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Lester Black

Jayapal likes Emily Myers: Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal waded into the crowded District 4 primary this week and endorsed Emily Myers, the labor-backed U.W. Ph.D. student. Here’s what Jayapal said about Myers, according to a press release from Myers’s campaign:

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“I have worked closely with Emily on union organizing campaigns, and know her to be a thoughtful and compassionate leader. Emily is a scientist and a champion of workers’ rights with experience fighting for climate justice, victims of harassment, and evidence-based policy. She also understands the clear need to protect the rights of immigrants and provide a clear racial equity lens in all her work. She will bring a data-driven, human-rights focused leadership to the Council.”

Myers's opponent, Shaun Scott, is probably not too happy with this endorsement news. He once worked for Jayapal but the congresswoman hasn't been coy about her cold relationship with the socialist organizer. Back in March she had her attorneys send a letter to Scott telling him to stop distributing campaign literature that showed Scott in front of Jayapal’s campaign sign, saying the mailer’s photo was implying Scott had her endorsement. Maybe Scott got on Jayapal's bad side while he was working for her, or maybe Jayapal's endorsement is just a testament to how strongly she supports Myers. Myers said Jayapal’s support meant the world to her.

Safe Seattle Speak Out Seattle announces their endorsements: The activist group Speak Out Seattle, which shares a lot of similarities and people with the ugly anti-homelessness Facebook group Safe Seattle, released their endorsements this year. The group takes great pains to purport to be non-partisan so they didn't exactly endorse candidates, instead ranking candidates in each race. Here’s their first place candidates in each race: Brendan Kolding (District 1); Ari Hoffman and Mark Solomon (District 2); Pat Murakami (District 3); Alex Pedersen (District 4); Ann Davison Sattler (District 5); Heidi Wills (District 6); and Michael George (District 7).

Chamber of Commerce starts buying the election: The political arm of the Chamber of Commerce has its money (including $250,000 from Amazon and $155,000 from Vulcan), they have their Amazon-friendly candidates, and now they’re making it rain like we’re living in the Amazon basin. The chamber’s CASE PAC recently reported spending $307,769.02 on printing mailers, canvassing, and making calls in support of their candidates, as my colleague Nathalie Graham reports. CASE is spending most of its initial money on Lisa Herbold’s challenger, Phillip Tavel, and Kshama Sawant’s challenger, Egan Orion, and District 2 candidate Mark Solomon. Those three candidates received the vast majority of this latest spending spree.

Socialists in da house, Y’ALLLLLLL: Kshama Sawant made national headlines in 2012 when she became one of the first modern socialists in America to win a seat on a major city’s council, will this be the year that the council’s socialist delegation grows beyond just one lonely member? Daniel Beekman at the Times tracks the recent history of socialism in Seattle and explores if this year’s socialist candidates—Henry Clay Dennison (District 2), Christopher Peguero (District 2), Shaun Scott (District 4), Sawant (District 3)—can make it to the council.

The Seattle Times Editorial Board endorses Tavel: The conservatives running the Seattle Times have begun rolling out their City Council endorsements, starting with Lisa Herbold’s challenger in District 1, Phillip Tavel. The Times spends only two sentences talking about Tavel before blathering on about how Lisa Herbold is too liberal and the current council is too mean to poor little Amazon. The editorial describes Herbold like she’s fiercely anti-business and partly to blame for Amazon’s decision “to move thousands of jobs to Bellevue.” That claim seems particularly odd when you read the editorial board’s own paper, which reported this week that while Amazon is planning to built a new skyscraper in Bellevue, the company also has 45,000 employees and 11,000 more job openings in Seattle right now. So is this the case of jobs fleeing the city because of an anti-business council, or has Amazon just outgrown Seattle, where 1 in 20 people already work for the company?

What about the Stranger’s endorsements? The only endorsement that really matters in Seattle’s elections is the word of the Stranger Election Control Board. You know this. We all know this. Even Crosscut was forced to begrudgingly quote local political consultant Ben Anderstone’s analysis last year that “the Stranger’s sarcastic endorsements can sway as many votes as serious newspapers.” And while I take a bit of issue with Anderstone calling us a less than serious newspaper (our recent political coverage has included enlightened analysis like People I’d Pork by Beto O’Rourke, Who Gives a Fuck About an Oxford Kamala by Senator Harris, and Booty-Judge Judy with Pete Buttigieg) we’re not going to make him or anyone else wait much longer for our endorsements. Our council picks will hit the stands in less than two weeks in our July 17 issue. Which, according to our editorial calendar, it's now time to rip three bong bowls in a row and start writing this damn thing.

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You better fucking vote, dingus: I rarely agree with the Seattle Times editorial board but their editor Kate Riley makes a good point in her latest editorial: this year’s municipal elections are super fucking important. The policies that the City Council, the School Board, and the County Council decide have a huge impact on your daily life, far more than Trump’s decision to roll military tanks through D.C. And you have a far bigger say in terms of who gets elected, especially in the August 6 primary. Only the top two candidates in each race advance, and in 2015, the difference between second and third place was less than 1,000 votes in three of the council district elections. There’s no reason to think this current election won't see some equally close margins.

Today in history: The first Fourth of July celebration in Puget Sound History happens in 1841, the first bicycle tournament in Seattle history takes place in 1888, the national voting age is lowered from 21 to 18 in 1971 after President Richard Nixon certified the 26th Amendment to the Constitution.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post included the wrong date for Seattle's first bicycle tournament. The post has since been updated.

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