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Initiatives

Seattle Will Spend $290 Million+ On Seawall Repair

With overwhelming support of 77%, Seattle will spend an estimated $290 million dollars to repair the Elliott Bay seawall.  It was perfect timing considering the scarcity spoken by the council and Sandy hitting the east coast.  Being fresh in voters minds it was an easy pass.  Of course many don’t understand the consequences of approving it.  Such as their property taxes being raised $68 per year, however, many vote without even understanding most of the details.

The voters also approved a $119 million dollar levy to automate finger print processing at crime scenes.  Seems pretty expensive to me considering they already have a system in place and all they really needed was a larger Internet WIFI range to access and process that info.  That really is a cheap expense if done properly, however, I have said it many times the Seattle City Council does believe Keep Reading

Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriage Approved In Washington State

Gay Flag

Washington State will become the first state to legalize same-sex marriage with a popular vote of the public.  Other states have passed same-sex marriage with their court system; however, it has never passed from a popular vote like Washington State has now.  32 states have tried and failed to legalize it before.

As of 10:30p.m the numbers were very close, however, the win and legalization of same sex marriage is only minutes away and fully expected to pass.  Capital Hill is party central right now.  Many proud supporters are celebrating not only the win for Obama but the victory of Referendum 74 (gay marriage rights).

This measure will make history in this state.  Same-Sex couples can apply for marriage licenses as early as December 6th, 2012.  Governor Christine Gregoire will enact legislation on February 13, 2012, which will confer comprehensive marriage rights to same-sex couples within the state, endorsing equality and inclusivity in matrimonial laws.

Supporters of the law raised nearly $12 million.  That is 5x the amount their opponents raised.  It was also the most raised compared to any other campaign on the ballot.

Update: It passed! On a Wednesday that marked a pivotal moment in legislative history, a bill legalizing gay marriage in Washington state garnered its final legislative approval, primarily supported through a party-line vote. This step poised Washington on the verge of becoming the seventh state in the U.S. to legally recognize same-sex marriages. Eager to sign the measure, Washington’s Democratic Governor, Christine Gregoire, anticipated “putting into law an end to an era of discrimination.” However, opposition, predominantly from religious conservatives, pledged to pursue its repeal in the forthcoming November polls. This approval from the state House of Representatives occurred just a day after advocates for gay marriage in California celebrated a significant legal triumph when a voter-backed gay marriage ban was deemed unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

Washington State Same Sex Marriage
Washington State Same Sex Marriage – Approved.

The legislation in Washington successfully traversed the state House of Representatives with a 55-43 vote, following its passage in the state Senate by a 28-21 vote just a week prior. With Democrats—holding the majority in both legislative bodies in Olympia—predominantly backing the bill, it also drew endorsement from notable Washington-based corporations, such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks, who collectively employ tens of thousands of workers in the state.

Initiative 502 Marijuana To Be Legal

Time to break out the baking goods because the legalization of marijuana just passed (Initiative 502).  Soon you’ll be able to make those old school brownies, laced butter, special cookies, or have a small supply of plants for recreational use.

The passing of marijuana makes Washington State one of the the state to legalize marijuana in the nation.  You won’t be able to have much though.  One once will be allowed starting Dec 6th and then the state will start the long process of taxing and regulating the heck out of it.  It will be a tightly regulated system for sure.  Even though marijuana is still illegal by federal law the measure overwhelming passed in King County and many other counties.

I believe this is a right step forward with marijuana and hope we can really support and manage the tax money efficiently.

 

Presidential Election 2012 – Vote Seattle!

This is it.  The time has come where you need to make the right choice for the next President (and Washington State Measures).  Many news agencies are expecting Obama to take it, however, I am not certain about that.  Whatever happens in the next 4 years – it starts today with your vote Seattle.  Today is Tuesday November 6th, 2012 and that means the Presidential Election 2012 has started.

Seattle Voting Information:

Washington State Measures reviewed on the Emerald City Journal:

Seattle Proposition 1 – (Against)

Senate Joint Resolution No. 8223 – (Against)

Initiative Measure No. 502 – (Supported)

Initiative Measure No. 1240 – (Against)

Initiative Measure No. 1185 – (Supported)

Advisory Vote No. 2 (Substitute House Bill 2590)

Your 2012 Presidential voting picks (articles):

President Barack Obama OR Mitt Romney

Washington State Measures – How I’m Voting

I have been looking at some of the State Measures and wanted to share a few with you on the Emerald City Journal Newspaper.  These are my thoughts on why I am supporting them or voting against them.  I highly recommend you consider each one and read their descriptions.  Your views may differ compared to mine.

Here we go!

Seattle Proposition 1 – (Against)

 – Regarding the Seattle seawall project.

Senate Joint Resolution No. 8223 – (Against)

– Regarding letting Universities invest our public funds into the stock market or other companies.

Initiative Measure No. 502 – (Supported)

– Regarding the use of marijuana.

Initiative Measure No. 1240 – (Against)

– Regarding opening charter schools.

Initiative Measure No. 1185 – (Supported)

– Regarding a larger majority approved vote to raise taxes.

Advisory Vote No. 2 (Substitute House Bill 2590)

 – “The legislature extended, without a vote of the people, expiration of a tax on possession of petroleum products and reduced the tax rate, costing $24,000,000 in its first ten years, for government spending.”

Seattle Proposition 1 – Seattle’s Seawall Measure

Construction Work Photo

While reading the Times this morning trying to decide what are the lies and what might be the truth, I ran across an article that caught my eye. Remember Andy and Little Opie and the piers they would sit on and look into the sunset? Gave a person a warm fuzzy feeling. The article this morning does NOT give me that feeling. It is a shame that politicians would stoop so low. 5 councilmen and King County Deputy Executive, Fred Jarrett stood on the waterfront to warn us that a Sandy could happen here. Can you see them standing looking into the sunset like little Opie. Opie was fishing for a sucker from in the water on his little fish hook but these 6 were fishing for suckers a.k.a.  voters for all they could. I don’t even know what Fred Jarrett does but there must have been something they could be doing rather than going to the seashore during work hours. They should have invited Obama. He would have got in his little Air Force One and toodled right out here and they could have had a photo shoot for him for sure.

Now for the seawall measure. The council members are not earthquake or hurricane specialists. No one knows/when or if anything of that will happen. They should have taken care of the seawall as it deteriorated. The people who own the property should have to pay for it not the whole city. Proposition 1 is asking for $290 million. Most of what they have written about it is lies. They are saying if it failed, it would severely disrupt daily traffic. Approx 12,300 vehicles use it. 3% of Seattle’s traffic. They should have been worrying about the seawall before they shoved the expensive tunnel mess through it. They have no plan. They talk about two piers, but they are unclear how long the seawall will be. When it might start to be built when they might finish, or if it would be on a budget or just another bottomless pit to scoop taxpayer’s dollars into. They will pay planners, and consultants and have to line a few pockets along the way and the money could be all screwed away before a nail is hammered. Remember the monorail? They blew enough money planning to build the darn thing. I am not sure they even know at this point what they are trying to do, but to pose at the waterfront and try to put the fear of Sandy into the voters is low, low, low. There should be some concrete plans before we give them $290 million.

Update: This passed! On the night of the election, a substantial 77% of Seattle voters endorsed Proposition 1, a 30-year, $290 million bond measure. Consequently, funding for the initial phase of the Elliott Bay Seawall Project has been successfully secured.

In 2017, the City of Seattle finalized the construction of the new Elliott Bay Seawall, projected to endure for over 75 years and revitalize the previously deteriorated nearshore environment. Before the initiation of the Seawall Project, the existing seawall, despite having shielded Seattle for upwards of 70 years, saw its structure debilitated by time and the harsh marine conditions.

The freshly constructed seawall aligns with contemporary seismic standards, safeguarding public safety and serving as the bedrock for Seattle’s new waterfront. Moreover, the seawall encompasses habitat enhancements to rejuvenate the salmon migration corridor and boost ecosystem productivity. Every feature of the seawall was crafted to integrate seamlessly with other pivotal Waterfront Seattle enhancements, including the forthcoming park promenade and the reconstructed Pier 62 and Pier 58.

Senate Joint Resolution No. 8223 (Not Supported)

I will be voting against the Senate Joint Resolution No. 8223 which allows “universities to invest specified public funds as authorized by the legislature, including in private companies or stock.”  I think any of our money giving to the universities should be highly regulated.  We certainly shouldn’t let them make investments into the stock market with it or other gambling ideas which they think would be better.  First off, we shouldn’t giving the universities any money at all.  They should be rewarded by graduates only and should support themselves.  The universities charge way to much for tuition and books and their management, CEO, football coaches are making big dollars.  Universities make a lot of money and their business model is simple to make things work (students to teacher ratio).  The schools, however, should be regulated by the state as they are now just for doing business in the state but we shouldn’t be giving them more money to gamble on other investments which doesn’t help the school or students working hard there.

In fact, if they are just considering putting into the stock market then that tells me they have way to much money to be thinking about already.

With that being said, that is a no thanks on Senate Joint Resolution No. 8223.

Initiative Measure No. 502 (Marijuana – Supported)

Law

I support Initiative Measure No. 502 concerning making marijuana more legal.  I hate the fact that the only real reason the measure is even on the ballot is because tax revenue will be generated off of it similar to liquor.  If it were a free resource, then it would not even be considered or presented to the people.  The state is only ok with certain initiatives if they are getting their “fair share”.  Same reason why prostitution will never be legal (unless it’s highly taxed and regulated).  That is another topic, obviously. Seattle’s poor leadership is always on the wrong side of history. They will support this measure as long as the tax revenue is collected.

As I do support the initiative, I also don’t like the 21 and over legal requirement.  If you can legally smoke at 18 now, then it should be the same with marijuana. There is no real argument around this age except it is a bargaining chip for lawmakers to get their tax money.

Another reason why I support the law is because we’ve spent billions of our tax dollars trying to fight it.  The courts are filled, lawyers are greedy, and it’s a bad situation overall.  Our city waste so much tax money on efforts that don’t matter. For the record, I don’t smoke.

I would have liked to have seen how this tax revenue would be spent.  I would feel better knowing it would all support the schools, education, and safety.  My fear, history, and experience tells me it will be another wasted revenue stream abused. If they started to collect millions and millions of dollars, Seattle will continue to claim poverty and force more taxes from the people.

I think supporting Initiative Measure No. 502 is a movement in the right direction.

What is Initiative Measure No. 502?

Initiative Measure No. 502 is not specific to Seattle but is a measure that was approved by voters statewide in Washington State in 2012. This initiative legalized the possession and private use of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over. Here is a summary of its provisions:

1. Legalization of Marijuana:

  • Adults 21 and over can legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of solid marijuana-infused products, or 72 ounces of liquid marijuana-infused products.

2. Regulation and Licensing:

  • The initiative authorized the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (previously Washington State Liquor Control Board) to regulate and license marijuana producers, processors, and retailers.
  • It established a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors, and retail stores where adults could purchase marijuana.

3. Taxation:

  • I-502 imposed a 25% tax at each transaction level: producer to processor, processor to retailer, and retailer to customer.
  • Tax revenues were designated for specific purposes such as substance-abuse prevention, research, education, and healthcare.

4. DUI Standards:

  • The initiative established legal intoxication standards for driving under the influence of marijuana, similar to blood alcohol levels for alcohol.

5. Decriminalization and Law Enforcement:

  • The measure aimed to allow law enforcement to focus on other crimes by reducing the time and resources spent on enforcing marijuana-related offenses.
  • However, public use of marijuana remained a civil infraction.

6. Federal Law Consideration:

  • Despite the state law change, marijuana possession and distribution remained illegal under federal law. However, in practice, the enforcement of federal marijuana laws became a lower priority in states where marijuana had been legalized and regulated.

I-502 was significant as it represented a shift in drug policy and had considerable implications for criminal justice, public health, and the economy in Washington State. The legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington has also been part of a broader trend towards marijuana legalization in the United States.

 
 
 

Update: Voters approved I-502 legalizing marijuana in Washington State.

Initiative 502 was prevailing at 55 to 45 percent, garnering backing from over half of Washington’s counties, both rural and urban.

This voting outcome positioned Washington and Colorado to the left of the Netherlands regarding marijuana legislation, establishing them as the focal points of a novel societal experiment with unpredictable outcomes. Media from across the nation and around the globe observed as the vote totals were announced at I-502’s election-night celebration in Seattle, sparking waves of ecstatic cheers.

“I’m prepared to deliver my victory speech now. Post this, I can sit down and halt the trembling,” proclaimed Alison Holcomb, the campaign manager and main architect of I-502.

Initiative Measure No. 1240 – Against

At this time I’m against Initiative Measure No. 1240.  Our schools are constantly needing more money now and obviously can’t manage what we have in place so I can’t imagine them digging any deeper into a hole with charter schools.  I do support the idea of the charter school system and perhaps would support it in the future.  At this time, however, better management, reviews, and oversight is needed in our current public schools to see where the over spending is happening and how improvements can be made.  Our public schools today are constantly complaining about lack of funding (I blame it on spending), however, with the money they are getting now through enrollment – it would be passed to the charter schools making it even more difficult.  It’s a very messy situation and the main reason I can’t support it at this time is because our current system (financial for schools) needs to be examined and repaired first.

Initiative Measure No. 1240.

This measure would authorize up to forty publicly-funded charter schools open to all students, operated through approved, nonreligious, nonprofit organizations, with government oversight; and modify certain laws applicable to them as public schools. “

As I do support the idea of charter schools and would most likely support it down the road, due to to the current situation of public school system I can’t support this initiative at this time.  We need to root out the problems with our current system first.

Initiative Measure No. 1185 – Supported

I’m tired of the constant and steady (and sneaky) raises in my taxes.  It’s always the same story each time and it goes a little like this “we’re broke” or “the recession is hurting us” or perhaps “they keep cutting our funding”.  It’s troubling especially with all the revenue being generated from every sector.  The revenue being generated is at it’s highest!  I believe the problem is with the spending and management and it each department needs to become completely transparent with line item spending.  Until that happens I will never be for raising taxes.

I believe most people would support raising taxes if they knew where each dollar was going.  They wouldn’t have a problem supporting their schools or the local fire department, however, without honesty and complete transparency, the public will not support it because they know it’s due to wasteful spending internally.

Initiative Measure No. 1185

Initiative Measure No. 1185 is already the law but will be expiring soon.  Your vote supporting it renews the law making it more difficult to raise taxes on all of us.  Your vote for Initiative Measure No. 1185 “would restate existing statutory requirements that legislative actions raising taxes must be approved by two-thirds legislative majorities or receive voter approval, and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval.”

Just two years ago, 64% of voters approved this measure.  I stand with them to re-instate this measure for many years to come.  Don’t raise my taxes unless you come to me with a plan and full transparency (line item spending) for your department/program.  We then can make a decision if its useful or useless.

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