Racial disparities, poverty the focus of state budget and policy summit

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Panelist Sheila Capestany, King County strategic advisor for children and youth [Photo by Kelsey Hamlin]

At a $70-per-ticket summit on December 7, attendees discussed Washington state’s budget and how to change it to benefit marginalized people and close wealth gaps.

“When progressives get together we usually agree with one another and vent about Trump and whatever,” said Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, a featured speaker at the Washington State Budget & Policy Center’s (WSBPC) Budget Matters Policy Summit. “A lot of times we talk about survival and we don’t take the next step to talk about prosperity. As long as we only focus on survival and we only focus on justice, the gap between the haves and the have-nots is going to get bigger.”

Via International Examiner

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Houseless advocates hold vigil outside city hall, deliver letter against budget cuts to services


The deputy in chief talks with Anitra Freeman, a homelessness services advocate [Photo: Kelsey Hamlin]

Approximately 45 homeless advocates silently stood outside Seattle City Hall on a cold Wednesday evening, holding signs that read “without shelter, people die.”

Women in Black, a group created by Seattle Housing and Resource Effort(SHARE)/WHEEL, honor homeless people who have died on the streets. As soon as they find out, a vigil is held about a week later.

After this week’s vigil, the Housing for All Coalition and other homelessness organizations asked new Mayor Jenny Durkan to prevent funding cuts from homelessness programs.

“Sometimes these vigils are the only memorial service friends and family have,” said Anitra Freeman, a member of Women in Black. “Sometimes this is when people find out.”

Via South Seattle Emerald

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Seattle’s Budget with Burgess: BLM and Mandated Retirement Money

As Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess announced his changes to the budget created by former mayor and accused sexual abuser Ed Murray, the new mayor gave an explicit nod to Black Lives Matter, focused on sexual assault survivors, and expressed gratitude for the Seattle Fire Department.

via South Seattle Emerald

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Private contributions provide boost in the UW’s funding

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Private contributions from outside donors play a large role in university funding across the nation. The UW received approximately $227 million in last year’s private gifts, almost $28 million less than gifts from the preceding 2013-14 fiscal year.

“The [contribution] that is significantly smaller is [to] the School of Law,” said Walt Dryfoos, associate vice president for advancement services at the UW.

The decrease in the law school’s contributions may be in part due to Jack MacDonald, a generous donor, passing away in 2013, leaving his $187.6 million to be split up between the UW’s School of Law, the Salvation Army, and Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

This is the largest gift to the law school in its history, according to The Seattle Times.

With all of this money laying around, some people might wonder why public universities like the UW need funding from the legislature in the first place.

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