Seattle Rental Applicants’ Criminal Histories Virtually Off-Limits Under New Law

Close-up picture of someone's hand with apartment keys in itLandlords will be forbidden from screening tenants based on criminal records, under an ordinance the Seattle City Council approved Monday.

The Seattle City Council approved an ordinance Monday that will mostly prohibit landlords from screening tenants based on their criminal records.

Landlords will be barred from excluding people with records in advertisements. When taking applications, they will be barred from asking about records. And in choosing tenants, they will be barred from rejecting people due to their records.

The only people who may be denied rental housing will be those listed on sex-offender registries because of adult convictions, and landlords denying housing to such people will still need to demonstrate a legitimate business reason for doing so.

The intent, according to proponents, is to lower barriers to housing for people with criminal histories, who now are often rejected by landlords. Council members last week voted 6-0 to advance the ordinance from their civil-rights committee to the full council.

They voted 8-0 Monday. Councilmember Kshama Sawant was absent.

“Regardless of my criminal history, I deserve housing,” Ballard resident Zachary Tutwiler, a vendor with the Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project, told the council during a public-comment period before the vote. “We all deserve housing.”

Some landlords say being allowed to make decisions based on the criminal histories of prospective tenants helps them better safeguard their property and existing tenants.

Landlords renting part of their own homes and sharing a kitchen or bathroom with a tenant will be exempt, as will primary leaseholders given the authority by landlords to choose roommates.

People renting mother-in-law apartments or backyard cottages on properties where they live also will be exempt, but micro-housing units will be covered by the ordinance.

Proponents of the ordinance say people who already have served their time shouldn’t be penalized again by landlords. And they say people who have been arrested but not convicted also should be treated the same as everyone else.

The proponents say people leaving jail and prison need housing to build stable lives and are less likely to commit crimes again when they have somewhere to sleep.

On Monday, Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who sponsored the ordinance with Council President Bruce Harrell, described housing discrimination against people with records as “a recipe for recidivism.”

Continue reading in The Seattle Times

Originally written by  in The Seattle Times

Leadership: It’s What You Make of It

maze with street above going straight instead of following maze like a 'follower'Leadership is the ability to not only understand and utilize your innate talents, but to also effectively leverage the natural strengths of your team to accomplish the mission. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, answer key or formula to leadership. Leadership should be the humble, authentic expression of your unique personality in pursuit of bettering whatever environment you are in. – Katie Christy, founder, Activate Your Talent

A parable is told about a pencil-maker who was preparing to put an important pencil in a box. Before doing so, though, he took the pencil aside. “There are five things you need to know,” he said. “If you can remember these five things, you will become the best pencil you can be.”

You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to in someone else’s hand.

  1. Sharpening is painful, but it is critical if you want to write sharply.
  2. Since you have an eraser, you can correct most mistakes you make, though some may be harder to erase than others.
  3. Remember, it’s what’s inside that’s most important.
  4. Whatever surface you on, make sure you leave your mark. No matter how hard, rough, or easy, you must continue to write.

This parable shares powerful lessons for every leader:

  1. Be humble. You can achieve greatness, but not when you go it alone. Allow yourself to be taught and coached by others and identify the strengths of those around you to help advance the cause.
  2. Stay sharp. Strong leaders find ways to keep learning and sharpening their skills. Feedback can be painful at times, but without it, you will become dull.
  3. Accept mistakes. We all err. Though mistakes may make for challenging moments, they are ultimately part of a process of becoming a better leader. Embrace your mistakes as opportunities to learn, erase, and become better! As John Maxwell once said, “A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.”
  4. Your best is what’s inside you. You may be good-looking, dress well, and have a great personality. But what makes you who you are and the person with whom others want to connect is your character. Seek to continually grow and refine your character so that you can lead and serve with utmost integrity.
  5. Stick with it. There will be times when you think that you’re making no imprint and that your actions are not having an effect. But people will still depend on you, so you need to keep on going. Hold to your vision and your dreams, even when it seems they have dimmed.

I have attempted to offer guidance to you, the new leader, as you assume your leadership position. By now, one thing should be clear: Leadership is not easy. It takes much effort to position yourself to achieve a leadership post, and perhaps, even more, work to build a sustainable leadership platform.

But it is doable. And the world needs you.

Continue reading in Smart Brief

Originally written by Naphtali Hoff in Smart Brief

This post is adapted from “Becoming the New Boss,” a new leadership book by Naphtali Hoff, PsyD,(@impactfulcoach). He became an executive coach and organizational consultant following a career as an educator and school administrator. Read his blog at

Age-Friendly Housing Assessment

Apartments with blue trim
In 2009, King County's Aging and Disability Services (ADS), released the report Quiet Crisis: Age Wave Maxes Out Affordable Housing, King County 2008-2025. The report indicated that the need for age-friendly housing has outpaced the available stock of affordable housing in King County and is likely to rise over time. excerpt and graphic source: Senior Housing… » More ...

WSU’s Everett Campus Hosting August 15 Ribbon Cutting and Open House

EVERETT, Wash. – WSU North Puget Sound at Everett announced an August 15 ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the campus’s new building at 915 N. Broadway in Everett.

“This is a landmark occasion for our entire region. Washington State University is thrilled to be opening the doors of our new, state-of-the-art building to the public on August 15,” Paul Pitre, chancellor of WSU’s newest campus, said. “This building represents decades of work by this community to create local access to four-year degree programs. WSU is incredibly proud to be an important part of that and to continue our growth into the future.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m. and will include WSU president Kirk Schulz, Pitre, city of Everett mayor Ray Stephanson and Everett Community College president David Beyer.

“The programs offered in this building will help address some of our region’s most pressing economic challenges,” Stephanson said. “We are competitors in the worldwide marketplace and our businesses need a talented, well-trained workforce in order to thrive and expand. This is where that workforce will come from.”

The open house will include opportunities for tours and photos, chances to learn about the nearly 30 programs offered in the new building from WSU and the Everett University Center partners, information from the construction team, and more. Each WSU North Puget Sound at Everett and Everett University Center program/partner will be assigned a space to engage with community members, who will be guided by an event passport. Those interested can learn more on the Facebook event page.

Continue reading in WSU News

Yakima Equity Study Analysis

Yakima Washigton view
In 2016, the City of Yakima began a process to address the equitable distribution of city resources. To initiate this process, the city compiled data from a variety of sources and visualized it into an interactive GIS (Graphic Information System) program. The result, called the Equity Study allows users to review that data across the City of Yakima’s seven council districts. » More ...

Children and Youth Summer Meal Program

The City of Seattle funds a summer meal program, providing no-cost breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for kids and teens ages 1-18 years. The 2017 program runs from June 28th through August 25th.



Here’s how you can find the closest meal site:

  • Use the Summer Meals Search Tool that displays sponsor, site and meal information with online mapping tools
  • Call the USDA Hotline 1-866-348-6479
  • Text Food to 877-877
  • Email
  • Call our office at 206-386-1140

Short Answers to Hard Questions About the Opioid Crisis

Graphic of American flag with needles and spoons as stripesThis week, President Trump’s commission on combating the opioid crisis, led by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, recommended that the president declare a national emergency.

The problem has become significantly worse recently, so you might feel that you could use a little catching up. Here are 11 things you need to know.

1. How bad is it?

It’s the deadliest drug crisis in American history.

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, and deaths are rising faster than ever, primarily because of opioids.

Overdoses killed more people last year than guns or car accidents, and are doing so at a pace faster than the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak. In 2015, roughly 2 percent of deaths — one in 50 — in the United States were drug-related.

Percentage of deaths classified as drug-related

The chart includes both deaths from drug poisoning and those caused by drug-related mental disorders.Sources: W.H.O.; Statistics Canada; Ireland Central Statistics Office; National Records of Scotland; National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Overdoses are merely the most visible and easily counted symptom of the problem. Over two million Americans are estimated to have a problem with opioids. According to the latest survey data, over 97 million people took prescription painkillers in 2015; of these, 12 million did so without being directed by a doctor.

2. What is an “opioid”?

Something that acts on opioid receptors in the nervous system.

That’s not really a helpful answer.

The first such drug, and the one from which the opioid receptors get their name, was opium. Opium, a narcotic obtained from a kind of poppy, has been used in human societies for thousands of years. From opium people derived a whole host of other drugs with similar properties: first morphine, then heroin, then prescription painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin. Opium along with all of these derivatives are collectively known as opiates.

Then there are a handful of compounds that act just like opiates but aren’t made from the plant. Opiates along with these synthetic drugs — chiefly methadone and fentanyl — are grouped together into the category of substances called opioids.

Opioid receptors regulate pain and the reward system in the human body. That makes opioids powerful painkillers, but also debilitatingly addictive.

3. So is this crisis about prescription painkillers or heroin?


The crisis has its roots in the overprescription of opioid painkillers, but since 2011 overdose deaths from prescription opioids have leveled off. Deaths from heroin and fentanyl, on the other hand, are rising fast. In several states where the drug crisis is particularly severe, including Rhode IslandPennsylvania and Massachusetts, fentanyl is now involved in over half of all overdose fatalities.

Drug overdose deaths involving …

’00’02’04’06’08’10’12’14Common prescriptionopioidsHeroin and fentanylBoth5,0005,00010,00010,00015,00015,00020,00020,00025,000 deaths per year25,000 deaths per year
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

While heroin and fentanyl are the primary killers now, experts agree that the epidemic will not stop without halting the flow of prescription opioids that got people hooked in the first place.

Continue reading in The New York Times

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Can the world thrive on 100% renewable energy?

earth on fireA WIDELY read cover story on the impact of global warming in this week’s New York magazine starts ominously: “It is, I promise, worse than you think.” It goes on to predict temperatures in New York hotter than present-day Bahrain, unprecedented droughts wherever today’s food is produced, the release of diseases like bubonic plague hitherto trapped under Siberian ice, and permanent economic collapse. In the face of such apocalyptic predictions, can the world take solace from those who argue that it can move, relatively quickly and painlessly, to 100% renewable energy?

At first glance, the answer to that question looks depressingly obvious. Despite falling costs, wind and solar still produce only 5.5% of the world’s electricity. Hydropower is a much more significant source of renewable energy, but its costs are rising, and investment is falling. Looking more broadly at energy demand, including that for domestic heating, transport and industry, the share of wind and solar is a minuscule 1.6% (see chart). It seems impossible to eliminate fossil fuels from the energy mix in the foreseeable future.

But all energy transitions, such as that from coal to hydrocarbons in the 20th century, take many decades. It is the rate of change that guides where investments flow. That makes greens more optimistic. During the past decade, solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind energy have been on a roll as sources of electricity. Although investment dipped slightly last year, the International Energy Agency, a global forecaster, said on July 11th that for the first time the amount of renewable capacity commissioned in 2016 almost matched that for other sources of power generation, such as coal and natural gas. In some countries the two technologies—particularly solar PV in sunny places—are now cheaper than coal and gas. It is no longer uncommon for countries like Denmark and Scotland to have periods when the equivalent of all their power comes from wind.

Continue reading at The Economist 

Julie Padowski Ph.D.

HeadshotClinical Assistant Professor
Phone: 509-335-8539

Julie Padowski’s research interests center on interdisciplinary water resource issues, particularly with respect to balancing urban water management with environmental sustainability. Currently working as research faculty for both CEREO and the Washington State Water Research Center, Julie’s research has been aimed at identifying and quantifying urban water vulnerability both at the national and global scale.

Julie earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Florida, and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Stanford University with the Woods Institute for the Environment. As a doctoral student, she was a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) fellow in a program focused on the adaptive management of water, wetlands and watersheds.

Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach
PACCAR, Room 256
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-3002

Updated on 8/1/17

Kevan Moffett Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Phone: 360-546-9413

Kevan Moffett is a physical hydrologist in the School of the Environment and is located on the Washington State University Vancouver campus. Her research and teaching span natural and built environments, with particular foci on soil moisture-plant-water interactions and surface water-groundwater interactions. She earned a PhD in Hydrogeology and Earth System Science from Stanford in 2010 and a BS in Environmental Engineering from Yale in 2002. She also worked as an environmental engineering consultant and geographic information system specialist on New York City drinking water supply watershed and pipe system modeling. In addition to research on post-wildfire landscape recovery and coastal wetlands, a major focus of Dr. Moffett’s Ecohydrology research group is the water cycle of urban environments, including plant water use, soil moisture resources, stormwater runoff and management and the influence of diverse and sharp land use contrasts on these processes. An important aspect of this work is collaborating with municipal staff to achieve research-management synergy that can advance both science and practice.

WSU – Vancouver
Vsci Room 230p
14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave. (MAP)

Updated on 8/1/17