Seattle, we have a head tax 💰
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Seattle, we have a head tax 💰

Chowin’ down at Jude’s Old Town.
(📸: Mónica Guzmán and Jovelle Tamayo)

We met up at Jude’s Old Town in Rainier Beach and invited some special guests — the staff and storytellers behind the South Seattle Emerald. The Emerald just marked four years of amplifying the voices of Seattle’s south end (woo-hoo!), and Jude’s is very much a favorite haunt. 🍻

Thanks to Jude’s owner Beau for the burgers, fries, and special Greyhound slushies, to South Seattle Emerald founder Marcus Harrison Green for bringing out the crew (and the copies of the Emerald’s latest anthology), and of course to all of you who came out and made it a very awesome Monday.

Stay tuned for word on the next Evergrey get-together. We’ll see you then.

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Seattle, we have a head tax. Some people wanted it to be way bigger, and some people didn’t want it at all. But a big vote by our city council yesterday made it official — Seattle just passed a new tax on local companies that gross more than $20 million a year. What’ll this tax get the city? About $47 million more per year to build low-income housing and give services to our thousands of neighbors who live without a home. What’ll the tax cost the 585 Seattle businesses who’ll owe it? About $275 per employee per year until it comes up for review in 2023.

Our head tax will be the highest employee tax of any major American city. And while our biggest employer, Amazon, isn’t thrilled — “We remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here,” a spokesman said — it’s putting the hard hats back on. An office tower it stopped building when a bigger head tax proposal was in the works is back under construction. ⚒ (Crosscut, The Seattle Times, GeekWire)

Amazon boom, Alexa bust? When Amazon threatened to stop building new office space here if we passed a $500 per-employee head tax (we passed a smaller one instead 👆), some people got worried: Would the company take its growth to other cities? But it kinda already is. Amazon employs 45,000 people in Seattle — more than anywhere else — but its satellite offices in cities across North America add up 17,500 people, with more on the way. In related news, parents aren’t naming their babies “Alexa” anymore. At least, not at the rate they used to. The name’s popularity dropped 19.5 percent in 2017, after already falling 21.3 percent in 2016. 😮 (The Seattle Times, GeekWire)

When land costs too much… The number of locals who want to live aboard boats at the Shilshole Marina in Ballard has tripled since 2014. That makes a lot of sense when you consider what it costs to buy or rent on land these days. One marina resident, Elea Acheson, pays $750 a month to live in her $14,000 boat with her fiancé and baby. Of course, boat life gets pretty cramped pretty quick, and don’t think you can just scoop up a slip: The waitlist has never been longer. (The Seattle Times)

Gettin’ hitched? Here’s a roundup of 21 great venues to tie the knot in our region — from The Wayfarer up on Whidbey Island to Thornewood Castle Bed and Breakfast down in Lakewood. (Curbed Seattle)

The Bag Lady is an urgent reckoning. She adorns her Black, queer, female body with trash bags—the accrual of discarded lives—and asks us to listen. Learn More ».
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Things to do

Check out this event from our advertiser, Gates Foundation Discovery Center .

🌍 Celebrate Africa Day at the Discovery Center! Celebrate unity & progress in Africa at the Gates Foundation's Discovery Center. Enjoy music curated by One Vibe Africa & taste African food. Free.


📹  Wednesday: Sharpen your video storytelling skills at the next Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

🙏  May 23: Meditate with the help of a brain tracking app at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

Want to partner on your event with us? Here’s how.



🗣 Hear from WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson about discriminatory housing (Downtown)
💡 Find out how Seattle can welcome newcomers without displacing lifelong residents (South Lake Union)


🗣 Hear from author Yaa Gyasi about “Homegoing,” the novel all of Seattle is reading – through May 17 (Central District)
🍸 Get a little tipsy and relive prom night (Capitol Hill)
💪 Learn how to tell captivating stories through video at this Evergrey partner event (Pioneer Square)
🗣 Hear author Jes Baker’s experiences growing up fat and loving her body (Seward Park)


👋 Party with Seattle’s Norwegian community for Syttende Mai (Ballard)
🗣 Hear awesome, 5-minute stories at Ignite Seattle (Capitol Hill)
🍸 Sip on cocktails and visit a DIY mimosa bar (Downtown)
🍴 Take a walk and nibble on happy hour goodies (International District)
🎶 Unleash your inner emo kid at a sing-a-long (Central District)


🍿 Watch tons of good flicks at the Seattle International Film Festival — through June 10 (All over)
🎨 Dance to trap music and paint (Capitol Hill)
🍻 Cheers your beers to Bike Everywhere Month (Ballard)
🎟 See an “immersive installation of memory” about fighting erasure (Central District)
💡 Learn about the “adorable and unexpected” ways living things procreate & parent (University  District)


🍴 Check out pop-up shops and food carts at a night market (South Lake Union)
🗣 Hear poems from Filipino Seattleites (International District)
🏞 Take a bike tour around the city and munch on doughnuts (Ballard)


🎳 Go bowling with the Seattle Sounders (West Seattle)
🎈 Take the family to play bingo with drag queens (Bitter Lake)
🎈 Hop on your bike to kick off Bicycle Sundays (Seward Park)
🏞 Run or walk a 5K, then splash around at the beach (West Seattle)

Going to one of these?

Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership.


The heat broke records on Mother’s Day, and it’s going to stay nice today, with temps in the high 70s. We’ll just leave this Curbed Seattle list of the best outdoor swimming spots right here.

Have a good one, all. — The Evergrey

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