1. The Seattle Times picked up Jonah's story on local "superhero" Phoenix Jones. The Times failed to get an interview with Jones though.
Check out Jonah's interview yesterday with Jones, whose real name is Benjamin Fodor, here.
2. Mayor Mike McGinn deserves props for having the temerity to take the stage at Westlake yesterday afternoon and slam the all cuts mentality in Olympia and DC (his own city budget preserves social services). After all, he's been a bit of a bad guy among the Occupy Wall Street protesters who've taken over Westlake for more than a week now; last week he ordered the police to shut down the tent encampment there.
But it was local union leader, Service Employees International Union 775 President David Rolf, who gave yesterday's true barn burner—or at least the most noteworthy speech. While Rolf talked about the the "crisis of leadership" in DC and the "malice of both political parties" for catering to the one percent who "want it all for themselves," he eventually offered a solution, or, as many critics have been demanding—a demand.[pullquote]Democratic leaders—Mayor McGinn, union heads, and Democrats nationally—are trying to bond with the dissident Occupy folks.[/pullquote]
His demand was surely partisan, though. "DC, listen!" Rolf urged. "We are the 99 percent. Pass the American Jobs Act. We are the 99 percent, and this is what we are demanding."
Really? Is that what the Occupy movement is demanding? Obama's bill?
(The president's $450 Obama bill cuts payroll taxes and puts a surtax on incomes over $1 million to fund infrastructure projects.)
SEIU 775 leader, David Rolf at Westlake
Just like the Republicans have maneuvered to align themselves with the dissident Tea Party movement, it now looks like Democratic leaders—Mayor McGinn, union heads, and Democrats nationally—are trying to bond with the dissident Occupy folks.
3. Mayor Mike McGinn---so voluble when asked about another recent non-city issue, marijuana legalization (he's for it)---remains silent on another hot statewide issue involving a controlled substance, Costco's liquor-privatization measure, Initiative 1183.
Yesterday, we asked whether the mayor was for or against 1183, which would allow large stores like Costco to sell hard liquor and get the state out of the liquor business, McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus would say only, "He hasn't taken a position yet."[pullquote]McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus would say only, "[McGinn] hasn't taken a position [on I-1183] yet."[/pullquote]
It's unclear what McGinn's personal feelings are on I-1183 or whether he plans to support or oppose privatization publicly.
4. A new state level political action committee called Graduate Washington is holding its kickoff event tonight on the Ave. in the U. District. Political operatives trying to woo students?
Nope. Just the opposite: The group, which has already registered with the state is the brainchild of recent UW and Western Washington student leaders including Rob McKenna's daughter Madeleine McKenna, the recent student body president.
Graduate Washington leaders say they will support candidates who pledge to fight for increasing higher ed funding.
Tonight's kickoff—at Big Time Brewery—will feature guest speakers, including former Seattle City Council president Peter Steinbrueck and School Board member Kay Smith-Blum.
5. As the city council prepares to start discussing zoning around the Roosevelt light rail station, the city's planning commission---which ordinarily restricts itself to issuing dry white-paper recommendations on zoning and other land-use issues---has launched a new series on PubliCola alum Dan Bertolet's web site.
Judging from the first installment, which argues that density in places like Roosevelt is "good for our health," the series seems likely to be another front in the battle between density opponents (e.g. many residents of Roosevelt, who argue that they've "taken enough density" already) and density supporters (who argue that as the city's population increases, Seattle needs to create spaces for new residents to live close to transit, work, and recreation).
In Morning Fizz last week, we noted that city council transportation chair Tom Rasmussen, a member of the committee that oversees the implementation of 2006's Bridging the Gap, voted against the measure earlier that year. Rasmussen's staff informs us that although he voted against the original version, which had no end date, he voted along with the rest of the council for a later version of the measure that lasted just nine years. Our original post has been updated.