VIDEO: City Council resumes HALA MHA upzoning consideration, while Councilmember Herbold visits New York City

That’s Seattle Channel video of today’s City Council committee meeting resuming consideration of HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning. The meeting was a refresher of sorts, including an update on city staffers’ progress working on a historic-resources addendum to the HALA MHA Environmental Impact Statement, as ordered by the city Hearing Examiner. It’s expected to be completed by the end of the month, councilmembers were told. (Here’s the slide deck from that part of the briefing.) The briefing also looked at potential amendments to the HALA MHA housing – those are detailed in this memo, along with a different type of amendments – proposed changes to the city comprehensive plan.

Among the latter are neighborhood-planning-related proposals made by the Morgan Community Association two years ago. Speaking in the public-comment period at the end of today’s meeting were MoCA’s Cindi Barker and Deb Barker, who observed that it’s been frustrating to await their fate; “We could have had a really nice neighborhood planning process since then.”

Of note, West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who met last week with local neighborhood advocates about HALA MHA issues, wasn’t at today’s council meeting. She and at-large Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda were in New York City speaking to an organization that is upset about Amazon’s plan to locate part of its second headquarters there, Make the Road. That group paid for Herbold’s trip, according to her staffer Alex Clardy. In case you’re interested in what she said – the event’s host, New York’s Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, published this video; Herbold’s speech starts about 39 minutes in:

The event included New York politicians with whom Herbold was shown in photos on Twitter:

Herbold and Mosqueda were not the only absences from today’s HALA meeting; also not there, Councilmembers Lorena González and Kshama Sawant. As Deb Barker detailed to the Southwest District Council last week (WSB coverage here), the council has a busy schedule of HALA-related meetings from hereon out – including Monday and Wednesday of next week (January 14 and 16) – with a final vote on the upzoning proposal expected in mid-March.

51 Replies to "VIDEO: City Council resumes HALA MHA upzoning consideration, while Councilmember Herbold visits New York City"

  • Alfred January 7, 2019 (10:18 pm)

    Why did Herbold decide it was appropriate to go off gallivanting in New York when there were still many in her own district without power?! And did she not have anything to add to the discussion at today’s council meeting about MHA? Given the tight timeline, it seems rather unseemly to take a day off on something’s by so important to her own constituents. 

  • bolo January 7, 2019 (10:34 pm)

    Let me get this straight: We’ve got two councilmembers on a paid junket to NYC to trash talk Amazon?

    • M January 8, 2019 (9:16 am)

      Yes. It is disgusting and an embarrassment to Seattle that we have council members who trash one of the most successful corporations. I’m sure they make purchases through Amason and yet they trash Amazon.

      • Geez January 8, 2019 (11:09 am)

        Regardless of how you feel about Amazon, it’s an embarrassment to the City of Seattle to have a council member (or 2) fly to New York and make statements on how we have done everything wrong out here, woe is us.  Way out of line for a council member.  You’re an elected rep, not an activist.  Makes Seattle look like some sad backwater who can’t handle its newfound prosperity.  Oh and that our City Council is a bunch of idiots, which might be true but I’d rather not advertise it to the rest of the nation…

        • Um, No! January 8, 2019 (12:55 pm)

          That’s one of the biggest problems with our city counsel today, IMO.  Most are more focused on being activists and making headlines that an actually trying to solve the city’s problems.  

          • MA January 8, 2019 (1:17 pm)

            They seem intent on making Seattle “HQ Zero.”

  • WS Guy January 8, 2019 (12:10 am)

    Since they are experts at “resisting” Amazon maybe they’d like to stay in NYC and govern there.  If I were Bezos I’d be moving out of here as fast as possible.

  • Abcgirl January 8, 2019 (12:57 am)

    Did they get paid their salary for today and their travel time.

  • Richard January 8, 2019 (1:15 am)

    Why are there not more people running against Herbold this year? There has to be at least ONE more person out there who is going to focus on our District 1.

    • WSB January 8, 2019 (1:17 am)

      It’s early. And she hasn’t even said whether she’s running again.

  • Go figure January 8, 2019 (6:17 am)

    Dear Council Member Herbold,Your support of the head tax was just bad math and worse diplomacy. It is, however very symptomatic of your approach. Growth, change, liveable wages, housing and vision for the city (like HALA) are noble questions public servants should wrestle with in partnership with key stakeholders, including business. Unions can also play a role. At this point, I’m moving toward supporting your opponent, assuming the field offers more wise leadership capable of effective governance.Disappointed Constituient 

    • DM January 8, 2019 (11:42 am)

      It’s like she doesn’t listen to the citizens or smaller employers who had a significant issue with their “head tax.” Amazon was their target, but there would have been collateral damage.

  • Mike January 8, 2019 (6:24 am)

    If she got paid a salary while on this trip, she abused tax dollars.

  • Cool Rick January 8, 2019 (7:20 am)

    Herbold has to go #7up2019

  • Under Achiever January 8, 2019 (7:56 am)

    Last week I sent a polite e-mail request for information to Ms Herbold asking how her participation in the NYC Community Summit furthered and improved my and my West Seattle neighbors quality of life.  There has been no response from her or her office.  Perhaps quality of life in NYC take precedence in this matter.

  • 7upin2019 January 8, 2019 (9:33 am)

    Herbold has done nothing for West Seattle and misses most of the meetings that matter to West Seattle.  She even said no thanks to attending a meeting with the Mayor in West Seattle several weeks ago – I guess she’s not a fan.  How long is she staying in New York?  How convenient would it be for her to be there during Viadoom?  She completely ignores communication from her constituents (pretty sure that emails to her are auto-redirected to her trash folder).  The good news for whoever succeeds her in November is that she has set the bar really, really low.  All the new rep has to do is show up and answer at least one email from a constituent.

  • WS homeowner January 8, 2019 (9:35 am)

    It’s time to elect a council member who will actually represent our district.  Herbold doesn’t respond to constituent emails, and seems to care only about her own agenda.

  • 98126res January 8, 2019 (9:39 am)

    Hopefully this trip did not use Taxpayer dollars.  As others say, her top priority sb on her large district with a million complex issues.  After huge storm, cancel a trip set up to bash Amazon.  Instead, support the 80,000 plus people in her District and the District’s tough strong First Responders.

  • John January 8, 2019 (9:49 am)

    Incredible political faux pas for such a seasoned pol.  Herbold’s action will likely live on to hamper her political career.

  • Mickymse January 8, 2019 (9:58 am)

    Could the conservatives here just move away to some Republican-leaning area, please? I mean, we get it… You don’t like the things Herbold stands for. That’s fine. Rally for other candidates. But our neighbors and I don’t have to stand for your FOX News brand of fake news stuff. Herbold attends all sorts of local, neighborhood meetings here in District 1. There are literally photos and videos all over the Blog here showing it. And she holds “office hours” here in the district on a regular basis. And she responds to plenty of constituent emails from people like myself, or stops to chat when she sees you out and about at events. She may not be representing YOUR agenda, but she is certainly fighting for the issues that many of her low-income, at risk, non-White, progressive, etc. constituents want her to.

    • neighbor January 8, 2019 (10:22 am)

      Nice try, Mickymse. Rather than address the issue you jump to calling everyone “conservative.” It’s the Seattle version of accusing someone of being a nazi. I can’t speak for anyone else’s political leanings, but I’m almost as far left as they come, and I think this was a failure of leadership on Herbold’s part.  

      • Sarchka January 8, 2019 (11:02 am)

        Totally agree with ‘Neighbor’.  I’m your typical liberal and I find her actions absurd and have been disappointed in her performance.  Has less to do with liberal vs. conservative and more to do with commonsense leadership vs. ridiculous political posturing. 

        • Cool Rick January 8, 2019 (11:27 am)

          I agree with both of the above comments. It’s ridiculous to call someone conservative because they’re unhappy with Herbold, who has largely been a failure. Also, I’ve personally emailed her multiple times and have never received a response.

    • Alfred January 8, 2019 (1:16 pm)

      Wow, MICKYMSE, could you have painted with a broader brush? I hope those divide and conquer tactics work out for you…However, for this liberal, working-class Asian-American Delridge resident, Lisa Herbold has been less than exemplary as a responsive representative. Tell me, when is Westwood Village getting a light rail stop? And why are there still so many abandoned properties and crime in South Delridge? She may be 1 of 9, but if she can’t convince the rest of the council to support her, then she hasn’t been effective. Just because we don’t agree with you doesn’t make us FOX-news watching conservatives. Also, I shouldn’t have to remind you that she won her seat with the slimmest of margins. She does not have a mandate for her “agenda.” 

  • John January 8, 2019 (10:09 am)

    I for one look forward to the HALA up-zoning being voted in. I also hope that when it passes, it will bring about the dissolution of the few neighborhood gadflies that have so hampered our communities.  Many of the no-growth activists are retired white folks with unlimited time to follow their self interests in the name of ‘protecting the community’.  I formerly attended many of their doom and gloom meetings, but their “everyone welcome” pose is just that, as I was regularly interrupted and dismissed while attempting to contribute. These groups are unwilling to hear residents opposed to their rigid view of  “their neighborhood” and how to “protect” it from new arrivals that threaten their sovereignty.

    • KM January 8, 2019 (10:32 pm)


    • Darryll January 9, 2019 (12:12 am)

      John,I’m white and support increased density in the city. I think Lisa Herbold has good intentions and is a good person, but I don’t always agree with her positions. And I agree with a few other commenters that this looks a bit tone deaf on her part. But I’m pretty sure my being white doesn’t make me bad or undeserving of having opinions on politics or policies.  You’re not winning any points by denigrating people for their heritage.

    • CMT January 9, 2019 (11:28 am)

      Totally disagree.  When I was a member of JuNO I attended many such meetings.  I have NEVER heard anyone interrupted or dismissed (nor have I done so).  Perhaps you are mistaking the fact that the majority of the attendees legitimately disagreed with your point of view as them being dismissive.   Disagreement does not equal dismissal.Sure, there will always be those folks that want no growth.  However, in my unfortunately extensive experience, the majority opposed to MHA (which you are referring to as the HALA upzoning)  are not opposed to growth, rather, they understand the far-reaching implications of the half-baked, ham-handed and poorly planned across the board upzones.  A lot of the opposition could have been avoided with better planning.  Hopefully the City will make amendments to its proposal that will avoid some of the most detrimental impacts.Perhaps when the City attempts to push through a policy about which you actually have strong feelings, dishonestly and without proper outreach or planning, you will have reason to appreciate “neighborhood gadflies” that step in and provide education to the community that the City failed to do.

  • Mike January 8, 2019 (10:39 am)

    Remember this is the second highest paid council in the nation and having a large supporting staff to boot.  Keep electing incompetence and this is what you get.   

    • ZippyThePinhead January 8, 2019 (4:05 pm)

      Less than 1 week to go before viaduct shutdown and 1/3 of SCC is off on political junkets (heard Sawant is in India promoting a strike).   Seems like really bad political optics to me, but what do I know.

      • ltfd January 9, 2019 (9:48 pm)

        I believe K.S. prefers the moniker “Comrade”.

  • Fiz January 8, 2019 (10:47 am)

    I tried to watch all of her presentation, just couldn’t do it.  

  • Marti January 8, 2019 (12:00 pm)

    After viewing the presentation it is clear that it could have easily been done with the same level of information over a video call. So frustrating that Councilmember Herbold is bashing a Seattle based company on our time. Agreed, it is an embarrassment when the Seattle city budget is 6.6% of NYC budget and two Seattle representatives have nothing better to do than go to NYC and complain about their own lack of effective governance. 

  • Victoria January 8, 2019 (12:38 pm)

    I support Lisa Herbold and if you don’t think she hasn’t
    done anything for WS residents, you are not paying attention.  A community invited her to speak about the
    challenges Amazon presents to a community and this demonstrates them doing
    their due diligence.  The rapid growth of
    Amazon to our city has created significant issues with affordable housing and
    transportation.  I have been involved with
    trying to address these issues for several years now and had our city been
    aware of what was ahead, we might not be playing catch up.   This
    isn’t a slam on Amazon but a hard look at what a city might expect to
    experience once Amazon builds a new headquarters.  Her comments should allow New York to plan
    for these changes ahead of their occurrence. 
    Cities routinely engage other cities to learn from their
    experiences.   This is nothing new. Most
    of the comments about this story are simply mean spirited and contribute nothing
    to fixing our current issues.

    • Karen January 10, 2019 (8:33 am)

      Her presentation sure sounded like a “slam on Amazon” to me.

  • Abcgirl January 8, 2019 (1:01 pm)

    John you  come across as intolerant as those you say are white privileged im neither white or privileged and I’m very concerned about HALA and the impact on our neighborhoods.  Might be careful in grouping everyone together and realize everyone has a right to their viewpoint and demonizing any group who feel invested in our community does nothing to build bridges but in fact builds “walls”.  Be part of the collective solution versus being part of the problem, judgmental and mean spirted

    • HappyCamper January 8, 2019 (4:22 pm)

      That comment may have seemed too generalized but I too have been to quite a few meetings regarding HALA, etc. What I saw was pretty much the same small group of seemingly well to do white people that were 40’s or older (I probably blended in) complaining about ruining their neighborhoods with a sprinkle of tree cover concerns, etc blended in as cover IMHO.Im sure that many have concerns over how HALA and MHA will ultimately play out. We all should as citizen stakeholders. But I’m just not sold that this small group of people speaks for us. It looks more like for what they want. Or actually don’t want.

      • Marietta January 9, 2019 (1:21 pm)

        It’s so odd to me that everyone feels comfortable bashing old white people, and implying that older and white people can’t properly represent west Seattle at these planning meetings. Did you know that average age in WS is 43? Did you know that WS is 83% white? If all WS demographics at meetings were evenly represented- most would be 40+, and 8 out of 10 would be white. Middle aged white people are here and we are not inherently evil and classist. Please don’t stereotype me. 

      • CMT January 9, 2019 (2:52 pm)

        Please don’t dismiss the far reaching impacts the proposed upzones will have on already deficient tree canopy in West Seattle and other areas as “sprinkle of tree cover concerns” and mischaracterize them as “cover” for some nefarious exclusionary conspiracy theory.  Talk to organizations like TreePac or do some actual research before making comments like that if you think these concerns aren’t real and will not impact the quality of life in West Seattle and the other impacted neighborhoods.  SMH.  

  • Cbj January 8, 2019 (1:52 pm)

    John wow you sound so angry and rather nasty, I agree we need to continue to be working towards housing solutions, but your angry rhetoric is not helpful and I would argue you don’t speak for many of us who support HALA, and want to work with those who see things differently,  you need to do a internal self check   Like I said wow John 

  • bolo January 8, 2019 (2:06 pm)

    Well I did hear councilperson Herbold on NPR today and in fact she did not trash talk Amazon as I had wondered about in my previous post (post #2 in this thread). She talked mainly about how NY had limited time, but still a window, to negotiate for mitigations to the imminent change they are about to undergo. Preserving low income housing, infrastructure improvements, etc. The things we here wish we could have negotiated before our big Amazon-induced changes. But of course we did not know back then what to ask for.

    I saw it as a good thing she was doing. Hope they listen. And take action.

    • WSB January 8, 2019 (2:36 pm)

      This is why I looked for and included the actual video of her appearance/speech in the story, so people could see it and evaluate for themselves. We try to do this wherever/whenever possible – link to the full report, full video (or shoot it ourselves if it’s a local event/appearance), etc.

    • Gianni January 8, 2019 (3:45 pm)

      Hmmm. I watched the video posted by the Blog and don’t come to the same conclusions that you do. the councilmember seems agitated and tries to frame the concpversation to seem as if all of the changes we experienced are a result of Amazon’s nefarious negotiations by having others do its bidding. She also seems to imply that the activist friends she enlisted to come up with the Head Tax were our “best  minds” to address homlessness, and that Amazon came out from behind the curtain to oppose it. Get a clue, Lisa! The head tax was not popular and if you would have listened to your constituents instead of being beholden to your social service and union cronies you would have seen how unpopular this policy was! She was in City Hall as Nick Licata’s legislative aide when the SLU negotiations would have happened. She has no basis to speak of not having “planned” for the negative consequences of Amazon’s rise. She was there! 

  • Heartless? January 8, 2019 (2:11 pm)

    Does Lisa represent (work for) Seattle, or does she work for New York? Seems like today she is working for New York, doesn’t it?

  • Scrappy January 8, 2019 (8:04 pm)

    There was a lot of talk about the “head tax” in the video from both Seattle City counsel members. The City of Seattle has an incredibly bad track record of spending money—throwing money at—the homeless situation in our city. Even if the tax had transpired, I do not feel one iota confident that the ‘homeless’ situation would change. It feels, to me, that their aired concerns to the NYC folks were more or less ‘getting it off their chest’ because they are finding their own efforts ineffectual. They have succumbed to ‘the powers that be.’ Particullarly backtracking or reversing the vote after the ‘head tax’ THEY passed in Seattle. (I don’t know if it would have helped or not). But, THEY, the City Council, were ALL a bunch of pandering cowards. In my opinion, that’s what’s wrong with the politicians/politics in this city. All of them are trying too hard to be ‘politically correct.’ Sometimes a person just has to step up and do the right thing, regardless if all agree or not. 

  • My two cents ... January 8, 2019 (8:04 pm)

    Once again Herbold is out trying to grab some press instead of serving the community she supposedly represents. She didn’t give a speech – rather it was trite screed …. if she had her way, there would be no Amazon, but then again, with that many fewer people, we wouldn’t have the Pronto debacle right?  And the homeless crisis could be solved by utilizing the unused/old buildings in South Lake Union, but then again .. no Amazon = No Homeless Population, right Councilmember Herbold? What about the overall tax base to pay for the waterfront? oh – scratch that. Looks like someone has been following the lesson of the current POTUS – make a bunch of half-baked statements without any real understanding of the complexity and inter-relationships of the various components … easier just to point the finger at something and scream out loud that you a “populist .. a leader of the common citizen”. Herbold (Mosqueda, Sawant) = parallel universe Trumpians/Eyemans.

  • 1994 January 8, 2019 (8:53 pm)

    More democracy vouchers! so we can vote in regular people who can advocate for all citizens and not keep increasing taxes that are squeezing us out of the city.M said it best.

  • tiredofgovernmentgreed January 9, 2019 (5:39 pm)

    Our elected city council member is a failure in every way.  I, like others, have tried to reach out via polite e-mails only to be ignored for weeks or given a copy-and-paste response with other people’s comments, not Ms. Herbold’s.  She has totally ignored the homeless RV situation that is creating so many problems for neighbors, taxpayers, and business at 28th Ave SW and SW Andover.  She attacks a company that has driven much of our economic growth in the city (jobs).  She abandons the city just as we need our elected official to look out for our community’s needs during Viadoom.  Ms. Herbold and her city council colleagues are only concerned about using their elected position to pontificate on their political views, not to represent us and effectively manage the city.

  • Halayes January 9, 2019 (7:05 pm)

    Agree with a lot of what’s been said, happy camper and John are correct in my opinion. I too have been to the MHA ‘meetings’ and there was shouting and interruptions from ‘Neighborhood Groups’, in fact I simply stopped going as I was embarrassed. Preferred to read about it after the fact. CMT is good at telling people to do their research or they are incorrect just because their viewpoints are not the same, this whole thing has put people against each other, scale lost, city is growing, we all have a life? Time to move on.

    • CMT January 10, 2019 (7:48 am)

      I suggested research be done because tree canopy is a HUGE issue that is not a “cover” and disagreed with the characterization of meetings that don’t square with what I have witnessed.  I don’t pride myself on “being good at telling people they are incorrect” but rather feel it is important to present an accurate picture.  

  • tim stelling January 9, 2019 (10:22 pm)

    I tried to meet with her on several occasions about HALA–I live on a block that is upfor re-zoning. She was always too busy or had to cancel…

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