The Virginia Supreme Court okays the removal of racist Confederate statues, like this one depicting Robert E. Lee.
The Virginia Supreme Court okays the removal of racist Confederate statues, like this one depicting Robert E. Lee. EZE AMOS / GETTY NEWS

In day four of the Derek Chauvin murder trial, George Floyd's girlfriend revealed more about the man and their history together, while a former Minneapolis police officer testified that Chauvin should have stopped pinning Floyd with his knee after he was no longer resisting.

The Virginia state Supreme Court has overruled a lower court's decision, clearing the way for the removal of two racist Confederate statues—one of which was the meeting place for the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

What's this? It appears that Busy Bee Biden is taking a longer, closer look at his ability to cancel student loan debt via executive order, so FINGERS CROSSED: Also, if Republicans continue to insist upon being unhelpful, America-hating pricks, Biden will probably try to pass his $2 trillion infrastructure package without them.

As Jasmyne highlighted in Slog AM, Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan has set off a "feeding frenzy" in Washington D.C.: This big proposed load of cash (the largest infrastructure package in at least five decades!!) has kicked off a "lobbying bonanza," says Politico. And over here in Washington state, leaders would like to see funds for improved railroad grade crossings, a bolstered Sound Transit, modernized roads and bridges, and—gasp—even high-speed rail, reports Mike Baker at the Seattle Times. Please, Joe, give us a shinkansen.

A few updates from our Capitol Hill: America's Only Capitol Hill™. First: The Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) in Volunteer Park will reopen in a limited capacity on May 28. Tickets for timed entry will go on sale at the end of April, and the inaugural exhibitions from last spring will remain on display. Also: We're getting fruit cocktails and elote on Broadway!!!!!!!!!

Nathalie overviewed the Washington State Supreme Court's unanimous decision to allow the Recall Kshama Sawant campaign to move forward today riiiiight here. What's next for the effort to recall the controversial council member?

Now, the recall petitioners have 180 days to collect the required number of signatures. They'll need to gather around 10,000 signatures from District 3 residents, or 25% of the nearly 43,000 votes cast in Sawant's November 2019 race. If the recall petitioners get all their signatures, then the recall will be sent to the ballot of the next election, which will likely be the November general election at this rate. Only District 3 residents will be able to vote on whether or not to recall Sawant.

But at a Cal Anderson Park press conference this afternoon, the Recall Sawant campaign manager, Henry Bridger, said the campaign would prefer it if the effort did not appear on the November general election ballot, reports CHS Blog. The campaign is unlikely to get enough signatures in time to make it onto the primary ballot in August, and a special election cannot be held between the primary and general election.

Go ahead and skip down a few paragraphs if your brain hurts, but when digging into this in January, Nathalie highlighted that:

King County Elections spokesperson Hannah Kurowski said when the election is held "depends entirely on when we get the petition" [with enough qualifying signatures]. After that happens, King County Elections certifies the signatures and has 45 to 90 days to hold the election.

Anyways, feel free to math out when the theoretical recall vote would happen in the comments, but remember: The point is that the campaign ultimately has 180 days to collect the signatures, then we move on to the next step.

We asked King County Elections if a recalled council member could run for election after being recalled: A spokesperson told us that they "do not see anything in either RCW nor the State Constitution that would prohibit a recalled official from running for office in the future."

Meanwhile:

This will be a long summer of Sawant-related canvassing in D3.

Okay, moving on.

More good data from the Pfizer vaccine test trials: According to the research, not only will this particular vaccine protect people from the South Africa variant, but it will also continue to provide high levels of protection six months after the second dose. We'll know more about how long vaccines provide protections as studies continue to publish results from trials.

Washington state has a new poet laureate: Bellingham writer Rena Priest was named the new Washington state poet laureate today, making her the sixth person to receive the award and the first Native person to be selected, reports Margo Vansynghel for Crosscut. Among many projects Priest is considering, she says she wants to build mini-anthologies of locally written poetry for tribes and tribal schools around the state. The passing of the laurel from current poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna to Priest will happen virtually on April 14. More here:

We recommend this poem from our new laureate: Real to Reel.

🎵Downtown🎵: The developers behind the Washington State Convention Center expansion say they no longer need the City of Seattle, King County, and the state to help them patch a $300 million financing hole to keep construction going on that beast of a building, reports CHS blog. They made a private deal instead and still plan on a 2022 opening. We'll keep re-upping this op-ed as long as this topic returns: Don't bail out the new Washington State Convention Center. The biggest public construction project in Seattle history should have built homes, schools, and parks.

Apparently Democrats aren't the only people who hate Rep. Matt Gaetz' stinking guts: Republicans in Washington despise him as well, and are all too happy to watch him twist in the breeze amidst human sex trafficking allegations. Heh, heh, hehhhhhhhhh.

For those who care about such things, it's baseball's opening day! Aaaaaand the Mets-Nationals game has already been postponed after players found out they'd been exposed to COVID-19. (Saaaad trommmboooone.)

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Tonight is the Seattle Mariners opening night: They're letting in "only" 9,000 fans into the stadium. Everyone will need to be in their own socially distanced pod, and pods can include anywhere from one to six people. The sections will reportedly be laid out so groups are distanced by six feet. To the Mariners' credit, at least they're considering the loners by allowing pods of one.

Here's another friendly reminder: You will be pleased to know that SPLIFF—the short flick film festival about cannabis and all things "stoned"—is kicking off April 16-24 and you can get your tickets NOW. (So hurry up before you forget... because you know you will.) You clearly want to get a ticket to this specific screening.

SPLIFF Film Festival 2021 Trailer from Index Media on Vimeo.