Category Archives: environment

Here’s why the city pension fund won’t divest from fossil fuels

This morning, the usually sleepy Seattle City Employees Retirement System (SCERS) board meeting had its moment in the spotlight, as a large number of activists and a handful of local politicians showed up to urge the board to divest the city’s pension fund from fossil fuel companies.

It was a thoughtful, respectful, and long conversation. A lot of listening happened, and much appreciation was extended in both directions for the depth of thought and energy that went into analysis and remarks. It was exactly the kind of conversation you wish every activists-meet-government conversation could be.

But at the end of the day, the city won’t divest out of fossil fuels anytime soon. Here’s why.

Continue reading Here’s why the city pension fund won’t divest from fossil fuels

Council affirms commitment to Paris climate change agreement

In response to President Trump’s decision last week to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, today the City Council passed a resolution affirming the city’s commitment to continue to live up to its requirements.

Continue reading Council affirms commitment to Paris climate change agreement

This week: I hope you caught up on your sleep this weekend

For the past several weeks the Monday afternoon Full Council meetings have been pretty tame affairs, with not a lot of legislation of substance up for approval. That streak ends tomorrow.  Oh, and the committee meetings this week are equally full of important legislation and presentations.

Continue reading This week: I hope you caught up on your sleep this weekend

This week in Council Chamber

Happy Independence Day!

With the holiday, the usual Monday meetings have been moved to Tuesday, and the usual Tuesday committee meetings will be on Friday.

Tuesday morning’s Council Briefing should be brief — there are no presentations scheduled.  Tuesday afternoon’s Full Council meeting should also be short as there is only one legislative matter on the agenda and it’s expected to sail through with little discussion and no controversy.

On the other hand, this week’s Introduction and Referral Calendar is packed with new legislation, including:

  • a resolution beginning the hearing process for Swedish Health Services’ application for an alley vacation on First Hill;
  • two ordinances updating the business license tax and fee rates to pay for increasing the police forces;
  • two ordinances related to the sale of the Pacific Place Garage;
  • a change to the Municipal Arts Fund to allow for expenditures related to maintenance of public art;
  • an ordinance allowing Seattle City Light to lease communications facilities on Gold Mountain to allow for communication between remote hydro power facilities and the utility’s control center in Seattle;
  • a resolution establishing the Equity and Environment Agenda as official city policy;
  • appointment of eleven individuals to the Seattle Design Review Board;
  • acquisition of a street corner along Rainier Avenue for installation of traffic equipment and signs.

Wednesday morning the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee meets. It takes up the aforementioned Pacific Place Garage items, and the business tax and fee increases. It will also discuss the Housing and Neighborhoods sections of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

Wednesday afternoon, the Education, Equity and Governance Committee meets to consider an ordinance that give the city more flexibility to issue taxi licenses to taxicab operators with wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Friday, the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee and the Sustainability and Transportation Committee both meet; agendas have not yet been published for those meetings