What happened to defunding the police, this week
Bill Radke reviews the week's news with KUOW reporter and newscaster Paige Browning, Seattle City Council Insight founder Kevin Schofield, and Crosscut reporter David Kroman.
Most of us have spent the last year sitting around at home, wearing sweatpants to all of our meetings. So, should we keep that up and bring our sweatpants into the office? Or will fashion make a return when the workplace does?
Speaking of making a return, King County is officially in phase three. And next week the West Seattle and Rainier Beach coronavirus testing sites will transition into full-time vaccination hubs. The change means they’ll be able to vaccinate an extra three thousand people per week. But Covid cases are ticking up in King County, and an increasing number of outbreaks are tied to restaurants, bars, and travel. Should we be so quick to get rid of testing sites? And should be in phase three at all?
Plus, Microsoft will start bringing workers back to its global headquarters in Redmond on Monday. Workers will have the choice to return, work remotely, or a combination of both. Is this the beginning of a return to the work place for everyone?
In other news, last summer, most Seattle city councilors said they'd vote in favor of defunding the Seattle police department by 50 percent. Now some of them are walking that statement back. A new proposal would see a 3-million dollar cut to the police department, which is far less of a cut than the 5.4-million dollar proposal from this winter. With such a relatively small number, can Seattle still say they're defunding the police?
Speaking of city councilors, we might soon see a change to the districts they represent. The time is coming for the city council's first boundary redistricting. It's required that the city redistrict every couple of years, to keep district populations even. But why is the city council split into districts at all? Is it time to wipe the map and go back to city wide votes for every council member?
Finally, Republican state legislators are responding to a major change in Washington drug law. Washington's state Supreme Court recently ruled that the state's drug possession law is unconstitutional. Which means possessing small amounts of drugs is not an arrestable offense in Washington right now. How are state lawmakers responding to this change?