In protest of ‘actions that demean our history and our heroes,’ Rep. Jayapal won’t attend Trump inauguration

Her office may have been offering constituents free tickets to the big show but newly sworn-in 7th District Rep. Pramila Jayapal will not be attending the inauguration of Donald Trump Friday in Washington D.C.

“When I announced last week that I would not be attending the inauguration, I did not undertake the decision lightly,” Jayapal writes in a statement sent to media about the decision. “I had hoped in the days following the election that we would see a President-elect who broke from his campaign rhetoric and worked to unite the American people.”

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Affordable housing, tenant rights advocate running for council on Seattle Democracy Vouchers

Jon Grant ran for the seat in 2015, and this year he’s going for the same City Council Position 8 with a platform focused on affordable housing and tenant rights — and being one of the first publicly financed candidates ever in Seattle.

Grant, former director of the Tenants Union, announced his bid back in November with a challenge to supporters to raise 400 $10 donations in the city’s new Democracy Voucher program. He exceeded that by getting 560 vouchers averaging $16 to fund his campaign.

“We had a tremendous response,” Grant said. Grant has already received more donations for this campaign than his entire 10-month campaign in 2015.

Here’s how the voucher program works. Earlier this month, registered voters began getting four $25 in vouchers in the mail. Seattle residents who are at least 18 years old and are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident can apply online for vouchers. Each voucher has the election year, resident’s name, a voucher identification number, and may have a voter ID number and barcode to help with signature verification. All contributions are public information. Continue reading

Community leaders begin efforts toward Capitol Hill ‘sanctuary neighborhood’

img_9967-2-1Elected officials have reaffirmed Seattle as a “sanctuary city” following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and now Capitol Hill community leaders want to take actions to further establish the neighborhood as welcoming and safe.

“We’re thinking about … what are some of the tactics that we can be explicit about,” Capitol Hill Community Council President Zachary DeWolf told CHS.

The group’s approach aims to provide sanctuary for people being harassed or discriminated against, educate and activate community members, and raise awareness. Continue reading

Joining Womxn’s March on Seattle, Capitol Hill restaurant hosting Anti-Defamation League fundraiser to mark Trump’s inauguration

Chef Renee Erickson and partners at her company Sea Creatures are stepping up against intolerance with a fundraiser at her Bar Melusine on Donald Trump’s January 20th inauguration day.

“I think we were all feeling, given the current kind of climate in our community, we wanted to do something on inauguration day that would be a little bit more positive and uplifting,” Jeremy Price, Erickson’s partner at Sea Creatures told CHS.

It will be part of a weekend of protest and speaking out in Seattle though the largest planned event will be a silent one.

Thousands are expected to march on downtown on the Saturday following the Inauguration in the Womxn’s March on Seattle:

On January 21st, 2017 we will join forces and unite for the Womxn’s March on Seattle in solidarity with the national Women’s March on Washington D.C. We invite people of all gender identities, ethnicities, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientations to come participate in this amazing event. Building on the legacy of the 1963 March on Washington, we continue to hold these difficult discussions surrounding race, since it has consistently played a huge role in the fight for gender equality. It is vital that we continue to incorporate people of color in these discussions, and that we learn from history. By promoting intersectionality within our movement, we hope to elevate the level of understanding for all marginalized groups, as they will be most affected by the Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, classism, racism, and sexism of this new administration. If we do not prioritize the most vulnerable voices, then we will not succeed as a movement.

“Seattle has adopted the name ‘Womxn’s March on Seattle’ to promote intersectionality in our movement,” organizers write. “Intersectionality acknowledges that different forms of discrimination intersect, overlap, and reinforce each other, and takes into account the impact of discrimination based not only on gender but also race, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, faith, class, disability, and other backgrounds.” Continue reading

Seattle City Council member organizing ‘Resist Trump’ town hall

(Image: Office of Kshama Sawant)

(Image: Office of Kshama Sawant)

Capitol Hill’s representative on the Seattle City Council is holding a town hall to help coordinate and organize a busy month of protests, walkouts, and actions centered around MLK Day and Inauguration Day.

District 3 rep Kshama Sawant will host the Resist Trump Coalition Town Hall January 14th at City Hall:

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

A Sawant staffer tells CHS the Socialist Alternative councilor is focused on Seattle’s response to the incoming Trump administration and the threat she feels it poses to constituents.

Sawant has led her party’s call for “global days of protest” on January 20th and 21st.

Cal Anderson’s season of Trump discontent continues with ‘final stand’ Seattle Hamilton Electors rally

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-1-48-39-pmA last stand, of sorts, for United States democracy will take part in Cal Anderson Park Sunday night. Local proponents of the so-called Hamilton Electors, a movement formed around blocking the election of President-elect Donald Trump, are gathering in the icy park with candles and a message on the eve of the Electoral College’s December 19th vote.

“We are coming together one final time, urging them to vote with their conscience, do their duty to select somebody with the proper qualifications,” organizer John Vogan said.

“This is the final stand, as we hope and pray that these 538 citizens will carry out their duty as the last fail-safe in our electoral process and save this country from the current President-elect,” organizers said in a statement on the planned rally. Continue reading

Around 16k ballots were collected at Capitol Hill’s new drop box — and, yes, some of them were votes for Trump

While the results stunk, the county’s new election drop boxes were popular. More than half of the ballots collected in November were dropped at the 43 box locations in King County, officials say.

We found Capitol Hill’s newly installed box extremely busy with voters along Broadway in front of Seattle Central. But Capitol Hill’s drop location didn’t even make the top 10 in total ballots collected — we came in 12th with 16,936 16,396 ballots collected, far behind Ballard’s library location and its whopping 39,282 ballots.

About 91% of county residents now live within three miles of a drop box, King County Elections reports.

The new expansion of the box program also couldn’t overcome voter apathy as turnout fell to 82%, three points lower than in 2012. Continue reading

Seattle City Council veteran Burgess won’t seek reelection

Burgess -- and friends -- celebrating Prop. 1's election night victory in August (Image: CHS)

Burgess — and friends — celebrating Prop. 1’s election night victory in August (Image: CHS)

Seen by some as one of the few mature adults on the Seattle City Council and by others as one of the body’s most conservative voices, Tim Burgess has announced that he’ll serve his final year in the council chambers in 2017 and will not be part of the campaign for his seat next fall.

Burgess posted about the decision Monday:

After considerable and, frankly, agonizing thought, and after multiple conversations with my family, I’ve decided not to seek re-election to the City Council in 2017. In the end, it was clear to me and Joleen that its time for someone else to fill my seat. I’ve been elected citywide three times and will have served 10 years at the end of this term next December. When my term ends, I will be just a couple months short of 69. Time turn my focus to the next chapter for Joleen and me.

“What an honor is has been to serve the people of Seattle,” his statement concludes. “I look forward to continuing that service for another year and beyond in some capacity.”

So far, potential replacements for Burgess haven’t yet emerged though housing advocate Jon Grant has launched an exploratory campaign he hopes will be powered by the city’s new campaign voucher program.

Burgess began his time on the council before the change to the new district system and ran a successful campaign for one of the two at-large seats in the new structure in 2015. After serving as the council president, he has chaired the committee responsible for affordable housing, neighborhoods, and finance this year. Burgess has occasionally found himself as one of the lone voices in committee sessions opposing more progressive attempts at creating affordable housing solutions including the recently passed $29 billion housing bond plan. Still, he was with the crowd hooting inside Optimism Brewing this summer as Prop. 1 to renew and expand the city’s housing levy rolled to a landslide victory.

Fellow Burgess adult (to some) voice of the establishment (to others) Ed Murray has already begun fundraising and campaigning for a second term as mayor. Candidates in that race won’t yet be eligible to take part in the new voucher fundraising, by the way.

In February 2013, Burgess opened his campaign headquarters on E Pike as he made a short-lived bid to challenge Murray for the mayor’s office.

Join the Capitol Hill resistance — Neighborhood Action Councils form across Seattle

Groups began organizing at a November event at Capitol Hill's V2 (Image: CHS)

NAC groups began organizing at a November event at Capitol Hill’s V2 (Image: CHS)

You can join a Capitol Hill anti-Trump resistance group. In fact, you might be able to join a few of them.

Following a meeting last month where the ideas behind the push were born, Seattle organizers announced a successful citywide gathering over the weekend to continue shaping a local “resistance” effort in preparation for life under a Trump administration.

Representatives for the new Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition met Sunday at the International District Community Center to begin forming neighborhood groups across the city “to protect targeted groups under a Trump Administration.” Continue reading

Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program opens for local 2017 campaigns

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-7-09-23-amNow that the 2016 election cycle is over, it’s time for Seattleites to start thinking about the local election in 2017.

On Thursday, the Democracy Voucher Program opened for Seattle residents apply for four $25 democracy vouchers to give to candidates running for Seattle City Council or city attorney next year.

“Seattle is the first city in the nation to put democracy vouchers in the hands of its residents,” Wayne Barnett, executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission said. “The goal is to give all of our city’s residents a greater say in our democracy.”

Registered voters in Seattle will automatically receive $100 in vouchers in the mail after January 3rd. Seattle residents who are at least 18 and are either a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or a lawful permanent resident can apply for vouchers here.

Voters can immediately start giving the vouchers to qualifying campaigns for the November election. The new program means Seattle’s first publicly financed election season is about to begin. In his announcement of an exploratory campaign for a possible run for a citywide seat on the City Council, housing advocate Jon Grant cited the vouchers as part of his decision to run.  Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s new representative in Olympia set to work on housing, school funding, Trump worries

The big tent -- Macri talks with Capitol Hill Community Council's Zachary DeWolf (Image: CHS)

The big tent — Macri talks with Capitol Hill Community Council’s Zachary DeWolf in the early days of her campaign (Image: CHS)

First Nicole Macri won the primary election for the 43rd District House seat.

Then she won the general election over lawyer Dan Shih, taking about 65% of the vote.

Now she’s preparing for her start in a seat in the legislature that she says comes with a lot of responsibility.

“I’m excited and I feel like we ran a great campaign and I had a lot of great engagement with voters in the 43rd District,” Macri told CHS in an interview before the Thanksgiving holiday.

As she prepares for the session beginning on January 9th, 2017, Macri knows there’s a learning curve for newcomers, but she’s excited to work. Continue reading

Seattle mayor signs 7-point Thanksgiving ‘sanctuary city’ order

(Image: City of Seattle)

(Image: City of Seattle)

Mayor Ed Murray chose the Thanksgiving holiday — a celebration of immigration, depending on how you look at it — to sign a new executive order making a stand for Seattle as a sanctuary city:

Today, Mayor Ed Murray signed an Executive Order reaffirming Seattle as a welcoming city. The order states that City employees will not ask about the status of residents and all City services will be available to all residents, and it creates an Inclusive and Equitable City Cabinet that will coordinate City efforts to protect the civil liberties and civil rights of Seattle residents. Additionally, the City will set aside $250,000 to address the needs of unauthorized immigrant students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools and their families.

“Except for our Native Peoples, we are all from someplace else, and we are strong because of our diversity,” Murray said in a statement on the act announced Thursday. “It is my commitment that Seattle will remain a welcoming city, not a place where children and their families live in fear.” Continue reading