The fight for Medicare for All is just getting started. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (a Washington CAN member!) has introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2019. It’s the most ambitious Improved Medicare for All proposal to date, so we’re extending an invite for a special event where members can join the congresswoman in a discussion about the bill and the path forward.
Archives for March 2019
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is continuing a pilot program first launched in summer 2018 that provides community members with the opportunity to drop-in for free at designated athletic fields to play unscheduled athletic events with their friends and family.
Normally, field use requires a paid reservation, but SPR has dedicated seven athletic fields this year (Bitter Lake Playfield, University Playground, Ravenna Park, Magnolia Playfield #5, Rainier Beach Playfield, South Park Playground, and Roxhill Park) for open community drop-in use every Saturday and Wednesday, depending on location (see map below).
The 2019 season runs from April 1 to September 28 for most of these fields. However, Roxhill Playfield’s season ends on August 28. The free drop-in times are Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
For more information on the Athletic Field Drop-In Program, including program rules, visit:https://www.seattle.gov/parks/reserve/sports-field-reservations/athletic-field-drop-in-program. Questions? Please contact Courtney Brown, Manager of Athletic Scheduling, 206-684-7094.
Athletic fields are a beloved component of Seattle’s park system, and SPR is excited to continue to support ways to make fields accessible to all those in our community who would like to use them.
Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners April 3, 2019 in Seattle.
Call 206-727-5300 or go online to register on Revenue’s
Participants will learn about Washington excise taxes, reporting classifications, deductions, tax incentives, sales tax collection and record-keeping requirements. Attendees receive a workbook and helpful reference guide to Revenue’s rules and regulations. Also, attendees may earn two continuing professional education (CPE) credits. Contact the workshop instructor for details.
Date: Wednesday, April 3
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Location: Dept. of Revenue, 2101 4th Ave, Suite 1400 (cross street Lenora), Seattle
Contact Revenue’s Rick Stedman with any questions about the workshop: 360-705-6624 or .
Revenue offers several ways for businesses to learn about taxes. Visit theto view a complete schedule and to register for upcoming workshops. Business owners can also watch a short of the workshop online.
Debt collection abuses rank first in the type of complaints filed by Washington State military servicemembers to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and second for all consumers in the state. A new Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) report may help explain why.
“Debt by Default: Debt Collection Practices in Washington 2012-2016” found that over 80% of lawsuits filed by debt buyers against consumers are unchallenged in court, meaning the debt buyer wins by default. So people sued by debt buyers are frequently subject to a judgment or garnishment of their wages, without the debt buyer ever proving their case or the validity of the debt.
The analysis also found that only 1% of defendants were represented by an attorney among 21,254 cases filed over five years by one large law firm representing debt buyers. Of those cases where the debt buyer won by default, defendants were represented in only 45 cases.
And the report documents a startling figure indicating how many of those consumers may not be aware that their case may be subject to a default judgment if they don’t respond to a summons in 20 days, a time frame that applies even if no court case exists. This “pocket service” may be occurring in almost 70% of the cases reviewed.
“The numbers show quite a lopsided legal situation in favor of debt buyers in Washington, who we found typically don’t have to prove the debt they are pursuing is real and accurate in order to win cases against unrepresented consumers,” said Julia Barnard, Researcher at the Center for Responsible Lending and co-author of the report. “In fact, less than two percent of defendants have legal representation. And on top of that, problems with service and very speedy timelines result in the fact that many folks find themselves subject to monetary judgments or even wage garnishments before they knew what hit them.”
“Unfortunately, this report shows the people of Washington are experiencing the injustice to consumers that we’ve seen in other parts of the country,” said Ellen Harnick, CRL’s Western Office Director. “
“Washingtonians are working hard to get by, often stretching limited resources to meet basic needs,” said Jay Doran of Statewide Poverty Action Network in Seattle. “A system that enables debt buyers to squeeze struggling consumers for precious dollars that they may not even owe is simply unjust. We need reform desperately, starting with the basic principle that debt buyers must prove the debt is real, as complaints make clear it is so often not inaccurate.”
“I see the abuses day after day, where debt buyers use the courts to push low income families deeper into financial distress, often without ever proving their claims,” said Scott Kinkley, an attorney with Northwest Justice Project in Spokane. “Providing proof when filing a lawsuit is a basic principle of our justice system. Debt buyers should not get away with draining desperately needed money from low-income consumers without documenting that the debt is real and accurate in each and every case.”
Seattle Parks and Recreation will host a free job fair for LGBTQ youth and allies on Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Miller Community Center (330 19th Ave. E). Youth of all ages are welcome to attend and there will be many employment opportunities for high school-age youth (14-19) and young adults (19-24). Attendees should come prepared to spend some time visiting the various booths, which will have representatives from private employers as well as City of Seattle youth-employment and stipend programs.
Several City departments offer summer employment appropriate for teens and young adults, including positions in Seattle Parks and Recreation Aquatics (life guards, boat ramp monitors), Seattle Parks and Recreation Youth Engaged in Service (job shadowing an adult mentor, usually in an office setting), Seattle Parks and Recreation Student Teen Employment Program and Summer of Service (building trails in local parks as well as working on restoration and other projects), Youth Participatory Action Research (exploring social justice issues), and the Seattle Public Libraries Student Assistance program. Many local businesses will also be in attendance.
The Youth Job Fair for LGBTQ and Allies is a collaborative effort led by the Youth Employment and Service Learning Unit of Seattle Parks and Recreation. To participate in the fair or for more information contact Gwen Wessels, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at Gwen.Wessels@seattle.gov.
It’s time for Spring Clean, Seattle’s annual community cleanup program supported by Seattle Public Utilities.
Spring Clean, now in its 33rd year, runs from April 1 through May 31. During this time, Seattle residents—neighbors, volunteer groups, community organizations—come together to keep Seattle clean and vibrant. Activities include picking up litter, stenciling storm drains to prevent water pollution, painting out graffiti, and removing invasive plants. Seattle Public Utilities supports volunteers by providing free tools like garbage bags, gloves, garbage grabbers, safety vests, paint supplies, and waste disposal.
Ready to join? Gather your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors, or go solo—there’s no minimum or maximum group size. Register online or call (206) 233-7187.
Spring Clean is a partnership between Seattle residents and Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and Seattle Department of Transportation. All Spring Clean projects must be conducted on public property.
Seattle City Council recently approved the landmark designation ordinance for the Broad Street Substation located in the Cascade neighborhood. This facility joins the more than 400 landmarks in the city that contribute to the cultural and architectural heritage of Seattle’s neighborhoods.
The City’s Landmarks Preservation Board approved the nomination, designation, and controls and incentives for this landmark, and staff drafted the ordinance to the Seattle City Council. The final step in the process was approval by City Council which occurred on Monday.
As designated City landmarks, this facility is not only recognized for its historic and cultural significance, but it is also eligible for code relief that helps to contribute to the continued preservation of the landmark.
About the Broad Street Substation
These Art Moderne buildings were designed by architect Ivan Palmaw, who emigrated from Russia in 1926 during the Revolution. He earned an architectural degree from the University of Washington in 1929 and continued working in the region for 40 years. Of his many projects, he designed two other Seattle landmarks: St. Spiridon Orthodox Cathedral and St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
The Broad Street Substation came online in 1951 during a period of rapid growth for Seattle City Light (SCL). The facility was linked to the old north substation and another new facility in Bothell that were receiving electricity from the Skagit River Dam, along with the Ross Dam that was then under construction. The substation continues to be fully operational.
Members of the Seattle Renters’ Commission have issued a statement urging the City of Seattle to move forward with the plan to build 238 units of affordable housing at Fort Lawton as quickly as possible.
“Affordability is the single largest issue that renters in Seattle face today. As the city gets more expensive, renters are forced to either give a greater share of each paycheck to rent or leave the city. Entire communities are wiped out by displacement. Working people struggle to pay rent every month.
Thousands of our neighbors sleep on the streets. We need to build as much affordable housing as possible so that all renters can live in the city we love. The Fort Lawton development is an excellent opportunity for the City to build 238 affordable units, including 86 units for homeless seniors, 100 affordable units for those making 60% of area median income (AMI), and 52 affordable homeownership opportunities. The housing will also be next to Discovery Park, which provides much-needed proximity to green space usually reserved for wealthy homeowners.”
Read the full statement from the Seattle Renters’ Commission.
The Seattle Renters’ Commission provides information, advice, and counsel to the Mayor, Seattle City Council, and departments concerning issues and policies affecting renters. Learn more at seattle.gov/neighborhoods/seattle-renters-commission.
Project Development for this year’s round of Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets has been slightly delayed and will now take place April 1 – 30. This change will allow more time for Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Parks and Recreation to conduct quality reviews of the many project ideas submitted. It will also provide community members more time to prepare and get the word out to neighbors about projects in their area.
The project development meetings originally scheduled for March will be canceled and rescheduled. We will post a final list of meetings once all the new dates and times are confirmed.
If you would like to participate in the Project Development process, you are welcome to attend one or more project development meetings throughout the city. Participants will be responsible for evaluating the project ideas that are submitted and give each project numerical ratings.
If you cannot attend a meeting, but would like to evaluate projects, there will be an opportunity to do so online. Stay tuned for details!
Participation is open to all who live, work, go to school, receive services, volunteer, or have a connection to the City of Seattle.
Learn more about the Your Voice, Your Choice Project Development phase on our website.
If you have questions, please contact Amy Nguyen at Amy.Nguyen@seattle.gov.
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) invites the community to an Open House for the Mount Baker Park Comfort Station and Beach Bathhouse renovation projects. Please join us on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Mount Baker Beach, 2301 Lake Washington Blvd.
This is an opportunity to meet the design team and learn about the proposed projects. SPR will install a new all-gender restroom facility for the play area and provide interior building improvements to the bathhouse. Both projects are designed to improve access and safety, as well as to meet the current standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Light snacks and children’s activities will be provided.
The Seattle Park District funds these major maintenance projects.
For more information, please visitIf you have questions about the project, or if you need an interpreter or accommodations please contact Libby Hudson at or 206-256-5988.