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The Seattle City Council overrides the mayor's vetoes of their revised 2020 budget: This morning, Stranger's Nathalie Graham asked in a headline: Will Council Members Vote Against Their Own Budget to Save Face? Amazingly, Betteridge's law of headlines applied here. Contrary to expectation, the Seattle City Council voted 7-2 to overturn Mayor Jenny Durkan's veto related to Seattle Police Department cuts. They needed seven votes to overturn a veto, and it looked like they were going to end at 6-3, or even 5-4, or 4-5!! But no.
Here's Nathalie with more:
Overruled, baby! Durkan's veto of the council's rebalanced 2020 budget consisted of three bills (one with all the SPD cuts, one that allocated $14 million to community investments, and one that set aside $3 million for participatory budgeting) and failed today. The Seattle City Council voted 7-2, 9-0, and 9-0 to override each of the vetoed bills, respectively. It was unclear how many council members would vote until they made their (very lengthy) comments in the meeting.
The votes on the vetoed bill regarding the police budget: Councilmembers Alex Pedersen and Debora Juarez voted to sustain and Councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda, Tammy Morales, Kshama Sawant, Dan Strauss, Andrew Lewis, and Council President Lorena Gonzalez voted to override. The other two bills were overridden unanimously.
However, as several council members pointed out, the council cannot dictate if or how the mayor spends the allocated funds: She could simply... not spend the money as directed.
Councilmember Andrew Lewis is still the bad boy of the city council: A more-somber-than-usual Lewis announced he would override the veto today. That came as a surprise. Lewis was one of three council members who were on the fence with their veto votes. The majority of the comments made during the 90-minute public comment focused on Lewis. Multiple callers called in from outside Lewis's house, urging him to override the veto. Lewis made some closing remarks about how the system of vetoing and overriding a veto was wearing on the council and the city.
Lewis: "I want to make a statement today about a pattern that’s potentially emerging about negotiating via veto… this pattern is wearing and it’s been unproductive, contributed to frayed relations between the council and the mayor and there has to be different solutions…"
— nathalie graham (@gramsofgnats) September 23, 2020
Councilmember Alex Pedersen wants... To rewrite the Seattle Police Officers Guild contract! Pedersen called it "the chief roadblock" in the way of the systemic change the council is trying to accomplish.
Among many things, today's override-votes mean the city will likely cut 100 full-time positions from SPD through lay-offs and attrition this year, as well as the city's Navigation Team.
Now that the rebalanced 2020 budget is out of the way: The council will start deliberating on the 2021 budget next week. God, I'm tired.
How did you do in veto vote bingo? We had some exciting moments. References to Twitter, Councilmember Dan Strauss clearly not rehearsing his speech before he said it, Councilmember Tammy Morales saying the word community at least eight times, and more. Send me your bingo sheet if you feel strongly—or even if you don't. This long council meeting took up my evening, why not let it take up my night?
Here are some sheets from players across the city (I assume):
KING5's Chris Daniels, who was very passionate about #SEACouncilBingo four hours ago, has not sent me his completed bingo sheet.
Moving on to some other stories from this afternoon...
Two hundred thousand people are dead from the gross coronavirus mishandling in the United States: 200,000. And Trump won't answer a question about it. He thinks the Dems are "trying to make our numbers look bad." There's no trying, Donald. They look bad.
Tacoma icon Harold Moss, the city's first Black mayor, is dead: His death was confirmed today by Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. Moss was 90. He became Tacoma's first Black city council member in 1970, its first Black mayor in 1994, and then the first Black Pierce County council member in 1996, notes KIRO.
Pierce County mourns the loss of one of our community’s leading lights. Harold Moss was not only a former @PierceCoCouncil member but a tireless advocate for social justice and equity. Our condolences to his family. #RIPHaroldMoss pic.twitter.com/qfqjNv3elN
— Pierce County, Wash. (@PierceCo) September 22, 2020
I gasped: This makes me want to rewatch Patlabor.
Pentagon gets money to save lives, manufactures more war machines instead: The Pentagon received a $1 billion fund in March from Congress's Cares Act. It was meant to be used to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” Instead, it was "mostly funneled to defense contractors and used to make things such as jet engine parts, body armor, and dress uniforms," according to infuriating but excellent reporting from the Washington Post.
The Cloud Wars blast off: "The final frontier is the next frontier for cloud computing," wrote Geekwire today in a post announcing Microsoft's Azure Orbital, a cloud-based satellite data processing platform that competes against Amazon's Ground Station. I'm not a space-age cloud computing expert so just read Geekwire on this one.
Over 100 Seattle-area restaurants and bars petition Gov. Inslee to let them serve booze until 2 am: As things currently stand, places can only serve booze until 10 pm because of a pandemic-related mandate. Here's the petition. A snippet:
Please don't legislate to the lowest common denominator. If someone is willfully violating the rules, take enforcement action. We need you to restore our hours while we can still have a chance to survive. That window is quickly closing, and we are about to lose our useable outdoor space in the next few months due to weather. We have put our trust in this state to be a place we can do business and achieve the dream of owning a small business. Please take the reasonable steps necessary to give us a chance to continue to serve our communites, retain our employees, generate revenue for the state and make a living.
I wanna know who's out there trying to order a drink at a restaurant at 1:30 am right now.
Seattle Chef Eric Rivera has some words for those signees: "Make some hats for yourselves, fucking clowns."
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America loves milestones, racking up the number of dead people, and acting like they truly care for those that are sick or in harm's way of becoming sick. There are no systems in place currently that can stop this mess. Healthcare for all seems like a no-brainer but there are people that fight that. Relief for people out of work while others vacation or push them to go back to work while Covid can take you out of going back. Some still see healthcare as a benefit for doing something like working when it should be just part of every day life as life is a pre-existing condition that will lead to death, however that may come. Healthcare should be a right and should be available to everyone for free. The push and pull of this all with a truly awful and deadly administration at the helm. An administration that grows defiant by the second all because people couldn't fathom voting for a qualified woman to be President. What's it going to take to truly get angry over what has happened? Is your 401k doing so well that it hasn't made you snap yet? Did you get a promotion? Buy a new house? In the middle of all this? How many people don't have that, well that number can start at 200,000 and keep going. How many people around us are struggling. I know I am but I won't take the easy way out like plenty of others are in this industry by going backwards and not evolving. I'm fortunate, I'm alive. 200,000+ are not. That makes me angry. I know a few of those that have died, been sick, have permanent problems that have risen from being infected but that's not enough right? 300,000? 400,000? How many more before it's taken seriously? Are you the type of person that thinks seeing thousands of new cases isn't that bad because the death rate isn't that high. Are you the type of person that thinks Covid is no worse than the flu? Are you the type of person that thinks performative safety like using a thermometer and checking guests as they walk into your space is doing enough to stop the spread? You're a chef/owner/GM and you can take on a pandemic because that one time the restaurant flooded and that gave you a sense of being invincible? Yeah, you know what you're doing.
FYI, for the people who have been asking: The Stranger Election Control Board's endorsement package for November's general election will drop the day ballots get mailed out to Washington state voters, which will be around October 15. So, by the time you get your ballot in the mail, our endorsements will be live and on the top of our homepage. Someone in my inbox tells me overseas voters have already received links to their online ballots, but they'll have to wait a little bit longer before voting with The Stranger.
A little peace of mind: The FDA will probably roll out tough standards for an emergency authorization of a coronavirus vaccine, potentially as soon as this week. This would make it very difficult to roll out a vaccine before Election Day, like Trump is demanding. Thank God.
Joe Biden announces that Cindy McCain will endorse him in light of Trump’s comments on the military as reported by The Atlantic. She had previously praised Biden’s relationship with her late husband, Sen. John McCain, in a video at the DNC that stopped short of an endorsement.
— Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui) September 22, 2020
If that giant mecha robot at the top of this post wasn't trippy enough for you... Check out this video, but make sure to read Jasmyne's Currently Hanging on it first.