1. The Seattle Times' Andrew Garber lays out the case for and against incumbent state Sen. Nathan Schlicher (D-26), who replaced former state senator Derek Kilmer when Kilmer was elected to U.S. Congress last year.

Schlicher is being opposed by Rep. Jan Angel (R-26), and the outcome of the race could determine whether the state senate is controlled by Republicans or Democrats.

Both campaigns, the Times reports, are backed by hundreds of thousands in independent spending. 

2. The Olympian reports that the local impacts of the federal government shutdown could "get more real" soon, with consequences ranging from furloughs at the state's employment security department (the people who provide unemployment benefits) to the complete elimination of funding for women and children receiving vouchers for food and health assistance under the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program, which assists low-income women and their families.

If U.S. House Republicans continue to hold funding for the federal government hostage because of their opposition to universal health care, some 200,000 WIC recipients will lose their benefits.

Image via CityTank.

3. Over at CityTank, Alex Steffen argues that a lack of housing, not land speculation, is what's really driving up rents in Seattle—and that speculation alone can't artificially raise prices in the absence of abundant supply or disappointing demand. 

Steffen continues: 

If we’re concerned about low-income people (and I think we ought to be), then public housing and/or serious incentivization of non-market-rate housing has to be part or the mix… part of a mix, if we’re smart, that includes every possible incentive to develop more high-quality housing at all income levels as quickly as possible.

4. Longtime Seattle writer and bestselling memoirist Claire Dederer has a piece in Crosscut about the city's mayoral race, in which she describes Murray (the obvious villain in her story) as "petite," "doughy," and "pink," and McGinn as "easy," "relaxed," "direct," and "unfussy"—and Dederer herself as "impressed" by the mayor.

The pro-McGinn piece concludes: "Change: It's starting to look inevitable. But is it really desirable?" The obvious answer being: "No."

5. The New York Times picks up on the efforts by SeaTac hotel and hospitality workers to increase their minimum wage to $15 an hour—an effort the paper describes as "a potential model for raising wages and mobilizing workers in other parts of the country."

Labor organizers not just in SeaTac but in Seattle, of course, have pushed to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which would represent a considerable jump from the Washington state minimum of $9.19 an hour, the highest in the nation.

Marginal Revolution, the economics blog, offers its own take, conjecturing that because the Sea-Tac Arport is "by far the biggest employer in the city," it may "face inelastic consumer demand in response to higher prices, provided those price hikes can be collectively enforced across all the sellers in the airport, which is indeed what a minimum wage hike would bring."

6. As Washington state prepares to take applications for charter schools—publicly funded, but privately operated schools—a new Oregon Department of Education analysis concludes, according to the Oregonian, that the six schools with the fewest low-income students , fewest students who speak English as a second language, or who are black, Latino, Pacific Islander or Native American, are all charter schools. 

The findings contradict claims by charter school proponents that charter schools offer an alternative for students who may not be well served by the current system, such as minorities, low-income kids, and ESL speakers.   

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