Later Hours at the South Park Community Center; Extending the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Harassment Claims; Capital Project Oversight; Office Hours




GREAT NEWS – South Park Community Center Late Night Hours Added

For those of you that have been following last Fall’s report and recommendations of the South Park Public Safety Taskforce, you will know that that I have been working with community members towards the implementation of these recommendations. You can read my last blog post from March 16 here that covers all of the recommendations.

I am excited and thankful that late last week the Mayor announced the implementation of one more of those community recommendations, extension of the Late-Night Program at the South Park Community Center. The late-night programing will now run not only on Fridays but Saturdays as well, between 7pm and 12am from June 2 through September 29, for youth between the ages of 13 and 19. A meal will be also provided for those participating in the program. These extended hours will make the community center more accessible and help meet the needs of our young people living in South Park. I want to thank the Seattle Neighborhood Group (SNG), the community, as well as the Mayor for their partnership and advocacy on these issues and helping make these recommendations a reality.


Bill Passes Full Council Extending Sexual Harassment Claims’ Statute of Limitations

On Monday May 7th the Seattle City Council passed Council Bill 119240 extending the statute of limitations on sexual harassment claims investigated by the Office of Civil Rights.   I first wrote about this issue in my March 2nd blog post.

This issue was first brought to my attention by a constituent who reached out because she was experiencing sexual harassment on her campus.  She had been bounced around from place to place and when she was finally referred to SOCR the current 180 statute of limitations had already expired.  She reached out to my office not to ask for help for herself but to ask for help in changing the conditions that would make it harder for other people in her situation in the future.

This bill includes three changes to the Seattle Municipal Code:

  1. Extends or maintains the statutes of limitation (SOL) for administrative charges enforced by the Office of Civil Rights in areas of employment, contracting, public accommodation and housing discrimination to half that of the time that a person has for filing a private right of action. More specifically:
    • Extends the statute of limitations from 180 days to a year and a half for sexual harassment in instances of employment and contracting
    • Extends the statute of limitations from 180 days to one year in public accommodations and
    • Maintains the current 1-year statute for sexual harassment in instances of housing
  1. Because many people don’t understand that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, this bill newly includes the phrase “racial and sexual harassment, as well as harassment based on other protected classes.” as a named form of discrimination that SOCR investigates, clarifying current practice.

My hope is that this bill will help to provide an additional tool to people who are experiencing all forms of harassment and, especially in light of the “Me Too,” “Time’s Up,” and Seattle’s Silence Breakers movements, sexual harassment in the work place. We know that one of the reasons people don’t come forward is that they may not know that the experiences they are having ARE sexual harassment and even when people are aware that they are experiencing sexual harassment they often don’t know what avenues of recourse are available to them.  Further, by clarifying that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that SOCR is already authorized to investigate, I hope we can provide further clarity to people experiencing harassment and discrimination.


Update on Capital Project Oversight

Cost increases for the Center City Streetcar and a Downtown protected bike lane have highlighted the importance of the Council receiving sufficient information on an ongoing basis, to oversee capital project spending, and to be able to identify problems early.

Capital projects (construction projects) are listed in the annual six-year Capital Project Improvement Program (CIP).  Although the most recent CIP, for 2018-2023, is 1015 pages, it provides limited information for these hundreds of projects. More finely-tuned, timely information is needed for adequate Council oversight.

This work began last year after Councilmember Johnson and I called for additional oversight of city capital projects.   The Council subsequently passed Resolution 31720 to establish a capital project oversight work program, which included a CIP Oversight Assessment Report, and a commitment to work with the City Budget Office on improving reporting on capital projects, with quarterly reports, identification of deviations from approved budgets, and risks.

Earlier this week the City Council received an update on new Capital Oversight and Quarterly Reporting standards and recommendations to improve capital project oversight reporting. The report includes an agreement among city departments with large capital projects to agree to formalize project stages, with shared terminology: pre-project development (PPD), design and planning, Initiation, project definition and planning (IPDP), design, construction, procurement/bid, and closeout. This process is called “stage gating.” It’s a productive step forward for oversight.

The report further notes there will be two types of quarterly reporting moving forward: first of all, a report that provides a brief overview of all projects over $5 million in a table that shows the baseline cost and current projections, and variance between the two figures. This will allow for identification of projects trending above or below baseline budgets. A second report will provide detailed explanation of project risks (with green, yellow and red color coding), including costs, schedule, and funding sources. These more specific enhanced reports will be for a smaller group of projects. This group will consist of the highest cost projects, and additional projects identified by Council for enhanced quarterly reporting. Discussions are underway with CBO about how to select projects.

Examples of what the enhanced reporting looks like are included in the update, including for the South Lander Street Grade Separation project. A small excerpt is included below.


In-District Office Hours

On May 25, I will be at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St) from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Please be sure to arrive no later than 6:30 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.

Friday, June 15, 2018
South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S

Friday, July 27, 2018
Southwest Neighborhood Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St

Friday, August 17, 2018
Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St

Friday, September 21, 2018
South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S

Friday, October 26, 2018
Southwest Neighborhood Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St

Friday, December 14, 2018
South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S 

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