Thanking Emergency Responders; Public Safety Meeting; Safety and Health Survey; Tragic Homicide; Street Vacation; Office Hours

Thanking Seattle’s Emergency Responders

Seattle’s first responders have been active in responding to the Hurricane Harvey response efforts in Texas, and the wildfires in Washington State, and in preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Georgia and Florida.

Firefighters Chris Lombard, Jon Olson, Chuck Boehmer, Darrin Quaschnik, and Greg Sobole deployed as part of the FEMA Washington Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue team (there are 28 USAR teams across the nation).  This particular task force is one of the 12 USAR teams deployed to parts of flood ravaged Texas.

Firefighter Larry Doll deployed as a part of a Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMATs are part of the National Disaster Medical System and operate under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and 55 DMATs are spread out across the country).  The 36 member team is comprised of medical professionals that are providing assistance to medical facilities impacted by flooding in Texas.

Firefighters Leroy Sisley, Cameron Chambers, Seth Baumgarten, Jonas Smith, Vance Anderson, Colen Richert, Erik Hotchkiss have been deployed to wildfires under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan which is the state-wide funded mechanism for fire service resources to respond to fires, disasters, or other events within the State of Washington.

Seattle Department of Transportation employee, Patti Quirk, has been deployed as a member of the Pacific Northwest National Incident Management Team #2. This is an incident management team whose purpose is to bring order to chaos in some of the larger incident where over 500 first responders are working.  This is one of two such teams in the Pacific Northwest and is made up of members from across the state of Washington and Idaho.

In addition, the Fire Department has deployed 25 personnel as a part of the 70-member Urban Search and Rescue Team (Washington Task Force 1) to a rally point in Georgia in advance of Hurricane Irma.

Also, Seattle IT Department is assisting the City of Orlando by receiving and holding back-up data tapes for some of their key systems during Hurricane Irma.

Seattle’s Mutual Aid programs are critical to offering assistance to other jurisdictions when they need it as well as receiving additional help to respond to emergencies when we need it.  I’d like to thank all of the public servants from each the Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Information Technology.  Their dedicated service, and willingness to put themselves in harm’s way in order to respond to
emergencies both locally and to other parts of the country in need is to be commended.


South Park Public Safety Meeting

On Tuesday August 29th, the Department of Neighborhoods hosted a community meeting in South Park.  I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to attend on a late August meeting. The high attendance shows just how concerned South Park residents are with the ongoing public safety issues.

To note just one example, South Park had the 3rd highest number of gunshots reported in Seattle neighborhoods during 2016, and the highest increase over 2015, according to Seattle Police Department data.

It’s clear we need to do more.

The South Park Public Safety Task Force created during last year’s Council budget process will be reporting next week to the Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee chaired by Councilmember González.


Alki Public Safety and Health Survey

The Alki Public Safety and Health Survey will remain open through September 15. We’ve received over 900 responses so far.

You can take the survey here; background information is available here.


Tragic Homicide of a Youth in Westcrest Park

Derek Juarez Lopez Support Fund

You may have heard of the tragic homicide of Derek Juarez-Lopez in Westcrest Park on September 5th.

At times like this it’s so hard to find the right words. For a family, this is a tragic loss of a beloved child as well as a loss of a friend, student, and poet cherished by an entire community.

I am so saddened and angered that Derek’s life has been taken. The words from his call for help as reported by the Times are heartbreaking. “‘I just got jumped…they stabbed me, I’m bleeding. Can you please come get me?’”

Thank you to the woman near Sixth SW and SW Cambridge for calling 911.  I am monitoring the Seattle Police Department investigation and discussed it with Chief Kathy O’Toole today.

Please help out if you are able:


Street Vacation by Harbor Avenue

The Council approved a petition for a street vacation from West Coast Self Storage and Nucor Steel for a portion of 29th Avenue Southwest and Southwest City View Street, just off Harbor Avenue SW, adjacent to the Port. The address of the properties is 3300 and 3252 Harbor Avenue SW, and the use is for a self-storage facility.  A “street vacation” is when the city vacates right-of-way for private use; public benefits are required.

Public benefits and conditions focus on the Alki Trail, including relocating power poles out of the trail, reconstructing and widening the trail, adding lighting, and delineating trail crossings with pavement change.

One of the proposed conditions is the project built on the site must be substantially in conformance with the proposal shown to the Sustainability and Transportation Committee.  The presentation to the Sustainability and Transportation committee included an outdated image of the relationship between the building and the Alki Trail which runs between Harbor Avenue and the proposed building. The petitioners have agreed to set back the building further from the Alki Trail than was shown in the materials presented in committee, and have agreed to undertake other measures to reduce conflicts between vehicles exiting their garage and bicyclists using the trail.

I co-sponsored, along with Councilmember O’Brien, chair of the Sustainability and Transportation Committee, a proposed substitute bill that formally requires the project to be adjusted to include these safety features.

This condition is in line with the recommendations of the Design Commission to “Consider different design options to improve sight lines for the vehicular exit in order to enhance safety within the public realm.” Central Staff and SDOT recommended this amendment for the record.

Many thanks to Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections for his work on this.


Annual Labor Ride and Poker Run Follow-Up

On Monday, Labor Day, I hosted my 3rd Annual Labor Ride and Poker Run. This is a fundraiser benefitting the Labor Archives of Washington at the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.  The Labor Archives were founded in 2010 with initial funding coming from dozens of unions and many more individuals, you can view them here at the “Founders Circle.”

The Labor Archives include “more than 300 separate collections of labor and labor-related materials from individuals and organizations documenting the local, national, and international dimensions of the labor movement in the Pacific Northwest. Collections document the intersection between labor unions and social justice, civil rights, and political organizations that feature a labor relations or labor rights dimension as part of their focus.”

The Ride this year welcomed over 50 participants from the general public as well as locals from the Carpenters’ Union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Longshoreman Workers’ Union, the Deep Sea Fisherman’s Union, the Inland Boatman’s Union, and the Machinists Union.  We raised $1,100 to support the Labor Archives. If you ride any kind of bike or scooter I hope to see you next year.


Improving in Worksite Behavior

The City is committed to ensuring that our construction worksites are free of harassment, bullying, and other inappropriate and harmful behavior. Though research shows that the City is not alone in being at risk for this type of behavior, the implementation of Seattle’s Priority Hire program has further increased the diversity of our construction workforce, while also increasing the City’s monitoring presence on and awareness of the sites.

The City’s Purchasing and Contracting Services takes immediate action when they learn of inappropriate behavior, including alerting the contractor and any related union to begin working on solutions. As of April 2017, all construction contracts include an Acceptable Worksite provision.

I am proud to share, as an example, a recent response to some unacceptable behavior with racist- and sexist-overtones on the Beacon Buried Reservoir construction site. The City’s monitors learned of offensive incidents and immediately contacted the prime contractor. With the prime contractor’s support, the City paused work to conduct an all-site meeting and training, called a “safety stand-down.”

Workers shared that the job climate was immediately improved, and they felt more empowered to raise these serious concerns. Subsequently, when another issue occurred, the prime contractor removed three offending workers, including one union worker and two of their own core employees. The union declined to move their worker’s complaint forward upon his termination. The courage and determination of everyone made this possible, including the contractor, the workers who came forward, the Carpenters, the Laborers and our City team.


In-District Office Hours

On September 22, I will be at the
South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave S) from 2:00p.m. – 6:00p.m. Please be sure to arrive no later than 5:30 pm, the final meeting of the day will begin at 5:30 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.

Date Location Address
Friday, September 22, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
Friday, October 27, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, December 15, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
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