State’s top court may punish lawmakers over school funds

Stephanie McCleary

VIDEO – Oral Arguments

Washington State Supreme Court

Oral arguments: McCleary, et al v. State (Whether the State has met its duty under article IX, section I of the Washington State Constitution to make ample provision for the education of all children within its borders)

In 2007, parents Stephanie and Matthew McCleary along with the state’s largest teachers union, 30 school districts and others sued the state of Washington for not upholding its constitutional responsibilities to “make ample provision for the education of all children.” The McClearys and the other plaintiffs argued that the state was falling short of providing enough to accomplish that — even for basics such as school-bus transportation and paper and books.

They won at the Superior Court level in 2010. And they won again in the Supreme Court in 2012, when the justices not only ordered lawmakers to meet the 2018 deadline, but to show steady progress toward that goal each year.

The court based its order on the Legislature’s own definition, last revised in 2009, of what is needed to provide a basic education for all students. The tally, depending on whether more money for teacher pay is included, falls between $3.5 billion to $7 billion per two-year budget period. That would mean an overall boost of 10 to 20 percent to the Legislature’s $33.6 billion budget for 2013-2015.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

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PARENT LEADERSHIP TRAINING

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CPPS is investing in training curricula and local trainers that bring educational data, systems information and parent rights and responsibilities to life. Learn more about our training programs and how you can participate!

It is free, and we provide translation as needed, and supervised children’s activities for ages 3 and up. Potential participants should contact contact@cppsofseattle.org and specify their name, school, phone or email contact, and ages of children needing childcare

CPPS is committed to building the capacity of parents to engage in their schools and communities and district-wide, to have an impact on school quality and student achievement. We believe that all our schools and neighborhoods, as well as Seattle Public Schools as a whole, stand to benefit from informed parents who are equipped to make a difference.

We are developing a comprehensive training curriculum built on the work of Kentucky’s Pritchard Committee Center for Parent Leadership. Learn about our next scheduled trainings.
PARENT LEADERSHIP 101:

This intensive, two-day workshop is the “intro course” to the Pritchard Committee’s nationally acclaimed Parent Leadership Institute.

The Center for Parent Leadership, a national consulting arm of the Prichard Committee, develops skilled parent leaders who partner with schools to improve student achievement. With a 15-year track record, thousands of parent institute graduates in nine states and the District of Columbia have engaged in effective, constructive local advocacy for high-quality schools, serving on school boards and governing councils, in community organizations and in their neighborhoods to help improve schools.

CPPS has brought this model to Seattle, and in 2011, trained 67 parents who are now engaging in powerful efforts to improve schools in southeast Seattle. In 2012, we will offer trainings both in the southeast and at the John Stanford Center.
CPPS Parent Leadership Graduates are:

Stephanie Alter Jones, Ph.D.
Parent Leaders are:

-People who will help define what quality neighborhood schools in Southeast Seattle should look like.

-Public school parents, grandparents, and community members committed to the success of all students in their neighborhood schools.

-Collaborators who work with school staff and community members both to challenge their schools and to celebrate success

-Good communicators eager to share information about school programs and achievement expectations with their communities

-Inclusive recruiters who see the power in bringing others along

Read more HERE

Federal judge approves of new Seattle Police Department Crisis Intervention Policy

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Federal judge approves of new SPD Crisis Intervention Policy
February 12, 2014

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge James L Robart approved a newly developed Crisis Intervention Policy for the Seattle Police Department that is designed to better prepare officers in dealing with mentally ill or drug affected people. The policy becomes official on March 3, 2014 and training will begin shortly thereafter.

The Mayor said of the new policy: “People experiencing a behavioral crisis are victims who deserve of our care and attention, and our SPD officers deserve clear expectations for how to approach and interact with those in this kind of situation. The many lessons learned from the tragic John T. Williams shooting have helped inform the Department’s new crisis intervention policy, which I believe will be of significant help to officers as they face these kinds of encounters in the future.”

A full press release from the Department of Justice about the new policy and it’s federal approval is in full here:

DOJ AND CITY HAIL FEDERAL JUDGE’S APPROVAL OF THE NEW SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT CRISIS INTERVENTION POLICY

Policy Sets New Procedures and Training for Officers Dealing with Mentally Ill or Drug Affected Individuals

U.S. District Judge James L. Robart today approved a new Crisis Intervention Policy for the Seattle Police Department, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. The policy, developed with local, regional and nationally-recognized experts in the fields of mental health and drug addiction, is designed to improve community safety and provide officers with the guidance and training they need to treat those having a behavioral crisis with dignity and respect, and to resolve crisis incidents by connecting those individuals with community services that can provide long-term stabilizing support. One key component of the policy calls for officers to de-escalate the situation when feasible and reasonable.

The new policy will become the official policy of the Seattle Police Department on March 3, 2014, and initial training to the policy will begin soon thereafter.“SPD’s data shows that far too many situations requiring force involve people suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues. This new policy creates critical new organizational and operational changes for the Seattle Police Department that will guide and help officers when dealing with such individuals,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “The phased approach is a model for urban policing. While all officers will be trained, selected officers will be certified with advanced training to manage the scene when dealing with a person in crisis. A crisis response team will follow up on criminal investigations where mental illness is suspected. These organizational and operational changes are recognized as best practices at the best law enforcement agencies in the nation. We thank the members of the Crisis Intervention Committee (and their sponsoring agencies) for the time they generously spent in diligently and carefully helping to craft these policies.”

The new policy was developed over months of work by the Crisis Intervention Committee (CIC), composed of mental and behavioral health experts: providers, clinicians, advocates, academics, outside law enforcement representatives, members of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and the judiciary. The CIC was created in 2013 to provide a problem-solving forum for interagency issues, including the development of policy, the evaluation of training for SPD’s officers engaged with this population, and the collection of data and other information to track systemic failures in providing the available services.

“People experiencing a behavioral crisis are victims who deserve of our care and attention, and our SPD officers deserve clear expectations for how to approach and interact with those in this kind of situation,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “The many lessons learned from the tragic John T. Williams shooting have helped inform the Department’s new crisis intervention policy, which I believe will be of significant help to officers as they face these kinds of encounters in the future.”

The policy creates the position of a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) coordinator, Lt. Marty Rivera, who is appointed by the Chief of Police and provides command-level oversight of the Crisis Intervention Program and, who is the primary point of contact for the mental health provider/clinician/advocacy community for the SPD.

The Crisis Intervention Program consists of three distinct levels of expertise: all line patrol officers who will receive basic training on crisis intervention; the “certified” Crisis Intervention officers; and the follow-up Crisis Response Team. To become a CIT “certified” officer, those officers must take a 40 hour crisis intervention course with a certification exam and complete additional annual training. A CIT-certified officer will be dispatched to every scene where the police communications center suspects a behavioral crisis and, for the first time, will take primary responsibility at the scene of crisis events. The Crisis Response Team is tasked with following up on officer encounters with those enduring a crisis to assess that appropriate services are in place.

“The new Crisis Intervention Policy gives my officers clear guidelines and resources when they encounter people who are experiencing behavioral crisis,” said Interim Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey. “This policy also provides access and resources to a vulnerable population. As police officers we are also charged with community care taking duties and this new policy works in concert with that philosophy and will provide officers with the necessary training and tools to help people that are in need of those services. I want to thank the Crisis Intervention Committee for helping us reach another milestone in the DOJ settlement agreement.”

Also, for the first time, officers will be required to collect data on every encounter they have with individuals in behavioral crisis, again to systematically track and assess the deployment and effectiveness of resources.

The Justice Department’s investigation in 2011 found that SPD’s patterns of excessive force often arose from encounters with persons with mental illnesses or those under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This finding was particularly troubling because, by its own estimates, 70% of SPD’s use of force during that time period involved these populations.

Press inquiries regarding the DOJ/SPD consent decree should be directed to Colleen Bernier at (206) 553-7970 or Colleen.Bernier@usdoj.gov. Ms. Bernier will determine the appropriate person to respond.

– Read FULL REPORT

Sisyphean Tales: Senate Shoo-In Pramila Jayapal Mulls New State

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Sisyphean Tales: Senate Shoo-In Pramila Jayapal Mulls New State

Ready for a rest after a campaign that put her more than 30 percentage points ahead of her closest competitor, and with the general election still to go, Pramila Jayapal isn’t diving into details of her plan of attack in the state Senate just yet. But she’s got some long-term plans for sure, and they’re of Herculean proportions. Or maybe Sisyphean.

Basically, she wants to restart the conversation about a state income tax. Or the kind of tax on the wealthy that voters overwhelmingly rejected in 2010, when presented with an initiative supported by Bill Gates Sr. Or some other alternative to the regressive sales tax that she can’t think of yet but probably won’t be an easy sell either. As she notes, anyone who has put forward such an idea in the past “has failed miserably.”

So why does she say she’s “most excited” about this right now? She says she sees no other choice. In her race for the South Seattle, 37th District seat that Adam Kline’s retirement left open, the longtime immigration rights activist says she was presented with a host of urgent needs, from finally passing a transportation package to dramatically ramping up education funding in a way that will satisfy the judge overseeing progress on the landmark McCleary decision.

The money’s got to come from somewhere, and she argues sales taxes will only take us so far. They don’t fully take advantage of the growing wealth around here because they only apply to what we buy, and just goods not services. Plus, they’re widely regarded as “regressive,” meaning the poor pay a larger share of their income than do the rich.

As she talked about this while doorbelling, people let her know that they weren’t prepared to pay an income tax on top of all the other taxes they pay. So she says the state would have to tinker with the whole tax system, possibly in a way that kept a lesser amount of sales taxes and combined them with an income tax.

That’s a huge undertaking, which is why she envisions it as a “serious, multi-year effort,” not anything she can remotely accomplish next session. And she still has the general election to get through and the changing politics of the legislature to figure out. A few tight races, like the one involving turncoat Democratic Tom Shelton, leave it uncertain whether the Senate’s ruling Majority Coalition will hold.

Still, she says, “that’s what I’ve spent the most time thinking about.” She adds that she hopes her strong showing this week will give her some leeway. So we soon may see her start rolling the ball up the hill.

Visit Pramila JayapalWebsite

Meet New Top Cop + South-End Captain at Picnic Not in the Precinct

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SOUTHEAST SEATTLE – This month, south-end residents will have an opportunity to meet new Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, new South Precinct Captain David Proudfoot (above) and others at the Picnic in the Precinct — a day of celebration with local police.

This year’s Picnic in the Precinct won’t actually be held at the South Precinct though, instead it will be held across the street at the New Holly Campus (7058 32nd Ave. S.) from 1 to 4 pm on Sat., Aug. 16, the same day as the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade.

In addition to talking shop with neighborhood cops, the event will include local bands and performers, visits with SWAT, K-9 and mounted units, precinct tours and more.

UPDATE (8/6/14 @ 2 pm): SPD has announced that — instead of holding their annual community picnic at the New Holly Campus as initially announced — they plan to bring the picnic to the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade on Rainier Ave. S. in Columbia City.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

Chokeholds: King County Sheriff John Urquhart

King County Courthouse
516 Third Ave
Room W-150
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 296-4155
sheriff@kingcounty.gov

Attention: King County Sheriff John Urquhart

With the disturbing and unsettling recent announcement on August 4 by the Seattle Times article entitled “King County deputies restart neck-restraint training” and a report from KOMO TV 4: King Co. Sheriff’s deputies now allowed to use ‘chokeholds.

This letter is in regards to your department’s announcing continued training in the use of what is basically known as a “chokehold”.

A recent case in Staten Island New York on July 17 where a nypd officer’s use of the chokehold resulted in the death of Eric Garner could in fact, and will in fact happen here. The chokehold, ruled by a county coroner as the direct cause of death with Mr. Garner has been prohibited by New York City Police Department policy since 1993. And in the past there have been countless other deaths resulting from this apprehension technique.

If your department’s choke hold training is in fact implemented, its a matter of time before it results in fatalities. King County, the City of Seattle, nor the State of Washington are prepared to deal with the class-action lawsuits, or any other action directed straight at the king county sheriffs department, including civil unrest and any inflamed notoriety directed at this city or state.

While new ‘use of force’ decisions have to be made, whats even more important is that the ‘right’ decision is made, and not one that will result in future fatalities at the hands of king county deputies.

Ron Williams / Executive Director
Government Policies Enforcement / LEATF
Law Enforcement Accountability Task Force
http://www.gpenforcement.wordpress.com

Mayor Murray signs executive order strengthening equity in city contracting

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April 8, 2014

Mayor Murray signs the WMBE Executive Order

Mayor Ed Murray today signed an executive order strengthening the city’s ongoing commitment to social equity in city contracting opportunities. The order requires departments promptly pay invoices, support businesses by providing technical assistance, and increase accountability and coordination to ensure fair and equitable treatment among all businesses competing for public works, purchasing and consulting contracts.

“A healthy and diverse business sector is essential to Seattle’s economic vitality and this executive order makes clear my commitment to creating a more welcoming environment for businesses small and large seeking work with the city,” said Murray.

“Success among women and minority-owned businesses translates to more jobs and long-term prosperity for all,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Seattle City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “More than half of all new jobs are created by small business and minority-owned businesses. I applaud the Mayor’s decision to recommit our efforts on the City’s inclusionary plan and more effectively engaging with minority-owned businesses. During budget deliberations this year, departments should be prepared to report their progress on women and minority business contracting.”

The city has been successful in its efforts to ensure women and minority businesses (WMBE) are competitive when seeking public works, purchasing and contracting opportunities, with more than 16 percent of city contract dollars going to firms owned by women or people of color in 2013. The executive order moves the city beyond existing efforts to ensure a responsive, respectful and accountable environment for all businesses.

“I’m proud that on Equal Pay Day we are reaffirming our commitment to women and minority businesses,” said Councilmember Godden, chair of the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Gender Pay Equity Committee. “We will win with women and minority business and must reduce their obstacles to their success.”

A significant new measure is a directive for the timely payment of invoices, as the city recognizes cash flow is an important element in business capacity, especially for small and WMBE-owned firms in particular. Departments are directed to re-engineer internal pay processes and practices to expedite timely invoice approval and to enforce contract provisions that require contractors promptly pay their respective small subcontractors.

“In the last decade, the city has made great strides in increasing opportunity for disadvantaged businesses to compete on a level playing field. Now I am raising the expectations,” said Murray. “A business’ ability to be competitive should not be hindered by unnecessary obstacles, such as delayed payments, excessive paperwork or inconsistent practices across departments.”

Murray is directing departments to coordinate efforts to ensure all policies, practices and processes are consistent and complementary, making it easier for WMBE firms to pursue City contracts. One example is unbundling tasks so work within a larger project can be solicited in separate components that better match capacities of smaller firms.

All firms, especially WMBE firms, will also benefit from increased outreach, training and technical assistance, such as business development and mentoring programs, to ensure firms are competitive and have resources to work effectively within city contracts. By building greater strength among the firms that bid and do business around the region, these efforts will create greater capacity for all public agencies and private contractors doing business in the area.

Additionally, city departments will create a more structured system of accountability when it comes to tracking and reporting on utilization of WMBE firms. The executive order directs departments to integrate WMBE policy priorities into their respective work programs and performance priorities, and requires a system of performance reports with measurable results to the Mayor’s Office.

To fully and effectively implement these measures, Murray directed his Office of Policy and Innovation to work with contractors, including WMBE firms, city departments and other stakeholders.

“The city cannot create and implement these measures in a vacuum. I’ll be looking to members of our local businesses, community groups, public agencies and other stakeholders for their varying perspectives, vast experience and knowledge to inform our work,” said Murray.

“Since his first day in office, Mayor Murray has taken concrete steps towards establishing a more equitable city,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Transportation Committee. “Today’s announcement is further evidence of his commitment to deliver on his inaugural pledge for fairness and equality, and to address economic disparities in Seattle.”

The order builds upon Ordinance 121717, which in 2005 created Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 20.42, Equality in Contracting, to increase participation of WMBE firms in city contracts. In 2013, 16 percent of all city dollars spent on public works, purchasing and contracting went to WMBE firms.

– See more at: FULL ARTICLE

LaborWorks Job Fair August 12, 13, 2014

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LaborWorks Tukwila location is holding a Job Recruiting Fair on Tuesday Aug. 12, 2014 and Wednesday Aug. 13, 2014 from 9am-3pm. Come on in and check us out! There will be free food and drinks! We are hiring for many different positions (general laborers, CDL-A drivers, forklift operators, movers, general laborers, machine operators, carpenters, carpenter helpers, production, manufacturing, landscape, clean up work, etc)!!!!!

e have daily work, long term temporary and full time work! Application process is all done in the office, and takes about 30 minutes. Please bring a resume and copies of any certifications you may have. Be prepared to have a short interview as well.
You must be at least 18 years old, and legal to work in the United States. LaborWorks is an EOE, and participates in E-verify.

When: Tuesday Aug. 12th and Wednesday Aug. 13th
from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

– See more at: http://www.laborworks.com/job-board/jobs/job-recruiting-fair/#sthash.e7AatqRy.dpuf