City of Seattle

More than 11,600 homeless people were tallied in King County's annual Point-In-Time Count released Tuesday. This year's count covered a larger area, 396 of the 398 U.S. Census tracts, and implemented a new method employing guides who were formerly homeless. It wasn't until the report came out that mayoral candidates began talking about solutions to the homelessness crisis—notably, none of the candidates had any serious proposals until this week. 

Diet soda has been cut from the Seattle's controversial soda tax bill after Tim Burgess excluded it in his new version of the legislation sent to council members Tuesday. Originally added by mayor Ed Murray, Burgess said there was no science to support the inclusion. The council will vote on the bill at its regular meeting on Monday.

Council members also gave opponents to the new King County youth jail another chance at appeal the project on Tuesday. They corrected what council member Mike O'Brien said was a mistake to the land use coding that didn't allow activists to appeal the proposal to the city's hearing examiner. 

State Politics

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Sound Transit has reached an agreement to pay Mercer Island $10 million to settle its I-90 dispute, The Seattle Times reported. The Mercer Island City Council voted to sue Sound Transit after Mercer Island residents lost its access to the high-occupancy vehicle lanes on I-90. And for those commuting from Mercer Island to Seattle or simply passing through, prepare for a potentially hellish commute with bottlenecks and an increased commute time. Starting this weekend, the I-90 express lanes will be closed and restriping of the remaining lanes will begin in preparation for the light rail. 

Seattle Versus Trump

President Donald Trump officially withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate accord on Thursday, saying the action was "a reassertion of America’s sovereignty." Although the U.S. will remain in the agreement for the next three and a half years, Trump said, "As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord." Coming on the heels of his NATO and European travels, many foreign leaders have already condemned Trump's actions.

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Former President Obama's statement on the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

Seattle and Washington are not taking Trump's actions lightly. Governor Jay Inslee said, “For America, the country that defeated fascism and communism, to now have a president who has run up the white flag of defeat against this global threat of climate change is just pathetic," The Seattle Times reported

Inslee and two other governors formed the Climate Alliance, a coalition of states who will continue to follow the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Mayor Ed Murray has joined 60 other U.S. mayors to sign an agreement saying they too will follow the climate agreement. King County executive Dow Constantine also committed to "meet the most pressing challenge of our time" by creating more clean energy capacity.

Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as congressional Democrats from the state all tweeted a series of statements expressing her disappointment and discussing the ramifications of the withdrawal. Republican congressman Dave Reichert also opposed it, KUOW reported, and was one of a few GOP lawmakers who recognized climate change and urged action in a House resolution earlier this year. 


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