• Seattle City Council member Nick Licata introduced a bill on December 2 that would halve a fine proposed by City Attorney Pete Holmes for smoking pot in public. The council's bill would reduce the penalty from Holmes's proposed $50 to $27—the same as the city's fine for public consumption of alcohol. In addition, the bill's language makes clear that police intend to first issue a warning, and it requires the Seattle Police Department to monitor enforcement by tracking the race, age, and gender of suspects, plus the location the ticket was issued. Citing the need to avoid adverse racial impacts, the bill says police also must provide an analysis of that data to the council biannually. Licata explains his changes: "We wanted something that was, to be honest, more workable and acceptable to the public."

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• That same day, immigrant-rights advocates had reason to celebrate when the King County Council narrowly passed an ordinance giving local law enforcement the authority to ignore certain requests from federal immigration agents. Under the new law, the county narrows the criteria under which it will honor requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to "hold" people in county jails past their release dates while ICE assesses whether to deport them. Proposed by Council Member Larry Gossett, the ordinance was supported by city and county police, who say it will encourage immigrants to report crimes without fear of being detained.

• What did we learn from new maps released this week showing how precincts across the city voted in November's general election? A few things. First: Seattle City Council member-elect Kshama Sawant crushed incumbent Richard Conlin in the newly created District 3, where they both live and where she may run again in 2015. She garnered 58.5 percent of the district's vote. Second: The city is sharply divided into two camps—the older, richer, and more conservative voters versus younger, poorer, and more progressive voters. Picture Seattle as a bagel: You've got a crusty, conservative outer layer of rich folk that grows sharply more progressive as you get to the denser, poorer precincts in the middle of our chewy city. Third: This city really wanted city council districts. District-creating Charter Amendment 19 won 946 precincts in the city and lost only five. recommended