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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Lynn Thompson.

July 17, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Seattle in its own minimum-wage bubble

Seattle is the only area in the state with a plurality of voters who believe that a $15 minimum wage would help the economy more than hurt it, according to an Elway poll released today. That puts city voters at odds with those elsewhere, including the rest of King County and all of Eastern Washington, where most voters say…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: $15 minimum wage, Elway Poll

June 30, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Public financing of city elections won’t be on November ballot

The Seattle City Council voted today not to consider a public campaign-financing bill for the November ballot. Seattle voters narrowly defeated a measure that would have levied a property tax to create a public financing system for city council elections last year. Councilmember Mike O’Brien sought to have a similar measure referred to his committee for consideration in time…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: mike o'Brien, seattle city council, Tim Burgess

May 14, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Park District ballot title challenged

An affordable housing group will file suit tomorrow over the ballot title for creation of a new parks district. The group argues that the ballot title drafted by the City Attorney’s Office for the August primary  doesn’t tell voters they are deciding whether to create a new, permanent taxing authority. “Unlike a parks levy lasting 6 to…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Displacement Coalition, seattle city council, Seattle Parks District

April 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM

$15 Now files ballot initiative to raise Seattle’s minimum wage

Activists this morning filed a Seattle city charter amendment to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2015. The measure calls for a three-year phase-in for small business and non-profit organizations and defines a small business as any with 250 or fewer full-time employees. Backers of the amendment, which includes 15 Now…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: $15 minimum wage, 15 Now, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

April 10, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Businesses push back on minimum-wage demands

A group that includes the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Restaurant Association announced the formation today of a new business coalition, OneSeattle, to counter the minimum-wage demands made by unions and 15 Now activists. The group says it supports both the goal of $15 an hour and the concept of broad prosperity for all….

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: $15 minimum wage, OneSeattle, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

March 3, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Murray names chief of staff

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray added a chief of staff to his leadership team Monday, announcing the hiring of Chris Gregorich, who served most recently as Director of Public Affairs at Nyhus Communications. “Chris has a stellar reputation as a strategist with strong relationships in the political arena, and he will be an excellent asset to the city…

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Comments | More in Local government, Politics Northwest | Topics: Chris Gregorich, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

January 31, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Big ‘whoops’ from Mayor Murray’s office

Shortly after the state Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve the state version of the Dream Act, which would allow financial aid for students illegally brought to the United States as children, the office of Mayor Ed Murray put out a press release praising its passage. But press spokeswoman Rosalind Brazel, on the job for less than…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Dream Act, ed murray, Rosalind Brazel

January 30, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Councilmember Harrell caught uttering a vulgar word at disruptive activists

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell was caught on microphone during public testimony earlier this week using a vulgar word to describe two Stand Up America activists who regularly insult and hurl obscenities at council members. During testimony before the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee Jan. 28, Alex Zimmerman and Sam Bellomio, whose abusive language at…

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Comments | More in Local government, Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: Bruce Harrell, Stand Up America

January 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Murray, Sawant sworn in before large crowd at City Hall

To cheers and sustained applause, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and other newly and reelected city officials were sworn into office today before a standing-room-only crowd at City Hall.

The usual formal ceremony in city council chambers was replaced with speeches that mixed calls for class struggle with pragmatic politics. Sawant got the biggest cheers from the audience that included supporters who waved signs supporting a $15 minimum wage. After taking the oath of office, administered by Nicole Grant, vice president of the Washington State Labor Council, both women turned to the hundreds of spectators packed into City Hall and raised their fists, a gesture that seemed to signal defiance from politics as usual and solidarity with working people.

Sawant also denounced the “glittering fortunes of the super wealthy” saying they came at the same time as the lives of working people and the unemployed “grow more difficult by the day.”

Murray, the city’s first openly gay mayor, also got sustained applause when he took the oath of office from former Governor and ambassador to China, Gary Locke, on a bible held by Murray’s husband, Michael Shiosaki.

In contrast to Sawant, Murray praised Seattle business for its innovation and creativity and suggested that the path to economic equality would need businesses support.

He also suggested that government could help improve people’s lives. He said he saw government as a place not for political posturing or ideology, but a place for pragmatism.

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Comments | More in Seattle City Council | Topics: ed murray, kshama sawant

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