State Sen. Ed Murray has been just a bit tentative about a run for mayor of Seattle, mentioning that a long legislative session could make him re-think. But a statement from Murray today about his fund-raising success sounds like someone who is exuberant and confident about jumping in completely.
In an emailed press statement, Murray touted his fundraising success during the nine-day window between his Dec. 5 announcement of an exploratory committee and the mid-month imposition of a fund-raising freeze for legislators. The statement, from spokesman Sandeep Kaushik, also included this statement (boldfacing included) "In that brief window, Murray raised an astonishing $122,776 from more than 480 contributors, an unprecedented tally 11 months out from the November 2013 election."
“The overwhelming surge of support over the last few days from across Seattle has exceeded even my wildest expectations, and proves that the people of this city want a mayor who has a track record of experienced leadership and who knows how to unite this diverse city behind a common vision," Murray said in the statement.
OK, we will all be stunned if he doesn't run now.
Power sharing quibbles
Speaking of the legislative session, the Senate Democrats have rejected the plan by the GOP and two breakaway Democrats to set up a Republican-tilted power-sharing arrangement, according to the Seattle Times.
On the other hand, the Times also reports that Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom, the Senate leader under the proposed new plan, told Democratic leadership that they should facilitate arrangements for office moves and give staff instructions on how the new majority wants to operate, rather than resisting until a formal vote next month.
With things getting cranky already, it could be a very long session.
UW: Better off as the University of Out-of-State?
The Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington Bothell produces lots of excellent research, usually on the nation's K-12 schools. In a report released this morning, the CRPE turned its attention to the UW itself and a subject that interests lots of families in the state: The chances for in-state students to gain admission.
According to the CRPE report, with the UW facing huge budget pressures, the state's own students have lost their traditional advantage in admissions from out-of-state students, who pay higher tuition rates. Indeed, before a 2012 law was passed mandating a minimum number of in-state freshmen each year, out-of-state students may have held a slight advantage, according to researchers Grant Blume and Marguerite Roza.
The report suggests that university administrators and state legislators — whose decisions are driving the budget stresses — need to look for other ways to address budget strain than just replacing local students with high-tuition out-of-state students. Among the suggestions: differential tuitions by family income, in subjects where a state has particular needs for talent, and after students have taken a particular number of credits beyond what would ordinarily be enough to graduate.
There's also a mention of enlarging the student population, which the authors say could bring more revenues than costs.
Chicago vs. Seattle on bikes
The Seattle Bike Blog reports that Chicago's mayor — the hard-driving ex-Obama chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel — has gone into high gear on the development of advanced bicycle lanes. He's even gone so far as acknowledging that he wants to steal some of the Northwest's thunder on the issue.
“I expect not only to take all of their [Seattle and Portland's] bikers but I also want all the jobs that come with this, all the economic growth that comes with this, all the opportunities of the future that come with this,” Emanuel is quoted as saying.
We'd make a snide remark about Chicago's weather if it weren't for Seattle's torrential downpour last weekend.
Taking holiday greetings to a new level
Seattle University just posted a Christmas greeting video (aimed at alums and parents primarily), which is a quick, nice respite from the tensions around getting ready for the holidays. One worry, though: Does this mean we'll all have to escalate our holiday greetings to video next year? If you merely do photos, will you be falling behind next year?
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