Just capitalism things: PCC employees rallied outside the co-op's downtown location on Monday calling for higher wages, full staffing, and better working conditions, according to the Seattle Times. The wildest detail in this story is the store setting up a food pantry because of the number of workers facing food instability. A grocery store that doesn't pay its workers enough money to buy groceries is one of the worst chef's kisses imaginable.
Meanwhile, federal food funds sunset: Pandemic era federal SNAP benefits ended in February, and about half a million Washingtonians lost access to federal food assistance, according to KING 5. The Washington State Legislature is working on a fix to devote about $28 million to fund food programs in the state.
Supercalifragilisticexpial-Egregious: Despite Seattle's lesser-known paper giving it a ringing endorsement, Washington State House Democrats say the Senate's drug possession bill is a dumb, very bad, no good law. State Representative Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) said the House Democratic Caucus is resistant to increasing penalties and mandatory minimums for drug possession. Because—and let's all say it together this time—drug addiction. Cannot. Be punished. Out of. Someone. Bellingham gets it.
But, if we are worried about fentanyl: Then why not make the strips to test for it legal? A bill in the Washington State Legislature would remove equipment used to test drug purity from the list of illegal drug paraphernalia. The law would allow public health officials to make test strips available to the public, according to the Seattle Times. Not totally clear how many lives it would save, but also, why are these illegal in the first place?
Floating big ideas in District 3: Actor Ry Armstrong is running to represent District 3 voters as the first openly nonbinary person on the Seattle City Council. I don't know how they heard my apocalypse plan was to retrofit a battleship into 2,000 units of shelter and housing, but I'll give them the credit for it. I appreciate them having incredible local politics puns that few people enjoy. This is all via Hannah Krieg:
Actor Ry Armstrong wants to be your City Council Member, District 3. They want to tax big business for carbon emissions, turn a battleship into housing, and set up two new emergency hotlines.https://t.co/oKLG74kAot— Hannah Krieg (@hannahkrieg) March 13, 2023
Ban cars: People are out here driving real wild. Charles Mudede breaks down a few incidents that didn't make the news, but also a woman was killed in Redmond last night in a hit-and-run, according to KIRO. Earlier in the year, I didn't want the Legislature to take my free right turns on red, but now I'm one of those nuts screaming "Twenty is plenty" at passing sedans.
Abortion pill lawsuit: A hearing is scheduled Wednesday in a federal case out of Texas that seeks to prevent the use of the two-drug abortion pill regimen, according to the New York Times. A ruling in favor of removing approval for the regimen would reduce access to abortion even in states without abortion bans.
Meta lays off about 10,000 employees: The cuts amount to about 13% of Meta's workforce, according to the New York Times. In an incredible branding swing, Mark Zuckerberg called 2023 a "year of efficiency." This cut comes just days after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, causing the second-largest bank failure in US history.
Overall, though, things are rebounding? US shares rebounded, according to the BBC. But then Moody's Investor Service switched its outlook for the US banking system from "stable" to "negative." Doesn't sound good. Ugh. Maybe I have to actually listen on my next finance bro date.
The SVB crisis does not yet have the characteristics of a global risk-off shock with the dollar immediately depreciating & most emerging market currencies minimally impacted. Lower expected interest rates in the US driving currency movements. Closely monitoring developments.— Gita Gopinath (@GitaGopinath) March 14, 2023
Inflation lowered compared to last month, but it's up 6% compared to this time last year. According to the Washington Post, "Higher housing costs weighed heavily on the latest figures, contributing to more than 70 percent of the monthly increase." Next week the Fed meets to decide whether to hike interest rates again, but the collapse of a couple banks in recent days may stay their hand.
Biden expands gun background checks: Tuesday, Biden will use an executive order to close a background check loophole for buying guns, according to Politico. The move dodges Congress and will increase the number of gun-sellers who can conduct background checks. The move will also direct the Federal Trade Commission to analyze how gun manufacturers market to minors, which is a report I'm excited to read.
Today, rather than a song, I leave you with a Tweet about a TikTok series:
A lawyer on TikTok is performing a weekly list of recently arrested pedophiles in America simply to point out that it’s all youth pastors and politicians, not drag queens pic.twitter.com/JdsrEIbP8q— Marjorie Gaylor Queen 🏳️🌈 (@Tim_Tweeted) March 13, 2023