1. The latest fundraising for the city council candidates has not changed the data about where this year's district hopefuls' money is coming from. It remains—as I reported earlier this week—that most candidates are not relying mostly on district donors.
The candidate with the worst record on that score remains Debora Juarez in District Five (North Seattle) where 60 percent of her donors live outside the city. And still, she has just 11 in-district donors. The impressive outlier judged by this metric remains Catherine Weatbrook in District Six (Fremont, Ballard). Weatbrook, who's running against incumbent council member Mike O'Brien, has found 67 percent of her donors in the district.
2. The money stats highlight Juarez for another reason as well: Of all this year's candidates, she has written the biggest check to her own campaign, contributing $23,619 to herself. That's nearly 20 percent of her total raised.
3. In a new twist in "Go Hawks Gate"—the amateur hour scheme by developer Brett Allen to bully city council candidate Jon Grant, the former head of the Tenants' Union, to get the TU to drop a lawsuit: The developer, Triad, announced yesterday that the suit (against Triad's Civic Square project to build an office tower across the street from city hall) has been settled.
Triad President Fred Grim, who fired Allen after the scandal blew up, says Triad plans to move forward with the project now even though mayor Ed Murray announced two weeks ago that city would not work with Triad.
I have a call in to the mayor's office.
4. City council member Nick Licata got some good news in his fight to get the city's retirement fund to divest from fossil fuels. The Department of Labor announced a new policy that could help ease the city's retirement fund board members concerns about fiduciary responsibility.
The Department of Labor made it easier on Thursday to utilize socially responsible investment strategies in retirement plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
In a guidance posted Thursday, the Labor Department said that it's now perfectly acceptable for retirement plans to consider investment products that take into consideration social impact.
“If you could demonstrate that you weren't compromising on financial performance, you could pursue other goals as well,” Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said. "Investing in the best interests of a retirement plan and in the growth of a community can go hand in hand."
The guidance is a reversal from the Department’s 2008 ruling that “unduly discouraged” fiduciaries from considering environmental, social and governance factors, when appropriate, in making investment recommendations, the agency said.
"Changes in the financial markets since that time, particularly improved metrics and tools allowing for better analyses of investments, make this the right time to clarify our position," Perez said Thursday.