Federal Judge OKs Moving Forward on Police Accountability Legislation; Tenants’ Rights Workshop in District 1; Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs)

Federal judge OKs moving forward on police accountability legislation

Late last week a federal judge ruled that Seattle can proceed with police accountability legislation.  This legislation has been developed to comply with the requirements of the 2012 Consent Decree with the US Department of Justice to reform policing in Seattle.   Federal Judge James Robart is responsible for overseeing the implementation of these Consent Decree requirements.

Judge Robart had earlier ruled that he would first need to review the proposed accountability legislation in advance of the Council’s consideration to ensure that it did not conflict with the terms or purpose of the Consent Decree. His ruling notes “The purposes of the Consent Decree are…(1) constitutional policing, (2) effective policing, and (3) policing in which the community can have confidence.

Judge Robart’s ruling approves the draft legislation moving forward, and clarifies issues on terminating officers, the composition of the Community Police Commission, and the role of the Community Police Commissions with respect to a new proposed Office of the Inspector General.

To ensure the judge reviewed and approved alternative legislative possibilities, the reviewed draft legislation included multiple options for some issue areas.  The legislation will now be revised into standard legislative format, and undergo final legal review, and come to the City Council for consideration, and public comment.

The bill should reach the Council in the coming months.

Tenants’ Rights Workshop in District 1

Monday, January 23rd from 6:30-8pm at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center at 4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106

In FREE workshop for current and future renters and tenant advocates, Solid Ground Tenant Counselors will cover information to help consumers…

  • Know and assert their rights as tenants
  • Navigate the housing search and landlord screening process
  • Protect themselves from eviction and housing loss
  • Learn how to get deposits back and repairs made

Please note that while Solid Ground’s Tenant Counselors are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice, they are recognized leaders in tenant education and advocacy.

QUESTIONS? Contact our Tenant Services Workshops & Advocacy Line at 206.694.6748 or



Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs)

On Wednesday, I attended a Council Lunch and Learn on Community Benefits: Tools of the Trade, hosted by Councilmember O’Brien’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee. Councilmembers, city staff and community members heard presentations from Coalitions, Campaigns and Community BenefitsStrategic Actions for  a Just Economy, and East Bay Alliance for Sustainable Economy about how communities across the country are using CBAs to address exploding property values and displacement.

Engagement with and the community organizing of impacted residents and workers can ensure that CBAs are a tool that maximizes the public benefits received from investments made by the city, employers, and developers. These agreements may require developers to build more affordable housing, improve access to transit, expand affordable childcare options, and/ or increase livable wage employment opportunities. Under the Priority Hire Ordinance the City of Seattle uses a community workforce agreement on all of its public works projects.  Having a citywide requirement enacted by ordinance for these specific kinds of projects means that community members do not have organize and pressure the City on each individual city funded public works project.

People who live and work in the University District have requested the City Council’s help in encouraging large employers and developers to negotiate a CBA in anticipation of future development in the University District resulting from proposed University District Mandatory Housing Affordability Zoning legislation.  I look forward to thinking more about how the City can support the use of CBAs as another tool to further our shared goals to create more affordable housing, decrease displacement of businesses and residents, and improve the overall livability for all Seattle residents.

© 1995-2018 City of Seattle