Tag Archives: Budget Cuts

Seattle’s Divide on Public Safety Is Fueling a Fight Over Next Year’s Police Budget

by Ben Adlin


After an election that largely snubbed progressive candidates, advocates calling for cuts to police budgets are working to convince Seattle leaders to follow through with promises to reform law enforcement and fund alternatives to dealing with the city’s problems.

A revised budget proposal out of the Seattle City Council this week would make about $10.8 million in cuts to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s proposed 2022 funding increases to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). Projected revenue for Seattle’s general fund has fallen by about $15 million since Durkan released her proposed $7.1 billion City budget in September.

Durkan has said the investment in police is needed to address higher-than-normal officer departures in recent years and ensure fast response times to emergencies. But councilmembers and community advocates have challenged that idea, arguing that investments in services such as housing and education do more to improve public safety and improve the resiliency of vulnerable communities.

A rebalanced budget package introduced last Tuesday, Nov. 9, by City Council Select Budget Committee Chair Teresa Mosqueda would reduce Durkan’s proposed $365.4 million police budget to $354.6 million. Overall, Mosqueda’s budget would amount to an $8.3 million (2.3%) cut to SPD funding compared to this year’s budget, while Durkan’s plan would expand police spending by $2.5 million (0.7%).

Meanwhile, the Seattle Solidarity Budget coalition, which represents a number of local groups focused on improving public services and investing in Seattle’s BIPOC communities, is calling for an additional $29 million to be cut from next year’s police budget. The group sees the final weeks of the budget process as a chance to cement popular calls for police reform that took center stage during widespread community protests last year, following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Continue reading Seattle’s Divide on Public Safety Is Fueling a Fight Over Next Year’s Police Budget

OPINION: Seattle Colleges in Crisis, But Harmful Budget Cuts Not the Answer

by Michael Reagan


Seattle Colleges District, the three-campus community college system for the City of Seattle, has been a flagship of professional, technical, and academic transfer instruction since 1970. Typically, during years of high enrollment — often when high unemployment pushes people to learn new skills, become certified, or complete a degree — North, Central, and South Seattle Colleges have collectively served over 45,000 students annually. The District’s “open-door” admissions policy welcomes students with all kinds of needs. Students of color comprise 56% of the student body at Central College, 40% at South Seattle College, and 36% at North Seattle College. But the combined pandemic and economic downturn has created a financial crisis across the district. 

Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Colleges in Crisis, But Harmful Budget Cuts Not the Answer

City Council Members Discuss Defunding Police in 2020 Budget — but Not by 50 Percent

By Chetanya Robinson


Seattle City Council members outlined specific plans for slashing the Seattle Police Department (SPD) budget in 2020 and reimagining how the city provides public safety, weeks after a veto-proof majority first committed to defunding the police by 50%.

The new proposals do not cut the department’s budget by 50% in 2020, falling short of demands from prominent community organizations after the the murder of George Floyd and city-wide demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality. 

Continue reading City Council Members Discuss Defunding Police in 2020 Budget — but Not by 50 Percent

Washington Can’t Afford Austerity

by Marilyn Watkins 


As tax revenues fall with people out of work and whole industries shuttered, Washington’s state and local governments are laying off staff, reducing pay, and slashing services that are helping people weather the COVID storm. Cutting important services now will cause immediate suffering, prolong the recession, and deepen racial and economic inequity. 

We need our state legislators and other elected officials to have the courage to raise new taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations, then reinvest that money in health care, secure housing, child care, educational opportunity, and income support for people and small businesses who are struggling for survival.

Continue reading Washington Can’t Afford Austerity

Seattle Public Schools Should Shelter High Poverty Schools from Budget Cuts

by Rebecca Chase-Chen

One afternoon in late November, as I was cleaning my classroom and preparing materials for the next day’s lessons, an email arrived. Unlike the colorful advertisements for classroom products and brief reminders about upcoming meetings, I immediately saw this email was different.  There was no colorful title, no graphics, just the subject line, in all caps: SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BUDGET UPDATE. As I started to read, my head, heart and stomach felt sick as I read the words. 74 million dollar shortfall. Crisis. Significant cuts.          Continue reading Seattle Public Schools Should Shelter High Poverty Schools from Budget Cuts