are disruptive to all areas of life, and regularly updating voter registrations is a challenge. Including these forms with the packet already mandated at the start each new tenancy is a small but significant way of facilitating community involvement and civic engagement for renters, who make up the majority of the city’s residents,” said Hana Aličić from the Tenants’ Union of Washington State. 

“Renters make up 80% of people living in my neighborhood, Capitol Hill. We end up moving more frequently to keep up with rising rents, which can make it hard to remember to maintain an up-to-date voter registration. Today’s legislation will bring access to those whose voices we so often exclude from our political and civic process. This is the right move for renters, for our city, and our democracy,” said Zachary DeWolf from the Capitol Hill Community Council. 

“Nearly every tenant that we work with wants to be engaged one way or another, but many simply don’t have the time or resources to register to vote. Giving them the option to register upon move-in will remove that barrier and provide every Seattle renter with the opportunity to shape our city,” said Devin Silvernail from Be:Seattle.

“At the Washington Bus we are consistently trying to find more opportunities to lower the barriers to access in our democratic process. Studies show that voting is a habit — meaning those that vote from one address consistently over time tend to get contacted more frequently by campaigns and candidates, and thus are reminded to vote more often. As an organization of young people, by young people, for all people we know that young people, low income communities, and communities of color often rent and change addresses at higher rates than older, wealthier demographics. By requiring landlords to provide voter registration opportunities upon move-in, we can make our local elections and local representation much more inclusive and more accurately reflect our local population. Over the last 10 years, we’ve registered over 52,000 people to vote — and a significant number of those were due to a change in address. This is a small, but significant step towards making the voting process easier for thousands of residents across the City,” said Emilio Garza from The Washington Bus. 

“LGBTQ low-income communities have high rates of displacement in Seattle and therefore move around a lot. Often LGBTQ renters have not updated their voter registration, making it more difficult to express their voice in elections. This ordinance is a great solution to ensuring LGBTQ renter’s voices are still participating in our electoral system,” said Debbie Carlsen from LGBTQ Allyship.

“APACEvotes believes this new ordinance will make voter registration more accessible and convenient for refugees, immigrants, People of Color, and working folks living on limited-incomes who are disproportionately impacted by rising rents and the need to move more frequently. One of the biggest barriers to civic engagement that our community faces is the need for translated voter materials in Limited-English-Proficiency homes. This new rule would provide voter registration forms and information to all new tenants in the appropriate translated languages available. This is an exciting opportunity for our city to ensure more voices are represented in the democratic process,” said Christina Reiko Shimizu from Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment Votes (APACEvotes). 

Sawant’s legislation will be discussed in the Energy and Environment Committee on June 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Capitol Hill Community Post | King County Metro and Sound Transit debut reduced summer ORCA youth fares

“I was at Ingraham High School today to hand out the first ORCA Youth Cards that offer 50-cent rides all summer on King County Metro Transit routes. Sound Transit fares are reduced to $1. ” From King County Executive Dow Constantine via Facebook

From King County and Sound Transit

Metro and Sound Transit will offer reduced fares from mid-June through Labor Day to all youth who use an ORCA Youth card to pay their fares. Metro will provide free cards to youth who do not already have one. All youth between the ages of 6-18 are eligible.

Metro will offer free ORCA Youth cards and a special 50-cent reduced fare for young people who ride Metro buses this summer. Sound Transit will offer a $1 youth fare. Regular prices are $5 for ORCA Youth cards; $1.50 per ride for youths on Metro services; and $1.50 to $4.25 for youths riding Sound Transit trains and buses.

Metro established the pilot program to encourage more King County youth to ride transit and make it easier for young people to get around town.

“By making it easier to take Metro this summer, we help young people get to jobs, parks, libraries and all the region has to offer. We know that mobility is key to opportunity, and these reduced fares will open doors to the next generation of transit riders,” said Executive Constantine, who also serves on the Sound Transit board. “More people are taking public transportation than ever before. With expanded services and more buses, Metro is meeting the needs of a growing region. Encouraging young people to ride Metro and Sound Transit this summer will help them learn our transit network, and develop commuter habits to last a lifetime.”

In King County, youth riders can save up to $36 per month on Metro Transit, based on the price for a monthly pass. Metro and Sound Transit established the pilot program to encourage more youth to ride transit and make it easier for young people to get around.

Executive Constantine joined Seattle City Council and Sound Transit board member Rob Johnson to announce the ORCA Summer Youth Promotion during an event at Ingraham High School in North Seattle.

“As a region we are committed to combating climate change, increasing economic opportunity, and decreasing housing costs.  The single best way to achieve all three of those goals is to create frequent and reliable access to public transportation,” Councilmember Johnson said. “Today’s announcement that we will be decreasing the cost to ride transit for all kids in King County between 6-18 from $1.50 to 50 cents is a huge step in the right direction, and a victory I am thrilled to celebrate today with Dow.”

“Sound Transit is proud to join with King County Metro in providing reduced summer fares for area youth. Whether they are traveling to work, play or summer classes, this promotion will encourage young people to see how easy it is to get around on our region’s interconnected network of trains and buses,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff.

During the school year, many students rely on ORCA cards issued by their schools. Five school districts in King County provide students with free ORCA passes as part of their student transportation programs, but those cards expire when the school year ends. Metro averages above 400,000 ORCA youth boardings per month during the school year, but that drops to less than 130,000 during summer months.

Youth also can enjoy 50-cent fares on the Seattle Streetcar when using an ORCA Youth card.

 

How to get a free ORCA Youth card

Go to ORCASummerYouth.com, fill out the online form and submit along with a scanned copy of one of the following: a student ID, state ID, driver’s license or birth certificate. Cards will be mailed for free.

ORCA Youth cards also are available in person at the Metro sales office at the King Street Center in Pioneer Square at 201 South Jackson Street and at various public events and locations where Metro sets up “ORCA to GO” booths to provide customer assistance. Check Metro’s website for times and locations.

The ORCA Youth card’s e-purse will need to be loaded with monetary value or a monthly pass before it can be used. Cards can be loaded at participating retailers around King County, ORCA vending machines at Link stations, the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, major transit centers, and at the Metro pass sales office at King Street Center.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Count Us In 2017 report offers comprehensive look at regional homelessness in Seattle-King County

A new, more comprehensive point-in-time homelessness report released today provides critical information on homelessness in Seattle and King County. Utilizing a nationally recognized count methodology, a countywide canvas of census tracts, and a person-to-person survey of people experiencing homelessness, the 2017 Count Us In tally counted a total of 11,643 people experiencing homelessness countywide. The total includes 6,158 people sheltered in transitional housing or emergency shelters and 5,485 people on the streets, sleeping in vehicles, tents or encampments (both sanctioned and unsanctioned). Obtaining reliable, accurate and actionable data through the annual point-in-time count is a requirement for federal funding, and imperative to informing local strategies to address homelessness.

“This year’s count reflects what we already know: skyrocketing rents and the growing demand for behavioral and mental health services continue to make homelessness a regional challenge. We are already moving more people into housing faster, while cutting in half the number of people slipping back into homelessness. With comprehensive data from Count Us In, we can do even more to target resources where they are needed most,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We have a plan to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time, and the renewal of the Veterans and Human Services Levy is a big part of it – increasing homeless outreach and connections to treatment while creating more affordable housing to move people permanently out of homelessness.”

“We set out to do a more rigorous, comprehensive, and thorough count than ever this year so we could assess the specifics of this crisis and develop concrete solutions to it,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “Since this count was taken, we’ve aggressively implemented a hands-on approach to addressing this crisis. Our Navigation Team of social workers, health professionals, and police officers have successfully engaged with more 600 people and connected services and housing to more than 250. This is how individualized services can help and how having a complete picture of this crisis helps us better service those experiencing it.”

A new, more comprehensive count
The 2017 count, coordinated by All Home and Applied Survey Research (ASR) is substantially different from previous years. It includes a street count held on January 27, 2017 that covered virtually every census tract in King County, a shelter count the same night, a youth and young adult count, and a person-to-person survey completed by 1,158 people reflecting a representative sample of the sheltered and unsheltered population across the county. The results of the survey can be generalized to the entire population of people experiencing homelessness with 95% confidence.

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