Tuesday, September 13, 2016
► From The Stranger — Majority of Sakuma Brothers farmworkers vote to unionize, boycott campaign suspended — After nearly three years of marches, walkouts, lawsuits, and pickets urging a boycott, farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Burlington, Washington voted in a landslide on Monday to join a union. “This is a historic moment,” said Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) organizer Maru Mora Villalpando. “We have the only indigenous-farmworker-led union in Washington state.”
ALSO at The Stand — Sakuma farm workers vote for Familias! (by Jeff Johnson)
► In today’s Skagit Valley News — Sakuma farmworkers vote to unionize — Farmworkers with Sakuma Bros. Farms voted Monday to authorize the labor group Familias Unidas por la Justicia to represent them in the negotiation of a union contract.
► From The Stranger — Uber drivers seeking unionization face more delays — Monday marked another chapter in local politicians’ ongoing effort to put off a controversial decision on Seattle’s groundbreaking Uber unionization law. Seattle City Council voted to extend the deadline for making rules about how the new law will take effect, including the controversial decision about which drivers will be allowed to vote on whether to form a union.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Lincoln County opens union negotiations to the public, in a first for Washington — The board of county commissioners of Lincoln County, just west of Spokane County, voted last week to allow citizens to observe collective bargaining sessions with county employee unions. Those negotiations previously were conducted in private. Salary and benefit proposals often were withheld from public view until a final vote by the commissioners.
► From AP — Port Townsend mill converts to natural gas to cut emissions — Port Townsend Paper says it is converting its main fossil fuel source from oil to compressed natural gas to cut greenhouse gas emissions and boost efficiency.
► From KNKX — Free workshop will help eligible Seattleites become U.S. citizens — For the first time, the city of Seattle will be organizing a citizenship workshop to provide naturalization services for free. This is an opportunity for those eligible to become U.S. citizens to meet with volunteer lawyers, translators and trained staff.
► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Contractors have plenty of work in Washington, but say its hard to find good workers (subscription required) — Fewer than 1 in 5 Washington contractors say the quality of laborers in the industry’s pipeline is good, while nearly 40 percent consider it poor.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Alternate suggested headline: Contractors have plenty of work in Washington, but say its hard to find good workers for what they are offering to pay.
► From AFP — Boeing says China will be first trillion dollar jet market — The world’s most populous country is expected to add more than 6,800 new aircraft to its commercial fleet worth $1.03 trillion by 2035, Boeing said in its annual China Current Market Outlook.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Does Gov. Jay Inslee support a state income tax? No, he does not — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant’s campaign is attacking Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, claiming Inslee will usher in a state income tax… (but) Inslee has said repeatedly he does not support a state income tax.
► In today’s NY Times — For every 10 adults, 6 vote and 4 don’t. What separates them? — While young people, poor people and Hispanics are often singled out for low voting rates, there are millions of nonvoters in every demographic group. In fact, the majority of people who didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election were white, middle-income and middle-aged. But what distinguishes voters from nonvoters can be only partly explained by demographics. Experts say individuals tend to be motivated by a combination of their priorities, their group culture, how competitive their state is, and how easy or hard it is to vote.
► From KUOW — I’m terrified: Trump supporters call, telling me to go home (by Morshida Islam) — They first called when I was at my son’s open house, and they left me a message: “Hello, Morshida, This is John C. Giles calling on behalf of the Donald Trump Association. I was just calling to see if I can get your support in getting all the foreigners out of the country. And f**k ‘em. F**k the Islamic community too. Nothing to do with your last name – get out of here though. Seriously.”
► In today’s Washington Post — Judge temporarily blocks proof-of-citizenship voting requirement in 3 states — A federal judge said Monday he is unlikely to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a proof-of-citizenship requirement in a mail-in federal voter registration form used by Kansas, Alabama and Georgia until an appeals court panel that looked at the matter issues its written opinion.
► From Politico — Black Lives Matters isn’t just a hashtag any more (by Brittany Packnett) — The challenge of protest and policy is as old as activism itself, and we constantly ask ourselves: Will the moment, meeting or conversation be used to subvert our ultimate goals or be a step on the path toward justice? The balance is difficult and always demands that we pre-negotiate the space to ensure we are heard, coordinate our messages, never exchange truth or protest for a conversation, and are never afraid to say “no” — which we often do. This movement will continue to pressure peacefully. And as we do, we commit to speak the truth to anyone, anywhere: in protest, or at the White House.
► In today’s NY Times — NCAA moves championship events from NC, citing anti-gay rights law — All championship tournament games over the coming academic year will be relocated in response to curbs on anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
► From CBS Denver — Colorado Capitol flooded with supporters of a higher minimum wage — Supporters of a higher minimum wage flooded the Colorado state Capitol on Monday. The workers are fighting for $15 an hour wages. They protested with faith and community leaders at the Capitol.
► From The Atlantic — Why so few American economists are studying inequality — Wealth at the top of the income distribution is skyrocketing, leading to growing inequality. This trend is especially pronounced in the United States. But much of the leading research on the topic isn’t coming from American economists. It’s been European scholars. So why aren’t American economists more preoccupied with wealth inequality? One reason is the deep influence of the so-called Chicago school. The economics department at the University of Chicago has long been a leader in the field… (but) it has a strong libertarian bent, focusing on how to promote competition and economic growth and the benefits of a free market… Americans also tend to believe that those who are rich have earned it and earned the right to keep it; the nation has lower top tax rates than European nations. Political rhetoric often focuses on protecting rich people from lazy usurpers (think of the phrase “makers and takers”), and that shows up in economic thought… The focus of economists is relevant outside of academia. Economists study what’s happening in the world and develop approaches for how to address big problems like poverty and wealth inequality… What would happen if more economists followed the French school, in which inequality is an economic problem — one that deserves attention?
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.