News in Brief

Sadie Clark, News Editor

Tyre Nichols killed by Memphis police

Tyre Nichols, a 29 year-old black man, died on Jan. 10 in Memphis Tenn., three days after he was attacked by police during a traffic stop. Nichols responded to the stop peacefully, but it quickly escalated to violence involving a stun gun and mace. Appalling footage of the stop was released Jan. 27 showing officers punching, kicking, and using a baton to beat Nichols after an attempt to flee. Five officers have been fired and are facing charges, and other members of Memphis law enforcement have been asked to take leave and are under investigation. Nichols’ family has asked protests to remain peaceful in response to the video. Echoes of “Justice for Tyre” have continued the push for both legislation and cultural change in law enforcement in Memphis and across the nation. 

Cutting water usage in the Colorado Basin

Seven states that rely on water from the Colorado River have been asked by the Interior Department to propose a plan to use less water. The Colorado River, a critical water source for California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, has been shrinking due to a 23-year drought, risking hydropower, farmland and drinking water for those states. 

Copper mining on Arizona tribal land

Potential copper mining in Arizona would conflict with the sacred land of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Local and state officials have pushed for this mining because the copper would increase use of renewable energy and electric cars. While some tribal members hope the mines will provide a source of employment, many view it as disrespectful to tribal tradition.

King County’s upcoming special elections

King County’s local special election on Feb. 14 concerning Initiative Measure No. 135 (I-135) describes possible affordable social housing solutions. I-135 would create a public development authority (PDA) to develop mixed-income social housing governed by renters. 

Arguments in favor of I-135 note the housing and homelessness crisis in Seattle. Rent on these homes would never exceed 30% of income and would be available to people of varying incomes. This model has worked in Maryland and other countries, including Austria, New Zealand and Uruguay. The model is also being tested in Hawaii and California. 

Arguments against I-135 state that the plan might take money from other successful housing plans including a new housing levy this fall, and the PDA is redundant next to existing public housing authorities.