Sawant by a nose
Socialist candidate Kshama Sawant pulled ahead of Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin in today's late afternoon vote count. She currently enjoys a 41-vote lead (of the nearly 160,000 ballots counted so far). Crosscut's Bill Lucia will have a report later. The next vote count will be Wednesday afternoon (I earlier gave an incorrect time).
Transportation on front burner?
The state Legislature appears to be close to a deal on a transportation package that would include a gas tax increase of up to 11.5 cents per gallon. Washington State Wire reports that Senate Republicans want to condition the plan on Gov. Jay Inslee dropping his push for a cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse gas emissions. (The GOP caucus apparently sees cap-and-trade driving fuel prices upward; some conservatives see it as the most market-friendly approach to regulation. The views aren't entirely contradictory, of course.) Seattle Transit Blog says it got a leaked copy of the package, and doesn't like what it sees: an emphasis on greenhouse-gas-friendly highway construction with little money for transit, pedestrians or bicyclists. Crosscut's John Stang will have a full report shortly.
Got jobs? Not really.
Amazon, Microsoft and others may be hiring in droves but young people of color, especially from lower-income backgrounds, are generally struggling to find work according to a new report. The report from Got Green, a local nonprofit that promotes green jobs for young people, lays out several possible ways to even the playing field. Options include public transportation improvements (such as better Metro connections to South Seattle Community College); local funding to guarantee all Seattle high school grads can at least go on to community college or vocational training; and easing access to union apprenticeship programs by such changes as eliminating a requirement for a driver's license. Some Got Green ideas are downright political, such as promotion of a $15 per hour minimum wage. But one aspect of the report is truly novel: Its recommendations grew out of conversations with actual young people.
Helping the Philippines
Global Washington, a group of charities and organizations involved in worldwide health and development, has put together a list of organizations working to help the Philippines' typhoon rescue and recovery efforts. There are more than a half-dozen options for donations, ranging from the well-known (Oxfam) to the obscure (Peace Winds America).
Contest for Senate seat
Snohomish County has three Democratic candidates who have jumped into contention to fill the Senate vacancy created by the sudden resignation of Democrat Nick Harper. (He wants to spend more time with his family.) Both Democratic representatives for the 38th district, John McCoy and Mike Sells, have thrown their hats into the ring, according to The Herald. A third wannabe, Kelly Wright, a former aide to state Rep. Liz Loomis, tells the paper that he would only want to serve in an interim capacity. A final decision on the replacement is expected as early as Nov. 27. Meantime, in Seattle, state Sen. Ed Murray is about to resign his State Senate seat to take over as mayor. — J.C.
Macklemore: card-carrying member of the ACLU
Seattle rap star Macklemore is making a pitch for membership in the ACLU, citing its support for marriage equality, freedom of speech and other perks of living in the USA. The rapper made the 52-second spot for free. Nice move. And we'd ask the ACLU folks how they feel about it, but we don't wanna mess with anyone's experience of nirvanna (the place, not the band).
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