Tag Archives: Mayor Jenny Durkan

Durkan Won’t Sign Crowd-Control Weapons Bill, Raises Specter of Court Challenge

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan refused to sign the City Council’s recent ordinance restricting the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) use of crowd-control weapons, allowing the bill to become law while the City awaits a federal district court’s go-ahead to implement changes to SPD’s tactics and arsenal.

In a letter to the council during their August recess, Durkan heaped criticism on the bill and the yearlong process that produced it, calling it a “knee-jerk reaction” to last year’s protests that overstepped the council’s authority, undercut SPD policy change procedures enshrined in the City’s agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and made promises that the City can’t keep.

Durkan has routinely allowed legislation to take effect without her signature, though not always because of a difference of opinion: Certain land use ordinances, for instance, don’t necessarily go to the mayor for a signature before becoming law. The mayor can also return legislation to the council unsigned when she has concerns about a bill’s impact or legality but believes that the council would vote to override a veto.

Continue reading Durkan Won’t Sign Crowd-Control Weapons Bill, Raises Specter of Court Challenge

Community Groups Urge Focus on Disease, Not Just Symptoms of Gun Violence

by Ashley Archibald


The first six months of 2021 saw an increase in reports of gun violence in King County compared to recent years — violence that was highly concentrated in BIPOC communities and has prompted calls for additional investments to alleviate the conditions that contribute to the shootings.

Continue reading Community Groups Urge Focus on Disease, Not Just Symptoms of Gun Violence

Mayor Durkan Announces Community-Based Programs, Responding to Gun Violence Spike

by Lizz Giordano and Andrew Engelson


As shootings spike in King County, disproportionately impacting Communities of Color, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced last week the City will distribute $12.4 million to organizations working to curb gun violence and improve safety in BIPOC communities. 

The year 2020 was particularly deadly for Seattle, recording the highest number of homicides in more than a quarter century. This past weekend, a series of shootings in Belltown, Pioneer Square, the Chinatown-International District, and Yesler Terrace left five people dead and nine injured according to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). In a press conference on Monday, July 26, Durkan said the violence was part of a surge in homicides across the United States. 

“This weekend delivered a sober reminder that Seattle is not immune from gun violence,” Durkan said during the press conference. “This is a national crisis. Over the past week, from Chicago to Minneapolis to Washington, D.C., there have been over 900 shooting incidents.”

Continue reading Mayor Durkan Announces Community-Based Programs, Responding to Gun Violence Spike

Public Safety Agencies Announce Plan for New 911 Triage Team

by Paul Kiefer


(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement) 

By next summer, Seattle’s emergency call dispatchers may have a new crisis response team at their disposal. The new unit, called Triage One, would be housed within the Seattle Fire Department’s Mobile Integrated Health program and tasked with responding to some crisis calls that don’t clearly involve a medical emergency or criminal activity.

Continue reading Public Safety Agencies Announce Plan for New 911 Triage Team

City Expected Encampment on School District Property After Sweeping Nearby Park

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement)


During an often rowdy public forum in the cafeteria of Broadview-Thomson K-8 school last week, Seattle Public Schools Deputy Director Rob Gannon said the school district is working slowly toward a plan for moving more than 50 unsheltered people off school district-owned property behind the North Seattle school. The City of Seattle has refused to assist the school district in sheltering or housing people living on the property, and the district has turned to a small nonprofit called Anything Helps with the goal of getting everyone off the site by September.

Continue reading City Expected Encampment on School District Property After Sweeping Nearby Park

City Council Vote Set for Durkan’s Proposed $30 million for BIPOC Communities

by Elizabeth Turnbull

Following consecutive protests last year and the creation of a task force, Mayor Jenny Durkan transmitted legislation to the Seattle City Council on July 13 outlining $30 million in investments for BIPOC communities.

Overall, the money is intended to work against disparities caused by racist and governmental policies that have disproportionately affected BIPOC communities, according to a statement by the City. 

Continue reading City Council Vote Set for Durkan’s Proposed $30 million for BIPOC Communities

OPINION — Say Her Name: Charleena Lyles

Four years after she was killed by police, her family still seeks answers.

by Katrina Johnson, Jesse Hagopian, and Michael Bennett


The broadest protests in U.S. history occurred last spring and summer in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others. While this uprising around the country — in all 50 states, in rural and urban areas — was certainly about those widely publicized horrific murders at the hands of police, masses of people rose up around the country in large part because they had seen similar police violence in their own communities — including here in Seattle. 

Four years ago, Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old Black pregnant mother of four, was fatally shot by two white Seattle police officers.

Continue reading OPINION — Say Her Name: Charleena Lyles

City Denies Permit for Event Commemorating the Art of CHOP

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was previously published at PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, the ACLU of Washington and Public Defender Association sent a letter to the city attorney’s office, along with several City department leaders, calling the decision to deny CHOP Art’s permit “unconstitutional” and saying “we may need to take emergency legal action” if the city doesn’t act. They say the denial was clearly based on the content of the event itself rather than any legitimate “safety” concerns.

The City, as we reported this morning, has claimed that community members have said that any event commemorating CHOP, including an event celebrating the art of the protest, “would be disturbing or even traumatic” and that they applied a higher-than-usual safety standard because of violence that occurred during last year’s protests.

Original story follows . . .

Mark Anthony doesn’t know why the City declined his permit for an event in Cal Anderson Park after working with his group, CHOP Art, for the last eight months, but he has a theory: “I think that it got up to the mayor’s office, and I think they’re trying to say that CHOP itself is something that’s violent or negative, which isn’t true,” he said.

Continue reading City Denies Permit for Event Commemorating the Art of CHOP

Can the Seattle Police Department Consent Decree Be Fixed?

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article was previously published on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council rejected a proposal to cut $2.83 million from the Seattle Police Department (SPD) budget, bringing an end to a months-long debate and raising questions about whether federal oversight is the right path toward reforming the department.

For almost a decade, SPD has been under federal oversight through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice called a consent decree. The consent decree, which Seattle entered in 2012, was supposed to ensure that SPD corrected a pattern of using unjustified force and racially biased policing, among other reforms.

Continue reading Can the Seattle Police Department Consent Decree Be Fixed?

The Morning Update Show — 6/3/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, June 3

Mayor’s $30M Taskforce — LIVE | Forever Safe Spaces — LIVE | Stephanie Johnson-Toliver — LIVE | Brian Culpepper — LIVE | Yazzy — LIVE

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 6/3/21