Public Hearing on the Shooting of Charleena Lyles; Good Economic Indicators for Employers and Employees; Rental Inspection Ordinance; Pride Parade

June 23rd, 2017


Public Hearing on Officer Involved Shooting of Charleena Lyles

The tragic shooting death of Charleena Lyles, a mother of four young children, last weekend is a stark reminder of how the calls for police reform nationally must continue to be addressed by Seattle locally.

On Tuesday I attended the vigil for Ms. Lyles and heard the stories from family members telling the story of how loved Ms. Lyles was by her family and how those family members would not rest without answers and justice for Ms. Lyles.  It was there that I responded to the call for a public hearing with my commitment that the Council would hold one.  At times like these, when our institutions have failed our public, it is the responsibility of elected officials to allow the public to face us with their anger and their pain as they quest for answers, justice, and above all, change.

Wednesday evening I attended a private meeting hosted by Solid Ground Director, Gordon McHenry, to hear from the residents of Brettler Place and the other residences near where Ms. Lyles and her children lived.  The residents were given a chance to address each Director McHenry, Mayor Murray, and Chief O’Toole.  I was joined by Councilmember Rob Johnson, Reps Gerry Pollet and Javier Valdez from the 46th District, Brianna Thomas from Councilmember Gonzalez’s office (who was away caring for her mother), and Seattle Human Services Department Director Catherine Lester.

Today, Councilmember González, Chair of the Council’s Safe Communities Committee (GESCNA) announced a GESCNA Committee-hosted town hall forum in response to community calls for a public hearing around the recent death of Charleena Lyles.  Here is an excerpt from the release:

“Lyles, a Sand Point resident, was shot and killed following the response to her call to the Seattle Police Department to report a burglary on Sunday, June 18.  An investigation into the shooting is currently underway.

In partnership with the Community Police Commission and community based organizations, Councilmember González will host the public forum at University of Washington’s Kane Hall in Room 130 on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. Members of the public will have the opportunity to address Councilmembers with their thoughts and concerns.

The forum will be moderated by the Office for Civil Rights Director Patricia C. Lally and livestreamed online at SeattleChannel.org/live.

WHAT:
Public Hearing on officer involved shooting of Charleena Lyles

WHEN:
Tuesday, June 27
6 p.m.

WHERE:
University of Washington
Kane Hall, Room 130
4069 Spokane Lane
Seattle, WA 98105

WHO:
Councilmember M. Lorena González (Chair of GESCNA)
Councilmembers
Members of the Community Police Commission
Public

Good Economic Indicators for Employers and Employees – 2 New Reports

Last Tuesday marked the three-year anniversary of the passage of Seattle’s historic $15 per hour minimum wage. The Seattle Office of Economic Development released a report on several economic indicators showing that Seattle’s economy is continuing to grow and unemployment is at a historic low of 2.6%.

Additionally, the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment out of Berkeley released a study which analyzes data before and after the new wages went into effect, and “finds no evidence of job loss in the city’s restaurant industry, even as pay reached $13 for workers in large companies…

“The results of the UC Berkeley analysis show that wages in Seattle’s food service industry increased because of the minimum wage law. The wage increase was less pronounced in full-service restaurants, suggesting that restaurants took advantage of the new tip credit included in the city’s minimum ordinance.”

Professor Michael Reich, is the lead author of the report. I invited, and he accepted, to present his findings to the Council this coming Monday, June 26 at 9:30am.

Update to Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance

The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO) was passed by the Seattle City Council in 2013 to help ensure that all rental housing in Seattle is safe. Starting in 2014, all rental property owners in Seattle became required to register their properties with the City. Inspectors make sure all registered properties comply with minimum housing and safety standards at least once every 10 years.

In 2016, the City Council adopted a Statement of Legislative Intent (SLI) 25-2-A-2, because of big problems with how the program was working.  You may remember reports of properties with severe code violations that had passed its RRIO inspection despite those violations.

On Tuesday 6/20/17, the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee (PLUZ) voted on Council Bill (CB) 118974, to make changes to the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO).

The legislation originally sent to Council proposed the following:

  • Require inspection reports from private inspectors so SDCI knows what properties have problems. Previously, owners were not required to submit these reports, so the SDCI was not aware of the problems private inspectors would find.
  • Modify the percentage of units selected for inspection so that more units in multi-family buildings are sampled for inspection.
  • Add requirements related to lead paint, carbon monoxide alarms, minimum fire and safety requirements for exiting, improving security standards for exterior doors.

In response to concerns from stakeholders including tenants and landlord advocacy groups, I proposed the following amendments, all of which were voted out of Committee.

  1. Selecting Additional Units for Inspection. This amendment will adopt specific criteria to require that more units are inspected when initial units fail their inspection under certain circumstances. While SDCI has the authority under RRIO to require inspection of additional units when a unit has failed, SDCI has not used that authority and it has resulted in buildings continuing to pass their inspection when they clearly should not pass.  
  2. Reduce “Gaming” the Inspection Process. This amendment will shorten the identification of the specific units selected for inspection, while observing tenants’ legal rights to receive advance notice, in order to reduce the current practice of rush repairs being made to pass inspection while obscuring the inspector’s awareness of likely larger problems in the rest of the building.
  3. Tenant notification. This amendment will require the inspector to notify tenants, following an inspection, whether the unit passed or failed, information for how to contact SDCI for questions, and a tenant survey.
  4. Adjusting RRIO Program Fees. This amendment asks SDCI to evaluate and address any imbalances in the fee structure for small landlords while continuing to set fees to cover the cost of administering this program. SDCI is preparing RRO program fee adjustments in 2019. This amendment is in response to both concerns that (1) the fees are overly burdensome for smaller landlords; and (2) the fees will not fully cover the costs of administering the RRIO program.

The Full Council will vote on the final legislation on Monday, July 10, 2017, at 2pm.

LGBTQ Pride Parade

Seattle City Council 2017 Pride

This year marks the 43rd year of the Seattle Pride Parade. It will be held at 11:00 AM, on Sunday June 25.   The theme for this year’s Pride will be “Indivisible” –  a single word that conveys the core principle of our nation.  Shouldn’t “We the People” mean that inclusion and intersectionality make us stronger?

The parade will last about 2.5 hours, starting along 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle and ending at Second Avenue and Denny Way near Seattle Center. Viewers are encouraged to watch the parade from the sidewalks, leaving the street open for the parade.  Bring your water bottles and sunscreen because the weather is expected to be HOT!

One Center City Update and Potential West Seattle Impacts

one center city timeline

Since late 2016, the  One Center City working group has been meeting to coordinate management of a high volume of changes coming to Downtown transportation between 2017 and 2013. The working group includes SDOT, Sound Transit, King County Metro, and the Downtown Seattle Association. Different government agencies would implement elements of the proposal.

Upcoming projects in that time frame include the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and opening of the SR 99 tunnel; the closure of the Downtown Transit Tunnel to buses with the arrival of light rail to Northgate, Lynnwood and the Eastside; the re-opening of Alaskan Way; a 1st Avenue Streetcar; a Bus Rapid Transit line on Madison; and the proposed Convention Center expansion (see chart above).

On June 8 One Center City released a “Proposed Near-term Projects” plan; you can download the pdf file here. While most of the proposals affect Downtown, some of the projects could impact West Seattle bus access to Downtown.

The proposal includes potential changes to rush-hour only Routes 37, 56 and 57 in the Alki, Admiral and Alaska Junction neighborhoods, as well as to buses from White Center and Burien (see slide 23), by re-routing buses onto to go by the Pioneer Square Light Rail Station on 3rd Avenue, then proceed eastbound to First Hill.

King County Metro will begin a public engagement about these potential service revisions beginning in July.

A second potential impact on West Seattle service would be during 2019, when the Alaskan Way Viaduct is closed. Buses such as the C Line that currently access Downtown via the Alaskan Way Viaduct will access Downtown by Alaskan Way when it reopens in 2020. However, this leaves a gap of around a year where buses will need to be re-routed. In my discussions with SDOT and King County Metro, 1st Avenue and 4th Avenue have been mentioned as potential options, but there isn’t a specific proposal yet.

A potential concern is regarding the construction of the 1st Avenue Streetcar project. SDOT is planning to phase work in conjunction with Viaduct removal, though it will need to be well managed to avoid any delays; any work on 1st Avenue must be completed or paused if West Seattle bus routes such as the C Line are re-routed onto 1st Avenue during 2019-2020.

Help Save the Reading Partners Tutoring Program at Highland Park Elementary

I learned from a constituent this week that the Reading Partners tutoring program at Highland Park Elementary in West Seattle is facing elimination due to budget cuts. The volunteer tutors need $30,000 to continue. July 15 is the fundraising deadline– donations collected only if the goal is met. Please contribute, to benefit children’s future success!  Here is her “lively one-minute video to illustrate why the program is so compelling. Raising reading scores is crucial, but it’s more than that.”

Save Highland Park Reading Partners

And here is how you can support the program:  https://www.gofundme.com/Save-RP-at-HP

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LSG Sky Chefs: Taking a Stand; Fixing Our Broken Tax Structure; MHA Displacement; Help Columbia City Theater; West Seattle Greenway Meetings

June 16th, 2017


LSG Sky Chefs – City and Union Take a Stand

Today, I wrote letters to each Alaska Airlines, Lufthansa, American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines.  Each airline has hubs serviced by a company called LSG Sky Chefs. LSG Sky Chefs provides catering and much of the food on these airlines as well as others, and is a subsidiary of German airline Lufthansa.  They also produce some food sold at 7-Eleven convenience stores.

At those three airlines alone, last year LSG Sky Chefs served over 126 million passengers.  Maybe you flew one of these airlines this year & ordered a Sky Chefs meal?  I did.

So, why did I write to these 5 airlines?  LSG Sky Chefs employees work in my Council District 1, in a West Seattle facility. In early January, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) ruled that LSG Sky Chefs failed to pay workers the correct minimum wage going back to 2015, and totaling $335,000 in back wages and fines.  OLS even gave LSG Sky Chefs a break on the fine if they agreed to pay what they owed these workers.

LSG Sky Chefs is accused in several other jurisdictions including: San Francisco, San Diego, Denver, and Miami. The loss of wages total $12 million according to a recent report from Unite Here, the union representing LSG Sky Chef workers.

Wages

In the West Seattle case, LSG Sky Chefs admits that it did not pay employees the minimum wage, but asserts that Seattle’s minimum wage is preempted by the Railway Labor Act (RLA). However, per the U.S. Supreme Court, the RLA “does not undertake governmental regulation of wages, hours or working conditions.” LSG Sky Chefs also argued that “the Minimum Wage Ordinance did not apply between April 1, 2015 and January 7, 2016 as the result of conflict preemption because it was engaged in collective bargaining…” However, the City of Seattle argues that there is no legal basis for LSG Sky Chefs’ argument and that they are required to pay its Seattle employees the minimum wage.

On Monday LSG Sky Chefs motion to dismiss the case was denied by the Hearing Examiner.

 


Fixing Our Broken Tax Structure

Here’s an update on my efforts to address our inequitable tax system. Did you know that, in Washington State, people earning $20,000 a year devote two entire months of pay to their yearly tax bill, while the top one percent pay their annual tax bill in only six days?  Not only do we have the number one most regressive tax structure in the nation, but we also rate second worst in the nation in transparency and ninth worst in stability.   We neither know how much we pay each year as tax payers nor can we reliably predict how much revenue our state and our city will collect from year to year.

To address this, I introduced Resolution 31747, expressing the City’s intent to adopt a progressive income tax for high-income households. The Council unanimously adopted the resolution in early May. This week, I, along with Mayor Murray and co-sponsor Councilmember Sawant, announced a council bill that, if passed, will implement the goals of the Council’s Resolution 31747, and shift Seattle toward to more progressive and sustainable tax structure. Here’s a link to the draft council bill, and a summary sheet.

The May 31 committee meeting of the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance (AHNF) Committee included a presentation by prominent local economist Dick Conway, who detailed the regressive nature of our tax system, and its lack of fairness, transparency, and stability.  The Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee held their most recent briefing and public hearing on Wednesday, June 14, in the City Council chambers. There will be additional opportunities to testify before the Council in future AHFN Committee meetings and Full Council.  The next opportunity will be next Wednesday, June 21 at the 9:30 am AHFN committee meeting.  To sign up for future committee agendas, see here.

The council bill, as proposed, would place a two percent tax on total annual income over $250,000 for individuals, and, for joint filers, a two percent tax over annual income of $500,000. As an example, for an individual with $300,000 in income, only the $50,000 over the $250,000 threshold would be taxable.

The draft council bill specifies that use of the revenues would be restricted to: (1) lowering the property tax burden and the impact of other regressive taxes; (2) replacing federal funding currently received by the City that may be lost due to federal budget cuts; (3) providing public services such as housing, education, and transit; (4) creating green jobs and meeting carbon reduction goals; and (5) the cost of implementing and administering the new City income tax.

The tax would apply to income received after January 1, 2018 and would not be collected until 2019. Early estimates indicate it would raise approximately $125 million. It would apply to Seattle residents only.

The Department of Financial and Administrative Services (FAS) would be responsible for administering the tax, including the future development of more detailed rules for implementation. Only residents with incomes over the thresholds would be required to file with the City. They would file their total income as listed on line 22 on IRS form 1040.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) has found Washington State’s existing tax structure to be the most regressive in the nation, disproportionately hitting low-income households. ITEP found in 2015 that state and local taxes paid by the 20 percent of Washington families with the lowest incomes amounted to 16.8 percent of their income. In contrast, the tax burden for the top one percent of families with the highest incomes was 2.4 percent of their income.

Resolution 31747 noted that legal viability would be the City Council’s primary consideration in developing and constructing the legislation.

 


Displacement in the MHA Draft Environmental Impact Statement

On June 8, the Office of Planning and Community Development released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) as a necessary step before the Mayor proposes and the Council considers legislation to implement a Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program city-wide including in District 1: Westwood-Highland Park, South Park, West Seattle Junction, Admiral, and Morgan Junction.

As a recap, in order to implement MHA citywide, the Council would have to pass legislation to change zoning to allow a small amount of additional development capacity in Urban Villages and Commercial Zones throughout the city. In exchange for this additional development capacity, the City would require developers using that additional capacity to contribute to affordable housing.

A key component of the DEIS includes the analysis and evaluation of displacement as requested under Resolution 31733. This was a resolution that I authored and sponsored to make sure that the Council was on the record declaring its “intent to consider strategies to mitigate any loss of subsidized affordable units and naturally occurring affordable units resulting from an increase in development capacity.”

Chapter 3.1 Housing and Socioeconomics of the DEIS contains the full analysis used to evaluate whether the proposed city-wide upzones would: (1) increase or decrease direct displacement due to demolition; and (2) either introduce or accelerate a trend of changing socioeconomic conditions that may potentially displace vulnerable populations.  The analysis looks at both physical and economic displacement. Physical Displacement is defined as displacement that occurs when acquisition, rehabilitation, or demolition of propriety requires a household to move from their place of residence.  Economic Displacement occurs when residents can no longer afford escalating housing costs.

Key Findings, Physical Displacement

  1. Based on Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance (TRAO) data, about 17 households under 50 percent Area Median Income (AMI) were displaced per 100 demolitions. My note: relying too heavy on this finding is problematic. Low income households are considered to be those households under 80% AMI (see chart). This analysis does not include low income households earning more than 50% AMI (see chart) that may have been displaced nor does it include other low income households that are ineligible for TRAO, such as low income, unrelated individuals that share housing expenses but ae not considered a household under the law.  These numbers of uncounted displaced residents are likely to be significant.rent and AMI
  2. Census tracts with more housing production were slightly more likely to gain households with incomes at or below 50 percent of AMI (see chart). My note: this is likely a result of low income housing funds & development being focused in those areas.
  3. The evaluation of physical displacement concludes that historical analysis indicates that net new housing production has not been associated with a loss of low income households at the census tract scale. Conversely, the study states that tracts that have received more net housing production were more likely to see increases in low income households during the period of analysis. This finding applies to tracts in all displacement risk and access to opportunity typologies. My note: I’m concerned that the issue raised in #1 above relates to this finding as well. How does one calculate net “increases in low income households,” if all low income units demolished are not being counted?
  4. Very few census tracts in high displacement risk areas experienced a loss of low-income households, but many census tracts with low displacement risk lost low income households. The study states that this indicates that displacement can occur in all areas of the city and may not be more likely to occur in areas classified as high displacement risk.

Key Findings, Economic Displacement

  1. Overall, Seattle has seen an increase in income disparity.
  2. Between 2000 and 2013, the number of high income households (above 120 percent AMI, see chart) and extremely low income households (below 30 percent AMI, see chart) grew the fastest.
  3. Seattle lost households with low- to middle-incomes (60-120 percent AMI, see chart).
  4. Areas with high displacement risk and low access to opportunity, such as Bitter Lake and Othello, were the fastest to gain extremely low income households (below 30 percent AMI) and very low income households (30 to 60 percent AMI, see chart); but it is unclear if this can be attributed to development of low income housing.
  5. Areas with high displacement risk and high access to opportunity such as Columbia City and Northgate gained households with incomes (between 80 and 120 percent AMI, see chart) while other areas of the city saw loses.
  6. The study claims that loss of low income households does not correlate with areas of rapid housing development, although the data used does not reflect the most recent development boom. Census tracts that experienced more net housing production were more likely to gain low income households.

Based on these findings, the Draft EIS identifies three new alternatives using the SEPA process to test and construct a program that would ultimately be proposed for action by the City Council to mitigate displacement. These alternatives may be modified and/or a preferred alternative may be identified in the Final EIS.

Next week I’ll provide a short summary of how each alternative differs and additional analysis on the displacement findings.

 


Arts Update: Help Columbia City Theater

columbia city theater

Please consider supporting this fundraising campaign to pay for some long overdue repairs, add a new marquee & awning out front, upgrade sound and lighting technology, and create the capacity to smoothly execute an ownership transition to a new leadership team with deep roots in the South Seattle music community.

 


West Seattle Greenway meetings, June 17th and 21st

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has released a “most promising route” for the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway. The route they identify goes from 30th Ave SW and SW Roxbury Street to 42nd Ave SW and SW Edmunds Street. It was selected from options released last year. The route reflects the Bicycle Master Plan, which calls for a neighborhood greenway primarily on 34th, 36th and 37th, and public comments.

SDOT will host two drop-in meetings during the coming week:

  • Saturday, June 17: 10 – 11:30 AM
    Uptown Espresso
    4301 SW Edmunds St
  • Wednesday, June 21: 5:30 – 7 PM
    Southwest Public Library
    9010 35th Ave SW

In addition, an online survey will be available at the project webpage from June 17-July 9.  The project contact is Dan Anderson, you can reach him at westseattlegreenway@seattle.gov.

Information about neighborhood greenways is available at the project webpage; here’s a link to information about the Delridge/Highland Park Greenway.

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South Park Public Safety Task Force; MHA Amendments & Upzones; Your Voice, Your Choice Voting through June 30; Pulse Vigil; Office Hours

June 9th, 2017


South Park Public Safety Task Force Update

During the 2017 budget process, Councilmember González and I co-sponsored a budget action to create a South Park Public Safety Task Force during 2017. South Park had the 3rd highest number of gunshots reported in Seattle neighborhoods during 2016, and the highest increase over 2015, according to Seattle Police Department data.

The purpose of the task force is to formulate and report to Council recommendations regarding the public safety and vitality of that neighborhood, including strategies that reflect the unique situations or dynamics of the neighborhood and are culturally and linguistically responsive data-driven approach to improving the City’s relations to and effectiveness with the South Park neighborhood.

The task force had its first meeting in May, and went over designed outcomes for the task force, and vision for South Park. Areas identified include more police visibility, youth development opportunities, lighting, open communication, drug houses, as well as various items re: the business district.

Meetings will continue over the next few months, with a final report due in September, in advance of the commencement of the Council’s budget process for the 2018 budget. The report will go to Councilmember González’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee.

 


CID MHA Amendments and Johnson Report on SLU/Downtown MHA Opt-in

Chinatown / International District

On Tuesday, the Planning, Land Use and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee held its fourth meeting to discuss the proposed legislation for the Chinatown and International District (CID) mandatory housing affordability (MHA) upzones.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the PLUZ committee voted on an important amendment to Council Bill 118959 to expand the size of the International Special Review District (ISRD) sponsored by Councilmember Rob Johnson, the PLUZ Committee Chair.   This amendment will allow the ISRD the authority – in a larger geographic area – to make recommendations that preserve the District’s unique Asian American character and to encourage rehabilitation of areas for housing and pedestrian-oriented businesses.

I am also sponsoring one additional amendment that will come to Full Council in July.  The amendment to Council Bill 118959 will allow developers an additional 10 extra feet of height to projects with 10 or more units affordable to very low-income households (30-50% of Area Median Income). Normally, the MHA units produced through performance and or payment must be used on units at or below 60%. I am offering this amendment to incentivize market rate developers to develop units with even deeper affordability. C/ID residents have asked for deeper affordability to ensure those currently living in the CID can remain living there.

In addition, we voted on a variety of amendments for the companion Resolution 31754. I worked with community members in the Chinatown/International District (C/ID) on several of these amendments, which passed unanimously out of committee, here are a few highlights:

  1. A commitment to business community stakeholders to develop strategies to promote economic development and commercial stability;
  2. Consideration of specific changes to the ISRD rules and guidelines including:
    • Reducing the maximum permitted size of retail uses;
  3. Specifying important characteristics of storefront entrances and their spacing;
    • Amending the list of conditional uses;
    • Applying limits to formula retail uses;
    • Allowing administrative review for minor changes to buildings, rather than ISRD board review;
    • Providing authority to the ISRD board to grant departures from Land Use Code requirements; and
    • Changing the structure of the ISRD board; and
  4. The addition of two anti-displacement strategies for the C/ID. The first is exploring opportunities to reuse publicly owned property for affordable housing development in the neighborhood. The second is exploring creation of a new Unreinforced Masonry Preservation pilot to increase the supply of affordable housing in vacant floors of buildings in the Chinatown/International District. The pilot program could be funded through either MHA funds from developers, proceeds from the $29 million housing bond approved by the Council in the 2017 budget, or by creating a new targeted growth fund with revenues from an increment of increased property tax revenue from future growth.

Responding to the requests for additional time from many members of the C/ID, the PLUZ committee vote the bill out of committee, but not send the legislation straight to Full Council as is the practice.  The intent it to support additional community engagement with community members. Groups like Humbows Not Hotels are doing fantastic organizing work in the C/ID and I want to support them and their work.  I am also interested in using the extra time to work with PLUZ committee members and Executive staff to increase the developer requirements to contribute to affordable housing.

I appreciate that Councilmember Johnson agreed to delay the Full Council vote on this legislation despite his concerns that delays may lead to projects in the C/ID not having the opportunity to “opt in” to MHA and contribute to affordable housing.  There are currently about 55 projects in the development pipeline located in the C/ID.  You may recall that last month Councilmember Johnson released a statement that said, “developers from seven already-permitted building construction projects have begun the process to opt-in to the new Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program in Downtown and South Lake Union.  Contingent on Department approval, those projects could result in a staff-estimated $25 million of payments for affordable housing, which could result in 320 new affordable units (after MHA funds are leveraged with other dollars).”

I asked for additional information about this interest of developers to opt in voluntarily to MHA in South Lake Union and Downtown and voluntarily contribute to affordable housing.   I learned that since the Downtown / SLU rezone ordinance only just became effective the actual outcome from the opt-in provision is still essentially unknown, and specifically:

  1. While some current applications without issued Master Use Permits (MUPs) have shown alternatives to the Design Review Board that incorporate the additional development capacity, none of the approximately 7 projects that could opt-in have gotten to the point of actually formalizing their commitment to opt-in by getting an approved MUP or MUP revision  that utilize the extra development capacity; and anecdotal stories statements of interest are not guarantees of future action.  But I do hope these developers do voluntarily opt in!
  2. The $25 million estimate assumes maximum build out of a site, again despite the fact that we have no specific information about MUPs approved for maximum build out. In other words, the numbers assume that a developer who might at some later date opt in will use all of the additional capacity granted through the Downtown  / SLU rezone ordinance.  That also might not be the case.  We simply do not know.
  3. Further, even if these 7 projects were to either receive MUP decisions under MHA or submit and receive new MUPs for maximum build out of these seven locations, the $25 million estimate does not derive from MHA obligations. The $25M figure is not the addition from the added MHA increment.  The total from the MHA increment would be between $2.6M and $9.1M, the existing incentive zoning program accounts for the rest.  Each of these projects already (without some future possible voluntary opt-in to MHA affordable housing requirements) would contribute between $16M and $22M under their current MUPs, depending on what’s eventually built.

 


What’s New about the City Wide Proposed MHA Upzones?

Hot off the presses, the Office of Planning and Community Development published the Mandatory Housing Affordability Draft EIS on June 8, 2017. The comment period is open until July 23, 2017. Please comment using the online form, by email to MHA.EIS@seattle.gov, or by mail to:

Office of Planning and Community Development
Attn: MHA EIS
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

For more information about the environmental review process watch our What is an EIS? video. The Washington State Department of Ecology also has information about SEPA and the EIS process.

 


Remember to VOTE – Your Voice, Your Choice Voting through June 30

Public voting for the Your Voice, Your Choice “participatory budgeting” program has begun, and will be open through June 30th.   Here’s a map view of where the projects are located.

You and your neighbors can vote to award funding for the city’s Neighborhood Park and Street Fund, which funds street and park projects up to $90,000; $285,000 will be awarded for each of Seattle’s seven City Council Districts.  You can vote for a total of three projects and anyone age 13 and over can vote online. Eleven and 12 year-olds can vote in person.

If you want to vote online, go to the voting webpage, and select your Council District, then open the voters’ guide with information on the projects, and vote. Here’s a link to the District 1 voting webpage.

Paper ballots are also available at all community centers and libraries. If you need a paper ballot, please contact Kraig Cook at Kraig.Cook@seattle.gov or 206.256.5944.  The Your Voice, Your Choice main page includes multilingual instructions . Ballots will be tallied after June 30 and winning projects will be announced by July 18.

Events where you can vote are listed here on the “Vote in Person” tab. Here are upcoming locations where you can vote in person in District 1:

West Seattle Farmer’s Market
Sunday, June 11, 2017
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Farmers Market, 44th Ave SW & SW Alaska St or park at Alaska & 42nd Ave SW

Stewart Manor Resident Council Meeting
Monday, June 12, 2017
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Stewart Manor, 6339 34th Ave SW

Morgan Junction Festival
Saturday, June 17, 2017
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Morgan Junction Park, 6413 California Ave SW

Delridge Neighborhood District Council
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW

Here’s a link to the History of Participatory Budgeting in Seattle, which began with a youth-oriented focus in 2016, and allowed youth from 11-25 to vote.

 


Pulse Vigil, We Will Remember, 1 Year Anniversary

pulse 1 year anniversary

One year ago, on Monday June 12th, 49 people were killed and another 53 were wounded in an attack at an Orlando nightclub. At 7pm in Cal Anderson Park the community will come together to remember the victims and celebrate their lives. There will be music, and a reading of their names while we stand as a community in their honor.  Please bring signs, banners, friends and join us to stand in love.

 


In-District Office Hours

I will be at the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave S), Friday June 26th from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Please be sure to arrive no later than 6:30 pm, the final meeting of the day will begin at 6:30 p.m.

These hours are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming in advance you can email my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov).

Additionally, here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours. These are subject to change.

Date Location Address
Friday, July 21, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, August 18, 2017 Senior Center of West Seattle 4217 SW Oregon St
Friday, September 22, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
Friday, October 27, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, December 15, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
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Sweetened Drink Tax; South Park Pride Picnic; Highland Park Find It Fix It Walk & Roundabout Design Funding

June 1st, 2017


Sweetened Drink Tax

Yesterday, in the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee the public finally saw the newly proposed bill for the sweetened drink tax.  This has been an issue that I’ve been tracking closely for the last couple of months as I’ve had several concerns about not only how to spend projected revenue, but about the tax itself.

I voted no on the final package yesterday.  The bill will be heard and voted on at Full Council this coming Monday, June 5th.  The tax, if passed and enacted, will support a lot of good programs like addressing the food gap with Fresh Bucks (Fresh Bucks provides a dollar-for-dollar match on EBT (SNAP/Basic Food/Food Stamps) purchases (up to $10 per day) at participating farmers markets to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables), and funding Pre-K and Seattle College’s 13th Year.  I support those programs so I’m writing to let you to know why I voted in opposition to the tax that is proposed to fund them.

This kind of tax will always be a regressive tax, meaning that the tax burden of this kind of tax will always be greatest on those with lower incomes.  Despite my concern about our reliance on regressive taxes, and the fact that the Council is currently discussing passage of an income tax so that we can get out from under our regressive tax structure, I was still willing to consider supporting this tax.  Unfortunately, the bill that came out of committee isn’t only regressive, I feel that it is punitive to low income people and small businesses.  See here for why I feel this tax goes beyond acting as a deterrent like the taxes we levy on cigarettes, alcohol, and cannabis, but is actually punitive to consumers:

Sweetened Beverage Tax Proposal - 1

In addition, the tax as proposed in committee, has a racially disparate impact on people of color.  The Mayor and Council’s Racial Equity Toolkit (RET) analysis of the tax proposed only on sugary drinks and not diet drinks concluded that, “In contrast to these trends for sugary drinks, Whites and high-income Americans are more likely to drink diet soda compared to communities of color and low-income Americans.”  Consequently, in response to the RET findings, the Mayor wisely amended his proposal to include artificial sweeteners, in their report they wrote that: “including drinks with artificial sweeteners and lowering the overall tax, the impact will be spread across a broader cross-section of Seattle residents and will have smaller impact on low-income communities as businesses will not have to raise prices to the same extent.”

Due to my concerns with the proposal that was distributed to Councilmembers at 5pm on the Tuesday before the Wednesday meeting, my staff and I worked through the night to bring three amendments to committee on Wednesday morning:

  1. A reduction in the tax rate from 1 ¾ penny per fluid ounce to a more fiscally responsible and measured penny per fluid ounce.
  2. Prioritization of funding to programs that close the food security gap, as well as access to healthy food programs such as Fresh Bucks – over that of programs to support early childhood learning.
  3. Expansion of the definition of “sweetened beverage” to include taxation on beverages sweetened with non-caloric sweeteners (“diet” beverages), excluding zero-calorie natural sweeteners (e.g. Stevia).

Unfortunately, the amendments to significantly reduce the tax rate and include diet beverages failed at committee, but my amendment to prioritize nutrition and access to healthy food programs passed unanimously.  Councilmembers have argued for a higher per ounce tax because they feel that a higher tax will result in more consumers reducing their use of these products.  Healthy Food America says that a 10% tax results in a 10% reduction in use.  If that is true, my proposal still would have resulted in a nearly 27% reduction in use.  I have concerns basing our policy decisions on this 10% reduction formula because it is not clear that the data considers that jurisdictions with this tax, some people cross the jurisdictional boundary (like across Roxbury to the Safeway) to buy their soda.

Since the committee vote, I have learned that the City Budget Office (CBO) projects that a 1 cent per ounce tax that includes diet would raise $15.5 million in annual revenue. Alternatively, the package that was passed out of committee yesterday is projected to raise only $14.8 million a year with a 1.75 cent per ounce tax that does not include diet.

Sweetened Beverage Tax page 2 - HerboldI hope my colleagues on the Council will see, now that these new revenue projections are out, that my proposal not only raises additional revenue – more than the revenue raised by the version that moved out of committee – for important programs that we all support, but also reduces the negative impacts of this regressive tax on low income people, jobs, and small business, and in doing so creates a more responsible package that balances several important competing policy considerations.

 


South Park Pride Picnic

The 7th Annual South Park LGBTQ Pride Picnic is coming up this weekend. There will again be free tamales for the first 200 people to arrive, prepared by Carniceria el Paisano in White Center!

There will be several local performers including Carlos Cascante and his band Tumbao, EmCee Isabella of Noche Latina, Aunt Betty Malone of Rainbow Bingo, and the Sisters of the Motherhouse of Washington.

When: Sunday, June 4, 2017.
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Where: Duwamish Waterway Park 7900 10th Avenue S

Check out the Facebook event and RSVP here.

 


Highland Park Find It Fix It Walk & Roundabout Design Funding

Last Thursday, May 25, I participated in the Find It, Fix It community walk in the Highland Park neighborhood in West Seattle. Here’s a map of the walking route, which was focused on SW Holden between 9th and 16th.

Find It Fix It walks provide an opportunity for community members to identify neighborhood needs and discuss challenges directly with City leaders.

The first stop was at Riverview Playfield. Paul West noted the Parks Department will be rebuilding the restroom this summer that was damaged in an arson, and also talked about the need to replace the telephone poles adjacent to the park, which prevent cars from driving on and damaging fields. He also talked about trails in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, and noted their Facebook page, with a website coming soon.

The second stop focused on speeding through residential streets between 9th Avenue SW and 16th Avenue SW. Alan Robertson noted that Highland Park Way is one of only three east/west access points to the peninsula (if you could the upper and lower West Seattle Bridge as one access point). As a result, lots of traffic comes through the neighborhood from and to other neighborhoods in West Seattle. Backups on SW Holden often result in motorists driving on side streets at high speeds.

SDOT’s Jim Curtin noted that the speed limit on non-arterial streets have been reduced from 25 to 20 mph, which allows SDOT to deploy traffic calming measures in a more streamlined fashion, and allows SPD to do more vigorous enforcement. He also noted that a 2016 Neighborhood Park and Street fund project for a traffic circle at 12th and Kenyon is moving forward, and currently in design. He further noted that in 2017, a raised crosswalk will be added at SW Myrtle Street, a curb bulb and flashing beacons @ Kenyon Street; SDOT is looking at flashing beacon @ SW Webster Street. He also noted a project under consideration in the Neighborhood Street Fund “Your Voice Your Choice” process is for crossing improvements at SW Henderson and 11st SW, near Highland Park Elementary. SDOT also noted the presence of the crosswalk with curb bulbs and flashing beacons at 11th and SW Holden was a community-generated project.

The walk then went to talk about the intersection at Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden. The community has long advocated for a solution for pedestrian and motorist safety at this intersection, which has seen numerous recent accidents; Michele Witzki noted the community has requested action at the intersection dating back to 1941. During last year’s Neighborhood Street Fund process the community proposed a traffic roundabout (as they had in 2013), and SDOT did a conceptual design. It was the highest-rated project of the Delridge District Council, but wasn’t selected in the final city approvals, in part due to the cost.

Highland park roundabout

I’ve worked with the Mayor on locating funding for initial design work, and announced that SDOT will be dedicating $200,000 of existing funds to advance design for a roundabout, to improve safety and alleviate congestion by improving traffic flow, which could also help lower the incidence of drivers using side streets. Thanks to Mayor Murray and SDOT for agreeing to do this work, which should make it easier to apply for grants. Earlier that day, SDOT met with representatives of the state Transportation Improvement Board on-site about applying for a construction grant, and they were bullish on the project according to SDOT.

The other item discussed at that location was about the February landslide, which closed Highland Park Way for a few days.

I did some research during the first quarter supplemental budget process, and found that in 2000, SDOT performed a risk assessment for slope hazards for landslides on arterial streets in Seattle. The assessment rated 24 locations as high priority; however, only 7 have had proactive mitigation work done, since a majority of the approximately $500,000 allocated annually since then has been used for reactive work in other locations.

I’ve been working with the City Budget Office to advance funding to accelerate this work. Here’s a link to a letter I distributed during the committee discussion.

For Highland Park Way, SDOT says they are periodically monitoring the site and has asked for a small amount of additional funding for this site ($60K, lumped in with the other landslide mitigation requests) in the 2018 budget to install a rock buttress and ecology block wall in the right-of-way.   I will try to get that funding this year instead in the second quarter supplemental budget legislation.

The next stop was at the staircase on the north side of the street at SW Holden and 14th Avenue SW, with a review of the condition of the staircase, and needed maintenance.  The final stop was at the surplus City Light property on the southwest corner of 16th Avenue SW and SW Holden Street. Business owner Jenni Watkins and resident Beth Adrisevic talked about the intersection, and the property. The lack of a left turn signal was noted, an issue which also affects traffic onto side streets.

In late 2015, the community requested that City Light not immediately sell the property, to allow the community time to pursue a rezone to allow for a mixed-use housing development with an opportunity for low-income housing and/or commercial uses, which the community lacks. Then Councilmember Tom Rasmussen removed this location from legislation placing the property for sale. Last year I asked OPCD Director Sam Aseffa to include this property in the MHA rezones, and he agreed. That process is ongoing.

Here’s a link to the Seattle Channel’s video of the walk.

 

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Regarding the Shooting on Alki; SOCR Commission Work Plan and Expansion; Police Accountability; Fair Chance Housing Taskforce; In-District Office Hours

May 26th, 2017


Regarding the Shooting on Alki

Councilmember Gonzalez held her Gender Equity, Safe Communities, and New American’s committee this morning.  On the agenda was a presentation about the Seattle Police Department’s response to gun violence.  Although I am not a member of the committee, understanding how deeply our community was impacted by this tragic event, I attended in order to ask questions about the shooting last night in Alki as well as inquire about SPD’s response to what I feel has become chronic gun activity in Delridge and South Park.

If you would like to watch the committee meeting on line you may find it linked here. Here’s a link to the presentation materials.

You can see on slide 6 that, year to date, with 27 shots fired, the Southwest Precinct has the 2nd greatest number of shots fired in the City, a distant 2nd from the South precincts 72 shots fired. The vast majority of those shots fired in the Southwest Precinct are in the Delridge and South Park areas.  But because of a concern I share with the community about increases in violent activity on Alki in summer months, at today’s meeting I asked for increased police patrols as well as deployment of SPD’s mobile precinct.  After Wednesday’s meeting, in response to my request at the meeting, Assistant Chief Steve Wilskie in Patrol Operations contacted me to say that they will also be deploying the Mobile Precinct to Alki through the Memorial Day weekend. Their annual Alki bicycle patrol/foot patrol emphasis is also in place for the remainder of the summer. Finally, starting on May 25, 2017, the Southwest Community Police Team officers will be doing outreach to both businesses and neighborhood organizations along Alki.

My staff, earlier this year inquired with the Alki Community Council whether or not they had interest in co-sponsoring a forum to discuss public safety on Alki in the summer months.  My hope was to do an event in advance of summer.  Nevertheless, I would still be interested in doing such an event.  Let me know what you think.

SOCR Commission Work Plan and Expansion

On Tuesday, the Seattle Office of Civil Rights’ (SOCR) four commissions—the Seattle People with disABILITIES Commission, the Seattle Women’s Commission, the Seattle LGBTQ Commission, and the Seattle Human Rights Commission— attended my Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts (CRUEDA) Committee to discuss their 2017 work plans as well as legislation that would expand the commissions’ size. The commissions’ work plans outline the tasks and policy goals each commission intends to accomplish for the year. For 2017, each of the commissions highlighted advocating for affordable housing and equitable development. Other issues of general focus among the commissions include improving public health by advocating for safe consumption sites and supporting additional shelter for the city’s homeless population. Additional information regarding the commissions’ work plans and the presentation is here.

The four SOCR Commissions also presented to the CRUEDA committee legislation that would increase each commission’s membership from 16 to 21 members. This request came directly from the commissions, which believe additional commissioners would help them better effectuate their work as advisory bodies to the Mayor and City Council. Because the commissioners are unpaid volunteers, this proposal does not have any budget implications, and the commissions were clear that they are not asking for additional paid staff. By expanding the number of commission seats, this proposal will increase opportunities for civically engaged Seattle residents and workers to participate in making the city a more equitable place. The meeting materials are available here.

The proposed legislation will be discussed and a possible vote on Tuesday, June 13th at 9:30a.

Police Accountability

This week the Seattle City Council made important improvements to our police accountability system. I support strong police oversight, and co-sponsored the police oversight and accountability legislation. Under the leadership of Chair Lorena Gonzalez, the Council passed legislation, among other things, creating a new Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and making the Community Police Commission (CPC) a permanent body as well as amended the bill to commit to providing the resources sufficient to enable the OIG and CPC to perform all its responsibilities.

The function of the CPC is critical to the success of police accountability reform in Seattle. The 2012 Consent Decree process was begun in 2010 when community groups sent a complaint to the US Department of Justice about excessive use of force; it is important that the community retain an important seat at the table.

I have worked with the CPC over the last few months to propose amendments to the legislation to strengthen Council Bill 118969 as follows:

  • I proposed increasing the representation of the CPC to a minimum of 25% for the search committees for the new position of Inspector General, and the Director of the Office of Police Accountability (OPA). As the current OPA Director, Pierce Murphy, has announced he will leave his position in July, hiring for the OPA position will begin soon, with strong CPC representation, including serving as a co-chair of the search committee.
  • I proposed increasing the size of the CPC to 21 members, in order to increase their ability to carry out their extensive police accountability work, which is now enshrined in city law.
  • I also proposed an amendment that would give the CPC authority to carry out annual performance evaluations of the newly-created Inspector General, and Director of the Office of Police Accountability. Though the amendment failed in a committee vote; alternate language was approved to allow for input into the Inspector General’s workplan. The ordinance allows CPC to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the new police accountability system in Seattle, and its implementation.
  • Finally, at Full Council I proposed an amendment to ensure that the CPC retains the authority that the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB), the OPA’s previous civilian review board, currently has to review closed case files. The OPARB emphasized the critical importance of this in a 2014 letter. Review of these files by OPARB led to the discovery, for example, that SPD was doing criminal background checks on people who made complaints (see 2003 annual report); this led to that being changed. The amendment passed 8-0.

I’d like to highlight an issue that we were unable to resolve in today’s vote but one that, moving forward, I intend to address.  The CPC has requested that oversight review bodies (the CPC, Inspector General, and OPA Director) be involved as technical advisors during the collective bargaining process as it relates to police accountability with police unions; I’ve been in touch with the CPC and labor about moving forward with a proposal in the future, and distributed potential language for legislation at today’s Council Briefing meeting this morning. I’ve also worked with them on a related proposal about informing the public about the city’s goals in bargaining.

The Council on Monday also approved legislation I introduced last August to establish an Observer Bill of Rights for people to observe and record police activity. The bill establishes that, by law, the public has the right to observe police activity, consistent with existing Seattle Police Department Policy. It states that officers may not use physical force to punish or retaliate against observers, and must seek to minimize harm to bystanders when using less lethal tools like pepper spray or tear gas. In addition, if a person brings a claim that the law was violated, the Office of Professional Accountability must be notified.

I’d like to thank police department and Seattle’s police officers for their work to implement elements of police reform. The Seattle Police Officers Guild has participated in and collaborated in the work of the Community Police Commission over the last several years, and helped inform their recommendations with practical experience. The Court-appointed federal monitor overseeing the police reform process in April ruled that the Seattle Police Department had reached initial compliance with the use of force reforms; while the monitor will continue review the department for at least two years to ensure compliance, this is an encouraging step, and stands in contrast to the Monitor’s earliest reports, which were critical of the amount of progress the department was making.

I look forward to the implementation of this police accountability reform ordinance; its long-term success will depend on all of us continuing to prioritize accountable, constitutional policing.

Fair Chance Housing Taskforce

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts (CRUEDA) Committee hosted a conversation with members of the Fair Chance Housing Taskforce about the stakeholder process led by the Seattle Office For Civil Rights to address housing barriers faced by people with arrest and conviction records.

Approximately, one in every three adults in the United States has an arrest or conviction record, and nearly half of all children in the U.S. have one parent with a criminal record. It is estimated that 30% (172,714) of Seattle residents over the age of 18 have an arrest or conviction record and 7% (43,428) of Seattle residents have a felony record.

Back in 2012, Councilmembers Licata and O’Brien asked that the Seattle Office of Housing begin an effort to address the barriers created when housing providers rely on criminal background screenings to select tenants.  The Fair Chance Housing Taskforce was formed in response to the 2015, the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) taskforce recommended to increase fair access to rental housing for people with criminal records through local legislation, education and technical assistance.

In February 2016, after announcement of the formation of the task force, I asked Councilmembers Gonzalez, Juarez, and O’Brien to join me in writing a letter to Mayor Murray about the scope of work for the Fair Chance Housing taskforce, available here.

I have made several efforts to ensure the Council is improving housing access for people involved with the criminal justice system. Most recently, on May 8, the Full Council adopted an amendment I championed to the 2016 Administrative and Finance Plan for the 2016 Housing Levy to ensure that housing providers who use criminal records for tenant screening purposes describe how the policy or practice of making decision based on criminal history “actually assists in protecting resident safety or property. A stereotype that a person with a conviction record poses a greater risk than any individual without such a record is insufficient. Housing owners will take steps to ensure the accuracy of criminal records and other records used in the screening process…Owners will provide notice of screening criteria as required by law.”

Further, in June 2016, the Council adopted Resolution 31699 uplifting HUD’s guidance regarding the use of criminal history in housing screening, see my previous blog post.

I would like to thank the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, Rental Housing Association of Washington, Bellwether Housing, Public Defender Association’s Racial Disparity Project, Pioneer Human Services, Fair and Accessible Renting for Everyone (FARE) Coalition, and Columbia Legal Services for the work they have done thus far to help the city address this housing barrier. The Executive is poised to transmit Fair Chance Housing legislation to Council in June 2017. To stay abreast of this issue please sign up for CRUEDA meeting agendas.

 


In-District Office Hours

I will be at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St) today, Friday May 26th from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The final meeting of the day will begin at 6:30 p.m.

These hours are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming in advance you can email my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov).

Additionally, here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours. These are subject to change.

Date Location Address
Friday, June 23, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
Friday, July 21, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, August 18, 2017 Senior Center of West Seattle 4217 SW Oregon St
Friday, September 22, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
Friday, October 27, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, December 15, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
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Highland Park Find It Fix It: May 25, Fauntleroy Schoolhouse is Celebrating 100 Years!, Make Art Not Landfill, Office Hours

May 19th, 2017


Highland Park Find It Fix It: May 25

Next week I’ll be participating in a “Find It, Fix It” Community Walk in Highland Park on Thursday, May 25th, along with the Mayor and City department staff.

It all starts at the Highland Park Improvement Club (1116 SW Holden) at 5:30 p.m. for refreshments and information about City services. The walk begins at 6:30 p.m., and goes until 8 p.m. Stops will include Riverview Playfield, the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden Street, and discussion will include issues related to speeding, pedestrian and motorist safety, the recent mudslide on Highland Park Way, and lack of food and gathering spaces; here’s a map of the walking route, also copied below. The tour was developed in collaboration with the Highland Park Community.

Here’s a link to flyers in English and Spanish; Spanish translation will be available during the walk.

Find It Fix It walks provide an opportunity for community members to identify neighborhood needs and discuss challenges directly with City leaders.


Fauntleroy Schoolhouse is Celebrating 100 Years!

Join your friends and neighbors to celebrate the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse’s 100th anniversary! Beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 21st at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California Ave SW) there will be music, games, and snacks. There will also be a keynote address from Schoolhouse alumni Jim Whittaker and Robert Skotheim.

The Schoolhouse has been a pillar to the community for 100 years, and I am honored to have brought forth this proclamation which was signed by the Council earlier this week. The proclamation recognizes the Schoolhouse whose mission is “to help children build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and provide educational access for all students,” and it proclaims May 21 as “Fauntleroy Schoolhouse’s 100th Anniversary Day.”

To RSVP for the celebration sign up on the website here or call (425) 445-4064.


Make Art Not Landfill

In San Francisco for the past 27 years, Recology CleanScapes has hosted “Artists in Residency” at their garbage transfer station. The program brings artists together with discarded materials at the transfer station. Since 1990 they have hosted over 120 artists, and 30 students have completed residencies.

The program is now being brought to their (and our) South Seattle recycling facility. This five-month program gives artists access to reuse materials to create art, and which is then publicly hosted for exhibition and reception during the artists’ residency. Artists are also given a stipend and access to an on-site studio.

The program in Seattle began in 2016, you can see photos of the residents’ work here.


In-District Office Hours

I will be at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St) Friday May 26th from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The final meeting of the day will begin at 6:30 p.m.

These hours are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming in advance you can email my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov).

Additionally, here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours. These are subject to change.

Date Location Address
Friday, June 23, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
Friday, July 21, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, August 18, 2017 Senior Center of West Seattle 4217 SW Oregon St
Friday, September 22, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
Friday, October 27, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, December 15, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
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Observer Bill of Rights, Chinatown and International District Rezone, Commissioner Candidates Needed – Please Apply, Longfellow Natural Drainage Systems Project

May 12th, 2017


Observer Bill of Rights

The Observer Bill of Rights, a bill that I authored and sponsored for introduction last year, passed 4-0 out of committee earlier this week, and is scheduled for a Full Council vote on Monday, May 22.

Observation of police activity has always been an important element of accountability.  For instance, Mother for Police Accountability here in Seattle, has for decades trained community observers to watch the actions of police in detaining suspects.  The majority of police interactions with the public are fair and professional, but the observation of police actions is one way to reduce the chances that people are treated unfairly in their interactions with police. And when people are not treated fairly, or force is used inappropriately, observation ensures that there is a witness.  Today, actual recording of observed police activity is an element of accountability that is growing in its importance.

The bill would establish that by law the public has the right to observe police activity, consistent with existing Seattle Police Department Policy. It states that officers may not use physical force to punish or retaliate against observers, and must seek to minimize harm to bystanders when using less lethal tools like pepper spray or tear gas. In addition, if a person brings a claim that the law was violated, the Office of Professional Accountability must be notified.

An earlier version of the bill was first heard in August.  More information is included in the staff memo.

Across the country, recordings of police activity by the public have increased the public’s ability to hold police accountable. However, sometimes this has led to arrests, which in turn has generated First Amendment legal challenges to those arrests.  Here in Seattle, the OPA Auditor in 2008, reviewed police incidents where people were arrested and charged with “obstruction only,” without any other charge resulting. One third of the cases involved arrests of bystanders and over half of those were African-American.

At a time when we have an increasing reliance on cameras that police officers wear or have in their cars, we need to remind the public that the police activity that they observe is still important.  A Washington Post article from March noted that in a shooting in Albuquerque of 7 body cameras, the camera of the police officer who fired the shot wasn’t recording, three missed the crucial moment, and three were either blurred or contained no record.

 


Chinatown and International District Rezone

Last week, the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee held the second discussion on the proposed upzone for the Chinatown and International District (CID) Urban Village, necessary to implement the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program in that neighborhood.  To catch up on the conversation, review PLUZ meetings on 4/18/17 and 5/2/17.

Under MHA, developers would be required to contribute to affordable housing as part of most commercial or residential development. At the same time, areas subject to MHA would receive additional development capacity in the form of an increase in the amount of height or floor area. In SLU/Downtown and the University District, many of the zoning increases were very dramatic, giving developers a very large increase in development capacity.  In the Chinatown and International District the proposed zoning changes are very modest, ranging from 10-30 feet in additional height.

The affordable housing requirements will vary from a requirement of 5-7% of all units earmarked as affordable.  For your review, here is the Chinatown International District Rezone Map.

The PLUZ committee is considering the amendments to the CID proposed legislation that seek to preserve the affordability of the small business district.  There will be a public hearing on June 1.

 


Commissioner Candidates Needed – Please Apply

The Seattle Women’s Commission (SWC) advises the Mayor, City Council and city departments on issues that impact women in Seattle. The Commission identifies areas of concern and recommends policy and legislation, provides feedback and opinion on issues of city and state budget. To learn more, please visit https://www.seattle.gov/womenscommission and you can also attend their next meeting Monday, May 15, 2017, 5:30p, at City Hall in the Boards and Commissioners Room.

Seattle Human Rights Commission (SHRC) was established in 1963 to advocate for justice and equal opportunity, to advise the City of Seattle on human rights issues and to collaborate with public and private sectors in order to educate them on methods to prevent and eliminate discrimination city-wide. To learn more, please visit https://www.seattle.gov/humanrights and you can also attend their next meeting on Thursday, June 1, 2017, 6p, at City Hall in the Boards and Commissioners Room.

Commissioner seats are volunteer position that meets monthly and requires regular meeting attendance and has a two-year term of office. If you are interested in applying for the commission, please send your resume and cover letter to lisa.herbold@seattle.gov and cc: Commissioner Liaisons Erika.pablo@seattle.gov and Marta.Idowu@seattle.gov

 


Longfellow Natural Drainage Systems Project

If you live near the Longfellow Creek, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) wants to hear from you. When it rains, it has a big impact on our water quality; our yards include pollutants such as pet waste, fertilizers and pesticides, and our streets have oil and heavy metals from vehicles. When it rains, these pollutants run off into the local waterways. You can see SPU’s long-term plan to protect the waterways here.

With this project, SPU is hoping to improve water quality in Longfellow Creek, as well as manage stormwater drainage, slow traffic, and beautify streets. SPU is asking for the community to take a survey before May 26th for your input to be considered. Click here to take the survey.

Check out this map of some of the potentially feasible areas:

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UDP Medicare Rule, Trump-Proof Seattle Thursday, May 4th, Duwamish River Opportunity Fund to provide funds for community projects, Sound Transit debuts ST3 timeline, Good news for NEA funding in federal budget

May 8th, 2017


UDP Medicare Rule

Last October a constituent brought to my attention that Medicare Part B premiums were included as a source of income towards qualification to the Utility Discount Program (UDP).  The UDP, if you’re not familiar with it is City program for lower-income customers and offers about 60% on your Seattle City Light bill and a 50% discount on your Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) bill for eligible customers.  The result of the practice of including Medicate Part B premiums as a source of income is that low-income people who should have access to the UDP are being deemed ineligible.

I worked for several months with the heads of both utilities urging them to remove Medicare Part B as an included source of income. I specifically wanted to remove Medicare Part B because it is not income that is ever realized by the customer. Medicare Part B premiums are actually deducted from federal checks (such as Social Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance) that customers receive.

The utilities have agreed to new proposed rules to remove that requirement, and specifically call out Medicare Part B premiums as allowable deductions from income. SPU estimates that this change will add an additional 1,015 households to the UDP.

On May 1st, the Directors’ Rules were made available for public comment, if you are interested in commenting you can find both rules here:

  • Seattle Public Utilities (CS-700): on page 5, under C. Allowable Deductions from income the last bullet point states: “Medicare premium expenses in the current standard Medicare part B premium amount (see Medicare.gov) may be deducted from Social Security, SSDI and SSI income.”
  • Seattle City Light (III-428): also on page 5, under section 5.6.3 the last bullet point states: “Medicare premium expenses (the current standard Medicare part B premium amount may be deducted from Social Security, SSDI and SSI income. See Medicare.gov for current premium amount.”

The rules are open for comment until May 15th, once the comment period ends, the utilities will evaluate the comments and implement the rules on June 1st.

 

Trump-Proof Seattle Thursday, May 4th

Just a reminder that the Trump Proof Seattle Coalition is sponsoring a Town Hall event in District 1 tonight.  Doors open at 5:30. There will be information tables and organizers present.  Program begins at 6pm, in Olympic Hall at South Seattle College. Campus map here: http://www.southseattle.edu/campus-information/campus-map.aspx  Childcare available, please see Trump-Proof Seattle for more.

 

Duwamish River Opportunity Fund to provide funds for community projects

Since 2014 the City, through Duwamish River Opportunity Fund (DROF), has allocated funds to quality-of-life enhancements for the Duwamish River area that can be implemented in partnership with King County, the Port of Seattle, and community stakeholders and is intended to enhance existing programs and support new programs focused on challenges faced by Duwamish River communities.

On May 2nd the DROF announced that they will provide $250,000 for community-initiated projects. The proposals should address topics such as job training, economic development, access to healthy food, affordable housing strategies, environmental development or restoration, or major community development activities that will have long-term, sustainable impacts.

Applicants are encouraged to attend a workshop before applying. These workshops will review the application process and discuss the requirements for a good proposal. The workshops will be held:

Furthermore, the fund has made two changes this year:

  • Awardees can request advance start-up funds up to 10% of approved budget or $5,000, whichever is lesser.
  • Projects can incur approved expenses starting from project start date rather than from the contract date.

To view the Request for Proposals and Application, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/duwamish-river-opportunity-fund. For questions, call 206-256-5947 or email drof@seattle.gov. The deadline to apply is Monday, June 12 by 5 p.m.

Finally, the City is recruiting community members to serve as grant reviewers:

“Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is recruiting community members to serve as grant reviewers of DROF applications to select those projects that are impactful and improve the quality of life for communities living within the Duwamish River Valley. Grant reviewers should live, work, or receive services in the Duwamish River Valley area and have a clear understanding of community needs and resources. They will be compensated for their time. Visit our webpage to review the Frequently Asked Questions document and the DROF Grant Reviewer Application. The deadline to apply is Thursday, May 25 at 5:00 p.m.”

 

Sound Transit debuts ST3 timeline

Sound Transit has announced a Draft System Expansion Implementation Plan for ST3 projects, which includes a schedule for light rail to West Seattle.

For West Seattle to Downtown light rail, the schedule shows Project Development through mid-2022, Final Design through mid-2025, and construction from 2025 through 2030. It is scheduled to be the first Seattle project completed in ST3.

The document includes a summary of Sound Transit’s approach toward community engagement on alignment, station locations, permitting, identification of a preferred alternative, real estate purchases, and other items.

A PDF file of the complete Sound Transit schedule is available here.

 

Good news for NEA funding in federal budget

Congressional leaders recently announced they will vote on a bipartisan federal spending bill that maintains funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The President’s original budget announcement proposed eliminating federal support for the NEA.

The NEA supports numerous local arts groups, both large and small. One such group is the Creative Advantage arts education program in Seattle Public Schools, which has programs in District 1 schools such as Arbor Heights Elementary, Concord International Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Roxhill Elementary, Sanislo Elementary, West Seattle Elementary, Louise Boren STEM K-8, Denny International Middle School, and Chief Sealth International High School.

No cuts are included in funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, also proposed for elimination in the President’s original proposal. The spending bill provides funding through the end of the fiscal year in September.

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Resolution on High-Earner Income Tax, SPU SBP Committee Update, West Seattle Bridge Studies, And speaking of Bridges, South Park’s Green Walls to Clean Air

April 28th, 2017


Resolution on High-Earner Income Tax

Seattle is a growing and prosperous city that should offer better schools and healthier communities, yet our City faces many urgent challenges, including a homelessness state of emergency, an affordable housing crisis, overcrowded classrooms, education equity and racial achievement gaps, inadequate provision of mental health services, and severe traffic congestion.

Because there are real risks that the Trump administration will cut funding for Seattle priorities like housing and human services, education and transit, the Trump-Proof Seattle Coalition of more than 40 different organizations has come together to fight back.  They have been meeting with Councilmembers in every district to propose an income tax on high earners.

Residents have contacted my office in recent months in shock over the increase in their property taxes.  It’s our tax structure that is responsible; Washington State’s is the most regressive in the nation, with people earning $20,000 a year devoting two entire months of pay to their yearly tax bill, while the 1% pay their annual tax bill in only 6 days. We need a fairer tax system.  Economist Dick Conway reports that across five different measures – fairness, transparency, adequacy, stability, and economic vitality – Washington State’s tax structure is the worst of all the states in the nation.

  • Fairness – we have the most regressive system, meaning the tax burden is greatest on those with lower incomes (see above)
  • Transparency – we don’t know how much we pay in taxes because so much is buried in the sales tax. Transparency is a prerequisite for rational tax policy.  Washington has the second least transpar­ent tax system in the nation.
  • Adequacy – our tax system doesn’t generate enough revenue to meet the public needs (e.g., education and transportation) of a growing economy – resulting in over-reliance on the property tax levies.
  • Stability – Washington has a highly unstable tax system due to its inadequate and volatile sales tax base, the ninth most unstable in the nation.
  • Economic Vitality – many economists believe that the best way to promote economic vitality is with high-quality education, good roads, and a safe and healthy environment. There is no evidence that having an income tax is an impediment to economic growth and there is a lot of evidence that the lack of an income tax has put our economy – not to mention our schools – in jeopardy.

On Monday, the Council will consider a resolution “expressing the City of Seattle’s intent to adopt a progressive income tax targeting high-income households.”

The resolution lays out a timeline and the elements of the legislation that need to be determined, including: what types of income can and will be taxed; the threshold above which income is taxed, and/or below which households are exempted from the tax; at what percentage(s) income is taxed; the use of the revenue so raised; and the administrative mechanisms to ensure the accurate and enforceable collection of income tax revenues.

The resolution notes that legal viability will be the primary consideration in making these decisions.

It further notes that “revenue from such a systemic change in taxation could be dedicated to lowering the property tax burden and the impact of other regressive taxes; replacing federal funding potentially lost through Trump budget cuts; and providing public services, including housing, education, and transit; creating green jobs and meeting carbon reduction goals.”

The Trump-Proof Seattle Coalition proposal is a 1.5% tax on adjusted gross income in excess of $250,000 per year.  They estimate this could raise $125 million annually.  On Thursday, May 4th they are coming to District 1 at South Seattle Community College, Olympic Hall.  I’ll be there.  Doors open at 5:30. Program begins at 6pm and Childcare is available.  Campus map here: http://www.southseattle.edu/campus-information/campus-map.aspx

 


SPU Strategic Business Plan Committee Update

On Tuesday my Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts (CRUEDA) committee received an update from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) about their steps towards updating their Strategic Business Plan (SBP), passed by the Council in 2014. The SBP is a six-year outlook and guiding document for the utility.  It is adjusted every three years to reflect the most accurate information about projects and costs and the utility rates needed to support those project costs. The process begins with a nine member, all volunteer Customer Review Panel (CRP). They are appointed to act as the voice of the utility rate paying customer during the planning and development stages of the SBP.

Among other things, the SBP projects the rate path for all lines of business in SPU. This includes: water, wastewater, drainage, and solid waste. In the previously adopted 2015-2020 SBP, the anticipated combined (water, wastewater, drainage, and solid waste) annual rate increase would average 4.6% over each of the 6 years.  We learned in the CRUEDA committee presentation that the combined annual growth rate increase that they are studying for the update to the SBP ranges instead from 5.4% – 5.6%.

This potential increase is due to several reasons: first, in 2015, shortly after the first SBP was passed, the Port of Seattle stopped being a customer of SPU and created their own utility and, consequently, stopped paying SPU $4 million annually for their services. Secondly, a federally mandated consent decree from the Environmental Protection Agency required the acceleration of a combined sewer overflow pipeline in Ballard, called the Ship Canal Water Quality project.  It is estimated to cost $365 million. Finally, the Move Levy, passed by voters in 2015, creates an opportunity to access the Utility’s infrastructure while the roads are being repaved.  SPU refers to them as opportunity costs and estimates $116 million in transportation opportunity costs that the Utility is proposing that we spend now, to save more money later. The combination of those three issues means that SPU has taken the position that the previously projected 4.6% combined (water, wastewater, drainage, and solid waste) average per year rate increase is no longer feasible.

Last Fall, when the CRP was assembled and began their work, SPU started with a proposed combined (water, wastewater, drainage, and solid waste) rate increase of an average of 6.8% a year for the 2018 – 2023 SBP.  Since then they have worked to bring the possible rate increase estimates that they are studying down to between 5.4% and 5.6%. Please see the graph below for specific year over year percentages and monthly bill estimates for the options that the CRP is currently considering.

 

The CRP is continuing their work, meeting twice monthly with SPU to work on a final recommendation which they will send to the Council and Mayor at the end of May. They are continuing to identity additional efficiencies and prioritization of projects that will hopefully result in a maintained quality of service balanced with the need for more affordable rates than the increased currently being considered.  That recommendation will then be heard in my committee several times and the Council will continue to refine the SBP before final passage.

Finally, I would like to highlight the important analysis that was conducted by Council policy staff which can be found here. Table 2 in this memo highlights the peeks in rates for 2019 and 2020 when both the Ship Canal Water Quality project and the transportation opportunity costs would hit the rate payers. I would like to see the increases spread out more over the six years so that rate payers do not receive particularly large increases in any one year.

Expect updates from me on this issue in future, and please email me to let me know your thoughts.

 


West Seattle Bridge Studies

The Seattle City Council has commissioned six studies of the West Seattle Bridge corridor, called for in the West Seattle Bridge/Duwamish Waterway Corridor Whitepaper prepared for former Councilmember Tom Rasmussen in 2015, to improve safety, incident management, and traffic flow on the West Seattle Bridge and the lower bridge.

This study covers the area from the West Seattle Bridge and Spokane Street Viaduct to I-5 (including the lower roadways).  Four studies were funded in 2015, sponsored by Rasmussen.  I secured funding for the remaining two in 2016. The

These four studies have recommendations to:

1) manage the daily unpredictable disruptions on the lower roadway

2) reduce crashes on the upper bridge

3) reduce incident clearance times to restore normal traffic.

Recommendations include improvements for managing congestion on lower Spokane Street, such as real-time information on swing-bridge openings, a Terminal 5 gate queue management agreement, an active traffic management system, and constructing refuge pullouts. Cost estimates are listed at the end, on page 24.  I’ll be looking for ways to work with SDOT to implement these recommendations.

The report recommended against a median gate to allow emergency vehicles to make U turns, or for emergency/fire lane striping. The studies are linked here.

 


And speaking of Bridges

I’d like to thank SDOT for installing “Duwamish Waterway” signs on the upper and lower bridges, to mark the crossing to West Seattle. Last year I received a request from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society about noting this, especially given the importance of the Duwamish as the original residents. I asked SDOT about this, and they installed the signs earlier this month.


Image: Clay Eals

 


South Park’s Green Walls to Clean Air

Martha Baskin’s Immigrant Community Designs “Green Walls” to Clean the Air, The Only Walls They Favor aired on April 20th and explores the green walls being installed in South Park to help clean up air pollution. As a historically industrial and underserved neighborhood South Park has dealt with many different kinds of pollution for a long time. Asthma rates are more than double for young people and life expectancy is 13 years lower than wealthier parts of Seattle. The community has come together to work with the City, County, EPA, and other organizations to find solutions to these problems.  The green wall was supported by funds from the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund that provides support to programs focused on challenges faced by Duwamish River neighborhoods during the Superfund clean-up

Here’s an excerpt:

“Beneath hand-crafted green wall panels on the site of a public library, youth in Seattle’s South Park immigrant community plant honeysuckle, jasmine and clematis. Soon their leafy vines will climb metal cables welded onto the panels. When fully grown, the green walls will filter particulates and help clean the air in a neighborhood dominated by highways, air traffic and industry.”

The community is shifting their focus after planting 700 trees over the last year and a half. Green walls are the second phase of the plan to reduce air pollution for the area. Green walls are a new concept for many people, but as more people learn about them the more they get engaged. The Port of Seattle and the South Park Merchant Association are in talks about building more green walls in South Park and Georgetown.

You can read the previous green wall press release from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition here and you can listen to Martha Baskin’s report here.

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Duwamish Greenbelt Tree Settlement; Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month + Denim Day; Spring Clean 2017; Office Hours May 5th

April 21st, 2017


Duwamish Greenbelt Tree Settlement

If you haven’t heard already, this week City Attorney Pete Holmes announced a settlement of the case against some of the parties involved in the illegal cutting of trees in the Duwamish Head Greenbelt on City property.  I wrote about this late last March and again in June.

As a reminder of the background on this incident, the unpermitted tree cutting occurred in an environmentally critical areas on a steep slope below the defendants’ homes. About 150 trees of varying sizes were cut. Two complaints were filed last fall, seeking relief on grounds including timber trespass, damage to land, trespass, negligence, environmentally critical areas violations, violations of the parks code and violations of the city’s tree and vegetation management in public places code.

According to the settlement, two couples will together pay the City $440,000 regarding one of the decimated areas. The City’s suit regarding the other area is ongoing, and unaffected by this settlement.

Parties in that separate suit were given criminal immunity in exchange for for their full cooperation, including sharing the identities of their neighbors who are alleged to have shared the costs associated with the tree cutting.

The Parks and Recreation Department will use the settlement funds to begin remediation of the property in the next month or two with the majority of the work on the site completed in 2017.

I’m glad that the actions by the defendants have resulted in consequences.  I’m hopeful this settlement—60% higher per tree than the 2003 case in Mount Baker—will deter future rogue clearcutting. In Seattle, those with financial means can’t count on small settlements to pave the way towards increased views and property values. Trees in our greenbelts are precious natural resources that maintain soil stability, thus lessening the risk of landslides, and maintain air quality by absorbing carbon. We must protect them.

On a per tree basis, this recovery is significantly higher than the amount recovered in the City v. Farris matter based on 2003 tree cutting. That case involved 120 trees and settled for $500,000, or $4,166 per tree. This case involved 66 trees, and the settlement amounts to $6,667 per tree.

The defendants made a statement as part of this week’s announcement.  You can read it here.

 


Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Denim Day

Seattle's Denim Day

On Monday, the Full Council adopted the City’s annual Proclamation recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month and declaring Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Denim Day. I was honored to present the Proclamation to the Seattle Women’s Commission, recognizing their leadership on this issue.

Both efforts call attention to misconceptions and misinformation about rape and sexual assault, the harmful attitudes that allow these crimes to persist, and educate the community about ways to prevent sexual violence and support survivors.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month was first observed by the United States in April 2001 to draw attention to the fact that rape and sexual assault remain a serious issue in our society, and harmful attitudes about rape and sexual assault allow these crimes to persist.

International “Denim Day” has been observed since April 1999 as a symbol of protest triggered by an Italian Supreme Court ruling in which a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. Enraged by the verdict, women in the Italian Parliament protested the ruling by wearing jeans on the steps of the parliament. As news of the decision spread, so did the protest.

Organizations across the County that support survivors of sexual assault, like King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, are encouraging people to start personal conversations online and in-person to discuss boundary violations, gender stereotypes, or unhealthy relations ideals in movies, TV or music. They are also calling on supporters to believe and listen to survivors by amplifying the voices of sexual assault survivors on people’s lives.

One way we can start a conversation and show are solidarity with survivors is to wear your jeans on Seattle’s Denim Day. Will you join me?

 


Spring Clean 2017

Spring Clean 2017

As you might have already seen, Spring Clean 2017 is here. Running from April 1st through May 31st, Spring Clean is Seattle’s annual community clean-up event. Every year hundreds of residents cleaned-up litter and remove graffiti in their local neighborhoods. Seattle Public Utilities helps support these volunteers with FREE bags, gloves, safety vests, and waste disposal. All of the projects are conducted on public property.

If you’re interested in getting involved you can call (206) 684-7647, or register online here.

 


In-District Office Hours May 5th

I will be at the Southwest Neighborhood Service Center (2801 SW Thistle St) Friday May 5th from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. The final meeting of the day will begin at 4:30pm.

These hours are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming in advance you can email my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov).

Additionally, here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours. These are subject to change.

Date Location Address
Friday, May 26, 2017 Senior Center of West Seattle 4217 SW Oregon St
Friday, June 23, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8TH Avenue S
Friday, July 21, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, August 18, 2017 Senior Center of West Seattle 4217 SW Oregon St
Friday, September 22, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8TH Avenue S
Friday, October 27, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, December 15, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8TH Avenue S
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