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Seattle sky aloft, democracy reborn, to Airbnb or not to Airbnb…

Tuesday, April 19, 2016




chicken-little-l► From Slog — UW report on minimum wage shows ‘little or no evidence’ of price increases in Seattle — A year after Seattle started incrementally increasing its minimum wage to $15 an hour, researchers have found little evidence of higher prices. That was one major takeaway from a team of University of Washington researchers who presented some of the first available data on Seattle’s minimum wage increase to the city council this morning.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Significant amount of waste leaks within Hanford tank — Thousands of gallons of radioactive waste leaked from the inner shell of double-shell storage Tank AY-102 as Hanford workers pumped sludge from the tank during the weekend.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Nordstrom to cut 350 to 400 positions, mostly in Seattle — The positions being cut will primarily be in Nordstrom’s corporate headquarters in Seattle with some regional support teams affected. These cuts do not include people on the sales floor.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Port of Seattle CEO’s job in question after DUI citation — Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick could face tough questions about his continued employment, depending on the results of an April 13 citation he received for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.




inslee-jay-gov► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Inslee signs budget but vetoes cuts to funds for performance audits — Washington can continue state programs, pay employee salaries and begin some construction projects over the next 14 months under operating and capital budgets signed Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee – although they’re a bit different than the spending plans approved by the Legislature.

► In the (Longview) Daily News — SEIU Local 775 files grievance against state for unpaid DSHS caregivers — hundreds of contract caregivers statewide have delayed paychecks from March due to glitches in the state DSHS payroll system. SEIU Local 775 has filed a class-action grievance against the state on their behalf.

► In today’s News Tribune — State’s 4 millionth voter is an 18-year-old millennial from Lakewood (by Matt Driscoll) — March 28 was the day 18-year-old Katarina Gruber — a senior at Clover Park High School in Lakewood — became Washington’s 4 millionth registered voter. She says it’s her “job as a citizen.”




cox-gebre-democracy-awakening► From People’s World — Mass movement for democracy is being born — Determined to start building a mass movement for democracy, this week people came here from every state in the union and every walk of life. They staged sit-ins, held teach-ins, gathered in rallies and marched to the Capitol… Tefere Gebre, executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, told the crowd that “the AFL-CIO is proud to be part of this Democracy Awakening. The unions of the AFL-CIO are committed to broadening our democracy; to having the voices and votes of working people heard. That’s why we will continue to fight the corrupting influence of corporate cash.”

► From The Hill — Capitol Hill arrests in pro-democracy protest hit 1,240 — Among those arrested on Monday were the two founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, as well as top officials with the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the AFL-CIO and NAACP.

► In today’s NY Times — Obama immigration plan seems to divide Supreme Court — During an extended argument, the justices occasionally paused to acknowledge realities outside the courtroom in connection with the president’s plan to shield millions from deportation.

ALSO at The Stand — WSLC’s Johnson: Supreme Court should uphold Obama’s immigration orders

mcconnell-mitch► In today’s Washington Post — Supreme Court majority appears elusive for Obama immigration actions — The administration needs to convince one of the conservative justices to save the program that would shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

► A related story from NPR — Out of the horror In Oklahoma City, Merrick Garland forged the way forward — Twenty-one years ago, the nation was rocked by the largest domestic terrorism attack it had ever experienced. A bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City killed 168 people, including 19 children in a day care center on the ground floor. Within days, Merrick Garland would arrive on the scene to supervise the investigation and prosecution. Most Americans would not hear his name again until last month when President Obama nominated Garland, now a judge, to the U.S. Supreme Court.




► In the NY Times — Immigrants, the poor and minorities gain sharply under the ACA — The first full year of the Affordable Care Act brought historic increases in coverage for low-wage workers and others who have long been left out of the health care system, a New York Times analysis has found.

► From Politico — Nation’s largest health insurer dropping most ACA business — UnitedHealth is significantly cutting back its ACA business and will sell plans in only “a handful” of state exchanges in 2017, its CEO said.

► In today’s NY Times — Debunking Republican health care myths (editorial) — In inventing problems that don’t exist and proposing solutions that won’t help, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz show that they don’t care about helping Americans get health care, which has never been their interest. They want to trash the Affordable Care Act, and they’re willing to mislead the public any way they can.




stand-with-verizon-workers► From The Verge — Verizon workers take over midtown Manhattan in the second week of their strike — The striking workers chanted, whistled, and used noisemakers inside a barricade that occupied the entire bus lane on 42nd Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway.

ALSO at The Stand — Verizon strikers are standing up for all working families

TAKE A STAND! — Sign our petition in support of the Verizon workers.

► In today’s Wall St. Journal — Verizon turns to shadow workforce amid strike — Thousands of managers and nonunion staffers that have filled in since nearly 40,000 technicians, repairmen and call center workers went on strike last week. Some of these temps have flown into the Northeast to work.

► From TDU — Hotels ban Verizon scabs — Verizon strikebreakers have been thrown out of three New York City hotels thanks to direct action by striking CWA members, solidarity from the hotel workers’ union and Teamsters Local 814.

airbnb-seiu► In today’s Washington Post — Airbnb is forming an alliance with SEIU — Airbnb is in negotiations to cut a deal with one of the nation’s biggest unions that would employ unionized home cleaners who are paid at least $15 per hour, according to people familiar with the discussions.

► From The Guardian — Airbnb negotiations with powerful U.S. labor union facing backlash — Sources say that negotiations have been delayed by internal union dissent over the ethics of the home-sharing startup with some labor activists, including some SEIU members, concerned that Airbnb has exacerbated housing crises in cities across the U.S.

► From Gawker — Airbnb is not the big enemy of labor. Uber is. (by Hamilton Nolan) — Distinct from these “gig economy” exploitation factories are the “sharing economy” companies like Airbnb, which focus more on unlocking the value of unused assets, like your house when you’re not using it. The “sharing economy” does not and cannot be treated by labor the same way the “gig economy” must be. For the gig economy, the issue is helping workers trapped inside it; for the sharing economy, the issue is proper regulation.

► In today’s LA Times — West Coast fisheries are at risk as climate change disturbs the ocean’s chemistry — The West Coast’s abundant fisheries are at risk as the region’s waters become more acidic, a group of scientists warn.

whats-the-matter-with-kansas► From TPM — With Kansas in crisis, Republicans abandon Gov. Brownback on tax cuts — After he became Kansas governor in 2011, Sam Brownback slashed personal income taxes on the promise that the deep cuts would trigger a furious wave of hiring and expansion by businesses. But the “shot of adrenaline” hasn’t worked as envisioned, and the state budget has been in crisis ever since. Now many of the same Republicans who helped pass Brownback’s plan are in open revolt, refusing to help the governor cut spending so he can avoid rolling back any of his signature tax measures.




► In today’s Washington Post — Clinton, Trump look to N.Y. primary to cement front-runner status — Voting opened Tuesday in the most raucous nominating contest of an already wild campaign season, making New York a coveted prize for both delegates and bragging rights that were expected to strengthen the trajectory of the two front-runners.


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