Sara Nelson, the voice of the voiceless small business owner.
Sara Nelson, the voice of the small business owner. COURTESY OF THE NELSON CAMPAIGN

Small business is finally at the table: Today, at long last, Seattle's most marginalized group, the business community, got to share its untold stories. The Seattle City Council hosted the safe space during its Economic Development, Technology & City Light committee meeting.

This committee does not deal with public safety, but committee chair Councilmember Sara Nelson welcomed the small biz community to air its grievances. One public commenter called this out, asking the committee to stay in its lane, similar to the argument Nelson used when she refused to vote on yesterday’s Starbucks resolution. But this is a pet issue for Nelson, who, as a co-owner of Fremont Brewing, is the only small business owner on the council. (Her office says she has "formally stepped away from all involvement with Fremont Brewing," though she remains a co-owner.) Nelson cited loss of business and tax revenue as why this issue is on topic for the committee.

And it was a big day for Seattle Is Dying stans: KOMO ran a story yesterday in anticipation of today's committee meeting. Public comment was what you would expect. Basically: business owners are scared; homeless people are to blame. Some called for more social services; most did not. I love a good vent sesh as much as the next gal, but proposed legislation was not the focus of this public comment period, which is sorta the idea of public comment.

So why are we talking about this: During the meat of the meeting, the biz community recommended more emphasis patrols and more city funds for storefront damage. Councilmember Debora Juarez seemed down with more police presence, which seems to be the city’s direction anyway. I wrote about it. Check it out.

Before any of you losers call me a cunt, let me say that some small business owners have very legitimate concerns. I would not want to get my windows smashed either. That is not fun and is probably very expensive.

One small business owner presented the other side of this very old story during the public comment vent sesh. A pull quote:

“I'm calling to say the city should not be responding to systemic inequality and the lack of housing in our city by criminalizing acts of survival and blaming individuals in crisis. Recidivism is nearly guaranteed when people are forced into the criminal legal system and are later released into unchanged or worsened economic situations. To prevent harm, this committee should focus on equitable community-led investments and not on notions of increased policing, which only operates by threatening or perpetrating violence. You should center the injustices that low income residents often face such as wage theft, and work on getting people's basic needs met. In the meantime, I would rather a person steal what is necessary to stabilize themselves and let business owners pull themselves up by their bootstraps. We should not base city policies on the hand-selected few business owners' impressions and opinions. I do not like that public dollars are being spent on this discussion today, which will inevitably prioritize the profits of capital owners who have a seat at the table.”

Betty Davis has died: Betty Davis, a trailblazer of funk, died, but her impact on music and fashion will survive well beyond her 77 years.

Please don’t fuck this up: We’ve been through it with false hope of the supposed “end” to the pandemic. I most certainly do not want to get anyone’s hopes up or assert that the pandemic (the impact of which will surpass any end date we slap on it) is somehow over, but health experts have at least some good news. Another report, this one from the AP, announced that COVID cases are falling throughout the state. That's great, and I'll also remind you of this quote from the president of the Washington State Hospital Association, who said that just because we are doing better does not mean this thing is over: “We really don’t want people to rip off their masks or go to big parties quite yet — COVID activity remains a threat.”

Basically, don’t do this: Despite this clear message that COVID-19 is not over, the pressure continues for Governor Jay Inslee (King Inslee, as some call him) to roll back mask mandates. This KOMO poll says it is time:

He’ll get to it one day: Today, Inslee lifted an outdoor mask mandate (I forgot that was a thing) and announced that he will probably announce details about mask mandates next week. The Seattle Times has the story.

Fuck them kids: State Superintendent Chris Reykdal is over the mask mandate.

More mask mayhem: Leaders across the country are ending mask mandates, so some areas will see more bare faces. And I know that people make this out to be an individual freedom thing, but the consensus among doctors has been that you masking up protects others, so like that whole “your freedom ends at the tip of your nose” sorta works here. Anyway, here’s an article about how much protection you have when you're the only one in a mask.

Nancy caves: Well folks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave the thumbs up on a plan to ban members of Congress from trading stock after months of resisting. Found this fun stock tracker if you’re curious as to why she was holding out.

In memory of a past version of the Central District: Seattle artist Jite Agbro pays tribute to the Central District public housing apartment complex where she grew up in at MadArt Studio as part of her immersive exhibition, P.L.U.A. (Proposed Land Use Action). MadArt is hosting open studio sessions through March 11, Tuesday through Fridays, 12 to 5 PM. The exhibition opens on Sunday, March 13.

Washingtonians can’t kiss: You losers. You freaking losers. You know what I saw today? The most searched relationship question in Washington state is “how to kiss.” I would say you should be asking how to make women cum, but it looks like we are just not there yet. Not even close – kinda like your girlfriend.

Ed Sheeran x Taylor Swift: Also, the crazy conspiracy theories from Swifties were right. New Taylor Swift project is coming this week.