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Rural rhetoric | Chavez march | Transit → jobs

Monday, April 9, 2018




► In the (Longview) Daily News — State’s rhetoric doesn’t align with actions (by IBEW’s Mike Bridges) — The state government shouldn’t pretend to care about rural job creation while it actively impedes it. Instead, government agencies should ensure that their actions actually back up their rhetoric. By simply not standing in the way of privately-funded projects like Millennium, agencies like the Department of Natural Resources would create way more jobs and waste way less taxpayer money… Only then can people living outside the Seattle and Olympia bubbles be reasonably expected to take these claims of rural outreach seriously. And when they do, they will always find willing partners in the men and women of the Longview/Kelso Building Trades.

► In the (Everett) Herald — Teamsters union supports health of families but not soda tax (by IBT’s Rick Hicks) — We welcome the opportunity to explore solutions to society’s health problems, but these solutions should not be funded using another regressive tax that not only hurts our members, but every working family in the state.

► From KNKX — Frustrated and broke, Washington counties consider suing state — After years of pleading with the state Legislature for more state funding, Washington’s 39 counties could decide this year whether to file a lawsuit against the state over unfunded mandates.

► In today’s NY Times — America’s state courts are under attack (editorial) — Across the country, state judges are under increasing fire from lawmakers and outside groups angered by their rulings, their power, their tenure or simply their independence… public officials must not treat the judiciary as if it were just another political branch. Doing so undermines public respect for state courts — which provide most Americans with their only experiences with the judiciary — and debases their hard-won independence, for nothing but partisan gain.

EDITOR’S NOTE — State Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Ellensburg) has openly suggested that his party’s threat to unseat a justice, which failed in 2016, will make the court think twice about piling on more sanctions in the McCleary case on education funding. Manweller, a political science professor at Central Washington University, is suggesting that rather than deciding issues solely on their merits and the law, justices on our state’s highest court should worry about political payback from the likes of him.




► In the Yakima H-R — Marchers take to Sunnyside to honor Chavez — The sound of United Farmworkers flags flapping in the wind, the crunch of gravel under marchers’ shoes and chants of “si se pueda” echoed through the streets of Sunnyside Sunday as some 200 people marched in support of farmworkers everywhere. The event was part of the “Cesar Chavez Day” celebration declared statewide on March 31. (See photo gallery.)

► In the Seattle Times — Seattle civil-rights leader Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney dies at 91 — The Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, the pre-eminent Seattle civil-rights leader and 40-year pastor of the Central Area’s Mount Zion Baptist Church, died Saturday at the age of 91 at an assisted-living center in Seattle. Dr. McKinney’s deep voice articulated insights on spiritual and civic matters for generations. Guided by the conviction that religious faith requires a commitment to social justice and equality, Dr. McKinney influenced a variety of local institutions.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — This week, spare a thought for the folks in orange — This week, starting today through Friday, is National Work Zone Safety Week. While motorists should always be extra vigilant when people are near traffic lanes, this week is the time to keep those orange-jacketed men and women in your thoughts, and keep those feet on the brake pedal.

► In the Seattle Times — Sinclair shenanigans a reminder of the dangers of media mergers (editorial) — The public should be aware that a regulatory framework and tradition exist to prevent an Orwellian media future, by limiting further consolidation, restoring net neutrality regulations and strengthening public-interest standards for broadcasters. Sinclair’s shenanigans are the latest reminder that such guardrails are needed to ensure that Americans continue to be informed by a diverse, independent and free press.

► In the Seattle Times — The perilous road from ‘the public interest’ to Sinclair Broadcasting (by Jon Talton) — The nation’s biggest owner of television stations forces its newsrooms to become propaganda mills. Only a few decades ago, this would have been unthinkable — and illegal.




► In the Washington Post — Congress is back at work, without much legislating on the agenda — When Congress returns Monday, lawmakers will confront numerous critical issues — including trade, immigration and digital privacy — but they will be hard-pressed to act. An absence of hard deadlines and the political realities of an election year mean that the $1.3 trillion spending bill that President Trump begrudgingly signed into law last month is probably the last significant legislation to pass Congress before voters go to polls in November.

► In today’s Washington Post — Farmers who supported Trump fear becoming pawns in a trade war — President Trump’s aggressive attacks on China over trade are putting Republicans in a difficult spot — torn between siding with the president and acknowledging the economic peril a trade fight could have on their constituents.

► In the Washington Post — ICE raids meatpacking plant in rural Tennessee; 97 immigrants arrested — Federal officials arrested 97 immigrants at a meat-processing plant in rural Tennessee on Thursday in what civil rights organizations said was the largest single workplace raid in a decade and a sign that the Trump administration is carrying out its plan to aggressively ramp up enforcement this year.




► From AP — Oklahoma teachers strike enters second week after $40M in school funding approved — Oklahoma lawmakers were returning to the state Capitol on Monday as teachers in the state’s largest school districts entered a second week of massive demonstrations to demand more education funding. Teachers, students and supporters were again expected to flood the Capitol. Leaders of Oklahoma’s largest teacher’s union have said protests will continue unless lawmakers approve a repeal of a capital gains tax exemption and the governor vetoes a repeal of a proposed lodging tax.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Teachers and others who support making Washington’s tax system more fair by repealing our capital gains tax exemption (among other things) will join together this Saturday, April 14 for “Tax Rally 2018: Invest In All Of Us” from 2 to 5 p.m. at Judkins Park, 2150 S. Norman St. in Seattle. Get details.

► In the Honolulu Star Advertiser — Hyatt Centric workers vote to unionize — Workers at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach Hotel cast their votes Tuesday to make the property the first Hawaii hotel to join the Unite Here Local 5 union through a NLRB election in two decades.

► From Vox — The emerging plan to save the American labor movement — pro-labor voices in America are looking to counterparts in France, Germany, and elsewhere across the Atlantic for signs of how to revive the labor movement and get the working class’s wages rising again. And while ideas like wage boards and giving workers spots on corporate boards may seem pie-in-the-sky today, they could easily become part of the next Democratic president’s agenda, or become law in left-leaning states even before 2020.

► In today’s Washington Post — In the editorial pages of the Denver Post, a rebellion against its ‘vulture capitalist’ owners — On Monday, more than two dozen staffers in the Denver Post newsroom will walk out the door, representing the latest round of staff cuts and layoffs at one of the largest metro newspapers in the West. The day before, the news outlet’s editorial board filled the newspaper’s opinion pages with protests  — representing a remarkable rebellion against the owners responsible for continual staff cuts at the paper over the past few years.




► From Reuters — As GM union faces big job losses, South Koreans turn cold shoulder — With General Motors cutting some 2,600 jobs and threatening to leave South Korea in the absence of steep union concessions, the once sympathetic public is nowhere to be seen. South Korea’s reputation for militant unions and rigid labor practices has long been cited as contributing to high labor costs and a persistent discount for corporate Korea.




► In the American Prospect — Connecting public transit to great manufacturing jobs (by Steven Greenhouse) — After 17 years heading a labor-community alliance in Los Angeles, Madeline Janis had developed a reputation as one of the nation’s most innovative strategists on behalf of workers. Janis and her coalition had pushed through the nation’s broadest living wage law. She helped devise a strategy to get hundreds of minority workers hired on long-segregated construction projects. She helped invent the concept of “community benefits agreements,” which pressured real-estate and retail developers to hire workers from poor neighborhoods and to promise not to oppose unionization. And she spearheaded an effort that slashed truck pollution at the nation’s largest seaport, while making it easier for port truck drivers to unionize.

But notwithstanding her impressive track record, something was nagging at Janis, long the director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. After battling to help service-sector workers, truck drivers, and construction workers, Janis was eager to fight on a new front: manufacturing. So she set out on a mission to create more factory jobs in the United States — and to make sure that those jobs were good jobs that employed women and people of color. What’s more, Janis had her eye on another prize: She wanted those jobs to be union jobs.


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