I-137: House Our Neighbors (HON) gathered and submitted 37,819 signatures in support of their ballot measure, and now they await verification. To fund social housing construction, the measure would tax companies that pay anyone on a payroll more than $1 million. As I reported before, the tax would raise an estimated $52 million a year.

When can I vote for I-137? To get this thing on the ballot for the big-turnout election in November instead of kicking it down the road to February, the Seattle City Council would need to vote on it by the primary, August 6, according to the campaign. It takes roughly three weeks for King County Elections to verify signatures, then the clerk has 20 days to put it on the agenda, and the council then has 45 days to vote, so there’s a chance that council gets it done in time, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. For one, they love the wealthy and big business. For two, they can’t even do the things they want to do very quickly. See: Nelson’s rollback on the gig delivery driver minimum wage. So, given how close we are to the November election, HON is prepared to fight for their tax in February. They’ve won a special election before!

Big win for free speech: The cops fucked up and now owe four anti-cop protesters $680,000 for throwing them in jail under a "protest exception" despite Seattle and King County banning most misdemeanor bookings due to the COVID pandemic. They argued the very existence of such an exception showed that the City wanted to undermine free speech and the right to peacefully assemble. Now the City will have to pay the protesters $20,000 each and the individual officers have to pick up the rest of the bill. 

Enough malarkey: Judges blocked parts of President Joe Biden’s plan to lower payments on student debt for eligible borrowers. Biden’s used to having the courts foil his campaign promise to cancel up to $20,000 in debt for up to 43 million Americans. It’s not a total bust, though. According to the US Department of Education, the Biden administration has granted $5.5 billion in debt relief to 414,000 borrowers. The recent rulings do not undo that, Reuters wrote. 

Before I forget: I’ll be in endorsement meetings all day (there’s an election in August lol), but I’ll be motivated by the promise of a walk home because god damn will it be nice out today. Seattle girlies, you can expect the mid 60s to rise into the 70s this morning. In the afternoon, temperatures top off at about 76 degrees, and it won’t dip below 70 until 9 pm. Oh yeah, and no clouds. Get out there!

ICYMI: This story should be a bigger deal in my opinion. For The Stranger’s Queer Issue 2024, a source former Stranger staffer Katie Herzog quoted to support her infamous "detrans" article admits his feelings about his detransition were much more mixed than he let on in the interview. In the piece, he gives a fuller picture into his thinking at the time as a way to help repair the damage done to the LGBTQ community. Please read

STRIIIIIIIIKE: Reporters at the Everett Herald went on a one-day strike yesterday after 10 journalists got laid off last week. They decided to keep the pressure on and continue the strike today.

Save the children: Infant deaths increased by 8% after the Texas abortion ban went into effect in 2021. 

1,901 days: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is sooooo close to freedom after he agreed to a plea deal to avoid going to prison in the United States. Once the deal gets approved by a federal judge, the Justice Department will give Assange a 62-month sentence and credit him for the 62 months he’s already spent in Belmarsh maximum security prison. But he got out of jail yesterday on bail and got on a plane to go to the Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth in the Pacific, to appear in court tomorrow

A long time coming: The cargo ship that crashed into Francis Scott Key bridge finally left Baltimore nearly three months after the collapse first made headlines. The crew had to stick around on the ship to participate in the investigation, but they did not have valid visas to enter the US to do that more comfortably, according to the BBC. After questioning, the crew no longer needs to stay in the US to cooperate with the rest of the investigation. 

Sleepless in Seattle turns 31: I’ve never seen this movie, but I hear it takes place in Seattle, which is where I live btw. Here’s a song from it.