Today is the day: Seattle, get the fuck outside. I know, I know. You’ve BEEN outside, but today’s weather is literally perfect, with temperatures in the low to mid 70s and clear, sunny skies. Besides, today will be the nicest weather for a while. On Friday you can expect temperatures in the upper 70s, which, honestly, pretty toasty! As for the rest of the weekend, watch out for clouds and temperatures in the high 60s. Seize the day!
Tacoma hates renters: The Tacoma City Council is poised to put forward a watered-down version of a people-powered initiative to establish a Tenant Bill of Rights. The initiative scared local landlords because the measure would set some of the strongest protections for renters in the state, even out-doing Seattle in some areas. Landlords pissed their pants so hard that they lobbied the council to make its own, weaker slate of protections. Today, a coalition of labor, housing justice advocates, and other lefties are calling on the City to reject the landlord-approved legislation and adopt their version instead. Or, at the very least, just let the people of Tacoma decide for themselves in November, if the campaign can get the signatures it needs.
To strike or not to strike: Today, hundreds of Research Scientists/Engineers (RSEs) and Postdocs at the University of Washington will convene at Drumheller fountain to discuss if and when their respective bargaining units should strike. Both units have been in contract negotiations with the UW for months, and they’re getting inpatient. In April, the units both voted to authorize a strike, and they applied pressure to the University by packing a UW Board of Regents meeting and holding rallies on campus. Stay tuned!
Speaking of strikes: More than 150 Seattle school bus drivers and technicians announced they may go on strike after authorizing the action in a vote last weekend. The workers are frustrated by slow negotiations with their bosses at Zūm, which schools contract for bus services. The Teamsters say they want to strike to let Zūm know they mean business before the school year ends and they lose that leverage.
Dear Seattle U: Seattle University students and staff, joined by Seattle-area Jewish and Muslim community members, signed a letter urging the university to back out of co-sponsoring an event with Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Johnathon Greenblatt. The letter signatories argue that the ADL bills itself as a civil rights organization fighting against anti-semitism, but the League also funds Israeli military programs to train cops on counter-protest stuff, “actively participates in islamophobia,” and "smeared" the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine for a photo they used. A related petition garnered thousands of signatures, but the event will still take place this morning.
That was fast: The City Council will vote on a bill from Council Members Sara Nelson and Alex Pedersen to give the City Attorney the authority to prosecute drug possession and public use cases, now that the Legislature has criminalized both acts and increased the penalty to a gross misdemeanor. Ashley broke the news on Twitter that the council will vote June 6, rushing the legislation through without any committee hearings.
Why it matters: When possession was just a misdemeanor under the law, the County prosecuted those cases. If the council decides to shuffle that authority, the punishment-happy City Attorney will likely prosecute more possession and public use cases than the County could manage while juggling higher-priority felony cases. So the council can say it's just adopting the state law—which would be a huge change—but it may just give tough-on-crime Davison the power to slap more wrists, throw more people in jail, and ruin more lives. Here is a meme to end on a lighter note:
https://t.co/lfK0Uha8kt pic.twitter.com/KlbAXcAvS8— Hannah Krieg (@hannahkrieg) May 24, 2023
ICYMI: Piroshky Piroshky’s Olga Sagan announced her bid to replace Andrew Fence-Sitter Lewis. Sagan’s ideology is sort of a mixed bag. She’s a little conservative on taxes, but she's super progressive on renter protections. She’s sort of middle-of-the-road on how often the City should throw people into jail, but she thinks the best way to solve the cop staffing crisis is to reduce the department’s footprint. In all, a very fun interview, and a very good piroshky—please read!
Techies rejoice: Meta is done with layoffs after reaching its March goal to cut 10,000 workers.
Me when I’m 10 years old and stealing clothes from my sister’s closet: The guy who took a picture with his feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk during the 2021 insurrection got sentenced to more than four years in prison. The dude claims he wandered in there looking for a bathroom and that he was carrying a bum gun anyway.
Teamwork: Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said he's been working across the aisle on a deal to raise the debt ceiling. They'll have to work quickly. According to the Treasury Department, the U.S. is set to default on June 1, causing an international economic crisis. Not great!
DeSaster: Did you catch Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's presidential campaign announcement on Twitter.com? Or did you stop waiting after it crashed and got delayed by half an hour? Turns out, Twitter Spaces could not handle the 500,000 viewers who came to cheer him on (or hate-watch lol). Some say the crash is a testament to the noted transphobe's popularity, others say the incident just validates the fact that the new program is "janky" as hell.
RIP: Queen of Rock’n’Roll and pop icon Tina Turner died at age 83 from a long-term illness. You can read more about her life here.
Don’t touch the fucking bison: Park rangers at Yellow Stone euthanized a bison calf after some dude touched the days-old newborn. Apparently human interference can cause a bison’s herd to reject them, which makes it really hard for a baby to survive. The man appeared to be trying to help the bison catch up with its family, but that ultimately backfired, and if he’s caught he could face six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
So long, Fetty: Rapper Fetty Wap got sentenced yesterday to six years in prison for his involvement in a big drug trafficking scheme after initially getting arrested in the the fall of 2021 and pleading guilty last August. In the courtroom, he said, “I hurt my community, people who look up to me, my family, and myself. I am truly sorry for any pain I caused.”
Interesting recommendation: I had this Tik Tok sound stuck in my head all day yesterday, and when I looked it up I found out there’s a full version. It's not as good as the original clip, but I still thought I would share.