1. According to an email titled "A Call for Neighborhoods to Unite," the Seattle Community Council Federation—an umbrella group for anti-growth neighborhood organizations—is mobilizing in advance of Mayor Ed Murray's April "neighborhood summit" for a February 25 summit of their own at the Central Area Senior Center.

The group is planning to come up with a unified agenda to check what they see as a city plagued by "runaway development, upzones, gentrification, small lot development, skinny houses, high-rise development, loss of tree canopy, lack of adequate services/infrastructure etc."

The group, which includes the Seattle Displacement Coalition, Livable Ballard, Reasonable Density Seattle (a Capitol Hill group), and Seattle Speaks Up (a new group from Phinney Ridge), is planning to hold a press conference a week before Murray's summit to frame the city's agenda with its own "tough growth controls" agenda.

 The group is planning to come up with a unified agenda to check what they see as a city plagued by "runaway development, upzones, gentrification, small lot development, skinny houses, high-rise development, loss of tree canopy, lack of adequate services/infrastructure etc."

"It's hoped we can all come together around a common call to rein in growth," the email explains.

2. The state house passed a bill sponsored by arch-conservative Rep. David Taylor (R-15, Moxee)—and co-sponsored by liberals such as Seattle's Rep. Brady Walkinshaw (D-43, Capitol Hill) and Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45, Kirkland) along with Taylor's Tea Party-style colleague Rep. Matt Shea (R-4, Spokane Valley)—83-15 last night.

What brings conservatives and liberals together like this? Civil liberties. Rep. Taylor's bill, ACLU priority legislation, regulates government use of drones; currently, there are no regulations over drone procurement or use by government agencies.

The bill mandates that government agencies must first get "explicit approval" from its governing body (this would prevent the SPD from buying drones without city council approval) and thhat agencies must get a warrant when using drones with a few specific exceptions such as in  emergencies like fires and for "a criminal emergency, with immediate danger of death." (And they've still got to get a warrant after the fact in that instance.)

Image: Shutterstock

After the vote last night, Rep. Taylor said in a prepared statement: “We’re not banning the use of drones...We recognize they can serve a very legitimate and important service to the people of this state. We just want to make sure that as technology evolves and these systems become more and more readily available, our government doesn’t begin relying on them for regulatory enforcement. We have to balance the idea of a potential high-tech tool with the possibility of an overreaching ‘big brother’ scenario.”

Agencies must get a warrant when using drones.

And ACLU lobbyist Shankar Narayan told Fizz: "This legislation allows legitimate uses of drones to move forward, while ensuring that generalized, suspicionless, warrantless drone surveillance does not take place. ... I hope the Senate will quickly move the bill forward and place it on the Governor’s desk.”

A couple of other anti-snooping provisions in the bill: Law enforcement can't use, copy, or disclose any data obtained by drone use unless there is probable cause that the information is evidence of criminal activity. "And there must be a determination within 10 days (or 30 days if the information is about the subject of the warrant) if the information is evidence of criminal activity." If not, the bill says, the  information must be deleted within that same time period. Also: Personal information may not be used as evidence if the drone obtained it in violation of these new regulations.

3. Yesterday's Fizz flagged two competing oil transport safety bills: One, sponsored by Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-42, Ferndale) that environmentalists say is an "industry written" bill that doesn't have any teeth, and another, sponsored by Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D-46, N. Seattle), that gives the state more power to regulate oil transport.

The house passed Rep. Farrell's bill last night. The senate, which wasn't able to move the bill to the floor after an unusual Democratic parliamentary win in the Republican-dominated senate on Friday, still hasn't passed Sen. Ericksen's bill.

4. Despite President's Day, we were working hard yesterday: Check out Erica's update on the ridesharing debate at city council; Erica's update on the tunnel; and yesterday's "Isn't it Weird That," in which Josh's longtime fear is realized: A city policy which claimed to trade one awesome outcome for another, affordable housing for density, was simply too good to be true.

The city's own data shows that the city's incentive zoning programs have produced neither affordable housing nor density.

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