1. State senator Cyrus Habib (D-48, Kirkland) announced he’s running for lieutenant governor; the lieutenant governor heads up the powerful rules committee, casts tie-breaking votes in the senate, and runs senate floor sessions (settling key parliamentary disputes, like whether it should, as the GOP wanted, take a two-thirds majority vote to bring tax increases to the floor…no, current Democratic lieutenant governor Brad Owen ruled earlier this year.)
Habib, who instigated his own parliamentary battle this year when he offered an amendment to a GOP environmental bill adding language about climate change (the GOP said it was “out of scope,” but Owen sided with Habib), is a key progressive on the senate side.
Lieutenant governor Owen hasn’t decided whether he’s running for reelection or not, but his current term has been tarnished by ethics violations; he was fined $10,000 last year in a settlement over a complaint that he used state dollars to help fund his own nonprofit.
Habib, who's blind (and also the first Iranian American state legislator) has already rolled out a list of impressive endorsements from fellow Democrats in the state senate, including his fellow dissident state senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37, Southeast Seattle)—the pair were outspoken critics against last year’s roads-heavy transportation package—and state senator David Frockt (D-46, North Seattle). On the house side, where Habib served for two years before winning a senate seat in 2014, liberal allies such as Seattle-area representatives Jessyn Farrell (D-46, North Seattle) and Brady Walkinshaw (D-43, Capitol Hill) have also endorsed him.
2. Kshama Sawant ally, city council candidate Jon Grant, released a paid parental leave proposal (for both the public and private sector workers) in conjunction with former Sawant rival Morgan Beach; Beach, an outspoken member of the women's commission, lost to Sawant in the August District Three primary.
Their plan, 12 weeks of paid parental leave, would be funded by an increase in the city business and occupation tax.
"Paid parental leave must be considered the cost of doing business in Seattle," Grant said in a statement that focused on the pay gap facing women in Seattle.
3. Park(ing) Day, the annual SDOT one-day event when parking spots all over the city are transformed into mini parks (I participated last year, turning two spots on University Street downtown into a "swapark" where you could hand off an item and get something back in return) originally started as a show of "tactical urbanism" when amateur urban planners just started transforming parking spots on their own.
Now that the smarty pants idea has been co-opted by cities like Seattle with official days set aside for hacking parking spots, Seattle Greenways decided to add a dash of tactical urbanist rebellion back into the mix during this year's Park(ing) Day this past Friday.
The ped and bike group asked its members to submit Park(ing) Day Plus ideas where they took advantage of the set-aside day to introduce street fixes that they think should stick.
Their grand winner: A 2,000-foot protected bike lane on Rainier; here's awesome video of a parent and their four-year-old biking along the usually treacherous road.
Seattle Greenways reports:
Putting up the project on Friday morning made it terrifyingly clear what barriers people face when they walk or bike this stretch of Rainier Ave South. SDOT, please install this protected bike lane on a more permanent basis as soon as you can (and add a few extra blocks to help people on bikes get up to Hillman City).