Here’s what happened at this morning’s Council Briefing and this afternoon’s full City Council meeting.
Today Council member Mike O’Brien circulated a letter for his colleagues’ signature expressing their support for a “Green New Deal for Seattle.” O’Brien then had a press conference with City Attorney Pete Holmes to plug the idea, which is supported by several local advocacy groups. Representatives of those groups showed up in numbers for an extended public comment session at this afternoon’s meeting. O’Brien admitted this morning that there are no specific action items associated yet with Seattle’s Green New Deal, but he expects those to be developed in the coming months. All nine City Council members signed on to the letter, which commits the Council members to working with the advocates “to identify progressive funding sources at the scale needed to bring about these transformations.”
Council member Sawant anounced this morning that at her committee meeting tomorrow afternoon they will hear from Mergitu Argo and other renters who live south of Seattle (but still in King County) and recently received a 20-day eviction notice. Sawant has started a campaign to press King County to adopt a Just Cause Eviction ordinance similar to Seattle’s.
Sawant’s meeting tomorrow afternoon will also include a briefing on the 2019 Point in Time Count results (which, as I wrote previously, are unreliable).
This afternoon, the Council gave final approval to:
- the Office of Housing’s administration and financial plan for the Seattle Housing Levy.
- a permit for the temporary expansion of SPD’s North Precinct station.
- an ordinance aligning the city’s rental housing inspection rules with state laws.
Yesterday I wrote about the four new bills that Council members Gonzalez and Mosqueda have introduced that mirror Initiative 124’s protections for hotel workers (I-124 has been invalidated by the state Court of Appeals and is scheduled for review by the state Supreme Court this fall). Mosqueda announced this morning that there will be a first discussion of the four bills in her committee this Thursday, followed by a public hearing the evening of July 2, and consideration of amendments on July 11.
Mosqueda also announced that at the July 11th meeting they will potentially vote out of committee:
- her ordinance requiring inflation-based wage adjustments in HSD contracts;
- her ordinance requiring landlords to post a “notice of intent to sell” well in advance of selling a rental property.
This morning Council member Bagshaw announced that her committee meeting Wednesday afternoon will include:
- the budget proviso lift for Yesler Crescent;
- consideration of Robert Humes as Director of the HR Department;
- ordinances establishing separate funds for the revenues from the Sweetened Beverage Tax and the Short-term Rental Tax;
- landmark approval for the Old Spaghetti Factory building across from the waterfront.
As Erika Nagy said on Saul Spady recently, this is when Mike O’Brien is going to be most dangerous. Problem is nobody is a voice of caution in the room.
I see the same mistakes that led to the head tax debacle going on right now – first and foremost a spending plan before talking about taxing and second no plan to go to voters. Better to frame the question to voters than to have it framed for you. Also better to have details to get swing voters and activists like me off of the fence.
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