Notes from today’s Council meetings

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

Two of the seven Council members had excused absences today: Council President Gonzalez, and Councilmember Juarez. With Gonzalez out, Councilmember Herbold was running the show today as President Pro Tem (a responsibility that rotates to a different Councilmember each month).

This afternoon the Council gave final approval to an ordinance extending authorization for SDOT’s “cafe streets” permitting program until May 31, 2022.  SDOT has been requested to bring back to the Council to make the program permanent.

The Council also approved the acceptance of a grant for the Department of Neighborhoods to do public outreach post-census; and an update to the city’s stormwater code.

This morning Councilmember Pedersen released the agenda for his Transportation and Utilities Committee meeting on Wednesday, which will include four bills extending permits for existing pedestrian tunnels and bridges, three Surveillance Impact Reports related to SPD’s use of certain technologies, and an update on the Internet for All initiative.

Councilmember Sawant announced that her next committee meeting, scheduled for May 25, will include two votes on tenant-protection bills: one that closes the so-called “fixed term lease loophole,” and one that bans evictions of families with children and the employees of schools and childcare facilities during the school year. Sawant also said that at the following meting on June 7, she plans to hold a vote on a bill extending the eviction moratorium beyond June 30.

Councilmember Lewis announced that his next Homelessness Strategies and Investments Committee meeting will be on May 26, and will include follow-ups on the issues discussed in his last committee meeting, which was heated at times. Lewis said that they will also hear from the JustCare consortium of service providers on their progress, on opportunities for scaling up the program, and on what the city can learn from cooperating with the county.

Councilmember Juarez’s next committee meetings will be on June 4. The committee will hear the final two bills related to the Waterfront LID.

This morning Councilmember Morales announced this morning that her bill to lift a proviso on the funds from the participatory budgeting (PB) program is still being reviewed by the law department, and thus was not formally introduced today. But she has published a draft version of the bill, which will be discussed in her Community Economic Development Committee meeting tomorrow. It lifts the proviso on $1 million, to be appropriated to the Office for Civil Rights to hire three staff members to run an RFP program to contract with an outside organization to run the PB process and then to provide staff support to that organization within city government. However, the funds to pay that contractor, as well as to fund projects selected through the PB program, will still be under proviso, so the Office for Civil Rights will need to come back to the Council for further approval before it can actually sign a contract. Morales said this morning that she hopes to vote the bill out of her committee on June 3rd.

Councilmember Mosqueda let it be known this morning that the Office of Labor Standards has launched its own YouTube channel with videos to educate people on the city’s labor laws.

Morales has invited New York City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca to speak about how the voting process has worked for them, as well as Sean Goode of Choose 180 to talk about the kinds of projects that could be chosen.

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