Tag Archives: Seattle City Council

Weekend Long Reads: The Cost of ‘Compassion’

by Kevin Schofield


Two “long read” documents came through my inbox in the past week that, upon reflection, are likely to set the tone for a good chunk of our political conversation over the next few months as we head into the primary and general elections here in Seattle.

Continue reading Weekend Long Reads: The Cost of ‘Compassion’

Council Reviews New Version of ‘Less-Lethal’ Weapons Ban

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

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


Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold introduced the latest version of legislation intended to restrict the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) use of so-called “less-lethal weapons” against demonstrators during a Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 22, more than a year after the council first began its efforts to limit SPD’s crowd control arsenal. The proposal would restrict the use of tear gas, pepper-ball launchers, and pepper spray by SPD officers responding to protests and outright ban five other less-lethal weapons, including blast balls.

Continue reading Council Reviews New Version of ‘Less-Lethal’ Weapons Ban

Seattle Eviction Moratorium Extended as Council Passes More Renter Protections

by Jack Russillo


While Washington’s statewide eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of June, Seattle’s eviction ban was extended last week through the end of September. This follows passage of other City Council legislation designed to help residents cope with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, June 18, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the city’s eviction moratorium, which applies to both residential and commercial properties, would continue until Sept. 30. Earlier in the month, the Seattle City Council adopted other bills that give certain renters more protections, such as implementing a ban on school-year evictions for school workers and families with children and prohibiting evictions for nonpayment of rent due to financial hardship during the pandemic.

According to the most recent census survey data, about one in seven renters in Washington State feel that they are currently behind on paying rent, with Black (21.9%) and Hispanic (21%) populations disproportionately feeling financial difficulty staying caught up on rent. Only 9.8% of white renters throughout the state, however, feel that they are not caught up on paying for their housing. Additionally, 19.8% of households in the state with children under the age of 18 in the home responded to the survey that they felt they were behind on rental payments, while only 7.1% of households without children present felt they were behind on paying their rent. 

Continue reading Seattle Eviction Moratorium Extended as Council Passes More Renter Protections

Communities on the Margins Brace for End of the Eviction Moratorium

by Ashley Archibald


Washington’s statewide eviction moratorium expires on June 30, leaving a large number of low-income and vulnerable residents at risk of eviction, even as they struggle to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

State and local governments stepped in to prevent evictions by passing new renters’ rights bills while the pandemic raged through Washington. Hundreds of millions of dollars have poured into rental assistance programs, largely from the massive federal government spending plan passed under the Trump administration.

The American Rescue Plan Act, passed in March under the Biden administration, will push those numbers higher.

But the scale of the need is huge.

Continue reading Communities on the Margins Brace for End of the Eviction Moratorium

The Morning Update Show — 6/2/21

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 — Wednesday, June 2

Live From Cal Anderson Park | #SeattleProtests | Update From City Council | LIVE — Joey Wieser | LIVE — Mashall Law | LIVE — David Obelcz

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 6/2/21

The Morning Update Show — 6/1/21

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 — Tuesday, June 1

Pink Umbrella | LIVE — Justin Carder | LIVE — Dan Gregory | Council to Vote on $30M Today | Black Business Takeover on South Jackson

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 6/1/21

City Finally Funds Street Sinks Six Months After Funding From City Council

by Erica C. Barnett

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


Six months after the City Council allocated $100,000 to “develop and implement a publicly accessible sink program that utilizes the Street Sink style handwashing station model developed by the Clean Hands Collective,” Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has finally chosen two vendors to receive the money.

Slightly more than half, $60,000, will go to the Clean Hands Collective, an organization founded by Real Change that includes landscape architects and public health experts; the rest, $40,000, will go to Seattle Makers, a South Lake Union “makerspace” that designed a prototype “handwashing station” at an estimated cost of $7,250 per unit — about 10 times the price of Clean Hands’ Street Sink. According to Seattle Makers’ website, the City reached out to them to design the sink.

Tiffani McCoy, the advocacy director at Real Change, said she thinks “we can easily put up 45 sinks for the $60,000,” assuming it will cost about $10,000 to roll out the program — a process that will include building and maintaining the sinks as well as finding new locations for many of them.

Continue reading City Finally Funds Street Sinks Six Months After Funding From City Council

Former SPD Officer Featured in CBS Report Has a ‘Troubled’ History

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

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


The former Seattle police officer who condemned city leadership for abandoning the Seattle Police Department in a CBS news segment on Wednesday left SPD with a record of harassment and violent outbursts, one of which drew condemnation — but not criminal charges — from City Attorney Pete Holmes in 2013. In his appearance, Powell blamed the Seattle City Council for the exodus of 260 officers from SPD in the past year and a half, and claimed city leaders “didn’t allow [officers] to intervene” to prevent violence during last summer’s protests.

Continue reading Former SPD Officer Featured in CBS Report Has a ‘Troubled’ History

Participatory Budgeting ‘Clearly Delayed Until Next Year’

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

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


Seattle’s participatory budgeting process, which received $30 million in the 2021 city budget adopted last year, “is now clearly delayed until next year,” Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales confirmed by email Wednesday.

The City Council identified participatory budgeting as a way to allocate spending on alternatives to policing last year. But the timeline to get the process underway has been unclear for months because of uncertainty about who will manage the process. The council is considering two options, but Morales has been reluctant to move forward with either alternative.

Continue reading Participatory Budgeting ‘Clearly Delayed Until Next Year’

Council Vote Leaves Cuts to Seattle Police Department Budget Unresolved

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

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


Months of debate on the City Council about how to distribute millions of dollars in unpaid Seattle Police Department (SPD) salaries came to an end on Tuesday, May 12, though no one seemed satisfied with the result.

During the meeting, the committee considered a proposal to cut $2.83 million from SPD’s budget while simultaneously lifting a budget proviso on another $5 million that the council has withheld from SPD’s budget since the beginning of the year. Ultimately, the committee sent the ordinance to the full council with a “do not pass” recommendation.

Continue reading Council Vote Leaves Cuts to Seattle Police Department Budget Unresolved