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Best podcasts about shotspotter

Latest podcast episodes about shotspotter

Chicago's Afternoon News with Steve Bertrand
Brandon Johnson on his plan to fight violent crime

Chicago's Afternoon News with Steve Bertrand

Play Episode Listen Later Feb 6, 2023


Cook County Commissioner and mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson joins Lisa Dent to discuss his plan to confront violent crime in the city that includes ending the ShotSpotter contract, promoting new detectives, and firing police officers that are affiliated with hate groups. Follow The Lisa Dent Show on Twitter:Follow @LisaDentSpeaksFollow @SteveBertrand Follow @kpowell720 Follow @maryvandeveldeFollow @LaurenLapka

FM Talk 1065 Podcasts
Midday Mobile - Mobile Police CHief Paul Prine talks Shotspotter and Sean hosts the Constitutional Quiz - December 9 2022

FM Talk 1065 Podcasts

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2022 41:18


Hacks & Wonks
Week in Review: December 2, 2022 - with Executive Director of The Urbanist, Doug Trumm

Hacks & Wonks

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2022 65:20


On this week's Hacks & Wonks, Crystal is joined by Executive Director of The Urbanist, Doug Trumm. Crystal and Doug quickly run through news items about progress on Washington state's capital gains tax, a discussion on the worsening traffic safety crisis, and labor stories about Amazon's questionable fulfillment of a court order and the federal government's blocking a railway workers strike ahead of the holidays. Public safety news out of Pierce County includes the start of embattled Sheriff Ed Troyer's criminal trial and troubling news about an officer charged in Manuel Ellis' death having been flagged for violent behavior during their academy training. Doug and Crystal then discuss the gulf between reality and rhetoric that has appeared in media reporting on crime and law enforcement and how it reaches into electeds' handling of issues like decriminalization of simple drug possession at the State Legislature, outcry over a miniscule portion of the Seattle Police Department budget not being funded in the City of Seattle budget process, and the campaign messaging of the King County Prosecuting Attorney's race. On a hopeful note, Leesa Manion's solid win in the King County Prosecutor's race and her strong performance - across the county, across cities, and across legislative districts - serves as a referendum for voters rejecting punitive measures and signifies an appetite for root cause-addressing, data-driven solutions that work. 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 today's co-host, Doug Trumm, on Twitter at @dmtrumm. More info is available at officialhacksandwonks.com.   Resources “WA Supreme Court clears way for state to collect capital-gains tax” by Claire Withycombe from The Seattle Times    "The Urbanist's Ryan Packer Discusses Worsening Traffic Safety Crisis on KUOW" by Doug Trumm from The Urbanist   “Labor board blasts Amazon's "flagrant" attempt to flout court order“ by Emily Peck from Axios    “Biden signs rail agreement into law, thwarting strike“ by Shawna Chen from Axios   “Criminal trial begins in Sheriff Ed Troyer's false-reporting case” by Jim Brunner from The Seattle Times   “Academy warned Tacoma of violent training episode by officer later charged in Manuel Ellis' death” Patrick Malone from The Seattle Times   “Washington should be a leader in ending the War on Drugs” by Mark Cooke from ACLU-WA   “Nelson, Pedersen, and Sawant Dissent Ahead of Final Vote on Seattle Budget” by Doug Trumm from The Urbanist   “Public Safety Politics and the Even Election Reckoning” by Doug Trumm from The Urbanist   Transcript [00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher - 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. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. Today, we are continuing our Friday almost-live shows where we review the news of the week with a cohost. Welcome back to the program, friend of the show and today's cohost: Executive Director of The Urbanist, Doug Trumm. Welcome! [00:00:52] Doug Trumm: Hey, thanks for having me. It's such a busy news week - it's really going to be a slog to get through it all. [00:00:57] Crystal Fincher: Yeah we will make an attempt. I guess, starting off with some statewide news that isn't ultimately the news that everyone is waiting for, but kind of a pit stop along the way - the Washington Supreme Court clears the way for the state to start collecting capital gains tax. So what happened here? [00:01:16] Doug Trumm: It's still just an early - not a ruling, but just a decision on the Court's part - not to issue an injunction. But hey, that's a really good sign because if the Court was leaning towards invalidating the capital gains tax, they probably would have issued an injunction. But at the same time, you don't want to read too much into these tea leaves, but certainly the fact they can start collecting the tax makes this start to feel pretty real. [00:01:41] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I would agree - don't know what's going to happen yet. I think lots of people are hoping that we do get a favorable ruling for the capital gains tax, but there still is the big issue of whether this counts as, officially, an income tax, which would make it unconstitutional under our Constitution. Many interpretations show that it is not, but we are waiting for the ruling to definitively decide that from the Supreme Court, which I think we're anticipating getting early next year. Is that the case? [00:02:14] Doug Trumm: Yeah, that sounds about right. And there's a lot of ways they could rule. But yeah, certainly one of - the hope, I think, is that they would create a new category of - income actually being income, which in our state - oddly, it's not. So that's what creates this huge hurdle to doing progressive taxation - is that it counts as property, and property you have to tax flat. And progressives - we're not trying to argue for a flat income tax. We want a graduated progressive income tax. So if they get a really favorable ruling, that will open the door to that and suddenly there'll be a lot more options on the table and hopefully Democrats actually take them. [00:02:53] Crystal Fincher: I definitely hope so. Also in the news, one of The Urbanists' own, Ryan Packer, was on KUOW discussing what is really - our own crisis here locally, and a nationwide crisis in traffic safety. What is happening here? [00:03:13] Doug Trumm: Yeah, Washington state really echoes the national trend. And the national trend does not mirror the international trend, which - most industrial nations are getting much safer. They've used the pandemic, sort of as a catalyst in a way, to encourage people to take transit, or walk, or bike or - hey, the roads aren't as busy, let's do this project now and make the streets safer. That's really not the approach we've seen in the United States and in Washington state. We've kind of spun our wheels and we've let projects kind of get behind schedule because of the pandemic. And that's happening globally too in some cases, but usually the vision's only getting sharper. So this is reflected in the data and the New York Times had a piece about this this week - Emily Badger - and the US is up 5% during the pandemic in traffic fatalities. But almost every other major nation, it's going down significantly - so it's a bad case of American exceptionalism. We were so excited for our transportation reporter, Ryan Packer, to be on KUOW to talk about this - their reporting is really raising this issue locally a lot. And they really, at all these meetings where some of these decisions quietly get made, whether that's a transportation safety advisory commission or some obscure regional body. But mostly, there's little efforts here and there to improve safety, but we're not seeing the wholesale re-envisioning of streets or strategy that has really been effective in other countries and bringing down collisions and deadly crashes. [00:05:04] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I think so. And we continue to see this tension here, in the United States and locally, between designs that are car-centric being more dangerous for everyone else on the road. And investments in transportation, in pedestrian mobility, bike and transit access and mobility - and it seems like the more we design roads and transportation through ways principally for, primarily for cars and prioritizing their needs above everyone else's, that we come out with these outcomes that are just less safe and too often fatal for all of the other kinds of users. [00:05:50] Doug Trumm: Yeah, exactly. And the American system doesn't even treat pedestrian safety as a category of car safety when they give out their gold, whatever-rated car safety awards. If - you can have a three-ton car that maims pedestrians, but if the person inside is fine - oh, that's safety rated - great. So there's certainly federal stuff, but Ryan and The Urbanist, in general, we've really focused on - what are these projects at the City level? Unfortunately, the clear epicenter of this crisis in Seattle is Southeast Seattle District 2, Tammy Morales' district - and she's been a champion. She's recently told me - hey, I didn't think I was going to become the traffic safety person when I first ran for office, but given my district, this is - I really am. And she didn't say this, but implicit in this is our Transportation Chair hasn't really been focused on that - Alex Pedersen - and we'll probably get into that some more when we talk about the budget, because that's - the investments we're making aren't completely safety-focused, as you alluded to. And we have projects queued up to make it safer to bike and walk in D2, but there was just a wave of delays - projects pushed back one year, two years from the original timeline. There's supposed to be a safe bike route through Beacon Hill, there's supposed to be a safe protected bike lane on MLK Way - but those projects are behind schedule. As far as we know, they're still happening, but if you were - if this area is responsible for over half of the - D2 is responsible for over half of the traffic fatalities in the whole city - the last thing we'd want to be doing is delaying those projects in that district. [00:07:39] Crystal Fincher: Seems so - it doesn't seem to make much sense - same with just connecting sidewalks and neighborhoods that people have been waiting for decades to happen and still hasn't. So long way to go there. Also this week, we had a number of events, news happen in the labor realm - couple of items that affect us locally. One - so Amazon just had a ruling from the National Labor Relations Board directing them to correct some of their action, which they still seem to be just not doing. What's going on at Amazon? [00:08:19] Doug Trumm: Yeah, they think they're kind of above the law when it comes to this. They were supposed to read out this ruling saying - hey, you can't be fired for union organizing, or even having discussions with union organizers, or being union-curious. But instead of just following the order to the letter of the law and reading that out to all their employees, they chose specifically the shift change and then just played a video. So the Labor Board was pretty upset about that because this was a court order, they were supposed to follow it - but they weaseled their way out of it in a very corporate lawyer-y kind of fashion where theoretically just maybe - if you squint your eyes, does this qualify for following the order? I don't know. Alexa, read order. I don't know how you could get - this ruling actually to get to the people, but they're figuring out a way not to do it. [00:09:16] Crystal Fincher: One of the interesting things here - employers are responsible for letting their employees know what their rights are. Amazon has bent over backwards not to do that. This is another example of it. We also see Starbucks bending over backwards to be hostile to the union and we continue to see those actions, and then being called out by the National Labor Relations Board also. And this week, of course, we saw - yesterday - Congress take action to avert the railroad strike by passing legislation that still denies railroad workers any kind of paid sick leave, which just should be the most basic thing that every employee everywhere is entitled to. And just beyond disappointing to me personally - to a ton of people - that we had particularly a Democratic president and right now a Democratic Congress who acted against workers and against unions and their ability to take sick pay. It's just bad all the way around, and it feels like they were thrown under the bus because of the threat of bad things happening if they strike - instead of that being the key that says, wow, these really are essential employees. And hey, there have been billions in stock buybacks recently and hundreds of millions of compensation over the past few years for executives. Maybe they can also spare a sick day and to pressure the companies to provide that very, very, very basic thing for employees. Just very disappointing for me personally. How did you feel about that? [00:11:01] Doug Trumm: Yeah, that was disappointing and Amtrak Joe really let us down. I think it's odd that employees are held hostage to how valuable their work are, right? Their work is, right? Because everyone's - we can't have rails shutting down right in the middle of the holiday crisis when all these companies are trying to make a ton of money for themselves and have a strong Q4 and really try to get some blood flowing in this economy. But instead of going - oh yeah, so I guess we should pay those workers well to make sure that happens, and give them the sick time they're asking for and the benefits - it's just force it through because we create a vision of a crisis if they are actually allowed to use their union rights. So it just goes back to 1880s again of the rail barons and the laws that they got passed - that they're able to compel the workers in this way and have Congress step in. But it certainly is not - hopefully not the end of the story. Hopefully they can actually get real sick pay, especially in a time of a lot of viral spread - both in the COVID realm and really bad flu season. This is upending their lives when they get sick and it doesn't have to be this way. So it's disappointing, and I saw Mayor Harrell decided to pile on with that and say it was great that they'd broke the strike, and work in that he still supports workers' rights and everything - I think you can't have it both ways in this case. You can't One Seattle your way out of this one - you're either with the workers or you're not. [00:12:46] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, pretty cut and dry there. And what I just think is so shortsighted is that this policy is partially a response to being short-staffed. They are already facing staffing shortages. We are already at the breaking point where if - right now, under the current staffing levels, if an employee is sick, if someone does miss a day, that can create chaos in the system because there aren't enough people to cover. And this just perpetuating a system that is hostile to workers, where workers can face discipline for any unplanned absence - and people get sick and families get sick, as we all know - this is an inevitability. That if you're subject to discipline for that, they're seeing more people just leave, instead of have their career of however many years or decades end with them being disciplined for taking care of their sick kid. So we are already setting ourselves up for massive disruptions by making this worker shortage worse. We see things like this happening in education, in healthcare, in transportation - across the board - with public transit systems and others. So we just need to really take a look at what we're doing here and - are we setting ourselves up for the same problems that we swear we have to take action like this to avoid, when really we're just making it more of an inevitability that it does eventually happen. I hope we all learn from this and do better and hold our public officials accountable for doing better. Also in the news this week, speaking of holding public officials accountable, the criminal trial for Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer just started. This is the trial about him making a call, that was allegedly a false report, accusing a newspaper delivery person - a Black man who was delivering newspapers - of being suspicious, acting nefariously. He said that his life was threatened by the newspaper carrier, which does not - at least through all the reporting initially, did not seem to be supported by other accounts in what happened. He ended up being charged and now the trial has began. They sat the jury. Opening statements happened. Testimony has begun. What has happened in this trial that's been notable so far? [00:15:22] Doug Trumm: They use the same strategies they always use, it seems like - it's pretty clear that this police officer clearly didn't act as you'd want someone to act. Now he's trying to get out of it claiming - okay, I did feel threatened or I did. And it's how it plays out every time and a lot of people were willing to go along - suddenly this violence incident that this Sheriff deputy caused - suddenly it's not his fault because something else, and it just seemed like hopefully we're finally learning from that. But we've seen a lot of other cases where it's enough for some people to exonerate someone. I don't know - it's frustrating that this is how it always goes, but maybe eventually this line will go stale. [00:16:13] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, we will see. This is one where it's interesting because - for the day job and for this podcast, following the news is useful. But for my own personal sanity, this is a situation where often I find my inclination is to disconnect from - definitely the daily news, the drumbeat of news about this - just because some of the early signals, decisions, indications from this trial feel really familiar to me. Meaning that - man, we've seen so many of these trials end and the police officer, sheriff ends up being found not guilty, gets off regardless of what looks to be very obvious evidence to many people in the public. And I just - this will be very disappointing once again, if that does happen, but we will see what happens with this trial and continue to follow it for you all. Also, there was news that came out about an officer that wound up being charged in Manuel Ellis's death, having a very violent episode previously, and that not being heeded after that was communicated to the Tacoma Police Department. And so tragic. Can you detail what we found out here? [00:17:44] Doug Trumm: Yeah, I really encourage everyone to read about this story because it really makes you question how these systems are working and how this can happen. Because this officer - Rankine, I think is his name - was in the police academy. They identified that he had an issue with violence and with - I forget what they called it, "code black" or something like that - basically just shutting down and going tunnel vision, not hearing the outside world once he's in that mode. And it's related to his combat service as a veteran - obviously, that's a complicated issue - we're very, very glad that people serve, but that doesn't necessarily mean we want to put them on the frontlines interacting with the public if they have these unaccounted-for issues that are identified by the police academy. The police academy trainer decided to write a note, his superiors after a couple of days forwarded it to the Tacoma Police Department who was sponsoring him to be in this police academy and said - hey, we're worried about this guy. He had this violent incident where he shot someone during a training simulation who was not someone - the training simulation was supposed to be how do you de-escalate the situation, how do you - and the person was not cooperating, to be clear - and it was a virtual simulation. But the trainer was - why did you do this? And he couldn't really explain it because he went blank or whatever, and thought he had done fine because, I guess in the military, that's what he was conditioned to do and had seen a lot of violent episodes - but hadn't really made the connection that now you're in a civilian setting and you're supposed to be de-escalating situations instead of fighting your way out of them. And what ended up happening, despite the police academy issuing this warning saying - hey, maybe don't take this guy actually - the Tacoma Police Department still took him, didn't really make any accommodations, or - it's not clear that they warned his - the rest of the people he'd be working with, basically just treated him like one of the guys. They did put him on desk duty initially, but I think that's just what rookies kind of do. Then they put him on patrol with another rookie and it was not even a couple months - it was less than a year - and he had already, this happened. It was clearly a tragic incident waiting to happen and it did happen. It leaves us with a lot of questions like - is the police academy - is a little note in your file enough, or should he fail out of the academy? That's one odd thing about this case - they didn't fail him. The other odd thing is that even with this big warning, this huge red flag, Tacoma PD didn't do anything and now they're stonewalling the reporters from The Seattle Times and all the other newspapers that are knocking on the door, and they're just kind of clammed up about it, but it's clear they messed up in a big, big way. [00:21:03] Crystal Fincher: It's just one of those things that makes you want to once again ask - what are we doing here? If there is behavior that is so violent that you feel that you need to warn someone else not to hire him, why are you passing him? To the question that you just asked, why does that person pass the academy in the first place? Why was that not heeded when they were hired? Okay, they were hired and brought onto the academy. Why was no corrective action taken, no additional guidance? And yes, this wound up very predictably. The warning was given because it could be foreseen that this would wind up in unjustified violence to a member of the public - which it did, resulting in that person's death. This is a person, right? And it's just - if we can't weed out someone who even before they get in the system are demonstrating unacceptable violence - violence that you have to tell someone to look out for - what is the point of anything? There is this characterization by people, who I believe are acting in bad faith largely - that any kind of talk of accountability is antithetical to safety, it makes us less safe, it's hostile to police officers, and is not worth pursuing. And if we do, we're making life harder for them. If they're saying this is what belongs in their ranks, if they're saying that this is acceptable for passing and getting in, and then hiring without anything - then this is unacceptable. They're saying - they've said that their own policies were violated - this is seemingly saying that the warning came from them not meeting their own standards. If they can't hold themselves to their own standards and weed people out who don't fit that, then someone else has to. And evidently those aren't really their standards if they can't adhere to them. So someone has to, otherwise we're just letting - in this situation - basically killing machines out onto the street. And we have to do better. And it just makes no sense that we are entertaining people who say that this is bad for police officers. Acting against policy should not be bad for them. If so, we should have discussions about the policy, but this doesn't make any sense. And if their job truly is to protect and serve, and someone is acting completely against that, then acting more in concert with that and making sure that happens should be a welcome development. And over and over again, the public continues to vote for real accountability and reject those kinds of disingenuous arguments that - hey, you got to "back the blue" or nothing else. People can be happy to have a police officer there, that they're happy to have a police officer when they call 911 and show up, and still believe that there should be guidelines for their conduct and behavior that guide them and that they should be held accountable to - just like everyone else with every other job in this society. It just is so infuriating that - hey, this is predictable, it's foreseeable. And just with a shrug. [00:24:50] Doug Trumm: Yeah, and it wasn't his first time - [00:24:52] Crystal Fincher: Right. [00:24:53] Doug Trumm: - using basically a chokehold-type thing. And he had another I-can't-breathe incident and they just were like - oh well, it happens. And if he says - oh this person was threatening or violent - they kind of just, even though after the whole George Floyd thing - there's one thing that I thought was kind of the lowest hanging fruit - okay, we probably shouldn't use chokeholds anymore or knee on people's back, but this is exactly what this guy was doing. And he suffered no consequence for it until he killed someone. [00:25:27] Crystal Fincher: Acting against policy. And as we have seen with so many of these incidences, that there have been several occasions where officers who wind up killing someone - use violence unjustifiably, use violence against policy in situations before the killing occurs - which there is no discipline for. It is time for them to be held accountable to the job that the public believes they were hired to do. Just like all of us. That's not hostile. That's just common sense. So we'll see how that continues. It is just another infuriating, devastating, tragic element of Manny Ellis's death that is just - it's tragic. [00:26:21] Doug Trumm: Hopefully we learn from it. And I think it relates to how we get so breathless and just completely operate on fear and desperation - we have to hire, we have to reach some sort of set number of cops and then we'll feel safe. But when you get that desperate and you just want to add ranks so you can put out your press release to claim victory on that - you're hiring the bottom of the barrel. If we were serious about safety, we wouldn't worry so much about that number as flunking people out of the academy who are killing machines. You have to put accountability ahead of "let's just hit a number," "here's the right response time," "here's the right number of officers" - those are important things, but you can't get so blinded to them that you're taking terrible cops. [00:27:13] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, and that makes the community less safe. The academy warned that - Hey, putting this officer on the street may make the community less safe, this is acting against public safety, we don't want people to be victimized unjustly by violence - and that was the warning that came with this officer - and look. We'll continue to see how this happens. Also kind of teeing up this week were some articles just talking about the War on Drugs - how much of a failure it has been - which is very timely because in this upcoming legislative session, which we're starting to see a flurry of activity with. And our new legislators now down in Olympia - and getting set and oriented and all of that to start the session next month - is that the Blake decision, which a couple years ago the Supreme Court basically decriminalized or invalidated the law that criminalized simple possession of any substances. Our Legislature subsequently acted to bring a uniform policy across the state and kind of instituted a new method of criminalization - some of it was lighter criminal penalties, but still criminal penalties for substance use and possession - in the face of a ton of evidence and data that shows that - Hey, criminalization is actually not an effective intervention. We've seen the entire War on Drugs. We've seen what has happened there. If we actually treat this as a public health problem and not as a criminal justice problem, we are much better off. There was a survey of Washington state voters - a poll taken - and in that poll, 85% of likely voters - the poll was in June 2022 of this year - 85% of voters believe that drug use should be treated as a public health issue and not a criminal justice issue. And this really sets the tone and provides a mandate for our Legislature, which has to take up the Blake decision and the Blake legislation again this year - because there was a sunset provision in it that is now up this year - to actually make good on this policy. How did you read this? [00:29:45] Doug Trumm: It seems like the public's at a different place than some of the very serious, centrist, establishment Democratic leaders on this who are - the likes of Chris Gregoire, who are saying - Oh, we really need to get - go back to our old policy where - it was drug possession was fully criminalized and it was just one strike and they could, people could be locked up for simple possession. And I think they portray that it's really important to dealing with downtown disorder, or crime, or whatever. But that's not really where the people are at, and this three-strike provision probably does make it, if you're only listening to cops, annoying - 'cause they feel like these warnings are letting people off the hook. But with jails being pretty full right now, you start running into this problem of where are are we putting people? We've done this drug war thing a long time, it hasn't really worked, the people are ready for a public health approach instead of a punitive lock-them-up approach. We just saw that with the election of Leesa Manion for King County Prosecutor that - the people went with the person who was willing to do diversionary programs that try to get people help and not load them up with jail time and fees, but instead give them an opportunity to get back on their feet and better themselves and think about rehabilitation instead of just ruining someone's life. I think the people are ready to take a different approach - I don't know how far folks, both in terms of the State Legislature and the public, if they're - maybe not ready for a Portugal-style solution, but I really think they're ready to have that conversation rather than just go back to the old way of doing things. I think the - maybe one of the things will come up is fentanyl - it really is a scary drug in terms of what it can do to a person and how likely it is to overdose - I'm sure they'll try to use that and maybe fentanyl is treated a little bit differently than other drugs, but it seems like a lot of substances doesn't - I don't know why you immediately lock someone up for having possession of a set quantity. It's sort of like - we got to get this person help, but jail isn't help. [00:32:11] Crystal Fincher: And jail doesn't help, and it actually does more harm than good in this situation. It makes our streets less safe. People are less stable, more prone to commit crime, when they get out - and more prone to continue to use. We've seen all of this and again, this is just about possession. This doesn't impact any laws on selling, or distributing, or anything like that - those still remain and that's not part of this discussion. But it would be good for them to act in alignment with where the evidence and data show - we are made more safe, and people are made more healthy and less likely to use and abuse drugs and other harmful substances. So we will continue to follow this throughout the legislative session and see what happens. Also big news this week - the Seattle City Council passed their budget. What did we get? What are the highlights and lowlights of this budget? [00:33:19] Doug Trumm: Yeah, it was a marathon day to wrap up the amendments and do all the speeches on Monday and Tuesday - I guess the really marathon day was the Budget Committee last week. It always is a slog at the end and it's tough to know everything that's happening, but ultimately the budget is - there's a lot of different takes on it, there's a lot of perspectives. But ultimately what happened is largely - Mayor Harrell's budget is reflected in the Council's balancing package. They did make some significant changes, but nothing enormous. And the issue that they're dealing with is that there is a large budget shortfall. It started out at $141 million at the beginning. And then they got the news that the projections had gotten a lot worse late in the game - so that any hope of Council just adding a bunch of new investments in evaporated, once they got that forecast that Real Estate Excise Tax was going to be way down - that was the main thing that took a bite out of the budget. And we use that REET money to fund a lot of our infrastructure investments in this city. So from a transportation focus, I was pretty disappointed to not see more investments in street safety. They did make some. Councilmember Tammy Morales really fought for her district - as we mentioned earlier - epicenter of the safety crisis. So she got a proviso to make sure that they improve the bike lanes in Southeast Seattle to have harder infrastructure, so you can't just run over those flex posts and injure someone on the bike lane or the sidewalk. That's one positive add, but it was just a proviso, so hopefully SDOT does the right thing and implements it rather than kind of wiggling out of it. But by and large, transportation didn't get a ton of adds and Mayor Harrell's budget didn't make a ton of new initiatives or pushes there, so that's one thing that fell victim to that shortfall. But a lot of the action was around public safety and that's where we saw a lot of the grandiose takes on - especially on the centrist side of - Oh, this was a disaster. End of the day, the Council funded 99% of the mayor's SPD budget. They're making a really big deal about this 1% - and within that 1% that the Council did do cuts was the ShotSpotter gunfire detection surveillance system, which has a really - it has a track record - it's been implemented in a lot of cities and that track record is not very good. It doesn't really, there's no correlation to it decreasing crime, leads to a lot of false calls - those false calls can then cause over-policing of communities of colors where they're implemented. And it has in, in instances, led to violent altercations between cops who are like - Oh, the gunfire thing said there was a gunshot here. And sometimes it's slamming a car door, or firework, or something - could set something off - or backfiring car, I guess. So what are we doing here? This is not evidence-based practice - Council made the budget safer, but if you listen to Councilmember Sara Nelson or Councilmember Alex Pedersen, who voted against the budget, and then some of the press releases that were fired off shortly after - the Chamber actually sent the press release before the final vote, but right after the Council briefing. They said - this is, these are public safety cuts. And the other big thing that happened was - there's 80 positions that were unfilled of actually 240 total unfilled positions at SPD, because they're having a hard time recruiting faster than they're losing officers, which relates to a national trend of a lot of attrition and police officers and not as much new people entering the profession. But they eliminated 80 positions off the books - because when they leave those 240 empty positions, that means that those, that money goes into SPD's budget every cycle. And it throws out the balance of the whole thing because you're - basically all the extra money goes to SPD instead of just being in the General Fund for them to debate and figure out where to go. It can go back into public safety investments and that's what happened this time, even with the eliminating the budgets. But basically a lot of people tried to turn that into - they were cutting officers - but they fully funded the mayor's hiring plan, which - they're going to hire 125 officers, which they hope - that's then 30 new, net new officers. But that wasn't good enough for those two councilmembers and for the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. So they both kind of opposed this budget. And that seemed to be pretty upsetting to Budget Chair Teresa Mosqueda, because she had worked with both of those Councilmembers Nelson and Pedersen and had put their amendments into the budget - some of them. And she thought that spirit of compromise would lead them to vote for it, but they did not. And so it almost - this budget almost failed because it needed six votes. It only got six votes because of those two defections, plus Councilmember Sawant makes it her tradition and has always voted against the budget. And she's coming at it from the opposite direction of - Hey, let's invest more in social services, and let's tax the rich, and increase the JumpStart payroll tax - is her argument, the last few years. And she specifically said - I'm not chucked in with Pedersen and Nelson. So yeah, it ended up being kind of a mess messaging-wise, but largely this budget was reflecting Harrell's priorities, plus a few of the Council's. And it made the most of a really downward trend in revenue - and that was by virtue of JumpStart payroll tax kind of papering over some of the holes, and also then letting them make a record investment in housing. So housing definitely did well. There were some Green New Deal priorities. And it's a really big budget, so I'm kind of - broad strokes here - but if I'm missing anything, Crystal, let me know. But yeah, it felt bizarre to me that the the debate about it was so far from the reality. And I guess these few million dollars in the police budget are enough to cause these votes against, and the Chamber to be really upset, and saying this is public safety cuts. But it largely seemed like much more collaboration and kumbaya between the mayor and most of the council, with Budget Chair Mosqueda and Mayor Harrell complimenting each other about how well they work together. [00:40:35] Crystal Fincher: Yeah. I think what we're seeing is reflective of some of the reality versus rhetoric that we see on a national level, that we see with conservative Republicans, even the MAGA Republicans, where the rhetoric just doesn't match reality. But the rhetoric is a tactic to eventually shift people's perception of what reality is. It doesn't matter what happened if you just keep saying something else happened - Oh my gosh, this is, you know, horrible. We didn't get anything we're asking for. We need to move in this completely different direction - people start to absorb that and pick that up. As we saw this week with the New York Times - basically admitting without participating, pointing the finger at themselves - saying, Yeah, rhetoric about public safety was really disjointed from the actual facts. There are tons of stories, but when you look at the actual crime rates, they weren't actually high. Media did this. And they very conveniently left out that they were at the top of the list of media doing that. But it felt like that's similar to this conversation. This rhetoric is completely detached from what happened in the budget and from what's happening on the ground - yeah, majority of what Harrell asked for was in there. One notable exception was the ShotSpotter technology as you covered, which actually didn't have a big, a huge price tag compared to some other things. But it's still money that, especially in a shortfall, can be better spent to make people safe. And I think that's where a lot of people are at right now. It's just - lots of people are worried about safety, but where they continue to vote, and how people on the ground continue to vote in elections is - yes, we do want our communities to be safer, but we recognize that the public safety equation is bigger than just policing. We have to talk about interventions that are appropriate for the crises that we're facing. Just sweeping and moving around and criminalizing people who are unhoused is not making that problem any better, it's making it worse. So instead of investing money continually in sweeps and in criminalization and carceral solutions - Hey, what if we actually use that money to put people in houses - that actually is a solution to that problem. Other cities are doing that with success. We could be doing that. Hey, if people are having behavioral health crises, what if there was actually treatment available for them and a way for them to get the issues that they have addressed? Jail is not that. Arresting them is not that. And we still have, and prior to some of the heel digging-in that police unions have done over the past few years, there were tons of officers and unions who admitted that freely - hey, we go into a situation where someone's called us and someone is having mental health issue - jail isn't going to do anything for that. If anything, it may destabilize that situation more and put them further away from help and make that situation worse. We actually need interventions that are appropriate for the challenges that we're facing. We have to deal with extreme poverty. We have to deal with people who are in crisis. We really do not need to deal with it like New York is signaling they're going to deal with it - in mandatorily incarcerating people. We see that we have problems here in our state and a lawsuit that's currently being filed with people with behavioral health problems struggling in our current jail system and not getting their needs met, and their whole process is being delayed sometimes with no foreseeable end because we don't have enough resources in that direction. So people want that, but they don't want this continual one note - Hey, it's either police or it's nothing. And we'll see where it's going - as we hear a siren in the background here, appropriate - but yeah, it's just the rhetoric doesn't match the reality. The saddest thing is that the public sees it and our leaders are behind where the public is at - and they keep asking and they keep voting for something different. And we have leaders that are just stuck on the same thing, and I think that frustration and tension is growing. And it feels like they're ratcheting this up for the 2023 City elections coming, and they're going to try and make this a flashpoint for those conversations. But I think that's not a very wise strategy, because the public has not been going for it. We just had an election where it's pretty clear they did not go for that argument in many different ways at many different levels. This is not just a Seattle thing. This is a King County-wide thing, a State of Washington thing. And it's time that they take heed instead of pushing on, just kind of - despite all reason and evidence to do this. [00:46:15] Doug Trumm: Yeah. It's pretty clear they're telegraphing this is their signal when you have your press release fired up before the budget's even officially passed. And in the case of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, that these are public safety cuts. Nelson - and Pedersen is the one who's up for re-election - they really complimented the way he voted on that as far as voting down this budget over this tiny, tiny bit of disagreement over the police budget that they blew out of proportion. Apparently deleting these 80 out of 240 unfilled positions - you know, sending the wrong signal and is - people, the public trust has been damaged now. And it's just - get me to the fainting couch - they can add back these positions anytime. No other department in the whole city would ever have this many, anywhere near this - 240 empty positions - you just keep the money. And they get to - SPD gets to put it wherever they want in their department, basically, because of the way they don't eliminate those positions, and just Council and the mayor - tell them which parts they wanted - who would run an organization this way? If you don't have, if you're not paying for something - why are you still paying for it? It just, it - I dunno - it drives me nuts. It goes back to that sort of frenzy and the sort of fear mongering around crime - where if we don't just heap gobs of money at the police department - we're not talking about Defund, we're not talking about reducing the amount of - the headcount at SPD. We're just saying - how are you spending this money? Can we spend this money wiser? If we have less officers, we need to be spending the money wiser. We can't just have it be a slush fund, like we saw in - I think it was 2018 or 2019, right after they passed the budget - the average police compensation went up to like $157,000 per officer. This one officer made over $400,000 because they were just letting the overtime fly like hotcakes. And an officer working 80-hour weeks - is that making us safer? It doesn't really seem like the way to do it. You kind of put yourself in between a rock and a hard place because they also fight the alternatives - they say they're for a mental health professional showing up for those crisis calls, but then they block the program to actually set up an alternative emergency response. And that's what SPD has been up to the past few years. As Councilmember Lewis and Mosqueda and others have fought to set up - like Denver has - a alternative response, and they make up excuse after excuse. They say maybe the police actually have to be there. They dispute their own study that showed that most of these calls could be done without an armed officer there. But yeah, it just - there's nothing evidence-based or strategic about this kind of election-based fearmongering, just kind of opportunistic way of dealing with this problem. People wonder why this problem is festering - there has been a troubling trend over the last nine years - of corporate mayors that the Chamber and all these other centrist forces and Seattle Times have endorsed. They're not making the problem better, but they keep running on it like they are. So it really is - it's created a weird thing. And I wrote about how this sort of relates to us holding our mayoral and council elections in odd years when the electorate is smaller and they can kind of dominate the debate among this crowded, smaller electorate - tends to be more homeowners, tends to be wealthier and whiter than the population at-large. So it works in the odd year. But as we saw with voters passing even-year election reform - they're not asking for these elections to be in odd years, they'd rather them be in even years. And the County is going to make that move for Executive and Council races, and a few others like County Assessor - county-level races. But we actually need state permission to do that for the municipal level. So hopefully we get that because if we're going to solve this problem, it makes sense to have the broader segment of the electorate actually weigh in on that rather than purposely choosing a low turnout election to make all these decisions. So that's one thing I hope happens out of this, but don't hold your breath because I think they like it that way. [00:50:54] Crystal Fincher: They absolutely do seem to like it that way. And you did write a real good article breaking this phenomenon down. It's just frustrating to see voters - they are frustrated about public safety. They do know that we could be doing better, while seeing people continue to make decisions in the opposite direction. And when they are given a voice, it's definitive in one direction. And we just - the King County Prosecutor race that we just had was really a referendum on this entire argument. And mirrors what we saw in 2020, with the King County Charter Amendments. This is not just a Seattle thing. This is a countywide thing. One of the things I think people try and dismissively do i - oh, this is just, it's only a thing in super liberal Seattle, progressive Seattle, and no one else wants this. And we continue to have voters say - no, no, actually this is what we want - all over the county. And places where their electeds really are under the impression that - hey, the public, maybe they do just want more police officers, or I'm afraid to say anything different because they may not accept it. Public's already there, as we continue to see. And my goodness, in these Council elections coming up, there could not be a more clear mandate of movement in one direction in literally every district in the City. To enormous degrees - Leesa Manion's victory was large throughout the county. Yes, in Seattle - it was decisive and humongous. And in each of the council districts, it was - it was just really - it's just really something. I'm sitting here working in elections and you try and understand where voters are, understand where policy is - what's effective, where things need to move - and they're actually in alignment. And the barrier is - there seem to be some in media who are very stuck on not wanting this to happen, and a number of elected officials who believe them. And it's just continuing to be frustrating. But we see, in so many cities and so many districts - whether it's City Council districts, County Council districts, cities, precincts - across the board, they prefer a balanced, comprehensive approach to public safety and outright reject what we heard from Jim Ferrell - the more punitive - Hey, we need to crack down on things, make crime illegal again - understanding that punishment doesn't equal safety. And we would all rather be safe. We've tried punishment for decades and it has not resulted in a safer community for all of us. It has actually hurt it. And people want to be safe. They want to do the things that make us safe, and they understand - more than where a lot of leaders do - what the evidence says about that. So it's just really interesting. Was there anything noteworthy or unique that you saw in election results about that? [00:54:20] Doug Trumm: Yeah. I think it bears underscoring that the - very, very much the same coalition that was behind Republican now-City Attorney Ann Davison was the people behind Jim Ferrell, who was also a former Republican. Now, they both claim that they're Democrats now, but very much still act like Republicans. And there was a lot of Democrats - Sara Nelson endorsed Jim Ferrell and it didn't seem to help him very much in Seattle because, or her in Seattle - it helped her opponent, I guess, his opponent in Seattle. Leesa Manion cleaned up in Seattle - and that was part of her victory, but she won by 18 points. So it wasn't just Seattle, although Seattle was her strongest base of support. So it really seems like what an odd-year electorate does - electing a Republican in Ann Davison to be their City Attorney. And it's odd that we elect city attorneys - it doesn't really need to be that way. But they worked people up about crime and they did support Ann Davison, but in a much larger electorate just one year later they overwhelmingly supported Leesa Manion who's very much - let's stay the course, let's keep these diversionary programs. So whatever mandate Ann Davison thinks she had is absolutely gone. And all these people who are calculating - oh, maybe we can, maybe this whole region is just going to go tough on crime. It's just not happening. And the even-year election helps - we had reasonably good turnout. But the numbers are such that I wouldn't want to be Ann Davison going up for re-election, but hopefully we can get some of that turnout bump into the council elections because that's really what's at play here is - we've seen what an even-year electorate wants, and can we make that also what an odd-year electorate wants? But yeah, these crime narratives aren't connecting in the even year. Leesa Manion just did surprisingly well, considering - the way the race looked beforehand. One poll showed them tied right before the election, but clearly - A) their polls might've been a little bit overestimating support - and some of that goes into people didn't think that young people would turn out. And young people did turn out in relatively high numbers in this election. And hopefully that's a sign of things to come as well. It's just - that's what happens in odd years - why they're so much more conservative - is a lot of that younger vote kind of fades and a lot of communities of color and renters also fade. So you're left with the rest, which is the more conservative side of things. But it doesn't - people can - if we make clear what the stakes are, we hopefully can sustain some of that even-year turnout, but it also just - election year reform also would make this a lot simpler. So I can't underscore that enough. It drives - yeah, it's sort of odd that we are stuck in this predicament of - it's clear what people want, but because of odd years, we have to fight twice as hard. So yeah, I think these results really are - suggest potentially that 2021 - in Seattle's case - where we saw a lot of centrists come into power, might've been a bit of an outlier. It doesn't necessarily mean all these people are weak in their re-election hopes, but all the talks about Seattle's now drifting conservative - I don't see it. [00:58:02] Crystal Fincher: And there was a backlash and - I feel like I've been on a small island, with just a few others, who have said the entire time that that race was an outlier. One, Seattle is different than a lot of other areas. If there really was a wholesale pushback on that, we would have also seen that in suburbs, we would have seen that in different areas. We actually saw the opposite happen in suburbs, where they elected - a number of suburbs elected more progressive officials than they ever had before - who were speaking strongly about making the community more safe with comprehensive public safety policies and really rejecting the punitive policies. The race in Seattle was an odd race - you had an incumbent who lost in the primary, you had two really unknown people who both - didn't really consider themselves to be Democrats, so there were unalignments. You had massively different levels of spending and different levels of voter communication. And, from a political consulting point of view, you have to talk to all of the voters who are voting in the election. It's wonderful - and canvassing and doorbelling is great - but you just cannot canvass a city as big as the City of Seattle in one election cycle. And that's what we saw happen. There was a lot of canvassing, but a lot less direct voter communication. You may make it to 50,000 people with that canvassing, but you got to talk to the other 200,000 - and that happens with direct voter communications. And they were just massively, massively outspent. And the spending that did happen was really late for the progressive candidates, so if you aren't known, and if your opponent can define who you are - and spends half a million dollars doing so - that's going to carry the day and it did. But that is a unique kind of nuts-and-bolts-of-campaigns thing that was apparent to a lot of people before the election results. So that's not just hindsight is 20/20 things - those were, as that was shaping up - that was concerning to a lot of folks who were looking at and participating in those elections. And so we had before that, the 20 - well, we did see a direct public safety vote in the King County Charter Amendment votes, which wound up largely like these wound up. And just looking at these 2022 King County Prosecutor results - again, people try and characterize this as a Seattle thing - but Renton, Newcastle, Mercer Island, Sammamish, Issaquah, Bellevue, Bothell, Kenmore. Those cities are not what I think a lot of people would group into the Seattle progressive bucket, and were firmly in the side of Leesa Manion and rejecting punitive public safety policies. As we look at the Blake decision and people, looking at - well, people are scared, it's really worrisome to look at that. We're talking about - the 45th, the 48th, the 41st, the 11th, the 33rd LDs, right - these are not Seattle-based LDs. These are North and Eastside, Vashon Island, like these - everywhere around the county, voters are very decisively saying - we want to move in a direction that evidence points will make us more safe. And I just really hope that our elected officials stop listening to some of the detached rhetoric and start looking at the evidence and what their constituents are saying - because those who aren't are going to pay a price. And it's really important to take a look at what results actually are, and tether ourselves to reality here, and call out the reporting and the characterizations that are not tethered to reality. That's going to be an important thing. [01:02:33] Doug Trumm: Hey, there was this Seattle Times editorial this morning that was mad at Bruce Harrell for not being louder about the huge public safety cuts to his budget - the 1% that we mentioned earlier. Why isn't he getting in the arena? That's what Blethen and his buddies said, and it's - okay, that's crazy - first. But also, maybe this is saying that some of the politicians see the writing on the wall that - okay, this isn't like a home run issue for them like they maybe thought. They have to kind of actually try to moderate and have compromise and have a truly, comprehensive public safety plan instead of putting lip service to the alternatives and just being all police all the time. I don't know if that's what went into the thought of Harrell not getting into the arena, like the Seattle Times Editorial Board asked him to, but yeah - it certainly is unhinged. And it - Fox News always has a ton of crime coverage right before elections, and then it drops in half - there's been a study on this and after the midterm. So suddenly it's not prime all the time when you turn on Fox News - there's a reason for that. It's calculated, it's manipulation, it's election manipulation. And a lot of these other papers, including The Seattle Times, do that as well. I haven't seen the studies see that it's dropped in half, but that's part of the whole game and it's part of why the playing field isn't even. But I think, eventually, you have to have actual truth to what you're saying, or it starts just not connecting where we're at then. [01:04:17] Crystal Fincher: Well said. And with that, we thank you all for listening to Hacks & Wonks on this Friday, December 2nd, 2022. Hacks & Wonks is co-produced by Shannon Cheng and Bryce Cannatelli. Our insightful co-host today was Executive Director of The Urbanist, Doug Trumm. You can find Doug on Twitter @dmtrumm - that's two Ms at the end. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can find me @finchfrii. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on iTunes, or wherever else you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe 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 to Hacks & Wonks. 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 podcast episode notes. Thanks for tuning in - talk to you soon.

WWJ Plus
Kwame Kilpatrick hit with $600K bill from IRS | City of Detroit being sued of ShotSpotter expansion

WWJ Plus

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 7:18


According to records obtained by The Detroit News, Kilpatrick owes the IRS $634,000 from 2003 to 2008 -- a timespan that covers nearly his entire tenure as mayor. The City Of Detroit is being sued over its expansion of ShotSpotter technology. WWJ's Charlie Langton has more. (Credit: Rodney Coleman/USA Today)  

Hacks & Wonks
Week in Review: November 18, 2022 - with Nicole Thomas-Kennedy

Hacks & Wonks

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 61:32


On this week's Hacks & Wonks, Crystal is joined by friend of the show, defense attorney, abolitionist and activist, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy! They start catching up with the Seattle City Budget. The City Council revealed their proposed budget earlier this week, and in general it proposes putting back funding for programs that were originally given fewer resources under Mayor Harrell's proposal - most notably restoring the raises for frontline homeless service workers, which were cut in Harrell's budget. The Council's proposal also uses JumpStart funds as originally intended, cuts ghost cop positions, and eliminates funding for the controversial ShotSpotter program. After the horrific incident last week that involved a shooting at Seattle's Ingraham High School, students staged a walkout and protest on Monday to ask city leaders for resources to help prevent gun violence. The students are asking for anti-racism and de-escalation training for school security, assault weapon bans, and more school counselors and mental health resources. What they have made clear they don't want is more cops in schools, but despite that Mayor Harrell and some of his advisory boards are advocating for an increased police presence in schools. Housing updates this week start with positive news: Mayor Harrell is asking for affordable housing to be exempt from the much maligned design review process. Allowing affordable housing to skip design review will encourage developers to build affordable housing, and will help us battle our housing shortage faster than we could otherwise. In frustrating housing news, KING5 released some upsetting reporting outlining some overt racial housing discrimination against Black families in Seattle, including one story about family who received a significantly higher appraisal when they dressed their home to look like it was owned by a white family.  Carolyn Bick from the South Seattle Emerald reported on potential City and State records laws violations by the Office of Police Accountability. The OPA has been manually deleting emails, or allowing them to automatically be deleted, before the two-year mark prescribed by City and State laws. It's another example of a city office failing to hold itself accountable to basic records standards.  The Seattle Department of Transportation seemed to once again be more responsive to concerns about administrative liability than community concerns about pedestrian safety amid rising fatalities. When locals painted an unauthorized crosswalk at the intersection of E Olive Way and Harvard, SDOT workers removed the crosswalk within 24 hours. This is happening while many people and business owners, most notably Councilmember Sara Nelson, have been placing illegal “eco blocks” without removals or consequences.  Finally, the Chair of Washington State Democrats is being criticized for threats to withhold resources against Washington House candidates if they showed support for nonpartisan Secretary of State candidate Julie Anderson. This is a high-profile extension of a question that party groups–big and small–are dealing with: how do we handle Democrats' support of nonpartisan or third party candidates?  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 today's co-host, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, on Twitter at @NTKallday. More info is available at officialhacksandwonks.com.   Resources “City Council's ‘anti-austerity' budget package: Aiming JumpStart back where it belongs, preserving parking enforcement's move out of SPD, nuking ShotSpotter, and giving mayor his ‘Unified Care Team'” by jseattle from Capitol Hill Seattle Blog   “Morales Hopes to Resurrect Social Housing Amendment That Didn't Make Balancing Package Cut” by Doug Trumm from The Urbanist   Learn more about how to get involved in Seattle's budget season at this link.   “Care, Not Cops” by Hannah Krieg from The Stranger   “Seattle proposal would free affordable projects from design review — and give all developers path to skip public meetings” by CHS from Capitol Hill Seattle Blog   “After a low appraisal, Black Seattle family 'whitewashes' home, gets higher price” by PJ Randhawa from KING5   “Why housing discrimination is worse today than it was in the 1960s” by PJ Randhawa from KING5   “OPA May Have Broken City and State Records Laws By Not Retaining Emails” by Carolyn Bick from The South Seattle Emerald    “SDOT Decries Tactical Urbanism While Allowing Eco-Blocks All Over the City” by Erica C. Barnett from Publicola    “Rent a Capitol Hill apartment from one of these companies? You ‘may have rights under antitrust laws to compensation' as lawsuit alleges price-fixing violations in Seattle” by jseattle from Capitol Hill Seattle Blog “Scoop: State Democratic Party chair under fire for alleged threats” by Melissa Santos from Axios   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. Full text transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. Today, we're continuing our Friday almost-live shows where we review the news of the week with a cohost. Welcome back to the program, friend of the show, today's cohost: defense attorney, abolitionist and activist, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy. Hey. [00:00:54] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Hey - thanks so much for having me. It's great to be here. [00:00:57] Crystal Fincher: Welcome back. Great to have you back. So we have a few things going on this week. We will start with the Seattle budget. The mayor introduced his budget a few weeks back - this is now the Council, and the President of the Council, being able to introduce their own budget and their take on things. What did you see here that was notable? [00:01:21] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: I think the things that were really notable were that JumpStart was headed back to where it was originally planned. That tax was created for affordable housing and things like that, and the mayor tried to take it a different direction that I don't think addresses the City's needs at all - so it was good to see that. Keeping - not giving SPD the money for those ghost cops - the officers that don't actually work there, that haven't actually worked there for a while - their salaries, SPD was allowed to keep for a long time, and so taking that away. And I think really most importantly - to me, given what I do - is taking out the money for ShotSpotter, which is something that the mayor has pushed really hard for, but has shown to not work and actually be detrimental to marginalized communities in other cities. And that was a million dollars, so it was great to see that taken out. [00:02:27] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, that was definitely an improvement, I think, in a lot of people's minds. That was something that did seem to be oddly championed by the mayor and very few other people, regardless of what their political orientation or leaning is. It is just something that - a decade ago, people were wondering if it had some potential, and then it was implemented in a number of cities with a number of very well-documented problems. One thing that it does not seem to be able to accomplish is to reduce gun violence, which is its ultimate goal. But it did introduce a lot of other problems. It was expensive. It seemed to increase surveillance and harassment, particularly of Black and Brown communities, without intervening or interrupting any kind of violence. And that is just an inexpensive and ineffective use of funds. Given a budget shortfall, it seems like we should not be wasting money on things that have proven not to work and not to make anyone safer. I think another notable difference in this budget, between the mayor's budget, was he had proposed a reduction in salary for some of the frontline workers for homelessness services and outreach services there. Those are critical positions and crucial to being able to address homelessness, reduce homelessness. A lot has been covered over the years across the country about how important having comfortable, well-paid frontline workers is so that they're not living in poverty, they aren't in unstable positions - creating a lot of turnover and uncertainty with the workers on the frontline - so that they do have the capacity and ability to do that kind of frontline outreach work and getting people into services that meet their needs. And so there was definitely a repudiation of the idea of reducing their pay and making sure that their pay will continue to rise with the cost of living and the Consumer Price Index. So that was nice to see. A few other things, like you talked about, just making sure that the JumpStart funds, which it seems now everybody is acknowledging, have been very helpful. And even people who previously opposed it are now backing its use to backfill their own plans. But really just making sure that it is spent in a way consistent with its original charter, basically. And so more of a right-sizing and being more consistent with the spending that Seattle voters have backed, that these candidates were elected and reelected with mandates to go forward with - that we're seeing that there. Moving forward here, there was just an opportunity for public comment earlier this year. There is one more opportunity for councilmembers to introduce amendments to this budget before it's going to be ultimately passed. So I encourage everyone, if you have thoughts about the budget, we'll include some links just explaining it. There was a really good Capitol Hill Seattle story just breaking down the budget and what's happening there to make sure we go there. But a few notable other investments from there include $20 million each year for equitable development initiative projects that advance economic opportunity and prevent displacement. $20 million Green New Deal investments each year, including $4 million to create community climate resilience labs. $4.6 million for indigenous-led sustainability projects and $1.8 million for community-led environmental justice projects. $9 million for school-based health centers, which is a really big deal, including a new $3 million across the biennium for mental health services in response to the demand for more health providers from teachers and students - we'll talk a little bit more about the student walkout and strike and their demands later in the show. Also created a combined total of $1.5 million for abortion care in 2023, to ensure access to reproductive care for uninsured people in Seattle. And a $253 million investment into the Office of Housing for affordable housing - and that's over $50 million more than the last budget for building rental housing, more supportive services, first-time ownership opportunities. I know a lot of people are also hoping that Councilmember Tammy Morales' proviso makes it back into the budget to support social housing and securing City-owned property for rental housing that has a much better shot of being able to be affordable for regular people working in the City, especially those who don't have six-figure incomes and can't afford a million dollar home. This is going to be crucial to making sure that we have dedicated land and space and capacity to build permanent affordable housing. [00:07:54] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Yeah, and I hope that makes it back in very - I really hope that makes it back in. The thing that I see with the Council's - what they're proposing to put back in, or the changes they're making from Harrell's budget - is most all of them address things that would enhance public safety. And when I hear about things like old technology that's been shown not to work, that gives more or giving more money to police or things like that, I think people think that that's about public safety, but it's not. Those are reactionary things, those are things that have been shown not to address the problems, we really do need to be looking at those upstream things like housing, helping marginalized communities, mental health - all of these things are things that are actually going to result in more safety for everyone. And so I'm happy to see that their proposals are addressing those things. And I hope that they make it into the final budget. [00:08:52] Crystal Fincher: I agree. And I also think that we saw - with just these past election results that we received - that residents of Seattle, really across the county, but especially in Seattle, once again, show through their votes for candidates who are talking about addressing root causes, the rejection of candidates for the Legislature for King County Prosecuting Attorney who were talking about punitive punishment-based approaches, lock-em-up approaches, which the city and the county continually have rejected. And I think voters are just at the point where they're saying, no, please listen - you have already increased funding for police, but we have these big gaps in all of these other areas that we need you to address and fill, and it's - just talking about police is doing the overall public safety conversation a disservice because it takes so many other things to make sure that we are building communities that are safer, and where fewer people get victimized, and where we are not creating conditions that cause disorder. And so I hope that they are listening. And I hope that that gives both the Budget Chair and councilmembers faith and strength and motivation to move forward with these kinds of investments in community - that center community and that center addressing the root causes of crime, preventing crime - which is the most important thing that we can do. I don't think anyone is looking around and saying - things are great, things are fine - but I think people are fed up with the inaction or bad action and ineffective action taken. So we will stay tuned and continue to report on that. [00:10:47] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Very helpful. [00:10:47] Crystal Fincher: We just alluded to, but talked about this week - following last week's shooting of an Ingraham High School student by another student - extremely extremely tragic situation - that student wound up dying. This is a traumatic thing for the school community to go through, for the entire community to go through. And we saw students walk out to cause awareness and with a list of demands. What were they demanding? [00:11:19] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: I'm not going to get it perfectly off the top of my head, but they want more resources for students. They want more mental health care. They want access to those things. They want things that are preventative. They're not asking for punitive retribution or more metal detectors or cops in schools or something like that. They're asking for things that are actually going to be preventative, that are going to encourage the wellbeing of all students. And they know that that's what's going to keep them safe. And from what I've seen from SPS - they seem responsive to those demands in some way. It remains to see what will be actually followed through on. But the response I've seen so far from SPS, just being the parent of an SPS student, is that they are listening to what these kids are actually saying and what the data actually shows will make these kids safer. So I find that to be hopeful. I hope you can verbalize what their list of demands were more succinctly than that, because I don't want to misrepresent what they're saying at all. But when I read through what they were asking for and saw what they were asking for, it was all stuff that was aimed at prevention - because that's what - they don't want to be shot. And that's very valid. And they shouldn't have to worry about those things. And the things that have been implemented for years, like more police in school, those lockdown drills and things like that - it's not working. It's just like we were talking about with the budget stuff, we need to get to those root causes. [00:13:04] Crystal Fincher: You're exactly right. And what these students want really does, to your point, cover the gamut of preventative measures. So there are a few different things. One, they want the district to increase anti-racist and de-escalation training for any security at Seattle Public Schools. They also demand that the state update safe storage laws and ban assault rifles. Students asked the Council to reroute $9 million from SPD to pay for counselors. They want one counselor - to be paid a living wage - but at least at a ratio of 1 for every 200 students. Right now, the district is averaging about 1 for every 350 students, so that is a significant increase in counselors. But I don't think there is anyone here who does not acknowledge the need for more mental health resources for students. And this is especially pronounced in the middle schools across the district. So that is a pretty substantial one. They did say that they don't want cops in schools. They don't want the introduction of more guns, more people with guns in schools - but they want the things that will prevent them. They want mental health resources and community-based resources, therapy resources, and intentional de-escalation and communication training, DBT therapy training - really for students there, so they can figure out how to use words to disarm and de-escalate conflicts instead of getting physically violent, encouraging gun violence, that type of thing. They really want to - they understand that there's a gap with many kids that they're trying to navigate through and this is a normal thing for students anyway. We need to equip them with the tools to work through conflict, to work through their emotions, even when they're very big. They recognize that and they're calling for that. So these are all things that are backed by data and evidence, that have shown to reduce conflict, to reduce violence of all kinds, definitely gun violence. And that are evidence-based, have worked in other areas - pretty reasonable. And so there are a few areas where this could come from. They're certainly asking the Legislature for action, but also with the City and the mental health money. I think Teresa Mosqueda said that she was allocating $2 million and saying that's a down payment on what the students are asking for. Another source that was talked about by some people online was the Families & Education Levy in the City of Seattle, which is tailor-made for things like this. And so that, I think, should be part of this conversation going forward. But we absolutely do need more mental health resources in the schools. And we heard that post - as students were returning back to school after schools were closed due to COVID, and as they were returning, there were certainly a lot of parents who wanted to reopen schools, get their students back in there, but also talked about the challenges that students were dealing with - with anxiety and a range of mental health needs. They seemed to acknowledge that students, in connection with violent events happening and needing to deal with that - we need to figure out a way to get this done. I think the student demands are entirely reasonable and the entire community needs to listen. Now, one dimension of the story that we have seen, there was a story - and I forget at this point who came out with it - but it was like the district is exploring basically putting armed police officers back in school. Upon reading the story, it was like no, actually the district, no one in the district was considering that. The students specifically said they didn't want that. School board members said that they were not currently examining that. But it does seem like the mayor and some of his advisory boards are advocating for armed police officers to return to schools. It seems like the people directly impacted are saying, no, please no, again, not anymore. But the mayor has a different viewpoint here. How do you see that? [00:17:57] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: First of all - yes, the student demands are very reasonable and it's, I don't know, I'm constantly impressed by youth - just how informed they are, the way they present their ideas, and just - they're deeply rooted in this. They are the ones that are impacted. We didn't have to deal with this growing up. I didn't have to deal with this growing up. I didn't have to deal with COVID. I didn't have to deal with the Internet. I didn't have to deal with guns in schools. This is new territory for these kids and they are the ones that are able to tell us what they need and they do so so well. And it is backed by data and research. And I think the mayor has suggested or wants to do this cops-back-in-school thing, but kids know this isn't what has made us safe. We have seen very, very good - horrible, tragic examples of how school resource officers fail to keep kids safe. And I think a lot of people's eyes have been open to that. And while I see the suggestion, I acknowledge the suggestion, I don't think it's serious. I don't think you can keep talking about more cops, more cops - putting more cops here - and be serious about safety. We know that doesn't work. And I think that there's enough kids, there's enough parents, there's enough people, there's enough people on the Council that know these things that - if he wants to push forward that kind of agenda, I think the pushback is going to be really big. And we can't keep pretending that that's the solution - I think that a lot of people are ready to stop doing that and to be able to push back. And I love this walkout. I think it's so encouraging that these kids are really pushing for what they know to be true. And they're not just sitting there saying, there's nothing we can do about it. They know that there's something they can do about it. So I think that's very encouraging. And I would expect that any sort of really serious pushing forward of that idea of more cops in school, I would expect there to be really very large community and student backlash to those ideas. [00:20:15] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I think there would be pretty ferocious backlash to that. We will see how that proceeds and continue to keep you up to date on that. Now, something that Bruce Harrell announced this week, that actually seems like it's going to have a positive reception and that can move things in a positive direction - he's looking to exempt affordable housing from design review - from the much-maligned design review process. What's he proposing to do here? [00:20:47] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: He's proposing sort of a moratorium on affordable housing projects having to go through design review. So if people don't know - design review is a lengthy process where there's - I'm doing air quotes - "community input" on housing design, and it really drags out housing projects for so long. If you see an empty lot and there's a billboard up that says that they're going to build a nine-story building with mixed use - there'll be commercial space on the bottom - and then nothing happens for years and years and years. There's a lot of reasons for that, but one of the primary ones is that really long design review process, which is shown not to be actually that democratic when it comes to the community. So exempting affordable housing from that is such a huge and awesome idea that I think someone said, why didn't we do this before when there was a homelessness crisis declared? Ed Murray could have done this when he declared that crisis, but instead that there's all these projects that are languishing and really upping the price for developers to even build these things. So I think there's - not only is it going to get affordable housing built more quickly if this is actually implemented, which I hope it is, but it's also going to make building affordable housing more attractive to developers because just having that land sit there and having those plans sit there for years and years - it makes it very expensive for developers to undertake projects. And when they do, they're going to want to get as much return on their investment as possible. And so you have to make up for those lost years of the land just sitting there. And so allowing this to go forward is going to provide more housing for the community, which we desperately, desperately need, but it's also going to encourage developers to build affordable housing over other types of housing. So I think this is fantastic and I really hope it goes through. [00:22:55] Crystal Fincher: I think it is fantastic. I think this is a good example of listening to the community. This is a win all the way across for developers who are trying to build projects more economically and more quickly, for just the community who is waiting for housing prices to be more affordable - and not just because interest rates are changing the equation for a lot of people, but to get more supply online quickly. And so this was done with Mayor Bruce Harrell and with Councilmembers Dan Strauss and Teresa Mosqueda. And it would begin a one-year interim period exempting affordable housing projects from design review and then use that trial year to conduct what Harrell says will be a full State Environmental Policy Act review of legislation to try and make this exemption permanent. And so it would permanently exempt, or they're hoping to permanently exempt, housing projects from design review - exempting housing projects that use the mandatory housing affordability program to produce their units on site for a two-year pilot and also allow other housing projects to choose whether to participate in full design review or administrative design review as a two-year pilot. So this is something that hopefully does get more affordable housing units online quickly, cut through the bureaucracy - so a positive development here and excited to see it. What I was not excited to see was a story on KING5 about one of the elements that is part of the wealth disparity, the wealth gap that we see. We've seen stories, sometimes from across the country, talking about whitewashing homes and homes owned by Black people getting lower appraisals than other homes for no other reason, seemingly, than that they're Black. And this happened with a Black family in Seattle who got an initial home appraisal - they had their family pictures in there, they had some African art up. The home was visibly owned by Black people. So with this, this family got an appraisal that was initially $670,000 - under the median home price in Seattle. They thought - well, that seems low, that seems out-of-spec for what we've seen others in this area. So they decided to take down their personal pictures. They put up pictures from a white family. They had a white friend stand in the house presented now as if it was owned by a white family. And instead of the $670,000 appraisal, they got a $929,000 appraisal. The only difference was that it was a home owned by a white person, that appeared to be owned by a white person, versus one that is owned by a Black person - right here in Seattle. What did you think of this? [00:26:09] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Personally, I was not surprised. I saw that this had happened in other areas. I think there was a famous example from a couple of years ago where the difference was half a million dollars. But I think that there's an idea that - in Seattle, we're so progressive, we're so liberal that this kind of thing doesn't happen here. And it does. And I think it's dangerous to think that it doesn't. I think that the Black community gets gaslighted a lot about these things when this is a really clear, very obvious example. But how many other times has this happened? Probably quite a bit. And it's really contributing to the wealth gap. And this is something that Black people have been saying for years has been happening. And it's just now starting to catch on. People are starting to catch on that this is a thing. And when I say people, I mean people who are not Black because they already know about this. But it's really starting to be something that's obvious, that's happening here, that's happening everywhere. And there's all of these little things that happen to maintain that wealth gap - because it's the appraisal value, it's also Black homeowners being targeted for mortgage takeovers by banks, by realty companies. This is not something that a lot of white homeowners deal with - I think in one of the articles, a parent had died. And so then they kept getting calls from different groups asking to buy the home for cash and asking to do some sort of weird backhand reverse mortgage and things like - there's a lot of predatory things out there aimed at Black people and Black homeowners that white homeowners don't deal with. And I'm glad to see KING5 do this story. It's awful that it's happening, but I think the public needs to know that this is something that's happening and that in progressive Seattle, we are not - by any stretch of the imagination - immune to things like this happening on a regular basis. [00:28:23] Crystal Fincher: We are not at all immune. It impacts us in so many ways. Just where we still deal with the legacy of redlining and where Black people in Black communities have been. And then as there is this new displacement happening - that kind of difference in home valuation can very much determine whether that family can afford to buy again in Seattle or be forced out of Seattle. This is just such a major problem and just another manifestation of it here. So yeah, unfortunately not something that I found surprising, but just still really infuriating all the same. And I just hope more people wake up to see what's happening and engage in how they can help make this community more inclusive and do the work that needs to be done because there is work that needs to be done. [00:29:15] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Absolutely. [00:29:17] Crystal Fincher: Other news this week - the Office of Police Accountability may have broken records laws in what - how they've been operating. What happened here? [00:29:29] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: So in this case, I believe Carolyn Bick from the Emerald had put in a public disclosure request for some emails. And what she got back from OPA was that they didn't retain it because they followed SPD's policy of record retention, which is different than the City's policy of record retention, which - they say they're part of SPD or they initially said they were a part of SPD, but they're not. They're not a law enforcement agency. They're a City agency. But I would like to point out one thing too - that the City's record retention policy is wild compared to other bigger entities. If you're a City employee, you're required to archive emails or communications that could be of public interest. So instead of automatically retaining everything and then deleting spam or needing this manual deletion, you have to manually save it. But what's in the public interest is huge. So there should be a default to be saving these things all the time. And of course, we've seen with other communications, like the mayor's texts or Carmen Best's texts, that absolutely those things should have been saved and they set them to delete instead. I think the argument here is about what is the record retention policy for OPA and it's just - it's just interesting that this is the Office of Police Accountability, but yet they're not accountable for their own record keeping. And then the City Attorney's Office said, we can't give you an answer to the question about, do they have SPD's retention policy or the City's retention policy? They said that calls for a legal opinion, so we can't give you one - which to me is just like, what do you do then? Isn't that your job - to make those determinations? So just another way that the Office of Police Accountability is - it's just an HR department for SPD. They just whitewash everything and put righteous complaints through a long bureaucratic process that they tell people to trust in, that ends at being a big old nothing - that even that process - that they can't keep correct records for. So it's shocking really just how much it is all the time that we're hearing about this stuff. [00:32:11] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I think that's what is notable to me. It's just yet another thing from a body that is supposed to hold other entities accountable - and seems to have challenges doing that - just seeming to skirt accountability itself and being a hub of so much controversy. Just really makes you evaluate - what is the purpose, what is happening, what is going on? Are we doing more harm than good here? And it just seems like we don't ever receive answers, that there are very alarming things that happen. And the answers are to - well, we'll reshuffle some staff and we won't really address the substance of what happened. We'll just call it a day, wrap it up, put a stamp on it, and close it out. We just won't talk about it anymore. It's just - what is happening, why are we doing this? And jeez, if this is just going to be a farce, can we just save the money and do something else? Why are we investing in something that continues to break rules, and to seemingly break accountability processes? Just really confusing there. [00:33:30] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Yeah, very much so. [00:33:32] Crystal Fincher: Also really confusing this week - SDOT once again very quickly erased a crosswalk - a crossswalk that a community put up at a dangerous intersection, that is clearly an intersection where people are designed to cross - indicated by the curb cut and the ADA-compliant rumble strip. But it was a dangerous place to cross. It was a place where community had brought up concerns that had seemingly not been listened to or addressed. They decided, as has happened before in the City, to put up their own crosswalk to increase the safety of people who need to cross the street. And there are people who need to cross the street more safely. But once again, seemingly - within 24 hours, I think - SDOT appeared and took action, not based off of calls for increased safety and taking action to make this intersection more safe, but came and removed the paint creating the crosswalk, saying for reasons of safety and liability, they can't stand by and let the community paint a crosswalk, even if it is painted to standards. But they immediately removed it. And the new head of SDOT said, hey, we are trying to move in a new direction, but we can't. We'll never be comfortable with people painting their own crosswalks for liability reasons. And then receiving pushback from the community saying, we ask you to take action to make this more safe. You don't. People get killed on the street. People get run into and hurt. Our street designs are nearly exclusively car-centric in most of the City. So hey, neighbors took action to make the road safer for their neighbors, for kids who need to cross the street, for elderly people, disabled people who need to cross the street. And it just seems that the action comes when people take their own actions - [00:35:50] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Sometimes [00:35:51] Crystal Fincher: - to make the street safer. That will get resources out to remove it, but we don't seem to be wanting to deploy the resources necessary to make these intersections safer. How did you see this? [00:36:05] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Yeah, I applaud the effort of the community to make those streets safer. And I thought that the reasoning given - safety and liability - was thin. There's nothing about not having a crosswalk that makes it safer, obviously - that's what the community has been complaining about. And in terms of liability, it's always interesting to me that the liability that they're talking about is liability for a crosswalk that, "shouldn't be there," that they didn't sanction. But apparently there's no liability for people who are continually injured or killed in a place where the community has asked repeatedly for a crosswalk. And I think that it seems disingenuous to me. And yes, and it doesn't really mesh with the other things that they're talking about. So they can have someone come out and pressure wash off something that's supposed to be for community safety - like you said, for kids, for elders, for disabled people, for everyone - because we all walk if we're able. But the streets belong to everybody. But then they'll have someone come out and pressure wash this crosswalk off overnight. But at the same time, we have seen, for over a year, these ecoblocks, the big concrete blocks - that I think the most famous example of them is Councilmember Sara Nelson putting them around her business - so RVs, or people who are unfortunately having to live in their car, can't park near her business. Those are popping up all over the City now. And SDOT says, we're unwilling to pull people off safety projects to move those. But yet, they'll get someone out there overnight to erase something that's making public safety, but they won't do anything about these ecoblocks. And I think that's really another disingenuous argument, because there is more that they could be doing about that. There's ticketing. There's not just going and every day removing whatever's put there. There's a lot of things - there's fines, there's ticketing - that they could do to discourage this, and they're just not doing it. And to me, I think back to 2020 - when SPD built that ecoblock fort around the East Precinct and the West Precinct too. They built a little fort out of these City-owned ecoblocks around their precinct. And when there was things that ecoblocks were needed for, the City said, we don't have any more ecoblocks right now because they're being used for SPD's fort. And so now it seems like we have a glut of ecoblocks in the city - they're just everywhere. So I don't really understand where they're coming from. If they're not coming from SDOT, where are they coming from? And if they're not coming from SDOT and these are people buying ecoblocks and putting them there - on city streets - seems like it would be fairly advantageous for SDOT to go and pick them up. They're on public property. We didn't have enough of them before. Why not just collect them then? Or like I said, especially when they're on a private business, there's so much more the City could be doing about it. And obviously there's someone on the Council that does it. It's never been addressed. And it shakes, I think, people's faith and trust in City government and City agencies when they so clearly don't - their actions don't match up with what they're saying that they want to do. And so I expect more of these sort of crosswalks to pop up. And the community has been having these conversations with SDOT forever and nothing has happened. If this is what's moving the conversation forward, if this is what's creating safety - to me, that's the most important thing. People shouldn't be dying on the street. That's the most important thing. So whatever creates safety, whatever moves that conversation forward to protect people's lives, I think that's great that the community is doing that. I hope it pushes the conversation forward and really creates this infrastructure that we so desperately need. [00:40:45] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I agree. I think those ecoblocks - some people I've seen refer to them now as Nelson blocks since Councilmember Sara Nelson, despite seeming acknowledgement that they are illegal, continues to use and deploy them and exclude others from public space that they are entitled to be in. And that just does not seem to be a priority, like some other things in this community that seemingly have lower costs or impacts. But just, yeah, that the responses don't seem to make sense. The interventions don't seem to be consistent. And I would really like to hear a coherent and consistent approach to safety in Seattle. Or at least start by understanding and acknowledging that what is happening is unacceptable. And instead of running to defend - and I understand that there are concerns about liability, that is a fact - but we do need to expand the conversation to - let's be not just concerned about getting sued, let's be concerned about one of the residents in the City, that we're responsible for, being killed. Because that is happening. And what are we doing to mitigate against that risk? - is really the bottom-line question I think people want some better answers to. [00:42:12] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Yeah, and they deserve them. [00:42:14] Crystal Fincher: They do. Another activity that maybe deserves - some Capitol Hill tenants are suing some landlords. What's happening here? [00:42:22] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: So they are suing - there's, I don't know if people know this, but there are a few corporations, big housing corporations that own a lot of the housing in Capitol Hill and all around Seattle. And so many of them have started using an algorithm, through a company called RealPage, that collects all the information about whatever the company-owned property is, but then also all of the surrounding properties - to raise rents. So to tell landlords the maximum asking price that they can have for rent, based on what's going on around the city, around the neighborhood, from all this data from other places. And it's caused a lot of - and it's something that these big companies can hide behind for rental hikes too - they say, oh, a computer algorithm sets our rental prices and this is what it's set as. And RealPage CEOs have been very open about saying this is more than most landlords could ask for - I wouldn't feel comfortable as a human being asking for this rent, but it's set by a computer, so I can't do anything about it. And it's really caused rents around Seattle and Capitol Hill to skyrocket. There's many factors that go into skyrocketing rents, but this is absolutely one of them. And so the lawsuit is alleging illegal price fixing by these tenants, or by these landlords. And they're not the small mom-and-pop landlords that we're talking about. We're talking about the big housing conglomerates that own so much of our rental housing here in Seattle. And it alleges that it's basically illegal price fixing by having all of these groups that just continuously raise the rent - at the same time, along the same lines - and it's driving up prices everywhere. And I'm very happy to see this lawsuit personally. Rents are out of control in Seattle, and some of that is tied to supply, obviously. Obviously, there's no doubt about that. But what we don't need is businesses taking advantage of data aggregation to make rents go higher and higher and higher. And what I hear sometimes is - the market supports this. And I think that's a really misguided argument. People need housing. It's very, very dangerous to live on the street. Nobody's living on the street because that's a good time. No one's having an urban camping vacation out there in the middle of November. People don't want to live on the street. Housing - like food, like water - is something that we all need. So just because the market supports it doesn't mean it's affordable or good for the rest of the city. When people are paying 50% or 60% of their income to rent, that hurts everyone. That makes it - as food prices go up, as rent goes up, we have people that have to lean on social services. They have to go without things that are - really, it's a detriment to our entire community. So I'm very happy to see this lawsuit. Anything we can do to bring rents down and rebalance the - there's never going to be a full balance between landlord and tenant, obviously, but there needs to be some sort of rebalancing that's going on to make it so people can actually afford to live in this city. [00:46:01] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. We still have areas in the state where people's rent can double. We still have areas just - where we are displacing people in the name of profit. And this is an essential need. This is something that people need to survive. We are seeing an explosion in homelessness because people cannot afford a place to live. Fundamental causes of homelessness are the inability to afford rent. People try and blame - people dealing with substance use disorder or people with mental illnesses - and those are issues and often become worse issues after someone is out on the streets because that is such a rough environment. But the biggest contributor is the inability to pay rent. And that's why we see other areas that have higher instances of people dealing with substance abuse, higher instances of people dealing with those issues - that don't have the degree of homelessness that we do in areas like Seattle, where things are just simply so unaffordable for so many. So we absolutely need to do that. To your point, we need more supply and action - to get more supply is great, but we aren't going to fully address this issue until we bring this landlord and renter situation into greater balance, until there are more rent controls, renter protections in place. That is also a necessary piece of this scenario. And taking this action is necessary - what we've seen has been predatory and has contributed to homelessness. And if we don't get a handle on this, we're not going to get more people housed anywhere around here. So I think this is a justified action. I think that - no, we actually need to stand up and say, you are not entitled to ever-escalating and increasing profits on the backs of people who are providing valuable services and who are valuable people in our communities. We just can't allow that to happen. It's not that - no one can make a profit, right? It's not that we're outlawing being able to be a landlord. But there are responsibilities that should come with that. This is not just a great area for profit and speculation. You're dealing with people in their housing, you're dealing with families in their housing. And there should be a greater amount of care and responsibility that we demand from that. So I am also happy to see this happening. [00:48:55] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Yeah. I also think it's important to realize that when there are so many housing - when there are so many landlords and companies raising these rents - like you said, they are also causing homelessness. These rising prices cause homelessness. So what is actually happening is they are externalizing the cost of homelessness to the community while they make ever greater profits. And as I really like to point out - that this is to the detriment of everyone. So it is the community that is paying for them to make ever greater profits. And that's what we're really talking about. It's not just, people should be able to make money - of course they should be able to make money - but this is something that you can't ignore. This is not like an expensive handbag. People need shelter. And so when we are talking about those things, there will be a community cost if those things aren't brought back in line. And it's important to recognize that the market can't fix all of this. There has to be something else when it comes to things that people - that are basic human needs. And I like the idea that housing is a human right. We need it. We can't live without it. And I think that more and more people are getting behind the idea of that - that housing is a human right, that we all deserve the dignity of living in a home. But I also hope people realize that it is these profiteering landlords that are externalizing the cost of their profits to the community. So yeah, I welcome this too. It's hopeful. [00:50:45] Crystal Fincher: It is. And the last thing we'll cover today - there was a story by Melissa Santos in Axios talking about the State Democratic Party Chair under fire for being a staunch defender of Democrats Steve Hobbs, and really discouraging and going after folks who endorsed non-partisan Julie Anderson and her race against Democrat Steve Hobbs for Secretary of State. You have Joe Fitzgibbon, who chairs the House Democrats Campaign Committee, saying that Tina made threats about withholding resources from Washington House candidates because Democratic House Speaker Laurie Jinkins supported the non-partisan candidate instead of the Democrat. And then you have folks - Tina Podlodowski, certainly, but also others saying that - hey, this is what happens in the Democratic Party. Either you back Democrats or you're not. You're free to support who you want, but not within the Democratic Party. How did you see this? [00:51:58] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: I thought this was a kind of a nothing, really. She's the Chair of the Democratic Party. Think whatever you want about Democrats - the job of the chair of the Democratic Party - there's many things to it, but pushing forward Democrat candidates, Democratic candidates, and a Democratic agenda is what she does. And I was really surprised - the headline of the article, which I know is not written by the journalist, said something about "alleged threats," which makes it sound so much more intense than it was - I think that it's - we really need to get serious about politics and about what we're doing. Republicans are on board with just voting for whoever has an R by their name, and that's something that Democrats haven't necessarily been doing. They've been trying to do that, but they haven't necessarily done it. But to think that the Chair of the Democratic Party is not going to try to push hard for Democratic candidates - I just thought was ridiculous, really. It just seemed like an absurd story. I have a limited - I had a limited experience with politics, but from what I experienced - this was nothing. This was really not much compared to what actually goes on in politics. To me, this just seems like she's trying to get Democratic candidates in there, which is what she's doing, that's what she's supposed to be doing. So I thought it was a kind of a weird story - the way it was framed, the choice of using the word "threat" without really talking about, until much later in the story, about what those "threats" really were - which were not direct, and which were about using Democratic Party funds and resources. And those are things that she's responsible for. I just really thought it was a kind of a nothing of a story, really. [00:54:09] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I think what made it a story was that you had a House leader making these accusations directly, and that's something that we don't really see that often. And I think just the - I think it is largely to be expected that a Democratic Party Chair is not going to be happy with the endorsement of a Democrat. I think what caused more of the question is not just saying, hey, Joe Fitzgibbon or Laurie Jinkins, you took this action, and therefore I'm not happy with this - with you - and maybe not supporting you, but the extension to Democratic candidates overall across the state, potentially, because of that. Which Tina Podlodowski and her team said wasn't serious and was par for the course, after being confronted with the existence of them, after I think initially saying that nothing was said. But then, I think this is interesting - not necessarily for this instance - although I do think there's a healthy conversation to be had about is holding the support of unrelated candidates fair play or not. But also just because it does talk about - in this instance, we're talking about a nonpartisan - some of these issues become very simple if we're talking about Republicans. They become a little more complicated when we talk about nonpartisans, when we talk about - especially in the Seattle area - folks from the DSA or People's Party, who may not label themselves as Democrats, but may be aligned on values. And so, is the Democratic Party a party of a label where just the - vote blue, no matter who - if they have a D by their name, great. Or is it a party of principles underneath that label, and you're more searching for someone who adheres to those principles, which may be someone who doesn't necessarily identify as a Democrat. I think that this conversation has been happening within local party organizations for a while, and different LPOs [Local Party Organizations] have come up with different stances themselves. Some are fine with endorsing folks outside of the party if they align on values, and others are very not fine with that. I think we see where Tina Podlodowski and the State Party is on that. But it is, it's not a straightforward equation. Because you do have these resources for the - it is the Democratic Party - doesn't prevent anyone from aligning with another party in doing that. Although that's a flip remark - if you're a Democrat or if you're a Republican, that alignment comes with significant resources that are available or not available with that. So I think, especially with those resources at stake, especially with candidates who may not be affiliated, I understand where people paused and said, wait, what is going on here? But I do think there's a bigger conversation to be had just within the party about - is it about a label? Is it not? Usually that's a much simpler equation when you get to a general election in a partisan race, but we had a situation with a nonpartisan running. And in Seattle - in city council races and other local races, we have situations where non-Democrats run, who are in the same place or further to the left of Democrats. So it just really depends here. But I think there is further exploration and conversation that needs to happen about this, even on the local level. [00:58:21] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Yeah, I think that's - those are all really good points. And I guess, when I was running, I saw people in the LDs going hard for Nikkita Oliver, who didn't identify as a Democrat. And a lot of non-endorsements of Sara Nelson, for instance, who was a Democrat. And to me, it seemed like there was robust conversation in the LDs and they did not all agree. And they did not all do the same thing. And I - yeah, I think there is room for conversation about that. To me, it just - I get a little bit - it seems very - what am I trying to think of? What am I trying to think of when something's pot-kettle-type thing - like the right does this stuff constantly. And there's a total double standard when it comes to liberals, Democrats, progressives, the left. And I ran in a race where my opponent was not nonpartisan, but presented themselves that way. And it's hard to know, as a voter, what you're truly looking at. And so I wish - yeah, I think there - I definitely agree there needs to be a more robust conversation. At the same time, I think the Chair of the Democratic Party should probably be - whoever the Democratic Party has endorsed would be like someone that they would be pushing forward. But yeah, it does get really murky. And you're right, it comes with a lot of resources and access to voter databases and things like that - that has been shared with some groups and not others. There is - it isn't a straightforward situation, like it is with the right, where it's just - he's the nominee, so that's who we vote for - which is also breaking down on the right, it seems like, because they seem like they maybe took that too far. But there's a lot of nuanced conversation that needs to take place. [01:00:28] Crystal Fincher: And with that, I thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks on this Friday, November 18, 2022. Hacks & Wonks is co-produced by Shannon Cheng and Bryce Cannatelli. Our insightful co host today is defense attorney, abolitionist and activist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy. You can find Nicole on Twitter @NTKallday - that's NTK-A-L-L-D-A-Y. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get the full versions of our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. Please leave us 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. [01:01:19] Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: Thanks for having me - this was great.

Alternative Talk- 1150AM KKNW
Mother's Justice Show With Rev. Harriett Walden 11 - 14 - 22 Eddie, Victoria & Francis

Alternative Talk- 1150AM KKNW

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 53:28


Eddie Rye on the election results. Victoria Beach at topic discusses Shotspotter. Mrs Francis Oliver on Central Florida News.

The UMB Pulse Podcast
This Isn't 'CSI': Not All Forensic Evidence is Bulletproof

The UMB Pulse Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2022 50:25 Transcription Available


Shows like "CSI" have made forensic evidence flashy, brought to TVs with cases wrapped in under an hour. Some types of forensic evidence, like pattern matching, aren't as reliable as what a TV show might make it appear to be, and it's a challenge to address the reliability of certain pattern matching evidence in courtrooms, according to Maneka Sinha, JD, associate professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Sinha goes in-depth on one area of her research addressing ShotSpotter — a gunfire detection technology used in Baltimore and in cities across the U.S.Listen to The UMB Pulse on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon, and wherever you like to listen. The UMB Pulse is also now on YouTube.Visit our website at umaryland.edu/pulse or email us at umbpulse@umaryland.edu.

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know
ShotSpotter: Part Two

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 61:20


ShotSpotter is a private company leveraging audio technology and proprietary algorithmns to locate gunfire with an incredibly high degree of accuracy. It's currently deployed across hundreds of square miles of the US -- many proponents argue it saves lives, but critics allege it has some serious problems... including corruption and conspiracy. In the second part of this two-part series, the guys explore the claims, concerns and controversies surrounding ShotSpotter -- including the stories other media made about the company, before those claims were retracted for inaccuracy. They don't want you to read our book.They don't want you to read our book.: https://static.macmillan.com/static/fib/stuff-you-should-read/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know
ShotSpotter: Part One

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2022 53:43


ShotSpotter is a private company leveraging audio technology and proprietary algorithms to locate gunfire with an incredibly high degree of accuracy. It's currently deployed across hundreds of square miles of the US -- many proponents argue it saves lives, but critics allege it has some serious problems... including corruption and conspiracy. In the first part of this two-part series, the guys explore the fact, fiction and controversy surrounding automated gunshot detection systems. They don't want you to read our book.They don't want you to read our book.: https://static.macmillan.com/static/fib/stuff-you-should-read/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

WBUR News
Holyoke will install ShotSpotter, but some are skeptical of gunfire tech

WBUR News

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 4:25


Mayor Joshua Garcia said he wants ShotSpotter tech to cover 2 square miles in Holyoke, which he said is where 80% of gunshot calls are reported. The two-year pilot will cost the city $150,000 a year.

The Untold Story: Criminal Injustice
Travon Asks If Microphones Really Stop Bullets

The Untold Story: Criminal Injustice

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 44:59


Can you hear the difference between a firework and a gunshot? ShotSpotter says it can. It's a private sector company that uses microphones to detect gunfire and alert police to the scene. The company says it's a powerful tool to stop gun violence, but critics say it's an excuse to overpolice some of our most vulnerable communities. How did this technology with questionable accuracy lead to million-dollar contracts with police departments across the country? Travon walks us through the case of Silvon Simmons, a man falsely accused of shooting a cop, all because of an eight-second audio file from ShotSpotter. Plus, conversations with a former 911 operator and a city councilmember in Durham, NC, about the fight against ShotSpotter.  The Untold Story is a Lemonada Media original and is presented by Campaign Zero. This episode is produced by Hannah Boomershine with production help from Nicole Galteland and Priscilla Alabi. Supervising producer is Kristen Lepore. Production intern is Jala Everett. Fact checking by Steve Crighton. Music, sound design and mixing by Hannis Brown. Engineering from Andrea Kristinsdottir. Executive producers are Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittels Wachs, DeRay Mckesson and Jay Ellis. You can find host Travon Free on Instagram and Twitter: @Travon.  Resources: CancelShotSpotter.com See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know
Listener Mail: Glitter Insider, Shotspotter, Fishing Scandals

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2022 49:15


A listener from the world of government regulation writes with surprising insider information about the great glitter mystery. Multiple Conspiracy Realists share differing opinions on the Shotspotter technology. Sources familiar with fishing contests follow up on the latest cheating scandal. All this and more in this week's listener mail. They don't want you to read our book.They don't want you to read our book.: https://static.macmillan.com/static/fib/stuff-you-should-read/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Authentically Detroit
Taking and Pushing - the Power of Money

Authentically Detroit

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2022 55:44


This week Authentically Detroit talks power, money, and the impact it has on citizens. Journalist Jena Brooker of Bridge Detroit joins Donna and Orlando to discuss a story she wrote about how one of Detroit's most powerful families has pushed residents out of an east side neighborhood. This week's Hot Take also comes out of Bridge Detroit and involves license plate readers and the constitutionality of the way Detroit tows cars. Finally, the episode ends with a discussion of the city council's 5-4 vote, expanding funding to ShotSpotter. If you're interested in reading both articles and learning more about ShotSpotter, click here. 

Hacks & Wonks
37th LD Rep Debate, Moderated by Crystal Fincher & Hosted by South Seattle Emerald

Hacks & Wonks

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2022 83:54


Today's episode is a recording of a live debate between 37th LD Representative Position 2 candidates, Emijah Smith and Chipalo Street. The debate was hosted by the South Seattle Emerald on October 4, 2022 at the Rainier Arts Center. Hacks & Wonks' very own Crystal Fincher moderated the debate. Resources For links to the YouTube video, summary of lightning round answers and more, visit the debate's page on our website.   Campaign Website - Emijah Smith   Campaign Website - Chipalo Street   Register to vote, update your registration, see what's on your ballot and more - click here.   Past felony conviction? Information on re-registering to vote - Washington Voting Rights Restoration Coalition.     Transcript [00:00:00] Bryce Cannatelli: Hi everyone – this is Bryce Cannatelli from the Hacks & Wonks team. Today's episode of the show is a recording of a live debate between 37th LD State Representative candidates Emijah Smith and Chipalo Street. The debate was held on October 4, 2022 and was hosted by the South Seattle Emerald and was moderated by Hacks & Wonks' very own Crystal Fincher. We hope you find it informative and thank you for listening. [00:00:41] Crystal Fincher: Welcome! Welcome everyone to the South Seattle Emerald's 2022 General Election Candidate Debate. My name is Crystal Fincher. I'm a political consultant and the host of the Hacks & Wonks radio show and podcast, and I'm honored to welcome you all to tonight's debate. I'm also excited to hear from our guests running for State Representative Position 2 in the 37th Legislative District. Before we begin tonight, I'd like to do a Land Acknowledgement. I would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Coast-Salish Peoples, specifically the Duwamish peoples, past and present. I would like to honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish tribe. We'd like to thank all of our partners here this evening, including the League of Women Voters of Seattle & King County for their support as well. Tonight's in-person show is following numerous COVID precautions. All in-person audience members, volunteers, staff, and candidates have either provided proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test upon entry, and all audience members in attendance are wearing masks. We're excited to be able to live stream this event on Facebook and YouTube. The debate also features questions from our audience members and voters like you. If you're watching the livestream online, you can submit audience questions by going to seattleemerald.com/debate. If you're in-person, you can write audience questions down on the note cards that have been handed out to you - or will soon be handed out to you - that will be picked up partway through the show. Volunteers will collect written questions at 8:00pm, right after the lightning round, and again at 8:30pm. Please keep questions to one question per card. A few reminders before we jump into the debate: I want to remind you all to vote. Ballots will be mailed to your mailbox starting Wednesday, October 19th, and you can vote anytime until election day on Tuesday, November 8th. You can register to vote, update your registration, and see what will be on your ballot at VoteWA.gov - that's VoteWA.gov. I also want to remind you that if you've had a previous felony conviction, your right to vote is now automatically restored after you serve your prison term, even while on community supervision. You do have to re-register to vote, but your right to vote exists. Go to freethevotewa.org for more details, and help spread the word. The candidates running for the 37th Legislative District State Representative Position 2 with us tonight are Emijah Smith and Chipalo Street - and we'll welcome them up to the stage right now as I explain the rules. So tonight's debate will begin with candidate introductions. Each candidate will have one minute to tell us about themselves. After introductions, we will enter a lightning round of yes/no questions, which candidates will answer silently by using paddles that indicate their answer. Just double-checking that you both have your paddles. Excellent, it's going to be a robust lightning round. Following the lightning round - at the end of the lightning round, each candidate will be allowed 90 seconds to explain anything you want to about what your answers were. Following the lightning round, we'll enter into the open answer portion of the debate. Each candidate will have 90 seconds to answer each question. Candidates may be engaged with rebuttal or follow up questions and will have 30 seconds to respond. Times will be indicated by a volunteer holding a sign in the front of the stage - right here. When a candidate has 30 seconds remaining, you will see the yellow "30-second" sign - right there. When a candidate has 10 seconds remaining, you'll see the orange "10-second" sign. And when time is up, the volunteer will hold up the red "STOP" sign, and I will silence the candidate. So now, we'll turn to the candidates who will each have one minute to introduce themselves, starting with Emijah Smith and then Chipalo Street. Emijah? [00:04:51] Emijah Smith: Welcome everyone. Thank you for being here. Thank you to all who are watching through the YouTube streaming. My name is Emijah Smith, please call me 'Mijah. I am raised and rooted in the 37th. I am a mother, I'm a grandmother, and a daughter of this district. Ever since I was a teen, I've been doing advocacy and community organizing - really seeing firsthand in real time that failed War on Drugs that is still continuing now, really seeing the devastation in my community. It was at that time that I said I want to bring healing, restoration, and resources back to the community. So my vision is healthy families and healthy communities, and in doing so, we have to look at multiple issues - prioritizing housing, fully funding education, pre-K, health equity, and really centering racial justice. I just want to highlight very briefly some sole endorsers within the 37th - Senator Saldaña, Girmay Zahilay - our King County Councilmember, Tammy Morales, Andrew Lewis, Kim-Khánh - thank you so much. [00:05:58] Crystal Fincher: Thank you so much. Chipalo Street. [00:06:01] Chipalo Street: Good evening. I'm an innovative problem solver, and I've been giving back to the South Seattle community for 15 years. We have some really pressing issues facing us, and we need to send a proven leader to Olympia to solve them. Housing prices are out of control, and it's displacing generational families and making renters pay more of their paycheck to skyrocketing rents. People are struggling to make ends meet, and the pandemic has only made this worse. The recovery, or so-called recovery from the pandemic, hasn't been felt evenly by all of us, and we need to protect working people so that we all come out of the pandemic better than we went into it. The pandemic's also made our schools worse and exacerbated existing issues. Just recently, Black and Brown kids tested three and a half levels behind their counterparts, and I want to make sure that all kids have a great public education system like the one that I went through. So I'm glad to be here tonight, and I'm honored to discuss how we move this district forward. [00:07:01] Crystal Fincher: Thank you so much. Also, it's a useful reminder that while you do have 90 seconds to answer, you aren't obligated to always take 90 seconds. Feel free to take it if you want to, but you will not be penalized for finishing early if you desire. So now, we will move on to the lightning round - making sure you both have your paddles in hand and ready. All right, we've got a number of questions to go through. So we will start talking about homelessness and housing. First question, are there any instances where you would support sweeps of homeless encampments? Yes or No? Looks like Emijah is waffling there, or landed on No. And we have Chipalo with No. Next question, will you vote to end single-family zoning to address housing affordability? Chipalo says Yes. Emijah says No. Would you vote to end the statewide ban on rent control and let localities decide whether they want to implement it? Emijah says Yes, as does Chipalo. Will you vote in favor of Seattle's social housing initiative, I-135? Both Emijah and Chipalo say Yes. Do you favor putting 400 additional units of housing and services for the unhoused in the CID? We've got a waffle with Emijah and a No with Chipalo. Do you rent your residence? [00:08:52] Chipalo Street: Sorry - as in, do I - am I a renter? [00:08:55] Crystal Fincher: Yes, are you renters? Both say No. Do you own your residence? Mortgage or outright. Chipalo and Emijah both say Yes. Are you a landlord? Emijah says No. Chipalo says Yes. In public safety, would you vote for a law ending long-term solitary confinement? Both say Yes. Would you vote for a law prohibiting traffic stops by armed law enforcement officers for low-level non-moving violations such as vehicle registrations and equipment failure? Both say Yes. Do you support establishing an independent prosecutor for cases of criminal conduct arising from police-involved deaths? Both say Yes. Do you support investments in the ShotSpotter police surveillance tool? Yep, it is in Mayor Harrell's budget that he just announced - so both say Yes. Do you think police should be in schools? Both say No. Would you vote to provide universal health care to every Washington resident? Both say Yes. The Legislature just passed a law that will cap insulin costs at $35 per month. Would you vote to expand price caps to other commonly used drugs? Both say Yes. Will you vote to ensure that trans and non-binary students are allowed to play on the sports teams that fit with their gender identities? Emijah waffled and Chipalo says Yes. [00:10:58] Emijah Smith: I waffle but I say Yes. [00:10:59] Crystal Fincher: Emijah waffles but she says Yes. For people wishing to change their name to match their gender, do you support removing the cost and need to see a judge for legal processing, name changes, and gender marker changes? Both say Yes. Will you vote in favor of an anti-extradition law that protects queer people, including children and their families, who flee to Washington from states where their gender-affirming care is punishable by law? Both candidates say Yes. Will you vote to increase funding for charter schools? Both Emijah and Chipalo say No. Will you vote for continued investments in anti-racism training for staff and students in Washington schools? Both candidates say Yes. Washington is facing a school staffing crisis and a funding crisis, especially with special education. Will you vote to increase funding in both of these areas? Both say Yes. Will you vote to enact a universal basic income in Washington? Both candidates say Yes. Our state has one of the most regressive tax codes in the country, meaning lower-income people pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the ultra-wealthy. In addition to the capital gains tax, will you vote for a wealth tax? Both candidates say Yes. Will you vote for any bill that increases highway expansion? Chipalo says Yes and Emijah is waffling. Would you vote to allocate state dollars to help accelerate the delivery of Sound Transit and other regional rail projects? Would you vote to allocate state dollars to help accelerate the delivery of Sound Transit and other regional rail projects? Both candidates say Yes. Will you vote to enact state investments and updating homes with more environmentally friendly utilities? Both say Yes. Have you taken transit in the past week? Chipalo says Yes. Emijah says no. Have you taken transit in the past month? Chipalo says Yes. Emijah says her family has, but not her personally, so that's a No. Elections. Potential changes in the way people vote for elections in the City of Seattle will be on the November ballot. Will you vote in favor of changing the system in Seattle elections? Both candidates say Yes. Will you vote in favor of ranked choice voting for Seattle elections? Both candidates say Yes. Will you vote in favor of approval voting for Seattle elections? You can only vote for one. So both candidates say No. Will you vote to move local elections from odd years to even years to significantly increase voter turnout? Chipalo and Emijah say Yes. In 2021, did you vote for Bruce Harrell? Emijah says Yes. Chipalo says No. In 2021, did you vote for Lorena González? Emijah says No. Chipalo says Yes. Did you vote in the general election in 2021? Emijah says Yes. Chipalo says Yes. In 2021, did you vote for Nicole Thomas-Kennedy for Seattle City Attorney? Emijah and Chipalo say Yes. Will you be voting for Julie Anderson for Secretary of State? Correct - she's running against Steve Hobbs. That is correct. Both candidates say No. Will you be voting for Steve Hobbs for Secretary of State? Both candidates say Yes. Will you be voting for Leesa Manion for King County Prosecutor? Both candidates say Yes. And that means that you will be voting No - you will not be voting Yes for Jim Ferrell. Correct - both candidates will not be voting for Jim Ferrell. Have you ever been a member of a union? Both candidates say Yes. Will you vote to increase funding and staffing for investigations into labor violations like wage theft and illegal union busting? Chipalo and Emijah both say Yes. Have you ever walked on a picket line? Both say Yes. Have you ever crossed a picket line? Both candidates say No. Is your campaign unionized? Both candidates say No. If your campaign staff wants to unionize, will you voluntarily recognize their effort? Both candidates say Yes. That concludes our lightning round. Thank you very much for that - helps to level set for the open-ended questions, but before we get to those, each candidate will have 90 seconds to explain anything you want about any of your answers. We will start with Chipalo. [00:16:40] Chipalo Street: Sure. I think the only one that I would like to explain is expansion of highways. The reason I answered Yes to that is the qualifier of is there any reason that I would do that. In general, no, I do not support the expansion of highways. However, if it is to help freight mobility that helps our unions, then that would be something that I would consider. If it comes back to our economy and helping union jobs, then we should definitely consider that. But in general, no, I would not vote to expand highways. [00:17:10] Crystal Fincher: And Emijah? [00:17:11] Emijah Smith: So I think there was a couple of questions there that I waffled on. And for me, when it comes - because I center racial justice - I'm an anti-racist organizer, I have to always look at what are the unintentional consequences of any decisions that's made. So there's this yes or no - we have to bring context into the conversation. So if it unintentionally or intentionally causes more inequities and more harm to people of color and those marginalized, I have to look more deeply into that before I could just say a quick, simple yes or no. So I just want to share why there might have been a waffle there. And also, if I don't fully understand something and I need to learn a little bit more and lean into community organizations and lean into the community - we talked about the ID - that's a very diverse community, they're not a monolith. So if there's an issue that's happening in the ID, I need to lean and learn from that community before I just make a decision as a legislator to do so. So I definitely - my style, my servant leadership is definitely to listen from community, learn from community, and be accountable to community. So I don't just do yes or no. Thank you. [00:18:13] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. So now we'll start the open answers portion. Our candidates will get 90 seconds to answer each question and they may be engaged with rebuttal or follow up questions and will have 30 seconds to respond. So starting out - in the Dobbs decision that obliterated the right to abortion - in Justice Thomas's concurring opinion, he identified decisions he felt should be re-evaluated after their ruling in Dobbs, cases that established our right to same-sex marriage, rights to contraception, and rights to sexual privacy. What can our State Legislature do to proactively protect these rights? Emijah? [00:18:55] Emijah Smith: Thank you for the question. And I definitely do not agree with the decision that was made. I think as state legislators and state leaders that we have to go directly and correct our Constitution to prevent these type of things from happening. Washington does a lot of talk. I think that our community, particularly in the 37th, is really intentional about our racial equity and about equity overall and fairness and all the great words. But we have to be actionable about that. And so putting something in the written language in our Constitution, we have to move in that direction. And I believe that our legislature for this 2023 session will be centering and very active around the Roe v. Wade and the Dobbs decision. [00:19:36] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Chipalo? [00:19:38] Chipalo Street: Yeah, what I found interesting about Justice Thomas's dissent or concurrence was that he did not also include same or biracial marriage into his writing, even though that is based on the same logic of the other cases. Ironically, he is in a multiracial marriage. So the hypocrisy there, I don't think is lost on anyone. And I'm a product of a multiracial marriage - and so making sure that these rights are protected is deeply important to me. In terms of gay marriage, I am glad that we have a strong legislature and that passed marriage equality. In terms of Roe, I think we should fund clinics to take care of the increased traffic that we'll see in our state from the states that have - around us - that have banned abortion. I have background in technology. I would love to make sure that our data isn't used to go after people searching abortions or providing abortions. There's plenty of providers who provide telehealth. And if they are consulting with someone across state lines into a state that has banned abortion, I would be super scared about whether I could be sued, whether my data could be subpoenaed, if I could lose my license. And so making sure that we protect our data and protect our providers, I think, is paramount. Also making sure that we have security around our clinics - just as we'll have more traffic from people looking for abortions, we'll have more traffic from people protesting abortions. So those are some of the things that I would do to protect gay rights and the women's reproductive rights. [00:21:12] Crystal Fincher: And I just want to circle back to one thing for both of you in a 30-second rebuttal. Specifically when it comes to contraception, is there anything that strikes either of you - we'll start with Emijah - that you think the Legislature could do to help ensure and guarantee access and availability? [00:21:31] Emijah Smith: Well, definitely education. I definitely think that we need to ensure and continue to make sure that we're educating our youth in schools and making - contraception needs to be available. It needs to be available to all birthing parents, but we also need to make sure that we are including and not fighting to have education for our youth to understand sex education. And so that's been a big deal before the Roe V Wade issue had came up, so I'm a supporter of making sure our families are talking to each other, because this is a family issue. It's not just a woman's issue. It's not just anyone's issue. It's an issue about our bodies and our rights of what we want to do. [00:22:06] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Thank you very much. And Chipalo? [00:22:08] Chipalo Street: Yeah, I agree. Education is a big part of this. Funding is also another part. Making sure that contraception is available to anyone who wants it. Making sure that preventative medications like PrEP is available to anyone who wants it as well - that goes a little bit past reproductive rights and into sexual rights for our folks, but making sure that it's just available to everyone, I think, is very important. [00:22:31] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. Next question. What will you do when you're - [00:22:35] Emijah Smith: We need some call and response in here - this is, you know - [00:22:40] Crystal Fincher: What'd you say? [00:22:40] Emijah Smith: I need some call and response. We in the 37th, we are very diverse - this is how we move, so I'm just - go ahead, sorry. [00:22:48] Crystal Fincher: What will you do in your capacity as a state legislator to help small local businesses? Chipalo? [00:22:55] Chipalo Street: So, I'm a small business owner myself and I understand the problems of balancing books, the stress that the pandemic has put on different small business owners. And so - number one, making sure that when we look around at other types of businesses - like we have incubators for tech businesses, we have incubators in high-tech businesses. Why don't we have incubators for smaller businesses, for communities of color? Access to capital is one of the issues that holds businesses back - where I think we saw in the video - the guy who founded WeWork completely did a scam and then got another $350 million to go start Lord knows what. So making sure that we have access to capital in community is really important. Working with organizations like Tabor 100, who provide incubation-type services is really important. And then working to make sure that our communities foster businesses - so for example, businesses that are in walkable and bikeable areas get more traffic. Not only will that increase business to those businesses, it will also get us towards a greener climate future if we have an environment and community that encourages us to get out of single-occupancy vehicles. [00:24:11] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Emijah? [00:24:11] Emijah Smith: Thank you. I am a member of Tabor 100. And one thing I've learned - I've been a member for a number of years - is oftentimes the resources only go to a couple of places, right? So a lot of our small businesses are pop-ups. So a lot of, even through COVID, the money that's coming from the federal government or from our local government agencies are not making it to the small businesses. Similar to what Chipalo was saying, you need capital to even get a loan, but also the money that was coming to support the businesses, it wasn't reaching those businesses. It seems like the same million dollar companies, people who always were getting the money kept getting the money. And also, when I think about the displacement that's happening in our community, I would like to see some restrictions or some policy that is not targeting our small businesses in neighborhoods or communities that have been historically gentrified and displaced. Similarly like the Central District, but all throughout the 37th - all the constant building could be harming - it has harmed our communities, most marginalized, but it also, in some ways, makes it harder for them to start up and rebuild. So there's education and awareness. Sometimes small businesses do not find out about the funding until it's too late. And so I'm hearing from business owners all the time about they're seeing, they feel like it's a scam. They feel like even though they've had some opportunity to try to start something up in cOVID, that it's gonna go away. It's gonna be the same old, same old people getting it all the time, the same status quo. So we gotta figure something out. We have some small business owners here in the neighborhood. Even in my campaign, I learned, the small businesses cannot unionize because it costs so much money. We should be figuring out a way to make sure our small businesses can get themselves the access in the door. [00:25:49] Crystal Fincher: And that is time. [00:25:50] Emijah Smith: You said we can keep going. It wasn't a penalty, correct? [00:25:53] Crystal Fincher: No, the red is stop. [00:25:55] Emijah Smith: Okay. [00:25:56] Crystal Fincher: You get a 10-second sign. That 10-second sign is like, okay, we gotta wrap up. [00:26:00] Emijah Smith: Well, thank you very much. That's call and response. I just want to say that I definitely value our small businesses. I stay aware and I try to stay connected as much as possible. And I would do any and everything I could in my role as a legislator to make sure that those investments are being made in our small business community, particularly the 37th and people of color. Thank you. [00:26:18] Crystal Fincher: Okay. Chipalo. [00:26:21] Chipalo Street: Oh, sorry. Do we - I think we took a fair amount of time. [00:26:24] Crystal Fincher: Oh, yeah, we just did. Sorry. [00:26:25] Chipalo Street: I didn't necessarily have a rebuttal there. [00:26:26] Crystal Fincher: Okay. Next question. Washington State has seen an explosion of traffic violence in the last two years with an extraordinarily disparate impact on those who live in our districts - the 37th district. For example, there are major Sound Transit investments coming online in the district at Judkins Park that are surrounded by unsafe freeway entrances on Rainier Avenue. It's not if, but when that folks in the 37th will be injured or killed by cars at that station entrance. And I should clarify, this is an audience question submitted before. What will you do as a member of the legislature to ensure that our streets are safe for pedestrians and cyclists? Emijah? [00:27:07] Emijah Smith: I appreciate that question. Living here in the 37th, living here near MLK where the light rail has been placed on top, when the community organized to have that light rail put underground. And the community won that fight, but with promises of housing and business investments and all the things that did not happen from Sound Transit, we have it on top. And so there's been - I see, oftentimes, those accidents. I see those fatalities. My heart goes out to the family of the mother who was killed at the Mount Baker station. I knew her before she was a mother. So these things are near and dear to my heart. When I think about traffic safety, I think that we have the data - Sound Transit does. They have the data that we should be - as things are being built and created, they should be co-designed with community, and then we should be making decisions while we're implementing these light rail stations, these new highways, whatever, it's not a highway, but these new ramps. All that should be taken into consideration in the beginning because the lives that are being lost mainly are BIPOC lives, Black and Indigenous people. And so our lives are being sacrificed for something that we never even asked for here in South Seattle. But I also want to think about traffic safety. I think about when our young Black men, who are the most targeted to even get on Sound Transit, being harassed because they're looking for ID or for payment - that to me is a safety issue. That's why oftentimes you may see me driving or driving my children somewhere because it's a safety issue because they may be harassed by the police, as well as those who tend to cycle. [00:28:41] Crystal Fincher: That is time. [00:28:42] Emijah Smith: Thank you. [00:28:43] Crystal Fincher: I just want to double check just to be clear. So we got that yellow 30-second sign, the orange one - okay. [00:28:50] Emijah Smith: Thank you. [00:28:51] Crystal Fincher: Cool. Chipalo. [00:28:53] Chipalo Street: So bike and pedestrian safety is something that I lived on a daily basis. Before the pandemic, I tried to bike to work from the CD all the way to Microsoft two times a week. And that exposed me to some very nice bike trails, but also some very dangerous streets. And so if I'm elected into the legislature, I would want to make sure that we have a comprehensive network of connectivity. So regardless of what type of transportation network it is, it needs to be connected. We built a monorail from downtown to the stadium - like Climate Pledge - that doesn't do much. For a long time, our two streetcar networks weren't interconnected, which means people didn't want to use it. So we need to make sure that all of our infrastructure is connected. We need to invest in bike transit and infrastructure. And this is particularly important to the 37th, because we have two of the most dangerous streets in Rainier Ave and MLK Way, 40% of the injuries there are pedestrian. And I think this is a place where we can, I mentioned before, find a win-win with business, because businesses that are in bikeable and pedestrian-friendly areas get more business. So I believe this is a way that we can build a coalition around fixing the problem of safe streets in the 37th. And it's also an issue for our kids, because we have 10 or 11 schools that are on both of those two most dangerous streets. So we can make sure that our kids are safer today as well. [00:30:22] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. Next question. One of the biggest things we can do publicly to fight the spread of all airborne illnesses, including COVID and the cold and flu, as well as protect against poor air quality days because of wildfires - which we've seen over the past few weeks - is to improve ventilation and filtration in public buildings. What will you do to ensure that public buildings, including schools in the 37th district, meet recommended air circulation and filtration standards for good health? Chipalo? [00:30:57] Chipalo Street: To me, that sounds like a question - if I could be appointed to the Capital Budget, where we have the power to change our physical infrastructure. I would love to set aside money for that. When I look at committee assignments, we can start all the great programs that we want, but if we don't fund them correctly, they will not have the desired outcome. So making sure that whoever comes from this district gets put on Appropriations or gets put on Capital Budget is really important so that we can bring the money back to the district to make sure that it is used in community to make us better. [00:31:30] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Emijah? [00:31:32] Emijah Smith: Thank you. In my experience being in Olympia, we can make the decision. So Senator Saldaña, of course, is leading the HEAL Act - that's an environmental justice issue, but it's about implementation. So it's easy - it's one thing to put in a law, then you do have to fund the law, but you also have to implement it. So when it comes down to the other municipalities locally, sometimes they're stuck. So we have to make sure we're following the legislation all the way down to the community or to the district that you want and make sure that it's being implemented in a way, in a timely fashion as well - not three years, four years, five years down the line, but immediately. That should be part of the planning. So of course we have to fund it, but if we're not able to implement it, it's just words. So I would like, in my leadership role, is to make sure that there's language in the bill that makes it more accessible to our municipalities so that they can actually do something about it. If you put in the bill and it can't be ambiguous, it needs to be really focused and maybe restricted funding to air quality in the schools, rather than just saying, Here's some money to your school for air quality. Because they'll use that money any way that they choose to use it if the legislature does not direct them with restricted funding. So I would target it. Thank you. [00:32:48] Chipalo Street: Can I provide an example of how we would do that? [00:32:51] Crystal Fincher: I will give you both 30 seconds to rebut. Go ahead, Chipalo. [00:32:53] Chipalo Street: So a good example of how we can do that and how that has been built into some of the laws that have been passed is - recently, we passed the cap and trade bill. And one of the things I liked about that bill is that it built equity into it, so 30% of the funds that are created from the cap and trade go back to investment in BIPOC communities and an additional 10% go into investment in our Native nations. So that is a source of revenue that we could use to improve air quality in our schools and I think aligns to the point of that funding. [00:33:26] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Emijah? [00:33:28] Emijah Smith: Yeah, my follow-up with that would be - I just want to also say I'm solely endorsed by the Washington Conservation Voters. So they're looking at this issue across - and so I would definitely, again, lean into the organizations and to the leaders to help direct being a servant leader into doing this work. But nevertheless, what I have found in my experience - when there's a law passed - it takes the community to still apply the pressure on the entities and organizations to make something happen. So I have that experience, that organizing experience, and building those partnerships on the ground level to make sure it's being implemented. Because once they move it from the state, the state lets their hands go. So they need more guidance and direction, and that direction needs to come from community. Thank you. [00:34:09] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. Next question. How will people tangibly feel your impact as their legislator? What is one concrete thing that people will be able to see is different by the end of your term should you be elected? Emijah? [00:34:28] Emijah Smith: So are you asking what has been done already or what you plan to do going forward? [00:34:31] Crystal Fincher: No - if you are elected, what will people see is different by the end of your term than it is right now? [00:34:38] Emijah Smith: I think people will continue to see - at least for me - they'll see a continuation of the work. It's not something I'll start to do, it's something I will continue to do. So first and foremost, I think, doing racially justice-centered justice reform work - and that's all interconnected. So when I think about our healthcare and the doulas, the doulas have been seen as a medical profession led by Kirsten Harris-Talley, but we need to put money in the budget to make sure that they're being reimbursed for their services. I think in these two years - that you will see that that definitely happens. My granddaughter was born during COVID. My daughter almost lost her life during that birth. It is a well-known fact that Black women are three times as likely to lose their life during childbirth. So having a doula, having somebody there with culturally relevant care will make sure that the lives are not being lost. In addition to that, I am a board member of the Tubman Health Center - this is another place - making sure that we have capital investments to make sure that we create a clinic that is going to center Black and Indigenous community and bring culturally relevant care, and that will also serve our LGBTQ community. That's something that you will see, I believe, and I strongly believe within the next two years as a representative, if I am honored to earn your vote. Thank you. [00:36:00] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Chipalo? [00:36:03] Chipalo Street: So technology has been changing our lives from the way we communicate, to the way we move about the city, to how we get health care, or even go about banking. And I'm excited to bring my expertise in the tech industry to make sure that technology opens doors for all of us, but also prevent technology from rolling back the rights that we have. So I mentioned earlier that one of the first things I would do is work to make sure that our data is protected so that it can't be used to go for people looking for abortions or providing abortions - that is something I would start with. And then continue to do the work that I have done in the tech space. When I got out to Seattle, I volunteer taught computer science at a school in South Seattle. We started with a Intro to Computer Science program and then over six years built it up to an Advanced Placement program. So I would make sure that we distribute the wealth of tech to make sure that everyone in this community can take part in the industry that's been changing our region. The 37th has also been a strong supporter of kinship care, and so I would build on the work that Eric Pettigrew has done to make sure that kinship care and kinship providers are funded at the same rate as a foster care parent. [00:37:12] Emijah Smith: May I follow up? [00:37:13] Crystal Fincher: You may. I'll give you both 30 seconds to follow up. [00:37:16] Emijah Smith: Thank you. I, first and foremost, want to say that I would love to learn the school that you served, 'cause I think that's a wonderful thing that you've done. But just being a resident in the 37th and living in South Seattle for a number of years, it's important for me to know what school you're mentioning. Also with regard to kinship care, I've held relationships throughout the years with our grandmothers for taking care of their kids every single day. And so there has been a gap of care and service for our kinship care program once Representative, our former representative, Eric Pettigrew had stepped back. [00:37:50] Crystal Fincher: And that is time. [00:37:50] Emijah Smith: So I've been in relationship with the community and I am definitely going to continue to serve that community. Thank you. [00:37:56] Crystal Fincher: Chipalo? [00:37:57] Chipalo Street: So the school is Technology Access Foundation - it was started by Trish. When I was working there, it started on Rainier Ave - right on Rainier and Genesee - and now they have bought a building down a little farther south in South Seattle. So it is a very well-known technology - [00:38:14] Emijah Smith: It's not a school. [00:38:14] Chipalo Street: Excuse me? [00:38:15] Emijah Smith: It's not a school. [00:38:16] Chipalo Street: Technology Access Foundation is a school. Technology Access Academy is the school. [00:38:21] Emijah Smith: Yeah, it's not in South Seattle. And actually they started right up here. [00:38:24] Chipalo Street: It started on Rainier Ave. [00:38:26] Emijah Smith: But - [00:38:26] Crystal Fincher: Let's allow Chipalo to complete his answer. [00:38:28] Emijah Smith: Okay. [00:38:29] Chipalo Street: So, okay - [00:38:29] Emijah Smith: I just wanted - [00:38:29] Chipalo Street: Technology Access Foundation is the foundation that started Technology Access foundation Academy, which is a school that started on Rainier Ave - which is in the 37th - and then was moved down farther south, which is still South Seattle, and serves people who have been displaced in the 37th. So it is still serving our community. I served there for six years, which is a long time, to go from a start of an Intro to Computer Science to an Advanced Placement Computer Science program. [00:38:58] Emijah Smith: I just want to - [00:38:58] Crystal Fincher: And we'll call that at time, and that is the rebuttal time that is there - [00:39:00] Emijah Smith: Okay, but they're not a school though and my daughter went to TAF Academy -. [00:39:03] Crystal Fincher: Emijah, please respect the time limits. [00:39:06] Emijah Smith: We're going to center time, or we're going to center the issues that are really in the 37th. I live in the 37th. I raised my daughter here next door. [00:39:13] Crystal Fincher: I have a question from a resident in the 37th that I'm going to ask. [00:39:16] Emijah Smith: Okay, I'll be respectful, but I also want us to bring - let's bring the real issues forward. [00:39:21] Crystal Fincher: So how would you help address the affordable housing crisis? Starting with Chipalo. [00:39:27] Chipalo Street: So when I think about housing, I think about three buckets of issues. This is something that we hear at every door when we go out and canvass. We were just talking to an elderly gentleman who is part of - he was a state employee, and so he has one of the oldest pensions, but we have not funded that pension so that he cannot keep up with the rising housing prices. So when I think of housing, I think of how do we stop harm, how do we get more units on the market, and how do we tide ourselves to the way there. So stopping harm looks like anti-displacement measures, so making sure that seniors can afford the rising taxes, making sure that - right now what we have is we allow seniors to defer taxes, but once they die, then they have to pay all of those back taxes, which essentially forces a family to sell the house, unless you have $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 lying around. We also need to increase renter protections - landlords can do some crazy things. Even though I'm a landlord myself, I live that business through progressive values, so we can't allow felons to be disqualified from having housing. I have a tenant who's a felon, he's one of my best tenants. We should lift the ban on rental control, we should - rent control statewide. We should limit the types of fees that a landlord can charge their tenants. In terms of long-term measures, we need to invest in low-income housing through the Housing Trust Fund. We need to figure out something about workforce housing because even two teachers who are underpaid already - if they're living together, they can't afford housing in the district - and we need to invest in mass transit to increase density around it to get us towards a greener climate future and have more houses. [00:41:04] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Emijah? [00:41:05] Emijah Smith: Thank you. So what I've been doing and currently been doing is really - with community members, locked arms, going to Olympia, going to our state-level Washington Housing and Finance Commission - and demanding that they release the funds in our community. So what I have done with community, because it's a team effort, is to release the funds to make sure Africatown Plaza has been funded. Community development for us by us - the Elizabeth Thomas Homes of Rainier Beach, the Ethiopian Village here in South Seattle - these are all housing developments - low-income, stable housing opportunities in the 37th. That's one thing. The second thing is - I agree - lift the ban on rent control on the state level. Number two is definitely providing increasing - no, lowering the income level for seniors to qualify for these tax deferments. I've talked to multiple seniors who are living on Social Security and who cannot qualify for King County's tax exemptions or deferments, and so that's a hardship on our seniors. In addition to that, I do agree with middle housing, but what I want to see is that we're not continuing to displace community as we're bringing more density in. We need to be more equitable and look at the houses in the communities on the north side of the Montlake Bridge - let them carry some of the weight of some of the housing developments, because what we don't want to do is continue to keep displacing folks. But I've been doing the real work - I sit on coalitions that are looking to remove the barriers for felons or any person who's just trying to rent. But rent should not be our goal - home ownership is the goal in order to create generational wealth. Thank you. [00:42:41] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. Next question - from the audience. What is the State Legislature's role and responsibility on digital equity and addressing the digital divide? Emijah? [00:42:54] Emijah Smith: This is a multi-pronged question or answer and solution, because it's around making sure that our kids' education is fully funded. Because in order to close the digital divide, which I have done and supported as a co-convener of the Black Community Impact Alliance. We have just recently did our open house in the William Grose Center - that is a hub to make sure that we have a think tank and provide opportunities for our youth for the tech world. But that took community building, going to the City's office to get the land transferred - that took organizing. It also means you have to make sure that our children are prepared for kindergarten and making sure their reading and their math is on par at third grade. Making sure our freshmen are finishing their freshman year. So really being an advocate in Seattle Public Schools, making sure the strategic plan and the resources are going to those furthest from educational justice. That's what I do in real time. But the William Grose Center is what the community locked arms and myself as a leadership on co-convening the Black Community Impact Alliance - that's what we've done for the digital divide. And my children have benefited from the opportunities from coding, from change makers, from all the different things that our public schools do not offer. And our school system needs to be fully funded, particularly making sure those who are receiving special education services get a real opportunity - because you can't close the divide if you're dropping out of school or they're sending our kids to prison. You can't get the opportunity if you're not graduating. So that's my goal - is to make sure that we're fully funding our education and utilizing our education system and doing community building at the same time to make sure we're closing this. Thank you. [00:44:32] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. Chipalo? [00:44:35] Chipalo Street: Yeah, I agree. There's a ton that we can do for education. I'll speak specifically about what we can do to close the digital divide. It's crazy to think that more than 50% of our students aren't competent in math and sciences - that is just plain scary. And we have to change that. And that's in high school. And so we have to make sure that we improve our STEM education. We have to make sure that we do public-private partnerships to bring tech education into our junior highs and high schools. It's an embarrassment that we have so many resources here in this area, but yet our tech education lags behind many other places in the country and the world. When we also look at STEM and tech, we can't only afford to have people getting a good job out of tech. We need multiple ways for people to get good jobs. So to me, that looks like creating pipelines to the trades. For too long, we've sort of said, Oh, you went into the trades because you can't hack college. No, you went into the trades maybe because you like to work with your hands, or you want a job that can't get offshored, or you want dependable hours - two of my best friends went through four-year college, got jobs, hated them, came back, became journeymen electricians, get paid more than those jobs that they had going to college. One's about to start a business. And so making sure that the trades are a respected option for our kids is important, just like it should be an option to go into technology. And then we should also fund free two-year college. Free four-year college is great - we should definitely get there. However, we need to start with free two-year college, just like the Seattle Promise, because 50% of Seattle graduating seniors applied for that, and 1,000 took part in it. [00:46:09] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. [00:46:10] Emijah Smith: Can I follow-up? [00:46:11] Crystal Fincher: I'll give you 30 seconds each for a rebuttal - go ahead. [00:46:13] Emijah Smith: Thank you. I just wanted to also add - on the state level - that determines the college-bound scholarship money, right? And right now, it's saying you need to have at least a 2.7 GPA - it keeps going up every year. But also is saying that a young person cannot have a felony on their record. And so I really, truly want to get that removed, because how are we going to expect our youth to graduate and get to these opportunities, but we're already setting them back because they made a mistake? And we understand the brain science and the development there is that their brains are not fully matured. So we're kind of setting them up for failure, so that's another place I would like to work on. [00:46:49] Crystal Fincher: Thank you - Chipalo? [00:46:50] Chipalo Street: She's right. And it shouldn't only be our youth, it should be our brothers and sisters getting out of jail. We should not be limiting the professional licenses that people getting out of jail can attain. And then we should also make sure that University of Washington is funded with the Allen School. We have great resources there - or teachers and staff - but we don't have the resources to scale it out the way we would like to. [00:47:13] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Another audience question. Crime has been increasing across the state, and people are concerned about their safety and whether the right things are being done to address current levels of property and violent crime. Given that the Legislature has already voted to increase public safety funding, largely devoted to policing and prisons, do you feel that we need to invest more in that area, or would you also take a different approach? And we are starting with Chipalo. [00:47:45] Chipalo Street: So I think we need to think about public safety comprehensively as more than just police. This is something that is near and dear to my heart. When I was at Brown, we had an open campus - me and my best friend were walking around campus onto a public street and Brown police came and asked me and my friend for our IDs. I didn't do anything wrong, so I continued to walk. My friend stopped, told him who I was, showed him his ID, but that didn't stop Brown police from calling out for backup. Providence police got that call, caught up with me and beat me so badly that they had to take me to the hospital before they took me to jail. Despite that experience, I still think police are part of public safety, but we have to be able to hold the police force accountable, or we're not going to have trust with the police force. I want to work with them to make sure that we set them up for success, so that we are sending a mental health counselor out to mental health crises - because they are trained to deal with these situations - and the person receiving a service will get a better service than sending three or four cops. We don't need cops in schools, we need counselors in schools. And so I think if we think more comprehensively about public safety, then we'll get better outcomes for the community and a better relationship with the police force. We should also fund like violence preventer programs. We should get guns off the streets - one of the sad things about gun violence prevention is that there are very, very common sense gun laws that 60, 70, 80 percent of people agree on. However, federal legislators can't get their act together, so we need to make sure that those laws pass here in our state. [00:49:14] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Emijah? [00:49:16] Emijah Smith: Thank you. When I think about public safety, I think about community safety - it's not just a conversation just about what the police are doing in community. It's also about how does the community feel safe - with the police. So there has to be an accountability conversation. So on the King County Community Safety Violence Prevention Task Force that I've served on, really it came down - of all their research and all their conversations and co-design - it really came down to families needing their basic needs met. Housing, education, food security, the basic needs - they believe that that's what it's gonna take to really bring prevention. So our state has already been working at some things with regard to guns and taking, looking at how many bullets, a clip - I don't know, got so many words coming - reducing how many bullets that you can have. I think that we need to make sure that every person who gets a gun needs to have a class - similar, if you want to get your driver's license, you need to learn how to drive - we need to learn how to use a firearm. You also need to make sure that it is locked up. Again, I am solely endorsed by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. So community safety, also - we need to look at the funding that's coming from the State Department - so there's federal money that was brought down to the state, they've started a new division. We need to work with that division to make sure that it's meaningful in the 37th, because the 37th has different issues. We're not looking at machine guns and going into the schools in that way. What we're looking at is handguns that we gotta get removed and get them off the street. Thank you. [00:50:53] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. Next question - from the audience. Washington State funds only about half of what Seattle Public Schools spends on special education and only about one-third of what Seattle Public Schools spends on multilingual education. What is your commitment to fully fund public schools, particularly special education and multilingual education, and how would you get that done? Starting with Emijah. [00:51:20] Emijah Smith: We gotta get out, we gotta go on the state level, we have to be loud and proud, and we have to make sure that the funding is fully funded. Of course, special education is not being resourced. Our special education students tend to be the main students that are getting pushed into the prison pipeline. So I am definitely gonna be loud and proud up there to make sure that that occurs, because we can't waver there. But Seattle Public Schools is also advocating to our state legislators right now, because the issue is that there was a tweak in the formula - that Seattle Public Schools is not getting as much money that it needs, but we also want to make sure our teachers are getting livable wages. And so it's coming to a point that if something's not addressed and more funding doesn't come into the education system, then maybe the public education here at Seattle Public Schools may falter. They're not sure what to do, teachers may go onto a strike. So we will have to figure it out, and we're gonna have to figure it out without taking away our children's basic needs - we should not be taking healthcare out of our schools, we should not be taking our social workers and mental health counselors away from our students. We have to do all the things, and we just have to figure it out and get creative. There are some great leaders there around education, but I'm a fierce advocate as well, and I don't think we should leave any student behind, especially those who are receiving special education services. Thank you. [00:52:34] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Chipalo? [00:52:35] Chipalo Street: So currently there's a funding cap on how much Seattle Public Schools gets reimbursed for special education funding, and if we were to remove that, Seattle Public Schools would get another $100 million that it would be able to put towards that. That is just a start. We - McCleary got us closer to funding education, but we do not fully fund it, and this becomes a revenue issue. Washington State has the most regressive tax code in the whole country, despite how progressive and liberal that we claim we are. We need to make sure that every corporation and person pays their fair share - so that looks like closing corporate tax loopholes, making sure that we keep our capital gains tax, which is - the revenue from that is used to fund early education, which is a necessary part of the education system - and then also implementing a wealth tax. Personally, I would prefer an income tax because an income tax is - you can withhold that. It's been tried before, we know how to implement that - however, there are constitutional issues with that. So in lieu of an income tax, we should be able to try a billionaire tax. And the thing that gives me hope is while things get stymied on the federal level, we've seen localities and states try out new things, and so maybe this is something that we can pilot here in the state, and at the end of the day, a billionaire tax and an income tax aren't mutually exclusive. We can still work towards an income tax, even if we have a billionaire tax. [00:53:58] Emijah Smith: May I follow-up? [00:53:59] Crystal Fincher: Yep. You each can have 30 seconds. [00:54:02] Emijah Smith: Thank you. What I want to share is that our community - I agree - Washington has the worst tax setup and structure. And we have been, in Washington State, been trying to bring forth initiatives multiple times to the state to address this issue so that we can make our wealth more equitable. And our community members and residents and citizens have been voting it down. So I'm thinking with this inflation, with the impact of COVID - but now it could be a really great time that more of our citizens and our residents will see that this is really necessary and will vote in their best interest instead of voting it away. Thank you. As well as our legislators making a move in our best interest. [00:54:43] Crystal Fincher: Chipalo? [00:54:45] Chipalo Street: I'm good. [00:54:46] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. Next question. What is your connection to unincorporated Skyway? If elected, how will you support the development and investment in this neighborhood? Starting with Chipalo. [00:55:00] Chipalo Street: So if I was to be elected for this State Rep position, I would basically be one of three elected representatives for Skyway. So Skyway is unincorporated - that means it does not have a city council person to whom they can go for local issues. That basically means that myself, Representative Santos, Senator Saldaña and Councilman Zahilay would be the elected representatives for that area. So I would love to work with them in partnership to understand what development needs they would like to see. It was great to see that we went through a community budgeting process where folks were able to actually vote on how money was spent. And so supporting community involvement in how money is spent, making sure that we can advocate to get money set aside for Skyway because we know that it is not going to come through the City of Seattle, it's not going to come through the City of Renton. Those would be the ways that I would partner with the community to make sure that we develop it in a way that the community members see fit. [00:56:00] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. [00:56:01] Emijah Smith: Thank you. I love that question - yeah. So I'm connected with Skyway for the simple fact that I shop at Grocery Outlet, I get my taxes done over there, I patron the restaurants over there. My mom has recently moved, but had lived there for about 15 years - family's there, people use the post office there, banking there, utilizing the library there - Skyway is my community. And so that's my relationship. Second part to that question is - again, part of being Chief of Staff with King County Equity Now and just having relationships in that community - making sure that we got money from the state level to support Petah Village - early learning development, and also just the new outside - door - preschool, right? There's leadership there, there's expertise there, there's churches there, there's a nail shop - there's all the things that are near and dear to my heart, to be honest. That community is mine - not mine, but it's shared. I was on the Community Investment Budget Committee for King County's participatory budgeting to make sure that money was stored in a way that was definitely led by community members and getting the input from community members to see how they want to move that and looking to make sure that King County does it again in the future. So that was $10 million. We had a celebration about a few weeks ago, naming the projects that were funded. So yeah, this is near and dear to my heart - has been neglected, Skyway has been ignored. I'm thankful to King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, another sole endorser, for the leadership that he's had there, as well as Senator Saldaña, KHT - Kirsten Harris - I gotta stop, but all the legislators who have been pouring into that district. And let me shout out to Cynthia Green Home there - Center. [00:57:45] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. Another audience question. Will you use your position at elected office to uplift more progressive voices in the office? And that question goes to Emijah. [00:58:01] Emijah Smith: Will you repeat that please? [00:58:03] Crystal Fincher: Will you use your position in elected office to uplift more voices into office, and how will you do that? [00:58:09] Emijah Smith: Yes, most definitely. I see this opportunity as being a bridge builder, right? If I'm in Olympia, you'll have a space in Olympia. The work that I've done over the years has definitely been providing workshops, not only in my professional capacity but in my personal capacity, to make sure that our everyday people understand how a bill becomes a law, right? Also the nuances - how to effectively communicate with your legislators - how do I go into those spaces and really center racial justice, knowing that I am a descendant of stolen ones in this country? I can't go into those spaces and just talk A, B. I have to go in there and really give them the nuances, the impact of what it means to be a Black mother in this community and navigating these systems. So I share that expertise and I share that knowledge with others, as well as being a pTSA president - always constantly talking to families about how they can strengthen their partnerships with their teachers, strengthen their partnerships with their principals. That's just the natural work that I do. So in order to be successful in this role, I need the community to come along with me. I need y'all to be the wind behind my back and be in locked arms. That space is our space. That's my plan - if I'm there, they comin'. [00:59:18] Crystal Fincher: Thank you very much. [00:59:19] Emijah Smith: Thank you. [00:59:19] Crystal Fincher: Chipalo? [00:59:21] Chipalo Street: For sure. Building a pipeline of people to come after is something that I've always done in everything that I've done. So for example, when I got to Brown, I noticed that the pre-med students had a great support group to help other students of color get through pre-med, but we did not have that in the engineering. So I restarted our chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers so that we had a community to not only get us through, but also pull in the next class of freshmen and sophomores to get them through. I've continued to do that in Seattle. I serve on the board of a program called Institute for a Democratic Future where the goal is to increase the Democratic Party across the state. I loved that program when I went through it, but one of the reasons I joined the board was to make sure that we had more equity in the fellows and the board members. And in my six years, we have dramatically changed what the class makeup looks like, both racially but also geographically, so that we have a stronger Democratic Party across the state so that we can win in every district. And then on the board itself, we have drastically increased the number of people of color and women of color on the board. And we actually now have our first woman of color who is the Board Chair. So this is something that I've been doing in all aspects of my life - even at Microsoft, equity was a huge thing for me. I required that we interview a person of color or underrepresented minority for every opening on the team that I led, and we ended with a team of 40% people of color or underrepresented minorities. So yes, I would continue to do that in Olympia. [01:00:55] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. [01:00:55] Emijah Smith: Follow up, please. [01:00:57] Crystal Fincher: You can have 30 seconds - yes. [01:00:58] Emijah Smith: Yes - I also wanted to just include that - in my organizing and advocacy work, it's definitely bringing the youth along. My children have been in Olympia with me since they were in preschool - up there advocating for better school lunches - really understanding that process and understanding that they too, at one point, will be there in a leadership role. So I wanted to also include - it's not just - families include the children and includes the elders in that space. Thank you. [01:01:25] Crystal Fincher: Thank you. Next question. What is the most important climate legislation that should be passed by Washington in the legislature? And what climate organizations will you partner with to make that happen? Starting with Chipalo. [01:01:43] Chipalo Street: So I am glad that we have passed cap and trade. I think the next hurdle there is to implement cap and trade, especially the equity measures around the money that is brought in through the tax on carbon. So making sure that we implement that holistically - and groups that I'd work with are folks like Washington Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, the Environmental Climate Caucus - those are all groups that understand what's going on and can provide guidance and have been working to move this legislation through Olympia for multiple years. I'm also glad to see that the HEAL Act passed - and one of the things I loved about the HEAL Act is that it specifically called out that we need to gather data. As a scientist, I have a background in using data to address problems and for too long we've just sort of waved o

The Paul W. Smith Show
Lloyd Jackson ~ The Paul W. Smith Show

The Paul W. Smith Show

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 7:21


October 12, 2022 ~ Lloyd Jackson, WJR Senior News Analyst tells Paul that the Detroit City Council has approved a controversial 7 million dollar gun detection program called "ShotSpotter."

Hacks & Wonks
Week in Review: October 7, 2022 - with Evelyn Chow

Hacks & Wonks

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2022 56:21


On this week's Hacks & Wonks week-in-review, Crystal Fincher is joined by transformative justice advocate, community organizer, writer, and sociologist Evelyn Chow. We start off the show with a reminder that Crystal will be hosting a candidate forum for the Seattle Municipal Court Judge Positions 3 and 7 races, featuring Position 3 candidates Adam Eisenberg and Pooja Vaddadi, and Position 7 candidates Nyjat Rose-Akins and Damon Shadid. The forum will be streaming live on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube on Wednesday, October 12th at 7:00pm. See our blog for more details: https://www.officialhacksandwonks.com/blog/municipal-judge-forum-october-12-2022  Also, starting this week, applications for the Institute for a Democratic Future (IDF)'s 2023 program are now live! You can find more information at IDF's website at https://democraticfuture.org/.  In national news, President Biden has announced his administration is pardoning people who have received federal simple possession charges for marajuana. In the announcement, Biden asked state governors to do the same for state charges, and requested the secretary of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Attorney General to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. This is a big step that will help many people, and will hopefully be emulated by the states, but it has its limits - pardoning doesn't equate to ending prison sentences and doesn't include expungement, which has logistical and financial hurdles for people to climb.  In county news, while we've heard stories from other parts of the country facing issues with clean water access, King County is facing its own water crisis. For the past week, the King County Jail in Downtown Seattle has been without clean water. People in the jail have been forced to use water bottles, and the schedule at which they can refill them is unclear. This is another terrible example of how our jails do not provide rehabilitation, and instead subject people to inhumane and dehumanizing treatment. This story also follows many other instances of horribly under-resourced and under-staffed King County jails leading to outrageous conditions for people staying in the jails. We have to do better. This is inexcusable. This week saw some very informative reporting following up on Harrell's proposed budget putting $1M into the controversial ShotSpotter program. Amy Sundberg from Notes from the Emerald City and Melissa Santos from Axios both put out stories, linked below, covering the program's history - which shows it's not only ineffective in its purpose of catching gunfire as it happens, it's also incredibly wasteful of police resources. ShotSpotter has no positive impact on gun crime or public safety, and none of its alternative surveillance programs are any more effective. It's budget season! Evelyn gives us an in-depth explanation of the City of Seattle's participatory budgeting process, and encourages folks to get involved and make their voices heard! If you want to speak your mind about the city's budget, you can send written emails to the City Council at this email: council@seattle.gov. You can also attend Budget Committee meetings in-person and remote on October 11th and October 25th at 9:30am. In addition, there will be public hearings on the budget, also remote and in-person, on October 11th at 5:00pm, November 8th at 9:30am, and November 15th at 5:00pm. See here for more info: https://www.seattle.gov/council/committees/select-budget-committee   In local homelessness news, we look at the on-going story of King County's planned expanded enhanced shelter and behavioral health services hub in the SoDo neighborhood, which has seen a lot of pushback from local residents. This is a complicated story about providing care to those who need it, while at the same time making sure that the county works with local communities about what happens in their neighborhoods. The CID has faced heavy burden during the pandemic, and has dealt with a number of government projects that have been pushed through with little community engagement. If a community is telling us there wasn't enough engagement, there wasn't enough engagement, and we need to remember not to dismiss these grassroots community voices just because there are bad faith actors trying to take advantage of them. As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com. Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at@finchfrii and find today's co-host, Evelyn T Chow, at @evelyntchow. More info is available at officialhacksandwonks.com. Resources Hacks & Wonks is hosting a Seattle Municipal Judge Candidate forum on October 12th at 7:00pm! Please see the link here for more details: https://www.officialhacksandwonks.com/blog/municipal-judge-forum-october-12-2022    The Institute for a Democratic Future is now accepting applications for its 2023 program! The Early Application Deadline is November 2nd, with an application fee of $35, and the Final Application Deadline is November 13, with a fee of $75. See their site for more details: https://democraticfuture.org/    “Biden Pardons Thousands Convicted of Marijuana Possession Under Federal Law” by Michael D. Shear & Zolan Kanno-Youngs from New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/06/us/politics/biden-marijuana-pardon.html?auth=login-email&login=email    “In a Sign of Worsening Conditions, Understaffed King County Jail Has Lacked Water for a Week” by Erica C. Barentt from Publicola: https://publicola.com/2022/10/06/in-a-sign-of-worsening-conditions-understaffed-king-county-jail-has-lacked-water-for-a-week/    “Proposed Surveillance Tech Can Lead to Biased Policing” by Amy Sundberg from News From the Emerald City: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/amysundberg/issues/proposed-surveillance-tech-can-lead-to-biased-policing-1383779    “Seattle mayor budgets $1M for controversial gunfire detection tech” by Melissa Santos from Axios: https://www.axios.com/local/seattle/2022/10/07/mayor-million-shotspotter-gunfire-detection    “$30M Seattle participatory budgeting effort gears up with staff, workgroups, and a steering committee” by CHS from Capitol Hill Seattle Blog: https://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2022/10/30m-seattle-participatory-budgeting-effort-gears-up-with-staff-workgroups-and-a-steering-committee/    Learn more about how you can get involved in the Participatory Budget process here: https://www.seattle.gov/council/committees/select-budget-committee      Seattle Solidarity Budget: https://www.seattlesolidaritybudget.com/    “Chinatown International District pushes back at expanded homeless shelter. Officials ask where else?” by Greg Kim from The Seattle Times: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/chinatown-international-district-pushes-back-at-expanded-homeless-shelter-officials-ask-where-else/    “OPINION | Hooverville Then and Now: Who Is Worthy of Space?” by Caedmon Magboo Cahill from The South Seattle Emerald: https://southseattleemerald.com/2022/10/03/opinion-hooverville-then-and-now-who-is-worthy-of-space/    “King County planning expanded enhanced shelter and behavioral health services hub in SoDo with new lease“ from King County's Press Office: https://kingcounty.gov/elected/executive/constantine/news/release/2022/March/23-SoDo-Enhanced-Shelter-Transmittal.aspx    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. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. Today, we are continuing our Friday almost-live shows where we review the news of the week with a co-host. Welcome to the program for the first time today, our co-host, Evelyn Chow. Hello! [00:00:51] Evelyn Chow: Hi, thanks for having me. [00:00:53] Crystal Fincher: Hey, I am excited. Just so people understand who you are - you're a transformative justice advocate, community organizer, writer, and sociologist. You were born and raised in Hawai'i, moved to Seattle 7 years ago where you received your degree in Sociology from Seattle University. Currently work as the District Director to Councilmember Tammy Morales, representing Seattle City Council District 2. Previously, they worked for non-profits Real Change and Ingersoll Gender Center, and did communications work for several local and state political campaigns. You are a force to be reckoned with. [00:01:34] Evelyn Chow: I appreciate that praise. I don't feel like such, but - [00:01:41] Crystal Fincher: I am so thrilled that you are here on the show today 'cause I have appreciated and admired your work for a bit here. So I'm excited. [00:01:51] Evelyn Chow: Thank you, Crystal, for having me. [00:01:53] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. Before we get into all of the stuff, there are two reminders, or upcoming things that are coming up. One is the Municipal Judge Forum that we are putting on next week - it's a live candidate forum that will be streamed via Twitter and Facebook - and it will be a Municipal Court judicial forum. So the two contested seats are Position 3 and Position 7 - Adam Eisenberg vs Pooja Vaddadi and Nyjat Rose-Akins vs Damon Shadid. So we will be hashing it out, talking about what they believe in, want to do on Wednesday, October 12th - that's this coming Wednesday - at 7:00 PM, which will be live streamed online. So pay attention to that. Also want to remind you about something we've talked about before on the program. The Institute for a Democratic Future, or IDF, is opening its application period. This is a six-month program, with about 10 weekends over those six months across the state of Washington and in Washington DC, covering politics and policy from all vantage points throughout the state - how policy passed is actually implemented and impacts the people on the ground. Great network, great education - it's responsible for my career in politics. Just a great preparation, whether you want to work in the political sphere as a candidate or staff, policy - wide variety of options there, even in the nonprofit or advocacy space. Just great preparation - helps you get a great understanding and connections to people in a great network. So if you're interested in that and - you don't have to want to work in politics, but maybe you just want to advocate for policy or explore what options may be - I highly recommend the Institute for a Democratic Future. We'll include the information in our show notes. Feel free to @ me, email me if you have any questions, but just wanted to make sure that is on everybody's radar and the application deadline is in November, so you have a little bit of time. But now is the time to get started on that if you're interested. Now we'll get to the news of the week. So there's a lot that has happened in a lot of different areas. We had a couple chaos days with news this week of every kind, but looking at politics and policy in the state - want to start talking about some big news that broke yesterday with Joe Biden pardoning federal simple possession of marijuana. What did you see as the most important takeaways from this settlement? [00:04:33] Evelyn Chow: What we saw yesterday - huge news, in terms of Joe Biden setting his agenda by making the statement that, on a federal level, simple possession convictions of marijuana will be pardoned. And I think across the board we've seen a lot of different parties, people, interests react. On my end, while I'm really hopeful that states will follow suit across the US and do the same thing, which will impact more people, I also want to. acknowledge also that pardons don't mean, necessarily, released from prison. Nor are they expungements of criminal records. And the administration does say that about 6,000 people will be pardoned. And which is really again, huge - it means you're forgiven - but it's still on paper. I would love to see the expungement of it from records, though we also know, just from doing work in community, that expungements are costly. Lawyers have to file the expungement, on top of cost of filing, and they know that this is a cost that a lot of working class people might not be able to afford. And the method becomes like a fiscal generator for municipalities. Sorry, now we're going down the rabbit hole of the negative or maybe the under-the-surface, but I think on the surface this is really huge. I do hope to see more states follow suit in that - this is not nothing. For a lot of, I think, abolitionists and criminal legal system reform advocates, I've seen a lot of this just kind of brush through. And I understand where that sentiment comes from and at the same time, this is not nothing. This just - it's a something that will hopefully evolve. [00:06:31] Crystal Fincher: It is, absolutely - I think that's exactly right. It's something that is positive, that hopefully continues to evolve here in Washington State - we've been more fortunate than a lot of other states in the country. There are states where you can go to jail for possessing a joint, where there is no legalization at all. We're used to the ability to go to the store here and pick out our selection of weed - that is not the case in a lot of the country. And there have been recent - pretty pointed - efforts on behalf of the Republican Party in several states to roll back marijuana legalization. So it is not even like legalization, in one form or another, is even safe in places where it has been implemented. So I think this is important - one, as you said, in setting the agenda and really urging states to move down the path of decriminalization, which I think is important, and just puts a little bit of external pressure on different states. I was surprised to hear about this just because of the news, previously, that Biden didn't have the friendliest marijuana policy for his own administration and looking at issues with that. But I do think that this moves the conversation forward across the entire country. We're ahead of the conversation a little bit in Washington State, but a lot of people are not there and this is meaningful for a lot of people in states where the population - the people there - want this change, but they have leaders who are very, very resistant. Also, looking at the rescheduling of this - to keep it from being classified similarly as heroin or fentanyl - it clearly is not. All the public health data shows that, and it's a barrier to research and a bunch of other things. So this is a step in the right direction, I think. Still have a lot more to go, but it's a fight that Biden is willing to take on even before we get to these elections. It's a winning issue and it's the right thing to do. So if you can - absolutely, if you can win on an issue and it's the right thing to do, should be moving forward with it. And I'm glad to see that this happened. So in other news this week, we saw that the King County Jail is lacking water. They've lacked water for a week. This is a story that PubliCola broke on Thursday, I believe. And we've seen news and lots of people have made their opinions known about the water crisis in Jackson - sometimes it's just, Oh my goodness, that's horrible there, it could never happen here. It's happening here. It's happening in a place where people have literally no other choice, no other option about what to do. They're being given bottled water instead of being able to access the water, because there are currently health issues. And there are questions about whether people are even getting enough water - it looks like they're having to choose between hydration and hygiene. What do you see with this? [00:09:52] Evelyn Chow: I have a status as a volunteer at the women's prison down in Purdy, in Tacoma. And was a volunteer for a few years until COVID, in which - none of us have been able to get back in for programming, except for a few of the churches - which is a discussion for another time. But, I think often the way that we see punishment in this country is, in a way, a just sweeping things under the rug - putting people in prisons and jails is this. And when you put people there, there's that perception of - all of the stigmatization of what you put on a population that has often done things that maybe you have also, but maybe I've had the privilege of not being caught for. And what happens to those people is they get forgotten, or they get put into conditions that we would never ourselves want to be in, regardless of any of the harm that we have caused as individuals. I think in this issue - sorry to get philosophical with it, I just needed to set that context of - [00:10:59] Crystal Fincher: No apologies necessary. [00:11:01] Evelyn Chow: This is not, obviously, the first time in the US or even across the world where prisons, people who are getting placed into prison, are experiencing extremely degrading and violent circumstances, right? From the article, we hear that there are women in the jail who are getting their period and they're unable to get a change of underwear for the week. And this is also something that is across the board even pre-COVID, pre-pandemic times, of people needing to spend the very limited resources they have on hygiene products - things that should be guaranteed rights for people. It's inhumane, it's also just a clear liability for the county. [00:11:47] Crystal Fincher: It's infuriating. It's infuriating because - one, this could have, this started and went on for a week before it even caught notice. And thankfully for PubliCola's reporting, it did - otherwise it would've gone on longer - that inmates often have no voice in our community. We make it so hard for people who are incarcerated to communicate, to advocate for anything. They frequently face punishment for just bringing up issues of clear illegality, or challenges just in terms of health, violations of policy - and too many people in the community who just feel like we can discard rights of people who are incarcerated or that somehow they're deserving of it. And if someone is incarcerated, the sentence is the incarceration. That does not in any way absolve all of us because they are being held, on behalf of our society with our tax dollars - this is a community responsibility to make sure they are treated as humans. One, because it's the right thing to do. They should not be subjected to harsh, inhumane, insufficient - facilities, supplies, regulations, any of that. We should be treating them and making sure they have all of the provisions they need. And it's wrong morally not to do so, it's also highly ineffective and increases the chances that they're going to come out when they get released - because everybody's, just about everybody's getting released - and are not going to be able to successfully integrate into our society and contribute to the problems that so many people then complain about on the other side. We have to invest in people, treat people, make sure they have resources - access to education, access to therapeutic programming, arts, lots of different things. We need to make sure that they come out more whole than they go in, if they are going in. That is what's best for our community, that's what's best for the safety of everyone, that's what's best for legal liability resources. And so this is just infuriating. And on top of this, the jails are understaffed. And so there's a big question about - are people dehydrated right now? They don't have a way to tell us most of the time. They are limited to receiving one bottle of water at a time - I'm assuming these are small, 20-ounce bottles of water that we normally see - because they're afraid of affiliated, associated safety concerns. They can exchange an empty bottle for a full bottle. How frequently is that opportunity to exchange? Why are we rationing water to people? It just doesn't make sense, we have to do better - this is - we have to do better. And so this is on Dow Constantine, this is on all the employees there, this is on every elected official - the King County Council. We have to do better - this is inexcusable. [00:15:22] Evelyn Chow: And I'd also, if I could Crystal, just point out - this recent, this ongoing water shutoff is only the most recent example of the different types of problems that they've been experiencing at the jail over the past few years, if not since the jail has been there. We've been hearing from folks there that they are getting limited access to medical care, to their attorneys, to even spend time calling people like family members and loved ones. All of this has been exacerbated by COVID, but is a statement of the existing conditions at a lot of these jails and prisons. So I agree - there has to be a better way of - people need to do better, our electeds need to do better. [00:16:04] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, and these are public resources that are being spent or misspent in these ways. We need to demand better. They must do better. And to your point, this is the latest in a litany - and as a reminder, both public defenders and the corrections officers in our King County jails came together earlier this year to ask King County to release more prisoners 'cause they're woefully understaffed. This is a safety issue for the corrections officers, it's a safety and health issue for the people who are incarcerated there. It is working for nobody and ignoring this is only allowing those conditions to get worse. Someone is going to end up injured, ill, or worse. And this is entirely preventable. In other news, more discussion this week about Mayor Harrell's budget proposal, including part of the proposal that he has to address gun violence with the ShotSpotter surveillance program. What is this program and what is your perspective on this? [00:17:12] Evelyn Chow: Shotspotter is a private program and it's - over the past years - been marketed to dozens of cities across the US. However, they've proven to have little investment on their return. So the description of what they are proposing that this technology does is - it's a microphone system and it triangulates the location of where they would hear supposed, or alleged, gunshots. And that would allow first responders, specifically the police, to show up to that scene quickly and supposedly de-escalate the situation or apprehend whoever had fired a gun. I think the system, as we've seen in cities across the US like in Charlotte and in others that have actually used this technology - we've seen that the system generates a lot of notifications when the sensors are triggered. But there's very little evidence that that data leads to any arrests, convictions, or even - most importantly - victim assistance. Cities across the US have already been canceling their contracts with ShotSpotter for the past few years, citing the poor results. And I think even in New York City, the system had triggered enough false positives that the NYPD Deputy Commissioner a few years ago was like - this is an unsuccessful system and it just logs noise. It was logging things like an exploding volleyball - like a popped volleyball - or a car backfiring. And so I think, before we choose to invest a million dollars in this upcoming budget cycle in a technology that is proven time and again and again that it doesn't work - perhaps that million dollars could be better spent in other places that will actually promote community and public safety. And I just also want to make the point that there is already increased surveillance technology equipment in SPD, especially around South Seattle communities, but citywide. And the data that it collects is not transparent in any way. With existing technologies and this new proposed, or not necessarily new, but proposed technology - we need to, at least - the public deserves to know how that data will be used and who will have access to it. I know a few years ago, when the ShotSpotter was being proposed, they talked about how it, as a private entity company, owns that data. And so there's a lot of repercussions that I can see coming up with - if the city decides to move forward with implementing ShotSpotter. And I also hear a lot of people who have very fair questions, candidly, about whether this is going to be effective at all. And, my answer is no. [00:20:17] Crystal Fincher: Your answer is no. And so many different entities' answers are no. An AP investigation earlier this year found serious flaws with prosecutors using ShotSpotter for evidence - noting, as you said - it can miss live gunfire next to its microphone, but misclassify the sounds of fireworks or cars backfiring as gunshots. A study published last year in the peer-reviewed Journal of Urban Health found that ShotSpotter appeared to have no significant impact on firearm-related homicides or arrest outcomes in 68 large metropolitan counties from 1999 to 2016. It has no impact on gun crime, it has no impact on public safety. A separate study on Philadelphia's use of SENTRI, a ShotSpotter alternative - and it's important to note that there are different alternatives - they all experience these problems, so if they substitute another one with ShotSpotter, these surveillance programs that are essentially trying to hack public safety and hack a solution to gun violence are just not effective - that found that the technology increased police workload. At a time where they keep complaining that they're overworked, that they don't have enough police to address public safety concerns - it increased police workload by sending officers to incidents where no evidence of a shooting was found. So once again, we're in a situation where Bruce Harrell has the opportunity to define what his plan for public safety is going to be and we're hearing things, that not only have no evidence that they're going to work, they have evidence to the contrary. While lots of people are suggesting things that are backed by data, backed by evidence - when he came in office, he said, Look, I'm going to be evidence-based, data-driven. People are like, So here's that evidence that you said you wanted, and here's this data that you had said you wanted - let's do this. And it's, No, let's go to this thing that has been demonstrated not to work. And we do need public safety solutions. We do need to make our streets safer. We do need to reduce the amount of people who are being victimized urgently. And we can't afford to waste this time and money on solutions that have proven not to make people anymore safe. We just can't afford this. And I am asking, I'm begging public officials to - yes, follow the data. There is so much available that shows what is helpful and useful to do. And I will note that some programs - Bruce has defunded, that have been effective in doing this this year, so it's just frustrating to see. And I wonder - this is me wondering, obviously - a lot of people have moved here over the last 10 years and may not remember Bruce Harrell being on the City Council. He was for quite some time. And I think that we are hearing a number of proposals that were talked about 10 years ago when he was on the council. And he was on the council for several years - for a decade, basically. [00:23:39] Evelyn Chow: I think three terms - yeah. [00:23:41] Crystal Fincher: Yes, and so it's like we're bringing back the hits from 2010, 2012 - and sometimes, there was even some promise for some of those things at that time. Wow - they've been implemented in so many cities across the US, we've had the opportunity to gather data and figure out what has evidence of effectiveness and what doesn't. And that just doesn't seem to enter into what they're proposing. It's really confusing and we're waiting - we're waiting on proposals that will make people more safe - and more than just hiring more police, which can't even happen until next year. What is going to happen now to make people more safe? It's frustrating, as I am sure you deal with in a very immediate and present way on a daily basis. [00:24:35] Evelyn Chow: Yeah, absolutely. Everything you said - public safety, community safety is an urgent issue and they keep trying these tried techniques, right? Tough on crime didn't work in the nineties, it's not going to work now. And investing in all of these things that are scientifically, with data and evidence, proven not to work is just not the way we need to move forward. And I think similar to King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay's op-ed in the Times, I think a few weeks ago now, talking about how public safety is not about scoring political points. I think the executive put out this proposal with a very specific - I guess, his specific base in mind. And that does not encompass the lived realities of a lot of people across, especially South Seattle, but across the City as well. [00:25:26] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. So we'll continue to keep our eye on that. Also, it's budget season in the City, in the County - which you are in the middle of and steeped in. And so, there was an article in Capitol Hill Seattle this week covering the $30 million Seattle participatory budgeting effort that is now gearing up. What is happening with this, and what is happening just in the budget process overall? [00:25:53] Evelyn Chow: The mayor gets eight months to put together his proposed budget and then it comes to Council - it came on September 27th, a few weeks ago now - and we get about eight weeks in the council to splice and dice that budget. And you brought up participatory budgeting - I am glad to see that - I think the context, to just set a little bit of groundwork for participatory budgeting - this was money that was allocated in September of 2020, following the protests that sparked nationwide after the police murders of George Floyd, of Brianna Taylor, of too many others. And it really came as a demand from community to the council to direct money into community-led safety initiatives. And this is an opportunity for the community that's most impacted, that's usually furthest away from being able to make decisions about how their money is spent, to be engaged in that process. And the Seattle City Council allocated $30 million into this participatory budgeting process, and this is going to be the largest undertaking in, I believe, North America with a similar initiative. And so just a little bit more of groundwork before I get to where we're at - King County Council did the same allocation on a smaller scale of $11 million. And they've already executed their contracts and that money has gone out into community. I believe it was about $11 million to 45 different community-based organizations. And where we are now - it's been a couple of years since the money has been allocated, and I know that some people are starting to ask - what's the status update? And I know in the Neighborhoods, Education, and Civil Rights Committee on the Seattle City Council - we recently held presentations to get that status update from the King County Council and the Seattle Office of Civil Rights, where that contract is now housed. And so - I believe they're in the design process and that they are working to make sure that community engagement is really steeped in this step and every step along the way to direct this funding. I think at this point, it sounds like the group that got contracted from the City is called the Participatory Budgeting Project. They're a national organization and they are currently working to hire local staff to help on their steering and working group committees, which will in turn shape and launch this effort. So I'm excited to see - I think at a time when we're talking about the budget season in Seattle, on the county level - and a lot of folks are feeling particularly enraged at several of the proposed line items in the mayor's budget around these new technologies, around the caps for service workers on their raises. This is an opportunity - participatory budgeting - to put funds towards, quite frankly, where the executive is not going to invest right now - in these types of solutions that we know community has already been working on, for years, to address violence on an interpersonal and on a state level. So I'm excited to see this continue to be underway. [00:29:42] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I'm excited too and I'm broadly in favor of the community being actively engaged, actively involved in allocations that impact them and that they should have a voice. All neighborhoods in Seattle should have a voice. Traditionally, some have had much more of a voice than others. And there are some that have had many more resources, that have had close relationships, the time and ability, and frankly privilege, to get familiar with budget processes, engagement processes - which can be very exclusionary and hard to figure out how to even become a part of it. And they're not necessarily friendly to someone just walking up trying to figure out what's happening. Making sure that we reach out to every single community in the City and that they have a voice in shaping the investments is really important. I'm also excited to see this, excited for this money to get distributed and for this process to actually get started. And then for the budget process overall - so we've talked about this participatory budgeting, but this is in the context of the larger budget process overall, which is a big process - lots of resources there. I guess we'll talk about specific hearings and stuff in a moment, but what would your personal advice be, if people are looking to become more involved in budget decisions in the City, and how money is invested and where it's involved? [00:31:26] Evelyn Chow: That's a great question because it's - I don't see it enough, especially in communities where there's intentional, whether implicit or explicit, ways to de-incentivize people from being civically engaged. Where I've seen the people build the most power - and we saw this in 2020, as well as when people with their specific values and interests come together - and really work on contacting their elected representatives, setting up meetings throughout the year, making sure they're being held accountable to the votes they're taking in committees, in Full Councils and being like - here are the updates that I see on the ground, as people who are doing work as - at community-based organizations and non-profits, etc. And here's the needs that we see emerging in our communities, and here's what you can do about it in the budget season. [00:32:16] Crystal Fincher: So I'm glad that participatory budgeting is hopefully going to be getting underway. At least they're hiring - hopefully the money actually gets distributed soon. Engaging in budget processes is always complicated overall. I'm sitting here - I've worked in politics for a while, I've worked with tons of people who've worked with budgets - and budgets are so opaque and so complicated, and so - these are documents over, that are thousands of pages long, oftentimes. You have to have a deep and intimate familiarity with everything to even understand what they are. You can see the numbers on the paper, but is that more than I spent before? Is that less? What does that mean? Where did this money come from? Is this continuing? It's a complicated and convoluted thing. And we have this budget process, which is at a certain period of time during the year. One, I always just want to reiterate and reinforce with people, 'cause we don't talk about this enough, I don't think - is that a lot of the groundwork, whether it's budget, whether it's legislation, or anything - there's a period of time where there are hearings and everything to discuss it and that's valuable. But a lot of the groundwork, a lot of what actually shapes that - happens long before that process. And so the importance of engaging within community, within organizations that are familiar with the budget and advocating there, being familiar with your County Council person, City Council person, mayor and keeping that line of communication open - and anyone can call your elected representatives. They are your elected representatives. If you are a resident - you don't have to be documented, you don't have to be anything else. If you live in whatever jurisdiction, they represent you and they should be responsive to you. But you can ask questions, you can do all that kind of stuff and start there. That's always helpful to do and sometimes that helps to get an understanding of things so that when these processes do officially ramp up, that you know where everything stands and can be prepared to advocate for what you want - hopefully already getting that and how it's shaped in there. But if you don't, you're prepared to advocate. For people who are getting engaged in this process now - now that this process has spun up - what are ways that people can get involved, whether it's hearings or anything else? [00:34:43] Evelyn Chow: Couldn't have said it more eloquently - thank you, Crystal. I can give a vague overview, or I can give a timeline of the budget process. Anyone in the public gets to provide feedback on the budget. You can call your representatives, you can send emails into their offices. I will say that mail form responses don't receive as many individual responses as just a personal - Hey, I'm concerned about this - you know what's going on. The Seattle City Council does have public hearings. There will be three in the next few weeks. The next one is coming up next week on October 11th, which is a Tuesday, at 5:00 PM. And then in November there will be two public hearings on November 7th and November 15th. The Select Budget Committee will be meeting throughout these weeks. And on the first meetings of the Select Budget Committee, I believe there will also be public comment allowed. Now this is a shift from, I think previous years where, people could give public comment at each committee hearing, and so I've definitely heard some pushbacks on there. I think a lot of the reasoning is just that - we are still in COVID but - yes, there will be those public hearings. And folks are able to give feedback in public comment during the Budget Committee hearings. And the first one had already happened on September 28th. There will be another one coming up on October 11th, similarly, but in the morning. And those Select Budget Committee meetings are happening all week. And next week is when the Council is going into, going to deep dive into basically every issue area with the Central Staff. And so it starts next Tuesday - I believe Tuesday is just going to be a general overview of the General Fund and Capital Investments. And then each day throughout the week - Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - they'll be covering several different issue areas, whether it's SPD, homelessness, Office of Planning and Community Development. And so - folks are really encouraged to stay on top of the Budget Committee meetings as well - there is a link on the City of Seattle's website to stay on top of when these committee meetings are happening throughout the weeks. So just to summarize, there will be Budget Committee meetings that folks can give either remote or in-person public comment to - for the Select Budget Committee, which is just made up of members of the Seattle City Council. And there will be public hearings on the budget specifically. The first one is set for next Tuesday, and then there will also be on - November 8th and November 15th. And at any time throughout the budget process, folks are encouraged to reach out to their elected officials, to stay on top of their representatives - either social media, newsletters, mail - all of the different forms to get information. And partnering up and joining up with these organizations that you specified, Crystal, that have been doing this type of advocacy work and have dedicated staff people to dissect those year-round. Just a number of ways - [00:37:56] Crystal Fincher: There are - number of ways - not the simplest process to follow, but there are ways to get engaged. One of those groups with the Seattle Solidarity Budget - we'll include all of this information and all of the dates that Evelyn just talked about in our show notes - Solidarity Budget is another effort involved in this budget process, a more community-focused budget that they're advocating for. The website will also link to - has information, ways to advocate, you can look through that - also, ways to help - social media stuff - with alt text provided for the social media graphics that they provided, which I appreciate. But just a lot of different things. So I encourage people to get involved because we all talk about the impacts and effects of there's not enough funding here, and we need to do this, and why aren't we doing this? And this is how these decisions are made, this is where those funding decisions are solidified, and this is the time to engage if you have an opinion about what is happening within your city. That's a lot there. It's a lot to go through, but definitely worth it. I also want to cover news - it's been making news throughout the past several weeks. Just talking about the SoDo shelter expansion and some pushback from within the CID. Starting off - what is happening, Evelyn? And then we can talk about some thoughts about what's happening. [00:39:32] Evelyn Chow: Yes, I'm happy to give a quick overview of that. King County is planning to expand their - this enhanced shelter, that is currently housed in SoDo. It's right along the bottom edge of the CID, under where the Uwajimaya is on the south end. And the proposal is to expand the shelter - it currently has 269 beds, they want to add an additional 150 beds - mind you, these are congregate shelter. And they want to expand into having a behavioral health services center, as well as support for RV residents and Pallet shelters, which are essentially tiny homes. So that expansion of 150 that has been talked about by the executive - King County Executive - is going to bring the total number of people at that site to approximately 419 people. So that's just a high-level of what's happening. [00:40:36] Crystal Fincher: And it's also known as the Megaplex, correct? [00:40:39] Evelyn Chow: Yeah, I guess a lot of folks have been trying to call it the Megaplex. Yes. [00:40:44] Crystal Fincher: But just for people's familiarity, if they happen to hear that term - this is what that's in reference to. [00:40:49] Evelyn Chow: Yes. Yeah. I didn't really like that term because I feel like it dehumanizes the people who live there. [00:40:54] Crystal Fincher: It does. [00:40:55] Evelyn Chow: So I just call it the SoDO shelter. [00:40:56] Crystal Fincher: Yes. [00:40:57] Evelyn Chow: But you are correct that that is what it's being called by a lot of more clickbait media. The Seattle City Council allotted funding from their federal ARPA - the emergency, the American Rescue Plan Act - funding towards this. And last year, I believe that Councilmember Tammy Morales did propose an amendment to divert that funding from where it currently is to the Salvation Army Shelter, to instead Chief Seattle Club for them to build a unit or several units of non-congregate shelter. But that amendment did not pass. And towards the late summer of this year, I think around September, is when we heard of the plans for expansion. That is when the county had announced, more fully to the public at the CID Public Safety Forum, and there are claims of doing community engagement before these plans started moving forward. The county claims to have done community engagement prior to the implementation of these plans. And I think a lot of community folks have pushed back being like - No, we actually didn't hear about this at all. They have their list of people that they've reached out to and we've heard some critiques be - Yes, we did hear about a plan to expand a shelter, but I think if we had known the size of this project, we would've had more engagement. And so I think, just on the government side, there hasn't been a lot of authentic community engagement with folks in the CID. And there are other players in this situation, namely some right-wing think tanks of the Discovery Institute that have been trying to co-opt what is happening in the CID for their political agendas. And so it's created this extremely tense environment to be able to talk about the dynamics of - yes, everyone deserves housing, everyone deserves shelter - I think there's no doubt there. There are indeed some people who don't believe that, who are part of the pushback. And the CID is a really small neighborhood, it's also the third CID that the City of Seattle has seen, right? They've already relocated two times. And throughout the pandemic, a lot of folks in the CID have burdened a lot of the the impacts of the pandemic. And businesses have been slow to open back up if they have it all. There's boarded up windows everywhere and people generally have really valid concerns around public safety in the neighborhood. There are a lot of other government projects that are taking place in the neighborhood that have been plowed through without also similar meaningful community engagement. Most recently, the Sound Transit expansion of the West Seattle Ballard Link extension, where their proposed Fifth Ave or Fourth Ave options still do propose closing businesses - and all of this to say, and I'm sure there's more to say - there's a lot of moving factors around what's happening in the CID right now. I think some of the bottom lines are that the community there does not feel like engaged in these decisions that are being made. Going back to our conversation earlier around participatory budgeting, it's really important to have dedicated forces of people who will meaningfully take what people have to say and propose solutions, have meaningful dialogue. And people also need to be housed and it's an urgent crisis. So this is where we're at. I will say, just in the blog put out by the King County on this project, they stated that the lease renewal for that site in SoDo, which currently encompasses the Salvation Army Center as well as the surrounding block - it is supposed to be a one-time lease for five years. If they did not use the funds they secured to renew this lease, they would've had to close this already-existing 270-bed shelter which seems like a terrible ultimatum to give in a lease - it's like they had to renew the lease and take that additional property. And so now they're trying to find uses for that property - and so that's where I've seen the county's messaging come through. [00:46:03] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for that overview - it's good kind of level setting for the conversation. I guess thinking about this - one, I've seen a lot of reactions to this. I've seen a lot of commentary. And a lot of it has just been dismissive in one way or another. And looking at the situation and - Oh, these are people, this shouldn't be anywhere and this isn't the solution. Or these are NIMBYs just not wanting this there. And I think we have to be real. And sometimes, oftentimes, these conversations aren't simple. One, as you said, engagement is so important. You just talked about the West Seattle Bridge extension - even with the deep bore tunnel and that issue was hard on that community - that community homes so many services and service centers overall there - just so many different things involved there. And we keep asking a small percentage of the communities in Seattle and in King County to bear the majority of the brunt of infrastructure challenges, infrastructure disruptions - public safety concerns aren't being held, or being heard, or being dismissed. And yes, there are challenges everywhere in the City, including there, with people who need housing. Yes, there are challenges there and so many places in the City with people feeling unsafe in their neighborhood. But there seems to be a divergence between how those concerns are heard and what is done in response. And what I continue to hear from people in the CID, people in the Rainier Valley, people in other places are - Hey, people in Magnolia are saying this and we are saying this. And they keep getting listened to over there and somehow projects always get diverted away from there and then land here. Projects always get picketed somewhere else and then land here. And we have been doing our fair share and other people have not. And so once again, you're asking us to bear the brunt of this without even having a conversation with us first. And kind of news flash - if the community is saying you haven't done adequate engagement, you haven't done adequate engagement. That is the community that wants you to engage with them. You gotta go deeper than the organizations that you have - like that's a flag and a signal to the organization - you have to go wider and deeper than you have before, clearly. At the same time, there are also people with bad faith criticisms. There have been some King County GOP efforts - they showed up with picket signs and basically astroturfed some stuff and are joining onto this effort to try and get publicity to try and characterize it in their own way. And so certainly, that's a bad faith effort and they're not coming with the same concerns. They're not rooted or invested in that community and they're exploiting that community. But that does not give us the right, or I guess the moral authority, to then ignore the concerns that are genuinely rooted in that community. And so there should have been better engagement, there needs to be more engagement clearly. There need to be more alternatives cited. There need to be invest - we have to look into how we determine where potential sites for this are. We talk after the fact - well, these requirements or specifications for a desirable location say it can't be near this, and it has to be that, and it can't be near this. Well, yeah - they're written that way to exclude certain communities. How do we make this impact more equitable? How do we make sure that we don't unduly burden individual communities and ask people to continue to bear the brunt of what other neighborhoods say that they don't want. And how do we make it work all over the place? So I do think this is not a simple solution. We do have a crisis of people on the street and they do need to get housed. We need to take action on that quickly. We can't do that without listening to community, and we can't shortcut this process by just saying, Okay, we'll just put it over here again. We can do it over here and maybe they won't yell as loud as some people in other neighborhoods, or maybe because they may not have enough financial resources, that they won't be, they won't have enough time to engage and they won't be as much of a "headache" to us as other people will consistently - it's just not good enough. And we have to engage with that reality. We have to talk within communities. And that doesn't mean that those communities are automatically NIMBYs for that, right? They have valid concerns that we have to listen to and work through. [00:51:34] Evelyn Chow: Yeah, and something else on this issue that I just, I really wish I was seeing more of - from both the county and other local partners on this - is engagement with the actual people who are living unhoused by that shelter. I think in terms of the the people who are involved in these decisions, that's one entity. The people who are housed in the neighborhood, or provide services, or have businesses in the neighborhood - that's another one. Also, I want to hear also directly from the people who are living outside - what their thoughts of - a lot of, and I won't say this is either in good or bad faith, but we've been seeing protests outside of the existing Salvation Army shelter for the past few weeks now, since the news broke. And the shelter is right next to a large, I guess, unsanctioned encampment of folks who have to listen to these protests day in, day out about just the circumstances that they're under in life. And I can't imagine what the relationship would continue to look like or evolve between those who are living there because they seemingly have no other options currently - and that site is also close to other services that they are receiving - and the residents and business owners of the neighborhood, many of whom have developed extremely tense relationships and antagonistic relationships with each other over the past years, especially since COVID when just socioeconomic conditions across the nation have worsened. And I just think, in moving forward with these conversations, the engagement has to be inclusive of the whole CID community. I think a lot of the folks who are very vocal now are the ones who are also historically vocal in a lot of decisions. And that's not to say it's a good or bad thing, it's just there's a lot more to folks in the CID than the three dozen people who show up to protest because they have that time every week. [00:53:54] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely - well said. So I hope that engagement does happen with this - continued and for all the future stuff. And we have to look at why we keep having to have these conversations in the exact same communities and they're telling us that, repeatedly - Hey, there hasn't been enough engagement and now you are just implementing something, ramming it through, and we're paying the price. We're happy to do our fair share but why are we doing the majority of it when the rest of the City exists? And that's with this issue, that's with so many issues. It's with issues surrounding public safety, around environmental and climate change, impacts around education, around so many things. And the reasons why are related and share the same root cause. So I hope there are better conversations about this while also - no need to entertain the bad faith conversations, but engage with community. [00:54:57] Evelyn Chow: Unfortunately, the bad faith conversations are really good at co-opting narratives right now. So I think it's on - [00:55:02] Crystal Fincher: Yes, they are. [00:55:03] Evelyn Chow: - people with, it's on people to, if they don't already have existing relationships, build those and continue to show up, especially our elected leaders. To make sure that everyone is being served in the best possible way. [00:55:17] Crystal Fincher: And with that, I want to thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks on this Friday, October 7th, 2022. The producer of Hacks & Wonks is Lisl Stadler. Our assistant producer is Shannon Cheng, and our Production Coordinator is Bryce Cannatelli. Our insightful co-host today is Evelyn Chow. You can find them on Twitter @EvelynTChow, E-V-E-L-Y-N-T-C-H-O-W. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can find me on Twitter @finchfrii. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts - just search "Hacks and Wonks." Be sure to subscribe 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. Thank you for tuning in - and we'll talk to you next time.

On The Line
Detroit police in the spotlight

On The Line

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2022 19:12


A fatal police shooting, ShotSpotter and an increase for officer pay have made headlines of recent. What does it all say about Detroit's approach to policing post-George Floyd and in the future?

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know
Listener Mail: Conspiracies About Conspiracies, Shotspotter, the Nature of Fact

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2022 40:12


A-Frame asks whether the wildest conspiracies are, themselves, part of a larger conspiracy to bury stories those in power would prefer we ignore. A caller asks for more information about the dystopian Shotspotter system. Knotta Tweaker asks for more information about the nature of facts. They don't want you to read our book. They don't want you to see us on tour.They don't want you to read our book.: https://static.macmillan.com/static/fib/stuff-you-should-read/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Holyoke Media Podcasts
Síntesis informativa, 5 de octubre de 2022

Holyoke Media Podcasts

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2022 2:00


Holyoke Media, en asociación con WHMP radio, emiten diariamente la Síntesis informativa en español a través del 101.5 FM y en el 1240 / 1400 AM. Esta es la síntesis informativa del miércoles 5 de octubre de 2022: El concejo municipal de Holyoke aprobó el martes en su sesión general, el aceptar fondos federales por $64,850 que financiaría parcialmente la tecnología de detección de disparos “ShotSpotter” en la ciudad, un sistema que identifica dónde se originó un disparo de arma de fuego. La mayor razón para apoyar esta tecnología fue basada en que es una herramienta que ayudaría al Departamento de Policía de Holyoke. Después de una hora de discusión que por momentos se tornó contenciosa y cargada de animosidad entre algunos miembros del concejo, esta votación que había sido aplazada desde el 1 de septiembre, confirmó su aceptación, la integrará la tecnología ‘ShotSpotter' en zonas de la ciudad donde se han registrado incidentes con armas fuego. Más temprano a las afueras de la alcaldía de Holyoke, un grupo de ciudadanos se congregó en una breve manifestación para expresar su rechazo a esta tecnología, sugiriendo en su lugar la implementación de alternativas que incluyen refugios de vivienda, asistencia de recuperación de adicciones y otros programas que buscan atacar los problema de raíz. Algunos de estos ciudadanos se expresaron ante el concejo durante la sesión de comentarios públicos. Entre sus argumentos se destacó que la tecnología ‘shotspotter' no ha funcionado en ciudades donde se ha implementado. FUENTE: HOLYOKE MEDCIA - El presidente Joe Biden viajó a Puerto Rico el lunes para reunirse con las víctimas que fueron azotadas por el huracán Fiona hace dos semanas y se comprometió a garantizar que el territorio estadounidense esté mejor preparado para futuras tormentas. El presidente anunció más de $60 millones en fondos para ayudar a las áreas costeras a reconstruirse mejor preparadas para tormentas severas, asegurando que las cosas estén construidas para durar. “Y me refiero a reconstruirlo todo y reconstruirlo de una manera resistente, para que cuando vuelvan las tormentas, lo que ocurrirá, no tengan el daño que han causado antes”, dijo Biden desde la comunidad sureña de Ponce. . El lunes temprano, Biden dijo que viajaba a la isla que es territorio estadounidense porque “no han sido atendidos muy bien”. Es un punto que reiteró mientras hablaba en Puerto Rico, enumerando los obstáculos que los puertorriqueños han enfrentado en los últimos años, desde huracanes anteriores y COVID-19, hasta terremotos. “Puerto Rico es un lugar fuerte, y los puertorriqueños son gente fuerte, pero aun así, han tenido que soportar tanto, y más de lo necesario. Y no has recibido la ayuda en el momento oportuno”. El huracán Fiona golpeó a Puerto Rico el 18 de septiembre como una tormenta de categoría 1, con más de 30 pulgadas de lluvia, que envolvió a comunidades enteras, destruyó carreteras e infraestructura crítica y mató al menos a 13 personas. Hasta el miércoles pasado, había más de 1,000 trabajadores de respuesta federal en Puerto Rico, incluidos más de 100 miembros del personal de búsqueda y rescate, para ayudar a la isla a recuperarse del huracán. El Departamento de Transporte de EE. UU. dedicó $ 8 millones para reparar puentes y carreteras, según la Casa Blanca. Han pasado cinco años desde que el huracán María tocó tierra en Puerto Rico como una tormenta de categoría 4, la peor tormenta en la historia moderna de la isla. Esa tormenta mató a casi 3,000 personas y causó más de $100 mil millones en daños. El entonces presidente Donald Trump viajó a Puerto Rico después de esa tormenta, cinco años después del día del viaje de Biden allí el lunes, y bromeó con las víctimas sobre cuánto le estaban costando a los EEUU antes de arrojar toallas de papel a la multitud, un movimiento que muchos consideraron insensible. FUENTE: WBUR, NPR

The Guy Gordon Show
Lloyd Jackson ~ The Guy Gordon Show

The Guy Gordon Show

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2022 8:24


October 4, 2022 ~ Lloyd Jackson, WJR Senior News Analyst, talks with Guy Gordon about another delay in voting on expanded use of ShotSpotter in Detroit, and an update on the killing of schizophrenic 20-year-old Porter Burks.

detroit shotspotter guy gordon wjr senior news analyst
Hacks & Wonks
Week in Review: September 30, 2022 - EJ Juárez

Hacks & Wonks

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2022 32:07


On this Hacks & Wonks week-in-review, Crystal is joined by the former Director of Progressive Majority who has now transitioned into public service but remains involved in numerous political efforts across Washington, EJ Juárez.  This week, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced his proposed budget for 2023-2024, and there are a number of questionable decisions that reveal where the mayor's priorities lie. Beyond moving parking enforcement back to the SPD, the budget invests in a police surveillance tool called ShotSpotter, which has been a failure in other cities where it's been implemented, resulting in lead to police overreach without a reduction in crime.  At the same time, Harrell's budget is calling to lower the cost-of-living increases for the city's human services workers, a choice that would require a change in law. At a time when inflation is hurting everyone, especially our lowest earners, and we're dealing with a number of public health crises and staffing shortages, the decision to effectively cut the pay of essential workers who are doing crucial work stands in stark contrast to the large hiring bonuses being offered to police.   King County Executive Dow Constantine and other leaders announced a new property tax that would provide $1.25B to help create new behavioral health crisis centers to help those in need receive necessary support. This proposal will need to be approved by the King County Council before being voted on in an April special election. We'll keep checking in on this plan as it develops. In a new update on the controversy surrounding former mayor Jenny Durkan's missing text messages, a forensic analysis has found evidence that these messages were intentionally deleted, not accidentally removed. As EJ reminds us, these public records concern an issue that resulted in someone's death, and their deletion has prevented their family from getting closure. If it's determined that these messages were in fact intentionally deleted, the implications are criminal. We'll keep paying attention to this story for updates. In the 42nd LD in Whatcom County, a State House race has seen a terrible, but not so shocking, revelation. GOP candidate Don Johnson attempted to scrub his social media feeds of racist, misogynist, and anti-semitic posts, but failed to do so before the Bellingham Herald recorded them. The Herald reported on the unacceptable posts this week, revealing a history of dangerous rhetoric and misinformation that Johnson hopped to hide. Another reminder that Crystal will be hosting a debate between 37th LD State Rep candidates Emijah Smith and Chipalo Street on Tuesday, October 4th at 7:00pm at the Rainier Art Center and streamed live. See seattleemerald.com/debate for more details! As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com. Find the host, Crystal Fincher on Twitter at@finchfrii and find today's co-host, EJ Juárez, at @EliseoJJuarez. More info is available at officialhacksandwonks.com.   Resources “Harrell's Budget Would Move Parking Encforcement Back to SPD, Add $10 Million to Homelessness Authority, and Use JumpStart to Backfill Budget" by Erica C. Barentt (@ericacbarnett) from Publicola (@PubliColaNews): https://publicola.com/2022/09/27/harrells-budget-would-move-parking-enforcement-back-to-spd-add-10-million-to-homelessness-authority-and-use-jumpstart-to-backfill-budget/   “Harrell budget proposal steps back on Seattle reforms including larger SPD, new plan for big business tax” by jseattle from Capitol Hill Seattle Blog: https://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2022/09/harrell-budget-proposal-steps-back-on-seattle-reforms-including-larger-spd-new-plan-for-big-business-tax/   "City of Seattle and King County Reveal Proposed Budgets for Input" by Vee Hua from The South Seattle Emerald (@SoSeaEmerald): https://southseattleemerald.com/2022/09/28/news-gleams-city-of-seattle-and-king-county-reveal-proposed-budgets-for-input-renton-arts-grants/   “The Mayor Wants to Pay Human Service Providers Less” by Hannah Krieg (@hannahkrieg) from The Stranger(@TheStranger): https://www.thestranger.com/news/2022/09/28/78543620/the-mayor-wants-to-pay-human-service-providers-less   Information on public comments for the budget from The South Seattle Emerald: Written public comment on the city's 2023-2024 budget will be accepted at all meetings of the City Council's Budget Committee. Comments intended for the full council can be sent to council@seattle.gov. There will be three public hearings on the budget at City Hall on these dates: Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m.   "Seattle's Left Proposes Defunding the Police, Stopping Sweeps, and Building Housing in Solidarity Budget" by Hannah Krieg (@hannahkrieg) from The Stranger(@TheStranger): https://www.thestranger.com/news/2022/09/23/78520829/seattles-left-proposes-defunding-the-police-stopping-sweeps-and-building-housing-in-solidarity-budget   “New Tax Would  Fund Behavioral Crisis Centers” by Erica C. Barentt (@ericacbarnett) from Publicola (@PubliColaNews): https://publicola.com/2022/09/27/new-tax-would-fund-behavioral-crisis-centers-things-to-look-for-in-harrells-first-budget-proposal/   "‘Spoliation of Evidence' - CHOP lawsuit judge asked to rule against City of Seattle over deleted texts” by jseattle from Capital Hill Seattle Blog- https://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2022/09/spoliation-of-evidence-chop-lawsuit-judge-asked-to-rule-against-city-of-seattle-over-deleted-texts/    The Bellingham Herald(@BhamHerald)'s story on Dan Johnson's hateful social media history [story is behind a paywall]: https://t.co/Xtbq2D6BKD    Tweet thread with information about Whatcom County State House Candidate Dan Johnson's hateful online history: https://twitter.com/finchfrii/status/1574794894807539712?s=20&t=Kn1jkKibpz1cn_fNJUBMzg   Next Tuesday, October 4th, at 7:00pm, join Crystal live or in-person as she hosts a debate between 37th LD State Rep candidates Emijah Smith & Chipalo Street! See seattleemerald.com/debate for more details!   Transcrip Coming Soon

Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson
Should Detroit spend ARPA funds to expand ShotSpotter in the city?

Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2022 52:00


hotSpotter is a system designed to detect gunfire by triangulating the sound of gunshots with a series of sensors deployed across an area. This week, Detroit City Council approved $1.5 million to renew ShotSpotter, while delaying a vote on whether to spend $7 million in ARPA funds to expand it. Mitchell Douchette, an assistant scientist at Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence joins the show to discuss his study's findings regarding whether the system is effective at reducing gun violence. Then, Nancy Parker, managing attorney at the Detroit Justice Center, presents her arguments against implementing ShotSpotter in the city. Next, Detroit Deputy Police Chief Franklin Hayes joins the show to discuss why the Detroit Police Department supports expanded use of the system. Finally, WDET's Eli Newman provides an update on where city council is with the vote and what to expect moving forward.

Not So Critical Update
Detroit Wants to Use COVID Relief Funds for Shotspotter Surveillance

Not So Critical Update

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 7:11


Join our Discord server: https://discord.gg/7QsrTbKchc Today's article: https://theintercept.com/2022/09/17/police-surveillance-shotspotter-detroit/ Follow @PrivSecNews on Twitter Hosts: Peter Lowe (@pgl) Jon Cohen (@jonnisec) Mike Sutton (@zenmike)

The Paul W. Smith Show
Lloyd Jackson ~ The Paul W. Smith Show

The Paul W. Smith Show

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 6:42


September 28, 2022 ~ WJR Senior News Analyst Lloyd Jackson updates Chris and Sean on the Detroit City Council voting on expanding ShotSpotter technology.

The Guy Gordon Show
Lloyd Jackson ~ The Guy Gordon Show

The Guy Gordon Show

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2022 4:58


September 27, 2022 ~ Lloyd Jackson, WJR Senior News Analyst, talks with Guy Gordon about the Detroit City Council delaying the vote on expanded use of ShotSpotter, and the shooting of an undercover Michigan State Police trooper.

The Guy Gordon Show
The Guy Gordon Show ~ September 27, 2022

The Guy Gordon Show

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2022 74:08


September 27, 2022 ~ Full Show. Steve Grigorian, President & CEO of the Detroit Economic Club, Jon Randall, Vice President of Investment for Stifel, Michelle Stebbins, Branch Manager for Stifel, Christina Toma, Engineering Support Analyst for Ford Motor Co, Justin Remington, Chief Operating Officer of the Remington Group, Dr. Kristen Barnes=Holiday, Professor of English at Wayne County Community College District and Founder of "Clearly Female," Amy Hallochak, Marketing Manger for the Detroit Economic Club, Laura Reiners, Community Relations Director for Growth Works, Matt Zelman, Senior Auto Finance Specialist for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Joe Vicari owner of the Vicari Restaurant Group honor and are honored at the Detroit Economic Club's Rising Star Honoree Reception. Maya MacGuiness, President of the Bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget discusses how much student loan forgiveness will cost the US Treasury. State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey gives his thoughts on the abortion ballot proposal. Sports Analyst Steve Courtney recaps Pistons Media Day. Amy Barcdukas, Chief Marketing Officer for WiTricity is our guest for Mobility Makers and Senior News Analyst Lloyd Jackson with the latest on Detroit City Council's vote on ShotSpotter.

The Guy Gordon Show
Lloyd Jackson ~ The Guy Gordon Show

The Guy Gordon Show

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 5:44


September 20, 2022 ~ Lloyd Jackson, WJR Senior News Analyst, talks with Guy Gordon about Detroit City Council postponing a vote on ShotSpotter, and a new commission in Oakland County aimed to reduce gun violence in school.

The Guy Gordon Show
The Guy Gordon Show ~ September 20, 2022

The Guy Gordon Show

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 73:40


September 20, 2022 ~ Full Show. Senior News Analyst Marie Osborne reports on a new rule that will allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control. Attorney Todd Flood gives his analysis on a Texas Sheriff opening up a criminal investigation into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recruiting migrants from the Texas border and sending them to Martha's Vineyard. Senior News Analyst Lloyd Jackson discusses ShotSpotter technology in Detroit and Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald's new commission to reduce gun violence in schools. Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin joins the show. Senior News Analyst Chris Renwick tells us what Gentex Corporation is doing at the Auto Show. Doug Herbert, Founder of B.R.A.K.E.S is our gest for Mobility Makers. Sports Analyst Steve Courtney recaps the press conference to introduce Scott Harris as the Detroit Tigers President of Baseball Operations and Mitch Albom previews his upcoming book event.

Authentically Detroit
The Making of Black Detroit

Authentically Detroit

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 66:59


Authentically Detroit is launching a new series on Economic Fairness in the city of Detroit!Donna and Orlando kick off the series with a discussion on the history of Black Detroit. Donna gives a brief history lesson that gives some background on how Detroit became one the the Blackest cities in America.  The duo also discuss Shot Spotter technology and federal funding announced for the I-375 highway.Be sure to keep up with the series if you're interested in learning more about the real Detroit!Hot Takes Link:IS SHOT SPOTTER EFFECTIVE? DATA ON DETROIT TECHNOLOGY FUELS DEBATE FEDS TO ANNOUNCE FUNDING TO CONVERT BUSY I-375 TO LOWER SPEED BOULEVARD 

The Guy Gordon Show
Scott Benson ~ The Guy Gordon Show

The Guy Gordon Show

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2022 10:05


September 12, 2022 ~ Scott Benson, Detroit City Councilman in the 3rd District, talks with Guy Gordon about the upcoming vote on his proposed food safety ordinance and growing opposition to spending $8.5 million on expanding ShotSpotter.

Bull City Wrap
Bull City Wrap ep. 280 [Sept 6 - 12, 2022]

Bull City Wrap

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 11, 2022 5:05


Miss any of our recent #BullCityToday episodes? Catch up now on your #localgov news with #BullCityWrap. - We now know the dates of the community forums for @TheDurhamPolice's new ShotSpotter pilot program. Find out when they're happening near you.- There are exciting updates to share on three new @dprplaymore trails that are currently in the works throughout the city. We share the next steps on the R. Kelly Bryant Bridge Trail, the Third Fork Creek Extension Trail, and the Downtown Durham Rail Trail. - Both Part 1 violent crime and property crime were down in the second quarter of this year compared with the same time period last year. We have that and more information from @TheDurhamPolice's Second Quarter Crime Report. - Calling all teens who are new to the work force – we have an event to tell you about that you're not going to want to miss. Find out all the details about @dprplaymore's upcoming job readiness teen night. - All microbusiness owners are invited to apply for the Momentum Financial Academy. The program helps Durham entrepreneurs with five or fewer employees learn how to manage business finances, prepare for growth and scaling, and plan for retirement. Find out more.

Holyoke Media Podcasts
Síntesis informativa, 9 de septiembre de 2022.

Holyoke Media Podcasts

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2022 2:00


Holyoke Media, en asociación con WHMP radio, emiten diariamente la Síntesis informativa en español a través del 101.5 FM y en el 1240 / 1400 AM. Esta es la síntesis informativa del viernes 9 de septiembre de 2022: - El alcalde de Holyoke, Joshua Garcia, junto con el fiscal de distrito de Hampden, Anthony Gulluni, el jefe de policía de Holyoke, David Pratt y el presidente del concejo municipal de Holyoke, Todd McGee, ofrecieron el jueves una conferencia de prensa para discutir los crecientes incidentes de seguridad pública ocurridos en fechas recientes en la ciudad de Holyoke. El alcalde García señaló que han habido cinco homicidios ocurridos este año en la ciudad, dos de ellos recientemente en los pasados días. De igual forma reconoció que la justicia no solo debe ser vista desde la perspectiva de la corte, pero en el acceso a servicios de salud, asistencia en casos de salud mental y adicciones, oportunidades de trabajo y de vivienda, que son factores de calidad de vida que ayudan a evitar incidentes de seguridad pública. Por su parte el fiscal de distrito Anthony Gullini expresó que la implementación de herramientas como el detector de disparos ShotSpotter, ha sido de mucha ayuda en la investigación de casos en Springfield por los pasados diez años y calificó de irresponsables las opiniones de oficiales electos que se expresan de forma negativa hacía la policía. Esto en referencia a comentarios emitidos durante la sesión especial del Concejo Municipal 1 de septiembre por el concejal José Maldonado-Velez. El jefe de policía de Holyoke, David Pratt recalcó que el Departamento de Policía de Holyoke trabajará incansablemente para mitigar la violencia con armas de fuego en la ciudad, gracias al esfuerzo conjunto del alcalde y el fiscal de distrito, así como la colaboración con otras agencias a nivel estatal y federal. El alcalde García agradeció al jefe Pratt y al cuerpo de policía de Holyoke por su respuesta a los incidentes y sus esfuerzos para proteger a la ciudad. Pese a que la discusión del concejo de la ciudad para aceptar fondos federales del Departamento de Justicia por $50, 000 fue aplazada en la sesión especial del 1 de septiembre, el presidente del Concejo Municipal Todd McGee indicó que esta puede retomarse en futuras sesiones para volver a discutirse y emitir una nueva votación. Por su parte García indicó que independientemente del resultado de esa votación, él va a implementar la iniciativa de instalar el detector de disparos y al mismo tiempo buscar fondos, posiblemente de ARPA, para aumentar el área de cobertura a un 80% de las zonas donde se reporta el mayor número de incidentes que involucran armas de fuego. FUENTE: HOLYOKE MEDIA

AI News po polsku
#2236 Sepsis / ShotSpotter / Cleerly / UpCity / Israel

AI News po polsku

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 5:17


Podcast jest dostępny także w formie newslettera: https://ainewsletter.integratedaisolutions.com/ Infekcje mogą wywoływać wszelkiego rodzaju reakcje w ludzkim ciele, a jedną z najbardziej skrajnych jest posocznica. https://newatlas.com/medical/bedside-ai-warning-system-sepsis-mortality-20/ Funkcjonariusze są oskarżani o umieszczanie „ślepej wiary” https://futurism.com/the-byte/man-sues-chicago-ai-wrongly-imprisoned Cleerly ogłosiło dzisiaj, że zamknęło rundę finansowania serii C z nadsubskrypcją z przychodami w wysokości 192 milionów dolarów. https://www.massdevice.com/cleerly-192m-ai-software-atherosclerosis/ Narzędzia AI i niedobór pracowników zbierają informacje od 600 właścicieli i pracowników małych firm w całych Stanach Zjednoczonych, aby dowiedzieć się, w jaki sposób niedobór siły roboczej doprowadził do wzrostu wykorzystania narzędzi AI, a także jakie są zalety i wady ich używania. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/07/25/2485045/0/en/UpCity-Survey-Results-46-Of-SMBs-Are-Using-AI-While-Growing-Their-Team-In-2022.html Materiały szkoleniowe sprawdzone przez The Intercept potwierdzają, że Google oferuje izraelskiemu rządowi zaawansowaną sztuczną inteligencję i możliwości uczenia maszynowego w ramach kontrowersyjnego kontraktu „Project Nimbus”. https://theintercept.com/2022/07/24/google-israel-artificial-intelligence-project-nimbus/ Odwiedź www.integratedaisolutions.com

AI News auf Deutsch
#2236 Sepsis / ShotSpotter / Cleerly / UpCity / Israel

AI News auf Deutsch

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 5:35


Infektionen können alle Arten von Reaktionen im menschlichen Körper auslösen, und eine der extremsten ist Sepsis. https://newatlas.com/medical/bedside-ai-warning-system-sepsis-mortality-20/ Beamte werden beschuldigt, einer notorisch unzuverlässigen Plattform „blindes Vertrauen“ zu schenken. https://futurism.com/the-byte/man-sues-chicago-ai-wrongly-imprisoned Cleerly gab heute bekannt, dass es eine überzeichnete Finanzierungsrunde der Serie C mit einem Erlös von 192 Millionen US-Dollar abgeschlossen hat. https://www.massdevice.com/cleerly-192m-ai-software-atherosclerosis/ The AI Tools and the Labor https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/07/25/2485045/0/en/UpCity-Survey-Results-46-Of-SMBs-Are-Using-AI-While-Growing-Their-Team-In-2022.html Von The Intercept überprüfte Schulungsmaterialien bestätigen, dass Google der israelischen Regierung durch seinen umstrittenen „Project Nimbus“-Vertrag fortschrittliche Fähigkeiten für künstliche Intelligenz und maschinelles Lernen anbietet. https://theintercept.com/2022/07/24/google-israel-artificial-intelligence-project-nimbus/ Visit www.integratedaisolutions.com

KGO 810 Podcast
Pat Thurston: Tom Chittum on illegal machine gun conversion devices

KGO 810 Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 20:33


Pat welcomes Tom Chittum, VP of Analytics & Forensic Services at ShotSpotter who has nearly 27 years of experience in federal law enforcement. Prior to joining ShotSpotter, Tom was an Associate Deputy Director at Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Below are excerpts from his blog which can be found at Ways to Reduce Gun Violence in a Machine Gun Era - ShotSpotter In 2019, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Homeland Security began recovering illegal machine gun conversion devices imported from China. Soon, they would also be printed on 3D printers. Under the NFA, the devices themselves—small, innocuous-looking, inexpensive, easy-to-install switches—are illegal, even when not installed on a firearm. However, when installed, they convert a semi-automatic pistol into an illegal, fully automatic machine gun capable of firing dozens of rounds in just a few seconds. The threat these illegal machine guns pose is real. They have been used to murder police and have also shown up in mass shootings.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Pat Thurston Show Podcast
Pat Thurston: Tom Chittum on illegal machine gun conversion devices

The Pat Thurston Show Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 20:33


Pat welcomes Tom Chittum, VP of Analytics & Forensic Services at ShotSpotter who has nearly 27 years of experience in federal law enforcement. Prior to joining ShotSpotter, Tom was an Associate Deputy Director at Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Below are excerpts from his blog which can be found at Ways to Reduce Gun Violence in a Machine Gun Era - ShotSpotter In 2019, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Homeland Security began recovering illegal machine gun conversion devices imported from China. Soon, they would also be printed on 3D printers. Under the NFA, the devices themselves—small, innocuous-looking, inexpensive, easy-to-install switches—are illegal, even when not installed on a firearm. However, when installed, they convert a semi-automatic pistol into an illegal, fully automatic machine gun capable of firing dozens of rounds in just a few seconds. The threat these illegal machine guns pose is real. They have been used to murder police and have also shown up in mass shootings.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Dana & Parks Podcast
Do we need ShotSpotter technology in Kansas City? Hour 4 8/22/2022

The Dana & Parks Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2022 35:48


Tracked and Traced
Tracked and Traced: Reporting on Surveillance in Detroit

Tracked and Traced

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 41:37


Detroit Police are likely to increase the amount of surveillance technology they use this year. In the final episode of Tracked and Traced, producer David Leins talks with reporters Bryce Huffman (Bridge Detroit), Eli Newman (WDET) and Russ McNamara (WDET) to talk about Evolv weapons detection technology, ShotSpotter, FOIA requests, and bodycam footage. Plus, Antajuan Scott talks with organizer and poet Tawana Petty about data rights in Detroit.

Chicago's Afternoon News with Steve Bertrand
Is there a flaw in Chicago's ‘ShotSpotter' program?

Chicago's Afternoon News with Steve Bertrand

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022


Alejandro Ruizesparza, co-director at Lucy Parson Labs, joins Lisa Dent on Chicago’s Afternoon News to explain why they’ve filed a class-action lawsuit against the city over its ShotSpotter program. Follow Your Favorite Chicago’s Afternoon News Personalities on Twitter:Follow @LisaDentSpeaksFollow @SteveBertrand Follow @kpowell720 Follow @maryvandeveldeFollow @LaurenLapka

Guardian Mindset
ShotSpotter and Terry Stops

Guardian Mindset

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2022 8:12


Continuing with the subject of technology, Attorney Eric Daigle reviews the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision in United States v. Chauncey Jones (2021). This case involves use of the Shotspotter gunshot detection system to justify a Terry stop, and Jones' appeal to suppress evidence of a firearm found through the stop.

Live Like the World is Dying
S1E43 - Elle on Threat Modeling

Live Like the World is Dying

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 72:40


Episode Notes Episode summary Margaret talks with Elle an anarchist and security professional about different threat modeling approaches and analyzing different kinds of threats. They explore physical threats, digital security, communications, surveillance,and general OpSec mentalities for how to navigate the panopticon and do stuff in the world without people knowing about it...if you're in Czarist Russia of course. Guest Info Elle can be found on twitter @ellearmageddon. Host and Publisher The host Margaret Killjoy can be found on twitter @magpiekilljoy or instagram at @margaretkilljoy. This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness. Show Links Transcript Live Like the World is Dying: Elle on Threat Modeling Margaret 00:15 Hello, and welcome to Live Like The World Is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. I'm your host, Margaret killjoy. And with me at the exact moment is my dog, who has just jumped up to try and talk into the microphone and bite my arm. And, I use 'she' and 'they' pronouns. And this week, I'm going to be talking to my friend Elle, who is a, an anarchist security professional. And we're going to be talking about threat modeling. And we're going to be talking about how to figure out what people are trying to do to you and who's trying to do it and how to deal with different people trying to do different things. Like, what is the threat model around the fact that while I'm trying to record a podcast, my dog is biting my arm? And I am currently choosing to respond by trying to play it for humor and leaving it in rather than cutting it out and re recording. This podcast is a proud member of the Channel Zero network of anarchists podcasts. And here's a jingle from another show on the network. Jingle Margaret 02:00 Okay, if you could introduce yourself, I guess, with your name and your pronouns, and then maybe what you do as relates to the stuff that we're going to be talking about today. Elle 02:10 Yeah, cool. Hi, I'm Elle. My pronouns are they/them. I am a queer, autistic, anarchist security practitioner. I do security for a living now that I've spent over the last decade, working with activist groups and NGOs, just kind of anybody who's got an interesting threat model to help them figure out what they can do to make themselves a little a little safer and a little more secure. Margaret 02:43 So that word threat model. That's actually kind of what I want to have you on today to talk about is, it's this word that we we hear a lot, and sometimes we throw into sentences when we want to sound really smart, or maybe I do that. But what does it mean, what is threat modeling? And why is it relevant? Elle 03:02 Yeah, I actually, I really love that question. Because I think that we a lot of people do use the term threat modeling without really knowing what they mean by it. And so to me, threat modeling is having an understanding of your own life in your own context, and who poses a realistic risk to you, and what you can do to keep yourself safe from them. So whether that's, you know, protecting communications that you have from, you know, state surveillance, or whether it's keeping yourself safe from an abusive ex, your threat model is going to vary based on your own life experiences and what you need to protect yourself from and who those people actually are and what they're capable of doing. Margaret 03:52 Are you trying to say there's not like one solution to all problems that we would just apply? Elle 03:58 You know, I love... Margaret 03:58 I don't understand. Elle 04:00 I know that everybody really, really loves the phrase "Use signal. Use TOR," and you know, thinks that that is the solution to all of life's problems. But it actually turns out that, no, you do have to have both an idea of what it is that you're trying to protect, whether it's yourself or something like your communications and who you're trying to protect it from, and how they can how they can actually start working towards gaining access to whatever it is that you're trying to defend. Margaret 04:31 One of the things that when I think about threat modeling that I think about is this idea of...because the levels of security that you take for something often limit your ability to accomplish different things. Like in Dungeons and Dragons, if you were plate armor, you're less able to be a dexterous rogue and stealth around. And so I think about threat modeling, maybe as like learning to balance....I'm kind of asking this, am I correct in this? Balancing what you're trying to accomplish with who's trying to stop you? Because like, you could just use TOR, for everything. And then also like use links the little like Lynx [misspoke "Tails"] USB keychain and never use a regular computer and never communicate with anyone and then never accomplish anything. But, it seems like that might not work. Elle 05:17 Yeah, I mean, the idea, the idea is to prevent whoever your adversaries are from keeping you from doing whatever you're trying to accomplish. Right? So if the security precautions that you're taking to prevent your adversaries from preventing you from doing a thing are also preventing you from doing the thing, then it doesn't matter, because your adversaries have just won, right? So there, there definitely is a need, you know, to be aware of risks that you're taking and decide which ones make sense, which ones don't make sense. And kind of look at it from from a dynamic of "Okay, is this something that is in my, you know, acceptable risk model? Is this a risk I'm willing to take? Are there things that I can do to, you know, do harm reduction and minimize the risk? Or at least like, make it less? Where are those trade offs? What, what is the maximum amount of safety or security that I can do for myself, while still achieving whatever it is that I'm trying to achieve?" Margaret 06:26 Do you actually ever like, chart it out on like, an X,Y axis where you get like, this is the point where you start getting diminishing returns? I'm just imagining it. I've never done that. Elle 06:37 In, in the abstract, yes, because that's part of how autism brain works for me. But in a, like actually taking pen to paper context, not really. But that's, you know, at least partially, because of that's something that autism brain just does for me. So I think it could actually be a super reasonable thing to do, for people whose brains don't auto filter that for them. But but I'm, I guess, lucky enough to be neurodivergent, and have like, you know, like, we always we joke in tech, "It's not a bug, it's a feature." And I feel like, you know, autism is kind of both sometimes. In some cases, it's totally a bug and and others, it's absolutely a feature. And this is one of the areas where it happens to be a feature, at least for me. Margaret 07:35 That makes sense. I, I kind of view my ADHD as a feature, in that, it allows me to hyper focus on topics and then move on and then not come back to them. Or also, which is what I do now for work with podcasting, and a lot of my writing. It makes it hard to write long books, I gotta admit, Elle 07:56 Yeah, I work with a bunch of people with varying neuro types. And it's really interesting, like, at least at least in my own team, I think that you know, the, the folks who are more towards the autism spectrum disorder side of of the house are more focused on things like application security, and kind of things that require sort of sustained hyper focus. And then folks with ADHD make just absolutely amazing, like incident responders and do really, really well in interrupt driven are interrupts heavy contexts, Margaret 08:38 Or sprinters. Elle 08:40 It's wild to me, because I'm just like, yes, this makes perfect sense. And obviously, like, these different tasks are better suited to different neuro types. But I've also never worked with a manager who actually thought about things in that way before. Margaret 08:53 Right. Elle 08:54 And so it's actually kind of cool to be to be in a position where I can be like, "Hey, like, Does this sound interesting to you? Would you rather focus on this kind of work?" And kind of get that that with people. Margaret 09:06 That makes sense that's.... i I'm glad that you're able to do that. I'm glad that people that you work with are able to have that you know, experience because it is it's hard to it's hard to work within....obviously the topic of today is...to working in the workplace is a neurodivergent person, but it I mean it affects so many of us you know, like almost whatever you do for work the the different ways your brain work are always struggling against it. So. Elle 09:32 Yeah, I don't know. It just it makes sense to me to like do your best to structure your life in a way that is more conducive to your neurotype. Margaret 09:44 Yeah. Elle 09:45 You know, if you can. Margaret 09:49 I don't even realize exactly how age ADHD I was until I tried to work within a normal workforce. I built my entire life around, not needing to live in one place or do one thing for sustained periods of time. But okay, but back to the threat modeling. Margaret 10:07 The first time I heard of, I don't know if it's the first time I heard a threat modeling or not, I don't actually know when I first started hearing that word. But the first time I heard about you, in the context of it was a couple years back, you had some kind of maybe it was tweets or something about how people were assuming that they should use, for example, the more activist focused email service Rise Up, versus whether they should just use Gmail. And I believe that you were making the case that for a lot of things, Gmail would actually be safer, because even though they don't care about you, they have a lot more resources to throw at the problem of keeping governments from reading their emails. That might be a terrible paraphrasing of what you said. But this, this is how I was introduced to this concept of threat modeling. If you wanted to talk about that example, and tell me how I got it all wrong. Elle 10:07 Yeah. Elle 10:58 Yeah. Um, so you didn't actually get it all wrong. And I think that the thing that I would add to that is that if you are engaging in some form of hypersensitive communication, email is not the mechanism that you want to do that. And so when I say things like, "Oh, you know, it probably actually makes sense to use Gmail instead of Rise Up," I mean, you know, contexts where you're maybe communicating with a lawyer and your communications are privileged, right?it's a lot harder to crack Gmail security than it is to crack something like Rise Up security, just by virtue of the volume of resources available to each of those organizations. And so where you specifically have this case where, you know, there's, there's some degree of legal protection for whatever that means, making sure that you're not leveraging something where your communications can be accessed without your knowledge or consent by a third party, and then used in a way that is conducive to parallel construction. Margaret 12:19 So what is parallel construction? Elle 12:20 Parallel construction is a legal term where you obtain information in a way that is not admissible in court, and then use that information to reconstruct a timeline or reconstruct a mechanism of access to get to that information in an admissible way. Margaret 12:39 So like every cop show Elle 12:41 Right, so like, with parallel construction around emails, for example, if you're emailing back and forth with your lawyer, and your lawyer is like, "Alright, like, be straight with me. Because I need to know if you've actually done this crime so that I can understand how best t