Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess Won't Seek Re-election: Burgess announced yesterday that he won't seek a fourth term because "it's time to move on." Tenant rights activist Jon Grant, who ran against Burgess in 2015 and lost by 10 percentage points, has already filed to run for the seat. "With Burgess out and a newly open seat, expect tons more people to jump into this race," Heidi Groover noted.
South Seattle's 37th Legislative District Will Still Be Held by a Woman of Color: Yesterday, the King County Council bucked recommendations from Democrats in the 37th and appointed Rebecca Saldaña, the director of Puget Sound Sage, to serve as a senator for the majority-minority district. Saldaña takes the reigns from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who previously represented the district as the only woman of color in the state senate. According to Council member Larry Gossett, the state legislature is about 92 percent white.
Saldaña sworn in as state senator, pledges to work to ensure laws "bend toward justice." pic.twitter.com/kNuHPdyOCj
— Heidi Groover (@heidigroover) December 13, 2016
Reforming Homeless Encampment Sweeps Is "Off to a Slow Start": "From September to early November, the city conducted 26 cleanups, four of which were halted by monitors from the city’s Office of Civil Rights when protocols were not followed," reports Vernal Coleman for The Seattle Times. One civil rights monitor overseeing an encampment sweep wrote in a note that "WSDOT is a hott mess!"
Breaking Down the Media Blackout on Standing Rock: Go watch Stranger reporter Sydney Brownstone's appearance on Al Jazeera's The Listening Post here.
What Does Justice Really Mean? That's the big question in Sydney Brownstone's latest feature examining the murder of Seattle teacher Brent McDonald and the devastation that befell his family and his killer's.
SPD Team Okays Use of Force in Officer Response to Woman Struggling with Mental Illness: In 2014, Seattle police officer Daniel Erickson was called out to First Hill's Swedish Hospital to respond to mental health patient Wendlyn Phillips, 57, who allegedly kicked at doctors outside the hospital. A recently released video shows that "in ten seconds, Phillips waves her bag in Erickson’s face and he takes her down into the street, her face slamming into the pavement. Erickson does not appear to tell her not to swing her bag until he has grabbed her," writes Ansel Herz in his latest for Capitol Hill Seattle. The Force Investigation Team and Force Review Board, new to SPD, members of which stated that Phillips had fallen to the ground, ultimately ruled that Erikson's use of force was "professional, polite, and calm."
Washington State University Researchers Develop "Counter-Bias" Training for Police Officers: Oregon police officers in Astoria and Warrenton were some of the first test subjects. "The goal of this counter bias training is to get officers to look past skin color, gender or a person’s clothing choices and concentrate on danger cues… things such as body language, hand positions and furtive movements toward a possible weapon," reports Tom Banse for the Northwest News Network.
"People give certain body languages when they are getting ready to attack another individual or a police officer," [Warrenton Police Officer Jim] Pierce said. “This (training) helps bring out those body languages, setting aside anything else — race, religion, sex or anything else."
March Celebrating the Seattle Sounders' MLS Cup Win Begins at 11 a.m. in Westlake Park: After Saturday's hellishly emotional roller coaster ride of a game, it's time to celebrate. Here's a map of the route. There will also be an hour-long rally on Seattle Center's Fisher Lawn beginning at 12:30 p.m.
People in Besieged Aleppo Are Filming What Could Be Their Last Messages to the World: They are circulating all over social media — and for good reason. The city is under heavy bombardment from Syrian President Bashar Assad and leaving unimaginable destruction and "streets are littered with carnage. The White Helmets, who are a volunteer rescue organization, say they can't give a body count anymore," reports NPR's Alice Fordham.
UNICEF says it has received reports of unaccompanied children trapped in a building in eastern Aleppo that is currently under fire, The Associated Press reports.
A spokesman for the U.N. human rights office says it has received reports of regime forces killing at least 82 civilians "on the spot" in east Aleppo, including women and children.
Jens Laerke, of the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, described a "complete meltdown of humanity" in Aleppo.
Turkey Is in Talks with Russia to End the Violence: From The Guardian:
The Turkish foreign ministry said it was horrified and outraged by what it described as a massacre of civilians, in serious breach of international law.
“We’re seeing the most cruel form of savagery in Aleppo, and the regime and its supporters are responsible for this,” foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, adding that his country was was negotiating with Russia to implement a ceasefire. “The wounded are not being let out and people are dying of starvation,” he told a news conference in Ankara.
Meanwhile, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow was fed up of calls from the US to halt the fighting. “We are tired of hearing this whining from our American colleagues in the current administration,” he told journalists. The US was urging Russia to halt military action while doing nothing to separate moderate rebels from “terrorists” in Aleppo, he added.
Trump Picks Exxon Mobil CEO to Run State Department: Because we now live in the Upside-Down. Should we even be surprised anymore?