Governor Pritzker halts construction on a migrant tent camp in Brighton Park, while criticism grows over new protocols for seating the public at City Council meetings. Reset breaks down these stories and much more with executive producer of City Cast Chicago Simone Alicea, Block Club Chicago reporter Quinn Myers and WBEZ Politics & Government editor Angela Rozas O'Toole.
Citizens Budget Commission leaders Andrew Rein and Ana Champeny joined the show to help break down what New Yorkers need to know about the New York City budget, the city's fiscal health as of December 2023, and debates over saving, cutting, and spending. They help illuminate challenges facing Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council as they determine city spending priorities discuss spending on the migrant crisis, federal pandemic funding "cliffs," and much more. (Episode 424)
A candidate running for City Council in Rainer, Washington lost by one vote . . . and didn't even vote for himself. Woman is dumping boyfriend for not getting her TP. Youtuber going to jail after purposely crashing plane. And a smartwatch saves a life. Is this Anything?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
How gift card rules in WA could change. Renton City Council votes to reject ordinance to raise minimum wage to over $19 an hour. George Santos has a new job: Selling Cameos for $200 a pop // 'Orange Peel Theory' trend suggests this is the ultimate sign of a loving partner // Who Will Be TIME’s Person of the Year for 2023? See the Shortlist
Today, we are talking with Don Martelli, As President and Partner of the Belfort Group, Don is deeply immersed in the realms of integrated digital marketing, creative services, web development, public relations and communications. Throghout his career, Don has developed an approach to leadership based on authenticity and storytelling.Don shares his accidental entry into the marketing landscape, blending insights from his career in journalism with the evolving world of digital marketing. From the art of multitasking to effective communication and quick problem-solving, Don walks us through his intentional approach to leadership, why failure is an important way to learn, and the invaluable lessons learned along the way. He also shares his foray in local politics, since he recently ran for City Council in the city of Revere, and he highlights the similarities between the different areas he worked in in his life.KEY TAKEAWAYS [1:35] - Don shares his unexpected path from a co-op at The Boston Globe to leading a marketing agency and how pivotal moments with tough critiques made him a better communicator.[3:12] - Don emphasizes the Belfort Group's commitment to integrated digital marketing and the universal applicability of this service platform that can benefit organizations across diverse landscapes.[15:29] - Inspired by mentors like Peter Morrissey and business partner Phil Penelope Torre, Don shares the importance of collaborative, unassuming leadership, emphasizing leading by example, being authentic, and showing authority while maintaining a collaborative and friendly approach.[21:52] - Don shares a story on the value of having uncomfortable conversations to create a great culture that values transparency, learning, and effective communication.[26:28] - Don reflects on what motivated him to run for office in Revere, Massachusetts, and his daughter's pivotal role in urging him to plunge into politics.[35:07] - Don reveals how a pandemic-purchased 50 lb bag of flour sparked a new hobby and shares the lessons he's learned from assisting a local brewery in expanding their footprint. Plus, the one business term he sees as a barrier to the growth of some great ideas. If you enjoyed this episode, this is an invitation to subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes. Contact Dino at: firstname.lastname@example.org Websites:al4ep.com or authenticleadershipforeverydaypeople.comDon Martelli Belfort Group Other links: LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/donmartelli/ Facebook: facebook.com/donmartelli X: @BigGuyDAuthentic Leadership For Everyday People / Dino CattaneoDino on LinkedIn:
LINKS:Sponsor: Early Impact VirginiaLearn more about Jackleg MediaCheck out Black Virginia NewsIN THE NEWS: The amendment to the Virginia Constitution introduced by Democrats protects the fundamental right to reproductive freedom. Supporters say it's a way to safeguard against future efforts to roll back existing rights. Opponents worry that the amendment actually expands existing rights.The last time Democrats were in control of the General Assembly, advocates for preventing gun violence were hopeful they could ban assault weapons. But, in the end, that didn't happen. Legislation to ban assault-style weapons has already been filed in the House and the Senate. But even if Democrats are successful this time, they'll still be sending it to Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, who is widely expected to veto the bill.Virginia has a two-year budget, which means that Governor Glenn Youngkin spent the first half of his time as governor revising and amending a budget he inherited from the previous governor. Now he'll finally get a chance to put together his own budget proposal -- a document often called the "legacy budget" because it's a governor's one and only shot at putting together a balance sheet from beginning to end. Tax cuts and education spending are likely to be key points of discussion as the new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate consider Youngkin's legacy budget in January.TRIVIA: Who was the first woman elected to the Virginia Senate? At the Watercooler:- Candidates are already running for races next year--both statewide and Congressional, on account of Virginia's election schedule and some unexpected openings.- Alexandria's City Council has unanimously voted to ditch single-family zoning--always ripe for controversy.Learn more at http://linktr.ee/JacklegMedia
I ran for City Council earlier this month. On the Sunday before the election, I decided to walk the outdoor labyrinth and then I went home to write, rather than continuing to seek, knock, and ask my way into office. This is an edited version of what I wrote while in that moment: Beautiful fall day in early November. After 3 months of knocking on over 1,000 doors, I find myself sitting on my front porch, compelled to capture this moment of tension, 48 hours before the final votes are cast. I've never run for a political office. This year, I finally succumbed to the drumbeat of people telling me that I have the right personality and patience to do the job. This is what I have come to understand - people care deeply for their neighbor, but aren't sure what is best for others. In that quandary, some think that people should trust in self organization and caring for each other, free from the restrictions or requirements of a governmental authority. Others see the mounting needs of others in society and see great value in a public institution that cares for those who struggle. I believe that humans have the capability and responsibility to organize effective governance so that the plight of poverty is diminished in civilization. But we must be actively engaged in our democracy to make this aspiration possible. I am at peace with my participation in this democratic process. I entered this campaign focused on meeting my neighbors, sharing my story of developing my leadership sensibilities during the city's flood recovery, and focusing on affordable housing, the mental health matters initiative, supporting Nexus Park and the associated economic development around the area, and meaningful participation in the local climate alliance. I'm committed to the work of Landmark Columbus for preserving our cultural heritage and advancing design principles in our civic life. Getting votes can have a corrupting influence on the imagination. It's easy to weigh every decision as an opportunity to gain as many votes as possible. And if not careful, it's easy to start objectifying and stereotyping people in the process. Asking yourself, who should I and who should I not care about in this time-constrained endeavor to win? At some point about a month ago, I let go of the pressure to win and focused on the process. It is more about paying attention to democracy and less about politics. To care about people voting and wanting to be educated about the issues. This does not need to be a popularity contest. When people talk about democracy dying, I think it's because we have turned our minds towards the abstractions of national politics and not towards the relationships that can be formed between voters and their elected officials. It is easier to have that relationship building value in a city election. I've been able to meet a large percentage of the people who live in this neighborhood. I have the experience of listening to and caring for all of the perspectives that have been expressed to me along the way. People have respectfully disagreed with me. Some have not been able to engage in conversation at all due to my party affiliation. Others have been willing to listen to change their mind. I've had big smiles and high fives and invites into homes. I grew up in this district on Woodfield Place, went to school, bought my first home, attended church, and settled into this home with Jen for the past 11 years in this district. I raised my children here. It's been an honor to meet so many people who create the fabric of my existence. Who help keep me safe, who provide joy with their house decorations, who work to make this community better. I'm unconventional - more of an artist than an economist. I would like to think that I have the best designed signs among all the candidates. I'm not the best public speaker and I still get butterflies every time I think about knocking on doors. Today is the first day that I did not feel those butterflies.
What’s Trending: Abhorrent antisemitism leaks into local council meetings and the cousin of a freed hostage speaks to FOX News. LongForm: Curtis Houck (Managing editor, Newsbusters) on the latest MSNBC shuffle, pushing out antisemite Mehdi Hasan, and another round of layoffs at Vox. Quick Hit: Military vet displaced from home to make room for migrants.
Ever since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, tensions over the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict have been on the rise in Denver, with reports of hate crimes, protests and counter-protests, and several high-profile politicians clashing. It all came to a head this week, with the Jewish National Fund-USA conference in town. So Host Bree Davies and producer Paul Karolyi are talking it through with Denver Post reporter Joe Rubino, who was at City Council when Palestinian solidarity protesters disrupted the proceedings Monday evening. Then, we break down Mayor Mike Johnston's big plan for “revitalizing” downtown and share our Rocky Mountain Highs and Lows of the week. We discussed this New York Times article on the “instagrammable design” for office space. Paul talked about President Biden's visit and Dr. Martin Lockley. Bree mentioned the Hi-Dive's 20th anniversary. Joe talked about Mayor Johnston's latest housing hire, the Denver Post's reporting on the local Palestinian community, and El Tepehuan's expected closure. Breaking downtown news! After we recorded, Joe reported that Mayor Johnston has struck a deal to buy the former Denver Post building at Civic Center for $89 million. What do you think? Text or leave us a voicemail with your name and neighborhood, and you might hear it on the show: 720-500-5418 For even more news from around the city, subscribe to our morning newsletter Hey Denver at denver.citycast.fm. Follow us on Instagram: @citycastdenver Chat with other listeners on reddit: r/CityCastDenver Support City Cast Denver by becoming a member: membership.citycast.fm/Denver Learn more about the sponsors of this episode: Savio House Looking to advertise on City Cast Denver? Check out our options for podcast and newsletter ads at citycast.fm/advertise Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
On this topical show re-air, Shannon Cheng of People Power Washington joins Crystal to dive into the intricacies of how the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) contract stands in the way of police accountability. With negotiations already underway, Crystal and Shannon talk about what we should be looking for in the next SPOG contract and why police accountability is important. An overview of the historic difficulty bargaining with SPOG highlights how the City has been left with a lacking accountability system, how the community has struggled to have their interests represented at the table, and how the Seattle Police Department has fallen out of compliance with its consent decree. With little insight into the closed-door negotiations with SPOG, Crystal and Shannon look for signs in recent agreements with other local police unions where progress in accountability reforms was paired with officer wage increases. As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com. Follow us on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find Shannon Cheng at @drbestturtle and People Power Washington at @PeoplePowerWA. Shannon Cheng Shannon Cheng is the Chair of People Power Washington, a grassroots volunteer organization which champions policies that divest from police and reinvest in community-based solutions and alternate crisis response, decriminalize non-serious offenses, and implement accountability and enforceable standards for police officers and agencies. People Power Washington was instrumental in the passage of the 2020 King County charter amendments to reform public safety, and continues to be involved with public safety advocacy in the City of Seattle, King County, and Washington State Legislature. Shannon holds a Bachelor and Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She continued her graduate work at MIT and earned a PhD in Space Propulsion with a Minor in Geology/Geophysics because she loves rocks. Since graduating, Shannon has been working on computational lighting technology with her husband, becoming a passionate orienteer, and organizing in support of civil liberties — from immigrants' rights to voting rights to criminal justice reform. Resources Sign up for the People Power Washington mailing list “Police Management Contract, Which Includes Concessions, Could Serve as Template for SPOG Negotiations” by Erica C. Barnett from PubliCola Timeline of Seattle Police Accountability | ACLU of Washington “As negotiations with city loom, Seattle's police union has had an outsized influence on police accountability measures” by Mike Carter from The Seattle Times Public Employees' Collective Bargaining Act | Revised Code of Washington “Officials Announce Changes to Police Union Negotiation Strategy, But Accountability and Bargaining Experts Say More Should Be Done” by Paul Kiefer from PubliCola “New King County police contract increases pay, body cams, and civilian oversight” by Amy Radil from KUOW “King County strikes deal with union for bodycams on sheriff's deputies” by Daniel Gutman from The Seattle Times “Seattle police union elects hard-line candidate as president in landslide vote” by Steve Miletich and Daniel Beekman from The Seattle Times “Seattle approves new police contract, despite community pushback” by David Kroman from Crosscut Transcript [00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. Today, I am thrilled to be welcoming a crucial clutch member of our team and absolute talented woman in her own right, Dr. Shannon Cheng. Welcome to the show. [00:01:05] Shannon Cheng: Hi, Crystal - excited to be here. [00:01:08] Crystal Fincher: Excited to have you here. Now, you wear many hats. One of those is as Chair of People Power Washington - Police Accountability. Can you just let us know a little bit about the organization and what brought you to the work? [00:01:21] Shannon Cheng: People Power Washington - we're a volunteer-run, grassroots group focused on bringing equitable public safety and police accountability. We focus on several geographic areas - we started off working in Seattle - we also do work in King County as well as now Washington State. We're working at different levels of government because our experience was - working at the city level - we found out there were some things that really had to be taken care of at the state level and vice versa. We started off in 2017, right around when the Seattle Police Accountability Ordinance was passed, and that's how we got involved more deeply and have continued. And then in 2020, when the summer protests were happening, a lot of people came out of the woodwork really wanting to get involved with this issue in particular. And so our group's really expanded and that's why we added on King County to some of the work that we do. [00:02:14] Crystal Fincher: When it comes to police accountability, really wanted to have this show because over and over again, no matter what direction we come at it from, it seems like one of the biggest barriers to accountability that we always hear is the police union contracts. And we hear from the police chiefs, from the mayors that, Oh, that would be great to do, but we can't do it because of the contract. Or we hear about discipline that has been taken, that is then reversed after arbitration, because of things having to do with the contract. So I really wanted to talk about and examine that, especially because that contract is currently being renegotiated. So why is this so important and what's at stake? [00:02:59] Shannon Cheng: As we have been working on trying to get better police accountability in Seattle specifically, what our group kept running up against - any kind of progress that was trying to be made, any solution that was being suggested to try to improve the system - the barrier we kept running up against and being told was, Well, that has to be bargained in the SPOG contract. And SPOG is the Seattle Police Officers Guild - they're the police union in Seattle that represents our officers and sergeants. There's another police union also - the SPMA, the Seattle Police Management Association - which represents the lieutenants and captains. But SPOG is the main one that is constantly standing in the way. And so I think one thing that - I think when we talk about police accountability, it's helpful to think about are there are these different branches of accountability and we have obstacles along all of those paths. So when we talk about police accountability, I think it's important to realize there's several different tracks that we can try to hold police accountability and then understanding what are the obstacles that are in each of those tracks. So the first one would be criminal accountability. This is where the state would charge an officer. And we have seen a lot of issues with that where we don't have an independent prosecutor who is willing to bring charges against a police officer. Oftentimes the investigations that are done that would lead to charges being brought are not being done in a way that doesn't have conflicts of interest. So that's something that's being worked on. There's also civil liability, where a person who has suffered distress at the hands of a police officer would be able to bring civil charges and get redress in that fashion. On the federal level, that is what is blocked by qualified immunity. People may have heard of that, where if the case is not exactly been decided with this exact same parameters in a previous precedent, then people are not able to get their case through. Another avenue of accountability is regulatory, which would be decertifying a police officer who has fallen beneath the standards that have been set for what a police officer should do. And then the final one that I think that many people think about a lot is what I would call administrative accountability. And this is done at the local level in our local police departments - and it has to do with how we can impose discipline on police officers at the local level. So when the police chief - as you were saying, Crystal - decides that an officer was acting in a way that they need to be disciplined, then that's what we call administrative accountability. And so the reason that the SPOG contract is so important is that it basically dictates how the City can impose accountability onto our officers. And so everything that ever happens that has to do with looking into how the officer may have behaved, or deciding whether that was within policy, and then if it was not within policy, what kind of discipline can be imposed, or even whether that discipline sticks - all of that is tied up into what is agreed upon between the City and the Seattle Police Officers Guild in their contract. [00:06:29] Crystal Fincher: So when we hear accountability being talked about, there are actually specific policies and things that - many people have looked at this contract process and best practices around the country and have come out with. What are the recommendations that are specifically being made for the next SPOG contract? What should the public be looking to get out of this? [00:06:54] Shannon Cheng: Yeah - I think at a minimum - the next SPOG contract should be in alignment with the recently negotiated contract with the Seattle Police Management Association. We were able to get things such as subpoena power for the Office of Police Accountability and the Office of Inspector General through that contract. We also were able to restructure the disciplinary review process so that it was less biased towards officers getting discipline overturned in arbitration. I think there was also a clear definition of what honesty means for police officers, which is very important. So yes, minimum is what happened in the SPMA contract. And then beyond that, it should go further and not block anything from the 2017 accountability ordinance - so things such as being able to civilianize the Office of Police Accountability so that we don't have the conflict of interest of officers investigating other officers. And then I think a broader conversation that the City has been trying to but has been hampered is talking about what kind of alternative public safety response that we might want to be able to have other than sending an armed officer. I think there's been a lot of concern that the SPOG contract, as written, could lead to an unfair labor practice claim by the union if Seattle moves forward with any kind of pilot. And so this is what has been holding us back in ways that a lot of other cities around the country have been able to move forward. [00:08:29] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. And cities in our area have been able to move forward. Seattle appears to be behind the curve when it comes to things like the holistic types of responses - to be able to send an appropriate response to whatever the emergency is, which isn't always an armed police officer - it may be a social worker, someone who can address substance use disorder, or different things to address those issues that just can't be handled by a police officer with a gun or through our criminal system. So I think having those things in mind is really important as we continue to move through this in this conversation. And this is a really challenging issue for people to deal with because of the messaging environment and the way that the politics of the situation has unfolded. Because there are some folks - we've heard repeatedly from the head of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, who has been known for making incendiary statements before, and this kind of feeling or proposition that police accountability is inherently anti-police. When I think - on the ground - most people, even if they don't mind having the police show up and seeing them all over the place, is that we all have standards for our jobs, for our performance, how we should deal with other people, and there are rules. And if those rules are broken, there should be some kind of accountability attached to that. If you are not doing what you're supposed to be doing, if you're abusing others on the job - that, in every other circumstance, is grounds for usually immediate termination. But we're finding nearly the opposite in terms of the police. I think a lot of people are challenged by the notion that, Hey, why am I held accountable for being able to de-escalate a situation, follow the rules and regulations of my job. Yet people who have control over other people's human and civil rights don't have that and a big challenge having to do with that. So as we navigate this - I guess starting off - how do you think of and characterize and do this work, and refute those kinds of accusations and challenges? [00:11:07] Shannon Cheng: I think it's important to remember that police officers and law enforcement are given special extra powers that a lot of the rest of us don't have. They have state-sanctioned power to take away life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. So they have direct control over the civil and constitutional rights of people in situations. And we trust them to uphold the Constitution and not overstep bounds - and that's what we would expect to see. Unfortunately, that's not what happens a lot of the time and that's where we do need accountability to come into play - when people's rights have been violated. [00:11:55] Crystal Fincher: Okay, so we've talked about the different types of police accountability. We've talked about administrative accountability. I just want to review where we're at in this process, specifically, when it comes to the Seattle Police Officers Guild contract. [00:12:12] Shannon Cheng: Okay, so the current Seattle Police Officers Guild contract expired at the end of 2020. So currently the officers are working without a current contract and the City and the union are under negotiations for the next contract. We don't have much visibility into when the next step is going to happen and we don't know what parameters they are going to be bargaining. [00:12:43] Crystal Fincher: So right now they're operating without a contract and that means the current contract continues. And we had this conversation, or we had a public conversation about this - not many people were probably tuned into that conversation - before the last contract negotiation. What went into that contract negotiation and how does that tee up what's at stake in this contract? [00:13:05] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, the previous contract negotiation was finished in the end of 2018. And so that contract had already been overdue for several years. And one of the reasons it took so long to negotiate is that the City of Seattle has been under consent decree since 2012 - so 10 years - and what that means is that the Department of Justice came in, did an investigation into officers at the bequest of many community organizations, and found that there was unconstitutional policing happening in the City of Seattle. So basically the federal government is providing our local law enforcement oversight and trying to bring them back into compliance with the Constitution. So as part of that - in 2017, the City of Seattle passed an ordinance that established a police accountability system that at the time was hailed as being a landmark accountability system, that had three branches - people may have heard of them. There's the OPA, which is the Office of Police Accountability - their job is to do investigations and suggest discipline that the chief will then apply. There's also the OIG, which is the Office of Inspector General, which is observing and making systemic recommendations to the system. And then finally there was the CPC, which is the Community Police Commission, and their role was to bring community voices in - it was the community that originally brought up issues with how policing was being done in Seattle, and so this was to continue to let them have a voice into how we rectify the system. So the issue is that that ordinance passed into City law in 2017, but it was not actually implementable until the next SPOG contract was negotiated with the officers. And in 2018, 18 months after that landmark law got passed, a SPOG contract got ratified which basically rolled back a lot of the provisions from the police accountability ordinance. And so there was a lot of community outcry - many groups came out, including the CPC, to ask that the City Council and the mayor reject that contract because it basically did not honor what - all the work that had been done to try to put a workable system into place. [00:15:43] Crystal Fincher: We're picking up this contract negotiation again here - that's currently being negotiated. I think a lot of people are looking at this - looking at the conflicting statements that we've heard from the mayor between what was said while on the campaign trail and what has been said after he was elected to office, in addition to some leaked comments. So in this particular contract, what are the things that are important to get out of it to ensure the kind of accountability that we've talked about, to ensure that people are treated in accordance with the law, in accordance with regulations. And that's not to say that they can't do their jobs, just that they should be able to do it correctly. What are the most important things to consider here? [00:16:36] Shannon Cheng: I think the contract really needs to allow us to see what a robust accountability system could do. I think there's this assumption that because we have the existence of these three bodies - the CPC, the OPA, and the OIG - that we have a working accountability system, and people often blame that system for not imposing the accountability. But the truth is that that system has not been able to be fully implemented because of the restrictions put on it by the 2018 SPOG contract. So since that contract passed, we've had incidents where the federal judge overseeing this consent decree ruled the City out of compliance on the issue of accountability specifically. There was a famous case where an officer's discipline got overturned in arbitration because the arbitrator decided that the chief's firing wouldn't stand. [00:17:32] Crystal Fincher: So that must be really a fundamental challenge that really speaks to the culture of the department. If you're trying to weed out - as they would call it - bad apples. They are constantly saying, This doesn't represent all of the officers and all that kind of stuff. Well, if it doesn't, then this is an issue of culture and you have to be able to weed out those bad apples in order to avoid spoiling the whole bunch, as the rest of that saying goes. But if those people are still winding back on the force - was that the case where an officer was - punched a handcuffed woman and broke her jaw, which is not supposed to happen as most people can deduce - and was actually fired by the chief, which is a high bar to clear. They cleared that bar, but were put back in the job through arbitration. What does that do to other officers? What does that say to other officers, especially when you hear the kinds of things coming from the head of the union - that come from them - and some of the really inflammatory things that really make it hard to believe that police are viewing every member of the public equally and doing their job impartially, and really putting the health and safety of the public as their primary priority. As we go through this, many people aren't familiar with union negotiations overall. This is a very different category of union, seeing that they have special privileges and abilities granted to them by the law. They get to impact other people's civil rights and lives. So in just the mechanics of negotiating this contract - it's hard because these negotiations are private - but what is the process of negotiation? How do people go about getting the kinds of concessions that are necessary to ensure that we're all safe? [00:19:35] Shannon Cheng: I think it's important to first understand that - in Washington State, public sector unions are given the right to collectively bargain under state law. This is the Public Employees' Collective Bargaining Act. This is where a public employer and a public sector union and their exclusive bargaining representative will sit down at a table and hash out personnel matters such as wages, hours, working conditions, as well as grievance procedures. Under this state act, police guilds and associations fall into a special category - they're classified as uniformed personnel, and so they are considered vital to the welfare and public safety of the State of Washington. So what this means is that - if in the course of doing the collective bargaining with one of these unions they can't reach an agreement, that union is not allowed to go on strike. Because of that, the Public Employees' Collective Bargaining Act then gives them the opportunity to instead go to a third-party arbitrator to decide the disputes about the contract. And then the Washington Open Public Meetings Act is what says that all these negotiations for collective bargaining are behind closed doors. So effectively, what this means is that the public has very little insight into what's happening. And for many unions that's reasonable, but as we discussed before - for police unions in particular, they have a lot of power and influence and impact, and they deal with the public nearly day to day in their jobs. And so how that happens and when things go wrong, the public has a deep interest into making sure that our interests are represented. So the way that - practically speaking - these negotiations happen at the City is that the two parties are the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Officers Guild. So on the City side, we're represented by the Labor Relations Policy Committee. In the past, this was effectively only representatives from the mayor's office or direct reports from under the mayor. After getting burned so badly with that 2018 SPOG contract, there's been a lot of effort to change that so that other bodies have more input. So for example, the City Council has five representatives that sit on that committee and they have been able to get a City Council staffer to be able to be at the table for this round of negotiations. In addition, because accountability has been such a difficult point for them to negotiate at the table, they wanted to have an outside expert - with specific technical expertise about the accountability system - to be also present at the table. So that didn't quite happen. Instead, what they are having is representatives from our three accountability bodies able to be present only for the part of negotiations about accountability. So that's who's sitting at the table from the City side. And then SPOG has their representatives to represent the police union. So as I said, the public has very little input into how these negotiations are proceeding. The City Council did hold public hearings back in the fall of 2019 - ahead of the start of these negotiations - to get input into what the public would be interested in seeing. The issue is - 2019, at this point, is several years ago, and a lot has happened since then in this area, and the conversation and discourse has changed, I think, fueled by what happened in the summer of 2020 and all the protests that broke out. But collective bargaining is a lengthy process. It takes a long time. It's going to take several years. We expect to hopefully see a tentative SPOG contract come out sometime in this next stretch. But until it does, we really have very little insight into what is happening and what is being traded back and forth between the two sides. [00:23:54] Crystal Fincher: Okay. And just going through what the - continuing through what the process would be once they do come to an agreement in the negotiation - what are the steps to then get it approved officially? [00:24:08] Shannon Cheng: Right. So if a tentative agreement is reached, then the members of the Seattle Police Officers Guild will vote to see whether their guild would accept the contract. If a majority of them agree, then the tentative collective bargaining agreement would be sent to City Council for ratification. A majority of City Council members would have to vote for that. And if it passed out of City Council, then the mayor would have to actually sign the agreement. And then that would make the agreement official. [00:24:39] Crystal Fincher: Okay. And if they can't come to an agreement, what happens? [00:24:46] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, so if they can't come to an agreement - under state law, it could go to interest arbitration. And so this is where a third party arbitrator would make a binding decision on the topics of the contract that they have not been able to come to agreement with. I think historically - going to interest arbitration has been considered risky for the City because these arbitrators would look at like agreements from around the country to make their decision about what seemed fair or not. And this problem is not just in Seattle where we're having difficulty having good contracts with our police union - this happens around the country. So I think the sense has been that if we looked at other contracts, those would tend to lean towards the police union and not be in our favor. I think there are some who feel that - after the protests of 2020, that situation may have changed a little bit. And another note is that that other police union we talked about in Seattle that represents the captains and lieutenants, the SPMA - they recently negotiated a contract that did include more of the progress we would want to see in accountability. So it's possible that if SPOG had to go to arbitration and they looked at this other contract from the same city, that they would agree that SPOG should do the same. [00:26:16] Crystal Fincher: So what are the signs and signals that we're getting from this current negotiation? Where does it look like things stand? It's hard because so much of the process is opaque, but what have you been able to glean? [00:26:31] Shannon Cheng: Yeah. So about the specific SPOG negotiations themselves - that as they're happening now - very little. It is very opaque, as you said. But so instead we can try to look at these hopeful signs of other police guilds that have had their contracts negotiated in the recent past. So as I just said, the Seattle Police Management Association contract - that was bargained and passed and accepted this past summer in June 2022. From that contract, SPMA got wage increases that went back retroactively and are pretty in line with sort of the consumer price index. And what Seattle got was that we were finally able to get some of the elements that were missing from that 2017 police accountability ordinance. One thing that has been not available is that our accountability bodies have not had subpoena power over the police department. And so in the SPMA contract, they just didn't mention subpoena power at all - and so because of that exclusion of that term, then it is now granted under the accountability ordinance. Other improvements that happened was handling how badly arbitration can go sometimes for the City. So trying to - we can't get rid of arbitration as a route for disciplinary appeal, but we can put some guardrails around it. So what they were able to negotiate was that officers couldn't bring new information into the appeal decision. Previously, the initial investigation would happen, the discipline would be decided - and then in the officer's appeal of the decision, they could bring up new information that was not available to the original investigators. And so it was like having another investigation all over again. So they have now said, No, the officer needs to provide all of the information up front and that all needs to be considered first at the first investigation. They also have decided that the arbitrators have to decide whether the chief-imposed discipline was arbitrary or capricious - and if not, they can't overturn the chief's discipline. So these are all positive things that we've seen in the Seattle Police Management Association contract and we would definitely hope to see the same put into the upcoming SPOG contract. Then in King County, our sheriff's office - they recently reached an agreement with their deputies just this past November and got similar wins. In exchange for pretty generous wage increases, the County has finally been able to get the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight the authority to actually conduct independent investigations as well as subpoena power. These are things that County voters had passed overwhelmingly in charter amendments and then got enshrined in county ordinance, but again, those were being blocked by the police officers guild contract not accepting those changes. So those have both moved forward and I think those are very positive signs that it is possible to sit down at these difficult negotiations with our police guilds and give them fair wage increases. And in exchange, have them accept reasonable accountability measures. I think unhopeful signs - that I think about - is just how SPOG historically has been a very difficult union to negotiate with. We've just seen that they are much more - they're less willing to give unless they get something in exchange. For example, when we wanted them to start wearing Body-Worn Cameras, we had to pay them extra in order to do that. So things like that give me pause in terms of how negotiations with SPOG would be going - because they have been difficult. I think also their current leadership, the SPOG president, has been very antagonistic and unaligned with a lot of the efforts have been made to try to improve public safety. [00:31:00] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I agree with the evaluation of not being aligned. You just mentioned the county-wide vote for increased accountability and restructuring the County Sheriff's department to make that possible. Seattle has voted over and over again, both for statutory improvements and for candidates who have promised on the campaign trail to increase accountability measures. Yet there has been really inflammatory positions and statements made that seem to suggest that they think the public just wants to reject that, and you have to hate police in order to want any kind of accountability, and it's just unacceptable to even think about. And over and over again, the public in opinion polls and in elections says the opposite. They do want people to be accountable for performing on the jobs much like they are. We shouldn't expect people - service workers making minimum wage - to be able to de-escalate situations that we don't expect of police, who that's supposed to be one of the things they're trained and expected to do. So I think a definite misalignment between what the public wants and expects, and what SPOG is willing to entertain and discuss. So since we're in this time without a contract, what are possible outcomes that could happen short of getting a contract, or that could inhibit contract negotiations moving forward? [00:33:03] Shannon Cheng: I think what's really going to be important with these upcoming negotiations is that the City is taking seriously what the public has over and over said that they want to see - which is we need to have a robust police accountability system that hasn't been watered down and that is allowable by the SPOG contract. In 2018 - at that City Council hearing where they ratified the problematic contract - there were masses of community members who came out. Groups, citizens, many people came out saying, We agree that SPOG has the right to have pay increases, they've been working without a contract for a long time - they deserve to have fair wages and benefits - but not at the cost of throwing out all the work that we've done under the consent decree and trying to put together a system where we have an accountability system that will help build community trust in what this office, this department that is supposedly here to protect and serve us is doing. And unfortunately the other side came out to that same City Council hearing and everybody was just talking past each other. They were just saying things like, We deserve to have raises. If you don't pass this, it means that you think we don't deserve raises. And that is not what the community was saying. They were saying, You deserve a raise, but in exchange, you need to give us accountability. And they just left out the accountability piece completely. And so I think it's really important that - as the City moves forward, that they listen to what the public has been saying and make sure that we get that accountability this time, not at the expense of this argument of, Oh, well, the officers have been working without a updated contract for too long. Because these negotiations - we know they take a long time - historically they have been. This is not an unknown, they should have been prepared for that, and to know that this would be an argument that was going to be made. So absolutely, they need to tie any increase or benefits that they give - which is our leverage over the police guild - to getting what we want back, which is full implementation of the 2017 police accountability ordinance. At the minimum, they should have the same things that were negotiated and agreed upon in the SPMA contract in the SPOG contract. And then they should go beyond. Right now, we have an issue where the Office of Police Accountability is restricted in the number of civilian investigators that they can have and what kinds of cases those civilian investigators can manage. We have a situation where we have cops investigating cops. And it's cops who then get put back into the system where maybe they're the ones under investigation again. So I think just anybody can see that there's a huge conflict of interest there where - an officer assigned to be an investigator maybe wouldn't want to do the best job of the investigation because they're going to be back working with these same people in a short time period. So we need to really button down and get our accountability system into a situation where it is more in line with what had been celebrated as this groundbreaking, new way of approaching the issue. Because right now, the current system is just really broken. [00:36:41] Crystal Fincher: It is really broken and I appreciate all the work that you've done, that other organizations have done to - one, highlight and help people see what are the processes and policies behind this brokenness, and what is the path to being able to have more accountability in this system. I guess heading into - closing this and final words - if people are interested in making a difference in this issue and trying to make sure that we have accountability, it seems like there are a couple different options. One big opportunity is with the elections that we have coming up. You'd mentioned that it's going to take a majority of the council to ratify whatever contract does wind up happening. We will have several open seats coming in this City Council election. So what are the kinds of things that people should be looking to hear from candidates in order to have confidence that they are going to act on the kind of accountability measures that are necessary? [00:37:51] Shannon Cheng: I think first and foremost, hearing from people that they recognize that there is a problem with the current system. And that they deeply understand that just because we have a system in name, it doesn't mean that the system is working. And that this is all tied up in these contract negotiations. I don't know if by the time elections happen, whether the negotiations will have moved forward or not. But I am sure that whatever contract does come out, more work is going to be needed to be done for the future one. So setting ourselves up for success and having people that even recognize that there is a problem. I think that so often - police officers are given the benefit of the doubt sometimes, and they don't like receiving criticism. Nobody does, but police officers in general get very defensive and it can be hard to stand up to that and push back, especially with a lot of the mainstream narratives that are going around - but somebody who is going to be bold and willing to stand up for what the public wants in the face of all of that pushback. [00:39:05] Crystal Fincher: That makes sense. What are other ways that the public can help push this in the right direction? [00:39:10] Shannon Cheng: I think being in touch with your electeds - City Council is important, but honestly, I think the mayor is the one who holds the keys to a lot of how this plays out. So if anybody has the ability to figure out how to tell the mayor that this is absolutely what we want and we will not accept a contract that does not bring our accountability system up to snuff, that's important. Our group is going to be monitoring and watching for when this contract does get negotiated and comes out, and we'll be looking at it and try to analyze it. We don't know exactly how much time we will have between when that contract comes out and when the City Council vote and mayor signing will happen, but we will be on alert. And so if you're interested and want to receive updates about when that happens and when is an effective time to make your voice heard, you could sign up for our mailing list. If you go to wethepeoplepower.org/join-us, there's a form there where you can sign up. As I said, we also do work at the King County and state levels, but you can have an option to only receive alerts about the areas that you're interested in. [00:40:24] Crystal Fincher: Thanks for helping us understand the really intricate and confusing process with the contract. And thanks so much - we will be following up on this as we get more news about it. [00:40:35] Shannon Cheng: Thanks, Crystal. [00:40:36] Crystal Fincher: Thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks, which is co-produced by Shannon Cheng and Bryce Cannatelli. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, leave a review wherever you listen. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the episode notes. Thanks for tuning in - talk to you next time.
The federal government has reached a deal with Google to pay Canadian media companies. We'll see if Taproot makes the cut. Meanwhile, city council makes a cut to the proposed budget adjustment increase.Here are the relevant links for this episode:Budget News Release: City Council confirms fall budget adjustments Edmonton city council approves 6.6% property tax hike for 2024 Jennifer Rice 'Hostile work environment': Former staff accuse Edmonton city councillor of bullying amid high office turnover Audio recording of Edmonton councillor Rice's argument with staff reveals turmoil in office Keith Gerein: Edmonton Coun. Jennifer Rice has no one to blame but herself for her failures in office Edmonton mayor 'deeply concerned' about bullying allegations against councillor Rice 'Toxic and abusive': Former staffers accuse Jennifer Rice of bullying while Edmonton councillor dodges questions Warehouse ParkProject aims to entice families, spur developmentBill C-18 Federal government reaches deal with Google on Online News Act Mack's interview with Jessica Ng on CBC Edmonton Connor McDavidEdmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid named one of NHL's stars of the weekEl NiñoNo-snow November: El Niño could mean a warm and dry winter for EdmontonThis episode was sponsored by the University of Alberta Sustainability Council, the School of Urban and Regional Planning, the Edmonton Metro Region Board, the City of Edmonton, Coun. Ashley Salvador, and Coun. Michael Janz. Strong Towns is coming to Edmonton for a Dec. 13 event and Dec. 14 workshop. This is a unique opportunity to take part in a growing dialogue on sustainable, economically resilient urban development in Edmonton. Keynote by Strong Towns founder Charles Marohn. Tickets are $30 for Dec. 13 and $22 for Dec. 14. (You can go to one or both.) Speaking Municipally listeners can get 50% off with the offer code TAPROOT, while supplies last.Speaking Municipally is produced by Taproot Edmonton, a source of curiosity-driven original stories, curated newsletters on various topics, and locally focused podcasts, all in the service of informing Edmontonians about what is going on in their community. Sign up to get The Pulse, our weekday news briefing. It's free! ★ Support this podcast ★
Hamilton's Wellington Street Beach might not be Piha or Anchorage Bay, but in the landlocked city it's an iconic destination. On a hot day, the strip of sand on the east bank of the Waikato river is full of school kids doing manu off the jetty, and residents having a paddle. Storms and river fluctuations this year have caused the jetty to collapse, and the city council is planning a $1.7 million makeover for the park and beach area. As Libby Kirkby-McLeod reports, people want to enhance the beach without losing its low-key charm.
Today we are joined by Chad and JT from Going Deep Going Deep! We talk about them infiltrating city council meetings and other public events, the Sam Altman drama, and of course, riding your girl.FOLLOW OUR SOCIALS: https://www.flowcode.com/page/almostfridaypodSUBMIT CHARACTERS HERE: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdh4-t1h_F7STZ6xRK2Ai5idy0FZni8psQMluBltbKtPL8wbA/viewformSUPPORT OUR SPONSORS:FOR WELLNESS - Give the recovery gummies a shot TODAY by going to https://forwellness.com/ and use code FRIDAY for 25% off your first order.100% DEPOSIT MATCH UP TO $100 WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD THE PRIZEPICKS APP AND USE CODE “FRIDAY” https://prizepicks.onelink.me/ivHR/FRIDAYDOWNLOAD BETTERHELP AND GET YOUR FIRST 3 MONTHS OF ONLINE THERAPY FOR FREE WITH CODE “BEERS” (00:00) Intro(00:48) Beef of the Week(07:08) Sam Altman Drama(12:20) Siblings Losing Their Virginity Before You(19:49) Liam Ate Weed(24:50) City Council(39:56) Characters(49:10) Walking In On Your Parents(51:38) More Characters(1:08:54) Advice
A controversial policy known as “involuntary commitment” for people struggling with severe untreated mental health or addiction issues could be on the table next year in Seattle.City Councilmember Sara Nelson told KUOW involuntary commitment is just one policy idea that could be discussed as a centrist majority gets set to take over the City Council next year, after most races in the November election went their way.Nelson added that any city policy would need to take into account current state law on involuntary commitment, also known as “involuntary treatment,” which is very tightly regulated. Currently people can only be detained in rare cases, such as where there is a risk of serious harm due to a mental health or substance disorder.Support the show
The Mayor of Kewanee Gary Moore joined Wake Up Tri-Counties on Tuesday morning to follow up on Monday's Kewanee City Council Meeting. Two discussion items dominated Monday's meeting. The first was a discussion only item regarding the growth of gambling establishments in Kewanee and how to perhaps take control of the number of gambling establishments in the City. One idea, floated by Mayor Moore, was to place a higher standard on Pour Licenses issued by the City. The City of Kewanee cannot prevent new gambling establishments but the Mayor and City Council does control the issuance of Pour Licenses, the license to serve alcohol. A Pour License is required for a gambling establishment in Illinois and without a Pour License, the gambling parlors cannot operate. This gives the City of Kewanee a way to have some say in the opening of new gaming parlors in the City. The other big topic of discussion on Monday is more complex and hotly debated. It was a discussion over privatizing the sanitation department in Kewanee. Five companies have offered bids on a contract to provide trash service to the City of Kewanee and the City is considering the idea. But, Mayor Moore stated that there are several factors that must be resolved before any agreement with a private company would be considered. For now, the City is looking into the cost effectiveness of privatization for Kewanee residents and whether it can be done in a fashion that won't increase costs or create any new burden on residents.
A poorly written ordinance to restrict the right to bear arms was in fact corrected at the Kearney City Council meeting last night.
In an episode recorded the week before Thanksgiving, we look deeper on a topic that will never get old: Katie Cashman's amazing, unbelievable, nobody-saw-it-coming progressive victory in the Minneapolis Ward 7 City Council race. Chaz Mayo worked back to back (2021 and 2023) on the campaigns of two different progressive candidates in Ward 7. We talk about the landscape and recent political history; what made 2023 a breakthrough year; what Chaz saw in the 2022 race for Hennepin County Attorney that foreshadowed 2023; how Ward 7 almost didn't have a progressive candidate, even in a year with an open seat due to the retirement of 26-year incumbent juggernaut Lisa Goodman; how remarkable it is that in Ward 7, friendly territory for the All of Mpls/Chamber of Commerce alliance, they still couldn't field a decent candidate. We close the episode getting to know the real Chaz, who studied writing and directing in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Chaz lost touch with his art due to the covid-19 pandemic, but come 2024 will be putting on a big "dream-like" production of Hamlet. Watch: https://youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: https://patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
On this Tuesday topical show, special guest host Shannon Cheng and fellow co-organizer with People Power Washington, Amy Sundberg, delve into everything they wish people knew about the looming Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) contract. The conversation starts by outlining the outsize control the SPOG contract has on the City of Seattle's police accountability system, the City budget, and efforts to civilianize jobs that don't require an armed response. Amy and Shannon then break down a soon-to-be-considered Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and SPOG - what each side gets, its fiscal impacts, whether the agreement will have any effect on SPD understaffing, and why the already-disappointing dual dispatch pilot is worse than they thought. Next, the two non-labor lawyers try to explain why any attempt to offload roles from an overworked police department entails lengthy negotiation and sign off from SPOG, how SPD continues to be understaffed despite best efforts to counter attrition, and what might happen if City electeds stood up to the police guild. Finally, in anticipation of a full SPOG contract coming out sometime in the next year, they discuss why the MOU is a bad omen of what is to come, how the process is designed to exclude public input, the difference between police guilds and labor unions, a stalled attempt at a state legislative solution, what Councilmember Mosqueda stepping down from the Labor Relations Policy Committee means - and wrap up with Amy giving Shannon a powerful pep talk! As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com. Follow us on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the guest host, Shannon Cheng, on Twitter at @drbestturtle and find Amy Sundberg at @amysundberg. Amy Sundberg Amy Sundberg is the publisher of Notes from the Emerald City, a weekly newsletter on Seattle politics and policy with a particular focus on public safety, police accountability, and the criminal legal system. She also writes about public safety for The Urbanist. She organizes with Seattle Solidarity Budget and People Power Washington. In addition, she writes science fiction and fantasy, with a new novel, TO TRAVEL THE STARS, a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in space, available now. She is particularly fond of Seattle's parks, where she can often be found walking her little dog. Shannon Cheng Shannon Cheng is the producer of Hacks & Wonks and new to being in front of the mic rather than behind the scenes. She organizes for equitable public safety in Seattle and King County with People Power Washington and for state-wide policies to reduce police violence and increase accountability with the Washington Coalition for Police Accountability. She also works on computational lighting technology, strives to be a better orienteer, and enjoys exploring the world in an adventure truck with her husband and her cat. Resources Notes from the Emerald City People Power Washington - Sign up for our mailing list How the SPOG Contract Stands in the Way of Police Accountability with Shannon Cheng from Hacks & Wonks Council Budget Action to authorize Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) | Seattle City Council “City Council Agrees to Pay Cops Double Time for Working Special Events” by Ashley Nerbovig from The Stranger “Will Seattle Pay SPOG a Premium to Let Others Help SPD with its Staffing Woes?” by Amy Sundberg from Notes from the Emerald City “Harrell's Dual-Responder Proposal Would Fail to Civilianize Crisis Response” by Amy Sundberg from The Urbanist Better Behavioral Health Crisis Response with Brook Buettner and Kenmore Mayor Nigel Herbig from Hacks & Wonks Labor Relations in the City of Seattle | Seattle City Council Central Staff Labor Relations Policy Committee | City of Seattle Human Resources “Firefighters' Tentative Contract Could be Bad News for Other City Workers Seeking Pay Increases” by Erica C. Barnett from PubliCola “Police Unions: What to Know and Why They Don't Belong in the Labor Movement” by Kim Kelly for Teen Vogue “Seattle Police Officers Guild expelled from King County's largest labor council” by Elise Takahama from The Seattle Times SB 5134 - 2021-22 | Enhancing public trust and confidence in law enforcement and strengthening law enforcement accountability for general authority Washington peace officers, excluding department of fish and wildlife officers. SB 5677 - 2021-22 | Enhancing public trust and confidence in law enforcement and strengthening law enforcement accountability, by specifying required practices for complaints, investigations, discipline, and disciplinary appeals for serious misconduct. Labor 4 Black Lives - Seattle DivestSPD Transcript [00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday week-in-review show and our Tuesday topical show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. [00:00:52] Shannon Cheng: Hello everyone! This is Shannon Cheng, producer of Hacks & Wonks. You have me again today as your special guest host. Today, I'm super excited to have a fellow co-organizer with People Power Washington with me, Amy Sundberg, who also writes Notes from the Emerald City. And we were wanting to have a conversation about the Seattle police contract negotiations as they relate to the Seattle Police Officers Guild, or SPOG. We're hoping to break down what is a dense but very important topic for our listeners. Amy, do you have any thoughts on this before we get started? [00:01:29] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, I mean, I think it's really important whenever we talk about police guilds that we make the distinction that just because we might be being critical about police unions, police guilds - that in general, we are very supportive of labor and that there are many reasons why police guilds are different than all other labor that hopefully we'll have a chance to get into later in this episode. But until then, just to be clear - in general, we support workers' rights, we support workers organizing for better conditions in the workplace, and that is not a negotiable part of our philosophy. [00:02:06] Shannon Cheng: Yes, 100% - completely agree. We in no way are saying that workers' rights are not important. They absolutely are. Police are entitled to have living wages, but there are also issues that crop up with the way that negotiations happen in Washington state that sometimes are counter to other goals that we have as a society. So before we jump in, I wanna talk about what impact does the police contract have in the City of Seattle? So one aspect that I've been following super closely for the last many years is that the current police accountability system that we have here in Seattle - you may have heard of it before, it's composed of three independent bodies. There's the OPA or the Office of Police Accountability, the OIG or Office of Inspector General, and the CPC, the Community Police Commission. This three-body accountability structure - the powers that they have are completely governed by what the SPOG contract says that they have. And you may have heard that we had a strong accountability ordinance passed back in 2017 - establishing these bodies and giving them authority. Yet the following year in 2018, we passed a SPOG contract that rolled back a lot of those accountability provisions. So oftentimes I hear community members frustrated that we aren't able to hold an SPD officer accountable for something egregious that has happened. And it all goes back to the accountability system and what has been written in the SPOG contract. [00:03:44] Amy Sundberg: I would also just say that this is one of the reasons that police guilds are different from other unions - is because they are currently negotiating these sorts of accountability provisions in their contracts. And they're the only workers that are negotiating for the right to potentially kill other people, right? They're armed. And so it's a different matter because of the stakes involved. [00:04:09] Shannon Cheng: Yes, a very big difference. I used to be a union member of Unite Here Local 8 - I worked at a restaurant. And we had accountability measures in our contract, but it was for things like if I didn't charge a customer for a bread basket. And the consequences of me not charging $1.95 for the company I work for is very different than an officer using excessive deadly force to kill a community member. So stakes are completely different. So beyond the accountability system, the SPOG contract also has a huge impact on city funding and what the City budget looks like every year. We did an episode recently about the budget and how the police have an outsize portion of that - do you wanna talk a little bit more about that, Amy? [00:04:57] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, so the contract will determine how much money is flowing into SPD. And right now, SPD gets about a quarter of our general fund - so that's the part of the budget that can be allocated to anything that isn't already tied up via statute. So a quarter of the general fund, which is a significant amount of the money that we have available to us as a city. And the question always is - Is that number gonna grow? And how much of the general fund are we as a city comfortable with SPD taking up? That is a question that is decided basically in this contract. [00:05:32] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, 'cause the contract sets the pay rates and raises that SPD will receive. And I think we've heard from a lot of other city unions that are also currently bargaining their contracts that there's this issue that a lot of them are being offered raises that aren't keeping up with the cost of living. For example, the Firefighters, the Coalition of City Unions. So it will be interesting to observe and see, when the eventual SPOG contract comes out, what kind of raises do they get and how do they compare to other city workers? The final thing that I think the police contract holds a lot of power over is something that we know is extremely popular in the city. When we've done poll after poll, people really want to see an alternate crisis response available to community members. We know that police are not the best at deescalating crisis response situations. And sometimes it's very harmful - and actually escalates - and has led to deaths of community members. So we've been struggling as a city to stand up some kind of alternate crisis response since the summer of 2020. And unfortunately the SPOG contract has been a huge obstacle in the way of that. Could you explain that more for us, Amy? [00:06:44] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, I would say first of all, that definitely this alternate emergency crisis response is a big part of this, but the contract stands in the way of civilianization in general overall. So this is one big piece of that, but it also means that if there are jobs that we feel like should be done by civilians who are not armed - besides crisis response - that also gets decided in the contract. So I do think that's important to talk about. [00:07:10] Shannon Cheng: So that's why keeping an eye on this police contract is really important. It really does hold the key to so many facets of the change that we want to see in our city. Let's now talk about what's been happening more recently. During the Seattle budget process, we learned that the City had come to a possible temporary agreement with SPOG, which they call an MOU, or a Memorandum of Understanding. To be clear, this is not the final full contract that we do expect to see with SPOG eventually, and that we've been waiting for for several years now. The previous contract expired at the end of 2020, and they have been in negotiations for about three years at this time. So this MOU came out. It was meant to address what some electeds are calling "emergent needs" of the city. And they had to do this during the budget process because it had budget implications that needed to be approved. Do you want to tell us a little bit about what's in this MOU? [00:08:16] Amy Sundberg: Yes, I would love to. I'm glad that you emphasized this is different than the actual SPOG contract. It is temporary, and it is to address these "emergent needs," so to speak. So it does have an expiry date of the beginning of January of 2026. So I just want to get that out there first. But the MOU accomplishes three main things for the City, and then we'll talk about what it gives SPOG. So the three main things that it accomplishes for the City are - first of all, it would allow the City flexibility to sometimes use parking enforcement officers or other civilians to staff special events. They certainly wouldn't be the only people staffing special events, but perhaps they could do things like traffic control that don't really require a sworn armed officer to do. It would allow the City to use park rangers at parks outside of downtown. Right now, they have an agreement that park rangers can only be used in downtown parks. But last year, they started a huge expansion of the Park Ranger program, so now they have a lot more park rangers - or they're in the process of hiring them - and would like to be able to expand to use them at all the parks in the city. And the third thing it would do is allow the City to implement its new dual dispatch emergency alternative response program. Basically, the pilot just launched this past October. And it turns out that if this MOU is not approved - which it is not currently signed yet - it's not actually true dual dispatch yet, from my understanding. What was said in all of the press briefings and all of the communications is that how this program is supposed to work is that there's dual dispatch, so that means that SPD will go out at the same time as the alternative responders - CARE responders, I'm gonna call them. They go out at the same time. But apparently right now, they're not actually allowed to be dispatched at the same time because this MOU hasn't been approved. So the police have to go first, and then they can request to have an alternate CARE responder team come out after they arrive. So that is not how I understood this was going to work, and if this MOU is approved, then it will be able to work the way it's been described previously. [00:10:38] Shannon Cheng: Okay, so there's a difference between what we've seen from press releases and press briefings about this new dual dispatch pilot within the CARE department to what is actually possible right now without this MOU. [00:10:53] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, and my guess - and this is me guessing, to be clear - my guess is that, of course, people involved knew that this MOU was being developed, knew that this agreement was being developed. And so when they launched the pilot, they explained how it was gonna work if this MOU was signed, even though it hadn't been signed yet - in maybe a burst of hope that that's how it would turn out. As well, I imagine, because of - you're not allowed to talk about things that are going on in negotiations at the labor table, so they probably weren't allowed to talk about it. And instead of getting into the nitty-gritty of it and confusing people, that they might have decided - for simplicity's sake - explain it the way they did. But, you know, of course, now we know that that wasn't entirely accurate. [00:11:38] Shannon Cheng: Okay, so basically, what we had seen in the past that was all this glowing announcement about this new dual dispatch pilot should have a giant big asterisk next to it because they had not actually completed what needed to be done to be able to launch it in the way that they were talking about it. I do wanna eventually dig deeper into what the MOU specifically says about the dual dispatch, but first, we've talked about what the City is getting out of this agreement. And to be clear, even though this isn't the full contract, this is something that was negotiated with SPOG. And so I think that it's important for us to look at because it gives us a little hint as to how negotiations with SPOG are going. So we've heard what the City is getting. So what is SPOG getting out of this negotiation? [00:12:21] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, so what they have now in the MOU is that they want to give officers who volunteer to staff special events a special additional bonus. So it would be $225 bonus for each special event shift that they volunteer to do. And that's in addition to overtime. So what The Stranger reported, which I actually think is a really helpful way to think about it, is that this bonus basically means that officers will be getting paid double time for any shifts that they work - that they volunteered for - for special events. Normally, overtime is time and a half. So instead of time and a half, they're getting double time. However, if they finally reach an agreement on the full SPOG contract, the bonus would not necessarily increase - so it's not tied to their current wages. [00:13:15] Shannon Cheng: Okay, so let me get this right. We are giving SPOG extra bonuses to work shifts they already get paid overtime for. And in exchange, they are letting us let them work less at some of these special events. Is that a fair characterization? [00:13:33] Amy Sundberg: I mean, possibly. It's a little bit - to be honest, I'll be interested to see how it plays out because I don't know how much less they actually will end up working. So we might just be paying more to get the same thing, or we might be paying more for them to work less so that parking enforcement officers can take a few of their jobs. It's unclear how this will work out in practice. [00:13:59] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, I've heard some of the discussion of this. We all know, or we've been told over and over again from many quarters, that SPD is very understaffed, that the officers are overworked, that people are upset that response times are slow - and everybody blames the fact that there aren't enough officers to do the amount of work that is out there for them. So part of trying to offer these special event shift bonuses is that right now for these shifts, when they ask people to volunteer - if they don't get enough volunteers, my understanding is that they go by seniority. And so maybe some of the newer officers are made to work these extra shifts, thereby making them even more overworked than they already are. So some of the thinking behind this is that if they offer this bonus to sweeten the deal in terms of working these extra shifts, that perhaps some of the higher senior-ranked officers would be willing to take some of these volunteer shifts and thereby spread the workload out better across SPD. But this doesn't actually do anything to help with the overall understaffing issue, right? We still have the same number of officers doing the same amount of work, unless they do agree to let some of these other parking enforcement officers take over some of the shifts. [00:15:23] Amy Sundberg: Right, and unless there are actually shifts available for those parking enforcement officers to take after whoever has volunteered has volunteered. So it kind of depends how they set it up. I will say, I think what you said is exactly what the City and SPD has been saying - I think that's a very accurate characterization. But I've also heard from other sources that special event shifts are actually pretty popular among officers and that it's a nice way to make extra money potentially - because it is paid overtime, and now double time. So that's why I'm not really sure how this is gonna play out in practice. And just to talk about the overall impact of what offering this bonus does to the budget - because this was just passed in our 2024 budget now. This Memorandum of Understanding would start October 1st, 2023. And like I said, it would go to the beginning of January 2026. And we are paying $4.5 million - that would cover from October of this year 'til the end of next year. And then we'll be paying another $3.6 million for 2025 to cover these special event bonuses. So altogether, it's a little more than $8 million for a little bit over two years of bonuses. For at least this next year, the money came from a reserve fund. But again, this is $4.5 million that is being spent on these bonuses instead of on any other pressing needs that the city might have. Just to name one, we gave a big cut to mental health services in tiny home villages. And if those tiny home villages don't have these services, certain people who have more acute needs cannot live there. So it's gonna really impact who is able to live in a tiny home village going forward. So that is one thing that we cut in 2024 - we have much less money for that now. Obviously, there are lots of needs in the city though, so that's just one example. [00:17:24] Shannon Cheng: That's really good for us to understand - what is a concrete example of what we're giving up in order to give these bonuses to the police officer. So this really matters because we're in a time of budget shortfalls, both current and upcoming. We're being told that SPD is overworked, and yet we're in this state where we're being asked to pay SPOG more money to maybe do less work and accept help for tasks that they said they're not good at. And I'm talking about this dual dispatch co-responder program. So why don't we turn to that and get a little bit more into the weeds and delve into what is problematic about how this dual dispatch pilot is set up. I think there's been a lot of talk about the alternate crisis response that we've been trying to set up in the city. I think it's evolved a lot over time. And something that I want people to appreciate about all this is that all this talk fundamentally doesn't matter unless we have the agreement of SPOG - that they will accept how we want to do things. And this MOU is the first time that I have seen - spelled out - some of the details of what our dual dispatch program could look like. Amy, I know you've been following this for a very long time. I think you've been at pretty much every meeting that's been about this topic. And so - of people in the world who I think would know how we've ended up at this dual dispatch program, you could tell us about that whole history. So I will turn it to you. [00:19:04] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, I can. And I will say, I wrote an article about this for The Urbanist, I think, a couple of months ago. We'll link to it in the show notes. I will say it was a very hard piece to write because I have been following this since 2020 in all of its little details. And then I was trying to boil it down into a thousand words - explaining to someone who maybe knew very little about this - what exactly had been going on for the past three or so years. I do recommend you check that out. But it has been a very frustrating process, I will say. We started talking about some kind of alternative crisis response in summer of 2020 because of the George Floyd protests. And we had a few, I would say, champions on the city council who really wanted to see this happen. So it wasn't that there was nobody advocating for this - there definitely was. Councilmember Lewis in particular, and also Councilmember Herbold - both very strong proponents of having some type of program like this in Seattle. But what we saw was just obstacle after obstacle, after hurdle after hurdle, and just a lot of back and forth, a lot of dragging feet from both the executive's office - both previous Mayor Durkan and current Mayor Harrell - and a lot of dragging of the feet of SPD. You can kind of chart it out and see the strategy of making this take as long as possible, which I do in that article I was talking about. But I think one of the most powerful things I can do is compare Seattle to another city who did it differently. So in Seattle, we have this new pilot now through the CARE Department. It has six responders hired. They are focused, I think, only in the downtown area. And they work 11 a.m. to 11 p.m, so it's not 24/7 coverage - because there's only six of them, right? There's only so much you can do with six people, and they work in teams of two. So that is what we have. That just got stood up a month ago, month and a half ago - very recently. And like I said, it's not even a true dual dispatch until the MOU gets signed. And frankly, I was very disappointed that it was a dual dispatch at all. So that's what we've finally accomplished in Seattle after all of these years of politicking - versus Albuquerque. So Albuquerque, first of all, it's a little bit smaller than Seattle - maybe about 200,000 fewer people live in Albuquerque. So keep that in mind when we think about scale, right? So they also are under a consent decree, just as we have been, for a slightly shorter amount of time - but for a long time as well. So that is comparable in some ways. But in 2020, they took seriously the call from community to start some kind of emergency alternative response to respond to crisis calls. And in 2023, they budgeted $11.7 million to their response, which has been growing over the last several years. They now have over 70 responders employed to do this alternative emergency response. Their teams respond to calls related to homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health, as well as calls related to things like used needles and abandoned vehicles. And they are allowed to answer calls on their own, and they don't have to go out with the police. And they talk a lot about how what they're doing is using a public health approach. This is Albuquerque. And I guess I didn't mention earlier, but Seattle - what we are paying for our alternative response program for 2024 is $1.8 million. $1.8 million versus $11.7 million. And Albuquerque is smaller. [00:22:46] Shannon Cheng: That's incredible. And also I wanna call out - so $1.8 million is a little over a third of the bonuses that we are giving SPOG in this MOU to have them maybe work less special event shifts. That is just mind blowing - the difference in scale of what we're willing to put money towards. [00:23:08] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, and the Albuquerque program has been so successful, they keep scaling up. And they've scaled up pretty quickly - it's really impressive. So kudos to them. I really appreciate that they're offering us a vision of what could be, but it certainly is not what we have been doing here in Seattle - which is really disappointing, especially given how strongly people that live here reacted to the murder of George Floyd and how long those protesters were out there - night after night after night asking for something better, right? And we look now at where we are and like - well, we haven't given people something better. That's just - I mean, that's my opinion, but I think it's also - if you look at the facts, it's pretty backed up by facts. [00:23:53] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, and by polling. And I agree, it's been really frustrating to see other places around the country continue to lap us - even locally here. I don't feel like it's talked about very much, but we did do a show with them here on Hacks & Wonks. So up north, there's a five-city consortium that is Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Shoreline, and Kirkland. And what they started with - they didn't start out immediately with full civilian-led crisis response. I think something that people are concerned about in standing up these programs is that they're worried - well, what if the crisis responder comes across something that they can't handle and they get hurt? - that kind of question. And that's why they're arguing that they need this police backup. There's all sorts of things about that - I mean, I would say sometimes the police tend to actually escalate these situations and make them more dangerous, and thereby I'm not sure that having the police backup would actually help. So what happened with this five-city consortium is that they started out with a program within the King County Sheriff's Office called RADAR. And it was a co-response model where a sheriff's deputy and the crisis responder co-responded to a situation. And I believe that it was more equal - that the co-responder had agency in these calls. It wasn't just the sheriff's deputy making all the decisions. But what happened is that over time - and I feel like it was a relatively short amount of time, like on the order of one to two years - the sheriff's deputies realized, You know what? We're not really needed at these calls. And it's actually really boring for us to sit around, watch a crisis responder who's skilled deescalate a situation, and I could spend my time better doing something else. And so that's actually what's happening. This program has now evolved into something called the Regional Crisis Response Agency, which is civilian-led. And they're not yet, I think, at 24/7 coverage, but they're working towards that. And so this is happening literally just north of us, okay? So it is possible here in Washington state - I know that there've been comments made that some of these other places, maybe they have different state labor laws that might affect things. But fundamentally, I think the difference is whether the police guild is willing to work with the program and allow it to happen. So I think for whatever reason, with the King County Sheriff's Office - they were more open to accepting this kind of program, and letting it grow and evolve, and thereby taking workload off of them. Whereas here in Seattle, we don't really see that same situation with SPOG. [00:26:33] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, I've been really interested in this consortium of cities that has done this. I think that is, from what I understand, it's not an uncommon path for these programs to take - to start out with more of a police presence and then kind of realize over time, Oh, maybe this isn't actually necessary, and to evolve in that way. So I mean, there is certainly hope that Seattle could do the same thing. We're just very far behind in terms of timing. And there's also - while there is hope, there's no guarantee that it will develop that way. [00:27:08] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, I would say that a lot of what I'm seeing happening in Seattle now is putting a lot of trust in faith that SPOG is going to allow certain things to happen, or not stand in the way, or not demand exorbitant amounts of money to get the things that the City wants. And I don't know that - looking at past history of our dealings with SPOG - that we can really trust that that's how things are gonna go. I mean, they have social media accounts that literally post made up images of a public safety index that has no relation to reality - doing fearmongering about whether people in the city feel safe or not. I just don't see them as being good faith participants in working with us on measures that make the public feel safe that doesn't involve the police department. [00:28:04] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, I agree with you. I am also concerned - certainly that's been part of my motivation for following this story so closely over the last several years. Because like I said, there's no - just because it's gone like that in other cities does not mean that it will happen that way here. And as we see, in fact, it hasn't. The type of program that Albuquerque has developed doesn't look very much like what we have developed in the same amount of time. So no guarantees then - just hopes, thoughts and prayers, which doesn't necessarily get you very far. [00:28:36] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, so I guess what was spelled out in this MOU about the dual dispatch that I found concerning is that it really looks like the police officer has authority over almost every aspect of what the alternate - well, I don't even know that we can call it an alternate crisis response - what the dual dispatch looks like. They get to decide when and if it's safe for the crisis responder to enter the scene. They get to decide whether they leave or not. The MOU specifically says that it doesn't affect the number of officers who respond to the incident. So if you're worried about understaffing and needing less officers going to some of these calls, that's not in this MOU. Something that really worried me is that even if the officer decides that the crisis responder can handle the situation - afterwards, the crisis responder will file the incident report within the police department's system. And so - I think in 2020, what we heard was a lot of community members coming out saying that they do not feel safe calling the police when they or a loved one is undergoing a crisis. And so if the solution we're offering now is one where police show up and even if they don't participate, they get record of what happened with the loved one - this kind of goes against everything that was being asked for, and it is still not going to serve people in the city who don't wanna use police for these situations. [00:30:08] Amy Sundberg: I agree. I don't think that it is what community was asking for. There definitely are people who don't feel safe calling the police who aren't gonna want their information then transferred to a police database to potentially be used later. I will say that one thing the MOU does do - that wasn't particularly clear from the original press release about it - is that it does allow a police officer to clear a scene while not being physically present. So it does clear the way for potentially calls being answered only by the CARE responders and not actually having a police officer there as well. So that is important to note, but even if that is happening, there will still be information about that filed into the police database - in SPD's database. So that is part of the agreement, part of what is being memorialized here. Also, the scope of the program is defined by this agreement, and I find that quite troubling. The number of responders allowed to be hired by the end of 2025, beginning of 2026 is 24 full-time. 24. So just to remind you, Albuquerque - smaller than us - has more than 70, and they were able to ramp that up in two to three years. So we're talking about a two-year ramp up here. If we were serious about this program, we could definitely ramp up above 24, but we will not be able to because of what this MOU says. We are limited to 24 - that's all we'll be able to do. And then the other thing that I found very interesting is that this MOU limits the call types that CARE responders will be allowed to answer to person down calls and welfare check calls. So there will be no ability to expand beyond those two call types, regardless of how anything might change in the interim. I thought that was really interesting because during one of the hearings - when they had Amy Smith, who is the director of the new CARE Department, people were really interested in the call types, right? What call types would be answered? Yes, right now it's person down and welfare check, but could we expand that later? And she seemed, to me, to be kind of reluctant to answer - kept heading off and being like, Well, first we need to expand to 24/7 coverage. Which reasonable, fair enough - but after reading this MOU, I was like, Oh, and also they won't be allowed to expand, so it's a moot point, right? These are the two call types, and that's all that they're gonna be able to do - period. [00:32:43] Shannon Cheng: So let's back out a little bit because this is something that I know I have been confused about for a long time. And to be clear, I am not a labor lawyer - if there's any labor lawyers listening to this and who can help explain this to me better, I would really appreciate it. But you hear about all these types of calls that we acknowledge - and I think even sometimes SPD acknowledges that they are not the best first responders for. So why is it that we have to go through this whole negotiation process - and whether it's through an MOU or the full contract - why does that have to happen before we can offload work from an understaffed department to other people who are better at the job? [00:33:26] Amy Sundberg: Well, Shannon, I am also not a labor lawyer, but I will do my best. From what I understand, workers have bodies of work. So you have to negotiate if you wanna take away any piece of that body of work and give it to a different worker. So that's what we're looking at here - because these are considered SPD's body of work. However, you make a really compelling point in that - for years now, SPD has been talking with increasing urgency about how understaffed they are, about the staffing crisis. And we know that this staffing crisis of police departments is not just here in Seattle - it's nationwide. Police departments all across the country are facing the exact same staffing shortages that we are here in Seattle. So obviously this is not just a local problem - this is larger than that. Given the fact that this is a problem that doesn't seem to be able to be addressed anytime soon. I mean, as much as people like to slag on City Council about these sorts of things, the fact is - they, in the last year or so, they passed these big police hiring bonuses. They've approved the hiring plans. They've done everything SPD has asked them to do regarding staffing in particular. And yet we do not see any particular improvement in this area. Staffing so far for 2023 for SPD - they actually still are in the negative. They are not hiring as much as they are losing officers - still, even with these bonuses, which have not been shown to work. So this is gonna be a problem for a while. This is not something you can fix quickly. There is a hiring training pipeline that takes quite a while to complete to get new police officers. There are not a lot of lateral hires - that is, police officers who are already trained, who are willing to move from a different department - we hired hardly any of those in 2023. Apparently we had some candidates, but they weren't qualified to serve in SPD - they weren't appropriate candidates. So we don't have a lot of them. Chief Diaz has said he expects potentially more lateral hires in 2024, but he did not give any reasons as to why he would expect that to be any different, so whether he has actual reasons or whether he's just kind of hoping - I'm not certain - but this is obviously something that's gonna go on for more than a year or two, right? [00:35:55] Shannon Cheng: Right. [00:35:55] Amy Sundberg: So because of that, I do think that there is potentially a legal argument to be made that some of the body of work of SPD officers needs to be given to other people because there just simply aren't enough SPD officers to do it all. And then you made a great point that what we've seen in other municipalities is that police officers - some of this work - they don't even wanna do it. They're actually end up being quite happy to have other people doing it so that they can go off and do other parts of the job that perhaps they prefer. So it's interesting watching this play out here and how it's kind of different from how it's playing out elsewhere in the country. [00:36:38] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, it feels like here - as you said, the City has done everything they possibly could to encourage staffing and hiring of new or lateral hires to the department and it just - it's not working. So in the meantime, we still have all these needs in the city to address - and they're not getting addressed, or they're getting addressed poorly. So it's frustrating that we're being held up by this issue of certain aspects being considered under the police body of work and not being able to let people who are better able to do that work - and honestly, for less money - and alleviate some of all the problems that people are frustrated about in this city. So again, not a labor lawyer, but my understanding is there would be concern that if we just went ahead and started taking some of this work from SPD without their signing off on it - is that SPOG could file an Unfair Labor Practice with the state PERC, the Public Employment Relations Commission, which oversees state labor law. And I guess I don't know what that ruling would be, but it seems like the City's not willing to go that route. I understand that it would entail standing up to SPOG, which I agree completely is a scary thing to do, but the people who are our electeds are the ones with the power to do that. So I don't know - if you've been elected, we need you to stand up to SPOG. [00:38:10] Amy Sundberg: Well, and because of the staffing shortage at SPD, that does present a really compelling argument that the city can make if there was to be an Unfair Labor Practice suit filed, right? Because if SPD is unable to do this work because they can't hire enough and they've been getting all the support they've been asking for to hire as much as possible, and yet they still don't have enough staffing, someone has to do the work. So I do think that - I don't know how that suit would go, but it's not for sure that SPOG would win. [00:38:44] Shannon Cheng: Right. I just wonder why that's not an option that the City seems to be pursuing and that they're just, with this MOU, basically just saying, Fine, we'll just pay out. - what to me feels like, I don't know, sort of a ransom that SPOG is holding us under to let us do things that we all fundamentally want to do. So where is this MOU in the process? You said that the $4.5 million plus $3.6 million the next year has already been approved through the budget process. So what happens next? [00:39:15] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, so the money has been approved - that part is done. But what happens next is that the full council has to vote on the actual MOU agreement. So there's money for it, but they haven't yet approved it. So that vote, I believe, will be happening at their full council meeting on Tuesday, December 5th, which is at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. So if people want to get involved and share their opinions with their councilmembers about this MOU, you have until December 5th to do so. You can email your councilmembers, you can call your councilmembers, you can see if now that budget season is over, you can potentially even meet with them - although it is a pretty tight timeline to do that. And then you can give public comment at that meeting on December 5th, either virtually - you can call in - or you can go to City Hall and do it in person. I do encourage people to do this if they are so moved. I think it's really important for our elected leaders to hear from the people and hear what we wanna see and what we are concerned about. Even if we are not able to stop this MOU from being approved, I think it's really valuable for our elected leaders to know that this is an issue of concern, that the people of Seattle care about it, and that we're paying attention. And I do feel that there is significant value in that as we move towards potentially looking at a completed contract with SPOG. Those negotiations are ongoing - I don't expect to see that contract this year, but I would not be shocked to see it sometime next year. So to let electeds know now that this is something that we care about will then build momentum for the bigger conversation that is to come. [00:40:59] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, completely. Our electeds really do need to hear that this is something that we're concerned about, that we understand is important, that we've been waiting for five years for a different full SPOG contract to help address some of the things we talked about at the beginning of this show. I would also - I just wanna let people know - I think this is also something that's very in the weeds and maybe isn't really well understood. But the way that these labor contracts get negotiated at the city is that there's a whole team on the City side, which includes representatives from the mayor's office, as well as from city council. And the way that it's structured - it's called the LRPC, or the Labor Relations Policy Committee - the way they have it set up is that five councilmembers, and the five is important because five is a majority. Five out of nine of our council sits on that LRPC, so they are privy to the negotiations. And under state labor law, all of these negotiations are behind closed doors. So the public really has no insight into what's happening until we get something like this temporary MOU coming out for approval, or eventually a full contract for approval. The last time that the public had any opportunity to give input into what this SPOG contract is gonna look like was in December of 2019, when a public hearing was held 90 days ahead of when they started negotiations for the new contract. So it has been four years since the public has had any chance to weigh in on what we would like to see in this contract. And as we all know, a lot has happened in those four years that may affect what we hope to see that comes out. Anyway, just going back - the LRPC, I believe, is purposely structured to have this majority of council on it. Because that means that any labor agreement that comes out of that committee means that it had the approval of those five councilmembers. So if we get to the City Council meeting where Council's gonna approve it, and one of those councilmembers ends up voting against it, there could be a argument made that they were not bargaining in good faith. So the whole thing is set up that the public has very little in the way of power to affect how these agreements happen. And I just wanna call that out. [00:43:14] Amy Sundberg: For sure, Shannon. If this is an area that you work on regularly as we do, it is very frustrating how few chances there are to have any real impact. [00:43:23] Shannon Cheng: I would also say that the other period of time where you might have impact is that period between contracts - so after a contract has been accepted and is implemented, and before the next contract is entering into this black box of contract negotiations. The way that we've seen some of these negotiations happen, they are so lengthy in time that - SPOG is currently working without a current contract for three years. I think the contract they're negotiating is five years long. So we're already behind the last time that we did this - last time they approved it in November of the third year, it's almost December. So this is gonna be even less time after they approve this contract before they're gonna have to start negotiating the next one. I seriously wonder if at some point we're gonna get to the point where they're gonna be negotiating two contracts at the same time, or maybe they need to make the contract longer than five years? I just - again, not a labor lawyer - I don't know what happens with all this. But the reason - I think, and I've seen indications of this - that the negotiations take this long is because SPOG is not willing to accept accountability provisions that the City wants. And what's gonna happen, which is the same thing as what happened the last time, is that so much time will pass with them not having a real contract that they're gonna come out and make this argument that they haven't had a living wage increase for many years, and we just - the City needs to cave and give them what they want so that they can get raised back up to whatever level that they deserve. Which I'm not saying that they don't deserve, but they're doing this at the expense of us getting things that we want in that contract. And it's the same playbook every single time - and we need people to step up and call this out if we don't want it to keep happening. [00:45:15] Amy Sundberg: I will say too, that from what I understand - and I actually did talk to a labor lawyer about this - this is fairly unusual in labor overall for these contracts to be so far extended. And one of the issues that arises because of this is issue of back pay. Because when negotiating for raises, it's actually not unusual for any kind of union to get back pay as part of it for when the negotiation is taking place. But normally that amount of time would be maybe six months max of back pay, because that's how long it takes to complete the contract. In this case though, we're talking about over three years of back pay, and three years in which there has been a lot of inflation, right? So we're talking about potentially millions upon millions of dollars in a lump sum that the City will need to pay when they approve this contract - just for back pay, for things that have already happened - not even looking forward and thinking about how much the raises will cost the City in the future. So that becomes a significant issue at that point. [00:46:22] Shannon Cheng: And this links back to why this MOU matters, right? As you were saying that - we know the money for it is coming out of some special pay reserve that the City has. I would think that that pay reserve has been put aside in part to probably help pay some of this back pay that we're expecting to get when there is a final SPOG contract. So if we're using up $4.5 million now through next year, $3.6 million the next year from this reserve, that is less money that we have at the bargaining table to have leverage over what we get from SPOG in the final contract. [00:46:53] Amy Sundberg: But not only that, Shannon - also it impacts all other city workers. That's the money that's potentially for them too. So I mean, if you look at the firefighters, they're in the middle of negotiating a contract right now - I guess they have one that maybe they're voting on - which doesn't keep up with inflation. So if they agree to this contract - in real terms, they'll be receiving a wage cut - our firefighters. And then we have the Coalition of City Unions, who I - unless this has changed in the last few days, the most recent offer was a 2.5% wage increase. 2.5% - do you know how much inflation has been? These poor workers. And of course we don't have any insight into what SPOG is being offered right now - that is not public information. But it will be really interesting - when this contract does become available to the public - to see how that compares to the contracts that the Coalition of City Unions is being pressured to accept, or the contract that the firefighters are being pressured to accept. So it's not like this all happens in a vacuum. Whatever SPOG does also affects all the other unions in the city. [00:48:01] Shannon Cheng: That's a good point. I mean, much like the general fund funds lots of aspects across the city, I imagine this pay reserve - it's not the SPD pay reserve, but effectively it feels like that might be what it is. And that's super unfair to all the other city workers. Everything at the city is interrelated - SPOG is not the only union that the City is dealing with, both in terms of funding for their department, but also the staffing and the pay raises. So let's go back and talk a little bit more about police guilds and other unions, and I've heard police guilds are different from other workers' unions and that sometimes aren't aligned with the working class. Could you talk a little bit more about that, Amy? [00:48:44] Amy Sundberg: Yeah, I mean, I would say that police guilds are different from other unions in at least three ways. The first way, as you said, is that in general - police are on the side of the boss. They're not on the side of working people. They get their power from protecting rich people, right? Obviously I could say it in more academic language, but that is basically what I mean. They get their power from protecting rich people's interests. They get their power from protecting rich people's property. And that is not in alignment with other working people who are fighting for different rights. And you can see this in history. If you look at the history of policing in this country - in the South, police kind of rose up - they caught slaves. That was one of the first things they did, right? And the police developed from that, which is obviously horrendous. And then in the North, it was a little bit different, but police rose up or were very heavily involved in union busting back at a time when that was a big deal. So they have never been aligned with the working class, but I do think that those origins have become hazy through the passage of time and because of messaging, right? It definitely benefits police guilds to be seen as part of unions, even though they're not necessarily gonna be fighting for the same things that unions fight for. And so I think that's part of why there is that kind of argument at play. So that is one reason why they're different. Like I said earlier, another reason why they're different is because they, along with potentially prison guards and border patrol workers - these are kind of a different class of workers in that they're the only ones negotiating for the right to use force, right? To potentially kill, to hurt somebody, to surveil people - all of that kind of stuff, which is just inherently very different than the rights that other workers are organizing to get. And then the last point is that they do benefit from exceptions to rules governing other workers in terms of scope and in terms of contract negotiations, particularly with respect to provisions governing transparency and discipline. So they have different rules applied to them. So it's just - it's different, they're different. And it's important to really talk about these things, and study these things, and look and see more deeply how they're different because this is an argument that is brought to bear to kind of stop further accountability from being possible - as I know, we've both seen that play out here in Washington state. [00:51:21] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, completely. As I mentioned before, I foresee that when the eventual SPOG contract comes out, there will be pressure from SPOG that this is part of their inherent labor rights, that if we don't get what we wanna see in it in terms of the accountability pieces specifically, that - Well, you'll just need to wait till next time, or something like that. It'll be this incremental approach. When the 2018 SPOG contract got approved - I was at that hearing - and definitely there was a division within labor there. As you were just mentioning, I think that some people do see that the police guilds are not always aligned with workers - and we did see some unions come out to that effect. We also saw other workers come out in solidarity with SPOG arguing that - Yeah, they deserve their raises and benefits and they had been working too long without a contract. At the time, SPOG was still a member of the MLK Labor Council, so I think that helped a lot. We did, in 2020, see SPOG get ousted from that MLK Labor Council. So I am curious to see if anything plays out differently this time around - remains to be seen. And finally, I will say that I've heard a lot of councilmembers reference this - that they are hoping for some kind of state legislative solution that will help them with being better able to negotiate these contracts with the police guilds. But we've been following this at the state level also. And I will say that currently any action on the state level - it's dead. It's been dead for several years. There was a bill introduced in 2021 that laid out some things, but there was no movement on it. And the reason there's no movement on it is because labor as a whole is not on board with it - they feel like it's gonna be an erosion of workers' rights. And it may be, but as you were saying, police guilds are different than unions - and I think that the legislation was crafted to try to make that distinction. And so I'm not sure whether those fears are completely founded or not, but in any case, nothing is happening on that front. [00:53:27] Amy Sundberg: I did find that legislation very interesting. And I agree that over time it was worked upon to be really laser precise in terms of what it did. And at the end of the development that I'm aware of, what the bill actually did is that it took accountability measures for police off of the bargaining table by creating an overall unified standard that police departments across the state would have to live up to. So it would no longer be something that you negotiate in the contract - it would just be, This is how we operate. This is how accountability works in the state of Washington. And as I said, that is one of the ways in which police guilds are different than unions - is that they have this bargaining power over these accountability issues that are just not relevant in any other union's bailiwick of work. So that is why the bill was crafted the way it was to be such a kind of surgical carve-out of certain things. The reason this would be helpful - first of all, it would set a statewide standard so that's inherently helpful. But also if you take those accountability issues off of the bargaining table, then you can actually spend more time and energy bargaining for other things - like a better emergency alternative response program, or something like this. So right now it's harder for the City to do that because they have to be thinking about these accountability pieces. And especially right now, because - I do not know that they will be allowed out of the consent decree totally until they meet the 2017 accountability ordinance in the SPOG contract. And I do not think that Judge Robart will allow them to leave without showing that that is part of the new contract. I will say as well, that one of the reasons the MOU is worrisome to me is because it kind of shows potentially how things are going with the larger negotiation around this actual contract, which as we know - because it takes so long to negotiate it, once we get one, we're stuck with it for potentially a really, really long time, right? So it's a big deal. Whatever ends up in this new contract is a really big deal because we'll be stuck with it for a while. So even though the MOU is term limited - it will expire at the beginning of 2026. So at first I was like, Well, at least we don't have to pay these special event bonuses in perpetuity, at least it's only for a couple of years, at least we're only limited to 24 alternate first responders for a couple of years. But the thing is, these are also aspects that will have to be in that full contract - something will have to be in that full contract to allow us to continue this pilot in 2026 and beyond. So what is that gonna say? Is that also gonna limit how many people we can hire by a really significant amount? Is that also gonna limit the call types to be very, very narrow that they can respond to? Is it going to memorialize this sort of bonus so that we're paying out millions upon millions of dollars just to have permission to do these things when we know that SPD doesn't have the staffing to do them? That is an issue of real concern. And the MOU - to me - says these are things that we are potentially - they're going to have to be addressed in the contract so that we have something that reaches after 2025, and this might be how they are addressed, right? I mean, we don't know, obviously - black box - but these are things that when that contract is released, I'm going to be looking at very carefully and going to be very concerned about. [00:57:11] Shannon Cheng: What if they don't include any of this stuff in the eventual contract? Does that mean on January 2nd, 2026, the dual dispatch pilot just suddenly has to stop operating? [00:57:20] Amy Sundberg: I mean, yes - I think so. Unless they come to another MOU, right? Or like you said, they could risk an Unfair Labor Practice suit. But I mean, ultimately, this is gonna have to be worked out. So it's all fine and good for councilmembers to be like, Well, this is temporary - but ultimately it cannot be temporary. We're going to have to come to some kind of arrangement as to how this is going to work in the future. [00:57:46] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, completely agree. I mean, Amy and I have been staring at this black box of contract negotiations for a really long time and trying to see any indication of anything that's going on with it. And this MOU is the first indication of how things are going. And I would say our estimation is - it's not going well. I mean, I think the other thing I saw that happened is we heard Councilmember Mosqueda say that she stepped down from the LRPC. I don't know that she fully explained what her reasoning was behind that, but my sense is she is probably the councilmember on current LRPC who is the most wanting of all the things we've been talking about in this episode. And she's specifically said that she didn't agree with the MOU because she felt like it was bad strategy in terms of the overall SPOG contract negotiation. So to me, part of her stepping down sounds like it's because those negotiations are not going well. And to me, that's very concerning. [00:58:45] Amy Sundberg: Absolutely, and especially because she's going to be moving over to King Council now - she got elected as a King County councilmember now and she knew it was going okay. So she knew that was a possibility for her political future. And so she only had a few months left and yet she still stepped down. To me, what that says - obviously she's not allowed to say anything - but to me what that says is that there were big problems because otherwise why wouldn't you just finish your term? Like it's no big deal to do just a couple more months. And we also know that Councilmember Mosqueda has in general been a fierce champion of workers' rights and is very aligned with labor. So I am very concerned both as to what this means about the upcoming SPOG contract and about what this means to other labor and how they're being treated by the City. And we've seen this already playing out. So the fact that she stepped down shows, I think, the potentially - some deeper issues that are going to continue to be revealed over the next several months. [00:59:49] Shannon Cheng: And I think this all happened kind of under the radar, but I was trying to do some digging to try to understand when that happened. And as far as I can figure, it was sometime around August. It was the same time that - from the mayor's side, Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell used to be on the LRPC. She has now been replaced by Tim Burgess. And with Councilmember Mosqueda stepping down, she has now been replaced by Councilmember Strauss. [01:00:12] Amy Sundberg: I will say that Monisha Harrell was also known as something of a champion when it came to accountability, right? I felt that accountability was genuinely important to her and that she was committed to fighting for that in the next contract. But with her gone - again, black box, so we don't know - but it is discouraging news. [01:00:35] Shannon Cheng: Yeah, so not to end everything on a huge downer, but that is the life you choose when you decide to make police contracts your issue of main interest. [01:00:49] Amy Sundberg: You know, I actually - yes, this is bad news. But I do not think people should take this as a downer at all. I think people should take this as encouragement to get involved. If you haven't gotten involved up until this point, or if you are involved and you're beginning to flag or feel a little tired - which believe me, at this point I can really, really relate to - we're gonna need all hands on deck next year. And that's just me being realistic. It is really frustrating, but the only way we're gonna see the change that we want in this regard is by organizing. Organizing, organizing, organizing. And I will be more specific than that because I remember a time when people would say that to me and I would be like - I don't know what that means. Like, sure, but what do I actually personally do? And what I would say is if you wanna get involved - and I highly, highly encourage you to get involved with this - you need to find an organization to plug into so that you have that accountability of structure and community to kind of keep you going. And it doesn't mean you can't take breaks. In fact, I'd say you 100% should be taking breaks as well. I am about to take a week and a half break and I'm very excited about it, so I am the last person that will say anything against taking breaks. But if you're part, if you're building those relationships with others, it will keep you involved for the longterm, which is what we need for this kind of fight. And organizations that are working on this specifically - I mean, I don't know them all, but I know People Power Washington - Shannon and I are involved with - we definitely are always working on this. Defend the Defund is another organization that you can look
San Antonio commission will consider expanding City Council, increasing council pay and extending the tenure of city managers. Plus a "no" vote on vouchers, immigration law passed, and other things to catch up on from the state legislature. REQUIRED READING: San Antonio keeps adding people — should it add City Council members too? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mansfield City Council calls special meeting regarding soil contamination lawsuit: https://www.richlandsource.com/2023/11/27/mansfield-city-council-calls-special-meeting-regarding-soil-contamination-lawsuit/ Today – Mansfield City Council has called a special meeting for later today to discuss a soil contamination lawsuit.Support the show: https://www.sourcemembers.com/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Leah and Lorenzo nerdout about leadership then they get into generations, delegating, podcast, books, experiencing new things, being passionate, speaking up, times a changin, confrontation, Perrysburg Heights Community, land use plan, clean slate, new neighborhood, why would I leave, City Council meetings, imminent domain, money grab, when will it stop, handups, takeaways and so much more! email@example.com https://www.facebook.com/HeightsHeritageCommittee Heights Heritage Committee (@heightsheritagecommittee) | Instagram profile
We take you inside the government sausage factory to see the process no one wants to see, but that we all need to witness. One abusive woman, who is running for City Council, has managed to suck up more than a month's worth of taxpayer dollars, government effort, and volunteer time, all because one man won't refer to her by her special pronouns. Think of this as an "autopsy" of how a Maoist cultural and legal revolution can take over an allegedly democratically run American city. It's coming to your town too, if it isn't there already.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Budget deliberations are underway at city council, and the province has all but banned photo radar. Plus, we get a new police commissioner who looks a lot like an old police commissioner.Here are the relevant links for this episode:Budget On the agenda: Budget adjustments and rezonings Hold me in abeyance: Your guide to budget terms and processes Edmonton city council kicks off 2024 budget debate 7% tax hike on table as Edmonton city council begins 2024 budget debate Edmonton businesses urge council to focus on core services: '7% is too taxing' Photo radar Alberta banning 'cash cow' photo radar on Edmonton and Calgary ring roads News Release: Protecting drivers from photo radar fishing holes Automated Traffic Enforcement — City of Edmonton Valley Line Southeast LRT Worker injuries, safety orders reveal human impact of Edmonton LRT project Unscheduled delays Electric busesEdmonton's fleet of electric buses failing amid manufacturer's bankruptcy proceedingsEncampments 'It's just not safe': Edmonton police chief says encampments shouldn't be tolerated Police chief calls for coordinated Edmonton effort to shut down encampments after deadly fires Police commissionThird provincial appointee — Edmonton Police CommissionWinter patiosNews Release: Grant offers a warm welcome to winter patios LRT closuresNews Release: Upcoming LRT station closures due to planned work Drug shortagesEdmonton pharmacies facing shortages of common drugs: 'It's frightening'Speaking Municipally is produced by Taproot Edmonton, a source of curiosity-driven original stories, curated newsletters on various topics, and locally focused podcasts, all in the service of informing Edmontonians about what is going on in their community. Sign up to get The Pulse, our weekday news briefing. It's free! ★ Support this podcast ★
This episode is an important milestone for a number of reasons: It is Episode 100 and the final episode of season 2. I am also joined by my good friends Shane Brown, JD who is a practicing attorney and Jaevon Boxhill, JD who after serving in various capacities in public service for the city of Mt. Vernon declared earlier this year like I did that he was running on the Democratic Party Line for City Council. We discuss our respective journeys, the challenges and triumphs of running as a candidate in the hopes that listeners and viewers will be inspired to Run For Something. Follow us on Instagram: @whatawordpodcast @ryansharpeforpok @j_boxx_ @shanieb_mt. On Facebook Jaevon Boxhill for City Council ; Ryan Sharpe for Town of Poughkeepsie Town Board. Resources mentioned https://runforsomething.net/ #runforsomething #localelections #localelectionsmatter #councilman #citycouncil #towncouncil #campaign --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/whataword/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/whataword/support
In this final episode in our 8 episode look at the 2023 Myrtle Beach City Council Race we bring you to the end of the run off election and the fate of the final seat available on the Myrtle Beach City Council. In the final race Bill McClure was elected and we have all the coverage here for you plus a little house keeping about some of the coming episodes and special editions on tap for December and into 2024. Thanks for tuning in and if you want to learn more about the Dickens Christmas show here is the website for Myra Starnes legendary event held each November here in Myrtle Beach. WWW.DICKENSCHRISTMASSHOW.COM and if you want to learn more about our host and the things he is busy doing, plus listen to our back catalogue of episodes of our podcasts please venture over to WWW.RANDALWALLACE.COM too. Questions or comments at , Randalrgw1@aol.com , https://twitter.com/randal_wallace , and http://www.randalwallace.com/Please Leave us a review at wherever you get your podcastsThanks for listening!!
The City Council Meeting from November 21, 2023, was relatively short but was packed with great discussion and good information. Public Works Director Chuck Aukland and Community Services Director Kim Niemer, retiring in 2023, were thanked for their years of dedication and service to the community.Appointments and Reappointments were made to the Community Development Advisory Committee.Lastly, find out where $8 Million dollars of Encampment Resolution Grant Funding will go in our community. After much discussion, some items will move forward, and some will come back for review at a later council meeting. Listen to find out more!Please find additional resources below for more information on these topics.Council Meeting Agenda>>Check out the video here>>Read the transcript here>>Contact the City of Redding Podcast Team Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Visit the City of Redding website Love the podcast? The best way to spread the word is to rate and review!
In Massachusetts, the Cambridge City Council has rejected a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Democracy Now!'s Hany Massoud filed this report from Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In Massachusetts, the Cambridge City Council has rejected a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Democracy Now!'s Hany Massoud filed this report from Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Kaitlin Myers, Colin Topper, and Tawny Knuteson-Boyd won seats in the Moab city council during Tuesday's election. Plus, we hear from our partners at Aspen Public Radio about the blessing of the skis. And from KSJD about hydropower developments on the Navajo Nation. Show Notes: Election results: https://electionresults.utah.gov/results/public/grandcountyutah/elections/2023-Nov-General
Earlier this month, voters nationwide went to the polls. In Ohio, The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety, listed on the ballot as Issue 1, passed with 57% of Ohioians voting to codify a right to an abortion, contraception, and other reproductive rights into the state Constitution, in a clear rebuke to the near total-ban on abortion pushed through by the far-right Republican Ohio Legislature in the wake of the Supreme Court Dobbs Decision. While here in New York, voters elected their City Council members, and DSA-endorsed incumbents, Tiffany Caban of District 22 in Queens and Alexa Aviles of District 38 in Sunset Park, won resounding bids for reelection in their districts. Tonight, we will hear from Julie from Cleveland DSA, about the statewide effort across several Ohio DSA chapters to mobilize voters to the polls in support of reproductive rights. We will also be joined in-studio with Stef from NYC-DSA Electoral Working Group and Anna from the Aviles campaign to discuss the City Council races and what's in store for DSA electoral politics in 2024. You can become a DSA member at https://act.dsausa.org/donate/membership/ To get more involved in the NYC DSA Electoral Working Group go to https://socialists.nyc/ or email at email@example.comTo join a phonebank to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, visit https://www.dsausa.org/no-money-for-massacres-phonebanks/
Get up and get informed! Here's all the local news you need to start your day: The NYPD is rolling out a new radio system that will encrypt officers' communication. Meanwhile, a Queens man is facing up to 12 years in prison in connection to a drunk driving incident that left an off-duty NYPD officer dead. Also, the City Council is considering legislation that would create "Spare the Air" days; encouraging residents to reduce air pollution.
From The Coolest Show: The City of Atlanta has leased 381-acres of Weelaunee Forest, stolen Muscogee land, to the Atlanta Police Foundation for a police military facility funded by corporations. This would be the largest police training facility in the US in a primarily Black community who overwhelmingly oppose the project. Despite over fifteen hours of public comments against the project, the City Council has approved $67 million in public funding for Cop City. The plans include military-grade training facilities, a mock city to practice urban warfare, dozens of shooting ranges, and a Black Hawk helicopter landing pad. Residents have petitioned the municipal court of Atlanta to gather signatures for a binding referendum. With enough signatures, this would put whether or not Cop City gets built up for a vote on November's ballot box. In this 2 part episode of The Coolest Show, Rev Yearwood speaks with community organizer Rev. Keyanna Jones, economist Dr. Gloria Bromell Tinubu, and community advocate Shar Bates. They discuss the history of the area surrounding the Weelaunee forest, the legacy of environmental racism, the community's work to get signatures, and “the Atlanta Way.” Support the Stop Cop City movement: https://www.copcityvote.com/ For more from The Coolest Show: https://thecoolestshow.com/ This episode was originally produced by The Coolest Show, a Hip Hop Caucus Think 100% production, and was used by Climate One with permission. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hutt City Council has voted unanimously to support a call from mana whenua to change the name of the suburb Petone back to Pito-one. The area's traditional name was misspelled after colonial settlement in the region during the 19th century. Any application for an official name change must be approved by the Geographic Board. Liz Mellish is chair of the Palmerston North Māori Reserves Trust, which has lobbied for the change, alongside the Wellington Tenths Trust. Mellish spoke to Corin Dann.
Learn about the latest in local public affairs in about the time it takes for a coffee break! Brian Callanan of Seattle Channel and David Kroman of the Seattle Times discuss the final budget discussions this week of the Seattle City Council (and what's still ahead), a new fee for delivery companies like DoorDash, the effectiveness of democracy vouchers, a discussion of involuntary commitment, and a cry for help from a community that's home to Seattle's most dangerous and deadly transportation corridor. If you like this podcast, please support it on Patreon!
Jessica Fenske aka "Forest Mommy" recently ran for City Council in Colorado. We chat about what that experience was like, what's next, the "elites", and ALL things anti-government. FOREST MOMMY PETER FELICIANO
Justin Brannan, New York City Councilmember (District 43, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach), who is also the chair of the finance committee, discusses the City Council's reaction to the mayor's budget cuts.
Portland has struggled for years with how to oversee matters of police discipline and the controversy appears to be continuing. On the latest episode of OPB Politics Now, reporters Lauren Dake and Alex Zielinski discuss how the City Council appears to be changing elements of the police oversight system that was overwhelmingly supported by voters three years ago. Find the show anywhere you get your podcasts.
Two women face eviction from their Golden Hill duplex. The building owner seeks to redevelop their building into a dense residential structure. It's a crappy situation for the current residents. But the project could turn four units into 108. That's in the works due to the city of San Diego's Complete Communities plan from 2020. This week, we discuss the new version of the plan that came to the City Council this week — and why it failed. Plus: Our recent Politics Report about cannabis and Jesus Cardenas and Councilman Stephen Whitburn made waves. Chula Vista's Amphitheater knew about a shady concession situation years ago. Our funny dispensary stories. No show next week. We'll see you after Thanksgiving for Beef Week: vosd.org/beefSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today on City Cast Portland, we're talking about how the bar exam is no longer the only way to become a lawyer in Oregon, the latest on the Portland Public Schools teachers' strike, and City Council filing down the teeth of the new police oversight board. Joining host Claudia Meza on this week's news roundup are KBOO news director, Althea Billings, and City Cast's director of newsletters, Bryan M. Vance. Stories Discussed in Today's Episode: Oregon first in US to allow law students to become lawyers through apprenticeships, not bar exam [Oregonian] Portland teacher strike: Momentum stalls after district says union's cost estimates on class sizes are way off [Oregonian] House Republicans want to make it illegal for teachers to strike [Willamette Week] Who would you like to hear on City Cast Portland? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave us a voicemail at 503-208-5448. Want more Portland news? Then make sure to sign up for our morning newsletter, Hey Portland, and be sure to follow us on Instagram. Looking to advertise on City Cast Portland? Check out our options for podcast and newsletter ads at citycast.fm/advertise. Learn more about the sponsor of this episode: The Storm Large Holiday Ordeal at the Aladdin Theater Nov. 24 & 25 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
City Council is slated to vote this week on the budget. One detail concerning Mayor Brandon Johnson's supporters is the money included for the controversial gunshot-detection technology ShotSpotter, whose contract Johnson pledged on the campaign trail to end. Executive producer Simone Alicea and host Jacoby Cochran ask: Are we getting mixed signals from City Hall? Plus, we're discussing potential name changes for Chicagoland birds and great Thanksgiving meal deals. The birds we mentioned: Cooper's Hawk, Wilson's Warbler, Henslow's Sparrow Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter. Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info HERE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Voters in the East Bronx elected a Republican to City Council for the first time in 40 years, defeating one-term councilwoman Marjorie Velázquez. Jonathan Custodio, Bronx reporter for The City, reports on what drove the neighborhoods to Republican Kristy Marmorato, and whether this election signals an enduring shift.
Bruce Praet is a well-known name in law enforcement, especially across California. He co-founded a company called Lexipol that contracts with more than 95% of police departments in the state and offers its clients trainings and ready-made policies. In one of Praet's training webinars, posted online, he offers a piece of advice that policing experts have called inhumane. It's aimed at protecting officers and their departments from lawsuits. After police kill someone, they are supposed to notify the family. Praet advises officers to use that interaction as an opportunity. Instead of delivering the news of the death immediately, he suggests first asking about the person who was killed to get as much information as possible. Reporter Brian Howey started looking into this advice when he was with the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He found that officers have been using this tactic across California, and the information families disclosed before they knew their relative was killed affected their lawsuits later. In this hour, Howey interviews families that have been on the receiving end of this controversial policing tactic, explaining their experience and the lasting impact. Howey travels to Santa Ana, where he meets a City Council member leading an effort to end Lexipol's contract in his city. And in a parking lot near Fresno, Howey tracks down Praet and tries to interview him about the consequences of his advice. Support Reveal's journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Revealnews.org/newsletter Connect with us onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram