Budget Calendar/Key Deadlines; Richard Hugo House Re-Opens at New Building/Old Location on Saturday; Tree Legislation Update; Recycle Roundup; Diaper Need Awareness Week; Request to Sound Transit for Visualizations for Avalon station area

Budget Calendar/Key Deadlines

On Monday, September 24th Mayor Jenny Durkan will submit her proposed 2019-2020 City Budget and 2019-2024 Capital Improvement Program. The Council will then begin meeting as the Budget Committee in a two-month process for consideration, amendment, and finally, approval of the City budget. Here’s a brief rundown the of the calendar, process, and key upcoming deadlines.

On September 26th and 27th, the Budget Committee will hear department overviews from the City Budget Office for individual city departments. On October 3rd, the committee will hold a Work Session.

On October 4th at 5:30 p.m., the Budget Committee will hold the first of two public hearings, at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

On October 17-18 and 22-24, the committee will meet for the stage in the deliberation process that we refer to as “Issue Identification.” For these meetings, Central Staff provides highlights of the budget and issues for potential Council consideration. Councilmembers can also submit their own issues or proposals for consideration.  The deadline for submitting “Issue Identification” proposals is October 10th at 10 a.m. At this stage in the deliberations, proposals don’t need to be detailed.

The 2nd public hearing will be at 5:30 p.m. on October 23rd, in Council Chambers.

The next key deadline is on October 25th at 10 a.m.; that’s the deadline for “Green Sheet” proposals to amend the Mayor’s proposed budget. Those proposals will be heard in committee between October 30 and November 2nd. “Green Sheet” is the term we use for the document we use to amend the budget with either a reduction or addition of funding.  Green Sheets include specific dollar amounts, descriptions of purpose, and named departments to receive funding as well as revenue sources from where the funds originate.

On November 7th, the Budget Committee Chair, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, will present a Balancing Package. Votes on the Balancing Package, and any Green Sheets (amendments to the Mayor’s Budget) proposed by Councilmembers, will be on November 13 and/or 14. A majority vote of Councilmembers is needed to place items on the agenda before the committee; proposals must be self-balancing (spending and revenues must match).

A Full Council vote to adopt the budget is scheduled for November 19.

Here’s a link to the calendar for Budget Committee meetings.

The meeting schedule may change, with some meetings cancelled if additional time isn’t needed. Confirmation of meetings can be found at the Budget Committee meeting schedule. You can also sign up to receive the agendas in advance by e-mail here.

I’ll be providing weekly updates in this newsletter on meetings of the Budget Committee.


Richard Hugo House Re-Opens at New Building/Old Location on Saturday

For twenty years, Hugo House has been Seattle’s literary center.  In 1996, three Seattle writers Linda Breneman, Andrea Lewis, and Frances McCue, hatched the idea of creating a hub for writers and readers to meet.  Richard Hugo, the center’s namesake, was a nationally recognized and locally beloved poet, famous for saying, “humanity will always survive civilization.”

From October 1998 until May of 2016, Richard Hugo House was located in an old funeral home on Capitol Hill.  It relocated temporarily to First Hill after the demolition of its old home.

After a multi-year, $7.5 million capital campaign – including $1 million secured by Rep. Nicole Macri from the Washington State Building for the Arts program, $250,000 from the City of Seattle’s Cultural Facilities fund, and $250,000 from King County’s 4 Culture – this weekend, the Richard Hugo House is ready to open in its new home, at the same location where it first opened in 1998 and stayed until 2016.  It will have classrooms and a 150-seat auditorium.

This was made possible in part because the developer of a mixed-use six-story dedicated to Hugo House 9,527 square feet on the new building’s first floor.  Upstairs are 80 apartments, reportedly with 2-bedroom units renting for $4,425.

It’s an interesting outcome, juxtaposed against the current debate around the future of Showbox.  The building that once housed Hugo House, an old Victorian House, did not have the elements that made it eligible as a Historic Landmark, and did not receive landmark status when nominated.   In its application to the City Landmarks Board, Historic Seattle attests that the Showbox does have these attributes.

Recently, Hugo House became the first literary institution in Washington State to be designated a literary landmark by the Literary Landmarks Association, a division of the American Library Association that works to encourage the dedication of historic literary sites.

Time:  5pm – 9pm

Place:  1634 11th Ave

Host: Nancy Guppy

Special guests: Maria Semple, The Vis-à-Vis Society, and the Bushwick Book Club.

Readings by: Anastacia-Renee, Quenton Baker, Kristen Millares Young, and Amber Flame

Also, open mic and DJ Gabriel Teodros

See these links for some poignant stories from local youth about the ways in which Hugo House has helped them:


Tree Legislation Update

Many of you have to written me about the draft tree legislation that the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee has been considering over the last couple of months. While legislation has not been officially introduced to the Council nor referred to PLUZ, the committee has heard draft language a few different times and have been working to create a version, before it is introduced and formally referred to the PLUZ committee, that meets the expectations of the community.

At the last 2 PLUZ committee meetings, members of the public have lobbied us to not vote on the bill.  People are still writing to me now to ask that I not vote on the legislation. It is important to understand that bills *cannot be voted on until they are introduced & referred to a committee.* Again, this draft bill has neither been introduced or referred.  All introduced & referred bills are found here.

Last week the committee released a statement, you can read it in full here. As is said in the statement, we’ve heard from community members that we should take more time to consider the effects of the draft legislation and that new tree replacement requirements are not enough protection for exceptional trees. The committee has heard that the hazardous tree designation has been misused to remove exceptional trees that should be preserved.  Additionally, I will be advocating that there be 1. a maximum limit to the number of trees that can be removed from a property in a year (as opposed to using canopy percentage as the measurement), 2.  protections for groves of trees, and 3. better approaches to addressing enforcement challenges.

Council staff will continue to work on a new draft of this legislation while we are in the budget process, after which the committee will pick this legislation back up.


Recycle Roundup

1 Green Planet is recycling – for free – all sorts of hard to depose of items. Check out the list of what they are and are not accepting here.

The event is Sunday, September 23 between 9am and 3pm at the Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW).

The Fauntleroy Church Green Committee puts these events on for free but appreciates donations because they help to continue the service.


Diaper Need Awareness Week

Monday September 24th kicks off the 2018 Diaper Need Awareness week.  We bring the observation of Diaper Need Awareness Week to you, thanks the WestSide Baby.

WestSide Baby is a nonprofit organization that collects new and used items for children and babies and distributes them free of charge to King County families in need.  Recipients include families who are homeless, living in transitional housing, or who may just need of a little help during a difficult transition.

Since opening in 2001, WestSide Baby has distributed over $19.5 million in clothing, diapers, safety equipment and other items to nearly 279,000 children.  In 2017 alone, they served 46,000 children!  I’m grateful to have such a robust community organization based in District 1.

On average, infants and toddlers need roughly 50 diaper changes per week.  Diaper need is the condition of not having enough clean diapers to ensure that infants and toddlers are clean, healthy, and dry.  We know that not having enough diapers can adversely affect the health and welfare of infants, toddlers, and their families.  National data reports that one in three mothers experience diaper need at some time while their children are less than three years old and 48% of families delay changing a diaper in order to stretch out their supply of diapers.   Unfortunately, there are no government assistance programs that help parents to purchase diapers.

There are many ways to help close the diaper need gap, you can find more information about WestSide Baby and where to donate locally here.


Request to Sound Transit for Visualizations for Avalon station area

As part of its “Level 2” evaluation of alternatives for light rail to West Seattle and Ballard, Sound Transit has provided visualizations of alternatives. Visualizations for West Seattle and the Duwamish crossing are on pages 3 through 14.

These are very helpful in helping in public understanding of the alternatives. Last week I thanked Sound Transit for providing these.

I believe additional visualizations, in particular of the Avalon station area, could further enhance public understanding, and help meet the goal of attaining a preferred alternative by April 2019. In that spirit I sent the following request to Sound Transit CEO Rogoff:


Dear CEO Rogoff, 

Thank you for your responsiveness to the community and elected officials’ request for visualizations of Level 2 Alternatives for the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions. These visualizations of bridges, elevated guideways, and stations are helpful in enhancing public understanding of how stations and guideways fit into neighborhood context, and interact with existing streets and adjacent properties. I am hopeful this will assist us all in meeting the goal included in the joint Sound Transit/Seattle agreement of achieving a preferred alternative by April 2019.

The Seattle Design Commission, in order “to better understand the urban design implications of the various station and alignment alternatives under this phase of review,” has been engaging with the Seattle Planning Commission, Transit Advisory Board, Bicycle Advisory Board, Pedestrian Advisory Board, Renters Commission, Community Involvement Commission, and the LGBTQ Commission.  On September 7, the members of the Elected Leadership Group received a letter from the Seattle Design Commission.  The letter included a recommendation to “immediately provide visualization of stations, guideways, bridges, and portals in three dimension context before alternative analysis proceeds.  Visualizations need to be provided at different scales and orientations, from adjacent streets and street level, to understand how people interact with these facilities.”

While the visualizations provided to date are helpful for the neighborhood context of the Alaska Junction and Delridge station areas, visualizations of the elevated options for the Avalon station area and nearby elevated guideways would enhance public understanding, and contribute to the City and ST’s mutual goal of achieving a preferred alternative by April 2019. Could you please provide visualizations of the elevated options for the Avalon station area and nearby elevated guideways?

Also, please consider the additional recommendation of the Design Commission.


Lisa Herbold

Seattle City Councilmember, District 1

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