Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Washington’s tax structure is the worst

My interview with Marilyn Watkins – a Policy Director at the Economic Opportunity Institute – regarding Washington State’s regressive tax system.

Central Circuit

Tax policy 101 from an expert

By Josh Kelety

Originally published in the December 2014 issue.

Marilyn Watkins has been a Policy Director at the Economic Opportunity Institute for 15 years, and she knows a heck of alot about topics such as Washington State tax policy and gender pay equity issues. The Central Circuit called her up to get a run-down of Washington State’s highly regressive tax structure.

So where does our tax money go? What services are we all paying for?

The [state] general fund budget is what we are really talking about here … half of that goes to the K-12 public education system, roughly 10% goes to pay for the whole system of higher education including the community and technical colleges as well as the four year universities. There’s some social and human services, children services, health services for seniors, services for disabled people … and then…

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In pictures: housing, class, and mass evictions in Jakarta

01.05.15

Below are excerpts and photographs from an unfinished post written this past summer regarding Jakarta’s continuing issues with infrastructure development and forced evictions.

A 2006 Human Rights Watch report on government orchestrated forced evictions of Jakarta residents summed up the dynamic that has dictated the relationship between the city’s working urban poor and the government in one sentence: “One of the overarching themes in the history of Jakarta is the conflict between the desires of its rulers to create a model city to display to the world, and the desires of the poor of Indonesia to seek opportunities within it.”

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Among the Outsiders at Seattle’s #BlackLivesMatter Protests

Great piece by Casey Jaywork on the motives behind the local #Blacklivesmatter protests, Seattle racism, and SPD’s innate lack neutrality in this issue.

Casey Jaywork

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Michael Cook, a homeless man who wants police accountability.

“We’re protesting the militarization of the police,” says Michael Cook. He’s 40, homeless, and just finished delivering an impromptu speech to the small crowd that has been marching in circles around downtown for the past hour. “This situation with Michael Brown in Ferguson, and all these other types of situations where the police are getting blood on their hands and are walking away without a slap on the wrist—it’s ridiculous, man,” says Cook. “It’s ridiculous.

“Every person should be accountable for their own actions.”

The date is Monday, December 8. Early evening. Since droves of riot cops chased a handful of protesters off the street earlier, a second group has begun marching on the sidewalk, chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and similar refrains. A row of bike cops trundles down the road beside them, their rear wheels spitting up rainwater…

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Late post: #Blacklivesmatter protest at Seahawks game

12.16.14

“Black lives matter, and not just on the field.”

On Sunday December 14th, organizers of and supporters of the local #Blacklivesmatter movement took to Century Link field and stadium to not only protest systematic racism and police brutality at the popular and well attended Seahawks versus the SF 49er’s football game, but to also highlight the innate hypocrisy and racism present within the NFL and NFL fan bases. The protesters occupied the street adjacent to the stadium on its west side, and held a sit-in where numerous speakers spoke about the movement and racism in Seattle and America as a whole.

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Too little, too late

An article of mine published in the November 2014 issue of the Central Circuit on pay equity issues for Seattle Central College employees, as well as the under-funding of community colleges in general.

Central Circuit

Classified Staff Struggle with Pay Equity Issues

By Josh Kelety

Originally published in the November 2014 issue. 

Orson Williamson is the only facilities electrician at Seattle Central. In his words, he is “always putting out ‘fires’” on campus. One such fire was the flooding of several computer labs on the third floor of the Broadway Edison building on Friday October 18th, due to busted piping. The water damage was extensive. The power had to be shut off, the water removed, and computer servers dried out and tested for functionality before the coming Monday, when students would need access to the labs. The epitome of a royal mess.

For Williamson, dealing with situations like the flood are just a day in the life. “Those [kinds of] issues come up all the time,” he said.

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Photo Essay: 12.06 #Blacklivesmatter march & protest in pictures

12.08.14

On December 6th over 1200 people gathered at Garfield High School to protest the recent Ferguson grand jury ruling not to indict officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed black male Michael Brown, in addition to the Staten Island grand jury ruling not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, racial profiling, police violence, and institutional racism. The march was organized by University of Washington students and peacefully occupied numerous intersections along 23rd Avenue & Jackson street where individuals of color spoke out against said issues and offered personal experiences in a racialized society. The march ended at Seattle Police Department Headquarters where a silent vigil was held for those lost to police violence and more speeches were given.

Also, read my coverage of the second #Blacklivesmatter march that day which resulted in 7 arrests.

Below are photos taken during this rally:

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Photos from first 12.06 #Blacklivesmatter protest on Publicola Morning Fizz

Some of my shots from last saturday’s first 1000+ person #Blacklivesmatter protest featured on today’s Morning Fizz on Publicola. Will have a complete photo essay from that rally up soon.

‘This protest is over’: Second #Blacklivesmatter protest meets heavy police response

12.07.14

Following the original permitted a #Blacklivesmatter protest that started at Garfield High school and ended with a sit-in outside the Seattle Police Department Headquarters, a breakaway protest formed and headed North through downtown Seattle. The march chanted, dodged SPD bike squads & cars, twice attempted to access the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and conducted a largely peaceful protest. Protesters were apprehended during the course of the march – SPD reported making seven arrests – and use of force was frequently employed via pepper spray, tackle take downs of protesters, shoving, and other forms of aggression. This reporter witnessed no property damage or physical assault of police officers committed by protesters. Below are photos and video taken during this protest.

SPD officers guard off ramp from Alaskan Way viaduct.

SPD officers guard off ramp from Alaskan Way viaduct.

“Who is paying you guys to be here?”  asks SPD officer guarding Alaskan Way viaduct off ramp. Crowd laughs.

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