App-Based Worker Deactivation Rights Ordinance Passes / Midyear Budget Bill Victories / August 8 PSHS Meetings / Community Police Commission ED Position Interviews / Backpacks for Kids Summer Bash Friday 8/18 / Expanded Fall Hours Coming to Delridge


App-Based Worker Deactivation Rights Ordinance Passes

This recent Tuesday, at the Seattle City Council Meeting, our council made history yet again by passing a nationally groundbreaking ordinance to ensure deactivation protections for delivery network company workers and marketplace network companies.

In 2020, app-based work became and continues to be one of Seattle’s fastest-growing job sectors. By providing vital services such as food and grocery delivery or in-home services, thousands of app-based workers in Seattle were considered essential workers since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

Unfortunately, many of these essential workers did not enjoy the same workplace protections offered to virtually all other workers in the city. As these platforms grew, and with no workplace protections because these workers aren’t considered employees, I could see the erosion of a decade’s work creating labor protections for employees. Many app-based workers had to work under unfair conditions while being underpaid. In fact, after expenses such as mileage, vehicle maintenance, and other business expenses are considered, some workers were even losing money on a job.

That was the problem we set out to solve with the PayUp suite of legislation. In 2022, this Council passed the first PayUp bill, guaranteeing a minimum wage for app-based delivery drivers.

But a guaranteed minimum wage was just the first step.  Across apps, workers can be deactivated without receiving any notice or reason at all, often due to algorithms with little to no human review. This bill builds basic protections for these workers in one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy, building reliability and stability for a growing workforce. This reliability for thousands of workers will help prevent homelessness, fight displacement, and allow families to meet their basic needs.

The App-Based Worker Deactivation Rights Ordinance requires that companies notify workers before they get deactivated and provide an explanation of the reasoning and evidence that triggered the deactivation process. It directs companies to build internal appeal processes with human review to allow workers to challenge their deactivations. We are not banning deactivations, simply requiring that workers be allowed to challenge an unjust and unwarranted deactivation.

Opponents of the bill during public testimony seem to rely on an unamended draft, citing concerns relating to safety and privacy. To address these concerns, the Public Safety and Human Services Committee had already adopted a series of amendments before the bill was voted out of committee.

One amendment allowed for immediate deactivations for “behavior by an individual app-based worker that: (1) endangers the physical safety of the customer, or a third person, the network company, or an animal; or (2) intentionally causes economic harm to the customer, a third person, or the network company; or (3) is threatening, harassing, or abusive to the customer, a third party, or the network company.” This amendment was drafted in collaboration with marketplace apps like Rover and delivery apps like DoorDash and received their support.

Another amendment allows for the network companies to “take measures to anonymize information related to that customer or third party” when they believe that information related to a deactivation could compromise the customer or third party’s safety.

We’ve also heard from some opponents that they don’t believe unwarranted deactivations to be an important problem for this Council to address, but earlier this week, the Seattle Times reported on a UW study of the Drivers Resolution Center.

The study evaluated Transportation Network Company protections, created by Seattle City Council several years ago.  This was also legislation that opponents said we did not need. In a review of 1,420 cases processed through the city’s resolution center, drivers of color were deactivated at similar rates as white drivers, but that drivers of color were reactivated at a higher rate. The authors of the study stated, “We interpret this difference as drivers of color being deactivated more frequently for resolvable infractions than their white peers.”

Over half of all driver deactivations processed by the resolution center were for “minor” issues, including submitting a scanned copy of a document instead of an original.  Thanks to the deactivations protections Council passed, about 80% of drivers were able to get reactivated.

It’s true that with this ordinance, we set out to build something different, but it is similarly innovative. These are different platforms offering different services and to a mostly different group of workers. But what is the same is that workers were asking us for help. This bill comes from years of engagement and outreach with workers, workers’ advocates, network companies, and city staff.

I am proud that Seattle is a national leader on labor protections, and I am proud of my fellow councilmembers for continuing to live up to this reputation by passing this ordinance at our Tuesday, August 8 City Council meeting.

App-based work is work. It is done by human beings who deserve a stable work environment. Their livelihoods should not hinge on the decisions of an algorithm. This law, the first of its kind in the nation, will protect app-based workers from arbitrary deactivation and give them meaningful recourse to appeal to a human being if they are deactivated. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in deep community engagement and difficult dialogue, doing their part to stand up for these workers.

Midyear Budget Bill Victories

The Tuesday vote on the midyear supplemental budget brought the 911 Dual Dispatch/Alternate Crisis Response program across another hurdle.  Among other things, the bill moved $1.6 million to the Community Safety and Communications Center and grants position authority for the city’s new dual dispatch pilot program.

The new dual dispatch program will send mental health professionals as the first responders to 911 calls involving people in behavioral health crises. Those mental health professionals will have police backup available to them, but SPD officers would only approach if needed.

The funding, in Mayor Harrell’s proposed midyear supplemental budget, moves the funds held for this purpose for the last two budget cycles, to pay for the facilities costs, vehicles, and the long-awaited new position authority for the Community Safety and Communications Center to hire new staff that will be used to set up three teams including mental health professionals. The majority of these funds have been held in the “Finance General” account of the budget since allocated by the Council in the fall of 2021.

This budget add allows the CSCC to begin the process of recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training the new responders to be deployed later this year. Further, on Wednesday I learned that the hiring process had started.  The plan, shared by the CSCC at the June 27 Public Safety and Human Services Committee meeting, is to activate the dual dispatch pilot this fall.

With this action, we can finally take the next step toward our community’s calls for policing alternatives. We know we cannot continue to ask police to do it all. This program will help focus our approach to public safety and free up officers to more quickly respond to the types of emergencies that only they can.

In addition, the bill includes critical opioid treatment funding to support one element of Mayor Harrell’s incoming Executive Order, specifically: “access to mobile opioid medication delivery” in Pioneer Square. Evergreen Treatment Services is on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic, providing life-saving medical treatment and counseling for people struggling with addiction throughout the region. Their innovative program, Treatment in Motion (TIM), brings comprehensive mobile medication and counseling to people struggling with opioid addiction downtown, with the capacity to serve up to 120 people daily.

The new funding will allow Evergreen Treatment Services to add an additional mobile medication vehicle and three more locations, including one in Pioneer Square, with the capacity to serve up to 360 people each day. The organization is also seeking to purchase a transport van to circulate between “hot spots” and pick up patients to deliver them to the mobile unit to receive care, further lowering barriers to treatment. Without this funding, they would likely seek funding from a different jurisdiction, with a result of fewer service days per week within the city, and no Pioneer Square service site.

If you have someone you care about and love, who is an addict, what you care about most, and first, is that they don’t die in the throes of their addiction. By investing in this mobile treatment approach, we are expanding access and breaking down barriers to proven treatment for our most vulnerable residents. We cannot end the fentanyl epidemic and drug overdose crisis without treatment – and we need more treatment, not less.

About the funding, Seth Soth, Director of Health Integration & Innovation at Evergreen Treatment Services said, “Treatment in Motion ensures that vital and lifesaving services will be available to those most in need in our community. These funds protect a community-based outreach program that brings medication for opioid use disorder along with case management, counseling, and medical services directly to the most marginalized in our community.”

August 8 PSHS Meetings

Appointment of Josh Sattler as SMC Court Administrator

We were joined at our Tuesday Public Safety and Human Services Meeting by the Seattle Municipal Court Presiding Judge Faye Chess to present an appointment of Josh Sattler as Court Administrator of the Seattle Municipal Court.

SMC 3.33.060 requires a Court Administrator to be appointed by the judges of the Municipal Court, subject to confirmation by a majority of the City Council.

The Court Administrator guides a staff of 200+ employees to coordinate all administrative and operational functions of the Seattle Municipal Court as the Court’s operations executive. This work includes leading much of the Court’s internal diversity, equity, and inclusion work, leading strategic initiatives, and allocating resources for the efficient function of the Courts.

Mr. Sattler has been serving as Interim Court Administrator for about a year now and has 9 years of service with the Seattle Municipal Court. As Interim Court Administrator, Mr. Sattler is already in the process of guiding the Court through a technological upgrade to their case management system built in the 1980s. At the committee meeting, he shared a commitment to build SMC systems with a customer service-focused lens.

Mr. Sattler received unanimous support from the PSHS Committee and will move on to the full City Council for confirmation of his appointment.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Serving King County – Year One Report

988, the 24/7 suicide and behavioral health crisis hotline, has been open for just over a year.  We invited Michelle McDaniel, CEO of Crisis Connections, to share the results of their first year of operations and preview the next steps, including 911 integration.  I’ve written previously about 988 here and here.

Washington is one of only four states to rapidly pass a 988 infrastructure bill with funding attached; I testified in support of a bill to add additional behavioral health workers earlier this year.  Because of the state’s leadership, 988 was able to scale up to handle the 300% increase in calls it received this year.  Most calls were safely resolved without needing additional resources; less than 2% needed intervention from a first responder.

The vision behind 988 is broader than just a hotline, but it will take some time to build out the entire continuum of services that are needed:

Towards the end of this year, the City will launch its dual dispatch program, where both SPD officers and a new CARE team of behavioral health responders will come to the scene of certain 911 calls. It’s important to have clearly defined response protocols so that we are sending the appropriate resources.

A recent landscape analysis authored by professionals at the UW School of Social Work looks at the statewide behavioral health crisis care continuum and calls out the necessity of integrating 988 and 911, including these recommendations:

  • Every region of the state should have both police and fire-based co-response programs available as an essential crisis service.
  • These co-response programs should share information and closely collaborate with the 988-led behavioral health response system, including call centers, mobile crisis teams, and crisis stabilization facilities.

The rollout of dual dispatch later this year and the passage in April of the King County Crisis Care Centers levy are important milestones in re-envisioning how we think about crisis response.  True systems integration will take time and will require ongoing public attention and oversight.

Seattle Community Safety Initiative (SCSI) and King County Regional Approach to Gun Violence

The Seattle Community Safety Initiative (SCSI), first funded by Council in 2020, returned to committee to share data on their work and impact.  SCSI operates community safety “hubs” here in West Seattle, as well as Rainier Valley and the Central District.  You can view the presentation here.

As you can see, as of May this year, SCSI has already responded to as many critical incidents as they did in each of the last two complete years.  Dom Davis, CEO of Community Passageways, believes that increase is due to more shots fired incidents, coupled with increasing trust in SCSI by both the Seattle Police Department and community members – either of which may call SCSI to the scene.

We also received an update from Eleuthera Lisch, Director, Regional Gun Violence at Public Health- Seattle & King County. You can view her presentation here.

I sponsored $300,00 to expand the Harborview Hospital-Based Intervention (HBI) program to serve victims of gun violence between the ages of 25 and 40: the age range that has been driving the increase in gun violence.  Harborview provides point-of-contact support at the hospital to connect individuals admitted for gunshot injury to Urban League staff for restoration, case management, and follow-up services such as mentoring, therapy follow-up, financial services, housing, substance abuse, treatment, and job opportunities.

The City of Seattle has also provided $2M to Regional Peacekeepers Collective, which joins $7M from the County to ramp up through 2022 and 2023.

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) and Co-LEAD Quarter 1 and 2 Metrics Reporting

Finally, we heard from Human Services Department (HSD) and PDA (Purpose Dignity Action; formerly Public Defenders Association) representatives to review the first six months of performance metrics for LEAD and Co-LEAD.  I wrote in May about PDA’s new contract with HSD that will allow us to learn more about LEAD’s and Co-LEAD’s impacts over time.

HSD and PDA collaborated to present significant amounts of data about their Q1 and Q2 2023 performance.  You can find the presentation here.

HSD and PDA will be back in December to share Q3 performance metrics with committee members.

August 8 SPMA hearing: The committee also held an evening public hearing on the 8th regarding bargaining with the Seattle Police Management Association (SPMA).

The Community Police Commission, Office of the Inspector General, and Office of Police Accountability provided testimony, along with members of the public.

The hearing is required to be held 90 days before bargaining begins, so public testimony can still be provided. Feel free to e-mail me.

You can view the Seattle Channel video of the hearing here.

Community Police Commission ED Position Interviews

The Seattle Channel has posted interviews with two of the finalists for the position of Executive Director of the Community Police Commission. You can view the interviews here:

Here are written responses to questions from all three candidates.

The Community Police Commission is scheduled to select a permanent Executive Director next Wednesday, August 16th.   Seattle Human Resources is facilitating the search for the Community Police Commission Executive Director and has posted a brief survey to inform the hiring decision. Responses are anonymous.  An overview of the survey responses will be shared with the CPC prior to their nomination of the Executive Director and will become part of the public record.  Here’s a link to the survey.

Backpacks for Kids Summer Bash Friday 8/18

  • Date: Friday, August 18th
  • Time: 4:30PM – 7:00PM
  • Location: South Park Community Center | 8319 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108

Network with community-centered resources, enjoy some grilled BBQ with family & friends, pick up school supplies (limited amount), and build community relationships.  All community members are welcome to participate!

Expanded Fall Hours Coming to Delridge

Starting September 11:  Delridge Community Center: M-F, 9:30a.m. to 9p.m.; SAT, 9:30a.m. to 6p.m.

Thanks to funding from the Seattle Park District, Delridge Community Center will expand to serve the public 66 hours weekly starting on September 11th, up from 43 hours weekly currently.  Seven other community centers will also see expanded hours.

Allocation of hours was determined based on a variety of factors, including evaluating how these hours could further support racial equity, as well as honoring existing partnerships (Seattle Housing Authority, Seattle Preschool Program, etc.).  Learn more at Expanded Public Hours Coming to Several Community Centers this Fall! – Parkways (

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