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Monday, December 29, 2014 2:50 PM
2014 was a busy year for Seattle. A lot of things changed, but a lot of stayed the same — much to our chagrin. Here are the big issues for 2015: 
  • It says something when more than 4,000 educators and their supporters rallied outside an empty Capitol building in Olympia last Saturday, April 25, to protest legislators who have yet to fully fund education.

  • Within days after the city introduced its new “9 1/2 Block Strategy” to combat illegal activity in the main downtown retail and business core, more than 100 people were arrested for selling various kinds of drugs.

  • The recent column “But It’s for the Kids,” by Geov Parrish, is rife with inaccuracies and misleading statements about the content and intent of the Seattle Preschool Program. 
  • After Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark announced that she was leaving her term early to take a job with the University of Washington, 44 applications spilled in to fill her position for the remainder of the year.

  • Now that Proposition 1B is law and the city is actually implementing it, the problems are looking familiar and a lot more difficult. Call it tunnel vision. 
  • Recently, we wrote about a plan to upzone the University District to 340-foot towers. Now the Displacement Coalition (of which we are the coordinators), University Park Community Club, University District Community Council and Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness have appealed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the planned upzone.

  • There is always a moment when you can feel the ground shifting under your feet, when you know that things are not going to stay the way they are and change is on the horizon. That is the way that I see the change the Martin Luther King County recently made on the youth jail after young protesters disrupted meetings. 
  • Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Department of Transportation director Scott Kubly say more people are going motorless in Seattle. But tell that to the thousands of drivers who’ve been stuck in traffic for miles for upward of nine hours in recent weeks
  • Garfield High School isn’t a stranger to testing protests, and now it’s the students who are speaking out. 
  • Just as the Seattle City Council is making heavy decisions about developer fees, affordable housing and renters’ rights, among other issues, Councilmember Sally Clark announced her resignation, effective Sunday, April 12 
  • The dichotomy between homelessness and rising real estate prices has Seattle facing a dilemma: Whom should it cater to?

  • Mayor Ed Murray announced last week that the City of Seattle will prohibit funding any city employee travel expenses for city business to Indiana. The announcement came after the Midwest state passed Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

  • Starting out adulthood with tens of thousands of dollars of debt is no way to set the future of our country up for success. 
  • If voters weren’t scared off by the number of levies they’ve approved in recent years asking for their tax dollars, the city’s Move Seattle transportation levy should do it.

  • Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz took another step into politics last week with his announcement that his baristas would start conversations about race relations by writing “Race Together” on the coffee cups and engage in intense small talk about the issue. 
  • Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) four current assistant chiefs have been demoted in the department’s latest shake-up. 
  • While the state attorney general’s (AG) office generally argues much larger issues like the Affordable Care Act, civic bans on legal marijuana sales and, more recently, immigration, Bob Ferguson is taking on a matter that the average Seattleite can relate to: Seahawks ticket scammers.

  • It’s a cliché of every local election: The dynamic candidate, in search of your vote, is going to do something about Seattle’s awful traffic. Every state legislative candidate, mayoral hopeful, would-be county and City Council member and more than a few aspiring school board members all want to fix Seattle’s traffic. And then they get into office. 

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