Friday news roundup

Good News!  Grandpa Jay says we get to move to Phase 3 before the end of the month. Now it’s up to us not to mess this up: keep wearing a mask, keep social distancing in public, wash your hands often, and get vaccinated when you can. Also, remember to “spring forward” this weekend. Here’s the news.

Continue reading

City finance department asks State Auditor to widen investigation of Black Brilliance research contract

PubliCola reported today that the city’s Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) department has sent a letter to the Office of the Washington State Auditor asking it to widen the set of issues it is investigating stemming from the $3 million contract that the City Council signed last fall for the Black Brilliance Research Project.

Continue reading

SPD pushes back hard on Council’s proposed budget cut, declares “staffing crisis.”

“SPD is in a staffing crisis.” That is how Deputy Mayor Mike Fong kicked off a Council hearing this morning on a proposed $5.4 million cut to SPD’s 2021 budget. According to Fong, SPD has lost more than 200 officers over the past thirteen months, leaving patrol shortages in nearly every precinct and jeopardizing the city’s compliance with the 2012 Consent Decree. “We are not budgeted or staffed to sustain an acceptable level of community safety services in the city,” he stated, requesting that the City Council give careful consideration to SPD Chief Adrian Diaz’s plea to hold onto the …

Continue reading

Comments from Deputy Mayor Washington on public safety in Seattle

Editor’s note: This morning in a Seattle City Council public safety committee meeting, Deputy Mayor Tiffany Washington preceded two agenda items — a $12 million spending plan for community safety investments, and a $5.4 million cut to SPD’s budget — with some powerful and blunt comments that speak directly to the tensions in balancing the needs to improve community safety, reform SPD, address long-standing issues of racial equity, and continue to deliver essential services in the city.  I asked Washington for a copy of her remarks, in order that we may all reflect upon them — not necessarily to agree …

Continue reading

Black Brilliance Research Project wraps up with allegations, recriminations, but no city investigation

In the final days of the $3 million Black Brilliance Research Project, the wheels came off the wagon. King County Equity Now, the organization that fought for and spearheaded the project, found itself on the outside looking in, and despite making allegations that its fiscal sponsor had committed financial improprieties and contract violations, it was unable to convince the City Council to intervene before the clock ran out.  

Continue reading