Slog AM: Minimum Wage Still Not Enough, Social Housing Initiative Loses Steam, and Poor Communities Have Higher Rates of Incarceration

Minimum wage is not enough: The Seattle Times looked at how many hours a person would have to work a minimum-wage job to afford rent across the state. Statewide, a minimum-wage worker would need to punch in 72 hours each week to afford a typical one-bedroom apartment. In King and Snohomish counties, that worker would need to rack up over 90 hours a week. 

House Our Neighbors! Loses steam: House Our Neighbors! (HON) campaign co-chair Tiffani McCoy told the South Seattle Emerald that it’s “extremely, extremely unlikely” that the measure to establish a Public Development Authority will make it on the November ballot–and not for lack of trying. When HON initially turned in its signatures, the campaign came up about 5,000 short, but the City of Seattle allows campaigns another 20 days to recoup signatures lost in the certification process. HON set out to collect 10,000 more signatures to be safe, but now McCoy has changed her tune on what had been an incredibly optimistic campaign. 

She told the Emerald, “Will there be enough time for the city clerk to do their process and then get those over to King County Elections, and then for King County Elections to do their verification process and then get it back to the city clerk?” she said. “Enough time for the City Council to alert the public to the vote, to put it on the ballot? No. I guess it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility, but it is highly unlikely.”

For those of you who feel crushed by the rapid increase in rents across the city, McCoy said the fight is not over for social housing. Voters may see the measure on the ballot in February 2023. Certainly not ideal, considering how low-turnout those elections tend to be, but we’ll make sure to remind you when it comes time to cast your vote.

Schools “show mastery:” The Seattle Times reported that several school districts in Washington have stopped assigning letter grades (an utterly demoralizing and bad way to measure learning) and started assessing students on a “show what you know” system. And now, with the support of a new grant from the State Board of Education, more schools will likely join the wave.

Monkeypox in the north: Whatcom County officials confirmed the county’s first identified case of Monkeypox when a person in their 50s tested positive earlier this week. That person was not hospitalized and is quarantined at home.  

The federal government wants you to report hate crimes: Hate crimes often go unreported, but the federal government could soon send Seattle resources to help encourage victims to come forward. Would love to see more federal resources to PREVENT hate crimes…

Seattle loves to spend money: I relate so much to this city. I love spending way too much money on stupid shit I do not need. The Urbanist reported that Seattle wants to save 1 minute in travel time by spending $5 million to upgrade some signals in Greenwood. Sounds like a great use of federal money! Add to cart, baby! 

ICYMI: In other transportation news, Matt Baume caught us up on SDOT’s battle of the bike lane barriers. As a cyclist-ally, I cannot recommend this read enough to stay informed. 

Murdered Indigenous woman’s body found on the Burke Gilman trail: Mavis Nelson, a mother of three and member of the Yakima Tribe, was found dead near Ravenna Avenue Northeast and Northeast 45th Street in June. Her death has been ruled a homicide. Her family recently spoke with KING 5 about Nelson’s death, identifying her as one of the many cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women and people. Seattle leads the nation in theses cases, and Washington has the second highest number of cases of any state in the country. In an effort to reduce those numbers, Washington launched an alert system specific to indigenous people this summer. 

Which Washington county sends the most people to prison? A new report found that if you live in a poor neighborhood in Washington, you are more likely to wind up in jail. No way! According to Crosscut’s story of a report by the Prison Policy Initiative, people from Tacoma make up 9% of all people in Washington state prisons, and rural counties like Grays Harbor send people to prison at a much higher rate than more populated counties.

Cop-on-cop crime: Phil Gardner shared a rare upset to the near fool-proof election strategy that is incumbency.

Good news for Kansas and the rest of this country! Kansas’s recent abortion rights referendum showed a path forward for even red states post-Roe. The New York Times reported that based on Kansas’s positive results, four out of five states would back abortion rights in similar vote. 

In other abortion news: Sen. Patty Murray tried to help. 

The environment, hell yah! Fans of aquatic life, rejoice! The Great Barrier Reef is looking–well, great! According to Reuters, areas of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef show its highest coral cover in over 30 years. Nice! 

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