On Monday of last week, Mayor Ed Murray and Governor Jay Inslee announced a new initiative to comprehensively address the massive unsanctioned homeless encampment in the I-5 Duwamish Greenbelt, better known as “the Jungle.” The announcement kicked off a frenzied response from several directions, including the Seattle City Council, culminating in two hastily-arranged press conferences and a committee meeting yesterday that finally brought some much-needed clarity to the outreach cleanup plan.
The blow-by-blow account of how this has played out over the past ten days makes for good TV news, and indeed most of the local news coverage seems to be focusing on that drama. As usual I’ll post a morning news recap later this morning, including links to all of those stories, and you can go read them. Unfortunately the drama is obscuring two more important topics worthy of our attention: the details of the plan for cleaning up the Jungle, and what the last ten days teach us about the current state of Seattle’s city government.
Continue reading The Jungle: the plan, the argument, and what it all means for Seattle
In any free market system, scarcity creates power, and power leads to abuse. Seattle is experiencing that now with the rental housing market, and City Hall is taking steps to stop the worst of those abuses by limiting housing discrimination.
Continue reading City aims to curb housing discrimination
The city’s Utility Discount Program, which gives a break to low-income residents on their Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities bills, is great but underutilized. But that’s changing quickly.
Continue reading Utility discount program gets a boost
School was in session this afternoon at the Energy and Environment Committee, where Seattle City Light’s sources for electricity came up repeatedly. Continue reading Council digs in on the economics and politics of electricity
A disagreement between the City Council and the Mayor over the plan to clean up the Jungle tops this morning’s news
Continue reading News roundup: Jungle cleanup, ST3, and ORCA passes
A pretty quiet start to the week… though zoning issues are starting to heat up.
Continue reading News roundup
Yesterday’s announcement by Council member O’Brien tops the news this morning.
Continue reading News roundup: Backyard cottages, slumlords, and bikes
(editor’s note: this post is two years old; the most recent financial disclosures can be found here.)
The Honest Elections initiative, better known as I-122, is known for the election campaign voucher system it put in place. But there’s a hidden gem in there as well, which is now codified in Seattle Municipal Code 2.04.165.A.2:
Every elected official and every candidate for a future election shall after January 1st and before April 15th of each year file with the City Clerk a statement of financial affairs for the preceding calendar year, unless a statement for that same twelve month period has already been filed with the City Clerk. Any elected official whose term of office expires immediately after December 31st shall file the statement required to be filed by this section for the year that ended on that December 31st.
Our nine City Council members all complied with the financial disclosure requirement by the deadline (ok, Council member Johnson was five days late, but good enough for government work, and I’ll cut him some slack since he’s new to the job and it’s a new law). The City Clerk’s office doesn’t automatically post them online, but was very helpful and quick in sending them to me when I asked. And now I’m happy to share them with you.
Continue reading Council members file their financial disclosures (Updated)
Council member Mike O’Brien unveiled this morning a draft of some changes to the land-use code that he hopes will encourage “backyard cottages” and mother-in-law apartments across the city to help ease the housing crisis.
Continue reading O’Brien moves forward proposal to encourage backyard cottages