Flower Power

On Tuesday, January 18, activists from NARAL Pro-Choice Washington visited the offices of 76 state house legislators and handed out vases emblazoned with the NARAL's Statue of Liberty logo. The event was intended to head off the annual flower delivery by pro-life groups, which took place at the state house the following day. The pro-life stunt--activists hand out roses to all the lawmakers--is often awkward for pro-choice legislators who don't want to turn down the gifts, especially when the activists arrive with kids in tow, according to NARAL Executive Director Karen Cooper. This year, however, pro-choice recipients were able to smile politely and put the gifts in the NARAL vases. NANCY DREW


Election Update

Environmental activist Darlene Madenwald says she's considering a run for Richard Conlin's city council seat, solidifying Conlin's position as the most targeted incumbent of the 2005 election. Already, three heavy hitters--Port Commissioner Paige Miller, former mayoral Communications Director Casey Corr, and King County Council Member Dwight Pelz--have jumped into the race. Madenwald says she's not intimidated by the crowded field. "If I run, I'm not going to decide who to run against based on how many people are in the race," she says.

One person who won't be opposing Conlin--or any city council member--is King County Council Member Bob Ferguson. Ferguson, rumored to be seeking a different office ever since his county council district was redrawn, forcing him to run against fellow incumbent Carolyn Edmonds, says that while he's flattered that "some people did call and approach me about running for other offices… I'm running for reelection." ERICA C. BARNETT

Police Update

After nearly two years of working without a contract, the Seattle police officer's union took another step toward officially approving a contract this week. The city council's public safety committee, headed by police accountability hawk Nick Licata, was slated to send the contract to full council without much debate on Tuesday, February 1.

Expectations from civil rights activists were high when Licata took over the committee from more cop-friendly Council Member Jim Compton in 2004. The contract does have a new arbitration feature that allows citizens to hash out troublesome encounters with the police without filing a full complaint. The program has been praised by the city's Office of Professional Accountability Director Sam Pailca because mediation between cops and complainants has proven to improve police relations with the community in other cities, such as Portland. However, in a January 18 letter to Licata, Racial Disparity Project Attorney D'Adre Cunningham pointed out that the arbitration process would erase track records of bad behavior from an officer's history. JOSH FEIT

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