Notes from today’s Council meetings

There was an awful lot of speechifying today, given that this afternoon’s agenda only had three resolutions and no ordinances.

This afternoon, the Council passed two resolutions:

  • a resolution opposing the Trump administration’s escalation of hostilities with Iran and harassment of Iranian-Americans at the border;
  • a resolution tweaking a few external committee assignments for Council members.

After listening to nearly 90 minutes of heated public comment with strong opinions on both sides, the Council voted to hold for two weeks a third resolution opposing India’s Citizen Amendment Act while the Office of Intergovernmental Relations gather more input.

This morning, Council member Sawant previewed the “winter evictions” ban that comes up for deliberations in her committee Thursday evening.  She said that Council staff is working on a memo summarizing proposed amendments, which she expects to be published tomorrow. Sawant also noted that the bill would not stop all evictions, but it would stop those for people behind on their rent — that’s a change from the bill she originally submitted, which prohibited all evictions.

Council member Juarez, who represents the city on the Sound Transit board, said that the board will be taking a vote in February on whether to move up the construction of a station at 130th St. NE from 2031 to 2024. This has been a signature issue for Juarez since she took office.

Juarez also noted that the Northgate pedestrian bridge project, which will extend across I-5, continues to move forward. She said that the city just inked a deal for an affordable housing project on eight acres nearby.

Council member Morales announced that her first committee meeting on Friday will be a discussion of 2020 priorities for the departments her committee oversees, including the Office of Economic Development, the Offie of Arts and Culture, the Office of Civil Rights, and the EDI Initiative.

Council member Strauss announced that he will not be holding a committee meeting this month, but next month’s meetings will cover the reappointment of Nathan Torgelson as Director of the Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI), the tree ordinance, and some quasi-judicial land use items.