Seattle

Huge influx of labor law complaints met by “small but mighty” Seattle city office

The good news is that people are taking advantage of Seattle's Office of Labor Standards (OLS) — the 9-person subsidiary of the Office of Civil Rights tasked…

Shelters maxed out as city sweeps homeless from streets

In Pioneer Square lately, you don’t have to go far to find someone who’s been kicked off city property for sleeping in a tent. On…

Street level politics come to Seattle, led by Debora Juarez

Rule number one: Don’t call District 5 "Seattle’s Canada", at least not to new Councilmember Debora Juarez's face. As the rest of the City tests…

Is Seattle’s gun tax really a tax? Answer could determine law’s future

This story will be updated later today if a ruling is issued. When is a tax a tax? That was the question at the center…

Police, religious leaders on alert amid possible hate crimes

The fears of Muslims in America have been on the rise since gunmen opened fire on Paris last November. That tension has hit Seattle hard…

Year of the Seattle urbanist? Not quite yet

When the Sierra Club worked to defeat the Roads and Transit measure in 2007, a smart politico told us “you want to win the election,…

Seattle uses guesswork to rebuild police force

When Kathleen O’Toole took the reins of the Seattle Police Department, jumping from one end of I-90 in Boston to the other in Seattle, she…

New round of election results

The first post-Election Day round of ballot counting brought only minor narrowing of some races across Seattle. In the Seattle City Council's race to represent West…

Who will speak for Seattle’s northern frontier?

Seattle’s fifth council district is a Jackson Pollack portrait of Seattle. Encompassing almost everything north of 85th Street, District 5 stretches from the mansions along…

Decision to host Shell’s Arctic fleet haunts Seattle port commissioner

Early this year, the Port of Seattle commissioners agreed to a short-term lease with the shipping company Foss Maritime to moor its ships in the…

Battered rent control resolution crawls its way to the full council

Although a resolution in support of lifting the statewide ban on rent control is not dead, its future isn't bright, either. The Seattle City Council’s…

Why it’s so hard to build truly affordable housing in Seattle

The Thunderbird Motel was a longtime eyesore, even among the notorious stretch of seedy establishments along Aurora Avenue. The gun violence, drug dealing and prostitution were…

‘Active’ parks celebrated, even among homeless advocates

When Mayor Ed Murray announced last June that the Downtown Seattle Association would manage Westlake and Occidental parks, there was quick pushback from homeless advocates,…

On “scale” issue, a battle between neighborhoods and City Hall

This is the story of two buildings. Both are unloved by many of their neighbors, both share the same address. Given Seattle’s rapid growth, with…

Sorry, just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can take long showers again

It’s an odd thing for Western Washingtonians to see fires in the Olympics and water advisories in their mailboxes. But thanks to low snowpack and…

For Ed Murray’s staff, a revolving door

Most public offices have a revolving door of staff. In Mayor Ed Murray’s, however, that door spins a bit faster. Since Murray took office in…

Socialist councilmember Sawant calls for a new tech revolution

With the exception of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant is the most prominent socialist in American politics. In her years of…

City Council looks for HALA answers

Are the recommendations of Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda group going to make real improvements in housing options for low-income people? The Seattle…

Clock ticking down on City Council’s work

At least four and as many as six new bodies will fill the Seattle City Council bench this January. Although that’s more than four months away,…

Why Seattle needs to talk about race

This is the first in a series of Crosscut stories discussing race in the Puget Sound region. When protesters Marissa Janae Johnson and Mara Jacqueline Willaford…

Councilmember Jean Godden slips further

Challenger Michael Maddux gained more ground over Jean Godden Wednesday evening, increasing the odds that the longtime council member's days in office are numbered. Maddux, who…

How much of Seattle’s housing is affordable? No one knows for sure

Until last month, I managed a 20-unit apartment building in Lake City. A one bedroom rented for about $900 a month; a two-bedroom, $1,100. One…

Digital surveillance firm has local police contacts, leaked emails reveal

A digital tool to monitor “all the devices,” whether they be smartphones or laptop computers. One that is “invisible to the user, evades antivirus and…

Seattle Council questions housing ideas

Five council members stood next to Mayor Ed Murray as he proudly introduced the 65 recommendations from his housing task group, the Housing Affordability and…