Weekly Reader

Friday, June 19, 2020

Economic Development
The State average wage increased to $69,000 equating to a 6.7% increase in calendar year 2019. Click here for the full release from the Employment Security Department.

This is from the National Association of Home Builders newsletter. “The Federal Reserve Board recently released its Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households. The report provided results from the responses to the 2019 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED), as well as from responses to a follow-up survey conducted in April 2020. Surveyed items included income, employment, dealing with expenses, banking and credit, housing, education, and retirement.”

Transportation
The CWCOG is hosting a meeting of the Freight Advisory Committee for the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Planning Organization on June 24 at 2 pm as an electronic meeting. Sheri Call with the Washington Trucking Association will be the keynote speaker for the event. Call the office for login information should you have interest in attending.

The Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Planning Organization accepted the final draft of the Electric Vehicle Readiness and Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Plan prepared by the CWCOG. The CWCOG Board of Directors will consider the same plan on June 25 at its regular meeting. The document is a planning resource for region agencies and organizations to assist in preparing for changes resulting from the adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles in the coming years. Click here for access to the final draft that will be considered for final acceptance next week. Following CWCOG Board of Directors action, the plan will be set in final form and posted on the CWCOG Website.

Here is an article on a possible approach to autonomous vehicles and the delivery of freight. According to the article from FleetOwner, we might see one driver with two truck setups that improve overall efficiencies of freight movement. Click here for the story.

Community Development / Other

Here is an article pulled from the ICMA SmartBrief newsletter titled Educate Yourself About Race to be a Better Leader. The ICMA overview about the article follows. “White leaders can learn how to be allies to their black colleagues and employees by listening deeply, reading informative books, participating in anti-racist events and checking in with black friends, writes Scott Eblin. He offers four stages of awareness that he and other people will travel through, starting with “unconscious incompetence.”

What is Juneteenth? Juneteenth seems to me to be getting much more visibility this year. There are a number of events nationwide and some companies are making it a paid holiday. Here is an article from Industry Week on Freedom Day. History is an interesting topic and it amazes me constantly how it can be rewritten as new information and perspectives are brought to bear. The Juneteenth celebrations in Seattle and hosted by the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Black Lives Matter – Seattle King County, Tabor 100 and the FW Black Collective  stated their purpose  for the event is to honor and remember a special milestone in black history: June 19, 1865. According to the source “On this day, African Americans forced into slavery in the United States were officially and legally free (ish).” I am hopeful that each of us will embrace this day in black history as an important day in American history as well and support the ongoing efforts for racial equality. We should be there by now, but sadly, we are not. This is my initial effort to promote a better understanding of racial differences in our efforts to improve relationships and break down systemic racism. Over the last few weeks, I have gained some new understanding of the ongoing challenges faced by so many in our country, but I have much to learn. What can we do together to take the next little step?

In my reading this week, I spent extra time exploring racial equity and ran across a couple of items that might be of interest on this topic. The first is on the history of Juneteenth, the second in from PBS on the meaning of Juneteenth and the third is on the racial history of the Grandfather Clause. There are more out there for your research.

The Census Bureau recently announced it had completed delivery of 2020 Census Materials to 96% of households  According to the Census Bureau “Census workers have completed 96% of the 2020 Census “Update Leave” operation- where 2020 Census invitations and paper questionnaires are delivered to households in certain — often rural — areas across the country. In these areas, most households generally do not receive mail at their homes, so census workers drop off census materials in person. When the operation is complete, nearly every household nationwide will have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census either in the mail or from a census worker. Click here for the full release.