Taking Stock of Our Accomplishments

With the end of my term days away I have been taking stock of my aspirations and my accomplishments.  I found my speech from the day in January 2016 when I was sworn in with a Council Chambers full of supporters of mine as well as my colleagues who were also being sworn in. Here is what I said then:

Thank you.  Council colleagues, distinguished guests, family, and friends, I am honored to serve as the first Councilmember for the first district of West Seattle and South Park.  I’d like to begin with a bit of trivia about me.  My first real job at 13 was also at a City Hall, but as a janitor. I was placed there through the comprehensive employment training act, a jobs program for low- income youth started by President Jimmy Carter and 30 some odd years later I’m still working at City Hall. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment but I just can’t seem to leave the place.  Some might say that I’m living proof of how government can make a difference in people’s lives. I prefer to say, with a special shout out to our janitors that I’ve known firsthand more than a couple of very important jobs here at City Hall.

18 years serving Seattle residents working for Councilmember Nick Licata, and my prior work as a community organizer, has given me a very strong sense of to whom we must do a better job listening to.  I just, week before last, attended a meeting with Councilmembers González and Harrell and comprised of folks working to ensure that those who have made mistakes, but paid their debt to society, or were only accused, but never convicted of a crime should be able to access housing in Seattle. The message from this meeting wasn’t only that we need to ensure that landlords are making decisions based upon people’s suitability to rent, but also, that as policymakers we must do a better job of taking our cues from those that we hope to serve.

Seattle voters delivered the same message in passing district elections.  We must make sure that people are not left behind.  The top 5% of our region’s income earners have seen their wages rebound to pre-recession levels.  Where 10 years ago, more than 50% of our workforce lived here in Seattle, today only 40% does. The people who make our city prosper must also have the chance to prosper themselves.  In that spirit, I will work to pass laws that ensure that those benefit from that prosperity also invest in a fair deal for our city.  Let’s pass developer impact fees to ensure that growth helps pay for mobility improvements. Let’s set regulations that protect renters from some of the excesses of a very hot housing market. We must also be persistent advocates for responsible, responsive, and accountable policing and employment practices for all of our communities.

I say “we” because I’ve only gotten this far with the help of many in this room today. Many thanks to the hundred-plus volunteers who lent their energy to our effort and affirmed our shared values and aspirations together. Together we won this election, in spite of being outspent 3 to one.  If we continue to mobilize, like we have over the last 10 months, we can make sure that our voices challenge the status quo where change is needed the very most. I’ll only be able to succeed with you by my side.

Special thanks to my family, especially my mother, husband, and daughter. Your unwavering support for me has made what once seemed impossible possible.  And as for my teacher of the last 18 years, Nick Licata.  He embodies all of the very best qualities of a dedicated public servant, egoless leader and brilliant strategist. I will do my very best to remember your advice to see the world as it should be, to understand that political and social changes are a marathon of incremental steps. And to have fun!  I take this oath in gratitude and in service to each of you.  Thank you.

So today, looking back at my aspirations and comparing them to our shared accomplishments, like I was eight years ago, I am once again full of gratitude to many of you to whom I owe the credit for what WE have accomplished during my time on the Council.  Let’s take stock.

I have chaired four separate committees:

  • Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts (2016-2019)
  • Select Budget Committee (2017)
  • Public Safety and Human Services (2020-2023), and
  • 2023 Select Committee on Climate Action (2023)

In my eight years as a City Councilmember, I successfully sponsored 262 pieces of legislation. Many of those bills were routine and/or were proposed by executive departments.  So, from that list of 262 pieces of legislation, I’ve compiled a list of 58 ordinances and resolutions that are examples of non-routine legislation that I either worked closely with the executive on or were policies initiated my myself on the request of constituencies throughout the City.

Further, this list only includes legislation I sponsored, not my amendments to legislation sponsored by other Councilmembers or important “no” votes (for example, voting against the SODO arena proposal which paved the way to the privately financed Climate Pledge Arena, and the taxpayer bailout of Pronto bike share.  It also doesn’t include where my advocacy played a key role in funding or policy outcome (e.g. initial funding for the Highland Park Way/Holden intersection improvements or Mayor Durkan’s decision to repair rather than replace the West Seattle Bridge).

This list also doesn’t include department head appointments that I shepherded through my committees over the last 8 years.  Over the course of my time as a Councilmember, my committees have heard and recommended passage of the confirmation of each the Human Services Department Director, the Seattle Police Chief, Office of Policy Accountability Director, Community Police Commission Director, Office of Economic Development Director, Public Health Director, Seattle Office for Civil Rights Director, Office of Emergency Management Director, and the Seattle Public Utilities Director.

In addition to legislation, this list includes about 86 budget actions that I led on.  Again, it doesn’t include budget actions that I co-sponsored or supported, in instances when Councilmembers were the lead sponsor.

Further, after the closure of the West Seattle Bridge in March of 2020 up until the re-opening in September of 2022, my newsletter provided weekly updates about the status of the project to 10,000 constituents.   I am forever grateful to Newell Aldrich in my office for always ensuring that each week there was new information for the public about the bridge repair status.  I have thanked other departing staff members in previous newsletters, but Newell and I have been working side by side for 27 years.  I know I couldn’t have accomplished much of what I’ve done without his patient, thorough, and consistent support.

In addition to staffing the West Seattle Bridge closure and report, Newell’s clerked my committees.  As if that isn’t enough, his staffing of policy issues included legislation such as the BEPS bill, the Diversion Pathway Drug Enforcement Bill, Automated Traffic Enforcement legislation, legislation to fund SPD’s Recruitment and Training plan, legislation to strengthen each the Office of Police Accountability, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Community Police Commission, legislation to regulate SPD’s use of Less Lethal Weapons, legislation to improve fiscal accountability over large capital projects, legislation requiring SPD officers to display their badge numbers and legislation confirming the rights of people to observe and record police interactions with the public.  There’s more information about each of these bills below, as well as policy on protections for our workforce, tenant rights, community safety interventions, human services and behavioral health investments, and so much more!

I’d also like to recognize and give my thanks for the work of Elizabeth Calvillo Dueñas, who began to work with Team Herbold during the chaotic days of the pandemic and has been a critical support to my entire office to, among other duties, ensure that we are responding to constituents, whether sharing information about policy efforts or helping D1 residents navigate the bureaucracy of City of Seattle government.  She’s also guided public disclosure compliance and taken on more responsibility with policy efforts as other team members moved on to other responsibilities starting this fall.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve District 1.  As they say, “It’s been an honor and a privilege.”  I look forward to the representation of Councilmember-Elect Rob Saka and I have let him know that he can reach out to me anytime.  The representation of the district is what is most important to me.  I am confident that he and I share that perspective!

Herbold Budget and Policy Accomplishments 2016-2023



2023 Policy Work (areas of focus: environment, public safety, behavioral health, workforce, D1)

2023 Budget Wins (areas of focus: workforce, public safety, behavioral health, police accountability)


2022 Policy Work (areas of focus: public safety, workforce, health, environment/D1)


2021 Policy Work (areas of focus: public safety, emergency management, workforce, police accountability, behavioral health)


2020 Policy Work (areas of focus: police accountability, small business support, workforce)

2020 Budget Wins (areas of focus:  human services, transportation/D1, workforce, public safety)


2019 Policy Work (areas of focus: renters’ rights, civil rights, public safety, D1, culture)

2019 Budget Wins (areas of focus: transportation/D1, public safety/D1, human services, utilities, culture)


2018 Policy Work (areas of focus: Parks/D1, renters’ rights, civil rights, public safety/D1, fiscal oversight, environment)

2018 Budget Wins (areas of focus: public safety/D1, Transportation/D1, human services/D1, Parks/D1, small business, Parks/D1, culture, civil rights)


2017 Policy Work (areas of focus: fiscal accountability, renters’ rights, police accountability, D1, civil rights, workforce, culture)

2017 Budget Wins (areas of focus: human services, small business support, culture, workforce/D1)


2016 Policy Work (areas of focus: workforce, civil rights, utilities, renters’ rights)

2016 Budget Wins (areas of focus: housing, public safety, small business support, childcare, civil rights, human services)

Eight years of newsletters almost every week of the year!  Thanks to Joseph Peha and Jesse Franz for helping Team Herbold get them out each week!

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