Boeing: Please stay?
Washington's labor movement is rallying in Westlake Park this afternoon over the 777X construction issue. The Washington State Labor Council says the rally is to thank members of the Machinists Union for their vote against concessions Boeing sought to guarantee assembly work on the new airliner here and to urge Boeing to build in Everett. Council President Jeff Johnson said, "We want to build the 777X in Washington state, we can build the 777X in Washington state, and we should build the 777X in Washington state." The rally could be a big one: The Seattle Department of Transportation predicts at least 2,000 participants. At its big rollout of orders for the new jet at the Dubai Air Show, Boeing said it will be up to three months until it makes a decision on the construction site. — J.C.
Reichert takes on child trafficking
Eastside congressional Rep. Dave Reichert on Tuesday will lay out a bipartisan resolution seeking greater attention to the needs of children who are victims of sex trafficking. The draft resolution says that most child victims of trafficking have come from the child welfare system. In fact, as a recent hearing led by Reichert outlined, many of them are runaways who go straight from foster care into prostitution. Reichert has also been working on legislation that would strengthen support for adopting children out of foster care or getting them under legal guardianship with a family. Among those joining Reichert in the introduction of the foward-looking resolution is Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin.— J.C.
Council moves ahead with Startup support
Update 5:15 p.m. Following a short debate Monday, the Seattle City Council's Budget Committee has rejected any delay in funding to the Startup Seattle initiative. The initiative is a formerly private project taken over by the Office of Economic Development in May; it’s dedicated to growing the number of startups and tech jobs in the city. As reported by Crosscut this morning, a budget amendment to delay the funding followed an initial proposal by councilmembers Nick Licata and Jean Godden to defund the Startup Seattle project completely, which met with strong opposition from the tech community. The latest amendment, which was authored by Licata and co-sponsored by Godden and Tom Rasmussen, only garnered support from those three councilpersons.
Saying that he was "always willing to compromise when I don't have five votes," Licata argued that the Startup Seattle project is currently too undefined, and possibly unnecessary given Seattle's current success in the tech sector. His amendment had requested the Office of Economic Development provide information on the current climate for start-ups in Seattle and secure additional private investment in the project. Councilmembers Richard Conlin, Sally Clark and Bruce Harrell all agreed with the need for additional measurements of success and the pursuit of private partnerships, but said that the project should move ahead. Because the motion failed, the $151,000 allocated for the project will remain in Seattle's 2014 budget, paving the way for the city to fully launch the initiative in the coming year.-- D.A.
Seawall construction kicks off
Work began today on the long-awaited Elliott Bay Seawall replacement project, which outgoing Mayor Mike McGinn made an early priority. The new seawall will cost the city around $350 million and construction is scheduled to be finished by 2016. The first step toward replacing the roughly century-old structure, according to a Waterfront Seattle Construction Update, is to install a new road in place of the diagonal parking spots that are currently underneath the Alaska Way Viaduct. Built between 1911 and 1934, the seawall sits on wood pilings that, according to Waterfront Seattle's website, “have been slowly eaten away from father time and gribbles (tiny marine borers that have a huge appetite for wood)." McGinn said the project is already providing both jobs and greater safety from earthquake damage. — B.L.
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