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Element Notes

In this roundup, the results from the one-night count shows a large spike in homelessness, state and national budgets (both of which would have big local effects) fight through the legislature, and Seattle is gaining an average of 57 residents a day.


May 31, 2017

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.

Basic Needs

A City the Size of Woodinville is Sleeping in our Streets
This year’s one night homeless count (with a new methodology) shows an 18 percent jump: 5,485 people found living unsheltered. Seventy-seven percent of respondents reported living in King County at the time they became homeless and the count reflects significant racial disparity in homelessness.

Economy

Trump Budget Promises Balance in Decade, Relies on Deep Cuts
The president’s proposed budget massively cuts Medicaid (by 20%), college loans, food stamps (by 25%) and federal employee pension benefits, likely passing along large burdens to states. The budget is still being negotiated by Congress and the White House.

No Agreement Yet: Washington Legislature Goes into Second Special Session
The state legislature has entered a second special session to debate Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget (covered in previous news blasts). The session lasts up until the deadline, so if a budget is not passed the state will go into a shutdown. Top on the list of priorities is meeting the McCleary decision’s requirement to appropriately fund public education in the state.

King County Exec Wants to Triple Levy for Veterans, Seniors, Homeless
"King County Executive Dow Constantine is proposing to triple the size of the Veterans and Human Services Levy to increase affordable housing and add services for seniors."

Vibrant Communities

Four Years in the Making: More Citizen Oversight of Seattle Cops
Years after signing an agreement with the Department of Justice to overhaul its police department, the Seattle City Council approved more oversight of the Seattle Police Department. The ordinance establishes an Office of Inspector General, which is charged with preserving and continuing the strides made under the DOJ agreement. It also makes the civilian Community Police Commission permanent, largely removes sworn officers from deciding on the discipline of their peers and puts civilians in charge of overseeing internal misconduct investigations. The initiative still needs approval from the U.S. District Court and likely significant bargaining with the leadership and rank-and-file police unions.

An Explanation of Seattle’s $1 Million Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants
In April, Seattle City Council approved a $1 million legal defense fund for immigrants who can’t afford legal assistance. Several city council members are attempting to extend funding for another year. It’s estimated that the fund could help defend between 100 and 200 people each year; last year the Seattle Immigration Court completed 2,979 cases.

City Council Passes Bill to Allow Activists to Appeal New Youth Jail
Activists against a proposed youth jail garnered a last-resort win -- the city council passed a bill which allows the city hearing examiner to consider an appeal against it. The bill still needs to be signed by Mayor Ed Murray.

Seattle Once Again Nation’s Fastest-Growing Big City; Population Exceeds 700,000
Seattle is gaining an average of 57 new residents per day, making us the fastest growing large city in the country.

Community Groups, Local Developers Band Together to Rebuild Heart of the Central District
Developer Lake Union Partners is partnering with nonprofits Africatown and Forterra to redevelop the historic 23rd Avenue South and Union Street block in the Central district. An effort to support the traditionally African American neighborhood, the nonprofits will use their portion of the block to provide ground-level retail space for local businesses and around 135 affordable housing units on upper floors. (The Stranger may have language or ads that not all find appropriate. As always, click with care).

Global

Slow Growth in Poorest Countries Derails Sustainable Development Goals Progress, Finds UN Report
The global economy is on track to experience modest growth into 2018, but a “deteriorating” outlook for the world’s least developed countries may place some of the United Nations core development goals out of reach by 2030, according to a new report.

Philanthropy

Group to Help Casino Road Area of Everett with $700,000
The Everett Casino Road Initiative, funded by Seattle Foundation’s Whitehorse Foundation, gets coverage for its broad-based strategy to tackle intertwined problems of poverty, language barriers, safety and economic development.

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