Seattle and Portland pump cash into affordable housing
Next city reports on Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan’s announcement of $100 million in new funding for affordable housing units, which comes from bonds, a city ballot levy, and the city’s incentive zoning program. Meanwhile, in Portland, mayor Ted Wheeler is pushing to use public housing funds for an innovative 11-story apartment tower built using cross-laminated timber. What will be the tallest wooden building in the world (and designed to boost Oregon timber exports) has a steep price tag, and some housing activists are balking at the astronomical cost.
Will British Columbia approve $10-a-day child care?
Now that the NDP is in power in Victoria, activists who’ve campaigned for government subsidies to reduce child care costs to $10 a day await whether BC’s center-left party will announce an estimated $225 million proposal. At the Tyee, one of the campaign leaders reflects on how a small group of women made something once considered a pipe-dream a reality.
Moving mountain goats from Olympics to Cascades
Mountain goats, which aren’t native to Washington’s Olympic Mountains, were introduced by hunters in the early 20th century and have been ruining the fragile alpine ecosystem ever since. The Skagit Valley Herald reports that the National Park Service has arrived at an intriguing solution: capturing the goats and reintroducing them to the North Cascades, where they’re endangered.
An odd, off-year ballot initiative in Oregon
Oregon voters may be surprised they have another election on January 23. It concerns whether to approve or reject $320 million in new taxes to fund the state’s Medicaid program for low-income residents. The Portland Mercury urges a “yes” vote, which they say will “guarantee that more than 300,000 people who’ve benefited from Oregon’s health care expansion keep their insurance.”
On racial justice, Seattle isn’t as progressive as it thinks
Former Seattle mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver writes for Crosscut about her disappointment in Seattle’s lack of progress on homelessness, police accountability, and inclusion of people of color in crafting the city’s policies. “Elected officials do not make progress on their own. Rather they make progress because we make them make progress; because we tell our stories; because we show up and protest.”
A conversation with Oregon artist Michael Brophy
Oregon Arts Watch has an extended Q and A with Michael Brophy, whose neo-realist paintings capture the forests and natural landscape of Cascadia with a straightforward romanticism. Among other things he talks about a controversial series of paintings of logged forests in the 1990s: “‘I’m going to make it bigger. I’m going to the turn the volume up!’ So I did these really big eight-foot clearcuts.”
That’s today’s news from the Pacific Northwest. 🌲 –Andrew Engelson Photo credit: Mountain Goat by Ron Clausen, CC BY-SA 4.0