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
At least 50 cars and 200 people formed a city-wide protest and caravan on Labor Day to press City Council members to override Mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of council-approved reductions to the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) 2020 budget.
Continue reading Labor Day Caravan and Protest Pushes for City Council to Override Mayor’s Veto
by Paul Faruq Kiefer
(This article was originally published on The C Is for Crank and is reprinted under an agreement.)
When Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her decision to veto the City Council’s midyear budget rebalancing package on Friday, she specifically called out an ordinance appropriating $3 million for the council to contract with community-based groups to create a “roadmap for future equitable participatory budget processes related to public safety” by gathering public input to shape the City’s public safety budget priorities.
Council member Tammy Morales, the sponsor of that ordinance, has said that the research would be the first step toward “participatory budgeting,” a process some cities use to guide public spending, often by allowing residents to vote on how to spend a designated pot of money (a federal grant, for instance).
Continue reading What Is Participatory Budgeting, and How Could It Shape the City’s Approach to Public Safety?
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published on The C is for Crank and is reprinted under an agreement)
Note: This post will be updated after the mayor’s press conference, which was scheduled for 1:45.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan will announce Friday afternoon that she will veto the city council’s midyear budget rebalancing package, a move that could effectively remove one co-equal branch of government from the city’s budget process by reinstating Durkan’s original budget proposal with no input from the council. The council could overturn the veto, as they did the mayor’s recent veto of a COVID relief package that relies on future revenues from the JumpStart payroll tax. Or—as seems likely—the council will try to work with Durkan to come up with a rebalancing package that the mayor will accept. Continue reading Durkan Vetoes Council Budget Over Cuts to Police Department; Council President Hopes for Compromise
We asked two community members to weigh in on Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announcing her retirement from SPD. Their two viewpoints follow.
by George Griffin III
Carmen Best is a friend. Good people. Classy, strong. She deserved better.
After everyone gets through scapegoating the Seattle City Council and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests for her resignation, maybe we should take a good hard look at Seattle’s years of inactivity when People of Color and other people said the department needed some serious reform and restructuring. This lack of attention to the concerns of People of Color and allies contributed to the Seattle Police Department ultimately being placed under the current consent decree after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2012. Do we need to be reminded how, when Best was interim chief in 2018, she was disrespected and passed over by the current mayor in the initial interview process and how she only got the job after communities of color and allies spoke up? Many prominent people were quiet at that time because they didn’t want to criticize their friend, the new mayor.
Continue reading OPINION: The Importance of Nuance in Confronting Racism
By Paul Faruq Kiefer
(This article originally appeared on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted under an agreement)
In a press conference Tuesday morning that she insisted was not “a wake,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said she is stepping down on September 2 because, in her words, “When it’s time, it’s time.” Continue reading Police Chief Carmen Best Explains Her Decision To Resign; Durkan Says No Search For Replacement This Year
by Erica C. Barnett
(Updated at 12:58pm on 8/11/20)
(This article originally appeared on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission.)
Advocates for an immediate 50% cut to the Seattle Police Department’s budget may have walked away unsatisfied Monday evening, when the City Council passed a midyear budget package that lopped just 7% off SPD’s remaining 2020 budget. But the Council majority left no question that they consider the short-term cuts a down payment on a more substantive proposal next year — one that, importantly, has a shot of making it through labor negotiations with the powerful police officers’ union.
In a surprising turn, Seattle’s Police Chief Carmen Best will announce her retirement on Tuesday in the wake of the Council’s decision. This was confirmed with multiple sources including the mayor’s office. The C is for Crank was also able to obtain a copy of Chief Best’s letter to SPD announcing her departure on September 2.
Continue reading Seattle Council Takes a Small Bite Out of Police Budget, Chief Best Will Retire
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article originally appeared on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission)
On Monday, the Seattle City Council will take its most definitive action yet to eliminate the Navigation Team—a group of police, litter removal workers, and outreach staff that removes encampments from public places—by voting on a mid-year package of budget cuts that eliminates funding for the program. But the ultimate fate of the team will lie with Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best, who have the final say over departmental spending. Continue reading Ending the Navigation Team Isn’t As Easy As Just Cutting Their Budget
by Erica C. Barnett
The city council’s budget committee approved a package of cuts Wednesday to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) budget that would reduce the department’s size by about $3 million, representing around 100 positions, this year; remove police from the Navigation Team, which removes unauthorized homeless encampments; and start the city on a path to funding new approaches to public safety that don’t involve armed officers. Most of the proposals aren’t direct budget cuts—which the mayor could simply ignore—but budget provisos, which bar the executive branch from spending money in a way other than how the council prescribes. Continue reading City Council Approves Blueprint for Defunding SPD. But Durkan Isn’t On Board