Politics

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Will James / KNKX

Burien has elected its first two Latino City Council members, after a hard-fought race that revolved around immigration, crime, and the city's identity.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

After Ed Murray's resignation as Mayor of Seattle, there was a series of transitions as council members took over the city's highest office, returned to the council, and an interim council member was appointed. In a couple weeks, Seattle City Hall is going to do it all over again.

In response to recent reports about sexual harassment at the Washington state Capitol, a state Senate committee voted Tuesday night to require all senators and staff to take annual sexual harassment training.

The vote by the Senate’s Facilities and Operations Committee was unanimous.

Beginning next year, Washington state senators and Senate staff will be required to take annual sexual harassment training. The Senate’s operations committee unanimously approved that requirement at a meeting Tuesday night.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the retrial of former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley.

Washington lawmakers will return to the Capitol next week for “Committee Days” in advance of next January’s regular legislative session. Distracted driving and salmon net pens will be on the agenda.

Voters in Gearhart, Oregon, sent a decisive message this week about limiting vacation rentals in neighborhoods. The Oregon beach town is the first Northwest place to hold a vote of the people on an issue that's cropping up in city councils across the region.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET: Thursday evening the Senate approved a resolution mandating sexual harassment prevention training for all employees of the Senate, including senators.

Usually it takes a scandal that rocks the Capitol to change the way it runs, but this time lawmakers aren't waiting for one before they beginning taking steps to enhance safeguards against sexual harassment in Congress.

Will James / KNKX

The makeup of Burien's City Council remains up in the air as races remain too close to call Wednesday afternoon.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle is getting its first woman mayor since Bertha Knight Landes was elected in in 1926. Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan is set to become mayor. 

Women will now likely hold the top office in three out of four of Washington state’s biggest cities.

An initiative that would have fined rail cars carrying uncovered coal and certain kinds of oil through the heart of Spokane failed last Tuesday. Opponents of the measure say voters were concerned about the local economy, while supporters say they were simply outspent.

Will James / KNKX

Former City Councilwoman Victoria Woodards leads local architect Jim Merritt by about four percentage points in Tacoma's mayoral race.

Voters in Spokane, Washington, are saying no to an initiative regulating coal and oil shipments through the heart of the city. The initiative would have fined companies that ship uncovered coal and certain types of oil through the city.

Jenny Durkan on election night.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan led urban planner and waterfront activist Cary Moon by 20 percentage points in the Seattle mayoral race Tuesday evening as the first election returns came in.

Democrats had the early advantage in the race for control of the Washington state Senate as Democrat Manka Dhingra led Republican Jinyoung Englund by 10 points in a special election on the eastside of Lake Washington.

Gary Davis / KNKX

Update 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9: Some Races Remain Close, But Leads Widen

Some patterns are emerging two days after election night, while some races remain very tight.

In odd-numbered years, Election Day consists of a hodgepodge of state, local and special elections.

But in an era when, to flip an old phrase, all politics is national, these low-profile, low-turnout elections might have a lot more to say about the direction of the country than may have been the case just a few years ago.

Two governors races and one president in the background

More than 170 women who work or have worked at the state Capitol have signed onto a letter urging sweeping change at the Legislature to end inappropriate behavior and misconduct women say they face on the job.

A former legislative assistant for Washington state House Democrats says she was sexually harassed by Rep. Jim Jacks nearly two years before he was forced to resign for “inappropriate behavior,” but that the House’s system for addressing misconduct failed her.

A task force appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has released a series of possible options for shrinking the state’s public pension deficit. The options include a lengthy list of ways to generate cash through a combination of one-time and ongoing changes.

The list includes some eye-catching proposals such as privatizing the state’s public universities that are unlikely to gain much traction politically.

A Washington state lawmaker who abruptly resigned his seat in March 2011 had been accused by a female staff member of inappropriate behavior.  

That’s according to a statement released late Wednesday by House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan in response to renewed questions from the media about the resignation of Democrat Jim Jacks of Vancouver.  

Will James / KNKX

It's been seven years since Native American woodcarver John T. Williams was shot and killed by Seattle Police. His death sparked the city's 2012 agreement with the federal government over use of force and biased policing.

Whoever is elected mayor of Seattle will be responsible for continuing to oversee changes in the police department.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

The Seattle public school district has made it a high priority to eliminate achievement gaps between kids from different racial groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. It's a major issue for school board candidates, including including those vying for the seat representing District 7 in the southeastern part of Seattle.  

Will James / KNKX

As soon as Seattle's next mayor takes office, she'll be confronted with a scene like the one on the western slope of Beacon Hill. 

Dozens of tents and shelters, some made of tarps and rugs, rise from the blackberry brambles along I-90. Scattered among them are mattresses, bicycles, dolls, and piles of garbage. 

This is home to some of the estimated 3,900 Seattle residents living outside. 

Leaders in the Washington Legislature said they won’t tolerate sexual harassment, and encourage women to report unwanted attention from men. Those comments follow our investigation with The News Tribune of Tacoma into the workplace climate at the state Capitol.

The White House is blocking money to build new tribal housing along the Columbia River. That’s according to five members of the Washington and Oregon congressional delegations.

Nicole Grant was excited when she arrived at the state Capitol in 2010 to lobby on behalf of the Certified Electrical Workers of Washington. A journeyman electrician by training, Grant would be representing her fellow union members on issues such as workplace rights and safety.

Grant quickly realized that the workplace climate in Olympia was different than anything she had experienced.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

One of the biggest issues animating the race for mayor in Seattle is juggling the interests of homeowners with the need to create more affordable housing. 

On average, 57 people move to Seattle every day, which has been pushing home prices up faster than any other large metro area in the country.

Both Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan agree Seattle is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, and they each have put forward ideas for possible solutions.

The first charges have been filed in the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election, and the court documents help make clearer the timeline of Russia-related events that took place during the presidential campaign.

George Papadopoulos, who worked for President Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser, has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about meeting a professor with Russian ties who had promised to provide "dirt" on Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

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