Notes from today’s Council meetings

Here’s what the new Council got up to today.

This afternoon everything went according to script: the new Council members took the oath of office, Lorena Gonzalez was elected Council President, and the proposed committees were approved. Look for photos from the swearing-in ceremony later tonight.

The Council members’s speeches after they were sworn in were logn, but interesting, and varied widely across the Council members. You can watch them here.

This morning Council President Gonzalez previewed the meeting of the Select Committee on Campaign Finance Reform scheduled for tomorrow morning, in which her “Clean Campaigns” legislation — now split into three separate bills — will be taken up and amendments considered. Gonzalez said that two of the three bills will be voted out of committee, while one will need more work as she is trying to align it with the work that the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission is going on lobbying reform. Gonzalez, who starts her maternity leave at the end of the week, said that Council member Herbold will be shepherding the bill forward, and that they will take it up again when she returns from leave.

Council member Sawant announced that her proposed ban on “winter evictions” will be taken up at her first committee meeting of the year. However, it’s unclear when that will be; this morning she said that it would be on January 28th, but this afternoon she said that she later realized that she would not be available that that and would need to reschedule it to an as-yet-unidentified date and time.

Sawant decided not to be sworn in today with all of her colleagues who just won election; instead, she will have a separate swearing-in ceremony next Monday at 6pm at Washington Hall with Sara Nelson, “a fighter and hero of our labor movement.” Sawant will also use the event to launch her new “Tax Amazon” campaign.

Finally, Sawant said that her staff is drafting a resolution in response to the Trump administration “pushing the US toward war” and detaining Iranians at the US border.

Council member Herbold will hold her first committee meeting next Tuesday, January 14th, at 9:30am.

Council member Strauss will hold his first committee meeting on Wednesday, January 22.

Strauss also announced that he will be opening his district office tomorrow, with a short walking tour of the neighborhood.

Council member Pedersen has begun holding “Fridays at 4” in-district office hours, every Friday afternoon from 3-6pm at Magnusen Park Building 30

This morning Pedersen also highlighted his announcement last week that he will be introducing legislation to extend the required “fiscal note” on all Council legislation to include a description of environmental impacts.

Council member Lewis announced that he will be attending the Magnolia Community Council meeting tomorrow evening, and that he intends to have himslef or one of his staff at every community council meeting in District 7.

Council member Morales will repeat her swearing-in at a community event at El Centro de la Raza, next Monday at 6pm.

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