MLK Day on Monday; New Council Committees; Council Presidency and January Pro Tem; Inclement Weather/Severe Weather Shelter; In-District Office Hours

MLK Day on Monday

2015 City Hall, City of Seattle Employees

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and City Council offices along with many other government offices will be closed.  The week’s City Council Briefing and Meeting will occur on Tuesday, January 21 instead.   Here are a couple of ideas for ways to celebrate the holiday:

Want to celebrate close to home?  Dirt Corps is holding a Day of Service at Westcrest Park on MLK Day.  Volunteers will learn about restoration methods while improving the health of a forested neighborhood park.  Learn more here.

Willing to travel a little further?  Join the 38th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, a full day of events.  The schedule is below, and you can learn more here.

  • 8:30 a.m. Opportunity Fair and Workshops at Garfield High School
  • 11:00 a.m. Rally including speakers, music and dance
  • 12:30 p.m. March to City Hall

Another alternative: Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the public to join a youth-organized march to honor Dr. King on Saturday, January 18th.  This is SPR’s 16th annual youth march and the theme this year is “Together We Stand with 2020 Vision”. Teens, families and community members from throughout the city will speak out against injustices in a peaceful demonstration. The goal for the march is to celebrate the contributions that Seattle youth make in creating a better city, and to honor the work that youth do to keep Dr. King’s dream alive.  Learn more here.

New Council Committees

The Council voted earlier this month to establish new committees for 2020 and 2021.

I will be chairing the Public Safety and Human Services Committee, addressing issues related to the Seattle Police Department, Human Services Department, Fire Department, and Office of Emergency Management.

I’ll also serve as vice chair of the Finance & Housing Committee, and as a member of the Transportation & Utilities Committee and the Public Assets & Native Communities Committee. I serve as the alternate for the Community Economic Development Committee.

There is also a separate Select Committee on Homelessness and Investment Strategies. “Select committees” are established by the Council President and include all nine Councilmembers as members. I’ll serve as vice chair for this committee.

Committee duties are described in the Council resolution adopting committees, and the Council committees webpage.

Due to changes adopted in the Council Rules last year, committees will be structured and operate differently than in previous years.

Council committees will have five members, rather than three as in previous years. There will be a quorum of three to hold a committee meeting. In previous years, there was no quorum requirement for regular standing committee meetings and Councilmembers not on committees could attend and cote on legislation.  Under the new rules, only members of committees will be able to vote. Councilmembers not on the committee can attend only if invited by the committee chair and to participate in discussion, not to vote.

One possible outcome of this quorum requirement is that Councilmembers who might otherwise come to committee to offer amendments will now have to wait until Full Council to propose those amendments.   Another outcome of the new quorum requirement is that Councilmembers will serve on more committees.  In the past, each Councilmember served on 3 standing committee and was an alternate on one.  Now, I am serving on four standing committees and will be an alternate on one.

On final change is that in the past, each standing committee met twice each month.  Now, some committees are expected to meet twice a month and others only once a month.

Here’s the complete description of the Public Safety & Human Services committee adopted by the Council:

Public Safety & Human Services: To provide policy direction and oversight and to deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to:

  • criminal justice and law enforcement, with special emphasis on programs and strategies to reduce crime, domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and youth violence (including the Seattle Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office);
  • police accountability (including the Office of Police Accountability, Office of Inspector General, and the Community Police Commission), and the implementation of the Settlement Agreement between the Department of Justice and the City of Seattle regarding the Seattle Police Department;
  • coordination with municipal, regional, state, and federal agencies engaged in public safety issues (including the Seattle Municipal Court);
  • fire prevention and suppression, and emergency medical services;
  • emergency preparedness, management, and response;
  • youth justice, alternatives to youth detention, and alternative housing options to youth incarceration;
  • human services including but not limited to, childcare, aging, and disability services; and the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program; and
  • local and regional public health.

In February, I will work on developing a committee work program for the Public Safety & Human Services Committee.  Other Councilmembers will do the same for their committees and the Council will adopt the 2020 Council Work Program by resolution.

Council Presidency and January Pro Tem

Earlier this month, I was proud to make the motion supporting Councilmember Lorena González as president of the City Council for 2020-21.  The Full Council voted unanimously in support.

The Council has a monthly pro tem calendar, adopted by resolution, for when the Council President is on leave or out of town.  During January I am serving as President Pro Tem for the City Council, while Councilmember González is on maternity leave.

The duties include chairing City Council meetings, referring legislation to committees and various administrative duties as head of the Legislative Department. This month, one of those duties has been to decide whether to keep the Legislative Department open during inclement weather after consulting with division directors and reviewing Office of Emergency Management reports each morning.

Inclement Weather/Severe Weather Shelter

The Seattle Human Services Department has been working hard to increase capacity for severe weather shelters, which will continue through Sunday night, January 19th at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall – 301 Mercer Street – Seattle, WA 98109.

Additionally, earlier this week additional locations were opened.  For shelter options, please call 211 for help and follow Seattle Human Services for updates.

In-District Office Hours

My first in-district office hours will be on THURSDAY January 30.  I will be at the Southwest Customer Service Center (2801 SW Thistle St) from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  The final meeting of the day will begin at 4:30 p.m.

These hours are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming in advance you can email my scheduler Alex Clardy (

Additionally, here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours. These are subject to change.

  • Friday, February 28, 2020
    Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St
  • Friday, March 27, 2020
    South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S
  • Friday, April 24, 2020
    Southwest Customer Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St
  • Friday, May 29, 2020
    Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St
  • Friday, June 26, 2020
    South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S
  • Friday, July 31, 2020
    Southwest Customer Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St
  • Friday, August 21, 2020
    Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St
  • Friday, September 25, 2020
    South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S
  • Friday, October 30, 2020
    Southwest Customer Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St
  • Friday, December 18, 2020
    South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S
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