Recently there has been a cluster of gun-related incidents in Seattle, which have captured the attention of the media, the community, and the City Council. This morning, the Seattle Police Department briefed the Council on what they know, what they are still investigating, and how they are responding.
After months of work, the police accountability legislation shepherded by Council member Lorena Gonzalez was passed unanimously by the City Council this afternoon.
This morning, the Council heard a proposal to tighten the rules and streamline others in order to prevent vacant buildings from becoming neighborhood nuisances — or worse, fire hazards.
On Friday, the Justice Department sent letters to nine jurisdictions requiring them to certify that they are in compliance with the federal law requiring certain forms of cooperation with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws. But Seattle was not one of the recipients.
This morning, the Council took up their quarterly update to the city government budget. In the package of proposed changes was a gem of a proposal aimed squarely at giving more protection to domestic violence survivors.
The City of Seattle has a law on the books requiring The City Council to approve any department’s acquisition of surveillance equipment. The law is old and badly in need of updating, as last year’s Geofeedia incident made clear. Yesterday the Council started its formal consideration of a refreshed version more in keeping with today’s technology.
Late last summer, Mayor Murray announced Bridging the Gap, his administration’s short-term plan too address homelessness while the longer-term plan Pathways Home, took its time to spin up. Both efforts have sputtered along since then, mired in city government bureaucracy and hidden behind a maddening lack of transparency and accountability. But there are now signs that the shorter-term effort is starting to find its groove thanks to a creative idea for how to reorganize the effort.
The City Council members today spent a fair amount of their public meeting time discussing one issue: what to do about the unsanctioned encampment called “The Field” that is scheduled for clearing tomorrow.
This afternoon the Council approved an ordinance lifting restrictions on money budgeted for rolling out body-worn cameras to all Seattle Police Department officers.
Council member Kshama Sawant, her staff, her Socialist Alternative party, and their partner organizations have done some incredible work over the past several weeks in organizing rallies and protests to give voice to opposition to President Trump’s most abhorrent executive orders and policies. But last week she turned the rhetoric knob to 11, and in so doing argued for some actions that are not just ill-conceived but illegal, dangerous to public safety, and a threat to one of the most important foundations of our democracy. And that places her in clear and direct violation of her duties and responsibilities as a City Council member.