1. State senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37, Southeast Seattle) has scored an important endorsement in the who’s-more-progressive-than-who contest.
Lefty group Fuse endorsed Jayapal in the race to take retiring U.S. representative Jim McDermott’s (D-WA, 7) seat.
"We are excited about having Pramila Jayapal in Congress," said Aaron Ostrom, Executive Director of Fuse. "The biggest issues facing our country - economic inequality, climate change, immigration, racial justice - are issues that she has led as an effective and inspiring leader. She is a passionate progressive who brings people together to make change possible."
Jayapal is running against King County council member Joe McDermott (no relation), who’s campaigning on gun control and repealing Citizens United and against state representative Brady Walkinshaw (D-43, Capitol Hill), who’s running on passing a carbon tax.
2. Meanwhile, in the who’s-more-conservative corner, the Seattle Times has endorsed trial lawyer Dan Shih in the crowded race for the open 43rd Legislative District state house seat; Times endorsements tend to favor the more mainstream candidates in local races.
Shih, who’s far ahead in fundraising, is up against some activist candidates in the super progressive 43rd (Capitol Hill, the U. District, Fremont, Wallingford), including Downtown Emergency Services Center staffer Nicole Macri, labor organizer Marcus Courtney, and environmental activist Sameer Ranade.
Courtney, a lead organizer with the Washington AFL-CIO who started out as a DIY labor activist organizing tech temp workers in the late 90s, took a shot at Macri in the ever-important battle for top left-wing status last week. Courtney seized on DESC’s skittishness during the $15 minimum wage talks.
Courtney’s press release is a little tacky: It quotes local lefty hero Bill Hobson, the former longtime director of DESC, who had raised some questions about $15 from the non-profit, social services perspective. Hobson, who supported the $15 wage, died earlier this year. His (and Macri’s) organization, DESC, has impeccable progressive credentials, particularly now, as fighting homelessness has emerged as a premier issue for local activists.
Courtney goes on to tie Macri to Hobson’s quotes, asking: “Where was Nicole Macri when the executive director of her organization was going to the press questioning the $15 minimum wage fight?”
Macri says she personally lobbied the council during the $15 talks in support of the new standard wage. "Public record requests will demonstrate my own email advocacy to Council members in support of increasing the minimum wage," she says. She also pointed to a press release DESC released in the spring of 2014 when the mayor was finalizing the deal .
Major service provider to homeless people with mental illnesses supports increase to minimum wage; calls for adequate funding from City
Local homeless service provider DESC (formerly Downtown Emergency Service Center) supports Mayor Ed Murray's proposal to create a local minimum wage for all employees working in Seattle. The DESC Board of Directors believes that as a matter of social justice an increased minimum wage should not result in a reduction of homeless services.
And she tells me today: "We challenged the City to implement this prosperity-building policy change in a way that avoided dire consequences for the most vulnerable people in our community. While work on this front continues, we are grateful for investments the City has in human services to offset the impact of rising wages. I am proud of my clear and vocal support of Seattle's 2014 landmark legislation, and continued efforts to raise the minimum wage statewide, and would challenge any candidate in this race on this issue."
3. Pro-choice supporters are cheering this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said two Texas laws put an undue burden on women seeking abortions (a standard established by 1972’s iconic Roe v Wade decision.) Two provisions in Texas—one requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospital and another requiring abortion clinics to make expensive renovations mimicking full-scale hospital, including surgical theaters would have led to the closure of 75 percent of Texas’s abortion clinics.
U.S. representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1) said this morning:
I’m glad the Court recognized that these shameful attacks undermine Roe v. Wade and put women’s health at risk. Women deserve better, and today’s ruling helps ensure they have the freedom to make their own healthcare choices — without interference from politicians.
4. The court put off its decision on whether to hear Washington state’s Storman’s case—the lower 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Storman’s pharmacy’s complaint that Washington state board of pharmacy rules mandating access to emergency contraception violates religious pharmacists’ religious freedom.