Seattle Foundation Blog

Element Notes

In this Element Notes: Governor Inslee’s proposed budget would close the education funding gap, progress on Sawant’s “Tenants Bill of Rights,” Washington is declared a “Hate-Free” zone and more.

December 21, 2016

Deep community knowledge is a key benefit of working with Seattle Foundation.  Our team has extensive knowledge about community issues and trends, as well as an expansive network of relationships with nonprofit organizations working locally, nationally and globally.  We track key developments in each element of our Healthy Community Framework:  Arts & Culture, Basic Needs, Economy, Education, Environment, Health & Wellness, Vibrant Communities and Global Giving.  Every other week, we compile Element Notes to share the latest developments affecting efforts to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. We hope you find it useful and let us know what you think!

Basic Needs

Council makes life easier for renters, caps move-in costs
The legislation, part of Councilwoman Kshama Sawant’s proposed “Tenants Bill of Rights,” restricts the security deposit and non-refundable fees to one month’s rent, and creates a payment plan option for move-in fees like last month’s rent and security deposit. Move-in fees like these can be prohibitive for many people looking for housing.

What Ben Carson, Trump could mean for affordable housing
With the nomination of the untested Ben Carson for HUD secretary, the future of low-income tax credits and section 8 housing, both major tools of affordable housing, is unknown.

Social workers fleeing troubled foster care system
Crosscut continues its coverage of Washington’s troubled foster care system, this time focusing on high turnover among social workers.

Homelessness declining in nation's cities, but hunger is on the rise (audio autoplay)
Nationwide the US Conference of Mayors noted a spike of 2% in requests for emergency food assistance. Though homeless is on the decline nationwide, it continues to rise in Seattle.


Minimum-wage raises ahead next month; in Seattle, $15 for some
The first wave of workers, those in Seattle that work for companies with more than 500 employees, will experience the benefits of the $15/ hour minimum wage increase.

The American Dream, Quantified at Last
A person born in 1980 has only 50% chance of making more than their parents, compared with 92% if that person was born in 1940.


McCleary fix? Inslee proposes billions in new taxes to pay teachers
Governor Inslee came out with his proposed 2017-18 state budget last week. A “smorgasbord of tax and funding ideas” that primarily draws revenue from a carbon tax and a capital gains tax, the proposal would fully fund the currently unconstitutionally underfunded K-12 education as well as the mental health system.


The Northwest braces for its own Standing Rock
The battle to stop a new proposed pipeline in British Columbia could bring some of the largest environmental protests ever seen in Cascadia.

Health and Wellness

Momentum Is Growing for Safe Consumption Sites in Seattle, but Still No Answers about When They'll Open
To address the growing heroin epidemic, a county and city convened task force recommended safe consumption sites-- sites where it’s not prosecuted to inject or smoke drugs-- in order to prevent overdose. Despite stated support, the city has missed its deadline to report back to the commission. (Note that The Stranger may have ads or language not all may find appropriate. As always, click with care.)

Vibrant Communities

Washington is declared a 'Hate Free Zone' by Inslee, Democratic politicians
Politicians gathered to declare their commitment to a hate-free state in light of a proposed Muslim registry, immigration concerns and upticks in hate related incidents. Protestors against a new youth jail interrupted the proceedings to advocate for the politicians to oppose granting a master use permit for the jail.

County Council Appoints Rebecca Saldaña to State Senate
Puget Sound Sage Director will take over Pramila Jayapal’s spot. (Note that The Stranger may have ads or language not all may find appropriate. As always, click with care.)

Searching for a New Central District in Suburban King County
Kent’s African American population has been growing exponentially. Meanwhile, despite growing diversity in King County, Seattle remains one of the least diverse cities in the country.


Five Trends in Philanthropy
The Council on Foundations highlights its predictions for philanthropy, including tax reform, reduced resources for nonprofits and foundations focusing on being knowledge hubs.



For Philanthropists


social equalityBasic Needseconomic opportunityhealthy community frameworkphilanthropistseducationChildren and youthcommunities of opportunity

Related Post


In Conversation, In Community: The Black-led Joy and Wellness Fund

August 17, 2022

In this instance of our In Conversation, In Community series, we engaged with three community leaders who have received one of the first rounds of grants from the Black-led Joy and Wellness Fund.


Celebrating Black Philanthropists

August 03, 2022

Black Philanthropy Month is an opportunity to amplify the different ways in which members of the Black community have invested their time, talent, treasure, ties and testimonies to meet the needs of their community.

no guns

Organizations Working to Decrease Gun Violence

June 01, 2022

Following the horrific tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo, we turn to local and national organizations working to reduce gun violence.