Notes from today’s Council meetings

Without a Council meeting this afternoon it was overall a quiet day. Still, there are a few things worth noting.

The morning Council President Gonzalez announced that she is extending the legislative branch’s telework policy through January 19, 2022. She said that she chose the date in order to give her successor as Council President a few weeks’ transition period to decide what the appropriate next stage should be. Gonzalez’s term as both a City Councilmember and Council President will end on December 31.

Several Councilmembers also gave a shout-out of appreciation to the Seattle City Light crews working long hours to restore power after this weekend’s blustery weather.

Budget chair Teresa Mosqueda previewed this week’s Budget Committee deliberations Tuesday through Thursday, in which the Councilmembers will officially offer amendments to the Mayor’s proposed 2022 budget. She said that nearly 200 amendments we submitted by the nine Councilmembers, and she expects that a few more will be “walked on” this week. Mosqueda also discouraged her colleagues from engaging in the common practice over the last couple of years of offering to co-sponsor a large number of amendments as a form of “straw poll” to indicate support for them; instead she asked them to reserve their co-sponsorship to “just for a very few” that they really feel their names must be included on. The list of amendments are being released in three parts, the day before they are to be discussed in the Budget Committee. Here’s the set of amendments for Tuesday.

Councilmember Sawant announced that her next committee meeting will be on November 30th. She intends for the agenda to include her proposed rent control legislation, and possibly a bill she is working on that would require the city to divest from financial institutions investing in fossil fuel pipelines.

Councilmember Strauss held a short Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee meeting this morning to hear a briefing on a proposed contract rezone. The committee will meet again on November 1 to vote on it.

Councilmember Morales reported out from last week’s King County Board of Health meeting, in which the board postponed for one month a vote on whether to repeal the county’s bicycle helmet law.  Morales also said that she has spoken with the county health department about the rollout of COVID vaccines for children, which is is expect to gain government approval this week. She said that the Biden administration has already procured enough doses to vaccinate all children in King County, and the county is working on deployment plans — which will primarily be through pediatricians and pharmacies.

Councilmember Herbold announced that the Seattle Relief Fund is open for applications as of today. According to the city, the $16 million Fund is intended “to help low-income residents who have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Herbold also reminded her colleagues that vaccine verification requirements for many public facilities begin today.

Finally, Council President Gonzalez noted that the Seattle Districting Commission is now at its full complement of five Commissioners with the appointment of Patience Malaba as the fifth. Their next meeting is this Thursday.

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