Next Week in the Budget Process; Police Accountability Update; Green Pathways

Next Week in the Budget Process

Here’s what’s coming up during the next week in the budget process. The Budget Committee will hold Department Overviews on October 7 and 10, covering the following departments:

Friday, October 7, 9:30 a.m.: Human Services: Homelessness Overview

Monday, October 10 9:30 a.m.: Seattle Police Department

Monday, October 10, 2 p.m.: Capital Projects, Seattle Department of Transportation, Office of Planning and Community Development

Agendas and materials will be available at least one day in advance of each meeting at the Budget Committee meetings page.

In addition, October 11 is the deadline for Councilmembers to submit proposals for inclusion in the first round of Budget Deliberations that begin the week of October 17.

Yesterday, the Council held its first public hearing on the budget; a second hearing will be on October 25th.

Here are links about the budget process and schedule. Additional information, including an archive of budget documents from 2009 to the present, is available at the Council’s Budget website.

Police Accountability Update

On October 7, the City is planning to submit draft police accountability legislation to the federal judge overseeing the 2012 Consent Decree with the US Department of Justice. The Community Police Commission, created as part of the Consent Decree, recently issued its recommendations.

The federal judge issued an order authorizing the City to draft legislation regarding police accountability, and saying that he will have 90 days to review the proposed legislation to “ensure that it does not conflict with the terms or purpose of the Consent Decree.” After that, the legislation can be submitted to City Council.

The Seattle Police Monitor appointed by the federal judge to oversee full compliance with the terms of the Consent Decree published a status report on September, 26. The report indicates the Monitor’s intent to issue a number of important reports during coming weeks. Reports need to first be submitted to the judge; pending approval by the Court, they could be released on the dates listed below.

Below are the four major assessments that remain, and a brief summary of the issues to be addressed from the Consent Decree:

  1. Use of Force: October 15; this will cover use of force principles such as de-escalation, as well as the annual review of trends, and identifying and correcting deficiencies revealed by the analysis. This will entail a “qualitative, in-depth review of a statistically significant sample of force incidents.”
  1. Early Intervention System: October 30; this will cover SPD compliance regarding the Early Intervention System, this is a system that identifies personnel issues that if left unaddressed may lead to disciplinary concerns. This report will also address provisions stating that SPD policies will ensure that early intervention is implemented in a timely manner; data regarding this is tracked, and if necessary, a supervisor will track progress.
  1. Officer supervision: October 30, this will cover for example, supervision of officers of policies such as, but not limited to use of force
  1. Constitutionality of police-community contacts: November 30 (the Monitor will ask the Court for a delay, so it may be another date, before December 21; This will involve analyzing data on SPD’s stops of Seattle residents, “to determine if officers are sufficiently articulating a legal justification for stops, and to determine if supervisors and SPD chain of command are meaningfully reviewing officer stop activity.” This report will cover compliance with sections in the Consent Decree dealing with Stops and Detentions, Bias-Free Policing, and training in these areas.

In 2014, the Court approved policies in Bias-Free Policing, Stops and Detentions; here’s the Monitor’s memo to the Court about training re: Stops and Bias-Free Policing Training, and a memo to the Court recommending approval of these policies, which the Court approved.

More details about the Monitor’s work and reports are available on the resources section of the Monitor’s webpage.

Green Pathways

The Full Council voted unanimously in favor of the Green Pathways Resolution on Monday.  It calls for a green jobs strategy as part of the workforce equity strategy by creating a body of work for an Interdepartmental Team (IDT).

Specifically, the Resolution calls for the IDT to create a “green job” definition that is consistent with community principles outlined in the Resolution:

“A green job is one that preserves or enhances environmental health as well as the economic and social well-being of people and communities, centers communities most negatively impacted by climate change, and pays a living wage while providing career pathways.”

The Resolution also requests the IDT to create an inventory of internships, apprenticeships, and entry-level jobs offered by the City of Seattle that meet this definition.

Additionally, the Resolution asks for examples of opportunities to create more local green jobs from our existing environmental investments, and an outreach and engagement strategy to advance green jobs as a part of the ongoing work to advance careers in the private sector.

The University of Michigan’s Green 2.0 report identifies a “green ceiling” in the environmental field where, nationally, people of color hold no more than 16% of positions in the studied environmental organizations, agencies, and foundations, additionally stating: “Once hired in environmental organizations, ethnic minorities are concentrated in the lower ranks, with less than 12% of the leadership positions,” and “Environmental Organizations do not use the internship pipeline effectively to find ethnic minority workers.”

Furthermore, in Seattle, youth unemployment still tops 13 percent, which disproportionately impacts young people of color and those from low-income communities.

Since the City is already pursuing a workforce equity strategy that is being spearheaded by an already existing Interdepartmental Team on Workforce Entry and Employment Pathways the work to address the Green Pathways work will be integrated there. In order to achieve the outcomes in the resolution the City Council intends to allocate funding to support the IDT in meeting these goals.


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