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June 2018

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I was there at that raucous council meeting to repeal the vote, I signed an Open Letter from Tech Leaders Opposed to the Proposed Head Tax, and I was a volunteer signature gatherer and small donor ($275) to the repeal referendum effort. Why did the council vote 7–2 to repeal it, just a few weeks after voting 9–0 to pass it? It is telling that the City Council called for a vote to repeal…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuOgPkS4wBI Brandi Kruse at Q13 calls out the “Public Input” hoax, wherein the City Council and mayor’s office claim to seek public input, but usually this is done long after they’ve decided what to do. This approach has absolutely been the pattern with respect to: The Head Tax The selection of the city’s new Police Chief Safe Injection The opening of the “Tiny House Village” on Aloha The 35th Avenue Repave project …and countless other projects

The “Head Tax” isn’t the only major controversy in Seattle politics these days. Seattle City Council is forging ahead with plans for a publicly funded “safe injection” facility. I’m just getting up to speed on the discussion here, and wanted to pull together a post that summarizes where we’ve come from, what we know about such approaches done elsewhere, and where we stand today. I’ll be adding to this list of resources over time. Present View:…

A vexing question at the center of the debate around homelessness policy is: where is the growth in Seattle’s homeless coming from? Specifically, to what extent is the growth due to locals losing their homes and being displaced vs. inbound growth from other regions of the US? Yes, I know it’s not entirely one or the other (and there are certainly myriad causes and situations), but these are the two ideological extremes. So what’s the…

It’s going on three years since Seattle declared a homelessness crisis, but the homeless population in Seattle continues to rise. The amalgam of programs we’ve tried since 2015 hasn’t stemmed the growth in Seattle’s homeless counts; in fact, the numbers have actually accelerated, particularly of those living in vehicles. There is no shortage of recommendations on what not to do, but what should we do? Plenty. Broadly, I would say that the solution to begin to…

I’ve been fairly vocal in my support of the repeal of the Head Tax on social networks like Nextdoor; the first step is to get a referendum on the ballot in November. I think giving the people a chance to repeal the Head Tax is the right idea. Our City Council has gone off the rails with this and it’s time we send a signal. A neighbor on Nextdoor asked a great question of me…

“I do not share the anti-business animus that I feel you are sponsoring…” Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, to Councilmember Kshama Sawant For some time now it’s been rumored that Kshama Sawant was allowing city resources to be used to print out posters and signs for her various causes. It was good to see Councilmember Sally Bagshaw call her out. Note that even though for months prior, her supporters called into question whether this was happening, Sawant doesn’t…

Hello, Seattle! I’ve just set up this blog. I wanted a spot to put various thoughts out there. I expect the topics to be varied. Things that interest me: making Seattle better, entrepreneurship, volunteering, technology/software, fatherhood (and more broadly the often undersold importance of fathers, as well as parenting more broadly), data analysis, machine learning, AI, photography, privacy, documentary filmmaking. I’m guessing I’ll be writing about all of these topics and more. Will try to…