First Uber, then AirBnB. Now Rentberry.

First the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance allowing Uber drivers to unionize, to try to address issues with compensation and conditions for drivers. Then last fall it passed an ordinance limiting AirBnB rentals, to try to stop short-term rentals from bleeding off badly-needed units from the local housing market.  Now it has a new target: rental housing auction platforms such as Rentberry and Biddwell.

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How is the Seattle Preschool Program doing?

This year two major education-related levies expire and will likely be put up for renewal: the Families and Education Levy, and the Seattle Preschool Levy. The preschool levy was passed in 2014 to fund a four-year “demonstration program” to offer preschool to 3 and 4 year old children in Seattle, hopefully proving its viability and discovering what it would take to scale it up.

This morning, the City Council started its process of looking at the two levies in anticipation of crafting renewals for the fall ballots. It may choose to combine them into a single levy, or opt to keep them separate if there is a risk that one would drag the other down — or if the complexities of trying to split the funds between City Hall-run programs and the politically separate Seattle Public School District become overwhelming. City Hall runs the Seattle Preschool Program through its Department of Education and Early Learning, independent of the school district (though in some cases utilizing classrooms at public schools).

Earlier this week, KUOW published an article raising questions about the quality of the Seattle Preschool Program, based on the second annual outside evaluation of the program. The article reports that the program is seeing “mixed results.”  Let’s dive into the study report and see what it says.

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Sawant holds political rally disguised as committee meeting

This evening Council member Kshama Sawant held a special meeting (video) of her Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights Committee. According to the agenda,  the meeting was to discuss “Human Service Department (HSD) funding cuts to the women’s homeless service programs operated by the Women’s Housing, Equality, and Enhancement League (WHEEL) and the Women’s Referral Center.” And it was, but not quite the way you’d expect.

Continue reading Sawant holds political rally disguised as committee meeting

Independent news and analysis of the Seattle City Council