Member Exclusive: Fishing for answers in Duwamish River records

We just published our latest SIDEBAR — an exclusive monthly dispatch from inside our newsroom just for InvestigateWest members.For August we have a piece by Executive Director Robert McClure about getting, and not getting, government records into the public eye:State and federal freedom-of-information laws give investigative journalists a look behind the curtain at the internal workings of government. An essential tool, they allow us to help the public better understand what government is doing and saying on its behalf.The people can better govern their governors, in other words.So we were recently taken aback by how many documents the City of Seattle and King County withheld in one of our latest rounds of Freedom Of Information requests. The sheer volume of records withheld suggests an epic legal battle brewing over the Duwamish River cleanup.To read the rest…

Member Exclusive: Seattle’s historic minimum wage

Every month we send InvestigateWest members an exclusive dispatch from inside our newsroom.We call it SIDEBAR. Tucked inside is an essay from one of our reporters, a follow-up report on something we published, previews of investigations-in-progress, or other original content. If that sounds like the kind of thing you like, we invite you to join InvestigateWest and support independent, consequential journalism in the Pacific Northwest.This month, reporter Allegra Abramo introduces a project she’s been working on this summer:Worker advocates applauded last month when the Seattle City Council voted to phase in a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour. But some worry the law won’t be vigorously enforced. They’ve seen too many workers struggle for justice after being cheated out of their wages. It’s a topic Diego Rondón Ichikawa knows well. He is a staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project and founder of the Wage Justice Project. “What Seattle did was historic,” he told me in an interview last month, “but it’s also important to make sure these workers are getting what they deserve under the law…”To keep reading…