Public Defender’s Office to Help Mitigate Unintended Impacts of Low Level Crimes

Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold, who spearheaded the program’s implementation. Photo courtesy of Seattle City Council

Seattle City Council passed Resolution 31802 Monday to insert civil “collateral consequence” attorneys into the King County Department of Public Defense (KC DPD) in an effort to inform people charged with crimes about the unintended consequences of conviction.

via South Seattle Emerald

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In Seattle, domestic workers don’t have the same protections as others—but that could change

Domestic workers, some members of Working Washington, SEIU 775, or Casa Latina, set up tiny house displays outside City Hall made from gloves and diapers. Photo by Kelsey Hamlin

In a study of 174 Seattle-area caretakers, house cleaners, and gardeners, local labor rights organization Working Washington found that local domestic workers are presented with similar struggles to those in other states and countries: They perform a high-risk job with few workplace protections.

85 percent of Seattle domestic workers, according to the study, would not be covered for an on-the-job injury. 54 percent don’t have health insurance—and only 6 percent get it from their employers. Domestic workers, including those in Seattle, are often at a higher risk for workplace violations, like sexual harassment and wage theft.

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One Year After First Proposal, Micro Business Owners Weigh Impact of Sugar Tax

South End and Central District community members and small business owners gathered Monday to discuss their personal experiences with Seattle’s so-called “soda tax.”

The soda tax, also commonly known as the sugar tax, was originally brought forward by Seattle’s previous Mayor Ed Murray. The tax originated in part out of a response to America’s “obesity epidemic” and to raise approximately $16 million a year for education, specifically to close racial disparities. As it turns out, this tax may be exacerbating disparities in other areas.Jim Desler, the spokesman for Keep Seattle Livable for All Coalition — which formed last year after rumors of the sugar tax first emerged — cited that grocery items are already above 25 percent the national average in Seattle.

via South Seattle Emerald

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Freedom, Hate, and a Campus Divided

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Protesters face off against Freedom Rally attendees. Photo by Kelsey Hamlin

Mahilet Mesfin stood front-and-center at a barricade, one of many spanning the University of Washington’s Red Square last Saturday. The 18-year-old protester and UW student felt she had to be there.

The UW College Republicans (UWCR) had invited Joey Gibson, conservative speaker and leader of Patriot Prayer, to campus for a Freedom Rally to further the argument surrounding free speech on campus. While some feel speech involving white supremacy or promoting racist views should be banned as hate speech, others, including the UWCR, feel that allowing such expression is essential to the idea of free speech. In part, this is why the UWCR invited ex-Breitbart editor and right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to campus in January 2017, an event that sparked violence and a shooting. This time around, the UWCR attempted to address the same idea with the lesser known, and less controversial, Patriot Prayer. For the Freedom Rally, organizers said they wanted to invite others, even opposition, to take the mic. Patriot Prayer has ceded the mic and stage to opposition in the past. Due to safety concerns, though, it didn’t quite play out that way on Saturday.

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Seattle Teachers Show Solidarity With Striking Bus Drivers

Hundreds of educators joined with striking bus drivers on the picket line Wednesday at a number of protest hubs throughout Seattle.

The gulf between the drivers, represented by the Teamsters union, and First Student, a subcontractor with Seattle Public Schools, has widened since a one-day strike in Nov. 2017 after the two sides failed to negotiate an agreement on improved healthcare and retirement benefits in ensuing months.

via South Seattle Emerald

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