The University District Will Get Denser—and that New Density Will Create New Affordable Housing: The Seattle City Council unanimously approved legislation yesterday to allow taller buildings in the University District. It's the first upzone in the city that will include a requirement that new buildings either include affordable housing or that developers pay into a fund to build affordable housing elsewhere. Council Member Rob Johnson, who chairs the council's land use committee and represents the U District, said the upzone "represents a huge step in living our values as a welcoming, sustainable, and inclusive city."
Some Council Members Tried—and Failed—to Get More Affordable Housing: The proposal from the mayor's office requires 9 percent of all units in new buildings in the U District to be set aside as affordable (or for the developer to pay an equivalent fee). Arguing the city should get more affordability out of the upzone, Council Members Mike O'Brien, Kshama Sawant, and Lisa Herbold wanted to bump that up to 10 percent in areas where high rises will be built. The mayor's office claimed that could discourage development—and the rest of the city council agreed. The proposal failed. "The historic new [affordability] requirements in [the legislation] help," Herbold said in a statement after the vote, "but I’m concerned that they aren’t robust enough to both expand housing opportunities for people who move to our city and to prevent displacement of low-income residents who make the University District their home today."
What We Know About Trump's Deportation Plans: According to the New York Times, "Documents released on Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security revealed the broad scope of the president’s ambitions: to publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers; and, ultimately, speed up deportations."
Is DACA Over? The Seattle Globalist talks to an immigration lawyer about what's next for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Trump Administration Could Reverse Protections for Trans Students: The Washington Post reports that the administration plans to release a letter today notifying school officials that they are reversing a decision made by the Obama administration that schools must allow children to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.
Another Candidate In the Race for Tim Burgess's City Council Seat: Charlene Strong, chair of the Washington State Human Rights Commission, is running for the council. In a statement, Strong said she would focus on homelessness and small businesses, but did not offer specifics. The Seattle Times' Nicole Brodeur has more on Strong, who gained local notoriety in 2006, when her partner drowned in the basement of their home and she wasn't initially allowed into her hospital room because Washington did not recognize domestic partners. Burgess is retiring at the end of his current term. So far, three other significant candidates have announced they're running for the seat: Seattle-King County NAACP Vice President Sheley Secrest, labor advocate Teresa Mosqueda, and housing advocate Jon Grant.
Seattle Cop Charged with Drug Possession, Giving Victims' Names to TV Anchor: The Seattle Times' Steve Miletich reports that Seattle Police officer Robert Marlow was "romantically involved" with a dancer at a strip club the Seattle Police Department was investigating and "shared drugs with her." "During the investigation," Miletich reports, "detectives discovered Marlow also had regularly sent Q13 news anchor David Rose text messages containing personal information on crime victims obtained from a restricted department computer database, according to charging documents filed in King County District Court."
Water Protectors Are Being Ordered to Leave Oceti Sakowin Camp Near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation by 2 pm Today: ABC has a live feed from the camp.
Transit Employee Killed by Bus in Lakewood: The victim was a Pierce County Transit Employee who was struck by a bus leaving a busway at Pierce Transit headquarters around 6:35 pm, KING 5 reports.
SUV vs. Light Rail Train: Light rail was temporarily out of service last night after an SUV crashed into a Sound Transit train. No one on board was injured, the SUV driver suffered non-life threatening injuries, and trains are back in service, KOMO reports.
Should Washington Bring Back Parole? A bill moving through Olympia would begin a review of Washington's sentencing guidelines. The ultimate goal, supporters say, is to create a new state parole board and allow prisoners to petition for early release.
ICYMI: The Mayor Wants New Taxes and May Sue Trump: Mayor Ed Murray is pitching a new property tax levy for homelessness services and a soda tax for health and education programs for students of color. He's also promising to sue the Trump administration if it does not respond to city requests for more information about its immigration plans. (If pursued, the suit would be about the feds' response to a Freedom of Information Act request, but not a challenge to the immigration policies themselves.)
Sawant Responds to Murray on SPD vs. ICE: Last week, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant said Seattle Police should block U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers attempting to detain and deport people in Seattle. Mayor Ed Murray called that idea "irresponsible and dangerous." In this piece, Sawant responds.