Unwelcome mat, election redux, the country vs. the city…

Thursday, November 10, 2016




► In today’s Seattle Times — Controversy, competition greet New Seasons Market as it opens on Mercer Island — The store, which is not unionized, has seen its share of controversy even before it opens, with the United Food and Commercial Workers and other advocacy groups organizing an “unwelcome ceremony.”

ALSO at The Stand — New Seasons to be ‘unwelcomed’ in Mercer Island TODAY — All are invited to join supporters of high-road grocery jobs in front of the New Seasons Market, 2755 77th Ave SE on Mercer Island, beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10 to roll out the “unwelcome mat” for New Seasons. For more information, visit the Facebook event site.




► In today’s Olympian — When they go red, we go blue: Washington not quite part of Trump train — As Republican real estate mogul Donald Trump stunned the world by laying claim to the White House Tuesday night, the political landscape in left-leaning Washington state looked like more of the same — and perhaps even a shade bluer than before.

ALSO at The Stand — Historic election victories for Washington workers

► In today’s NY Times — State voters with minds of their own (editorial) — Frustrated by a do-nothing Congress, voters took policy matters into their own hands on Tuesday by passing state ballot proposals to legalize marijuana, approve new transportation projects, raise state minimum wages and strengthen gun control laws. That these progressive measures won is an indication that voters are moving left on many issues, despite Donald Trump’s victory.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Employers gird for statewide minimum-wage hike — With Tuesday’s passage of a ballot measure raising the state’s minimum wage, some businesses are already starting to plan for the first wage jump in January.

► In today’s News Tribune — Dueling wages: How much will Tacoma workers get paid? — Last year, Tacoma voters approved a minimum wage that will grow each year until it tops out at $12 an hour in 2018. Initiative 1433 goes further, incrementally raising the minimum wage statewide to $13.50 an hour in 2020. As both wages work their way up to their full potential in the next couple of years, which one can Tacoma workers expect to make? The answer, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Industries: Whichever is higher.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane’s sick leave ordinance up for review as voters pass statewide requirement — Two potentially conflicting policies, one taking effect next year and the other in 2018, are causing some concern among local businesses about meeting different standards.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This report also indicates, “Some opponents have suggested they might challenge the initiative if it passed, alleging the measure deals with more than one subject by addressing both the minimum wage and sick leave.” But as the initiative title indicates “Initiative 1433 concerns labor standards,” and there are plenty of legal precedents for previous ballot measures in Washington state that raised more than one labor standard at the same time.

► In today’s News Tribune — Mixed election night messages, but not on Sound Transit 3 (editorial) — That Washington residents would easily approve a $4-an-hour increase in the state minimum wage reflects a widespread unrest among those struggling to make ends meet, even in an economy that Gov. Jay Inslee touts as tops in the nation… One result that might surprise pundits: the apparent passage of Sound Transit 3. Now it looks like the South Sound will no longer have to cling to the short threads of the region’s mass-transit patchwork.

► In the PSBJ — Hotel industry responds after voters overwhelming pass Seattle hotel worker protection measure — Seattle voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved Initiative 124, which will require new protections for hotel workers from on-the-job sexual harassment and workplace injuries. The Seattle Hotel Association said Tuesday it hasn’t made an official decision on whether it will challenge the new rules in court.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Puget Sound area sees protests while surprised Trump voters share hopes — Donald Trump’s victory, following a populist presidential campaign that split Americans along fault lines of race and gender, spurred events across the Seattle area as people struggled to cope.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — McMorris Rodgers sets sights on House leadership, praises Trump’s call for unity — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will again seek appointment by her peers as chair of the House Republican Conference, a position that has been used by GOP lawmakers to catapult to higher positions of power.

► In today’s Washington Post — Moscow had contacts with Trump team during campaign, Russian diplomat says — Russian government officials had contacts with members of Donald Trump’s campaign team, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday, in a disclosure that could reopen scrutiny over the Kremlin’s role in the president-elect’s bitter race against Hillary Clinton.

► In today’s LA Times — Kamala Harris breaks a color barrier with her U.S. Senate win — California voters elected Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, tearing down a color barrier that has stood for as long as California statehood.

► MUST-READ from NiemanLab — The forces that drove this election’s media failure are likely to get worse — There’s plenty of blame to go around, but the list of actors has to start with Facebook. For all its wonders, it’s become a single point of failure for civic information. Our democracy has a lot of problems, but there are few things that could impact it for the better more than Facebook starting to care — really care — about the truthfulness of the news that its users share and take in. As anyone who has spent much time on their relatives’ profile pages can probably attest, Facebook has become a sewer of misinformation. Some of it is driven by ideology, but a lot is driven purely by the economic incentive structure Facebook has created: The fake stuff, when it connects with a Facebook user’s preconceived notions or sense of identity, spreads like wildfire.




► From The Hill — AFL-CIO vows to work with Trump on trade — Trump and Trumka often found themselves at odds over labor policy, but defeating the Trans-Pacific Partnership could prove to be a rare area of common ground between the Republican presidential elect and union leaders.

ALSO at The Stand — AFL-CIO ready to work with Trump, but won’t sacrifice values

► In today’s NY Times — What Trump, Clinton, voters all agreed upon — better infrastructure — “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” Trump said in his victory speech. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none.” The sentiment was echoed across the country on Election Day as voters supported dozens of local ballot measures intended to improve public transportation. In Los Angeles, Seattle and Atlanta, voters were poised to approve spending billions of dollars on buses, rail lines and other projects.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump expected to seek deep cuts in government regulations — The unwinding of Dodd-Frank. The firing up of shuttered coal plants. The rollback of rules that increase overtime pay for low-wage workers. Hours after Donald J. Trump won the race for the White House, scores of regulations that have reshaped corporate America in the last eight years suddenly seemed vulnerable… Obama enacted a number of other policies through executive order rather than a more involved rule-making process, and these could be undone by a President Trump almost immediately, with the stroke of a pen. These include rules that increased the minimum wage and granted paid sick days to workers hired by federal contractors.

► From The Hill — Trump, GOP plot ambitious agenda — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Wednesday that repealing the Affordable Care Act will be one of the top priorities of the new Congress… There’s a keen sense of urgency among Republican lawmakers, who realize after six years of split government that they have a rare opportunity before them.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Machinists’ South Carolina organizing push heats up with Boeing mailing — Boeing workers in South Carolina got a negative mailing to their homes this past week as the company urges its blue-collar workers to ignore overtures from the union, which claims it is close to its signature-gathering goal… A Boeing website tells its workers, “You know what’s scary? The web of deception that the IAM continues to weave about what it could do for you.”




► From Cracked (note: we changed the “click bait” headline) — 6 reasons for Trump’s rise that no one talks about (by David Wong) — It’s not about red states and blue states — it’s about the country vs. the city. … I know many of America’s changes from the “Good Old Days” were for the best. But try telling that to anybody who lives in Trump country. They’re getting the shit kicked out of them. I know, I was there. Step outside of the city, and the suicide rate among young people doubles. The recession pounded rural communities, but all the recovery went to the cities. The rate of new businesses opening in rural areas has utterly collapsed.

See, rural jobs used to be based around one big local business — a factory, a coal mine, etc. When it dies, the town dies. Where I grew up, it was an oil refinery closing that did us in. I was raised in the hollowed-out shell of what the town had once been. The roof of our high school leaked when it rained. Cities can make up for the loss of manufacturing jobs with service jobs — small towns cannot. If you don’t live in one of these small towns, you can’t understand the hopelessness. The vast majority of possible careers involve moving to the city, and around every city is now a hundred-foot wall called “Cost of Living.”

The rural folk with the Trump signs in their yards say their way of life is dying, and you smirk and say what they really mean is that blacks and gays are finally getting equal rights and they hate it. But I’m telling you, they say their way of life is dying because their way of life is dying. It’s not their imagination. So yes, they vote for the guy promising to put things back the way they were, the guy who’d be a wake-up call to the blue islands. They voted for the brick through the window. It was a vote of desperation.

EDITOR’S NOTE — And as The Stranger’s Angel Herz points out this morning: “Not one of the major political institutions in the United States will speak for or support urban values. The White House, the Senate, the House, and eventually the Supreme Court will be controlled by people who are anti-immigration, anti-LGBT rights, anti-Black Lives Matter, anti-abortion rights, anti-tolerance, anti-public transportation, anti-climate realism, and anti-wage realism.

“The U.S. is an urban country, but its cities will have no voice at all at the federal level. Washington will speak only for rural voters and their concerns, most of which cause more harm than good. Wyoming, a state with a population of 500,000, will be represented more than King County, which has a population of 2 million. This just will not do. The American political system is structured to under-represent urban voters and over-represent rural voters. Cities must demand changes in the political system. They must also flex their economic power and not rule out the use of coordinated strikes when important rights are challenged. No major American city voted for Trump. In fact, you have go below towns with 50,000 souls to find majority support for the demagogue.”


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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