Morning Fizz

As Has Been Widely Predicted

By Morning Fizz June 24, 2011

1. As has been widely predicted, US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-1) will announce he's running for governor. The official announcement will come on Monday, June 27, at Targeted Growth, Inc.---a biotech firm in Tacoma.

2. Speaking of Inslee, the Mainstream Republicans of Washington---the moderate Republican group that's supporting current AG Rob McKenna for governor---accuse the Democratic Congressman of being a Johnny-come-lately on gay rights (he declared his support for full marriage equality yesterday). They point to two votes Inslee took in Congress in the 1990s---one, in 1993, banning the use of public funds to implement Washington, DC's ordinance allowing domestic partnerships, and another, also in 1993, in favor of Don't Ask Don't Tell (the Clinton law barring anyone who's openly gay from serving in the US military).

3. PubliCola sat down with city council candidate Bobby Forch the other day. We'll have a longer report later, but here's what Forch had to say about police accountability---specifically, what he calls incumbent Jean Godden's reluctance to deal with the issue:

I know the police have a really difficult job to do, each and every day, and the majority do a great job. But when the Department of Justice comes here and says people's civil rights are being violated [in a recent series of racially-charged police scandals], and no one is doing anything about it, that's a problem. We need to reconfirm the police chief. [Police chiefs, unlike other department heads, do not go through the confirmation process.] In city government, they reconfirm the head of CIty Light, they reconfirm the head of Seattle Center---most of our department heads---and they don't do that with the police chief. I think they should reconfirm every four years. Jean has said she thinks that's "too political," and I disagree.

4. A group of business, environmental, and neighborhood leaders convened by Mayor Mike McGinn earlier this year will roll out a package of legislation next week aimed at encouraging density, promoting small businesses (including food carts on private lots), and getting rid of parking requirements that make new developments more expensive. Specifically, the proposals would reduce parking requirements; make it easier for people to open home offices; allow retail on the ground floor of new developments outside pedestrian overlay zones; make it easier for homeowners to build mother-in-law units on their property; and loosen the rules governing street-food carts on private property.

5. Link light rail ridership is up nine percent over last year.
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