1. The newly proposed head tax is drawing both criticism and support. Iron workers gathered Thursday, as Council member Kshama Sawant held a press conference outside the Amazon Spheres to voice her support of the tax. The workers from the Iron Workers Local 86 drowned out Sawant as she spoke according to The Seattle Times. The iron workers are concerned about the reduction of jobs which would only add to the homeless population.
2. Amazon responded to the proposed head tax by halting the construction of a new tower in downtown Seattle according to The Seattle Times. Amazon planned to add at least 7,000 more jobs in the new tower which is now pending upon the result of the head-tax vote. Despite bringing jobs and growth to the Seattle economy, the steady increase in homelessness has the city council looking for a solution often pinning responsibility on big companies that made the city so expensive in the first place.
3. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the replacement of Kathy Nyland, director of the Department of Neighborhoods. Nyland was appointed by Murray in 2015 when the administration dissolved the City Neighborhood Council. Durkan had criticized the former administration for a "top-down approach" at the neighborhood level. Andrés Mantilla, currently working in Durkan's office as director of external relations and outreach, will act as interim director.
4. Opponents of safe drug consumption sites will have their day in the state Supreme Court. A Superior Court judge ruled against Initiative 27, which would ban injection sites in King County, saying that public health boards have broad authority to decide public health policy. Supporters of I-27 will continue their legal fight to get the initiative on the ballot.
5. Jeff Simpson, the former foster son of Ed Murray, is suing him and the city on grounds of defamation and slander. Simpson was the first to accuse Murray of child sexual abuse and tried to sue him back in 2008. He filed a lawsuit on Friday that cited public statements made by both the former mayor and city officials and claimed Murray abused his position of power to defame his accusers.
6. Seattle landlords are suing the city over a law that bars them from running criminal background checks on prospective tenants. Property owners argue that this is a violation of their free speech and due process rights. This law was a recommendation from the 2015 Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda and passed last year through council member Lisa Herbold's committee.
7. A Crosscut article reports the high turnover rates of caseworkers due to low wages. The Downtown Emergency Service Center had a 50 percent or more turnover rate last year. With the high turn over and low wages, it takes a while to find replacements, putting a burden on current employees who take on the work of the employee who left.
8. Former King County Democrats chair Bailey Stober announced that he will run for state legislator. Despite having been forced out of his position after allegations of harassment and bullying and financial misconduct, Stober will seek the 47th District seat held by Republican representative Mark Hargrove.
9. A lawsuit against Seattle Police claims that Seattle police knew of the dangers of deploying blast balls on May Day 2016 participants. A software engineer who took footage of the use of one of the balls is suing on the grounds of unjustified force.
10. This year's May Day came and went with fewer protesters than years past. The March for Workers and Immigrant Rights was the main attraction this year. It began at Judkins Park and made its way downtown to the federal immigration court. Meanwhile far-right groups and anti-fascist groups made appearances downtown.