22 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: The Sunrise Movement”

    1. “Both Snohomish County’s and Pierce County’s subareas now must have shortfalls greater than five percent.”

      Why do you assume this to be the case?

      Fwiw….Dec 31, 2019 Subarea Equity Report snapshot –

      These were the net closing positions for each subarea as of the end of 2019:

      Snohomish Co $538.1M
      (+$67.6M)
      North King Co $301.5M
      (+$125.6M)
      South King Co $79.5M
      (-$106.7M)
      East King Co ($235.5M)
      (-$235.5M)
      Pierce Co $798.1M
      (+$213.7M)
      System-wide $0
      (-$170.4M)

      Agency Total $1,481.7M
      (-$105.7M)

      I personally haven’t seen a publicly published update to the 2017-2041 financial plan since the last annual budget cycle, though STB’s Dan Ryan has posted some nice pieces on the subject matter over the last several months.

      1. I assume the two subareas to the north and south of King County have deficits greater than 5% because the initial projected revenues through 2041 are $8-$12 billion less than forecast.

        That financial plan you refer to ends in 2041 — it doesn’t extend for the duration of the system plan. It also doesn’t show what the ST3 financial policies require: projected revenues, debt capacity, etc.

        You should take a look at what the ST3 financial policies require — Sound Transit isn’t publishing those data, and that’s probably because they’d be so ugly.

  1. Metro finally updates their blog after a three weeks. In the news …
    Metro’s pass sales office to reopen. And, Health ambassadors hit the streets.

    “Sixteen former Metro bus drivers are among the first cohort of Ambassadors and are now serving their community in a new way.
    The Ambassadors will be answering questions and providing support at Metro’s high-ridership bus stops in downtown Seattle and at Transit Centers in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including Aurora, Burien, Federal Way, Kent, and Tukwila.”

    It seems from the story that they’ll be handing out masks, too. This is great news!

    https://kingcountymetro.blog/2020/08/27/metros-pass-sales-office-to-reopen-health-ambassadors-hit-the-streets/

  2. “the suspension of fares continues through September, ”

    Does this mean fares will return October 1st?

    People who plan to ride more than 22 days in October will need to know before the 1st whether to get a monthly pass. I’m not in that category but I will eventually be.

  3. The exodus from New York City has begun. ($)

    Caveat: It’s probably a few thousand people in a city of 7.3 million. And millions of New Yorkers can’t afford a suburban house even if they want one, and can’t telework from anywhere. And, “Experts have predicted New York City’s demise during past crises, including the Sept. 11 terror attacks, only to be proven wrong. In fact, even as office towers in Manhattan remain largely empty because of the outbreak, some businesses, including Amazon and Facebook, are expanding their footprints, betting that workers will eventually return to their desks.”

    Oh, I thought Amazon was leaving Seattle for the larger houses and lower taxes in Bellevue. If it’s expanding in high-density, high-tax New York, it’s unlikely to vacate Seattle any time soon.

    1. Mike, of course they are moving to the Eastside, and beyond. And, of course, they will still keep a presence in Seattle. The shift won’t happen overnight. It will take years.

      1. To add to this, it will be similar to what Boeing is doing and has been doing for the last 15 years. With Boeing it’s a bit more transparent because the capital investment required to open a new facility is large, and self-contained. A tech company like Amazon can easily open a new facility somewhere, starting small, on a task parallel to one done in Seattle, and slowly add more people in it while reducing headcount at the corresponding Seattle office through attrition etc.

        In all fairness, it is probably good for Seattle to have some of that work go to the surrounding cities, and ideally beyond Bellevue proper, too. Amazon (and other tech companies) should in fact open offices in the Issaquahs and Federal Ways and Lynnwoods and Arlingtons of the area, thus spreading some of that tech dollar to other communities, and reducing the huge housing cost increase that they brought to Seattle. That’s my take, anyway.

      2. Adding jobs at another site is different from moving them. Not filling a brand-new building you’ve never used is different from removing people from an existing building.

      3. No offense, Mike, but adding jobs at one site and being told to relocate there or find another job in the company (or elsewhere) afterwards is exactly like moving them, and I know people at both companies I referenced who were in that situation in recent years. This is not to say that Amazon will do a lot of this now, but certainly the move of some jobs from Seattle to Bellevue was a real thing (my understanding was that an entire division relocated last year, based on a friend who works in said division), and there is no reason to believe there will not be more of that in the near-to-medium term future.

        Having said that , once again, I do not believe Amazon is leaving Seattle (proper) anytime soon, and I doubt that they will be leaving the Puget Sound area at all. But I do expect a redistribution of jobs, and as I mentioned before, I think that such a redistribution would in fact be good for the region, anyway.

      4. I haven’t heard that Amazon is subtracting the number of jobs in Seattle. If it’s moving a unit to Belleuve and forcing people to relocate, that’s unfortunate, but Boeing yanks people between plants all the time.

      5. Boeing relocated most of their research division to other geographical sites in the mid 2010s or so (or maybe early 2010s). This reduced the footprint of the Seattle org significantly, but because it was not airplane line workers it didn’t make as big of a splash. I knew about it because some researchers I was aware of chose to retire or get other jobs instead of moving to Alabama or wherever they were forced to go.

        Regarding line workers, I don’t think it’s as common as you make it sound, but I may be wrong. I know a couple of people working on assembly line work (or who have done so in the past) and from what I heard from them, moving within a plant is not uncommon, but moving to entirely new product lines is relatively rare except during layoffs when seniority starts to kick in and younger people get pushed out of all the sites covered by that contract.

      6. I have a relative who worked at Boeing for seven years in an office and her group got yanked twice between Renton, Everett, and Lynnwood. It may be less for assembly workers. She said that’s why Kirkland grew so much because workers knew they couldn’t live near work and expect the work not to move, so they lived where they wanted and resigned themselves to a long commute, and Kirkland is halfway between Renton and Everett so it was a popular choice.

    2. Mike, for personalities like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, could it really be that, for their own good, it might be time to stop paying so much attention to them?

      And also, remembering what that Boston “T” mechanic told me about streetcars designed by rotor-craft designers, might Elon, who despite appearances really does manufacture things, might actually benefit from close company with people with streetcar-grease under their fingernails?

      Getting to lift off PCC Model 2020 aboard the same ship that carried the Tesla might make him admit you don’t even need to automate it. Or the Tesla either. And desperate clarification:

      None of the Presidents referred to separated immigrants from their children, insulted war heroes and their mothers, broke a Federal law with last week’s Convention, categorically refused to let Congress know what Putin is doing to our country, or treated a cat with anything but respect that keeps their every claw retracted.

      Mark Dublin

    3. Amazon’s expansion in NYC has gone from 25,000 jobs and a new corporate campus to 2,000 jobs and some purchased office space.

      I agree Amazon isn’t leaving Seattle any time soon, but they’re not expanding into NYC much at all.

      1. Amazon’s expansion in NYC has gone from 25,000 jobs and a new corporate campus to 2,000 jobs and some purchased office space.

        The 25,000 jobs plan for Long Island City proved to be nothing more than a $300,000,000 tax relief extortion plot by Amazon witch was caught in time.

    4. If you read between the lines of the article you site, you’ll notice the moves being made by some are driven by fear & not by science or logic. Also a year ago stories were emerging how residents were rapidly leaving Westchester County, LI, CT & NJ do to the high taxes. Most were headed for Florida. Now all of a sudden you see a rapid shift.

      After awhile, you’ll see the next generation of future residents ready to move to NYC & make their mark as the city is ever evolving, not dying as some put it & remember NYC isn’t only Manhattan as it’s often framed.

      I personally believe the zoom trend will run it’s course once a vaccine is massed produced & activity will then return to the office as many functions are best suited for face to face contact.

    5. I think Amazon is looking at which way the political wind is blowing in Seattle, where Kshama Sawant may one day be mayor, and most of the city council may be from the democrat-socialist party, and want to manage their future risk exposure. It’s smart to not be so heavily concentrated in Seattle, so ten years from now, a city that will probably be run by a woman who said, “Jeff Bezos is our enemy,” doesn’t have them by the b@#$%.

      1. Sam, what exactly do you mean when you say “Socialism?”

        Were both major parties guilty of it when they used taxpayers’ money, including from taxpayers who lost their homes to bank fraud, to bail out (instead of jailing) WAMU, whose motto and lending philosophy were both “WOO HOO?”

        But meantime, here’s the definition I got with one “click.”

        “….a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

        Starting in about 1500, its own founders saw Capitalism as a long-overdue countermeasure against blasphemously tyrannical violations of God’s own Scripture to demand superstitious obedience. And total power in the hands of the brilliantly unproductive evil “minders” that managed the sickly inbred titled cretins whose ancestors once were brave.

        Would either Benjamin Franklin or Alexander Hamilton have had any problem with the described system whatsoever? What’s yours? My guess is you think more like their own definition of tyrannical misgovernment. Look up “King Charles”, “The Cavaliers”, and “The English Civil War.”

        Whose escaped followers’ own first order of business was to create on our Continent permanently zero-wage labor who’d never again ‘dis a nobleman for being an inbred idiot, let alone cut off the head of the King. Not their fault it took him until 2016 to show up.

        That definition: Does it say anywhere that Olympia Coffee Roasting or Caffe Umbria can’t make the private profit their product and service so richly deserve? And does it even say anything at all about health care? Would either Ben or Alexander have had anything against a Public Option?

        And what about my own choice of an economy based on worker-owned cooperatives? In addition to grocery stores, concept works for farms all over the world and bus companies too. Doubt a Norwegian tugboat cooperative in Ballard lacks any due diligence.

        But relax, Sam. Like the whole US labor movement, the blade that cut the throat of Socialism was the razor-stropped plastic edge of the credit card. Any time, any day, which Citizen gets to be flat on their back watching The Game….

        The country’s Customer, or its OWNER? Who’s got no union protection at all.

        Mark Dublin

  4. Thanks, Sam, for the word on the Ambassadors. Just exactly the action I was praying for when those awful mask-related interchanges between drivers and passengers hit the videos. But this morning’s title theme keys in some memories I like even less.

    Like watching five minutes’ TV lose Hillary Clinton the last Presidential Election by a margin large enough to prevent her from defeating an opponent with less votes than she got. With one very short statement.

    When she got on TV and scolded coal miners that they had just better get used to losing their jobs as soon as she took office. When the camera footage that would’ve gotten Joe Biden the Vice Presidency where he really belongs would’ve been so easily available:

    On-site at a wind-farm, announcing from a hundred foot high repair scaffold that instead of, for instance, humiliating her whole border-control force day after Inauguration , she’d have administrative machinery in place whereby, on phone or online, every coal miner in the land could begin to exchange black lung for blue sky aboard one of those beauties.

    In that State’s only initiative that’s ever deserved to be called “Conservative” by the balance sheet or anything else, Texas was already switching to fossil-free wind and solar because in addition to being filthy and poisonous, oil and coal also cost more.

    Most significant thing about the video’s cast is their age. For one thing…the more immediately necessary the change, the longer it could take to bring about. But for anyone born with a touch-screen in their hands, they’ll never again be slowed by a keyboard.

    Person I would’ve most liked to see today is Sweden’s Greta Thunberg, because she personifies the transformation of a disability into a powerful workforce of the very tradespeople who’ll be most in demand. Has anybody else ever watched an autistic kid take something complicated apart and put it back together?

    While also making it clear they don’t want their concentration Distracted, especially if you’re a reality show creator who got less votes than Hillary. One thing somebody that age can help me with: I need a spray-paint “tag” about paying for college with your wages as a State Legislator. Maybe a dome with “18” underneath it?

    And Mike, September or whenever, we”d better get in the habit of treating student passes, ORCA or its successor, as employer-sponsored. Maybe for contrast, with the Golden Gate Bridge both in mind and a perfect symbol, we can call the last New Deal the Orange one.

    Empowering Transit to find them New Deal jobs, either after school or at it, where our trade’s own work is not only at its freshest, but its Greenest. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard, thanks for masking, keep spaced, and please hold on.

    Mark Dublin

  5. And just for the record, here are the Presidents’ and the streetcars, and the world leadership that should be Seattle’s, and the rest of our region’s, for the taking.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCC_streetcar

    For the leadership style I see necessary at this point in time, I think Joe Biden will be more than relieved to assign membership to Kamala Harris. Nothing in the Constitution says she can’t be a streetcar-company President Pro Tem.

    But main thing is mandatory disclosure: Unless they failed to look both ways before crossing the tracks on Market Street in San Francisco, no Presidents were harmed in the making of this History.

    Mark Dublin

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