West Seattle politics 1429 results

ELECTION 2017: November vote sought for retitled Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy

What is known right now as the Veterans and Human Services Levy will become the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy before voters around King County are asked to renew it this November. The announcement came today from County Executive Dow Constantine, noting that this is a one-of-a-kind program:

No other county in the United States has a voter-approved levy of the same scale or scope that is dedicated to serving veterans, active service members, and their families. For more than a decade, it has helped veterans succeed by connecting them with housing, employment and treatment.

So what exactly does/would the levy pay for? Here’s a three-page PDF fact sheet from the county. And here’s the summary of its cost:

The rate would be 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. For the owner of an average home in King County – currently about $450,000 – that would mean an increase of about $3 per month, going from $1.50 per month to $4.50 per month.

You can read the full announcement by going here.

ELECTION 2017: The West Seattleite who says she’s NOT running for mayor

Filing week continues – and one West Seattleite has just announced that she’s NOT running for mayor. Persistent rumor had it that Councilmember Lorena González, a Junction resident, would jump in, after Mayor Murray bowed out, but she just sent this statement to media organizations including us:

After speaking with my family and much consideration, I have decided to not enter the Seattle Mayor’s race in 2017. While being the Mayor of Seattle would be an incredible honor, I remain focused on the work we have yet to accomplish on the Seattle City Council. Over the next four years, I am uniquely positioned to continue protecting our immigrant and refugee families and championing paid family and medical leave, police reform and housing affordability. I am humbled by the incredible outpouring of support and encouragement to consider this opportunity but I instead will redouble my efforts on the Seattle City Council as a citywide representative in Position 9.

The countywide list of “who’s filed so far” shows she’s officially filed for re-election to that role. No one else has filed for Position 9 yet, but the deadline’s not until Friday; six others have campaigns registered with the city.

VIDEO: First mayoral candidate to announce in West Seattle – Greg Hamilton

Almost directly across the street from where Mayor Murray announced last week that he would not run for re-election, a new candidate announced tonight that he’s in the race. Greg Hamilton is an entrepreneur and military veteran who served in the Special Forces (his biography is here) and says he wants to “save Seattle.” He is the first candidate to make his announcement in West Seattle – it happened at Pegasus Pizza, where we talked with him for a few minutes:

P.S. This is official “filing week” for mayor of Seattle and many other offices around King County, through Friday; you can check here to see who has filed so far; 14 mayoral candidates had registered campaigns with the city through today (not yet including Hamilton), and they are listed here.

VIDEO: 34th District Democrats make City Council endorsements, and more

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This area’s largest political organization is now on record with more endorsements for the August primary. Last night’s meeting of the 34th District Democrats at The Hall at Fauntleroy included a sole endorsement for the much-contested Seattle City Council Position 8, in a process that wound up spanning two meetings.

SEATTLE COUNCIL POSITION 8 ENDORSEMENT: Chair David Ginsberg said it’s been determined since the April meeting (WSB coverage here) that the first Position 8 vote didn’t follow the organization’s rules – the slate of candidates included a non-Democrat).

Then last night, though he was nominated for endorsement, that same candidate, Jon Grant, was again ruled ineligible since he is running as an “independent Democratic Socialist.” That left three endorsees – Teresa Mosqueda, Hisam Goueli, and Sara Nelson. There also was a proposal for “no endorsement,” advocated by Chas Redmond.

Mosqueda won with 60 votes of the 94 credentialed 34th DD members on hand at that point. Read More

VIDEO: Mayor Murray announces at Alki Bathhouse that he will not run for re-election

(Added 12:09 pm: Unedited video of the mayor’s 9-minute speech)

10:29 AM: We’re at Alki Bathhouse, where Mayor Murray has just taken the stage.

(Front of the room, moments before the mayor arrived)
We’re told he will not take questions after making his statement. He begins, “I’m happy to be back home in Alki, where I spent my childhood … Alki is my favorite place on this planet. I’m happy to be back .. where it all began. I’m happy to be back here, a poor kid from this neighborhood who never even heard the word ‘gay’.” He says he’s “standing here before you as your mayor” and gets applause – a round of which greeted his arrival.

He is detailing achievements, starting with transportation, including the Viaduct/tunnel. “I’m happy to have been here, and to have been in the (state) House … and I’m happy after a 29-year battle to have passed the (LGBTQ) civil-rights bill.” More applause.

He continues to run through highlights of his career. “I’m happy to have been part of some remarkable achievements … from the civil-rights bill to the ring I wear on my finger.” Husband Michael Shiosaki is standing at his left. Murray’s voice is breaking a bit. “… We together have made progress as a city,” he continues.

(One minute of the mayor’s speech just before confirming he won’t run for re-election)

He is withdrawing as a candidate for mayor, he said at 10:34 am. He says the mayor’s race must focus on the future, and the “scandal” – referring to the lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing minors decades ago – is making that impossible. He says it is hurting this city, as well as hurting him and his husband.

But, he says, deciding not to run for “the best job in politics – mayor of the city of Seattle – this career that has been my life” is painful. “It tears me to pieces to step away, but I believe it is in the best interest of this city that I love.”

… “I plan to remain mayor of this city until the end of my term, and I will be just as active (then as before). … As I have said in my final State of the City address, we cannot wait, Seattle cannot wait, we must continue moving forward.” And he thanks those who have stood by him for years, volunteers, family, friends. “I thank you for your support and your love .. and to the people of Seattle, thank you for the opportunity to serve you and this great city … It has been the absolute absolute opportunity of a lifetime.”

10:42 AM: The mayor has finished his remarks, and as an assistant told us beforehand, did not stay for questions. He left the stage after hugs and applause:

So who WILL be on the August 1st primary ballot? Next week is the official filing week for candidates, but 11 – besides Murray – have already filed campaign notices with the city – see them here – and we’ve heard of at least two more who aren’t listed there.

11:31 AM: We are back at HQ, uploading our video with the mayor’s entire statement, and we’ll be adding a few photos too. Here is the news release just published on the city website; it’s been one month and two days since the Seattle Times published first word of the lawsuit against the mayor.

While the mayor left right after his statement, some of those who stood behind him and along the walls inside the Bathhouse went outside and mingled a while in the sunshine, some doing TV interviews.

Mayor Murray to make announcement on Alki this morning

Yes, for those who are asking, Mayor Murray‘s office has just confirmed (via an advisory e-mailed to news media including us) that he will “make an announcement at 10:30 this morning at Alki Beach.” What that announcement will be, lots of rumors, nothing official. It’s been a month since he was sued with allegations of sexually abusing minors decades ago. Since then, he has continued to insist he’ll stay in office and run for a second term; the official filing period isn’t until next week. Why Alki? The mayor has an affinity for this area, having lived here for a while in childhood, and also, he noted after his election in 2013 that he had the largest margin of victory in this area. We’ll be there for the announcement.

FOLLOWUP: ‘Access for All’ sales tax will be on August 1st ballot

As a result of a 7-2 King County Council vote tonight, the “Access for All” tenth-of-a-percent sales-tax increase is headed for the August 1st ballot. This comes two months after King County Executive Dow Constantine sent the proposal to the council, which at one point mulled shelving it. If approved by voters, it will add one penny of tax to every $10 you spend in King County, and that is expected to raise $67 million a year for about 350 arts, science, and heritage organizations, as described in the original announcement. County Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents our area on the council, is a co-sponsor of the proposal; tonight’s two “no” votes were Councilmembers Larry Gossett and Dave Upthegrove.

VIDEO: City income-tax resolution gets unanimous council OK. So now what?

3:36 PM: A short time ago, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the idea of a “high-earner income tax,” co-sponsored by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold and Council President Bruce Harrell. Since it was a resolution, not legislation, all this means is that they like the idea – nothing actually happens until and unless a bill is drafted and approved. The resolution sets a goal of making that happen by mid-summer.

If you’re interested in more information about what could and might happen, a group called Trump-Proof Seattle has a town-hall meeting this Thursday in West Seattle – not a city-convened event, but Councilmember Herbold will be there – 6 pm May 4th, at Olympic Hall on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. That organization is proposing a tax it says would be “affecting only the wealthiest 5% of households … 1.5% on income in excess of $250K.” The council resolution expresses support of that, but city legislation has yet to be drafted, and “legal viability” is a big question. We’ll update this report later with video from this afternoon’s meeting.

3:51 PM: Video now added above.

Who’s running for Seattle mayor, so far? More than you’ve heard

So you’ve probably heard by now that former Mayor Mike McGinn wants that title again. He announced it this morning with this tweet:

… and then invited reporters to his Greenwood home at midmorning to find out more. (We were on the list but couldn’t go. Pick your favorite citywide source for details.)

Though citywide media has focused on just a few candidates, even before McGinn’s announcement, nine campaigns were registered with the city Ethics and Elections Commission. They are, in alphabetical order, with links to campaign websites when we could find them, so you can learn a bit about who they are and what they want to do:

Casey Carlisle
David Ishii
Mary Juanita Martin
Ed Murray (incumbent)
Nikkita Oliver
Jason Roberts
Andres Solomon
Alex Tsimerman
Keith Whiteman

None listed a West Seattle address with the city, at least for the campaign. The two who don’t seem to have websites, Ishii and Martin, also ran in 2013; Ishii dropped out before the primary, in which Martin received 1.06% of the vote, far behind Murray with 30% and McGinn with 29% (in the 2013 general, Murray won with 52% to McGinn’s 47%).

While those listed above have registered their campaigns, the official candidacy-filing period is still four weeks away – to get onto the August 1st primary ballot, candidates will have to file with King County during the week of May 15 through 19. Top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the November 7th general.

VIDEO: 34th District Democrats host Rep. Jayapal, City Council Position 8 ‘showdown’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The 34th District Democrats‘ forum for Seattle City Council Position 8 had a winner – but did not result in an endorsement, for now.

The forum, billed as a “showdown,” was the almost-three-hour meeting’s main event, though U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal‘s appearance – which punctuated the candidates’ forum, because of her time constraints – brought down the house. So we’ll start with her – here’s our video:

Rep. Jayapal said the Democrats are not a “minority party” but rather an “opposition party” right now. She explained that the transition into her new role has been easier than she expected because the focus has been on immigration and health care, two issues she has long worked on. She also talked about the health-care bill that was scrapped, calling it really “a tax bill” with tax breaks for the richest Americans that at one point carried a “trillion dollars” in breaks. “It was really hard to sit there in committee and hear about all these people who ‘didn’t deserve to have health care’.” While she hailed the victory in getting the bill pulled, “don’t think that it’s over,” she warned, and said that goes for other issues, such as privatizing Social Security. She said she’s signed onto the “Medicare for All” bill. And she said that it’s important to “fix what needs to be fixed.” Overall, our area is “the moral conscience of the country,” she declared. But she also said there are some Republicans “who want to work on immigration reform” so there is some hope on that issue, “working on a proactive solution as well as all the things that we are fighting against.”

Regarding the Syrian situation, “it was unconstitutional for the president to do what he did with that strike … You cannot bomb your way to peace; that is my belief. … We were all devastated by the images we saw, but if you care about those kids,” let refugees in, she said. She also criticized the proposed budget for “cut(ting) everything that you care about.” She said an “educational campaign” is planned to explain to people what’s in the budget. “It’s a horrible horrible budget for all of us, for the entire United States.” Overall, she urged people, “stay engaged … As a longtime organizer, I believe that strength emerges in times of crisis … We are in a fight for the soul of this country.” It was noted that she has a Town Hall on Vashon Island tomorrow night (“and we already have an overflow room!” someone pointed out).

Last but not least, Rep. Jayapal delighted the locals by saying she is hoping to move to West Seattle within the next six months – which means, she pointed out, she will officially live in the 7th District. (She currently lives just outside its boundaries, in Columbia City.)

Now, to the forum for Seattle City Council Position 8, the at-large position that has no incumbent because Councilmember Tim Burgess is not running for re-election. Read More

UPDATE: County Council’s budget chair shelves County Executive’s arts-access tax

3:36 PM: One month after County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a sales-tax increase to pay for increased arts/culture access, the County Council’s budget chair says he’s shelved it. South King County-representing Councilmember Dave Upthegrove pulled the proposal from the agenda for a committee meeting tomorrow, “effectively killing” it, according to a subsequent news release, which quotes Upthegrove as saying, “This is the wrong proposal at the wrong time. As currently configured, the funding is distributed in an unfair manner that hurts, rather than helps, our efforts to achieve equity.” He says he’d be willing to reconsider it next year.

5:16 PM: Responding to our request for comment from or on behalf of Constantine, Deputy County Executive Sung Yang told WSB that the executive is not giving up hope of getting it onto the August ballot. He noted that three councilmembers co-sponsored it, and that there’s still time to take action by May 1st to let voters decide its fate in August.

ELECTION 2017: See all ten Seattle City Council Position 8 candidates @ 34th District Democrats tomorrow

Both at-large (citywide) positions on the Seattle City Council will be on the ballot this fall. One – Position 9 – has an incumbent, West Seattle resident Councilmember Lorena González, and two challengers so far. The other – Position 8 – is open, since Councilmember Tim Burgess isn’t running for re-election. So far, 10 people have filed to run for that seat, and you can see and hear from all 10 of them at Wednesday night’s 34th District Democrats meeting. An endorsement vote is expected afterward. The organization also is scheduled to hear from 7th Congressional District U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal. Tomorrow night’s meeting starts at 6:30 pm (program @ 7) at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW).

P.S. Everybody campaigning for city offices so far this year is listed here.

VIDEO: King County Executive Dow Constantine launches second re-election campaign

Tuesday morning, King County Executive Dow Constantine watched Bertha’s breakthrough with other VIPs at the north end of the future Highway 99 tunnel. Tuesday night in West Seattle, he launched his second re-election campaign. Here’s what he told the crowd:

(WSB photos and video by Leda Costa)

As you can hear about 11 and a half minutes in, the event at The Hall at Fauntleroy drew protesters as well as supporters. Some held signs outside.

For months, there’s been a campaign to try to convince Constantine to cancel a county project that includes a new youth-detention center. He issued a statement two months ago saying “zero youth detention” is a goal to work toward, but the project, approved by voters five years ago, is proceeding. (As you can hear in the video, his speech also addressed the issue before the interruption, saying his administration had been reducing “disproportionality” in the system.)

Meantime, his second re-election campaign since moving from the County Council to the Executive position in 2009 is starting without anyone actively campaigning against him so far – the main opponents he cited last night were the Republicans in the White House and Congress. “The last seven years have seen some challenges and some successes,” he said. “But the next four years … are going to be a fight.” Even without an opponent, the state Public Disclosure Commission website shows he’s raised $1.1 million in campaign contributions.

Will West Seattle have a voice on new Renters’ Commission? Time to apply!

The official call has gone out this morning for volunteers to serve on the city’s newly created Renters’ Commission. Here’s the announcement:

Established by ordinance in March, the SRC will advise the City on policies and issues of interest to renters citywide.

The Commission is composed of 15 members – six are appointed by City Council, six are appointed by the Mayor, and one position will be filled by a young adult through the Get Engaged program. Two positions are selected by the SRC once established. Commissioners will serve without compensation.

The SRC will consist of people living in an array of rental housing types, including students, low-income renters, LGBTQ renters, people with past felony convictions, people in subsidized housing, and those who have experienced homelessness. It’s also expected that members be geographically representative of Seattle. SRC meetings will be open to the public.

Those interested in being considered should complete the online application by Monday, May 1 by 5 p.m. If you cannot submit the application online, contact Seferiana Day at 206-684-8806 and an application will be mailed to you, or you can pick one up at the Seattle City Council main office – Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd floor, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can also learn more on the Seattle Renters’ Commission’s website.

New Seattle, King County collaboration on homelessness, with $68m/year county sales tax instead of $55m/year city property tax

(King County photo: County Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles, speaking, and Claudia Balducci, with McDermott, Constantine, and Murray)
Elected officials including King County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray, and County Council Chair Joe McDermott have just announced a new regional collaboration on homelessness. As part of it, the mayor is dropping his proposal to ask Seattle voters for a property-tax increase to raise more money for homelessness-related efforts, and instead, county voters will be asked next year to approve a one-tenth-of-one-percent sales-tax increase. Here’s the full announcement, published as a city news release:

Today, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a new regional effort to help people experiencing homelessness receive services and access to a permanent home.

Along with city leaders, service providers and All Home, Mayor Murray and Executive Constantine will convene a joint task force to assess needs and resources, and propose a strategy that will get people living unsheltered into permanent homes, keep people in their homes and out of homelessness, and coordinate responses to root causes such as behavioral and mental health and substance use disorders. The scope of the effort reflects the reality that homelessness is a regional crisis, and presents an opportunity for a robust, coordinated response.

The effort would be funded by a 0.1 percent sales tax increase that would go to King County voters in 2018. Seattle, King County and other jurisdictions have been working together closely to address this regional crisis, creating a more coordinated system that focuses on the individual needs of people living outside and that uses a data-driven approach to ensure programs are accomplishing the goal of getting more people into permanent housing. Today’s announcement will lead to increased coordination and accountability, while the City of Seattle continues its work to address other impacts, such as increased trash and needle cleanup.

This region-wide, $68 million per year funding package would replace the previously-proposed, Seattle-only property tax levy.

Read More

West Seattle scene: Indonesian campaign rally at Don Armeni

Thanks for the texted tip, wondering about people with flags at Don Armeni. We were nearby and diverted to find out. We learned this was a long-distance campaign rally supporting the incumbent governor of the Indonesian province of Jakarta, who’s in a runoff vote next month – the people in our photo (and others who were leaving as we pulled up) were taking photos to send to show international support. The big issue, they told us: Corruption, and incumbent governor Basuki’s stand against it.

Sales-tax increase for art, science, cultural education & access proposed by County Executive Dow Constantine

Arts, science, and cultural education and access in King County would get a $67 million a year boost if a sales-tax increase proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine is passed by voters.

Today he sent the County Council a proposal for the August ballot, seeking to increase the county sales tax by a tenth of a cent per dollar spent. The measure dubbed “Access for All” would generate an estimated $469 million over the seven-year life of the proposal. From today’s announcement:

… The funding will focus on four primary areas:

Education for Kids: Students at all 19 King County school districts will see a dramatic increase in free access to curriculum-related art, science and heritages programs, both in-class and at cultural sites, with an emphasis on underserved students. Twenty percent of Access for All funding will ensure access for public school students, including transportation for students and in-class programming.

Equity and Inclusion: Recognizing that philanthropic funding for arts, heritage and science has historically been distributed inequitably, Access for All will intentionally provide higher levels of funding to community-based organizations that serve communities of opportunity. An Equity Advisory Committee will be established to evaluate progress toward achieving equity goals and outcomes.

Opening Doors for All: Families and seniors who earn a lower income will receive free or low-cost admission to nearly 40 major arts, science and heritage organizations, including Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, Pacific Science Center, Museum of Flight and others. Everyone in King County will have the opportunity to experience diverse performances and programs.

Investing in Local Communities: Cultural organizations such as heritage museums, organizations that serves communities that are underserved, botanical gardens, children theaters and music training programs, and local art and science groups throughout King County will be able to use the additional funding to meet their specific programming needs and provide enhanced cultural activities.

Funds will be collected by King County and awarded by 4Culture through public panels and contracts for service that call for each recipient to provide continual, measurable public benefits. Every organization that receives public funding through Access for All will provide ongoing documentation of program benchmarks, visitors serviced, and community impact. Their reports, site visits, audits, and program evaluations will be available to the public.

King County Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents our area on the council, is listed as a co-sponsor of the legislation to create the ballot measure. You can read the legislation in its entirety on the county website, here. No date yet for a County Council vote on sending it to the ballot.

Questions for your state legislators? ‘Telephone town hall’ on March 15th

March 9, 2017 3:33 pm
|    Comments Off on Questions for your state legislators? ‘Telephone town hall’ on March 15th
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

Next Wednesday night (March 15th) your phone might ring – and it’ll be your state legislators calling. 34th Legislative District State Sen. Sharon Nelson and Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon are holding a “telephone town hall” 6 pm-7 pm that night. Thousands of numbers will be auto-dialed to offer the chance to participate, but if you don’t get the call, today’s announcement says, you can call in by dialing 877-229-8493 and using ID Code 116287. Or, two live-streaming links are promised to be available: Here or here. With the Legislature handling hot topics such as school funding right now, they’re inviting you to join and ask about the issues that matter to you.

FOLLOWUP: ‘Fine print’ item with 60+ zoning changes due for final City Council vote tomorrow

March 5, 2017 6:10 pm
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: ‘Fine print’ item with 60+ zoning changes due for final City Council vote tomorrow
 |   Development | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

Last August, we reported on one city notice covering 60+ potential zoning-policy changes – from parking to signage to trees to marijuana – and more, including the “historic lot exception” rule, which has factored into various land-use controversies in this area and elsewhere. That August notice was the first official public announcement of what the Department of Construction and Inspections said would likely go to the City Council for final consideration by year’s end, as what it characterized as an every-two-years “omnibus” proposal.

The measure did indeed go to the council in January and got approval from the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee on February 24th – with two members present and voting, Rob Johnson and Lisa Herbold – after discussions at two previous meetings. We’re making note of it tonight because it goes to the full council for a final vote tomorrow (Monday, March 6th). The full 142-page text – with some changes – can be seen here. Some of the changes proposed before that vote are detailed in this memo from council staff; the original department memo summarizing the proposed changes is here. Tomorrow’s vote is scheduled during the 2 pm full-council meeting at City Hall; you can watch via Seattle Channel, cable 21 or online.

FOLLOWUP: City Councilmembers discuss creating Renters’ Commission

Back when we talked to Councilmember Lisa Herbold to look back at her first year in office and ahead to her second, the proposal for a citywide renters’ commission is one of the “what’s next” items she mentioned. The proposal went before a City Council committee for the first time today, and Herbold sent out this update:

Did you know that 53.8 percent of Seattle’s housing units are occupied by renters, and approximately 48% of residents in the city are renters? Renters are an important part of our city. The Affordable Housing, Neighborhood and Finance Committee held its first discussion on proposed legislation to create a Renters’ Commission this morning, March 3, 2017.

The proposal to create this Commission was first advocated for by Zachary DeWolf of the Capitol Hill Community Council. I am excited to join Councilmembers Burgess and O’Brien in responding to this proposal because we need to ensure that, as our city grows and changes, the renters’ voice will be heard as a part of our decision-making.

Some people have expressed concern that we are creating a special interest group. The City has 45 Boards and Commissions representing special interest groups. With so many people in Seattle being renters, it’s appropriate to have a commission committed to lifting the voice of renters. The formation of this Commission will not minimize the input of property owners; rather it will broaden the opportunity for more inclusive input from a significant portion of Seattle’s population.

The Renters Commission will represent a diverse set of renter voices from across the city. The Commission will be empowered to advise on a variety of issues ranging from transportation, land use and community development, to monitoring the implementation of the city’s new landlord tenant legislation, like Source of Income Discrimination and the Move-In Fees legislation, as well as watchdogging enforcement of older laws like the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, Rental Housing Registration and Inspection Program, the Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance, and the Rental Agreement Regulation Ordinance.

The AHNF Committee plans to vote on this legislation, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at 9:30 am.

This was part of the councilmember’s weekly update, which just went out to her mailing list, addresses several other topics, and will eventually appear online at herbold.seattle.gov.

HALA REZONING: City Council briefing, postponed by snow, now set for Monday

February 23, 2017 9:11 pm
|    Comments Off on HALA REZONING: City Council briefing, postponed by snow, now set for Monday
 |   Development | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

As mentioned here three weeks ago, the City Council was scheduled to get a briefing February 6th about the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning plans. Then … it snowed, and City Hall was closed for the day, with all business postponed. The agenda for next Monday morning’s meeting has arrived (February 27th) and the rescheduled HALA briefing is on it. The agenda also includes links to the documents and slide deck for the meeting; we just took a quick look and it appears they are the same ones prepared for February 6th (most still carry that date). The meeting starts at 9:30 am Monday at City Hall; this weekly meeting has no public-comment period, but you’re welcome to attend in person or watch via Seattle Channel (cable 21 or online).

OTHER HALA EVENTS AHEAD: Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village community discussion next Wednesday (info here); Morgan Junction Urban Village Community Design Workshop on March 6th (info here). And if you’re still not sure if your neighborhood is affected by the rezoning proposals, use the citywide interactive map to zoom in and look.

‘JUSTICE FOR ALL’: In 2017 State of the City speech, Mayor vows to ‘keep moving forward,’ with $55 million property tax for homelessness, beverage tax for education/youth

Mayor Murray has just concluded his annual State of the City speech, which made history, for starters, simply by the choice of location – Idris Mosque in North Seattle.

The speech concluded as does the Pledge of Allegiance: Vowing “justice for all.”

There were two West Seattle shoutouts – talking about the city’s vibrancy, he mentioned the “bustling evening sidewalks” of The Junction (scripted as “Alaska Way Junction”). And while talking about education and youth programs, he noted the expansion of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) 13th-Year Promise program, which offers a free first year of community college for students from certain high schools (in West Seattle, Chief Sealth International High School [added] and soon WSHS).

The big headlines from the speech will no doubt include the two new taxes Murray proposed:

-A $55 million property tax to double the annual spending on homelessness, likely to go to voters in August

-A two-cents-per-ounce tax on “sugar-sweetened beverages” to raise money for education/youth programs – here’s the city-provided infographic on that:

[More info here.]

The proposed property tax was far from everything he said about homelessness. Murray also announced he will be opening the city’s Emergency Operations Center to deal with what he described as the “homelessness disaster.” [More info here.] And he promised to “dramatically increase the clean-up of discarded debris on our sidewalks and streets.”

In his discussion of the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning proposals, Murray echoed City Councilmember Rob Johnson‘s recent suggestion that opposing the upzoning is more in line with supporting the President’s policies: “We cannot be a city where people protest the exclusionary agenda coming from Washington, D.C., while at the same time keeping a zoning code in place that does not allow us to build the affordable housing we need.” [More info here.]

We’re adding a few more toplines shortly, and will add the video when it’s ready.

ADDED 3:34 PM: We’ve added some links above, identified with the phrase “more info here,” with additional details about some of the programs/initiatives the mayor anounced. Here’s another one: He announced “Our Best: Seattle’s Commitment to Young Black Men,” described as “the City of Seattle’s first ever initiative focusing specifically on improving life outcomes for young Black men.” [More info here.] He also talked about ongoing efforts to increase police accountability [more info here],

(back to original report) After the jump, the full text of the mayor’s speech, as sent by his office: Read More

Overflow crowd @ 34th District Democrats gathers ‘to stand up and fight’


By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

New 34th District Democrats chair David Ginsberg opened his first full meeting – before a standing-room-only-and-spillover-room crowd at The Hall of Fauntleroy – saying, “This gives me hope.”


Ginsberg explained that he ran for chair because, after the presidential election, he wondered what he could do, what he should do. He decided “to stand up and fight. … If we stand together, I have no doubt we will win.” The first thing he and his new executive committee did was organize tonight’s meeting, titled “How To Resist Trump And Protect What We Hold Dear.” (Not only did it bring in new attendees – with the crowd estimated at ~500 – it brought in 85 new members.)

The Pledge of Allegiance, said after the vow, grew in volume on the closing words “… indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” and was followed by applause.

Centerpiece of the meeting, a five-woman panel representing advocacy groups both new and not-so-new (see their bios here):


Read More

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