1.  After yesterday's news that Mayor Ed Murray's former press secretary Roz Brazel filed a discrimination claim against Murray's office (Brazel, an African American woman, was demoted after two big gaffes in February, and subsequently, she says, let go), we asked the mayor's office for stats on the race and gender breakdown of Murray's staff—as well as numbers of women and minorities in top positions. 

Murray's General Counsel M. Lorena González says:  “The staff of the Mayor’s Office reflects Mayor Murray’s commitment to diversity and equity. Currently, the Mayor’s Office has 15 employees (41.6 percent of all staff) who identify as people of color. This includes: 6 Black/African American employees, 1 American Indian/Alaskan Native employees, 3 Hispanic/Latino employees, 2 employees who identify as two or more races, 3 Asian/Pacific Islander employees. In the Mayor’s Office, 17 of 36 employees (47.2 percent) identify as female.”

In response to our other question about women and minorities in top positions on Murray staff, Murray's Deputy Press Secretary Mike Gore said he would have to get back to us. 

Murray's two high profile department head appointments have split along gender lines so far; he appointed the first-ever female SPD chief, Kathleen O'Toole, and he appointed a male director to head the Seattle Department of Transportation, Scott Kubly. 

One of Roach's longtime intraparty rivals, Sen. Mike Hewitt (R-16, Walla Walla), made a $2,500 contribution to the KCGOP on October 5. 

2. State Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R-31, Enumclaw) is evidently not the only state legislator trying to oust fellow Republican lawmaker state Sen. Pam Roach (R-31, Auburn). Rep. Dahlquist is running against the controversial and temperamental Sen. Roach (Roach has been barred in the past from caucusing with her party due to accusations that she's been abusive to staff and colleagues).

The King County Republicans appeared to be supporting both candidates equally, making a single $5,000 contribution to both Dahlquist and Roach on October 6. However, the KCGOP added an extra $2,500 to Dahlquist on October 13. They didn't do the same for Roach. 

One of Roach's longtime intraparty rivals, Sen. Mike Hewitt (R-16, Walla Walla), the Republican leader between 2005-12, made a $2,500 contribution to the KCGOP on October 5. 

3. The city council took another step toward passing Council member Mike O'Brien's "linkage fee" proposal yesterday, a fee on all development in multi-family, lowrise, downtown, and transit hubs around the city that would help pay for affordable housing. The council's land use committee passed the proposal unanimously sending it to full council for an October 20 vote. 

The council left the final decision on the exact fee—which (re: the chart above) would be a different rate depending on the housing market in the neighborhood—until next spring when they implement the legislation. 

Council member Nick Licata proposed just locking the fee in at the highest end of the scale—$22, for example, in the higher cost development areas such as South Lake Union and downtown—but that amendment failed. 

Instead of paying into an affordable housing fund, the developer can also choose the "performance" option, which means building units on site or nearby. 

The developer can set aside units affordable for 50 years to a household making 80 percent of the average median income ($63,500 for a family of four).  If the Council ends up going with  the higher end of fee scale ($7, $12, $22),  for example, the performance mandate would be to make five percent of units available at 80 percent AMI. 

Developers claim the linkage fee isn't allowed under state law which prohibits taxes on development

 

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