A department head confirmation, the Council’s 2021 Work Program, and a memorial to the victims and survivors of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With Council President Lorena Gonzalez out on a planned vacation today, Councilmember Dan Strauss was President Pro-tem.
Today the Council members and the Mayor signed a proclamation recognizing today as “COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day.” This afternoon’s Council meeting began with a tribute to family members and friends that we have all lost over the past year.
This afternoon the Council confirmed Steve Marchese as Director of the Office of Labor Standards. Departing from recent tradition, the Council did not write a “statement of Council expectations” to accompany his confirmation.
The Council also gave final approval to a bill loosening development regulations on permanent supportive housing, in order to reduce the cost and streamline the design and construction process.
Finally, today the Council approved its 2021 Work Program. Though it does make one wonder what exactly they were doing for the first two months of the year…
Council member Pedersen announced that at his committee meeting on Wednesday they will take up:
- a proposed transfer of an easement to the City of Kirkland for a pedestrian/bike path;
- approval for construction of a public plaza/path in Eastlake;
- a bill allocating one-time reserve funding left over from the 2014 Seattle Transit Benefit District;
- review of three requests by departments for deployment of technologies that could be used for surveillance. Pedersen expects to vote on the requests at the following committee meeting on March 17.
Council member Sawant announced the agenda for her committee meeting on Thursday. It will include:
- the bill introduced by Councilmembers Sawant and Lewis that would guarantee the right to counsel, free of charge, to tenants facing eviction;
- a panel of renters and tenant advocates discussing next steps in renters’ rights legislation, including addressing default evictions;
- four appointments to the Seattle Renters Commission.
Councilmember Strauss noted that at his next committee meeting on March 10, they will take up:
- his bill loosening regulations on home-based businesses for the next year;
- a report from SDCI on permit review processing times;
- the annual reports from SDCI and OPCD.
Other notes from today:
- Councilmember Herbold noted that the Seattle Youth Employment Program is now accepting applications here.
- The City of Seattle announced this morning the next step in its vaccination program, including the locations of three city-run vaccination sites. One of them, at Lumen Field, will have the capacity for up to 150,000 vaccinations in a week once the flow of vaccines is no longer the constraint. The other two sites, both in the south end of the city, will be able to deliver up to 1000 shots per day.
- The city is now accepting applications for the Redistricting Commission, which over the next year will make changes to the boundaries of the seven Council districts to rebalance them once the 2020 Census is complete. If interest, you can apply here.
- Councilmember Lewis said that he is continuing to work with King County and the Mayor’s Office to find funding to continue the JustCARE program beyond the end of the month.
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