by Jake Goldstein-Street
(This article was originally published by Capitol Hill Seattle and has been reprinted with permission)
A King County Superior Court Judge has ruled that a petition to recall Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant can move forward.
On Wednesday, Judge Jim Rogers ruled that a recall campaign launched by critics seeking to oust the three-term councilmember that calls for an election after alleged violations of her oath of office could proceed.
Continue reading Court Rules that Sawant Recall Campaign Can Press Forward
by Carolyn Bick
Black Lives Matter Seattle – King County (BLMSKC) has filed for a Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) investigation into the Seattle City Council (SCC), according to a press release and letters received by the Emerald.
In a letter released on the morning of Sept. 14, BLMSKC called on the SEEC to “immediately, transparently, and aggressively investigate” the SCC for 12 different counts of what the press release containing the letter calls “potential incidents” involving both the entire SCC or specifically named members. The letter specifically states that it “makes no accusations” but that the issues outlined within the letter “are gravely concerning to Black Lives Matter Seattle King County.”
Continue reading BLMSKC Files For Seattle Ethics and Elections Investigation Into Seattle City Council
by Elizabeth Turnbull
On Tuesday, over 100 people gathered on Capitol Hill for a rally and protest, in which march organizers reiterated their demand to defund the Seattle Police Department (SPD) by 50%. Council member Kshama Sawant, speaking to the marchers, specifically denied that the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG) stands in the way of defunding.
Every Day March organizers, who put on the rally, spoke about the current relationship between the Seattle Police force and the Black community and the need to channel funding to the Black community in order to provide better schools and equitable community development.
“You can’t keep oppressing the people who are paying your salaries and not expect them to fight for themselves,” said an Every Day March organizer named T.K. “How do our police officers, that are supposed to be serving us, make more money than us? And we’re paying for it!”
Continue reading Rally Reiterates Need For Defunding SPD, Sawant Says Seattle Police Officer’s Guild Not an Obstacle
(This article was originally published on The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement)
Seven of the nine Seattle City Council members say they will support the effort to reduce the Seattle Police budget by 50%, the key component of demands from activists and community groups after weeks of Black Lives Matter protests, marches, and rallies in the Pacific Northwest.
The important threshold would represent a veto-proof majority on any council action as the representatives shape major changes to the city’s budget in the face of predictions of a significant downturn in revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis — a rebalancing process planned to be finalized and voted on in the next two weeks. Continue reading Veto-Proof Majority of Seattle City Council Pledges Support for #DefundSPD Effort
by Chetanya Robinson
Seattle City Council passed a $214 million big business tax proposal Monday to address the damage of the COVID-19 pandemic, invest in affordable housing, and fund City services.
The 7-2 vote, a margin large enough to override a veto from Mayor Jenny Durkan, comes two years after the City Council passed and then walked back the Employee Hours Tax, or Head Tax, which would have raised $47 million per year for housing and homelessness services. Continue reading Seattle City Council Passes “Historic” Big Business Tax
by Chetanya Robinson
A tax on big businesses that would raise over $200 million dollars per year and pay for COVID-19 relief and affordable housing is on the City Council’s agenda after sailing through the budget committee with a 7-2 vote. Continue reading Seattle Council Big Business Tax Will Move Forward After Passing Budget Committee
Erica C. Barnett
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously today to ban the Seattle Police Department from owning or using so-called “less lethal” weapons such as blast balls, tear gas, and pepper spray for any purpose, and, in separate legislation, to ban the use of “chokeholds,” a term that includes various methods of restraining a person by cutting off their air supply or blood flow to their brain. Continue reading Seattle Council Bans Use of Chokeholds and “Less-Lethal” Weapons by Police
by Chetanya Robinson
A new Seattle City Council was sworn in Monday, bringing four new faces behind the dais, three members returning for new terms, and with them, perhaps, a more progressive direction for Seattle politics. Continue reading Morales, New City Council Members Sworn In, Offering New Visions for Seattle and the South End
What is rent control, how does it work, and could it benefit Seattle?
by Natalie Barry
Earlier this spring, Kshama Sawant and the Seattle Renters Commission repeated calls for a citywide rent control ordinance and economic eviction assistance. In letters to the City Council, they specifically called for a repeal of the rent control ban on the city level, and an extension of the 30-day rent increase notice period, requiring landlords to inform tenants 180 days before increasing rents.
Continue reading OPINION: Understanding Rent Control
story and photos by Susan Fried
Members of Seattle’s Eritrean Community marched from their community center in the Central District to the Federal Building in downtown Seattle on May 24, Eritrean Independence Day, to deliver a letter to Sen. Patty Murray highlighting the plight of Eritrean refugees and the people of Eritrea and ask her help in convincing the U.S. government to hold the Eritrean Totalitarian Government accountable for its human rights abuses.
Continue reading Eritrean Community March Delivers Message to U.S. Lawmakers