A flatbed truck is delivering tiny houses to Tacoma today as the city’s first micro shelter village prepares to open.
Amicus brief outlines devastating consequences for women of color, lesbian and transgender Louisianans
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda joined partner organization Women With a Vision and other reproductive justice advocates from across the nation in filing an amicus brief in June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee, which challenges Louisiana’s law requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges. If allowed to take effect, Louisiana’s Act 620 would leave only one doctor to provide abortion care in the entire state. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda founder and President, Marcela Howell, issued the following statement:
“Black women are strong, resilient and ready to fight against this latest attack on our most basic human right to reproductive autonomy. We saw the writing on the wall with Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s egregious nomination and angry confirmation hearing — our civil rights are up for debate by lawmakers more interested in defending white, male patriarchy than protecting women of color and the LGBTQ+ communities’ health and safety.
“Reproductive Justice demands that we have the right to control our bodies, our sexuality, our gender, our work and our reproduction. Systemic racism and sexism have presented enormous barriers for Black women, femmes, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people, and youth to safe, affordable healthcare access. As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear a case already decided with Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt three years ago, we call on the justices to uphold precedent and protect the right to abortion for all Louisianans.”
About the case:
June Medical Services sued the state of Louisiana to challenge the constitutionality of a Louisiana law that requires doctors providing abortions in the state to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the place where the doctor provides abortion care. The federal district court ruled for the abortion providers, finding that the law is unconstitutional, however, the federal appeals court reversed, finding that the law is constitutional. The Supreme Court subsequently granted June Medical Services’ request to review the Louisiana law, with oral arguments scheduled on March 4, 2020. As noted in the amici filed before the court:
“Act 620 will impose on marginalized populations in Louisiana, who ‒ because of structural racism, discrimination and economic disadvantage, among other factors ‒ have been denied access to necessary reproductive healthcare services. These communities already experience disproportionately high maternal mortality rates and other adverse reproductive health outcomes. Act 620 will effectively cut off access to abortion services and related health services in Louisiana for marginalized populations in violation of their human rights.”
Court of Appeals definitively opened the door to the state Supreme Court to review and rule on Seattle’s income tax on the affluent. The Court rejected our opponents’ request for reconsideration of the Court’s July decision affirming that Seattle had the right to levy a tax on income and finding the state law preventing cities from instituting a tax on net income to be unconstitutional.
The Court of Appeals has effectively cleared away the underbrush, creating a direct and unimpeded pathway to the State Supreme Court to enable that court to review and, we hope, reverse their ruling in 1933, which overturned a progressive income tax passed by over 70 percent of the people, based on the fundamentally wrong interpretation that income is property.
The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a progressive income tax in July 2017. This is a 2.25 percent tax on total income above $250,000 for individuals and above $500,000 for joint filers. It is estimated to result in $200 million in new revenues for the city, with about 10,000 households contributing. The revenues are to be dedicated to reducing regressive taxes in the city, including the business and occupation tax rate; addressing the homelessness crisis; providing affordable housing, education, and transit; and creating green jobs and meeting carbon reduction goals.
The Trump-Proof Seattle Coalition, led by the Transit Riders Union and the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI), and including 30 Seattle organizations and social justice groups, catalyzed this income tax on the affluent.
EOI and the City of Seattle will seek state Supreme Court review because the court of appeals held: “We are constrained by stare decisis to follow our Supreme Court’s existing decisions that an income tax is a property tax.”
Of course, our opponents won’t give up and will be contesting our briefs. We will hear from the Freedom Foundation, the Pacific Legal Foundation, Matt McIlwain of the Madrona Venture Group, Rob McKenna and a small host of other parties aligned to protect privilege, power, and status in this legal battle to our state’s highest court.
Many allies have submitted amicus briefs in favor of Seattle’s income tax on the affluent.
State Senators Sam Hunt, Karen Keiser, Patty Kuderer, Joe Nguyen, Rebecca Saldaña and Lisa Wellman and State Representatives Sherry Appleton, Eileen Cody, Lauren Davis, Beth Doglio, Laurie Dolan, Joe Fitzgibbon, Noel Frame, Mia Gregerson, Nicole Macri, Cynthia Ryu, and Sharon Wylie have filed one amicus brief.
The Washington Association of Cities, and the cities of Olympia, Port Townsend, and Port Angeles have filed another amicus brief in support of city taxing authority.
The Washington State Labor Council, Service Employees Union Local 925, Physicians for Social Responsibility, American Federation of Teachers of Washington, the Transit Riders Union, and the Seattle Education Association have also filed an amicus brief in support of Seattle’s ordinance.
It is important to keep in mind that:
- We have the most regressive state and local tax system in the country;
- We are unable to raise the revenues necessary for education and social services and public transit;
- The percent of state personal income dedicated to public services in our state has fallen by 30 percent in the past two decades;
- We are in a perpetual fiscal crisis.
The 1933 and 1935 decisions were wrong then, and are wrong now, as almost all states, and the federal government, have drawn a fundamental distinction between property and income.
The State Supreme Court can affirm Seattle’s income tax on the affluent by reviewing and reversing its decisions from 1933 and 1935. The 1933 and 1935 decisions were wrong then and are wrong now, as the Washington court uniquely erased a fundamental distinction between property and income.
We expect to know whether the Supreme Court will accept the case by early 2020, and if it does, we expect a historic decision in late 2020 or in 2021.
Microsoft Drags Feet, But Starbucks Joins Citi as 2nd Major U.S. Company to Release Data.
As Microsoft shareholders vote today on a board-opposed shareholder resolution calling for disclosure of the tech giant’s median gender pay gap data, retail giant Starbucks has acceded to shareholder requests for such information and is now providing it to the public. The investment management firm Arjuna Capital, which has spurred nearly two dozen companies to provide gender and racial pay equity disclosure, is the sponsor of the more demanding median gender pay equity resolutions at both Microsoft and Starbucks.
Arjuna Capital Managing Partner Natasha Lamb has provided a video statement for delivery today at the Microsoft virtual meeting. In the statement, she notes: “Disclosure of median pay is now mandated in the United Kingdom. For Microsoft’s UK operations, our company reported a 7.9% hourly median pay gap, and a 13% bonus median pay gap. Yet, notably, our company has notpublished median information for its global operations.”
Arjuna Capital today withdrew its shareholder resolution at Starbucks, following a productive dialogue about its median gender and racial pay equity disclosure, which is now available publicly: “Starbucks shares its median pay gaps by gender globally, and by gender and race in the US. In 2019 the median pay for women globally is 98.3% of the median for men. In the U.S., the median pay ratio is 100% for women and 100% for people of color.”
With the 2020 shareholder season now getting underway, Starbucks is following in the footsteps of Citigroup, which, in January 2019, broke ranks with other financial institutions facing median gender/racial pay equity resolutions and agreed to shareholder demands that it disclose its median pay gap data.
Natasha Lamb, managing partner, Arjuna Capital said: “We want to salute Starbucks for its leadership as it joins ranks with Citigroup as the second U.S. company to produce the hard numbers on median gender and racial pay equity. Starbucks has proven itself both responsive to shareholders and a leader on diversity and inclusion. It is regrettable that Microsoft’s board has chosen to go the other way and fight the call for median gender and racial pay equity. This sends a terrible message to employees, shareholders, the markets, and customers who deserve an honest accounting of pay gaps.
As it did in the 2019 shareholder season, Arjuna Capital intends to file during the 2020 season median gender/racial pay equity resolutions at more than a dozen tech, financial and retail giants. Arjuna’s list of targets for such resolutions will be revealed in the first half of January 2020.
The resolution that Microsoft shareholders will vote on today over board opposition reads in part as follows: “Microsoft reports women earn 99.7 percent of the compensation received by men on a statistically adjusted equal pay basis. Yet, that statistically adjusted number alone fails to consider how discrimination affects differences in opportunity. In contrast, median pay gap disclosures address the structural bias that affects the jobs women hold, particularly when men hold most higher paying jobs. Women account for nearly 28 percent of Microsoft’s employees, but only 22 percent of leadership. Mercer finds actively managing pay equity ‘is associated with higher current female representation at the professional through executive levels and a faster trajectory to improved representation.”
SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM BACKGROUND
In the last five years, at least 64 companies have faced more than 100 shareholder resolutions on the gender pay gap. In 2015, Arjuna Capital launched the gender pay shareholder campaign when it filed a shareholder proposal with the technology firm eBay.
Arjuna Capital continues to lead this effort and has filed a total of 53 proposals at 23 companies in the tech, financial, and consumer sectors. Of those companies, 22 have committed to disclose and close their pay gaps on an adjusted equal pay for equal work basis, an important first step. In 2019, Arjuna requested more comprehensive reporting from the companies, and filed a new proposal with 12 companies requesting unadjusted global median gender and U.S. minority/racial pay gap data. This evolution is important because while adjusted data shows if there is equal pay for equal work, unadjusted median pay data shows if there is equal opportunity for higher-paying jobs.
A recent op-ed published by Lamb describes the importance of this reporting: https://qz.com/
At Rainier Scholars, we recruit fourth-graders into a cohort, so that students belong to a community of highly motivated students who share a vision of college success. The initial phase of our program is the 14-month Academic Enrichment Phase (AEP), which begins the summer before the start of fifth grade and continues twice weekly during the school year. During this phase, scholars develop the skills needed to thrive in college preparatory settings. We honor the completion of AEP with a Rites of Passage ceremony, celebrating our scholars’ accomplishments and hard work.
Nyomi Bennett (Cohort 18) was this year’s recipient of the Frederick Douglass award, in recognition of her dedication to her own and her classmates’ education, as well her willingness to fight through obstacles with grace, wisdom and maturity. After completing 14 months of academic enrichment, Nyomi is now a sixth-grader at Seattle Girls’ School.
King County and Seattle Christmas and free holiday assistance programs.
Across King County Washington there are several Christmas assistance programs. Non-profit organizations run them using donations from the community and also the support of volunteers. A wide variety of gifts and food items may be offered to struggling families, in particular those with children, in an effort to spread the holiday joy.
Some of the charities offer more than just Christmas help. They may also administer Thanksgiving meals or Easter gift baskets. Anyone who may qualify and is interested in getting more information will need to call a center.
Countless families in Seattle are struggling in these challenging times. The free gifts, clothing and meals that are provided around the holidays can make a big difference. It can free up your money for paying other bills and help people have some joy around Christmas and other holidays.
Black Diamond Community Center
Address of the non-profit is 31605 3rd Ave
Black Diamond, Washington, 98010
The non-profit does not serve the city of Seattle, and all people need to call for appointment to register/apply for Christmas help.. Phone number is (360) 886-1011
The center offers free Christmas gifts for school children, grades K-12, in Black Diamond district only.
Hopelink – Redmond
16725 Cleveland St
Redmond, Washington, 98052
An on site Holiday Gift Room offers clothing, holiday gifts, toys, stuff, and more for Redmond and Sammamish area residents.
Another location is in Shoreline Washington and it covers low income, unemployed, and struggling families in that area. Food and hot meals may be served at Thanksgiving or Christmas too. 15809 Westminster Way N, Shoreline, WA, 98133. Dial (206) 440-7300 for intake or applications. Hope Link is also at 11011 120th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA, 98033, dial (425) 889-7880 as well as 14812 Main St, Bellevue, Washington, 98007, main phone (425) 943-7555. Or find more free stuff.
Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank
Address is 179 1st Ave SE, Issaquah, WA, 98027
Phone number (425) 392-4123
The Caring Through Sharing store has toys, games, clothing, and more for children and students. Qualified families can shop for what they need.
Maple Valley Food Bank
21415 Maple Valley Hwy
Maple Valley, WA, 98038
Hot meals, groceries, and Christmas Gifts may be passed out. It is for children, students, and teenagers of the Tahoma School District, Maple Valley, Hobart, Ravensdale, and Covington Washington.
Mercer Island Youth and Family Services – Holiday Food and Gift Program
2040 84th Ave SE
Mercer Island, Washington, 98040
Call (206) 275-7869
Address is 1200 S 336th St.
Federal Way, WA, 98003
Phone number – (253) 838-6810
Provides free Christmas and holiday food for all clients. Volunteers and donations also can give gifts for children, ages 18 and younger. The program runs for qualified low-income Federal Way School District residents.
Storehouse at Real Life Church
26201 180th Ave SE
Covington, WA, 98042
Up to 2 free gifts, presents, clothing items or gift cards are for families with children living in Covington.
Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) introduced the Empowering Individuals to Succeed Through Education and Workforce Training Act. This legislation would establish a new competitive grant program under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), dedicated exclusively to providing support services for individuals receiving workforce training and education.
Barriers to receiving an education or obtaining the skills needed to succeed are insurmountable for far too many individuals in this economy. Career and technical education and workforce training services provide opportunities for individuals to enter the workforce and are critical to addressing our nation’s skills gap. The financial burden often goes beyond just the costs of tuition. Reducing the barriers that individuals face to obtain training and education will help ready our workforce for in-demand, well-paid jobs.
“With persistent inequities in our society and an evolving economy, we must do more to help people obtain the education and skills they need to succeed. The Empowering Individuals to Succeed Through Education and Workforce Training Act will provide wraparound services that are needed to help individuals complete education and training programs for in-demand jobs in our economy,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “Equal opportunity for all is only possible when every person in our country can access programs leading to high-quality and good-paying jobs.”
“This is crucial legislation to serve our workforce and support the economic and civic drivers in our communities. Not only will these funds assist in defraying challenges of housing, transportation and childcare, but will also connect students to health care, legal aid, and other community services,” said Renton Technical College President Kevin McCarthy. “Students benefiting from these services are much more likely to complete the training for which they are well qualified and passionate.”
“Education and training outcomes increase exponentially when students also have access to wrap around supports that help provide a stable foundation to focus on learning. These support services are exactly the critical needs for many of our students along their career pathway to living-wage jobs,” said Veronica Wade, Executive Dean of Professional Technical and Workforce Education.
“Every day, working people, students, and families are looking for opportunities to get ahead but too few workers can access the skills, training and education necessary to access good jobs,” said Katie Spiker, Director of Government Affairs of National Skills Coalition. “Support services like childcare, transportation and career counseling are critical to workers’ ability to access and succeed in skills training programs that lead to jobs at the backbone of America’s economy.”
“As a service provider, it is crushing to see these same young people be pushed out of the programs that are set up to help them, said Kathryn Peterson, Program Manager at YouthBuild. “Fortunately, these barriers, so often, can be easily remedied with just a little support from a service provider that actually has the funds allocated to specifically identify, and address, critical barriers to engagement that are outside of the typically funded services of transportation and identification support.”
“WIOA provides many opportunities to help job seekers advance their careers and achieve economic stability. This bill builds on the success of WIOA by establishing a new supportive services fund that will enable more participants to get the resources they need to complete their education and training. We applaud Representative Smith for introducing this important legislation,” saidOlivia Golden, Executive Director of CLASP.
Through the Empowering Individuals to Succeed Through Education and Workforce Training Act, local and state workforce development boards would use grants to build partnerships with WIOA-supported programs and expand the capacity to help individuals receive support services including assistance with transportation, child care or dependent care, and housing; referrals to health care services; legal aid services; and others. Individuals participating in a wide range of WIOA training and education programs would be eligible to receive support under the grant, such as skills upgrading and retraining, apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, adult education and literacy activities, and occupational skills training.
- The Men of Courage Barbershop Challenge invites community-focused barbershops
in the Tacoma area to submit innovative community program proposals supporting
why their location should be selected as a Men of Courage barbershop
- Two barbershops will be selected as finalists and compete for a grant of $10,000
to activate community engagement programs at their shops
- Challenge runner-up to receive $5000 for their favorite nonprofit organization
Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, is joining forces with the City of Tacoma and the Washington State History Museum (WSHM) to offer motivated barbershops in Tacoma an opportunity to compete for a $10,000 grant to support programs they create to educate and empower African American men in their community. Additionally, the runner up in the challenge is eligible to select a local non-profit to receive a $5,000 grant.
To apply, shop owners should visit http://fgb.life and submit their application online. Applications are being accepted now until November 22, 2019.
“The Men of Courage program is designed to uplift and celebrate the many contributions of African American men to our world,” said Pamela Alexander, director of Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund.“We are excited to bring this program and the associated barbershop challenge to Tacoma.”
The Men of Courage Barbershop Challenge is an expansion of the Men of Courage (MOC) grassroots program that launched in 2015. Its intent is to build communities by advancing the narrative of black men through storytelling. The MOC initiative has included several activations that include community outreach, education programs and toolkits for conversation starters.
Over the past three years, curated forums have been held in Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles with national stakeholders such as activist Shaka Senghor, former Detroit mayor and NBA Hall of Famer Dave Bing, and NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis participating. With nearly 200 community leaders serving as mentors and engaging in hours of storytelling, vision boarding and solution mapping with young men in the community, the work has resulted in more than 2,000 toolkits downloaded in 34 cities around the country. Additionally, the theme of the 2016 Ford Freedom Award, which celebrated and recognized achievements of lasting and positive impact for African Americans, highlights the pivotal work of the Men of Courage program.
“In helping African American men tap into powerful community conversations through this new program, we are making a statement,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “We are saying that their ideas matter and can, in fact, profoundly shape the evolution of African American male identity in this country.”
The Tacoma MOC Barbershop Challenge seeks state-certified barbershop owners ages 18 and up to submit innovative applications that state why their barbershop should be distinguished as a Ford Fund Men of Courage shop and what that would mean for their community. Two finalists will be selected to compete by developing community engagement programming for adults and youth that focus on education, entrepreneurship and empowerment. Ford will support their efforts leveraging partnerships such as the Washington State History Museum and Microsoft to facilitate fun and engaging activities such as coding workshops, Xbox Game Nights and amplifying a job search with LinkedIn.
“We are proud to partner with the Ford Motor Company Fund in bringing their innovative Barber Shop Challenge to the Tacoma area. We look forward to experiencing the impact of the fun and meaningful activities that will come out of the challenge,” said Jennifer Kilmer, director of the Washington State Historical Society. “Men of Courage is the perfect companion program to the Men of Change exhibition. The Washington State History Museum is honored to host that exhibition this winter and we encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to see it here.”
To apply, shop owners should visit http://fgb.life and submit their application online. Applications are being accepted now until November 22, 2019.
The Men of Courage program serves as a complimentary grassroots activation to the Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. exhibition at WSHM December 21 – March 15, 2020. Created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), Men of Change is made possible through the support of Ford Motor Company Fund and highlights revolutionary men—including Muhammad Ali, James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, W.E.B. Du Bois and Kendrick Lamar— whose journeys have altered the history and culture of the country. Cincinnati’s Freedom Center was the first stop of the national three-year tour. For more information visit sites.si.edu.
For more information on programs that support the African American community, go to http://fgb.life .
About Ford Motor Company Fund
As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund’s mission is to strengthen communities and help make people’s lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in 63 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook and Twitter.
About Men of Courage
Ford Motor Company’s Men of Courage (MOC) initiative launched in 2015 as a grassroots program designed to build communities by advancing the narrative of black men through storytelling, intergenerational forums, and community programs. Since its inception, MOC has hosted forums in the five cities and reported more than 2,000 toolkit downloads across 34 cities throughout the US.
About Washington State History Museum
The Washington State Historical Society partners with communities to explore how history connects us all. The Society’s most visible activity, the Washington State History Museum is located in Tacoma’s downtown core along Pacific Avenue among a thriving cultural scene. The museum features interactive permanent exhibitions about Washington’s past, unique rotating exhibitions highlighting the Society’s collections and dynamic traveling exhibitions.