This week in Council Chamber

A fairly routine week coming up in City Hall…

Monday morning in its weekly Council Briefing, the Council will get another weekly update on the state legislative session from the Office of Intergovernmental Relations. They will also get briefed on the police-accountability legislation that’s headed its way, and have two briefings in executive session on pending litigation (most likely the two lawsuits filed last week by Uber and the ACLU).

Monday afternoon the full Council meeting will be very short: they currently have no agenda items other than the standard fare of paying the bills and hearing public comment.

This week’s Introduction and Referral Calendar has eight appointments, as well as:

  • a bill authorizing a long list of property transfers related to Seattle City Light’s ESA Early Action Program;
  • a pair of bills to update the city’s traffic code and criminal code to keep them consistent with recent changes in state law.

Tuesday morning the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee meets. On its agenda are four appointments and an ordinance updating the city’s official Position List.

Tuesday afternoon the Energy and Environment Committee meets. The meeting agenda has not yet been published, but it’s expected to take up the aforementioned bill on Seattle City Light’s ESA Early Action Program property transfers.

Wednesday morning, the Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee meets. The agenda has not yet been published, but it should include the previously mentioned bills updating the traffic and criminal codes. It might also have a discussion on the police-accountability legislation.

Wednesday afternoon, the Human Services and Public Health Committee meets. The formal agenda has not been published, but committee chair Sally Bagshaw noted last week that the meeting will have another briefing from the Mayor’s office on the implementation of the “Bridging the Gap” interim plan for addressing the homelessness crisis.



  1. Energy and Environment Committee’s agenda is up. Two items of business: 1) Seattle City Light (SCL) General Manager report including recent power outages and progress on the Denny substation; 2) Warrantless Surveillance Cameras in Seattle: How to protect the privacy of Seattleites and reverse the proliferation of surveillance cameras installed by the Seattle Police
    Department and Federal law enforcement agencies on SCL polls in public space without democratic authorization or transparency

    1. yup, and Sawant spoke to those briefly in the council briefing this morning. She also had very nice things to say about SCL staff working hard to restore power quickly during the recent outages, and about SCL’s wetlands preservation work. FYI, it’s not clear that SCL is installing surveillance cameras — though the feds definitely are and have managed to suppress information about them.

      1. See also my related PRA and FOIA requests:

        1: Seattle City Light surveillance camera agreement with US ATF (SCL)
        2: Seattle City Light surveillance camera agreement with US ATF (ATF)
        3: Invoices, work orders, installation plans, wiring diagrams for public utility poles 1311440 and 1307407
        4: Inventory of surveillance cameras installed on Seattle City Light utility poles
        5: Seattle City Light notice to DOJ of intent to release records of unlawful surveillance cameras
        6: Seattle City Light and DOJ comms re hiding public surveillance equipment inventory from public

        Also, note that this program is not reserved for serious crimes (much less crimes related to alcohol, tobacco, or firearms): “Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Grease: On the trail of Seattle surveillance,” by Michael Morisy, MuckRock News,

        1. sorry, I mistyped — meant to say it’s not clear SPD is asking for cameras to be installed. My bad, had SCL on the brain. Yes, SCL has been doing installations at the feds’ request.

          1. The public records I received indicate that federal agents regularly install equipment on utility poles owned by City Light without pre-authorization or even after-the-fact notification to City Light. Security manager Doug Williams maintained an under-the-table inventory of some of those and inquired with his outside contacts when the public inquired about some mysterious equipment that showed up near Uncle Ike’s federally-civil-disobedient pot shop in the CD. There’s a real lack of transparency and accountability surrounding this program.

          2. In an e-mail sent at 1:15 p.m. on August 4, 2015, Doug Williams, Security manager at Seattle City Light (“SCL”), upon prompting by an inquiry by Scott Thomsen, Sr. Strategic Advisor in the Marketing and Communications Division of SCL, wrote the following message to Todd E. Reeves, Technical Surveillance Specialist at the Seattle office of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (“ATF”), T. J. Appleton at the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Verner B. O’Quin, Jr. #4920 at Seattle Police Department (“SPD”), and Brad McClennen, Security Manager at SCL:


            Occasionally our crews run across cameras that have been installed on our poles and they contact me to confirm if these cameras were installed for convert needs from your respective organizations on our poles.

            Do either of you folks recognize this one at 23rd and Union (or Jackson) on SCL pole #137407? This one came from a customer that has taken it upon himself to self report these via blog

            Just let me know so I can add it to the list. As a reminder please let me know of new cameras and ones you take down. As always this is kept

            Doug Williams
            SCL Security Manager

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