Committee Update / Food Assistance / Career Pathways for Gun Violence-Affected Youth / Last Chance for Free Covid Tests / April Pools Day / EV Charging Stations / Get Engaged program / Fair Chance Housing / Free Kia and Hyundai Anti-Theft Devices


Update from the 4/11 Public Safety & Human Services Committee

Human Services Department Director:  Committee members unanimously voted to recommend the appointment of Tanya Kim, current Acting Director of the Human Services Department, to the permanent position.  I have found Acting Director Kim to be a thoughtful and responsive partner, and I was pleased that she was willing to step up her commitment when asked to serve in the permanent role.  You can read more about Acting Director Kim here and here.

This is an important appointment.  The Human Services Department, which has been without a permanent director since before the pandemic, is one of the largest contributors to Seattle’s safety net, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to more than 200 community-based organizations and programs that support strong and healthy communities.  HSD has about 400 employees in four divisions designed to deliver outcomes that work for the community, promote innovation, and advance racial equity: Aging and Disability Services (ADS), Leadership and Administrative Division (LAD), Safe and Thriving Communities (STC), and Youth and Family Empowerment (YFE).

Next, Acting Director Kim’s appointment will be considered by the full Council for a final vote on Tuesday, April 17th.  Council’s consideration of department heads is guided by Resolution 31868.

Ongoing Assessments in Proposed Consent Decree Agreement on Sustained Compliance: Inspector General Judge provided a briefing on the upcoming work of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

This work falls into three main areas: 1) projects and reports identified in the Consent Decree Agreement on Sustained Compliance; 2) developing new review processes to transition oversight from the Court Monitor to OIG for Consent Decree topics, and 3) creating new review processes to provide ongoing feedback to SPD, including the development of processes to provide transparent oversight of SPD systems not yet subject to consent decree oversight.

In short, review work will be continuing, and will be transitioning to a City-run system, which can allow for additional areas of focus and priorities set by the City.

Here’s the OIG presentation.

Until now, the Court-appointed Monitor has been overseeing SPD in areas defined by the Consent Decree such as use of force and constitutional policing. In the long run, this transition will allow greater scope for continuing overnight and enhanced real-time review.

The Consent Decree includes requirements regarding the collection of data about the use of Terry stops (also referred to as ‘investigative’ stops based on an officer’s reasonable suspicion of criminal activity). The City’s 2017 bias-free policing ordinance is more expansive and requires the collection of data not only for Terry stops, but also for regular traffic stops that can result in tickets, and incorporates that requirement into the Municipal Code.

SPD has collected data on Terry stops, and the demographic data has been included in a variety of reports, such as the Monitor’s 2022 Comprehensive Assessment, the CPE Science of Justice report, and SPD’s Disparity Review. Here is SPD’s Terry stop dashboard and dataset.

The transition to City management can now include oversight on regular traffic stops as well, the data for which has only become available in mid-2022, despite the bias-free policing ordinance requiring its availability being passed in 2017.


For work beyond the Consent Decree, the OIG has identified items including a review of investigative policy and practices, ongoing work on traffic stops and use of deception, SPD’s collision review process, as well as a sentinel event review process for officer-involved shootings.

The OIG will be adding three new positions; this is a fraction of the average annual staffing costs for the Monitor’s office of $800,000.

URM Quarterly Update: Lastly, the committee received a quarterly program update and briefing from SDCI and ASAP! (the Alliance for Safety, Affordability, and Preservation) on the work developed around Unreinforced Masonry buildings (URMs) as directed by Resolution 32033, which I sponsored in 2021. This URM Retrofit Program resolution charges City departments with identifying seismic retrofit standards to make older buildings safer during large earthquakes. It also tasks the City with finding funding sources to reduce the financial burden on the owners of these older buildings. SDCI last presented their progress in this area in December.

As we heard in committee, the URM Retrofit Program is made of two parallel tracks – one to develop the technical standard for retrofits, and one to develop policies needed to support this work.

On technical standards, I was pleased to hear that a draft of baseline standards is already being reviewed by earthquake engineers, who will give feedback for further development. These baseline standards will identify models for retrofits that range in cost and construction needs without sacrificing the safety of the occupants and neighbors of the buildings adopting them. These baseline standards will be published this year in the form of a Director’s Rule, while further work continues.

In the area of policy development, we heard a compelling proposal for a retrofit credit program. This program would grant owners of each URM property required to retrofit their buildings to the URM standard, additional development capacity, or “upzone credits.”  It would also allow developers, in selected areas across the city, to purchase “upzone credits” from owners of URM properties for a fee that would then help these owners of URM building pay for the estimated $1.2 billion in costs to retrofit URMs across Seattle. This would allow developers to build denser buildings while supporting the protection and safety of older, historically significant buildings. This proposal is in relatively early development stages with a set of challenging questions ahead of it but is an exciting opportunity to explore a significant funding source for this life safety matter. I look forward to the recommendations of this workgroup.  To begin to move this policy development forward ASAP and SDCI are working on Comprehensive Plan amendments for both the One Seattle Plan Comprehensive Plan Update (2022), which Council won’t vote on until 2024, as well as Mayor Harrell’s proposed new legislation to update the City’s industrial lands policy, which Council will be considering later this year.

Admittedly, the work of the URM Retrofit Program workgroups can be highly technical, but it is incredibly important.  I applaud our presenters for parsing through these standards and policies in laypeople’s terms. SDCI will return in June for its next quarterly report, but in the meantime, you can watch the full presentation from this week’s committee below.

Food Assistance: How to Find – or Give – Help

The number of people seeking food assistance increased over the last year, according to a report by Public Health. This increase is happening while food costs are higher than ever before, food donations and volunteers are down, and federal pandemic-era food programs are ending.

Give Help: Food assistance providers need additional food, volunteers, and equipment.  You can help by volunteering, donating nutritious foods, and giving money.  Find your local food bank or meal program on this list and map of food resources, updated quarterly by the City of Seattle.

Get Help: If you don’t have money to purchase enough food, the following resources can help:

  • Basic Food/SNAP: King County’s Access and Outreach Team can help you apply and answer questions about Washington State’s Basic Food program. Call the Community Health Access Program (CHAP): at 1-800-756-5437.
  • SNAP Market Match and SNAP Produce Match: You can stretch Basic Food benefits by purchasing fresh vegetables and fruit at participating farmers’ markets. Visit SNAP Market Match, email, or call 360- 236-3148. Also available is SNAP Produce Match, a program where shoppers who use Basic Food benefits can stretch their food budget to buy more fruits and vegetables at participating grocery stores and online. Visit the website at SNAP Produce Match, email, or call 360-236-3148.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program: The WIC program provides families with healthy food, nutrition counseling, and breastfeeding support. You may be eligible for WIC if you are pregnant or postpartum, have an infant, or child under age 5. To learn more, see Public Health WIC Services, or call 206-263-9300.
  • Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program: You can find nutrition resources for older adults, including senior congregate meal locations and information about applying for an $80 e-benefit card to purchase fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets here, or call Community Living Connections at 206-962-8467 or (toll-free) 1-844-348-5464.
  • School Meals and Summer EBT: Families can apply for free or reduced-price school meals for their children at any time during the school year by applying directly through their school or school district. School children who receive free or reduced-price school meals qualify for up to a $120 e-benefit card to purchase food during the summer months.
  • Seattle Fresh Bucks: Eligible Seattle residents with household income below 80% area median income can enroll in the Fresh Bucks program to receive $40 in vouchers a month by mail. The vouchers, allow participants to buy any qualifying fruit and vegetable at any participating retailer including farmers’ markets, Seattle Safeways, and participating Seattle neighborhood grocers and farm stands. See Seattle Fresh Bucks or call 206-684-2489 for more information.
  • Food Banks and Meal Programs: Many food banks now offer home delivery services and other conveniences like online ordering and curbside pick-up. Before going to your local food bank or meal program, call ahead to confirm their hours and to make an appointment, if necessary. Find your closest food bank or meal program by visiting this list and map of food resources.

Apply By 4/21 for Career Pathways for Gun Violence-Affected Youth Grant

King County intends to award $1M to data-informed, community-focused violence deterrence/intervention programs for youth ages 12-28 who have been directly or indirectly affected by gun violence.  Services for young people should include building relationships, providing intentional guidance, and connecting to resources.  Examples include paid trainings, certification, and job shadowing; paid internships; civic and business leadership development; career and ownership/stewardship mentoring; culturally reflective mental health and well-being supports; teaching life adaptive skills to thrive, and so on.

Learn more and apply here: Career Pathways for Youth Affected by Gun Violence – King County.

Last Chance to Order Free Covid Tests from State

There is one month left to get free tests from Say Yes COVID Test. While this program comes to an end on May 11, many communities in Washington are still eligible to receive five at-home COVID-19 test kits for free. Visit to see if your household is eligible.

April Pools Day this Saturday at Southwest Pool

Head to Southwest Pool this Saturday, April 15th from 12:15 to 1:15 pm for April Pools Day!  Make this summer a safe one. Learn important water safety skills, enjoy free swims, play games, and win prizes!

This is a great opportunity to teach your family about water safety while having fun. April Pools Day water safety topics will include:

  • Preventing open-water drowning
  • Lifejacket use and promotion
  • Cold water awareness
  • Basic water rescue for children

EV Charging Stations Coming Online in Coming Months

Last month City Light announced 31 locations for Seattle City Light’s Curbside Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging pilot, including the following additional locations in District 1:

  • 4800 block California Ave SW
  • 2100 block California Ave SW
  • 6000 block 16th Ave SW
  • 4800 block Fauntleroy Way SW
  • 7000 block 17th Ave SW

A map of the sites is available and locations are noted by a blue icon. Locations with charging stations running already are indicated in orange.

SDOT anticipates 50% of the new locations will be installed by the end of May, with the remainder completed by the end of summer. Sites will be energized as construction is completed.

The Level 2 EV chargers installed under this program will provide up to 9.6 kilowatts (kW).

Additional information including is available at City Light’s announcement, and their Curbside Level 2 EV Charging webpage. The current cost for a Level 2 charger is $0.21 per kilowatt-hour.

YMCA Seeking Applications in District 1 for 2023-2024 Get Engaged Program

The YMCA Social Impact Center is seeking 2023-2024 applications for the Get Engaged! Program run in collaboration with the City of Seattle.

The Get Engaged program places people aged 18-29 onto City of Seattle boards and commissions. They reached out to seek additional applications from District 1, so please share this with anyone who might be interested.

Get Engaged board members serve a one-year term as fully vested and voting members starting in September. Boards and commissions advise the Mayor and City Council, help shape policy decisions, make recommendations, and provide citizen participation in city government. Started in 2001, Get Engaged is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of leaders and advocating for the influence of young voices in city affairs.

Applications for the 2023-2024 year will be accepted until Friday, May 12th at 11:59 pm.

To apply: Complete the application at and send a resume, cover letter, and 2 references to

Participating boards and commissions include: the Arts Commission, Bicycle Advisory Board, Design Commission, Human Rights Commission, Immigrant and Refugee Commission, LGBT Commission, Board of Parks Commissioners, Pedestrian Advisory Board, Disability Commission, Planning Commission, Renters’ Commission, Transit Advisory Board, Urban Forestry Commission, Women’s Commission, and others.

You can view participating boards and commissions, and meeting times, here:

For more information: Contact Imani Bender,

More on Fair Chance Housing

Last month, I wrote about the importance of the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance.  Fair Chance Housing creates…

I recently had the opportunity to make the case for Fair Chance Housing to a national audience in an interview on CNN’s Smerconish Show and later with a written article: More Than a Contract – SMERCONISH.  From that article:

There is no research that demonstrates that someone with a criminal history is less likely to be a good tenantOne in three of us has criminal system involvement. And again, people with criminal legal system involvement are less likely to commit another crime if they have housing.  I’d expect anyone supporting safer communities to oppose discrimination against people with prior criminal legal system involvement.

As I await the next steps in the Ninth Circuit ruling that threatens a part of Fair Chance Housing, I will be looking for ways to ensure that criminal background information that landlords see is not information that is used to deprive people of housing.

Free Kia and Hyundai Anti-Theft Devices

As I’ve written about before, thefts of Hyundai and Kias thefts have risen by as much as 620% between 2021 and 2022. In January, Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison filed a lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai for their failure to release and install anti-theft technology. To further combat this, Seattle Police Department’s Crime Prevention Coordinators will be distributing steering wheel locks at all five precincts through the end of the month.

These devices are being made available for anyone who lives or works in Seattle with a focus on Hyundai and Kia drivers.

West Seattle residents and workers can pick up a free steering wheel club tomorrow, Saturday, April 15th from 1 PM to 3 PM at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster St). They will also be available Thursday, April 20th from 2 PM to 4 PM.

To learn about pickup times at other precincts, or if you have any questions, please see the SPD Blotter post or reach out to Jennifer Danner, Southwest Precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator at

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