STOPPING DEPORTATIONS A dozen people locked arms in the driveway of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma on February 24 to protest the Obama administration's mass deportations of immigrants. They managed to avoid arrest while, they said, blocking a bus full of detained immigrants that was trying to exit the facility. "The president can't be a champion for immigration reform and the deporter-in-chief at the same time," said Milton Cornejo, who says he is undocumented in a statement. Authorities under Obama have deported more than two million immigrants, more than any other administration. While their cases are processed, thousands of them spend months or years at the Tacoma center, where "the conditions are substandard," according to a 2008 Seattle University study. "The president's stated policy since taking office is 'enforcement on steroids' in order to gain credibility and give him leverage in negotiations over immigration reform," Jessica Karp, an attorney for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which helped organize the protest, told the Washington Post. (ANSEL HERZ)

SUPPORTING DISABLED KIDS Legislators and council members are throwing support behind local school Northwest Center Kids, which serves a large number of physically and developmentally disabled children. The center is being evicted by Seattle Public Schools from the Queen Anne building they've occupied for 28 years. While the school district has offered them the old Van Asselt building, Northwest Center Kids says that building has not yet been licensed for their specific needs. In a February 19 letter to school superintendent José Banda, local, county, and state politicians (including Seattle City Council members Sally Bagshaw and Kshama Sawant) asked the school district to extend the school's lease, stop "focusing on provisional, stop-gap solutions," and "invest public resources in a long-term, strategic, and thoughtful way." (DANIELLE HENDERSON)

MAYBE MINIMUM-WAGE HIKES AREN'T A JOB KILLER Both sides in the current minimum-wage debate have acknowledged that a 61 percent increase in Seattle's minimum wage, from $9.32 to $15 an hour, would be unprecedented. Except they're wrong. Initiative 518, passed by 77 percent of Washington voters back in 1988, raised the minimum wage for tipped employees—mostly restaurant workers—from $2.30 to $4.25, an 85 percent increase over two years. And yet despite this steep hike in labor costs, restaurant employment growth continued to outpace the state average over the next decade. Huh. (GOLDY)

MURRAY'S AMBITIOUS AGENDA In his February 18 State of the City address, Mayor Ed Murray outlined his objectives for the year, including: his commitment to "a process to raise the minimum wage in this city" with "$15 per hour as the goal," working to get affordable universal preschool enacted this year, setting an ambitious goal of 75 percent of Seattle commuters getting to work in modes other than single-occupancy vehicles, creating a "sustainable funding source" via summer ballot measure for the city's park system, better funding and staffing for the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and holding a neighborhood summit on April 5. Godspeed! (ANNA MINARD) recommended