Dual Dispatch /Alternative Response // App-Based Workers Deactivation Rights Ordinance // City Services for Elders // Mayor’s Office Releases Independent Investigations of Former Chief // Share Your Dog Park Opinions


June 27 PSHS

On Tuesday, I held my regular twice monthly meeting of the Public Safety and Human Services Committee.  On the agenda was 1. an update on Dual Dispatch//Alternative Response from the executive and the CSCC, 2. beginning to discuss and vote on amendments for the App-Based Workers Deactivation Rights Ordinance, 3. a presentation from Age-Friendly Seattle.

Dual Dispatch /Alternative Response

Our last committee update from the Community Safety and Communications Center on the Dual Dispatch/Alternative Response pilot was in February of this year, where we learned about the technological updates underway to prepare for this program.

The Dual Dispatch /Alternative Response pilot program has been funded by the City Council in each of the adopted budgets since 2021.  It will deploy behavioral health experts with police officer situational awareness and co-response as necessary to 911 calls with a behavioral health nexus.  Since the civil rights uprisings in response to the murder of George Floyd, more than 60 cities have launched or began work on alternative response programs.

This week, we were glad to get a public briefing sharing the work we have discussed in the Mayor-Executive joint convening of an Dual Dispatch/Alternative Response workgroup.   Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell, CSCC Director Reba Gonzales and Deputy Director Amy Smith shared the lessons the department has learned since meeting with and visiting cities across the country about their own similar programs – cities like Olympia, Albuquerque, and Denver. Particularly, department leadership learned how necessary it is that the City conduct outreach and engagement to ensure the public is aware of this new service as it launches. We also heard from the Executive that they agree that Seattle is uniquely poised for success by hosting the program in the same department as the civilian Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC) 911 dispatch center.  This has been the Council’s vision since moving 911 out of SPD and providing funding to the new Community Safety and Communications Center to launch the Dual Dispatch /Alternative Response pilot program.  See here for more of why this move was integral for developing this new model of response:  Want to fix policing? Start with a better 911 system. – Vox

The very good news is that with office space and vehicles being procured, CSCC intends to begin the hiring process at the end of the summer, in time to launch the program in October of this year.

App-Based Workers Deactivation Rights Ordinance

Continuing progress on another legislative topic that we’ve been working on for years now, this week, the committee began voting on amendments on the App-Based Workers Deactivation Rights Ordinance. This bill is the next step in the PayUp suite of legislation, the first ordinance of which was passed last year and guarantees minimum compensation, transparency, and flexibility for app-based workers.

The Deactivation Rights Ordinance continues this work by guaranteeing fair notice of the reasons a worker is getting deactivated and holds the network companies accountable to building accessible appeals processes with human review. Currently, without these protections, workers are being deactivated with no advanced notice at all. Many times, a worker doesn’t receive any notice of why they were deactivated and often are unable to reach anyone to learn how they may have violated the platform’s policies, much less appeal the deactivation.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the 9 amendments we discussed and voted on:

  • Amendment #1 responds to network companies’ feedback, allowing temporary worker suspensions in the case of issues such as inclement weather or network outages.
  • Amendment #2c sponsored by Councilmember Pedersen adds additional protections for customers and their pets by expanding the list of examples of egregious misconduct that may allow for immediate deactivation, bypassing the 14 days’ notice required for other deactivations. I voted yes on this amendment after working with Councilmember Pedersen to get the language to a place we can all agree on. I want to note, though, that the bill’s language, even as amended, is not meant to be an exhaustive list of egregious behaviors, but a starting place for the OLS Director to work from as he defines further rules and guidelines.
  • Amendments #5a and #5b sponsored by Councilmembers Nelson and Pedersen, respectively, attempted to exclude marketplace apps altogether from the covered platforms in this bill. We heard from workers during public comment and our stakeholder process that unwarranted deactivation is a widespread issue across the industry. Workers across apps, including marketplace companies, are struggling with the same core issues no matter which app they work for: a. immediate loss of income without any explanation, b. no way to get meaningful review, and c. apps relying on reasons that are rife with potential for discrimination and bias.

With still more than a dozen amendments left to discuss and vote on, this process will take a while to ensure that the committee is carefully considering every option to build to the strongest workers’ protections we can while also considering issues raised by the App-based platforms. We will be continuing consideration of the amendments at our next Public Safety and Human Services Committee Meeting.

City Services for Elders

The Human Services Department (HSD) joined us to provide information about new anti-ageism trainings, City services for elders, and efforts to address senior isolation during the pandemic.  You can view presentation materials, and watch the discussion.  I am thankful they agreed to stay late to bring us this important information.

Anti-Ageism Trainings: HSD is rolling out a series of trainings on Anti-Ageism – first for City employees, then for interested members of the public.  We expect the trainings to become available this summer.

Age Friendly Seattle:  For several decades, Seattle’s Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens (MOSC) operated as a direct service provider. I know many people miss the Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens (MOSC). As need increased and capacity grew at community-based organizations, the City shifted their role to be a supportive partner. Age Friendly Seattle was born out of this transition and helps to operationalize this new model.

Stay up-to-date and get involved with Age Friendly Seattle:

Social Connectivity:  Addressing senior isolation has long been a priority of mine, particularly through the early years of the pandemic.

I want to highlight HSD’s quick and important work during the pandemic to combat senior isolation:

  • Calling more than 14,000 seniors in April 2020 to check on their health and welfare and triage special needs
  • Broadcasting monthly Civic Coffee hours (still offered every month!), special Seattle Channel programming and webinars for seniors with captioning in multiple languages, and making these programs available on YouTube.
  • Pushing out information about Friendly Voices, a national volunteer hotline for seniors, and Washington Listens, a new statewide service
  • Distributing digital tablets to foster social connectivity and telehealth

The City of Seattle helps elders connect socially with others.  Learn more, stay informed, and get involved here: Age Friendly Seattle – AgeFriendly | seattle.gov.

Mayor’s Office Releases Independent Investigations of Former Chief

The Mayor’s Office released the results of three independent investigations of complaints to OPA that named the former Chief of Police.

I appreciate that Mayor Harrell commissioned these independent investigations. Shortly after taking office, his office was informed that these complaints went unaddressed by the prior administration.  On a parallel track, the Council adopted legislation that I proposed to establish a process for complaints that name the Chief.

I additionally want to thank the Mayor, Office of Police Accountability, and the Office of the Inspector General for aligning their work on this with the process adopted by the Council in Council Bill 12037.

Former Chief Best, declined to participate in the independent investigations.  She was no longer a City employee at the time of its investigations and it’s unclear to me if subpoena authority passed by Council with Council Bill 119974  could have been used to compel her to do so.  I appreciate Mayor setting the expectation that city employees, including the Police Chief, participate in investigations that occur after their tenure as an employee with the City of Seattle.   The OIG has posted the relevant documents in the Reports section of the OIG website, as follows:

Chief of Police Complaints


Share Your Dog Park Opinions

Seattle Parks & Recreation (SPR) needs your input as they design and build new dog Off Leash Areas (OLAs), including two in District 1! Learn more here and take the survey here.

I championed funding in the 2023-29 Park District financial plan to design and build a West Seattle OLA – and thanks to consistent and effective advocacy from West Seattle Dog Park Coalition, my Council colleagues approved those funds! A new OLA at South Park Community Center is already in the works.

The map below illustrates existing OLAs (green dots). The blue dots indicate three new sites already in the planning phase, funded by the previous cycle of the Metropolitan Park District (MPD) – including South Park Community Center. The current MPD cycle (2023-2029) provides funding for the construction of two new OLAs – one in West Seattle – and the design of a third.

Take the survey here and tell SPR where you think the next OLAs should go.



© 1995-2018 City of Seattle