1. After initially dipping her toe into the pool of 2015 city council hopefuls—and making a bit of an outsized splash in July—ACLU attorney and marijuana legalization star Alison Holcomb (perhaps intimidated by Kshama Sawant's popularity and Sawant's ardent fans at the Stranger) has been out of the spotlight lately, causing speculation that she's rethinking her next move.
Is she planning to run citywide instead of in Sawant's District 3? Is she still planning to run at all?
Holcomb told Fizz yesterday: "Nothing to announce yet, but yes, still looking at District 3."
A number of candidates—Food equity activist Tammy Morales in Southeast Seattle's District 2, former Church Council of Greater Seattle leader Rev. Sandy Brown in North Seattle's District 5, and Planned Parenthood organizer Halei Watkins, also in North Seattle's District 5—have all recently announced their candidacies for this fall's elections.
2. At CityClub's Civic Cocktail event last night at Belltwon's Palace Ballroom, former Seattle Times columnist Joni Balter interviewed King County Executive Dow Constantine, who's currently ensnared in a messy political fight over bus funding.
A rebound in sales tax revenue has allowed the county council to talk about maintaining bus hours (rather than facing the supposed dire cuts Constantine had previously talked about in the runup to last April's—and this November's—bus funding measure.) After going ahead and cutting 151,000 bus hours, including deleting six routes in Seattle, the council is now putting an additional 250,000 hours of potential service cuts for 2015 on hold.
The system should really be growing at a rate of about $35 million a year to meet Metro's targets for bus crowding and reliability.
Accused of being an alarmist, Balter pressed Constantine for "bluffing"—and the county executive acknowledged that if November's measure passes, Seattle could actually "add" bus hours.
Constantine was way off message. As Kevin Desmond, Constantine's head of Metro has made clear many times, rather than a squabble over preserving hours or cutting hours, the current level of service is woefully inadequate and the "adds" Constantine noted last night wouldn't represent luxurious growth, but merely a desperate effort to catch up to where service ought to be.
Desmond recently told us, for example that with the current rate of gains in Metro ridership, the agency should really be looking at a 15 percent increase in service, rather than a 17-percent decrease.
And Desmond added that the system should really be growing at a rate of about $35 million a year to meet Metro's targets for bus crowding and reliability.
3. The Service Employees International Union Local 925—which represents child care workers, and is affiliated with the statewide SEIU—just dumped another $275,000 into the campaign for Proposition 1A, the proposal to mandate preschool teacher training standards as well as an immediate $15 minimum wage for all child care workers in Seattle.
The SEIU's latest contribution brings union support for Prop 1A—in addition to SEIU 925, the state organization and the American Federation of Teachers have contributed generously to the effort—to a whopping $1.08 million, a huge sum for a city initiative. SEIU 925 has contributed the bulk of that total—more than $585,000.
As we reported last week, the state SEIU has given $150,000, and the international SEIU has pledged, but not yet contributed, another $150,000.
The competing preschool measure, Prop 1B, a city-backed measure to fund preschool slots, has brought in $265,704 total.
4. Erica has been all over the news that the city council voted this week to dial down on regulations that have limited the placement of broadband cabinets that are needed facilitate higher internet speeds.