In 2018, Washington voters passed an initiative that made it easier to prosecute police officers who shoot civilians, required independent investigations of police use of force and mandated a new de-escalation training regimen. At the time of its passing, the initiative was considered incredibly progressive—but activists today say existing reforms have done little to slow killings by police, and are now calling instead for foundational change, including steep cuts to police departments’ budgets and diverting savings to better social services such as crisis-intervention units.
In 2018, Trump appointees short-circuited U.S. grid modernization to help the coal industry by suppressing the Interconnections Seam Study. The study showed that a “supergrid” capable of shipping bulk power across the U.S. would save consumers $3.6 billion every year, accelerate the growth of renewable energy, and eliminate up to 35 megatons of CO2 emissions – the single biggest contributor to climate change.
As Seattle became the decade’s fastest-growing big city in America, residents have seen more tree canopy disappear to make room for new apartments and houses to accommodate the growing population. Now, activists and residents are pushing for the Seattle City Council to create a new tree ordinance that will protect more trees. But even as the movement gains momentum and there’s increasing evidence that trees help combat climate change and water pollution, the Seattle City Council is weighing these efforts against an ever-increasing need for housing.
InvestigateWest advises the Washington State Sunshine Committee, which advises the Washington Legislature, to proceed cautiously when considering whether to further restrict citizens’ access to information about juveniles through the Washington State Public Records Act.