We get it, Reagan, you're in a GOP Congressional primary: Reagan Dunn, the King County Councilmember trying to unseat Rep. Kim Schrier this fall, wants to build a "four- or five-foot-high brick wall that you could see through, maybe with some cool wrought iron" around City Hall Park to prevent a new encampment from forming there. This has to be the silliest idea I've ever heard for a problem with an obvious solution: build more housing, you ghouls. Oh, and Dunn specified that his wall proposal is "[n]ot like Trump's wall, to be clear." Someone should familiarize him with the old adage about cake and whether you can both have it and eat it.
Is the answer to every problem really to hire more cops? When confronted with his police department's decision to de-prioritize new adult sexual assault cases, that's effectively the only solution Mayor Harrell had to offer. He called SPD's actions and staffing levels "unacceptable," but he didn't provide any explanation responsive to criticisms from advocates of survivors. Those advocates pointed out that departments in other jurisdictions are dealing with similar staffing issues, but they haven't allowed new adult sexual assault investigations to stall like SPD has. The rest of our elected officials in City Hall either dodged interviews on the topic or parroted Harrell's concerns on overall staffing levels. Inspiring.
Has anyone even asked if police are effective at solving crime? Yes. In fact, there's a well-developed body of research showing they're not. From the American Prospect: "Clearance rates have dropped to all-time lows at the same time that police budgets have swollen to all-time highs, suggesting that more funding has actually resulted in police being less effective." I am slowly going insane watching nearly everyone in a position of power on this issue operate in a public safety debate increasingly detached from reality.
Police in Uvalde don't seem to like being asked why they failed at their jobs:
The school district office called the police to ask the media to leave their property. pic.twitter.com/uhwWLZe3ya— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) June 1, 2022
Seattle's most-watched game of hot potato heats up: Lewis Kamb of Axios has another update on the endless finger-pointing among Democratic law enforcement officials about investigating former Mayor Durkan's deleted texts. This time, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has tossed the hot potato back into Attorney General Bob Ferguson's lap, providing three examples of recent cases where the AG's office proactively sought permission to investigate a possible felony in Satterberg's jurisdiction. At this point, I think we'd already be done with the investigation if one of these public servants spent the time they've taken avoiding responsibility to just do their jobs.
WA's workers get additional summer protections: The Department of Labor and Industries released a set of emergency rules to protect people who work outside during our climate crisis-induced, record-breaking temperatures, reports the Seattle Times. Advocates for farm workers seem pleased with the new protections, which lower the threshold for when additional heat-related precautions kick in to 89 degrees in most cases. Last summer, workers didn't get those protections until the temperature hit triple digits.
American economy keeps chugging along: Despite concerns about a possible recession on the horizon, May's jobs report showed employers hiring at a faster clip than anticipated. The US added 390,000 nonfarm workers to payrolls last month, beating the projection of 328,000 from the Dow Jones.
I swear, this is not a joke: Texas Governor Greg Abbott actually proposed that schools should conduct weekly checks of exterior doors to ensure they're secure as a strategy to prevent school shootings. Yup. That's the big idea after the mass shooting in Uvalde. Triple-check to make sure you've locked the door. Nothing about making it harder for kids to get their hands on weapons of war, encouraging parents to safely store their firearms, or anything that might make students feel safer in the classroom.
If you'd like to register your discontent with our country's dystopian gun laws: March for Our Lives is holding another series of demonstrations across the country next Saturday. While we have fairly decent protections here in Washington as far as American gun laws go, legislators have yet to ban assault weapons. The youths could use some help amplifying their call for leaders in Olympia to do so:
Students currently gathered outside of City Hall in a rally for gun responsibility. They are asking for @GovInslee to call a special session to ban semi automatic weapons.— hannah krieg (@hannahkrieg) June 1, 2022
Washington continues looking like a safe blue state: At least, in the U.S. Senate race anyway. The Northwest Progressive Institute released their latest polling on the contest between Democrat Patty Murray and Republican Tiffany Smiley yesterday. They find an 11-point lead for Murray, an improvement from the 9-point lead they found the last time they surveyed the race in February.
Quick public service announcement blurb: From our friends at King County Public Health, a gentle reminder to get those booster shots if you haven't yet:
Congrats Saharsh! Seattle-area teen Saharsh Kesav Vuppala crushed the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night, placing fourth out of 234 contestants. I have no sarcastic take on this news. The spelling bee is pure, wonderful, pointless nerd competition that everyone should watch.
Actually, let's all pause and take a moment to appreciate the first-ever spell-off together: