1. Following up on last week's Jolt about this year's monorail ballot measure (the pro campaign hadn't registered as a political committee despite spending money to collect signatures and get on the ballot): The Public Disclosure Commission reports that they contacted Elizabeth Campbell, the activist behind the measure to set up a new monorail authority, and she has now complied, registering a ballot measure committee to track the campaign's fundraising and expenditures.
Reports are due on September 10.
2. A new EMC poll found overwhelming support for making sure kids can walk and/or bike to school.
We LIKE that after after passing a a $15 minimum wage law, Seattle scored a Fortune 500 manufacturing company that contributes mostly to Republicans.
For example, the following two statements registered 87 and 88 percent support respectively: "Every child deserves to walk or bike to school on a safe route" and "We should plan our communities & schools to make sure children can walk or bike to school & stay safe from traffic."
Additionally 84 percent of those polled said Safe Routes to Schools, as the policy programming is called, was important and 68 percent they were more likely to support a state transportation package if it included SRTS money
The support wasn't merely generic. After hearing context about limited state funding, the 84 percent support number remained high at 79 percent. (Here's the context, including a reference to McCleary, that EMC added: "Some people say that making it safer for children to walk or bike to school safe from traffic is important. But with a bad economy, large budget deficits, and shortfalls in basic education we simply can’t afford it. Given what you have heard, how important is it to you that funding for safe routes to schools to keep children safe from traffic and provide more opportunities to be regularly active be a part of any State of Washington transportation spending? Would you say very important, somewhat important, or not important?")
And here's some context from Fizz: the current state budget includes $18.4 million for SRTS, funding 42 statewide projects; most of that money come from federal sources with just $6.75 million of the state's own $35 billion total spending going to SRTS projects.
And the fledgling state transportation package proposals only came with about a 90/10 split on roads vs. multimodal projects.
Speaking budgets and McCleary and context, Blake Trask, the policy director at Washington Bikes, put it to Fizz this way: "Did you know that school busing costs the state and local school districts approximately $450 million annually? What if we could reduce busing needs (and costs) by getting more children to walk and bike and use those cost savings for other education priorities?"
(Hopefully, everybody checked out the video from Lakewood, Ohio's bus free—and denser than Seattle!—school district that we posted as a Friday treat.)
3. Speaking of density: While we're not as dense as New York City—27,778.7 people per square mile for first place vs. Seattle's 7,774 for 14th place—we did beat the Big Apple on a ranking of cultural amenities per capita for America's biggest cities.
In fact, Seattle ranked No. 1.
Seattle has 1,890 cultural draws, meaning the city has one cultural or recreational venue for every 354 people, putting us at the very top of he list.
NYC actually ranked 13th, with one for every 3,096 people. Indianapolis was right on Seattle's heel (kinda) in second place with one venue for every 705 people.
"Now is the time for public servants to understand the national anger and pain caused by the tragedy in Ferguson."—Mayor Ed Murray condemning apparent Facebook comments by SPD officers.
4. Following up on our story yesterday about a batch of SPD officers—like sexists piling onto an Erica post about sexism and calling her a Bxxxx!—jumping onto a post about the aggro SPD by calling the author an "asshat" and a "tard," we got a comment from Mayor Ed Murray:
“I find these comments incredibly disappointing. Now is the time for public servants—elected officials and police officers—to understand the national anger and pain caused by the tragedy in Ferguson and to build stronger relationships within the community based on this understanding. I believe that the vast majority of officers at the Seattle Police Department want to do exactly that. I am very concerned that these types of comments—if they were, in fact, made by members of SPD—take us down the opposite path.”
SPD Chief Kathleen O'Toole voiced her disappointment yesterday when we brought the comments to her attention.
5. Re: Yesterday's huge news about Weyerhaeuser's decision to move from suburban Seattle to Seattle proper (Pioneer Square), we're going to jump in early with a Fizz LIKE.
We LIKE that after electing a socialist city council member and a gay mayor, and after passing a paid sick leave ordinance and a $15 minimum wage law, Seattle scored a Fortune 500 manufacturing company that contributes mostly to Republicans.