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Posts published in “Issue: August 2020

Olympia’s PPP bank roll: Following the money

“Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed” is the name of Title I of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) that Congress passed at the end of March, 2020. Section 1102 of Title 1 authorized $340 billion for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and laid out the terms…

Then this happened — August 2020

Best ever quarter” (yes, best EVER) for Washington Business Bank profits ♦ It’s official—the proposed “Green Cove Park” project site contains “confirmed and suspected contamination.” ♦
Police said it...but it wasn’t true! ♦ 5.4 million American workers lost their healthcare coverage

A new invitation to investors

Olympia’s planners have a new proposal that promises to worsen the city’s housing shortage and escalate costs beyond existing levels. Their new initiative focuses on “short term rentals,” (STRs), where a room or a house is rented for stays of less than 30 days. Airbnb is a familiar example.

Billboards remind us of nuclear weapons deployed in Kitsap County

Accept Responsibility, displayed on billboards through August 9, is a plea for citizens of Puget Sound to accept their role and responsibility—as taxpayers, as members of a democratic society, and as neighbors to the Trident nuclear submarine base in Hood Canal—to work to prevent the use of nuclear weapons.

Back from the brink

Since May 2017 the Olympia Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (OCANW) has worked in strategically smart grassroots ways to build a local movement to abolish nuclear weapons. We hold a giant banner one hour a week over I-5.

Educating in and being educated by the pandemic

On Thursday, July 23, the largest representative of public school employees, Washington Education Association (WEA), issued the following statement on safety first: As the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to grow across Washington, we are sadly faced with a choice between two bad options—eit her return to schools and put our educators, students, and community at risk or return to a distance learning and virtual instruction model. 

Black activists organize to demand an end to police brutality and systemic racism

For the last couple of months, multiple people and organizations have held demonstrations across Thurston County, mostly in Olympia. But because organizers face violent threats, leaders are difficult to find. Washington Community Action Network (CAN), Olympia SURJ: Showing up for Racial Justice, Justice for Yvonne McDonald and Olympia Black Lives Matter Community Council are a few of the organizations that have held or been affiliated with demonstrations and rallies since George Floyd’s murder.

Raise the social cost: an important strategic concept

In the late 1960s, McGeorge Bundy, who had been the national security adviser to Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, in a debate at MIT, said he had turned against the Vietnam War. Bundy said he now favored US withdrawal from Vietnam not because the US war was immoral or wrong or not in US “interests,” but because college students, including at elite schools, were becoming radicalized.

An open letter to city officials in Thurston County

Pass an ordinance so that rental debt accrued during the COVID-19 crisis is not a basis for evictions during this time or thereafter. In order to prevent an eviction crisis and not push people into homelessness, it is increasingly necessary for cities and counties to put into place policies that make debt accrued during this time not a reason to evict at any point in the future. 

Where are our elected leaders?

After over ten months of an encampment bordering Deschutes Parkway on the privately-owned greenbelt next to the 5th Avenue bridge, the property owners notified the residents that they could not stay past July 23.

REFLECTION: How to be a cycling lady legend

The romantic image of the solo cyclist first began when cars in our money-driven world supplanted cycling and the clubs that sustained the riders. While today the bicycle seems ready-made for individual characters, if you look beyond the media focus on pros and record holders, you can see that it…

A French banker freaks out about bicycling

Un cyclist est un désastre pour l’économie du pays—il n’achète pas de voiture et ne prend pas de prêt automobile—N’achète pas d’assurance automobile—n’achète pas de carburant—n’envoie pas sa voiture pour l’entretien et les réparations, N’utilise pas de parking payant, ne cause pas d’accidents majeurs, ne nécessite pas d’autoroutes a plusieurs voies, ne déviant pas obese, oui…et bien, on sang! Des gens en bonne santé ne sont pas nécessaires à l’économie, ils n’achètent pas de médicaments, Ils ne vont pas dans les hôpitaux et les médecins, Ils n’ajoutent rien au PIB du pays.

A socialist feminist response to COVID-19

Nationalize the medical system with workers’ control over decision-making and management. Make the industry nonprofit, including pharmaceuticals, hospitals, supply companies, and nursing homes. Guarantee a living wage for healthcare and homecare workers.

Washington State—the poster girl for voting by mail

“There is tremendous evidence of fraud whenever you have mail-in ballots,” Mr. Trump claimed during an appearance in Arizona, a statement that has no basis in the experience of the states that give voters the option of voting by mail. Since 2011, Washington voters have marked ballots at home and…

Reading black women

In a brilliant take-down of the so-called “public intellectuals” in the US, specifically those writers who are paid to write personal essays or “op ed” columns, Tressie McMillan Cottom points out that for the most part, Black women are ignored. Completely. She writes, “A Professional Smart Person can be one…

Is President Trump leading us into fascism?

To consider this question, it is necessary to understand the role fascism plays in a capitalist society, and why the capitalist class has an interest in facilitating the rise of fascism. Such understanding is provided in the essays in Radical Perspectives on the Rise of Fascism in Germany, 1919-1945.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

One of the consequences of the popular (multi-ethnic, anti-racist, anti-police brutality, and pro Black Lives Matter) movement that emerged after the death George Floyd and other black people killed by the police was the altering of urban public spaces.

When will housing “Action Plans” shift from “plan” to “action?”

Thurston County has faced a housing and homeless crisis for a decade.  But our government officials are still researching it and working on plans to fix it.  Reproduced below are Olympia’s “Housing Action Plan” from its 2020 Operating Budget plus the County Plan plus the  “Regional Housing Action Plan” being…

Rethinking everything: Police officer or social worker?

…well over 90% of the calls for service I handled were reactive, showing up well after a crime had taken place. We would arrive, take a statement, collect evidence (if any), file the report, and onto the next caper. Most “active” crimes we stopped were someone harmless possessing or selling a small amount of drugs. Very, very rarely would we stop something dangerous in progress or stop something from happening entirely. The closest we could usually get was seeing someone running away from the scene of a crime, but the damage was still done.