This afternoon the City Council ratified an ordinance that sets up the city to cut its ties to Wells Fargo Bank.
In a well-attended meeting of the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee this morning, the Council amended and passed out of committee a bill to cut ties with Wells Fargo and strengthen the city’s rules on socially responsible banking and fair business practices. But things got testy along the way.
The big news this morning is yesterday’s Council resolution affirming Seattle as a “welcoming city.”
Earlier this month, Council member Tim Burgess let it be known that he was working on an alternative version of a bill, introduced by Council member Kshama Sawant, that cuts the city’s ties with Wells Fargo and raises the bar for the “social responsible business practices” of the city’s banking services vendors. This morning he shared his version with his fellow Council members and the public. And in a surprise move, Sawant embraced it.
On Monday, Council member Sawant introduced a draft ordinance in response to recent unsavory acts by Well Fargo Bank. Let’s look at the details of that bill, as well as the recent back-and-forth communications between the city and the bank.
Tim Burgess’s announcement that he will not be running for re-election tops the news this morning.
Yesterday’s hearing on Council member Sawant’s proposed legislation, capping move-in fees and requiring landlords to let tenants pay those fees by installment, was a parody of the legislative process. It undermined her credibility, and that of the other Council members who participated.
It’s all about transportation (with a dollop of ethics) this morning.
Through the time I’ve been writing about the City Council, I’ve developed enormous respect for our nine City Council members. They are, by all measures, dedicated public servants who work long hours and are sincerely trying to do the right thing for Seattle and its citizens. They wrestle with difficult, often seemingly intractable, problems to try to find compassionate solutions that help people. Like the rest of us, they have flaws, they make mistakes, they’re not perfect — and while we should hold them to a high standard, that standard shouldn’t be perfection.
But today I lost some of my respect for several of those City Council members.
Affordable housing, which comes up for discussion in Council committee today, tops the morning’s news coverage.