Tomorrow’s local elections to watch

Welcome to the Monday, Aug. 2, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Local measures on Aug. 3 ballots
  2. Previewing Seattle’s city attorney primary
  3. Indoor mask requirements reinstated in Nevada, several cities and D.C.

Local measures on the Aug. 3 ballot

Last week, we brought you previews of the elections happening tomorrow, Aug. 3. ICYMI, we looked at the following races:

We’re also covering a handful of local ballot measures appearing on the Aug. 3 ballot. Here’s a preview of those.

Detroit, Michigan, Proposal P, Revised City Charter

Voters will decide whether to adopt a revised city charter that would change policy regarding broadband access, police practices, healthcare, taxes and utilities, and reparations, among other topics. The proposed changes include the following:

  • develop free public broadband internet;
  • provide reparations to Black residents;
  • change police practices, policies, and training requirements;
  • give residents amnesty for water and sewer fees; and
  • grant tax credit for residents who show proof of overassessed property taxes.

Lansing, Michigan, Proposal 1, Renewal of Increased Property Tax Limit

Voters will decide whether to renew an increase of the city property tax limit to 20.00 mills ($20.00 per $1,000 of assessed value) for five years, thereby allowing the current property tax of 19.44 mills to continue and generating an estimated $2,770,894 in its first year.

St. Louis Community College District, Missouri, Proposition R, Property Tax Increase

Voters will decide whether to increase the property tax from $0.1987 per $100 of assessed value to $0.2787 per $100 of assessed value for the purpose of funding career training programs, safety measures, new technology, and renovations at St. Louis Community College.

King County, Washington, Proposition 1, Property Tax for Youth and Family Support Services

Voters will decide whether to renew and increase a property tax from $0.115 to $0.19 (per $1,000 of assessed value) in 2022 and approve a 3% maximum increase for the following five years (2023–2027) to fund the Best Starts for Kids program, which provides support services to youth and families.

Thurston County, Washington, Proposition 1, Property Tax Increase for Medic One Emergency Services

Voters will decide whether to:

  • increase the property tax from $0.289 (per $1,000 of assessed value) to $0.35 (per $1,000 of assessed value) in 2022,
  • set a maximum property tax increase of 7% for the following five years (2023–2027), and
  • provide a property tax exemption to seniors and veterans.

For an overview of all the local ballot measures we’re covering in 2021, click the link below.

Keep reading

Previewing Seattle’s city attorney primary

Here’s a bonus preview for tomorrow – the Seattle city attorney primary.

In Seattle, the city attorney heads the city’s Law Department and supervises all litigation in which the city is involved. The city attorney supervises a team of assistant city attorneys who provide legal advice and assistance to the city’s management and prosecute violations of city ordinances.

According to a survey conducted by Crosscut, a nonprofit news site, the top issues in the race for voters are housing and homelessness, police and public safety, taxes and the economy, and urban planning and transportation.

Incumbent Pete Holmes, Ann Davison, and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy are running in the nonpartisan primary. Holmes first took office in 2009. Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz (D) and state Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti (D) are among his endorsers. The top-two candidates will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

Davison, an attorney and arbitrator, received endorsements from The Seattle Times and former Gov. Dan Evans (R). She ran for lieutenant governor in 2020 and city council in 2019. 

Thomas-Kennedy is a former public defender and criminal and eviction attorney. The Stranger endorsed her.

Keep reading 

Indoor mask requirements reinstated in Nevada, several cities and D.C.

On July 27, the CDC updated its guidance to recommend that fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks indoors in locations with substantial or high coronavirus transmission. According to the CDC, 69.3% of counties in the United States were experiencing what CDC defines as high or substantial levels of transmission as of July 29. Let’s take a look at how cities and state governments are reacting to the guidance.

Since the announcement, municipal governments with jurisdiction over fourteen of America’s 100 largest cities and Washington, D.C. have announced indoor mask mandates. Four of these cities are located in Nevada, where Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) announced an indoor mask requirement in counties with high or substantial coronavirus transmission, effective July 30. Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno, and North Las Vegas are all located in high transmission counties, according to the CDC, making them subject to Sisolak’s mask order.

In Florida, Mayors Daniella Levine Cava and Jerry Demings of Miami-Dade County and Orange County, which encompass the cities of Hialeah, Miami, and Orlando, issued indoor mask requirements on July 28. State law allows Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to preempt local emergency rules. 

Four other municipalities issued indoor mask requirements following the CDC’s updated guidance: 

  • In Atlanta, Georgia, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an indoor mask requirement on July 28.
  • In Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas issued an indoor mask requirement on July 28, effective Aug. 2 through at least Aug. 28. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) announced on July 28 that he planned to file a lawsuit against Lucas challenging the order.
  • In California, Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye issued an indoor mask requirement on July 29, effective July 30.
  • Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) issued an indoor mask requirement on July 29, effective July 31.

In total, 39 states issued statewide public mask requirements during the pandemic. Currently, seven states have statewide mask orders. All seven states have Democratic governors. Six of the seven states exempt fully vaccinated people from most requirements.

Of the 32 states that have fully ended statewide public mask requirements, 16 have Republican governors, and 16 have Democratic governors. Twenty-nine states ended mask requirements through executive order, two (Kansas and Utah) ended mask requirements through legislative action, and one (Wisconsin) ended its mandate through court order.

Keep reading