Taking Stock of Our Accomplishments

December 27th, 2023

With the end of my term days away I have been taking stock of my aspirations and my accomplishments.  I found my speech from the day in January 2016 when I was sworn in with a Council Chambers full of supporters of mine as well as my colleagues who were also being sworn in. Here is what I said then:

Thank you.  Council colleagues, distinguished guests, family, and friends, I am honored to serve as the first Councilmember for the first district of West Seattle and South Park.  I’d like to begin with a bit of trivia about me.  My first real job at 13 was also at a City Hall, but as a janitor. I was placed there through the comprehensive employment training act, a jobs program for low- income youth started by President Jimmy Carter and 30 some odd years later I’m still working at City Hall. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment but I just can’t seem to leave the place.  Some might say that I’m living proof of how government can make a difference in people’s lives. I prefer to say, with a special shout out to our janitors that I’ve known firsthand more than a couple of very important jobs here at City Hall.

18 years serving Seattle residents working for Councilmember Nick Licata, and my prior work as a community organizer, has given me a very strong sense of to whom we must do a better job listening to.  I just, week before last, attended a meeting with Councilmembers González and Harrell and comprised of folks working to ensure that those who have made mistakes, but paid their debt to society, or were only accused, but never convicted of a crime should be able to access housing in Seattle. The message from this meeting wasn’t only that we need to ensure that landlords are making decisions based upon people’s suitability to rent, but also, that as policymakers we must do a better job of taking our cues from those that we hope to serve.

Seattle voters delivered the same message in passing district elections.  We must make sure that people are not left behind.  The top 5% of our region’s income earners have seen their wages rebound to pre-recession levels.  Where 10 years ago, more than 50% of our workforce lived here in Seattle, today only 40% does. The people who make our city prosper must also have the chance to prosper themselves.  In that spirit, I will work to pass laws that ensure that those benefit from that prosperity also invest in a fair deal for our city.  Let’s pass developer impact fees to ensure that growth helps pay for mobility improvements. Let’s set regulations that protect renters from some of the excesses of a very hot housing market. We must also be persistent advocates for responsible, responsive, and accountable policing and employment practices for all of our communities.

I say “we” because I’ve only gotten this far with the help of many in this room today. Many thanks to the hundred-plus volunteers who lent their energy to our effort and affirmed our shared values and aspirations together. Together we won this election, in spite of being outspent 3 to one.  If we continue to mobilize, like we have over the last 10 months, we can make sure that our voices challenge the status quo where change is needed the very most. I’ll only be able to succeed with you by my side.

Special thanks to my family, especially my mother, husband, and daughter. Your unwavering support for me has made what once seemed impossible possible.  And as for my teacher of the last 18 years, Nick Licata.  He embodies all of the very best qualities of a dedicated public servant, egoless leader and brilliant strategist. I will do my very best to remember your advice to see the world as it should be, to understand that political and social changes are a marathon of incremental steps. And to have fun!  I take this oath in gratitude and in service to each of you.  Thank you.

So today, looking back at my aspirations and comparing them to our shared accomplishments, like I was eight years ago, I am once again full of gratitude to many of you to whom I owe the credit for what WE have accomplished during my time on the Council.  Let’s take stock.

I have chaired four separate committees:

  • Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts (2016-2019)
  • Select Budget Committee (2017)
  • Public Safety and Human Services (2020-2023), and
  • 2023 Select Committee on Climate Action (2023)

In my eight years as a City Councilmember, I successfully sponsored 262 pieces of legislation. Many of those bills were routine and/or were proposed by executive departments.  So, from that list of 262 pieces of legislation, I’ve compiled a list of 58 ordinances and resolutions that are examples of non-routine legislation that I either worked closely with the executive on or were policies initiated my myself on the request of constituencies throughout the City.

Further, this list only includes legislation I sponsored, not my amendments to legislation sponsored by other Councilmembers or important “no” votes (for example, voting against the SODO arena proposal which paved the way to the privately financed Climate Pledge Arena, and the taxpayer bailout of Pronto bike share.  It also doesn’t include where my advocacy played a key role in funding or policy outcome (e.g. initial funding for the Highland Park Way/Holden intersection improvements or Mayor Durkan’s decision to repair rather than replace the West Seattle Bridge).

This list also doesn’t include department head appointments that I shepherded through my committees over the last 8 years.  Over the course of my time as a Councilmember, my committees have heard and recommended passage of the confirmation of each the Human Services Department Director, the Seattle Police Chief, Office of Policy Accountability Director, Community Police Commission Director, Office of Economic Development Director, Public Health Director, Seattle Office for Civil Rights Director, Office of Emergency Management Director, and the Seattle Public Utilities Director.

In addition to legislation, this list includes about 86 budget actions that I led on.  Again, it doesn’t include budget actions that I co-sponsored or supported, in instances when Councilmembers were the lead sponsor.

Further, after the closure of the West Seattle Bridge in March of 2020 up until the re-opening in September of 2022, my newsletter provided weekly updates about the status of the project to 10,000 constituents.   I am forever grateful to Newell Aldrich in my office for always ensuring that each week there was new information for the public about the bridge repair status.  I have thanked other departing staff members in previous newsletters, but Newell and I have been working side by side for 27 years.  I know I couldn’t have accomplished much of what I’ve done without his patient, thorough, and consistent support.

In addition to staffing the West Seattle Bridge closure and report, Newell’s clerked my committees.  As if that isn’t enough, his staffing of policy issues included legislation such as the BEPS bill, the Diversion Pathway Drug Enforcement Bill, Automated Traffic Enforcement legislation, legislation to fund SPD’s Recruitment and Training plan, legislation to strengthen each the Office of Police Accountability, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Community Police Commission, legislation to regulate SPD’s use of Less Lethal Weapons, legislation to improve fiscal accountability over large capital projects, legislation requiring SPD officers to display their badge numbers and legislation confirming the rights of people to observe and record police interactions with the public.  There’s more information about each of these bills below, as well as policy on protections for our workforce, tenant rights, community safety interventions, human services and behavioral health investments, and so much more!

I’d also like to recognize and give my thanks for the work of Elizabeth Calvillo Dueñas, who began to work with Team Herbold during the chaotic days of the pandemic and has been a critical support to my entire office to, among other duties, ensure that we are responding to constituents, whether sharing information about policy efforts or helping D1 residents navigate the bureaucracy of City of Seattle government.  She’s also guided public disclosure compliance and taken on more responsibility with policy efforts as other team members moved on to other responsibilities starting this fall.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve District 1.  As they say, “It’s been an honor and a privilege.”  I look forward to the representation of Councilmember-Elect Rob Saka and I have let him know that he can reach out to me anytime.  The representation of the district is what is most important to me.  I am confident that he and I share that perspective!

Herbold Budget and Policy Accomplishments 2016-2023



2023 Policy Work (areas of focus: environment, public safety, behavioral health, workforce, D1)

2023 Budget Wins (areas of focus: workforce, public safety, behavioral health, police accountability)


2022 Policy Work (areas of focus: public safety, workforce, health, environment/D1)


2021 Policy Work (areas of focus: public safety, emergency management, workforce, police accountability, behavioral health)


2020 Policy Work (areas of focus: police accountability, small business support, workforce)

2020 Budget Wins (areas of focus:  human services, transportation/D1, workforce, public safety)


2019 Policy Work (areas of focus: renters’ rights, civil rights, public safety, D1, culture)

2019 Budget Wins (areas of focus: transportation/D1, public safety/D1, human services, utilities, culture)


2018 Policy Work (areas of focus: Parks/D1, renters’ rights, civil rights, public safety/D1, fiscal oversight, environment)

2018 Budget Wins (areas of focus: public safety/D1, Transportation/D1, human services/D1, Parks/D1, small business, Parks/D1, culture, civil rights)


2017 Policy Work (areas of focus: fiscal accountability, renters’ rights, police accountability, D1, civil rights, workforce, culture)

2017 Budget Wins (areas of focus: human services, small business support, culture, workforce/D1)


2016 Policy Work (areas of focus: workforce, civil rights, utilities, renters’ rights)

2016 Budget Wins (areas of focus: housing, public safety, small business support, childcare, civil rights, human services)

Eight years of newsletters almost every week of the year!  Thanks to Joseph Peha and Jesse Franz for helping Team Herbold get them out each week!


City Council Passes Historic Building Emissions Performance Standards to Combat Climate Crisis, Pollution / December 12 PSHS Committee: LEAD Program Capacity During 2024, Surveillance Technology Reporting / Resolution Calling on NHTSA to Issue a Recall of Kia and Hyundai Models Vulnerable to Theft / DNDA Honors Sheila Brown Gateway Project at Cape Long / South Park King Tides / Firefighters Local 27 Agreement / 2024 State Legislative Agenda

December 15th, 2023


City Council Passes Historic Building Emissions Performance Standards to Combat Climate Crisis, Pollution

(Herbold staff photo at the Mayor’s bill signing ceremony)

On December 12 the City Council unanimously adopted landmark building emissions performance standards to combat the climate crisis. The Mayor signed the legislation on December 13.

This is the most ambitious plan to reduce building emissions in Seattle history. While the City has required some bigger buildings to track and decrease their building energy use, this is the first time City law will target existing buildings’ greenhouse gas emissions specifically. It’s estimated that the policy will reduce emissions from buildings by 27 percent and reduce Seattle’s total core emissions by about 10 percent.

The symbolism and timing of this legislation is powerful. On the same day the Council acted locally, at the COP 28 United Nations Climate Change Conference, nearly 200 nations agreed, however imperfectly, to transition away from fossil fuels.

Addressing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Future generations will look back to this moment and judge us by what we did today to address our climate crisis. We experience the impacts here in Seattle: extreme heat, drought, and forest fire haze during the summer and even autumn has become normal. King tides are more of a threat to our coastal communities due to sea level rise driven by greenhouse gases.

It’s time for us to take big swings and make sure we’re doing everything we can – for ourselves and for all future generations of Seattleites. I’m proud to have had the opportunity to answer the call from Mayor Harrell, the Office of Sustainability and Environment, and advocates to sponsor and shepherd this legislation through the Council in our last weeks of 2023,

The bill will combat our climate crisis by enacting the Building Performance Emissions Performance Standard (BEPS), which will set targets and timelines for the city’s large buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The BEPS will require owners of existing buildings larger than 20,000 square feet to take steps to incrementally reduce those building’s greenhouse gas emissions. The standards are performance-based, which means that owners can choose what investments to make as long as they are meeting the reduction targets.

This bill will work in tandem with new state regulations.  The knowledge of the BEPS regulations now can help building owners make smarter decisions about the investments they must soon make to comply with the Washington State Clean Buildings Performance Standard law so that they their buildings both reduce energy use and use energy sources that produce less greenhouse gasses.

The City of Seattle is also offering assistance to building owners who have fewer resources, including nonprofits.

The ultimate goal is to reach net zero emissions for these buildings by 2050.

I thank Mayor Harrell and Office of Sustainability and Environment Director Farrell, and advocates, for their diligent work to get us to this point, and willingness to work together. Thank you as well to Councilmembers Mosqueda and Strauss for co-sponsoring the legislation.

More information about how this will be implemented is in this Central Staff memo.

Photo: Tim Durkan (Mayor speaking at bill signing ceremony, with housing, labor and environmental leaders)

It hadn’t been very widely reported that the Mayor declined to send the bill down earlier this year.  Councilmembers Sawant, Mosqueda, and I discussed that turn of events at the Council’s September 11 Briefings meeting.   In part, I believe because we expressed our concerns that day – just a few weeks after that – the Mayor’s Office and OSE reached out to me and asked me to shepherd the bill.

I was honored to have had the opportunity to answer the call from Mayor Harrell, the Office of Sustainability and Environment, and advocates to sponsor and shepherd this legislation through the Council in our last weeks of 2023.

My condition to introducing the bill was the support – of all community stakeholders building owners and environmental advocates and labor – to changes sought by environmental advocates, specifically owner penalty increases to better match those of other cities and building decarbonization costs. When the bill was sent down to the Council it included that important change, higher penalties but balanced with giving flexibility to reduced fines for partial compliance and flexibility to create grace periods.

December 12 PSHS Committee: LEAD Program Capacity During 2024, Surveillance Technology Reporting

My Public Safety and Human Services Committee held its final meeting on December 12th and heard updates about the LEAD program and surveillance technology reporting.

LEAD Program Capacity During 2024

The LEAD program provided an update for October/November 2023. This is timely, as the public use/possession bill adopted by the Council and the SPD policies that followed passage, rely upon diversion as an alternative to arrest.  Pre-filing diversion is also a resource available to the City Attorney in cases where she prefers diversion to filing charges to prosecute. It’s important for policymakers to understand the trends for diversion, and especially for the Council, with its authority over budgets.

The public use/possession bill adopted by the Council in September went into effect on October 20th, and diversion plays a key role in the implementation of the ordinance.  The crux of the committee presentation is that with the increase in arrest referrals, the LEAD program will reach capacity in the first quarter 2023.

LEAD takes referrals from three sources: 1) arrest diversion; 2) community referrals, and 3) social contacts provided by police officers. The chart below shows the arrest diversions, in red, increasing significantly with the October 20th date, and fewer community referrals shown in blue (the presentation is easier to read):

Social contacts are shown in gray.

The chart below shows future projections for the specific types of referrals, from December 2023 to December 2024. Blue is community referrals; dark gray is SPD social contacts; red is SPD arrest diversion. The January 2024 bar, second from the left, shows two new categories: in light gray, social contacts with Metro, and in light red, arrest diversion from Metro.

The horizontal red line shows the program’s maximum capacity, and the green line the projected trends for persons accepted into LEAD; it’s estimated the program will exceed capacity by May 2024:

This shows the trends by specific numbers, with 759 current participants, and a maximum capacity at 1060:

Presenters emphasized that the Mayor’s Office and SPD are aware of the issue.

With these trends, the LEAD program has had to focus community referrals into three areas only: Third Avenue Downtown, Chinatown-International District, and the Rainier Valley. During 2022 and earlier in 2023 community referrals came from either much of the City or several areas where the program is in operation:

This reduction in community referrals is far from optimal. SPD estimates the public use possession bill will result in 700 to 800 new arrest diversions annually.

The presentation also featured the precinct-based discussions; other areas the program serves include SW Delridge, SODO, the East Precinct, North Aurora, Ballard, and the University District. LEAD played a key role in resolving the Rosello Building problems in South Delridge.

I sponsored a budget action included in the 2024 budget requesting that the Human Services Department, Seattle Police Department, and LEAD report quarterly on referrals to LEAD and the funding required to support them.

The City’s State Legislative agenda includes a request for state funding for LEAD, as is provided for other jurisdictions.

Here’s a link to the Seattle Channel broadcast.

The City began to fund diversion in 2006, after a 2005 Citywide Public Safety Forum sponsored by former Councilmember Nick Licata, made recommendations for a public safety package that balanced adding more police officers with prevention and intervention programs in human services.  Following those recommendations, the City Council “Developed a $5.9 million public safety package which balanced adding more police officers with prevention and intervention programs in human services.”  The following year, we worked with the Human Services Department to develop the Request For Proposals for those prevention and intervention programs.  The result was three new programs, Clean Dreams, Co-Stars, and GOTS.  Clean Dreams later evolved to become LEAD.  LEAD is now an international program that is evidence-based and data-driven.


Surveillance Technology Reporting

Review of surveillance technologies, per the City’s surveillance ordinance, has taken a fair amount of time before the Council in recent years. The Office of the Inspector is working on potential innovations that could improve the process, along with the City Auditor.

This process revision looks like an excellent innovation, that can identify the privacy and civil rights risks a technology presents. Risk categories could include data sharing, data theft or improper retention, civil liberties, public perception, and community concerns. This could also make the review process more accessible for the public, by providing a concise explanation of what the important broad policy issues are; we don’t currently have that.

The current analyses are somewhat technical, detailed, and long, and there’s a place for that, but this concept OIG presented may make it clearer both for Councilmembers and the public.

Here’s the presentation. Below is an example of what a scoring system could look like (this is not an actual review):

Resolution Calling on NHTSA to Issue a Recall of Kia and Hyundai Models Vulnerable to Theft

The Council unanimously adopted a resolution I sponsored this week calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a recall of Kia and Hyundai models lacking immobilizer technology that are vulnerable to theft.

As you may remember in January 2023, the City of Seattle was the first municipality in the nation to file a complaint against automakers Kia and Hyundai.  There are now 17 cities that have taken this action. The City Attorney’s complaint seeks the manufacturers be required to install industry-standard anti-theft technology in specific Kia and Hyundai models made between 2011 and 2021.   There are a total of 17 cities that have signed onto the lawsuit started by City Attorney Davison.  The lawsuit seeks to require the car manufacturers to install industry-standard anti-theft technology in specific Kia and Hyundai models made between 2011 and 2021. Additionally, it seeks to recover damages for the City from the automakers, as the absence of security equipment has led to an extraordinary number of vehicle thefts and a commensurate surge in police response. The suit contends that the increased police work in Seattle and elsewhere would not have trended up so steeply if the specific models were manufactured to industry standards.

This resolution calls upon the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a recall of Kia and Hyundai models lacking immobilizer technology that are vulnerable to theft.   Baltimore and Philadelphia have also passed resolutions.

Local Progress is reaching out to member cities to pass resolutions such as this one.  I heard from numerous constituents about their experiences, as thefts of Hyundai and Kias thefts rose by as much as 620% between 2021 and 2022, so I believe this is relevant to Seattle residents. Further, 2023 numbers do not show that this issue has been abated. In 2023, through October, 868 KIAs and 1,021 Hyundais were stolen; with the Kia and Hyundai theft totals being larger in recent months than all other makes and models combined. Some report difficulties attaining insurance or having to pay higher prices.

The cost of manufacturing the standard anti-theft technology is only $100, yet in lower-cost models it has not been included.  This means that the thefts are likely hitting people of limited means hardest.

Vehicle theft is a Class B Felony in Washington State; the King County Prosecutor is responsible for prosecuting felonies; the City Attorney handles misdemeanor and gross misdemeanors.

I thank SPD for, in April, making anti-theft steering wheel locks available to Kia and Hyundai owners.

DNDA Honors Sheila Brown Gateway Project at Cape Long

Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) announced the Sheila Brown Gateway Project at Camp Long opening this week.

Sheila Brown was, for 13 years, the Camp Long Director.  The Sheila Brown Gateway Project was made possible thanks to the contributions of 125 community members.

In addition to a new gateway, the new entrance includes pillars and a gate similar to those at the park’s main entrance, built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Here is a little from DNDA about Sheila’s long public service:

“Sheila led and supported many environmental projects that endure to this day, including establishing the 4-H Challenge course at Camp Long and the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail that runs through Delridge.

DNDA deeply appreciated Sheila as a community partner and inspiring person, and so did our friends at EarthCorps, The Common Acre, and many more organizations. She helped create the city’s Leaders in Environment, Equity, and Facilitation program to empower youth in communities of color to become environmental education leaders.”

South Park King Tides

SPU has announced the latest information related to the City’s flood damage protection efforts.

There is a King Tide that is peaking over the weekend; it is not expected to meet the trigger of 11 feet. SPU shared earlier this week that they are keeping an eye on tidal flooding forecasts through next week as we move into another round of King Tides.  King Tides will be a concern through early next week with astronomical tides peaking this weekend. However, high tides over 10 feet are still expected through the middle of next week. SPU also shared the following:

“A tidal level exceeding 11.5-feet when river overtopping starts to become a risk. This level can be reached through high tides combined with storm surge and low atmospheric pressure. Accordingly, SPU tracks all these factors and prepares to respond to flooding during windows when tide predictions are greater than 10-feet NAVD88. There are numerous 2023-2024 dates that are predicted to exceed 10-feet.” See the table below for upcoming months, and SPU’s preparation timetable:

Firefighters Local 27 Agreement

The City Council approved an agreement for a contract between the City of Seattle and the Local 27 Firefighters Union.

Seattle’s firefighters and fire employees are there for all of us on our worst days, every day. They are asked to do much, to routinely put themselves in harm’s way, yet they ask for little. I am proud, as one of my final acts in office, to support this contract and stand in solidarity with them.

The total cost of implementing retroactive wage adjustments in 2022 through 2023 is estimated to be $22,300,000. In 2024, the additional budget needed to fully fund all positions under these titles is $21,400,000. In total, estimated costs for 2022 through 2026 are $106,500,000.

The Mayor’s announcement is here.

2024 State Legislative Agenda

The Council adopted a resolution to establish the City of Seattle’s 2024 State Legislative Agenda. This guides the efforts of the City’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations efforts during the state legislative session in Olympia.


Building Emission Performance Standard UNANIMOUSLY Voted out of Committee / Alki Stay Healthy Street / Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy at the Regional Policy Committee

December 8th, 2023


Building Emission Performance Standard UNANIMOUSLY Voted out of Committee

My 2023 Select Committee on Climate Action met on Thursday, December 7 and voted 7-0 to send legislation to establish Building Emissions Performance Standards to the City Council for a final vote on December 12th. The legislation applies to existing buildings over 20,000 square feet.

The committee heard an informative presentation from City Light about their preparation for growing electricity use, as we move toward greater use of this climate-friendly energy source. Their Q&A explains City Light’s work on a variety of levels including work on the Integrated Resource Plan, Climate Change Adaptation Plan, and an Electrification Assessment. City Light has been carbon neutral since 2005.

Below are comments I made in support of the legislation:

“Addressing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges of our time, locally, nationally, and internationally.

At the international level, the 28th UN Climate Change Conference has been meeting since November 30. As the UN Climate page says, “UN Climate Change conferences are the world’s only multilateral decision-making forum on climate change with almost complete membership of every country in the world.  To put it simply, the COP is where the world comes together to agree on ways to address the climate crisis, such as limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, helping vulnerable communities adapt to the effects of climate change, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”

This multilateral work is critical, but we must also act locally. We are experiencing the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions more and more in Seattle.

Forest fire haze during the summer and even autumn has become normal. We had record heat of 108 degrees in 2021—and in the month of June no less, which would have been unthinkable not long ago.

Some of the discussion topics at COP 28 include health, a just transition, and multilevel action; I’ll speak to those later, though I do want to highlight that for the first-time health has been a key focus of the conference, with a Health Day. A climate and health researcher at the University of Washington, called it a “watershed moment” for her field.

This makes all the more timely the letter we received from Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, Health Officer of Seattle and King County Public Health, urging support for this legislation.

Here in Seattle, with this legislation, today we have the chance to do our part, with this building emissions performance standard legislation developed by the Office of Sustainability and Environment through two years of work, including consultation with numerous stakeholders.

This policy is projected to reduce climate pollution from buildings by 27% by 2050 and is one of the most impactful actions we can take locally to reduce emissions, as buildings are one of the largest sources of pollution.

More work will be needed, nationally, internationally and in Seattle, but today we have the opportunity to take decisive action.

This legislation is about the future.

Some of the most moving comments we have heard are from parents and grandparents, and their children and grandchildren being their inspiration for supporting this legislation.

Earlier I mentioned that COP28 includes meetings on health, a just transition, and multilevel action.

Today, we can do our part for action at our level, City government.

This legislation is part of a just transition; it will create an estimated 150-270 new annual jobs, green jobs that will promote electrification; many thanks to OSE and the Mayor for baking this into the recipe.

I’d like to read an excerpt from the letter mentioned earlier from Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, Health Officer of Seattle and King County Public Health, urging support for this legislation. The letter states,

“The American Public Health Association, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Medical Association, and many other medical, nursing, scientific, and public health organizations have recognized climate change as a health emergency, while the World Health Organization has declared “climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity.”

It further states,

“Communities that are suffering worst from pollution — often low-income communities of color— have higher risks of death from particle pollution, in part due to the historical impacts of redlining that have led communities of color to be pushed to live in buildings with greater exposure to air pollution.”

“The electrification of multi-family housing, libraries, offices, and other large buildings provides an opportunity to ensure both cooling and effective indoor air filtration, which are becoming more critical as we experience increasingly frequent climate-driven heat waves and wildfire smoke events.”

In closing I would note that Council President Juarez opted to name this committee the 2023 Select Committee on Climate Change. This implies the committee could be convened in subsequent years, so thank you for that Madame President.

This legislation is projected to get Seattle to 50% of the building emissions reductions needed to be carbon neutral in 2050, so this isn’t the end of the story, but it is a very significant chapter, and one we should celebrate. This vote taking place during COP28 could not be more timely.

Our vote today is a critical step forward but there is so much more to do.  As noted in the Director’s report, the Seattle BEPS policy, in combination with existing City and State policies, “gets Seattle about halfway towards net-zero. The remaining cumulative emissions…will need to be obtained from future policies that address nonresidential and multifamily buildings smaller than 20,000 SF and the single-family sector, beyond those that will be already addressed by the existing residential heating oil conversion program (Seattle Clean Heat Program).”

I look forward to next year’s Council, working collaboratively with Seattle blue-green coalition and building owners, using the momentum and partnership created by this policy, to take those next steps.”


SDOT Announcement on Alki Stay Healthy Street

Last Friday SDOT announced updates on Healthy Streets, including the Alki Point.

SDOT shared early design concepts in 2022 and evaluated community feedback in 2023. Updates include approximately 0.25 miles of new walking/biking space; 3 new ADA parking spaces; 3 new speed humps; and on-street parking removal to allow for new walking/biking space.

Construction is expected to begin next year.

Additional detail is available at the Alki Point Healthy Street webpage, including detail on the locations for the new speed hump.

I’ve heard some community concern about the segment between 63rd and 64th Avenue SW; there will be a King County transformer project at 63rd Ave SW and Beach Drive SW, to support a permanent backup generator for the Alki Wet Weather Treatment Station Facility and 63rd Avenue Pump Station. Part of this project will include street excavation between the Alki Wet Weather Treatment Facility and Pump Station on Beach Drive.

King County indicated they would coordinate their work with SDOT’s Stay Healthy Street project.


Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy (VSHSL) at the Regional Policy Committee (RPC)

This year, King County voters approved the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Service Levy to fund supportive services for vets, seniors, and resilient communities for another 6 years.  In addition, this levy funds workforce stabilization.

The Regional Policy Committee (RPC) is made up of representatives from the Seattle City Council, the King County Council, and the Sound Cities Association, and reviews and recommends regional policies and plans. I serve as an alternate.  At the November 27th RPC meeting, members voted to support an amendment that would move $6 million workforce stabilization funds into capital needs for food security.  King County Councilmember Balducci and I voted against the amendment.

Because RPC recommendations go to the King County Council, advocates last week convinced the King County Council Committee of the Whole a couple days later on November 29th to reverse the RPC recommendation.  My email inbox was flooded with messages that said in part:

“The staff who connect with veterans experiencing homelessness, bring seniors nutritious meals, and support housing stability are chronically underpaid. Without additional investment to start undoing decades of underfunding, essential workers face additional strain on themselves and the people they serve, unacceptably high staff turnover and vacancy rates, and worse results for every investment area. Without these investments, we lose essential frontline workers to better paying jobs in the for-profit sector. This staff attrition and turnover disrupt critical relationships with the community members we serve, increase program operating costs, and reduce agencywide capacity to address our community’s most urgent issues.”

Workforce stabilization is issue that you will remember I have been promoting at the Seattle CIty Council, with funding to close the “Pay Penalty” gap – which is the 7% increase in salary that someone whose profession is in human services receives as soon as the get a job outside of human services. With Mayor Harrell’s support, we’ve moved the needle in this year’s budget process with a 2% increase over and above the legally required inflationary increase.

While doing this work at the City, many of my colleagues on the Council as well as in the Executive branch, say: “the human services agencies the Seattle Human Services Department funds also get funding from the County, the State, and the Federal government; Seattle’s Human Services Department can’t fix the pay penalty gap alone!”  But other jurisdictions are helping.  Voters supported workforce stabilization in the Housing Levy with $122 million of $970 million for operating, maintenance and services expenses, including workforce stabilization in new and existing permanent supportive housing buildings.  The $1.25 billion King County Crisis Care Centers Levy funds wages at 20 percent above the current average and assumes an additional $20 million to invest in strategies such as subsidizing staff insurance costs, funding costs of certifications, or subsidizing caregiver costs like childcare or eldercare for staff. The $564 million VSHSL included $58 million for workforce stabilization.

Because the RPC action was reversed by the King County Council Committee of the Whole, the measure had to come back to RPC for concurrence.  I’m pleased to report today that I had the chance to join RPC again today, as an alternate, to vote unanimously to restore funding so the full $58 million for workforce stabilization funds is maintained, consistent with the will of the voters.  Capital grants to support food security is still an eligible expenditure for the levy.

Women are over-represented in the human services industry, making up almost 80 percent of human services workers, and Black/African American workers are almost three times as likely to work in human services as they are to work in non-care industries. Thank you to the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness for their strong advocacy for workforce stabilization and fair wages for people who do this life-saving, mission-critical care work.


November 28 Public Safety and Human Services Committee / Climate Action Committee Meeting / Budget Committee Meeting: Addressing Pay Equity, Increasing Budget Transparency / Alki Pump Station Project

December 1st, 2023


November 28 Public Safety and Human Services Committee

The Public Safety and Human Services Committee met on Tuesday, November 28th and considered both: 1. the appointment of an Executive Director for the Community Police Commission and 2. legislation to transfer the Dumar Street Substation property to the Office of Housing.

The committee voted 4-0 in support of the appointment of Cali Ellis as Executive Director of the Community Police Commission (CPC). The appointment was presented by two of the CPC Co-Chairs, Reverend Patricia Hunter and Joel Merkel.

Under the 2017 police accountability ordinance, the Executive Director of the Community Police Commission is appointed by the Community Police Commission and confirmed by the City Council.  The appointment is for a 6-year term. City Council confirmation is not needed for a re-appointment.

The Council recently added a new deputy director position because of the recent experience of needing a succession structure when there is a vacancy in the Executive Director position.  Prior to this change, there was no one in line under the ordinance to fill the vacancy, yet Interim Director Ellis did so when requested by the CPC to do so and she has been in this role since January.

The committee also voted 4-0 in support of legislation to transfer the former Dumar Substation property to the Office of Housing.  I wrote more about the background in last week’s newsletter.

The origins of this legislation date back ten years, to the disposition of surplus City Light properties in West Seattle. In 2015, former Councilmembers Rasmussen, Licata, and then-Councilmember Harrell requested that the Office of Planning and Community Development study land use changes for this property. The community has strongly supported affordable housing and ground-floor commercial use at this location.

Both items will be on the City Council agenda on December 5th.

 2023 Select Committee on Climate Action Committee Meeting

The 2023 Select Committee on Climate Action Committee met on Wednesday, November 29th.

The Office of Sustainability & Environment gave a detailed presentation about Council Bill 120718, Building Emissions Performance legislation. I am sponsoring the legislation, with Councilmembers Mosqueda and Strauss co-sponsoring.

The legislation establishes greenhouse gas emissions target reductions that existing buildings larger than 20,000 square feet must meet, based on 5-year intervals beginning in 2031. Seattle’s BEPS policy is projected to reduce building emissions by 27% by 2050, or 10% of core emissions overall.

The meeting began with extensive public comment in support of the legislation.  We heard support from affordable housing providers, numerous environmental groups, MLK Labor and IBEW Local 46. We also heard from several constituents who mentioned the futures of their children and grandchildren as their motivation for supporting the legislation.

The legislation will be implemented by the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE), which has been working with building owners for several years. Since 2012, buildings 20,000 square feet and larger have been required to track and report energy performance through the Energy Benchmarking program (Ordinance 123226, passed in 2010); and owners of buildings 50,000 square feet and larger have been required to invest in upgrades and maintenance to reduce energy and water consumptions in such buildings through the Building Tune-Ups program since 2019 (Ordinance 125002, passed in 2016).

OSE has provided coaching and technical assistance, and extensive outreach; compliance with the reporting and benchmarking has been over 95%. This track record sets the stage for OSE’s work to implement this bill.

Another aspect is funding; the Seattle Clean Buildings Accelerator program includes $4.5 million in the 2024 budget; adoption of the legislation will help facilitate grant applications.

The legislation has gone through nearly two years of stakeholder engagement, which has resulted in an approach with flexibility in enforcement. Working with stakeholders, including building owners, the legislation establishes three pathways for compliance:

Since SEPA publication in June of 2023, a number of changes have been made, including owner penalty increases to better match those of other cities and building decarbonization costs; tenant penalties increased to ensure owners are not held responsible for tenants’ failure to participate (on some leases owners do not have access to the building); the penalty can be pro-rated when owners have made significant progress; establishing grace periods to facilitate compliance; greater reporting transparency; and directing a minimum 40% of revenue from penalties and Alternative Compliance Payments dedicated to buildings serving frontline communities.

The policy is estimated to create between 150 and 270 annual new jobs.

Creation of a “just transition,” for labor is an important element of the legislation. Labor representatives spoke to the importance of this legislation benefitting the climate, while also creating jobs, on the model of the “green/blue alliance.”

The Committee will meet next at 9:30 am Thursday, December 7, 2023, in Council Chambers, Seattle City Hall. If you’d like to receive the meeting agenda by e-mail, you can sign up here.

A Council Central Staff memo provides background on the policy, and on the City’s efforts to date to reduce GHG emissions from buildings.

Budget Committee Meeting: Addressing Pay Equity, Increasing Budget Transparency

The Budget Committee met on Thursday, November 30th. The committee voted in support of the legislation I sponsored regarding the pay penalty gap for human services contractors.

The legislation requires that wage equity funds be used for that purpose and includes contracting and reporting requirements.

The committee also voted in support of two bills to improve the city budget process and provide greater transparency, as recommended by the Fiscal Policy Workgroup.

As Budget Chair Mosqueda’s release states, “The legislation is intended to

  • Increase information for the Council and the public about City budgeting, reporting, and use of resources.
  • Focus resources on financial monitoring and planning, to improve the City’s financial management and the information available to budget decision-makers.
  • Create sustainable budgets, which maintain appropriate service levels and performance.”

Alki Pump Station Project Improves Performance While Adding Public Art and Landscaping Elements

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) completed construction on Alki Pump Station 38, which is essential for moving sewage and stormwater from the surrounding area to the treatment plant. In recent years, the pump station experienced a significant increase in flows, resulting in considerable strain on the system as well as frequent and costly maintenance. The new pump station not only increases reliability and capacity, but also helps protect the health of our waterways, wildlife, and residents.

In collaboration with the Office of Arts and Culture, SPU installed a new public art piece titled “Tracing Alki” by artist Sarah Thompson Moore in the area surrounding the pump station. Inspired by a topographical map of the City printed in 1894, the artwork conjures patterns of nature such as the rippling of water, growth rings in a tree, shellfish, and fingerprints. Thompson Moore, a Cow Creek Band of Umpqua tribal citizen, connected with the Muckleshoot Tribe to identify opportunities to integrate cultural components such as cultural markers on the map, engraved patterns, and interpretive text on the utility cabinet wrap. The artwork invites community members to come together and explore the past and present history of Alki.

To celebrate the pump station’s completion, SPU and ARTS are hosting a “Meet the Artist” event on Saturday, December 2 from 10 am – 12 pm at the pump station site, near 1411 Alki Ave SW. Residents can learn firsthand from Thompson Moore about her inspiration for the artwork and her process.

For more information about Seattle Public Utilities, please visit: https://www.seattle.gov/utilities

For more information about the Office of Arts and Culture, please visit: https://www.seattle.gov/arts


This Week in Budget Deliberations / Dumar Substation Transfer / Upcoming Climate Meeting / Ceasefire Resolution / Giving My Thanks to You

November 22nd, 2023


This Week in Budget Deliberations

The Council adopted the 2024 Budget this week.  My thanks go to Chair Mosqueda as this is the fourth biennial budget season that she has shepherded through the Council deliberative process as Chair of the Council’s Select Committee on the Budget.

The City Council’s priorities are summarized here.

The Council-endorsed budget rejects austerity and makes investments to help address the greatest needs of those with the least, including the human service provider wage increases necessary to not leave workers behind.

Thank you as well to Mayor Harrell for including in his proposed budget a 2% downpayment on closing the 7% Pay Penalty Gap for frontline human services providers.  This $4.3 million investment was my highest budget priority as expressed by Resolution 32094.  The “Pay Penalty Gap” refers to a Wage Equity Study finding that workers who leave the human services industry for a job in a different industry see a net pay increase of seven percent a year later.  Equal thanks go to all the Councilmembers who supported human service provider inflationary wage increases (separate from closing the pay penalty gap) to keep up with inflation to ensure they don’t fall behind and continue their live-saving mission-critical care work.

My other funded priorities in this budget include:

  • Funding to implement the App-Based Worker Deactivations Rights Ordinance to ensure our historic legislation – supporting workers not afforded the same rights as employees – is enforced.
  • Funding for mental-health resources for frontline community-based crisis responders who are doing trauma-inducing work as violence preventers and violence interrupters and finding themselves, friends, and family members to be victims of gun violence.
  • Funding to increase the reach of a gun-violence reduction program that provides wrap-around services to victims of gun violence and their families, proven to reduce the likelihood of their involvement in retributive violence.
  • Funding for domestic violence mobile community-based survivor supports to protect survivor safety and confidentiality. This funding was responsive to the 2023 recommendations of the Seattle Community Responses to Domestic Violence work group, which was funded in a prior year’s budget with an action I sponsored to support ways of responding to domestic violence outside of the criminal legal system.
  • Requesting a report on funding needed to handle increased referrals to Let Everyone Advance with Dignity (LEAD) and the funding required to support LEAD database integration. Ordinance 126896 added to the Seattle Municipal Code the new crimes of knowing possession of a controlled substance and use of a controlled substance in a public place and it explicitly established diversion to services and treatment as the City’s standard approach for most instances of these crimes.  The Seattle Police Department’s estimate is that the new ordinance would result in its making approximately 700 to 800 new diversion referrals annually.
  • Requesting that HSD provide a report on how the department will implement forthcoming legislation related to provider pay increases and integrate wage equity into competitive funding processes
  • Funding to support both the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Police Accountability in their efforts to support constitutional policing

Thank you to thousands of members of the public for engaging in this process to make sure this Council is tending to the greatest needs of those with the least first. As this is my last budget process on the Council, it will be a memory I will hold dear.

Dumar Substation Transfer

I have been in conversation with the Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC) for several years about the vacant, surplus property owned by Seattle City Light at 1605 SW Holden Street, known as the Dumar substation.

Next week, in my Public Safety and Human Service Committee we will be hearing legislation that:

  • Approves transfer of the Dumar site from SCL to the Office of Housing (OH) in exchange for $424,000
  • Authorizes OH to: Conduct a competitive process to solicit proposals for the development of resale restricted homeownership and negotiate property transfer to the selected developer

This is following up on years of conversation between my office, Seattle City Light (SCL), and the Office of Housing about the proposed community use for this property.  SCL is willing to transfer the property to the Office of Housing for affordable housing development; the Office of Housing is willing as well.

In 2015, then Councilmembers Harrell, Licata, and Rasmussen proposed a statement of legislative intent directing the consideration of zoning and land use changes.

Community advocacy led by HPAC resulted in a new zoning designation in for the Dumar Substation property in 2019.  The community’s goal was to develop it with affordable housing and a ground floor commercial use, so I worked to help the property be rezoned to Neighborhood Commercial 1-40 (M2).

One requirement for a transfer is the property must be used for a “public benefit purpose.”  Public benefit is defined as:

…affordable housing for low-income and very low-income households as defined in RCW 43.63A.510, and related facilities that support the goals of affordable housing development in providing economic and social stability for low-income persons. 

Enterprise Community Partners and the Office of Housing did a preliminary analysis of the site; both believe it’s a good opportunity for affordable homeownership, such as townhomes or live/work lofts.  Both agree the site is too small for affordable rental housing to be financially feasible.

The community has met with Homestead Community Land Trust and Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County to talk about the potential for development of this site.  Homestead and Habitat both develop affordable homes for homeownership. Because of the size and other factors, the Office of Housing and our affordable housing consultant both agree that the site is most likely to be attractive to developers for affordable homeownership.

Because of the “public benefit” requirement, to be developed as affordable housing it will be challenging to also ensure that the ground-floor space will be used by a commercial tenant such as a grocery or bar.  The ground floor could meet the public benefit definition of providing “economic and social stability for low-income persons,” with perhaps subsidized childcare or food bank.

What we’ve heard from the community:

  • Street-level activation: Neighbors are interested in adding liveliness to the neighborhood and increasing its walkability.
  • Public benefit: Many neighbors were interested in providing a public benefit on the ground floor.
  • Affordable housing: Neighbors expressed their desire for affordable housing at this site.
  • Adjacent lot: Several people noted that the lot to the south was for sale.
  • Safety: Neighbors noted it would be beneficial to have additional eyes on this corner and expressed concerns about traffic flow if parking were included.
  • Desirability: It will be helpful to understand how desirable this site is to potential non-profit or for-profit developers and lessees.

Here is some content from the bill’s fiscal note that emphasizes the value of this action:

The neighborhood surrounding the site is more racially diverse with a higher percentage of low-income households than the City as a whole. As more households are priced out of the City, securing this site for the development of permanently affordable homeownership will mitigate current and future displacement. By providing affordable homeownership in Highland Park and ensuring affirmative marketing to communities least likely to apply, including Black, Indigenous, and other households of color who historically have been systematically and disproportionately excluded from homeownership opportunities and who are at higher risk of displacement, such displacement impacts can be mitigated.

Ceasefire Resolution

The Seattle City Council approved a resolution calling for a long-term ceasefire in Gaza, an immediate return of all hostages, and restoration of humanitarian aid. It also condemns rising antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian/Arab bigotry.

Council President Debora Juarez, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda and I worked together so we could propose our common ground amendment consistent with the statement developed by a large interfaith coalition and other community members who signed the Washington Solidarity Statement.

The letter of support stated “We firmly believe that the calls set forth in the resolution by Juarez/Herbold/Mosqueda help bring better safety and well-being for all peoples living in the region, Palestinians and Israelis alike. A ceasefire and the restoration of basic necessities along with humanitarian aid would enable the development of political solutions, including for the release and safe return of all hostages, rather than perpetuate violence through a military option. In addition, given the rise in antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian/anti-Arab bigotry, the language in the resolution helps make clear that the City of Seattle will not condone such hatred or divisiveness, regardless of where it occurs.”

The vote on the final resolution, after our amendment, was six Councilmembers unanimously in favor and three abstaining.

As passed, the resolution underscores the Council’s support for the people of both Israel and Palestine to live in peace and security, condemns the attack on October 7 by Hamas as well as the Israeli military’s response on the 2.3 million Palestinian people living in Gaza (nearly half of whom are children) since then.

Some have argued that the resolution that passed was weak or “watered down.”  I used as my north star this brief resolution before the US House of Representatives introduced by Reps. Bush, Tlaib, Carson, Lee, Ramirez, Bowman, Coleman, Garcia, Jackson, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, and Velazquez.

I believe that if you want to effectively call for a ceasefire you must have a laser focus on the call for the immediate end of bloodshed.  Concepts such as the origins of the conflict, ending all US military funding, and other information that may in dispute or longer-term political objectives like ending the occupation distracts from the call for a ceasefire creating the humanitarian crisis.

This is not a watered-down resolution. It is focused. It is focused on improving immediate conditions for Gaza’s 2.3 million people, 1.7 million of whom have been displaced since the 7 October Hamas attack in Israel resulted in the killing of 1,200 Israelis and capture of 240 hostages. Since then, more than 11,000 people have been killed in besieged Gaza.

The strongest statement for peace is a statement that has more Councilmembers voting with a unified voice.

2023 Select Committee on Climate Action Meeting November 29

The 2023 Select Committee on Climate Action will hold its first meeting on November 29th, for a presentation on Council Bill 120718, Building Emissions Performance legislation.

The agenda materials include a Director’s Report, Introduction, and Guide to the Proposed Policy. A presentation will be added early next week.

The committee will meet the following week on December 7th.

Giving My Thanks to You

This is the time of year that I take stock of all for which I have to be thankful. I bet you do too.  On this Thanksgiving Day eve, there are individual people to be thankful for their contribution to making Seattle a better city.  If you are working for your community, I’m thankful for you raising your voices, to ensure City government is making decisions in the interest of the city, and our District.

On this Thanksgiving Day eve, I find that there is so much for which I have to give thanks.  There are people in District 1 and elsewhere who raise their voices and help contribute every day to making Seattle a better city.  There also are legislative victories that I couldn’t have accomplished without others. I am thankful for those as well, but I’ll wait until my annual year end wrap up post, to give recognize those accomplishments and those who helped me get it done.

What unites us this week is that we all take stock of the reasons we have to be thankful. It doesn’t matter whether you observe Thanksgiving or whether you think of the fourth Thursday of November as an idealized myth obscuring genocide and imperialism. It doesn’t matter if you are on your own for Thanksgiving or whether you are with friends and family.

I’m a person who sometimes forgets to practice mindful gratitude. For me, the fourth Thursday of November is a good reminder to practice. I have the regular reasons to be thankful: family, friends, work, my health. But I want to use this space today for my mindful gratitude for the people who work with me, each and every day, to serve the residents of District 1.


This Week in the Budget / Building Emissions Performance Standard Legislation / MOU to Expand Diversified Responses, Park Rangers, and Event Staffing / Sound Transit Survey for West Seattle Station Planning / Highland Park Way and Holden Traffic Improvements Public Art: Steller’s Jay Installation

November 17th, 2023


This Week in the Budget

This week the City Council, acting as the Select Budget Committee, approved amendments to the 2024 City of Seattle budget. A final vote is scheduled at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 22nd.

The committee also hosted a public hearing on Monday evening, which ran just under four hours.

On Tuesday, the committee considered amendments to the 2024 budget. Amendments in the Group A Consent Package were all adopted. Amendments in Group B were considered individually; some passed, and some did not.

The Council’s budget amendment tool includes information about the votes, such as whether an amendment passed or failed and how each member voted.

On Wednesday the committee heard presentations about the Revenue Stabilization Work Group, Fiscal Transparency Bills, Provider Pay legislation, and Council Bills to repeal the Water Utility Tax, and a Capital Gains Excise Tax (Councilmember Pedersen has proposed repealing the water utility tax, and replacing it with a local 2% capital gains tax).

The Select Budget Committee will meet on November 30 to consider legislation that is not critical to balancing the 2024 budget.

One budget effort that the Select Budget Committee passed this week was my legislation creating a funding source for the Office of Labor Standards to enforce the PayUp laws.  The Council passed the legislation by a 7-2 vote.

Over the past three years, to protect a vulnerable and fast-growing sector of Seattle workers, City Council has passed protections that I have sponsored for app-based workers.  During discussions of the minimum compensation bill last year, I made a commitment to bring forward potential answers to the question of funding the enforcement of this and other app-based workers protections.  During discussion this year of the App-Based Worker Deactivation Rights Ordinance we discussed a fee-based approach to support enforcement.

As the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) noted in their September 11 Annual Certification on OLS Functions and Resources memo, the Office is responsible for enforcement of a wide web of worker protections that cover 54,000 employers and almost 600,000 employees with a team of 34 FTE. In that memo, they touch on Seattle’s leadership in building protections for app-based workers.

“Much of the policy team focus has been on advancing labor standards for non-standard workforces, especially gig workers, domestic workers, and independent contractors. This work is time-consuming as few jurisdictions have tackled such initiatives. Consequently, OLS must create the roadmap, rather than relying on the experiences of others.”

OLS exists to center the needs of our most vulnerable workers. Every law enforced by the Office of Labor Standards aims to address racial and economic disparities. Thoughtful administration of app-based worker protections is work that supports disability justice, gender parity, and racial equity.

The legislation creates a ten cents per delivery fee, if the app-based platforms choose to pass the fee on to customers, it will cost someone who gets a weekly delivery of mixed grocery and non-grocery orders a total of $5.20 a year. The legislation explicitly exempts grocery orders.

Janice Fine, the director of the Workplace Justice Lab at Rutgers, recently described OLS as “One of, if not the most, effective local agencies in the United States.”  With the limited staff and budget OLS currently has, they have already recovered nearly $14 million for app-based workers whose rights have been violated, including

  • More than $3.3 million for 10,000 gig workers who were underpaid by Uber Eats.
  • More than $1.6 million for over 600 workers after DoorDash violated PSST rules.
  • More than $1.5 million for over 4,000 workers after GrubHub violated gig worker protections.

OLS must have the funding it needs to uphold the law. Their work results in dollars in the pockets of workers.  Check out the OLS enforcement dashboard here.  Almost 77,000 workers have received financial penalties resulting from OLS’s work since 2014.  Impressive stuff!

Here is one recent Slate article entitled, “There’s Only One Kind of Extra Fee That DoorDash and Instacart Don’t Like,“ about the failed amendments intending to limit OLS’s contracts with worker and employer groups that help educate about workplace laws and to reach workers.  Here is another article from Geekwire.

Building Emissions Performance Standard Legislation

Addressing our climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We need to act swiftly and take big swings. The Building Emissions Performance Standard legislation Mayor Harrell transmitted to the Council on Wednesday does just that, and the policy will significantly move the needle on reducing emissions in Seattle.

I thank the Mayor, Office of Sustainability and Environment, and advocates for working together. I appreciate the extensive outreach and stakeholder meetings that the Office of Sustainability and Environment carried out during the last two years – it serves as an example of how our community can move forward together on this critically important issue. I thank Council President Juarez for creating a special Select Committee on Climate Action committee to hear this legislation, a committee that I am honored to be chairing.

The Mayor’s press release states,

“The proposed Building Emissions Performance Standard Policy (BEPS) applies to existing nonresidential and multifamily buildings greater than 20,000 square feet. The reduction in climate emissions which will result from the passage of this legislation is the equivalent of taking 72,322 gasoline-powered cars off the road for a year. Key policy details include: 

  • BEPS sets carbon-emissions targets that buildings must meet over time to reach net-zero emissions (or alternative compliance) by 2041-2050 depending on building size and type.
  • Compliance starts with reporting requirements by 2027 that quantify building emissions and encourage owners to prepare for emissions reductions, followed by requirements to meet emissions targets in five-year intervals starting in 2031 that become progressively lower until reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • The BEPS policy has flexible compliance pathways to accommodate buildings of many uses, size, type, ownership, age, and systems, with low-income housing and human services given a longer lead time to prepare.”

According to the 2020 Seattle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, over 30% of emissions are from buildings.

Seattle’s BEPS policy is projected to reduce building emissions by 27% by 2050, making it the most impactful climate action Seattle can take now.

The Mayor’s press release includes statements of support from numerous groups, showing the care and attention taken to the development of the policies reflected in this legislation.

This builds on legislation the City Council adopted in 2021 to update the Commercial Energy Code for new commercial buildings and multifamily condominiums and apartments. That legislation prohibited the use of fossil fuels or gas for space heating and water heating in newly built hotels and multifamily residences.

Of the emissions from buildings, three-quarters come from fossil fuels.

The OSE Building Emissions Performance Standards page has helpful links, including a guide to the policy: Seattle BEPS: Guide to the Proposed Policy (November 2023). This includes the timeline for the regulations, paths to compliance, and information about support and financial assistance (there’s also a  Financial Incentives for Decarbonization Factsheet. OSE also has a Seattle Clean Buildings Accelerator webpage offering no-cost assistance to building owners.

This proposal builds on previous work: a building performance standard was listed as a key climate action in the 2013 Climate Action Plan, 2018 Climate Action Strategy, 2020 Green New Deal Executive Order, 2021 Climate Executive Order, and the 2021 Green New Deal Climate Actions Report.

The policy is also well aligned with State of Washington policies to reduce carbon emissions, including the Washington Clean Buildings Performance Standard, Climate Commitment Act, Clean Energy Transformation Act, and Washington State Energy Strategy. The Clean Buildings Performance Standard includes compliance dates in 2026, 2027, and 2028 depending on building size.

The OSE website shows the impact this Building Performance Policy could have: previous city and state actions could result in 24% total decreases in GHG emissions; this policy could exceed that total, with a 27% decrease in building emissions in Seattle. Previous changes include residential heating oil conversions (8% decrease); Seattle commercial energy code (10% decrease); commercial building tune-ups (2% decrease); and state energy performance standards (4% decrease).

The release also notes that “The City is leading by example to decarbonize our buildings with the 62-story Seattle Municipal Tower now fully fossil fuel free – a milestone for our efforts to reduce emissions.” The November 14 update from Finance and Administrative Services notes the building was built in 1990 and serves as a worksite for more than 4,000 employees. According to the update, “In 2008, annual greenhouse gas emissions from SMT’s combined natural gas and electricity usage measured 559 metric tons of CO2– equivalent to the pollutants emitted by 120-plus gasoline-powered cars over a year.”

MOU to Expand Diversified Responses, Park Rangers, and Event Staffing

Late last week Mayor Harrell and five Councilmembers, including me, announced a proposed memorandum of agreement to expand diversified police responses, increase park ranger responsibilities, and improve police availability for event staffing. The agreement is with the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG).

This agreement allows Seattle to start making commonsense improvements to our community safety network of response, specifically broadening civilian response where the SPOG contract did not previously allow it. This agreement allows the CARE dual dispatch response team more flexibility to respond to people in mental health crisis.  The language in the MOU that “officers can clear the scene as they determine to be appropriate means that they do not need to be physically present at the scene.”  This means that if the Community Crisis Responder gets there first then SPD does not need to be physically present at the scene to clear it.

The MOU also clears the way for citywide operation of the Park Rangers, which are currently limited, by the SPOG contract, it rescinds a prior contractual geographic limitation of Park Rangers only to Downtown parks. Under Mayor Harrell and the City Council’s Park District renewal, the park ranger program was significantly expanded, with the goal of hiring 26 park rangers this year, to provide safety, activation, and support for Seattle park-goers. This is something I’ve heard strong support for from District 1 constituents.

It also adds flexibility, not otherwise permitted by the SPOG contract, to use civilians for special events when a sworn officer is not required, easing the burden on sworn officers.  With a $225 flat premium per shift while allowing any unfilled positions to be staffed by employees who are not police officers such as parking enforcement officers.

While the next Council will have much more work to do to meet our community’s demand for a diversified system of policing alternatives, this agreement serves as a solid foundation for them to build on.

The agreement is limited to these items.  It’s not the overall agreement with SPOG–that remains in the collective bargaining process.  Judge Robart, who oversees the Consent Decree, has required the City to send him “an analysis of the Tentative Agreement’s effect, if any, on SPD’s accountability and review systems and the implementation of the City’s Accountability Ordinance”:

Judge Robart’s September 7 order on the Consent Decree states,

“The court understands that collective bargaining between the City and the police unions is outside of the scope of its supervision of the Consent Decree. Nevertheless, in order to evaluate whether the City has achieved sustained compliance with those areas of the Consent Decree that remain open, it is critical for the court to understand whether and how the outcome of the collective bargaining process affects SPD’s accountability and review systems. (See 5/21/19 Order (Dkt. # 562) (finding the City partially out of compliance with the Consent Decree after the Seattle City Council’s approval of the previous version of the collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) between the City and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (“SPOG”)).) Accordingly, within 30 days of reaching a Tentative Agreement with SPOG regarding the 2021 renewal of the SPOG CBA, the City shall file with the court an analysis of the Tentative Agreement’s effect, if any, on SPD’s accountability and review systems and the implementation of the City’s Accountability Ordinance.”

Sound Transit Survey for West Seattle Station Planning

In case you couldn’t attend the in-person planning forum on October 25th, Sound Transit has an online survey open through December 20 on station planning. Meeting materials are also available online in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, and include

Here are pages for the three West Seattle stations: Delridge Station; Avalon Station; and Alaska Junction Station.

Sound Transit’s West Seattle Link Extension page says, about what station planning includes, “Each station area would be designed to make it easy to get to the station and move through the station area while walking, rolling, or biking. This can be accomplished by locating station entrances, so they are easy to see and by providing safe biking, rolling, and walking routes to connect the station to the neighborhood. Design elements include enhancements to sidewalks, crosswalks, wayfinding, and storage for bikes and scooters.”

Sound Transit will continue to study all the station locations analyzed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement as part of the Final EIS, which is expected to be published in mid-2024. The Sound Transit Board will make the final decision on the project to be built after the Final EIS is published.

Highland Park Way and Holden Traffic Improvements Public Art: Steller’s Jay Installation

Photo credit: Tim Durkan

Late last week SDOT completed the installation of public art on Highland Park Way SW, just south of SW Holden Street. The Steller’s jay sculpture, by artist Matthew Mazzotta, is the public art portion of the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety Improvements Project. The sculpture is titled Where’s the Party: Elevating Nature and Resilience. The title comes from the fact that a group of Steller’s jays has many collective nouns, including a “band,” a “cast,” and a “party” of jays. It was chosen by a community selection panel and administered by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

An art piece of this magnitude wasn’t always going to be a part of this project. In fact, there were more modest proposals considered, and at one point it looked like our budget might be splintered to meet some other arts priorities. But with a little tenacity and some focused effort from community members, we were able to preserve the full 1% art funding for this iconic gateway sculpture for the Highland Park community.

The Highland Park Community tenaciously advocated for safety improvements at the Highland Park Way and SW Holden intersection for years. I’m grateful to my fellow advocates who help to ensure investments like these are made in our community. I am proud to have played my part in making this project a reality. The new traffic signal, wider sidewalks, upgraded ADA-compliant curb ramps, and new crosswalks will make it safer and easier for us all to get around.

SDOT provided the following updates about the intersection improvements:

“This fall, we finished pouring concrete and asphalt, seeded grass in the planting strips, and painted new road markings. There are now new sidewalks, curb bulbs, and ADA accessible ramps along Highland Park Way SW between SW Holden St and SW Portland St, making this intersection safer and more accessible for people living, working, and traveling through the area.

In December or January, we will install permanent metal traffic signals and poles at the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St intersection. You may notice there are orange barrels at the four corners of the intersection. These are protecting the exposed anchor bolts for the future poles.”

After the closure of the West Seattle Bridge, SDOT installed a temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden Street.

Before that, however, work had begun on permanent improvements to the intersection. Funding for early planning and design was first obtained in 2017; during the 2020 budget, the Council adopted funding for a permanent signal, or a roundabout, and SDOT proceeded with a temporary signal shortly thereafter, when the bridge was closed.


Overwhelming Passage of the 2023 Housing Levy / Budget Update / Hearing Examiner Denies Impact Fees SEPA Appeal   / Resolution Passes: New Welcoming Policy for Individuals in Shelter and Receiving Services / CORRECTION on Fauntleroy Terminal Article / More Staffing News / Neighborhood Matching Fund Awards / Musician and Music Venue Survey re: Parking and Loading Needs

November 9th, 2023


Fantastic News of the Overwhelming Passage of the 2023 Housing Levy

There was a lot of election news on Tuesday, not the least of being the approval, by 66% of voters in early returns, of the $970 million Seattle Housing Levy.  That percentage will likely increase as more ballots are counted.

Earlier this year, the City Council unanimously voted to put the Housing Levy on the ballot before the voters. Council did so after a year-long process of developing the measure with community, city leaders, and civic organizations.  The specific additions I worked to include in that final measure were:

  • Targeting homeownership investments toward folks at the highest risk of displacement and those impacted by the City’s previous discriminatory practices
  • Helping residents stay in their communities by bringing affordable homes to more neighborhoods
  • Co-locating affordable commercial space with affordable homes
  • Reporting on the impacts of funding resident services
  • Establishing a formal program to preserve the affordability of homes on the Office of Housing’s existing portfolio wherever possible
  • Setting a goal for the number of affordable homes to acquire from the speculative housing market.

Approximately 16,000 people are estimated to live in levy-supported homes at any given time, a number that has grown every year, thanks to the continuous renewal of the levy, dating back to the passage of the first housing levy in 1981. The 2023 levy provides more support than any other previous housing levy to address the housing crisis in Seattle.  Here is a snapshot of the 2023 Levy deliverables:

  • 3,100 New Affordable Rental and Homeownership Homes Created
  • Housing Workforce Stabilized
  • Short-term rent assistance and housing stability services for more than 9,000 low-income households

Here is the history of the housing levy:

  • 1981 Senior Housing Bond: 297 units
  • 1986 Housing Levy: 1,818 units
  • 1995 Housing Levy:  2,632 units
  • 2002 Housing Levy:   2,459 units
  • 2009 Housing Levy:  1,850 units
  • 2016 Housing Levy: 3,100 units

If you are a senior, a veteran, disabled, or otherwise low-income and you are worried about how the Housing Levy will impact your ability to pay your income taxes, don’t forget that the King County Assessor offers several programs to reduce or defer property taxes for eligible taxpayers. In 2022, the King County Assessors’ Office reported that an estimated more than 26,000 qualified seniors and disabled persons have not applied for a property tax exemption that they would be eligible to receive and only 1 in 100 of those eligible for deferrals are enrolled.  Are you one of those people?  If so, learn more here:

Senior or disabled exemption and deferrals

Learn more about exemptions and deferrals for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and disabled veterans. This exemption program for seniors, people with disabilities, or disabled veterans is open to people who meet these basic criteria:

  • Own the home you live in
  • At least age 61 by December 31 of the preceding year or disabled
  • Max annual income of $58,423 (exemption)
  • Max annual income of $67,411 (deferral)

Limited income deferral

  • Learn more about the program to provide tax relief to property owners on a limited income. Find out how it works and how to apply. Max annual income of $57,000.

Flood and storm-damaged property relief

Learn more about property tax relief available for flood and storm-damaged property. Find out how the program works and how to qualify and apply.

Current use programs

Learn more about how the programs reduce property taxes. Get information on how to apply.

Next year these income limits for qualification will increase, see here for more:  https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/bill-would-let-more-wa-homeowners-qualify-for-property-tax-breaks/

This Week in the Budget

The Select Budget Committee did not meet this week, as Council Central Staff worked to develop formal amendments to the proposed balancing package that reflect Councilmember priorities. Early versions of those amendment concepts were presented in late October.

Next week, the Select Budget Committee is scheduled to meet from Monday through Thursday. Here is the meeting agenda.

On Monday, budget amendments will be presented, but there will be no votes. Our second public hearing on the budget is at 5 p.m. on Monday. The sign-up sheet for in-person public comment in Council Chambers in City Hall will be available at least 30 minutes before the meeting starting time. For remote public comment, the sign-up sheet will be available at 3 p.m. on the Public Comment webpage. Additional information is available on the public hearing agenda.

Votes on amendments are scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

The Council’s Communications team has developed a helpful interactive budget amendment tool.

You can see the amendments are grouped into two sets:

  • The amendments in Budget Chair Mosqueda’s balancing package
  • Amendments to the balancing package

For each amendment, you can see which department it pertains to, a summary of what it does, the Councilmembers who originally sponsored it, and a link to a video where that particular amendment is discussed.

For amendments to the balancing package, you can also view the financial impact of an amendment as well as how it’s balanced.

Hearing Examiner Denies Impact Fees SEPA Appeal

On Monday the Hearing Examiner issued a decision by the Seattle Office of Hearing Examiner that supports the City’s position that the proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment receive a declaration of non-significance.  This ruling will allow the city to take a small step forward in its discussion on transportation impact fees.

I am relieved that the ruling means that we are finally going to be able to have this vote. In 2017, the Council made a commitment that the City would consider including in the Comp Plan a list of priority transit, pedestrian and bike safety, and bridge projects that Seattle could consider funding with a transportation impact fee program if legislation implementing the program was adopted later. Council restated that commitment to the public by passing additional resolutions in 2020, 2021, and 2022. What has kept the Council from deliberating about this revenue tool have been successive lawsuits opposing even the recognition of these 25 priority projects as ones that would be eligible if a program were enacted in the future. The City has been trying hard to identify new revenue in anticipation of a 2024 revenue gap.

Here’s the statement Councilmember Pedersen and I released.

A vote on the bill is scheduled for the November 21 City Council meeting.

At the November 7 public hearing, I announced I would be bringing forward an amendment at the November 21st meeting in response to concerns raised by groups such as Seattle for Everyone, Cascade Bicycle Club, Transportation Choices, The Urbanist, and Seattle Subway.

Currently, Transportation Policy T10.7 says, “Consider use of transportation-impact fees to help fund transportation system improvements needed to serve growth.”

The current form of Council Bill 120635 replaces “Consider use of” with “Use.”

The amendment returns to the current language, to “consider use of”.

The ability to enact this amendment with the “consider use” language, and still fulfill the procedural requirement, confirms what we have been explaining.  With either language, “Consider use” or “Use,” the bill does not create any obligation to create a transportation impact fees program.  The Hearing Examiner specifically said: “Adoption of generalized policies of a comprehensive plan do not require (or even guarantee) that implementing ordinances be adopted… There is no imperative or requirement that Comprehensive Plan policies be implemented through subsequent regulations – they may, but they are not required to be.”

But as a gesture of good faith, I am offering this amendment to address the specific concerns of several stakeholders.

Another issue that has been raised is about the timing of an implementation ordinance.  It’s not unusual for Comp Plan amendments to precede implementing legislation. For example, in 2016 the Council passed a major amendment to the Comprehensive Plan with new transportation Level-of-Service (LOS) standards.  In 2019, the Council passed Ordinance 125757, which incorporated those LOS changes into relevant sections of the Seattle Municipal Code. There are also examples where Comprehensive Plan amendments are adopted concurrently with regulations, such as the recent Industrial and Maritime Lands bills. In any case, it’s a matter of preference and an area where the Council has flexibility in how to proceed.

Resolution Passes: New Welcoming Policy for Individuals in Shelter and Receiving Services

This resolution was drafted in collaboration with the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA).  I thank the staff from my office, Elizabeth Cavillo Dueñas and Christena Coutsoubos.  KCRHA staff members Austin Christoffersen, Em Ishiki, and Alan Guittirez were a great help in getting this over the finish line too!

Though in 2016 the Seattle LGBTQ Commission made recommendations to then-Mayor Murray to address these issues, the credit for my taking action goes to Gunner Scott, a former Seattle LGBTQIA+ Commissioner and District 1 constituent.  He contacted me in 2018, calling for me to develop policies to require all shelters to follow the same practices and protocols in creating a welcoming, respectful, and safe space for LGBTQIA+ people experiencing homelessness and a space where they can be open about their identities.

After Gunner’s advocacy, I worked with Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) to begin to develop guidelines for homeless service provision to the LGBTQIA+ community.  This led to HSD contracting with Seattle’s Ingersoll Gender Center to develop recommendations and a report that also named the fact that in Seattle, “transgender women of color are profiled as predatory and fraudulent in how they present their gender identity when accessing shelter services or when being denied housing.”

HSD created an Action Plan to implement these recommendations, but due to the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and the transfer of the HSD’s homelessness investments to the KCRHA, the Action Plan was never implemented.  Happily, I am a KCRHA Governing Board member and thus had the opportunity to pick up this work in that role.

This resolution aims to ensure that all clients can be served in an equitable and dignified manner by:

  • Establishing standards of inclusivity as relates to names, titles, and pronouns
  • Use of Inclusive language
  • Signage with anti-harassment expectations and guidelines in common areas
  • Requiring professionalism and staff conduct
  • Creating an obligation of confidentiality and privacy
  • Requiring equal access to gender-affirming facilities, programs, and services.

The resolution also includes a commitment by the KCRHA to ensure accountability and compliance by providing training and support to its funded nonprofit providers to support with their implementation of this Resolution. The resolution lays the ground for further work by including descriptions of the next steps that the KCRHA will take to support the implementation of this Welcoming Resolution.

Community stakeholders who contributed to the content of the resolution included members of the Gender Justice League, POCAAN, Utopia WA, Queer the Land, Trans WOC Solidarity Network, New Horizons, and more.

A 2015 study by the National Center for Transgender Equity also found that one in four Black transgender people “avoided staying in a shelter because they feared being mistreated.”

Several other jurisdictions already have Welcoming Policies for LGBTQIA+ clients including, New York City and the state of Massachusetts.

CORRECTION on Fauntleroy Terminal Article

Last week’s article about the Fauntleroy Terminal didn’t transfer accurately from the draft to the published version. Only the first sentence of this paragraph below was included:

“On the other hand, I have some concerns.  In the meeting I asked the question of whether the “no action” alternative could include the traffic management options requested by the community, such as use of Good to Go passes and advance ticketing.  The response was that a no action alternative could not include these elements.”

An updated version with the correct text is available here: https://herbold.seattle.gov/#fauntleroy-ferry-terminal.

More Staffing News

As I get closer to the end of my term, another staff member has taken a new step forward in their public service.  Sonny Nguyen has left Team Herbold as of this week, but they haven’t gone far.  Sonny will be working in the Department of Neighborhoods in community engagement. I wanted to let you, constituents of District 1 and other City of Seattle residents, know this news because many of you have received Sonny’s indispensable help during the past year.

Sonny has aided the constituents of District 1 with kindness and determination. Perhaps you have received help from Sonny with a complaint against your employer for violating a labor law, to address a public safety issue, to get help as a tenant having a problem with a landlord, or to get help addressing a code violation or zoning issue in your neighborhood.  Sonny’s constituent services portfolio was broad and the assistance they have provided District 1 residents has been appreciated by all!

On the policy side, please also join me in recognizing Sonny for the many policy accomplishments that would not have been possible without their work to learn the Seattle City Council legislative process, collaborating with community stakeholders, and building relationships within City Hall.  Here are some of their projects in my office:

Neighborhood Matching Fund Awards

The Department of Neighborhoods has awarded $950,533 to support 23 community-initiated projects through the Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF). Here are District 1 projects that were granted funding:

$46,000 to Senior Center of West Seattle for Center for Aging Well to expand offerings and programming within their current building in the Alaska Junction and expand services to Delridge, Arbor Heights, Morgan Junction, and Roxbury. The funding will also help with re-branding efforts by hiring a communications consultant and graphic designer to help with a name change, new website, and creation of a mural on the exterior of their Senior Center building. (Community match: $23,055)

$44,930 to Morgan Junction All Wheels Association for Morgan Junction All Wheels Area Feasibility Study to assess the possibility of adding a free, public all-wheels terrain at the Morgan Junction Park. (Community match: $24,900)

Musician and Music Venue Survey re: Parking and Loading Needs

SDOT has announced a survey seeking feedback from musicians and music venues about potential solutions to improving parking and loading near music venues. Here are the links to the survey, which takes about 5 minutes:

In 2014 the City implemented a pilot project at five music venues.

Additional information is in this update.


Public Hearing on Transportation Impact Fee Comprehensive Plan Amendment / Little Saigon Public Safety Meeting / SPD Implements New Policy Regulating Ruses / Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal Replacement Planning Update, SEPA Delayed Until 2025 / SDOT Releases Climate Change Response Framework / SDOT Completes Cylinder Installation on Spokane Street (low) Bridge / New Marion Street Waterfront Pedestrian Bridge Opens November 6

November 3rd, 2023


Public Hearing on Transportation Impact Fee Comprehensive Plan Amendment

On Tuesday, November 7th, the City Council will hold a hearing on Council Bill 120635, which would amend the transportation element of the Comprehensive Plan to allow for transportation impact fees if the Council created such a program in the future. The bill would not establish a transportation impact fee program. Any proposal to create an impact fee program would need to be a separate, future action.

The public hearing is scheduled for the November 7 City Council meeting. The remote Public Comment link (sign up here) will become active two hours before the 2 p.m. meeting on the 7th. In-person testimony will also be taken.  The hearing Notice is at this link.

Background is available at the City Council’s Impact Fees webpage, and my September 15th and September 8th newsletters.

A vote is scheduled for November 21st, depending on the resolution of an appeal before the Hearing Examiner.

To clarify the point that the Comprehensive Plan change does not establish a transportation impact fee program, Councilmember Pedersen and I plan to bring forward an amendment to CB 120635 that would re-insert the word “consider,” so that the Transportation Element reads “Consider use of transportation impact fees” instead of the current proposal that reads “Use transportation impact fees.”

Little Saigon Public Safety Meeting

This Wednesday, I attended a public safety meeting hosted by Friends of Little Saigon to discuss concerns from neighborhood businesses and residents. I was joined by West Precinct Captain Steven Strand, the Mayor’s Public Safety Advisor Cindy Wong, SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Barb Biando, Chinatown- International District (CID) Public Safety Advisor Monica Le, and Clean City Initiative Advisor Tom Van Bronkhorst.

Last year, my Public Safety and Human Services committee hosted a Neighborhood Business Districts Public Safety Presentation, where Quynh Pham (Friends of Little Saigon) and Monisha Singh (CID BIA) were among the presenters.  This week’s meeting in the CID was another opportunity to hear from small business owners about their ongoing concerns about public safety in the area.  I was able to share with these business owners the work that the Council is doing to benefit the CID in the budget process.  Here are some examples.

  • Funds to support the revival of the CID night market and activation
  • $500k for expanded cleaning services in the CID
  • Maintaining CID historic alleys as activated spaces to support pedestrian use and more visibility and safety with Seattle Public Utilities evaluation of the Clear Alleys Program in the CID and alternative waste removal solutions.
  • King County Metro Transit Ambassadors on Metro buses that pass through downtown Seattle, to respond to people in crisis.
  • Evaluation of how to increase 911 staffing levels by 30 percent to reduce call wait and response times.
  • Additional funding for programming to address gun violence in our communities

As a result of the Council’s previous CID Public Safety Work and following the tragic death of public safety advocate Donnie Chin, Council added funding to implement the CID Public Safety Taskforce Recommendations submitted to Council in 2016.   These funds were first approved in 2017 to hire the CID Public Safety Coordinator, a model that would later be replicated in neighborhoods across the City, including South Park in District 1. Last year the Council added budget funding for behavioral health outreach in the CID, funding two outreach staff specializing in behavioral health support by way of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority.

SPD officers have been doing a focused education campaign in Little Saigon related to buying and selling stolen merchandise.  Participants in Wednesday’s meeting were also encouraged to sign up for SPD’s Trespass Program.  Another great resource to sign up for is Smart 911.  Once you’ve signed up for Smart911, first responders will be aware of important information you have provided that will help Police, Fire, and EMS locate and help you in an emergency.  This can be especially helpful for people with limited English language proficiency because it ensures faster transfer to a 911 operator with translation skills.

SPD will soon implement a new online reporting system (hopefully in the next few weeks). SPD has given us a commitment that it will finally add in-language capabilities to this system next year, where their current system has been in place for years, only in English.

SPD Implements New Policy Regulating Ruses

The Seattle Police Department has adopted a policy on ruses, the first of its kind in the country. The Ruse Policy went into effect on November 1.

In early 2022, I stood with Mayor Harrell to call for the creation of a first-in-the-nation ruse policy following not only the Proud Boys ruse but also an especially egregious incident several years ago, and the OPA recommendations that resulted. When the OPA (Office of Police Accountability) makes a policy recommendation, SPD has the responsibility to consider the recommendation and implement it. This is one measure of a responsive accountability system.  I thank Converge Media as well; it is their questions that resulted in the OPA launching an investigation when OPA couldn’t identify body camera video from the officers who had claimed to be tracking the Proud Boys.”

I thank the Mayor’s Office, Seattle Police Department, and Inspector General for their work to develop this policy.  The Office of Police Accountability released the investigation that provided the impetus for this policy.

The SPD Policy begins with,

“The public expects law enforcement officers to be truthful and transparent in their interactions with the community they serve. The community also rightfully expects their law enforcement officers to fulfill law enforcement objectives in a manner that promotes the safety of all involved.

This policy recognizes that patrol ruses may serve an important role in mitigating the inherent risk in some activities and may promote a vital community safety interest, while at the same time recognizing that any act of deception, regardless of intent, when improper, may detrimentally impact the public’s trust in the department and may undermine law enforcement efforts.”

The Mayor’s press release is copied below.

Seattle – Today, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the implementation of the nation’s first policy governing the use of police patrol ruses. This policy, developed by the Seattle Police Department (SPD), was informed by a robust stakeholder process led by Seattle’s Office of Inspector General for Public Safety (OIG). Mayor Harrell directed SPD to develop a new policy governing the use of ruses after cases in 2018 and 2020 undermined public trust and confidence.

“Effective public safety requires community buy-in, and this new policy is an important step to build understanding with the public, demonstrating that for SPD operations to be successful, they must be paired with a commitment to unbiased, constitutional policing,” said Mayor Harrell. “This innovative new policy will lead to better police work thanks to the voices of many, including the media who brought attention to this tactic, community members who called for guidelines to match our values, and Seattle accountability and police leaders who developed a plan to make that vision real.”

Under existing laws, officers are permitted to use a ruse – a statement an officer knows is not true – in limited circumstances. High profile cases in 2018 and 2020 that undermined public trust led elected and community leaders to call into question the lack of specific guidance on when ruses could be used and to what extent.

“I stood with Mayor Harrell to call for the creation of a first-in-the-nation ruse policy following not only the Proud Boys ruse but also an especially egregious incident several years ago, and the OPA recommendations that resulted,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park). “When the OPA makes a policy recommendation, SPD has the responsibility to consider the recommendation and implement it. This is one measure of a responsive accountability system.  I thank Converge Media as well; it is their questions that resulted in the OPA launching an investigation when OPA couldn’t identify body camera video from the officers who had claimed to be tracking the Proud Boys.”

The Ruse Policy recognizes that while this tactic may be necessary in specific situations to support public safety, the need and conditions for its use should be strongly and clearly defined. The new ruse policy sets substantial guardrails around the use of ruses, limiting the use by patrol officers to five scenarios.

The policy defines appropriate uses of ruses for de-escalation and investigation, while also creating clear accountability through requirements for documentation, supervisor approval, and protections for juveniles. The policy prohibits ruses broadcast via mass media or false promises regarding prosecution, as well those that plainly “shock the conscience.”

“The Seattle Police department engaged in an in-depth review on the use of ruses, facilitated by the Office of the Inspector General,” said Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz. “This first-in-nation policy balances the legitimate use of deception, especially for de-escalation and the safety of all persons, with supervision, documentation, and clear prohibition of ruses that compromise public trust.”

Significant input informing the policy’s development was generated through series of roundtable discussions with accountability experts and law enforcement stakeholders led by OIG, the City office charged with independent civilian oversight of police policies and practices. Additional insight supporting policy development came from the OIG Sentinel Event Review that examined SPD’s response to protests in 2020 – a response which included the use of a ruse.

Based on research in the policy development process and discussions with the Major Cities Chiefs Association, this is the first such city policy on patrol ruses in the United States, continuing Seattle’s long tradition of public safety innovation rooted in accountability and a commitment to building public confidence.

“It is gratifying to have a first of its kind policy addressing the use of deception by patrol officers. This policy is the culmination of a collaborative effort between SPD, OIG, and a variety of stakeholders who came together to discuss complex issues around community trust and the use of ruses and deception by police,” said Inspector General for Public Safety Lisa Judge. “I am grateful to ACLU Washington, Innocence Project, the Public Defender Association, the Community Police Commission, the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, who, among other stakeholders, joined OIG and SPD to develop recommendations that informed this policy. We acknowledge that more work must be done in the arena of using deception in investigations and interrogations, but this is a big first step forward in providing guidance and guardrails around using ruses – a particular concern raised by the Seattle community.”

The policy will continue to be evaluated and refined based on the now required documentation and new data. The policy also provides an objective standard by which officers’ conduct can be evaluated, creating a framework to hold them accountable when violations occur.

Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal Replacement Planning Update, SEPA Delayed Until 2025

The Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal Executive Advisory Committee, of which I am a member, met on October 18th.  The Community Advisory Committee met on the 25th.

The biggest news is that it will take about a year and a half longer to begin formal environmental review. SEPA and NEPA environmental analysis required under state and federal law are now scheduled to begin in 2025. Previously, the Planning & Environmental linkages (PEL) planning study was planned to end around now, identifying different alternatives to study in SEPA and NEPA.

The additional time is for a few key reasons. First, the approach to begin SEPA and NEPA around now did not include identification of a preferred alternative. The new timeline will include one preferred alternative and one no action alternative, as required by the Federal Transit Administration. In addition, this will allow for additional study and development of alternatives, including for use of Good to Go passes used for tolls (e.g. the SR99 tunnel) and advance ticketing, as proposed by community members.

On one hand, I’m glad the additional time will allow for more serious consideration of the community options. On the other hand, I have some concerns.  In the meeting I asked the question of whether the “no action” alternative could include the traffic management options requested by the community, such as use of Good to Go passes and advance ticketing.  The response was that a no action alternative could not include these elements.

I have this concern because all the options are at least 18 feet wider, and some of the options that include the current vehicle capacity include a slightly longer dock.

The SEPA/NEPA review is scheduled for 2025 through 2027.

There are several potential options includes in Level 3 of the PEL study, based on two overarching concepts: 1) maintaining the current vehicle capacity of the terminal, and 2) expanding vehicle capacity.  It’s important to limit the impact on the community; most ferry terminals are not in residential neighborhoods. 

Another new feature of the options is that they include changes to the intersection adjacent to the terminal, though details aren’t yet available.

Option A includes a dock with four lanes, and capacity for 76 vehicles, with 110 spaces on Fauntleroy Way. The dock would be 8-feet shorter than the current dock, and 18 feet wider.

Alternatives A-1, A-2 and A-3 match the existing capacity of 84 vehicles. A-2 adds use of Good to Go; A-3 adds advance ticketing. All three include a dock that is 41 feet longer than the current dock. Options A, A-1, A-2 and A-3 are 18 feet wider than the current dock; the report states this is to provide space for a large truck to turn onto the dock.

Alternative B is a longer and larger dock, with 124 vehicles, with capacity for 62 on Fauntleroy Way, and four lanes. It is 18 feet wider, and 100 feet longer than options A-1, A-2, and A-3.

B-1 has capacity for 155 vehicles, and five lanes. It is 27 feet wider than the current dock.

B-2 has four full lanes, and two partial lanes, with the same 155 vehicle capacity, with 31 spaces on Fauntleroy Way. It is 250 feet longer than the existing dock, and 36 feet wider.

B-3 has capacity for 124 vehicles, with three lanes, and two partial lanes. It is 226 feet longer than the current dock, and 36 feet wider.

Alternative C includes capacity for 186 vehicles, with five 620’ and two 300’ feet holding lanes, and no space on Fauntleroy Way. It is 240 feet longer and 45 feet wider than the existing dock.

Here’s a link to the WSDOT Summary of Level 3 Alternatives, with additional details. Here’s a link to the slides shared at the Community Advisory Group meeting.

SDOT Releases Climate Change Response Framework

In October SDOT released its Climate Change response framework to reduce transportation emissions.

Here’s the Climate Response website. SDOT’s announcement is here. The framework includes 27 strategies across 6 categories.

60% of GHG emissions in Seattle come from transportation.

SDOT Completes Cylinder Installation on Spokane Street (low) Bridge

SDOT provided an update about the successful reinstallation of the turn cylinder on the Spokane Street (low) Bridge. They completed this work earlier in October.

Turn cylinders push and pull on the lift cylinder to rotate the bridge span, allowing it to open and close. Additional information, including about forthcoming work in 2024, and several informative photos, are available at SDOT’s update.

The new seals and wearing band on the turn cylinder’s newly machined piston are critical to keeping the pressurized system working. Photo credit: SDOT.

New Marion Street Waterfront Pedestrian Bridge Opens November 6

A new pedestrian bridge over Alaskan Way on the Downtown waterfront will open on Monday, November 6. The project is a partnership between the City and WSDOT.

The new permanent bridge, at Marion Street, offers a direct connection between First Avenue and the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal, with ferry service to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton. The former bridge carried an estimated 5 million people per year before the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in 2019. The new bridge is made of cast-in-place concrete and is post-tensioned to span over Alaskan Way without the need for any median supports.

Additional details are available on the SDOT blog update, and the Office of the Waterfront Marion Street Pedestrian Bridge project page.

Photo credit: Tim Rice



CARE Responder Team Launch / This Week in the Budget / Homestead Partnership with Admiral Church Announcement! / Family Caregiver Support Month / Pickleball in Lincoln Park

October 27th, 2023


CARE Responder Team Launch

Seattle is working to build a compassionate, evidence-based, and forward-thinking city. On Wednesday, we celebrated Seattle’s new civilian response team as they provide crisis response services that will help us redefine what public safety looks like.

For years, Seattle has asked how we build data-informed responses to behavioral health crises beyond the criminal justice system and for years, Seattle has convened work groups and community forums, conducted research and site visits, and built towards this program. As Public Safety and Human Services Committee Chair, I sponsored Ordinance 126233 in 2020, creating the Community Safety and Communications Center, which is becoming the Community Assisted Response and Engagement (CARE) Department. During the civil rights uprising of that year, it became a priority of mine to have a diversified response within our public safety continuum.

The CARE response team features behavioral health specialists with field experience in crisis response. The team completed rigorous and innovative training developed by industry experts, SPD, SFD, and the Washington Co-Responder Outreach Alliance, among others. Their training covered mental health services, Narcan administration, crisis prevention and de-escalation, and first aid.

By expanding our 911 response to include these qualified community responders, we will be freeing up police officers to respond to the emergencies that only they can address, reducing response times and increasing efficiency in our police department.

I am proud of the work our city has accomplished and am confident that the CARE team, under the direction of Chief Amy Smith, will support our residents in crisis and benefit all of Seattle.

For more information on this team and how we got here, please see earlier blog posts.

Photo credit to Deb Barker

This Week in the Budget

This week, Council submitted our proposals for amendments to the Budget Chair’s balancing package for development and inclusion in the budget. As shared last week, Budget Chair Mosqueda generously included many of my priorities in her Chair’s balancing package.

Because so many of my priorities were already included in the Chair’s balancing package, all but three of my proposals (below) at this stage, are requests for reports or studies.  Over the next two weeks, these amendments will be fleshed out further and may receive their own amendments to adapt and refine legislation before going to a vote.

As this newsletter is getting sent out, I will be in an all-day Budget Committee Meeting as my fellow Councilmembers and I begin to discuss and consider the amendments brought forward by our colleagues.

Here are some of the amendments I have proposed:

  • A request for Community Safety and Communication Center (CSCC), proposed by Mayor Harrell be renamed as CARE, to provide recommendations to meet an identified need to increase staffing by 30% to improve call times and reduce mandatory overtime to address staff morale, including any budget and legislative actions needed to accomplish a staffing increase;
  • A request for CSCC and the Human Services Department to report on their analyses of gun violence prevention and gun violence response services provided by the City and King County to identify complementary, duplicative, or missing services;
  • Funding for support programming, as recommended by the Domestic Violence Community-Based Responses working group to support organizations that work with DV survivors and families and that promote approaches other than criminalization for those who harm;
  • A request that HSD provide a report on how it will implement requirements in the proposed wage equity legislation regarding provider pay increases, and how it will incorporate wage equity considerations into its competitive funding process; and
  • Request that HSD, SPD, and LEAD determine how much incremental funding would be needed to fund diversion contracts and provide a timeline for integrating the LEAD database with the City’s systems. The Mayor’s proposed 2024 budget fully funds LEAD at the levels in the Council’s 2024 endorsed budget, but to address the additional capacity to support projected increased referral volume to LEAD created by Ord 126896, I am requesting that the City report on incremental LEAD funding needed to meet that need. Further, this SLI would direct the efforts to improve collaborative use of the LEAD database funded in a prior year as a result of former Councilmember Bagshaw’s sponsorship.
  • Adding funding to the Office of the Inspector General for external independent investigative entities to handle conflict of interest cases, such as investigations against the Chief of Police when necessary.
  • Add funding for a Deputy Director position in the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) This is a filled position and is currently funded using salary savings from other positions that are in the process of being filled.

We’ll have another Budget Public Hearing on November 13, at 5 pm.  To learn more about the budget process, see here:  https://seattle.gov/council/issues/budget-tools

Homestead Partnership with Admiral Church Announcement!

In October 2019, I attended a community meeting hosted by Admiral Church to talk about how the congregation could move forward to realize their vision to use their underutilized land to support the community members with affordable housing needs.

This week, Homestead Community Land Trust and Admiral United Congregational Church met with community to share their announcement that they are moving forward to develop permanent affordable homeownership on the church’s land.  The land trust model creates generational wealth for its owners and Homestead is committed to partnering with Admiral UCC and the surrounding community in developing these new homes.  Legislation passed by the Council in 2021 provides a density bonus to religious institutions that are developing affordable housing on their land.  This memo provides an explanation and background; you can read the legislation itself and additional materials here.

The opportunity to add density to a neighborhood without removing any existing housing is an exciting one.

Affordable housing is the foundation for building an inclusive, diverse community whereby people from all backgrounds can have access to opportunities the City has to offer. For me, affordable housing made it possible for me as a single parent to afford to meet the needs of my child. Affordable housing can make it possible for our diverse families to thrive in a city where they make work, a young person to have an opportunity to pursue a career or their education, and allows an older person to age in place.

I’m thankful the Admiral Church is so generously investing its resources in their community.

I am also grateful for the kind recognition I received for the small role I played in facilitating this partnership.  In addition to the legislation referenced above, I also reached out to several affordable housing providers when the church was looking for a way to develop its property.  One of the most gratifying parts of my job has been connecting people with a shared vision to help them realize their goals.  I’m just thrilled that in this instance, Homestead was a match!

Family Caregiver Support Month

This Tuesday, I asked my Council colleagues for their signatures on a proclamation declaring November to be Family Caregiver Support Month in Seattle. This proclamation was drafted by the Human Services Department with the mayor concurring.

In Washington, there are an estimated 850,000 unpaid caregivers at the heart of our long-term care system who dedicate themselves to the physical, emotional, and practical needs of individuals aged 18 or older.

Caregivers often face many challenges, including mental, emotional, and financial challenges. Unpaid caregivers frequently encounter financial strains due to lost wages and the complexities of finding dependable respite care and essential support services.

This proclamation commends family caregivers for their resilience and dedication. It also recognizes that the work of family caregivers allows our community members to live with dignity and compassion.

This proclamation will be received at the African American Caregivers Forum.

Pickleball in Lincoln Park

This week, I counted receiving over 1,300 emails about the installation of pickleball in Lincoln Park. On Friday, October 27, I sent the following letter to Superintendent Diaz, ensuring your concerns are being heard by Seattle Parks and Recreation. Be sure to stay tuned to subsequent newsletters for updates as this conversation progresses. 

Dear Superintendent Diaz, 

I am writing today about the installation of the pickleball court at Lincoln Court.  I have shared with hundreds of constituents the Seattle Parks and Recreation position that impacts to wildlife will not increase and may be reduced as relates to emissions.  I have told my constituents, as you have: 

The…”site has been used as a storage facility for the maintenance crews that service all West Seattle’s parks. Meaning that several times a day, vehicles and large trucks are pulling into this site to load and unload equipment and materials. When this site becomes a pickleball court, SPR will consolidate our maintenance facilities into one location in a different part of Lincoln Park.  

In our view, any disturbance to wildlife the pickleball court will bring will be equivalent, and potentially lessened as we are removing vehicle emissions from this location.” 

Similarly, the Associated Recreational Council (ARC) wrote:   

Lincoln Park was considered as a potential location for dedicated courts through work with a consultant and community engagement in SPR’s 2020-2021 Outdoor Pickleball Plan. The plan offsets an additional active use to Lincoln Park by relocating the SPR grounds storage facility to the crew headquarter location. This will remove trucks, along with their emissions and traffic, driving in and out of this actively used part of the park.  

The public response I have received has been overwhelming.  I have received about 1,300 emails strenuously objecting to this characterization of this installation as not having wildlife impacts.    

I have also received several requests for “an official SPR plan or study.” Seattle Parks and Recreation, similarly to the ARC, has referred to this document, saying:  “Through work with a consultant and community engagement, Lincoln Park was considered as a potential location for dedicated courts in SPR’s 2020-2021 Outdoor Pickleball Plan.”   Yet, my quick perusal of the documents linked within the above link suggests that Lincoln Park as a location was first discussed at the May 25, 2022 open house. It appears that this was a citywide meeting.  Lincoln Park appears to have been identified in a “break out session.  I would like to know how many people were in attendance in the Southwest breakout session. Is there a specific “Lincoln Plan” that informed the discussion in the breakout session?  Or was Lincoln Park identified in more of a “spit-balling”  exercise?  No one denies that Lincoln Park was put on a list, but no one seems to understand how it got on the list. 

I understand the analysis and position that no SEPA analysis is needed.  But meeting with community members who are pleading to be heard is the least we can do.  I have joined Bird Connect on birding tours in Lincoln Park.  I appreciate how vulnerable wildlife is there.  Birds Connect Seattle reports that: 

“More than 160 species of birds have been reported at Lincoln Park. That’s approximately 64% of all bird species that occur in Seattle from a park that represents just 0.25% of our land area.” 

A constituent also reports that “sustained, repetitive noise will disrupt this well-established ecosystem function by marginalizing wildlife and pushing them further out to areas that don’t have as much available prey, as well as pushing prey species out.”  Why is it that we do not believe that this will occur? 

I have also read the concern the plan in in contravention to the Public Involvement Policy for Parks Planning Processes and for Proposals to Acquire Property, Initiate Funded Capital Projects, or Make Changes to a Park or Facility.  Can you comment whether you believe that to be the case?  Some may remember that this policy was updated in 2002 on the request of former City Councilmember Nick Licata in response to a public outcry related to another Parks project, the Queen Anne Bowl. 

Please consider hosting a meeting to hear the concerns.  If you do, I will join you.   I look forward to your response, as well as answers to these questions: 

  1. How many people were in attendance in the Southwest breakout session? 
  2. Is there a specific “Lincoln Plan” that informed the discussion in the breakout session?
  3. Why is it that we do not believe that sustained, repetitive work will impact wildlife (are there studies)?
  4. Is DPR proceeding in a way that is consistent with the Parks Involvement Policy linked above?
  5. Will DPD meet with the public to discuss the plan? 

Thank you for your kind consideration of my request and questions.  Thank you as well for all you do to support our precious parks system and all of us who use them. 


Lisa Herbold
District 1 Councilmember, Public Safety and Human Services Committee Chair


This Week in the Budget // Time to Vote for Participatory Budgeting Projects // Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation for October

October 20th, 2023


This Week in the Budget

Several of my priorities were included in Budget Chair Mosqueda’s Balanced Budget package, announced today.  I appreciate working with her on our common priorities.

At the Select Budget Committee on Friday the 20th  Budget Chair Mosqueda released the Chair’s 2024 Balancing Package that will serve as the baseline for any amendments. Here’s a presentation, and the details and a summary of key investments.

My recommendations, supported by Budget Chair Mosqueda’s Balanced Budget package include:

The Chair’s 2024 Mid-Biennium Balancing Package prioritizes accountability, sustainability, and equity by maintaining the City’s focus on investing in our most vulnerable, rejecting austerity, and ensuring vital JumpStart revenue is targeted at growing the health of our economy and community through housing, economic resilience, Green New Deal and equitable development. This package maintains and builds upon the adopted 2023-2024 biennial budget that prioritizes keeping our community cared for & housed, connected & resilient, and healthy & safe.

The Council met this week as the Select Budget Committee to consider the 2024 City of Seattle budget, including a series of briefings on JumpStart Outcomes across several areas.

DESC and SEIU Report on Workforce Wages

Presentation – JumpStart Seattle (added; 10/16/23)

Presentation – Plymouth Housing and JumpStart (added; 10/16/23)

Presentation – DESC-SEIU Healthcare 1199 NW Labor-Management Partnership (added; 10/16/23)

Presentation – Four Amigos Beloved Community (added; 10/16/23)

Presentation – Green New Deal 2024 Proposed Budget (added; 10/16/23)

Presentation – Housing Development Consortium (added; 10/16/23)

On Wednesday the 18th, the Select Budget Committee also held the first public hearing on the 2024 budget; the second hearing will be on Monday, November 13th at 5 p.m.

Councilmember amendments to the balancing package are due by noon on Tuesday the 24th. The amendments will be presented in the Select Budget Committee on Friday the 27th.

Amendments must be self-balancing, so any new spending must be balanced by a corresponding reduction. Amendments with two co-sponsors will be developed by Council Central Staff and presented on the 27th. Due to the short timeline, amendments without co-sponsors will be shared at the meeting, and if two Councilmember raise their hands, Central Staff will develop the amendment.

Amendments are scheduled for votes at committee meetings from November 13th to 15th.

Time to Vote for Participatory Budgeting Projects

The community-driven investments the the Seattle CIty Council made following the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent racial reckoning in 2020 are coming to you!  You can help decide which community developed proposals will secure support to qualify for the available $27.25 million investment.  After a community engagement process to bring about potential investments, voting on participatory budgeting proposals is now live through November 12, 2023, investing $27.25 million back into our neighborhoods.

Voting is both available online at PBSeattle.org and at in-person events through November 12th. You can vote on 18 proposals addressing 5 investment areas: Mental Health, Crisis & Wellness, Housing & Physical Space, Economic Development, and Youth & Children. To qualify to vote, community members must live, work, or play in Seattle and be at least 15 years old.

Use this link to vote:  https://pbseattle.org/

Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation for October

Last week the Council issued a proclamation that I sponsored declaring October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Seattle.

As this proclamation notes, domestic violence is truly a public health issue with long term negative effects on both physical health, mortality, and mental health that can negatively affect child and youth development.

I’d like to share for the viewing public that a call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) or local King County DV Hopeline (206-737-0242) can help put a person on a path to safety. If you are worried about someone in your life, the most important thing you can do is listen, tell them you believe them, and offer to support them in whatever way they need.

I’d also like to recognize that the City invests in strategies to prevent, intervene, and hold offenders accountable while promoting healing, services, and community support for those impacted by domestic violence by partnering with more than 35 organizations to provide services to more than 10,000 survivors and their families each year.

I appreciate that our City remains committed to supporting survivors.


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