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Week in Review: April 16, 2021

Hacks & Wonks

Release Date: 04/16/2021

The Broken System of Police Oversight with Amy Sundberg and Dr. Shannon Cheng show art The Broken System of Police Oversight with Amy Sundberg and Dr. Shannon Cheng

Hacks & Wonks

Crystal is joined by Amy Sundberg, author of Notes from the Emerald City, and Dr. Shannon Cheng, Chair of People Power Washington to talk about public safety in Seattle and King County. They also discuss the People Power Washington Voter Guide that details where Seattle and King County candidates stand on public safety issues. 

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Week in Review: July 23, 2021 show art Week in Review: July 23, 2021

Hacks & Wonks

Today on the show, Marco Lowe, Professor at Seattle University’s Institute for Public Service, joins Crystal to discuss recent polls that have come out about Seattle’s mayoral, city council, and city attorney races, the importance of understanding poll methodology and margin of error, and our government's responsibility to fight climate change.

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Supporting Art and Cultural Space: Conversation with Vivian Hua of NWFF  show art Supporting Art and Cultural Space: Conversation with Vivian Hua of NWFF

Hacks & Wonks

Today Crystal is joined by Vivian Hua, Executive Director of the Northwest Film Forum. They discuss Vivian’s path to leadership in the film forum, Vivian’s film Searching Skies, supporting emerging artists in the pandemic, and the need for long-term cultural spaces.

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Week in Review: July 16, 2021 show art Week in Review: July 16, 2021

Hacks & Wonks

Primary ballots are in mailboxes now! Today former mayor of Seattle and Executive Director of America Walks Mike McGinn joins Crystal to discuss the front runners in the mayor’s race, how candidates need to be making the case to the public in these remaining weeks before the primary, and the psychology and emotion that drives Seattle’s voting decisions.

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Seattle, Pay Attention to Pierce County! A Conversation with Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young show art Seattle, Pay Attention to Pierce County! A Conversation with Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young

Hacks & Wonks

Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young joins Crystal to the differences in funding for transit in King and Pierce counties, how Pierce County is absorbing those who can’t find homes in King County, how the Pierce County Council is investigating police misconduct, and how one governs as a Democrat when there is a real Republican presence.

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Week in Review: July 9, 2021 show art Week in Review: July 9, 2021

Hacks & Wonks

This week Erica C. Barnett of PubliCola joins Crystal to discuss what’s going on in Seattle’s mayoral race. Additionally, they cover the potential firing of two Seattle Police Department officers who participated in the January 6th insurrection, and the punitive nature of our state's work release program.

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Toshiko Hasegawa on the Power of the Port of Seattle show art Toshiko Hasegawa on the Power of the Port of Seattle

Hacks & Wonks

Today Crystal is joined by Toshiko Hasegawa, candidate for Port of Seattle Commissioner, to discuss how the Port of Seattle can modernize and prepare our region for a greener future. They cover economics and equity, improving air quality and health of South King County residents, and how the Port can encourage fair treatment for workers.

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The Brady List: Officers with Credibility Issues show art The Brady List: Officers with Credibility Issues

Hacks & Wonks

The Friday Week in Review show will be back next week, as we enjoy the long weekend. We are airing a show with Melissa Santos talking about her excellent reporting on Washington's Brady List. 

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Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, Candidate for City Attorney show art Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, Candidate for City Attorney

Hacks & Wonks

Candidate for City Attorney Nicole Thomas-Kennedy joins Crystal to discuss why she has chosen to throw her hat in to the ring, what it means to be an abolitionist, how solving poverty will do more to alleviate crime than harsher punishments, and how Nicole’s experience as a public defender would inform her views as City Attorney.

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Week in Review: June 25, 2021 show art Week in Review: June 25, 2021

Hacks & Wonks

Today Crystal and Heather Weiner discuss the coming heatwave and how we can support our unhoused neighbors in the heat, Uber paying a wage theft settlement, AND the organizers of Cap Hill Pride submitting a fragility-infused complaint against Taking B(l)ack Pride.

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More Episodes

Show Notes

On this week in review, Heather Weiner joins Crystal to analyze progressive revenue being passed in the state legislature, developments in fundraising in the Seattle mayoral race, and more on the “compassionate” charter amendment seeking to make encampment sweeps in Seattle more prevalent.

As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com.

Find the host, Crystal Fincher on Twitter at @finchfrii and find today’s co-host, Heather Weiner, at @hlweiner. More info is available at officialhacksandwonks.com.

 

Resources

Learn more about the Working Families Tax Credit here: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washington-lawmakers-passed-a-tax-credit-for-working-families-in-2008-is-this-the-year-they-finally-fund-it/ 

Track several of the bills mentioned in this show, including capital gains tax, here: https://crosscut.com/politics/2021/03/bills-were-tracking-2021-washington-state-legislature#taxes 

Learn more about the background of the capital gains tax here: https://southseattleemerald.com/2021/03/29/democrats-include-capital-gains-tax-in-state-budget-proposals/ 

Read the Hugh Spitzer article mentioned by Heather in the show here: https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/whatever-your-opinion-about-a-state-capital-gains-tax-its-constitutional/ 

Get to know more about candidates in the Seattle mayor’s race here: https://southseattleemerald.com/tag/2021-seattle-mayoral-race/ 

Learn more about the proposed chart amendment meant to address the homelessness crisis here: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/seattle-begins-to-digest-proposal-that-would-change-city-charter-to-address-homelessness/ 

 

Transcript

Crystal Fincher: [00:00:00] Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm your host, Crystal Fincher. On this show, we talk with Policy Wonks and Political Hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy through the lens of those doing the work with behind the scenes perspectives on politics in our state. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. Today, we're continuing our Friday almost-live shows where we review the news of the week with a cohost.

Welcome back to the program, friend of the show, and today's co-host, local political consultant, Heather Weiner.

Heather Weiner: [00:00:44] Hi, Crystal.

Crystal Fincher: [00:00:45] Hey.

Heather Weiner: [00:00:46] Hey.

Crystal Fincher: [00:00:47] So happy to have you back.

Heather Weiner: [00:00:48] I'm so glad to be here. We have so much to talk about as usual.

Crystal Fincher: [00:00:53] So much to talk about. And I guess the first thing that I'd love to talk about is... You know what? We're about to get some progressive revenue, it looks like. Capital gains in the legislature ...

Heather Weiner: [00:01:03] Yeah - just minutes ago!

Crystal Fincher: [00:01:04] ... is moving to the floor in the House.

Heather Weiner: [00:01:07] Oh gosh, there's two really exciting things happening right now. So the first one is the legislature has finally included the Working Family Tax Credit in the budget process, which means that thousands and thousands of families in Washington state will get a cash infusion starting soon, coming from the state. And that'll be every year, not just during the pandemic. So that is great news. The second thing that's great news is we are taking a second step in balancing our regressive tax system and have just passed, out of the House committee - just minutes before this recording, hot off the presses - a capital gains tax. So that just passed out of committee 11-6, out of the House Finance Committee. That's Chair Noel Frame's committee. Go, Noel.

Crystal Fincher: [00:01:59] Go, Noel.

Heather Weiner: [00:01:59] And with Vice-chair April Berg, they have passed, really, a historic bill that will tax the extraordinary profits made by exceptionally rich people on the stock market. So this does not affect retirement accounts, it does not affect sales of small businesses, or any real estate at all. It's just people who are getting passive income from selling their stocks and bonds. And you would think, $250,000, wow. Who's selling $250,000 worth of stock? That are making $250,000 off of stock sales at a time. And the answer is not that many people, actually. It's really just the 0.02 per top 2%. Wait, 0.2 top percent. Am I saying that correctly?

Crystal Fincher: [00:02:53] Yeah, not even 2 - 0.02 percent.

Heather Weiner: [00:02:55] Yeah, right? So that's 2 out of 1,000 people who will be paying this tax. And it's just 7% of everything that they make over $250,000. Doesn't sound like that much, but we have enough billionaires in this state that that will raise $500 million for childcare and early learning every year from now going forward. And that's amazing. So Crystal, here's how the process works. The bill passed out of the Senate, came to the House, just passed with some amendments out of the House committee. The full House has to vote on it. It then goes back to the Senate and the Senate's got to decide if they're going to vote on the House version or not. It's all got to happen in 10 days. Only geeks like us - think this is exciting.

Crystal Fincher: [00:03:44] We think it's super exciting. I think that there's a lot of people even beyond geeks. I mean, only the geeks are following along to every step in this process of the legislation moving, certainly, but my goodness, this is going to help a lot of people. And just thinking about, in this entire conversation about taxation, which is actually pretty popular - polls very well now, people are understanding, now more than they ever have, about just how wide the gap is between those who are regular working class. Whether it's lower, middle-class even upper middle class - completely different conversation, completely different universe, than the ultra wealthy, than the billionaires. And we have our fair share of billionaires here in Washington state because they have gotten off scot-free for so long. This is a great place, has been a great place for billionaires to live and to hoard wealth, and that they make so much money that just taxing 2 out of every 1,000 people can change lives of thousands of families in this state. That's what the stakes are in this conversation.

Heather Weiner: [00:05:02] Right now, I'm looking at this spreadsheet with the Department of Revenue data. Okay. Okay. We will not spend the entire half an hour talking about this. [laughter, crosstalk] Nothing more sexy than talking about a spreadsheet you can't see. That's hot. But let me just tell you, look, according to the Department of Revenue, there are over 3.7 million households that file taxes every year. And of those 3.7 million, I'm going to tell you exactly how many people out of those 3.7 million are going to actually have to pay this. Are you ready? 8,000.

Crystal Fincher: [00:05:43] Jeez.

Heather Weiner: [00:05:44] 8,000. And you know how much money those folks make or have every year - just that's taxable?

Crystal Fincher: [00:05:53] How much?

Heather Weiner: [00:05:54] No, wait. $9.8 billion, just for those 8,000 people.

Crystal Fincher: [00:06:04] Of taxable income? Annually?

Heather Weiner: [00:06:08] Taxable capital gain income. [crosstalk] That's not money that they're making by selling gadgets or gidgets, right?

Crystal Fincher: [00:06:19] Just money from capital gains. Okay.

Heather Weiner: [00:06:20] It's just money from capital gains that they put into the stock market, where rich people trade money back and forth with each other. And then they take it off the top, right? It's basically gambling money, because when you're putting that much money into the stock market, what you're essentially doing is playing poker. And so, you're putting it in, you're trying to see if that bet works, and then you win off of that gambling money. So this is money that is [crosstalk] basically gambling winnings that we should be taxing.

Crystal Fincher: [00:06:46] Every year, almost $10 billion of taxable capital gains income. Okay.

Heather Weiner: [00:06:52] Okay. All right. All right. Let's not talk about this the whole time.

Crystal Fincher: [00:06:55] That was a bigger number than I was prepared for. That was - I knew it was big. I did not know it was that big. That is obscenely huge.

Heather Weiner: [00:07:03] Yeah, obscenely huge. Just off the stock market.

Crystal Fincher: [00:07:08] Tax it, tax it. Tax it long and tax it hard. Tax it, Tax it.

Heather Weiner: [00:07:12] Oh, you're saying the words to me that make me so excited. Let's tax it. Nearly every other state in the country, including our next door neighbors - Idaho, Oregon, California - all tax capital gains. It's time for us to do the same thing. And don't give me that BS argument about how it's an income tax. It's not an income tax. Income is something that you earn. This is from the sale of something. This is essentially a sales tax on the sale that you just did of your stocks. So it is an excise tax. It's a sales tax.

There was a great op-ed written by Spitzer Hugh. Spitzer's a renowned constitutional lawyer here in the State of Washington, who said, "Not only is this going to pass a constitutional test, this is actually going to help a whole bunch of other issues." Now, here's what I think is going to happen next, Crystal. I think this is going to pass the House, going to pass the Senate, the governor's going to sign it. And then, conservatives - who want to protect the interests of these super wealthy, uber rich people - are going to try to do a referendum to repeal it. Just like what we saw with sex ed last year. So I think we may be in for a referendum fight. We'll see what happens.

Crystal Fincher: [00:08:28] Bring it on.

Heather Weiner: [00:08:29] Yeah. Bring it on. You tell people who are still struggling. You tell people who are still unemployed. You tell people who don't have childcare, whose children are being set back by the last year of not getting education, that you don't want to tax 8,000 super rich people in the State of Washington.

Crystal Fincher: [00:08:49] Yeah. I think conservatives are - we saw it in last year's elections, I think, where for years and years and years, the kind of knee-jerk reaction to any revenue is - Taxes, taxes are bad. Say taxes, and it's scary, and people are going to run in the other direction. And that actually worked, but it worked too well for too long. And taxes actually fund things that collectively we need and have decided are valuable and necessary and beneficial to our entire society. And we robbed cities and states and localities of tax revenue for so long and created a situation where income is so unequal that we are seeing the effects of that and people have put together that, "Hey, this is actually what happens when not everyone is paying their fair share." When we ask people at the bottom to shoulder the burden for everyone, and then the work and all of the benefits just skyrocket to the people at the top and leave everyone else behind. People are not in the mood for it anymore. Public polling shows that's the case. Last year's elections show that that is the case. People are no longer afraid of the word tax. That's an old, tired boogeyman that does not play anymore. So -

Heather Weiner: [00:10:04] No, and in fact, nationally, when now we are talking about Biden administration investing billions and billions of dollars into infrastructure, roads, broadband, repairing our bridges, trains, buses, transit, everything. People really support it. And then the support increases when you tell them the money is coming from big corporations and the super rich. So I think when it comes to childcare and early learning, I think that you say you want to cut funding for people to get childcare because you don't want to tax these 8,000 people? Bring it on. All right. So that's just one hot thing that's moving right now, Crystal. What else do you want to talk about?

Crystal Fincher: [00:10:44] One hot thing. Well, look, let's talk about the Seattle mayor's race. Let's talk about what's going on in the realm of spending and fundraising.

Heather Weiner: [00:10:54] Oh boy. Are you paying much attention to the Seattle mayor's race or you've got other things going on in your life?

Crystal Fincher: [00:11:00] I am not working on anything in the mayor's race. I'm happily not working with anyone or on anything in the Seattle mayor's race. I'm just a bystander. I'm just watching, and looking, and learning, and listening, and doing all of that. I'm just over here in my corner, watching everyone.

Heather Weiner: [00:11:19] Well, I'm excited to hear your take on these things, then, as an outsider. Because I am in it deep. I just can't quit Lorena González, I'm sorry. I just think she's fabulous. So full disclosure, I am doing a little bit of work for Lorena González who's running for mayor. So take everything that I say as the extremely biased point of view that it is. Nevertheless, I'll try to be still professional and honest when I say fundraising is very interesting right now.

So if you'd just look at the plain SEC data and what's been filed - and filings just came in a couple of days ago - Colleen Echohawk is kicking ass. She's really out-fundraising everybody else right now. And she's doing that mostly through democracy vouchers, which is the way it was intended to work. As someone who helped pass democracy vouchers, I'm thrilled to see how many people are using it.

Excuse me. Echohawk's numbers currently say that she is close to $300,000 and remember the cap for people taking democracy vouchers is $400,000 for the primaries. So she's about to max out. I think González - Lorena - is not that far behind her. She started a little bit about a month after Echohawk did. So, Echohawk got a little bit of a month lead there, going and picking up vouchers first - smart of her and González is not far behind her.

Then there's Andrew Grant Houston, who has raised $137,000. And this is phenomenal - really great activist, architect, housing activist, homelessness activist, and also 100% behind defunding the police. And so, he's really captured people's attention on that. He's raised $137,000. Although if you look at his spending, he spent about half of it on fundraising, or half of it already. And really, when you're in a race where you have a cap like this of a very low amount, the race isn't so much who can raise the most, because everybody will get there. The race really is about who can spend the least until the moment when they're ready to start talking to voters. So I think it's interesting that Houston has already spent half of his, half of his funds.

Crystal Fincher: [00:13:34] Just a pause in that, when you say, until the moment they're ready to talk to the voters, people are like, "Well, aren't they talking to voters right now?" And early on in campaigns, a lot of it is trying to fundraise, trying to get endorsements, establish credibility. And so, early on, there's a lot of talking to insiders, talking to people who are involved in the political process, are involved in organizations in one form or another. There are hundreds of thousands of voters that need to be talked to. And usually, that happens later on in a campaign as you get closer to the primary. So throughout June and July, as we get closer to the August primary, that's when campaigns are really focused, almost exclusively, on just making sure voters know who they are and understand their message. So that happens later. It's really expensive. And you need a lot of resources, a lot of money, to do it.

Heather Weiner: [00:14:33] Yep. That's absolutely right. Direct voter contact is really what candidates should be spending the majority of their money on, not on fundraising and not on consultants like me, to be honest with you.

Crystal Fincher: [00:14:43] Not on consultants. Yep.

Heather Weiner: [00:14:45] Don't spend it on me, spend it on voter contact.

Crystal Fincher: [00:14:48] Spend a little, but don't spend much.

Heather Weiner: [00:14:50] No, don't even spend that much. Because I'm going to give you a lot of advice, but when it really comes down to it, what you want to be spending your money on is mail, you want to be spending it on advertising, you want to be spending it on people knocking on doors, on materials, on events. You want to be spending it on things where you can reach the biggest number of likely voters who are likely going to vote for you. And that's what we talk about when we say, "Get out the vote." So in this race, because it's going to be capped at $400,000, I am very interested to see who's going to be spending money on advertising, who's going to be spending it on mail, and who's just going to be spending it on grassroots door knocking during a pandemic. It's going to be really interesting to see what happens there.

Now, you're going to ask, Crystal, because I am Crystal's crystal ball. You're going to say, "Well, is anybody going to do an independent expenditure?" And under the Seattle rules, if somebody comes in - if everybody is using the voucher system, which is what's happening right now. Bruce Harrell's using it, everybody's using it. If an independent group comes in and starts spending money for one candidate or against a candidate, the Ethics and Elections Commission will then lift that $400,000 cap and allow people to continue to raise more money, to keep up with the influence of that independent expenditure. So I'm very interested to see who might be spending money in this.

Crystal Fincher: [00:16:11] Also very interested to see who might be spending money in this. And one entity who has announced that they won't be involved in the race, as we've seen them be involved before, is the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. That was an interesting announcement. What was your read on that?

Heather Weiner: [00:16:30] As I said to the reporter, Daniel Beekman, about the... No, it was Paul Roberts in the Seattle Times, who wrote - they had this headline, Seattle Chamber Executive Director Rachel Smith Calls for a Truce. I was like, "I think it's more of a surrender." Because you don't call a truce after you've lost over and over and over again. And they really had a big misstep under the leadership of Marilyn Strickland when they raised millions of dollars, spent it to try to defeat a progressive slate of candidates, and the voters had a big backlash against that. So I don't think it's really...

Crystal Fincher: [00:17:11] [inaudible] .

Heather Weiner: [00:17:11] What did you say?

Crystal Fincher: [00:17:12] Soundly and thoroughly rejected them after they spent a ton of money.

Heather Weiner: [00:17:17] A ton of money. So, I also don't believe it. I mean, I think that we're not going to see money being spent directly from CASE, the Chamber's PAC. But I do think we're going to see it coming through some of those other groups, again, like Moms for Seattle. And I think the charter amendment is a proxy for that. Because -

Crystal Fincher: [00:17:37] It's 100% of proxy for that.

Heather Weiner: [00:17:38] Do you think so too?

Crystal Fincher: [00:17:39] Oh my gosh. That's absolutely what it is. And to your point, the spending isn't going away. The title above the spending is going to change, and it's going to be just funneled through other groups and other means. So it's not going to come through through the Chamber's PAC but it's going to come through others.

Heather Weiner: [00:17:59] Yeah. I mean, we're already seeing it in terms of the money that is currently going into the new PAC that's going to try to pass this charter amendment. So for your listeners who don't know -

Crystal Fincher: [00:18:10] Compassionate Seattle, Heather ... It's compassion.

Heather Weiner: [00:18:12] Yeah, okay. Compassionate Seattle. So for your listeners who don't know - Tim Burgess, bless his heart, is a nice guy. But served as the president of the Seattle Chamber, not Seattle Chamber, of the Seattle Council. And nevertheless, despite the fact that he was on the Council, now thinks that the Council is horrible, and blames the Council for everything that's going wrong. Really what he means when he says that is Kshama Sawant. So what he is doing, because he knows he can't run people directly against the Council, is he's trying to attack the Council by running a charter amendment.

And the charter amendment, for your listeners who don't know about this yet, it's called Compassionate Seattle. And it claims to address the homelessness emergency that we have had - well, it's been declared for more than five years now, but it doesn't have any source of funding. So it sets a whole bunch of lofty goals - most of which are already in place and are being implemented with some success, some without success, by the current mayor. Have been authorized by the current City Council. And this, I think really, brilliantly - in a bad way, brilliantly - turns the table on the City Council by blaming the City Council and then saying, "We're going to make a charter amendment that requires the City and the City Council to do X, Y and Z." X, Y and Z, the City Council's already doing. And then it says, "But we're not going to give you any money to do it. You've got to take money from other programs." And I don't know what the voters are going to think about that.

Crystal Fincher: [00:19:49] Well, it's interesting. So we've talked about this the last couple of weeks on the show and have certainly talked about how, from its title to how they're trying to spin this charter amendment change, it is wrapped in the language of compassion, wrapped in compassionate language. There's very much - that is the rhetoric direction that they've decided to take. Because although it's a lot of the same people who last year were talking - and frankly offensive, just very blatantly offensive and incorrect terms about people who are unhoused - equating them with crime, and everyone just wants to be, and they're refusing to get help, and they should be swept, and just get them off of the sidewalk. And viewing the problem with people being unhoused as one that the people who are looking at them - who have homes and warm places to be, and food, and are comfortable - they're the ones who are being inconvenienced by having to look at people and encounter people who do not have homes. Very much from that group.

And so, they were defeated soundly, decisively. Seattle voters just wholesale rejected that. So now, that group is back, with prettier language this time, saying, "No, this is compassion. And what we're going to do is we're going to make sure that there are 2,000 new units built, that there's some money available. And then we're going to sweep everyone and have the police get them off sidewalks and confiscate the few belongings that they do have, and so on and so forth." Except that one, the amount of housing that they've identified does not come anywhere even close to what the actual need is. It is largely planned for already, from both the mayor and Council. There is no disagreement that there needs to be a lot more housing than they have planned. But what they have planned looks like what is proposed here.

There is nothing substantively new or innovative. And in the timelines that they propose - as we've seen with this Durkan administration and the Council - you can appropriate money to be spent and the mayor can choose not to spend it and they can not act on it. It can take a long time to actually have policies that are approved and funded actually implemented. Certainly the case with housing. So yeah, we can say, "Hey, we've authorized the building of new units of housing." But those new units of housing may not materialize for years, as we have continued to see. Meanwhile, today, you're going to say, "Well, there is new housing appropriated. I know that you have nowhere to go, and that doesn't help you, or change this conversation in any way, but you need to get out of here and go somewhere else, mysteriously, just not here in this area, even though you have nowhere else to go."

Heather Weiner: [00:22:58] Yeah, I think it's interesting to see what the positions are of the mayoral candidates. So Colleen Echohawk, who, of course, comes from a homelessness advocacy background, is in favor of it. And interestingly, a lot of the organizations, including the Chief Seattle Club that she is Executive Director of have been listed as endorsers of it. So that's really interesting. Jessyn Farrell has said, "It really depends on the next mayor." Kind of implicitly saying, a lot of the problems are this current mayor who has not been implementing or spending the money that the Seattle Council has authorized.

Lorena González has said, "Great first step, but we need to go a lot bigger than this. We need to actually have a big source of funding in terms of progressive revenue. We need to make these goals much bigger so that we are able to keep up with the rising needs of people who need housing." That's not going to go away, particularly with the ending of eviction bans. And she's also said, "We need to deal with the lack of affordable housing and the way that the City is zoned." That such a large percentage of private property is zoned single family housing. And there's very little way for us to build multi-family and affordable housing. Bruce Harrell has said that he's in favor and Houston has said, "Absolutely not. 100% against it." So I think, again, it is going to be an interesting litmus test for mayoral candidates, and it is a proxy for attacking the City Council, which is going to also be very interesting to watch.

Crystal Fincher: [00:24:45] It is going to be interesting to watch. I'm definitely very curious to see how the candidates for both the mayor and City Council talk about this charter amendment moving forward. You mentioned that there are some groups that have been helpful in areas, and who have been helpful in providing services for unhoused folks - who have signed on, notably Lisa Daugaard and the Public Defenders Association have been supportive of this bill. We had a conversation with Erica Barnett, who has been covering this at PubliCola for quite some time. And she brought up an excellent point - was that service providers, who actually stand to benefit from this in terms of revenue and contracts - we've seen service providers, some of them, come out in favor of it.

But people who aren't - we haven't seen much of that from that community. Certainly, advocates, we've seen a lot of opposition. And there seems to not be communication or input that was gathered from people with lived experience. And from a lot of other very valuable, very knowledgeable expert resources on not just the issue of homelessness. But specifically in Seattle, and what we're dealing with in terms of the service and provider ecosystem, in relation to the need and how that's all playing together. So it certainly seems like there are a lot of voices missing from this conversation that should have been included and that should continue to be included. It will be interesting to see how people talk about, and account for, and respond to that.

And how organizations who stand to profit from this, frankly - receive a lot of revenue from this and certainly, that helps the security of the folks in those organizations. No one wants people to wind up on the street or struggling themselves financially because of this. And even people who oppose this amendment don't want that. But how do you talk about that and account for that? And is that a motivator? That, if that were not a factor, may have impacted whether or not they chose to support this charter amendment. And certainly with the voices that have been left out of the conversation, and with some of the inadequacies of its - part of its stated intent - which I think people question is genuine or not. But it certainly seems like there's a lot more work that needs to be done on the housing and shelter end of this, for that conversation to be taken seriously.

Heather Weiner: [00:27:35] So look for ads about the Compassionate Seattle charter amendment, as it's moving forward, that say things where the bad guy in this case is pictures of the City Council, and particularly people who are currently running, right? So Teresa Mosqueda, who's running for re-election, Lorena, who's running for governor - mayor, sorry, I skipped a step. Running for mayor. And Brianna Thomas, who is also running for City Council, who currently is Chief of Staff for Lorena. So that is who this charter amendment is going to be targeting as the bad guys, all women of color.

Instead of really naming what's really happening here, which is that we have a massive wealth inequality. And going back to my first topic, no revenue to pay for all of the things that need to happen. And that happened 10 years ago during the great recession of 2008 and 2009, when our state cut funding resources for mental health, housing, and a whole bunch of other services. And that is why we are now seeing a homelessness epidemic in the state. Thank you so much, by the way, giving me a big soap box because this is - I think everything and every problem that the state is currently facing comes down to wealth inequality, and that we do not tax the rich enough. And I think we have a great solution in front of us right now, and I'm really excited about it. Can you tell, Crystal? I'm such a geek.

Crystal Fincher: [00:29:04] I can tell and I'm absolutely excited about it. I think that this is a reflection of - I think, obviously, we work in politics. Conversations in politics have been different. They are different today than they were 10 years ago, 15 and 20 years ago. I think a lot of people are still hesitant to really acknowledge the reality that has been made apparent from - whichever type of data point you want to look at, whether it's polling or just general public sentiment, whether it's who's being elected, whether it's who the most vocal people are. No matter how you slice it, people are infuriated about the issues that are driven by income inequality. They know that is the cause and they are upset that people are not doing more to fix it. They are demanding action and showing up and holding people accountable who are not taking action. And so, this is long overdue and I'm happy to see that it is finally here with this one issue. And hopefully, this is the beginning of a conversation and not the end of it, when it comes to more fair and progressive taxation.

Heather Weiner: [00:30:32] Well, we did not talk about the recent horrific shootings and murders of people by police, the horrific shootings by lone gunmen across the country. I mean, we've got a lot more to talk about. So are we going to stay on for an extra hour? No, we got to go. Don't we?

Crystal Fincher: [00:30:51] We do have to go. Certainly that is being talked about in a lot of arenas. I'm very online. You can see my thoughts on Twitter about most things.

Heather Weiner: [00:31:03] [crosstalk] Why don't you remind us of your Twitter account?

Crystal Fincher: [00:31:09] Wait, what'd you say?

Heather Weiner: [00:31:10] Remind us of what your Twitter account is.

Crystal Fincher: [00:31:12] Oh, it's @finchfrii, F-I-N-C-H-F-R-I-I. But, I mean, it's been a tough week, and when you have to ask, which police shooting? Which police shooting of a child? Which mass shooting? Which - we can't even keep them straight, they're coming so frequently, they're coming so relentlessly, and they're just so blatant and obvious and egregious. And the accounts that differ. Yeah. I won't get into all of that. That's - that's a lot. And -

Heather Weiner: [00:31:50] Well, thank goodness for the people who we have elected to our State Senate and our State House who are changing the laws so that juries can hold police accountable for murders, which has been almost impossible for juries to do because of the way that the law has been written. So thank goodness we have elected those fantastic people, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens there.

Crystal Fincher: [00:32:16] Absolutely. And as you mentioned, that is our time. So I do want to thank you for listening to Hacks and Wonks on KVRU 105.7 FM this Friday, April 16th, 2021. Our chief audio engineer at KVRU is Maurice Jones Jr. The producer of Hacks and Wonks is Lisl Stadler. And our wonderful cohost today was Seattle political consultant, Heather Weiner. You can find Heather on Twitter @hlweiner, W-E-I-N-E-R. You can find me on Twitter @finchfrii, that's F-I-N-C-H-F-R-I-I. Now you can follow Hacks and Wonks on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts. Just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get our Friday almost-live shows and our mid-week show delivered to your podcast feed. And you know what? Reviews actually make a really big difference in the discovery of podcasts. If you like the show or whatever your thoughts are, please feel free to share a review on iTunes or wherever else you are listening. And if you would like to get a full transcript of the episode, it's available as well as links to the resources referenced on the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the podcast episode notes. So thanks for tuning in, and we'll talk to you next time.