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
by Chetanya Robinson
With a new big business tax proposal from Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (At Large representative), the Seattle City Council is now weighing two plans to fund COVID-19 relief for Seattle with progressive revenue sources.
Mosqueda’s proposal, “JumpStart Seattle,” would tax the top three percent of Seattle businesses to fund grants for childcare facilities and small businesses, grocery vouchers for low-income people, direct financial help for immigrant and refugee households, construction of affordable housing, and more. Continue reading Mosqueda Introduces New Big Business Tax to Fund COVID-19 Relief
by Erica C. Barnett
As the Seattle Police Department announced it was removing all “sensitive items” from the East Precinct building on Capitol Hill in anticipation of another long night of protests, the Seattle City Council adopted a number of strongly worded resolutions demanding action earlier Monday afternoon.
Among other actions, the council unanimously signed two letters calling, respectively, for the demilitarization of SPD and for Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes to withdraw the city’s lawsuit against inquest reforms adopted by King County in 2019. Continue reading “You Can’t Fix What’s Fundamentally Broken.” Seattle City Council Considers Defunding Police Department
by Emerald Staff
An effort to block the appointment of Jason Johnson as the head of the Human Services Department failed March 4 in a Seattle City Council meeting.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant proposed a resolution that would send the appointment of Johnson back to Mayor Jenny Durkan for a complete search and hiring process involving community members and stakeholders in the process.
Continue reading Seattle City Council Rejects Resolution to Restart Human Services Department Director Hiring Process
by Teresa Mosqueda and April Sims
This week marks the 100-year anniversary of the Seattle General Strike, a five-day solidarity work stoppage by more than 60,000 workers — or approximately 20 percent of Seattle’s population. Union workers across industries and across political parties came out to show support for shipyard workers striking to protect their right to fair wages and to bargain collectively and directly with their employers. The elected Strike Committee organized to ensure peace in the streets despite the mayor’s threats of martial law, and to ensure that essential services continued.
Continue reading OPINION: 1919 Seattle General Strike Exemplified Solidarity
by Carolyn Bick
With the exception of Councilmember Kshama Sawant, the Seattle City Council almost unanimously passed its $5.9 billion 2019-20 budget.
The nine-member council voted 8-to-1 in favor of passing a budget that included increases in funding for police and the city’s homelessness outreach program, as well as funding for a new program aimed at low-acuity mental health response. The budget largely reflected what Mayor Jenny Durkan originally proposed, with minor changes.
Continue reading Seattle City Council $6 Billion Budget Reflects Incremental Change
by Aaron Burkhalter
Councilmember Mike O’Brien took a stroll through a new solution to homelessness and the city’s lack of affordable housing.
It was a short walk — the length of a long trailer. At just a couple hundred square feet, the tiny cottage has enough room for a small table for two — maybe three — people, a downstairs queen-sized bed and an upstairs loft where children could sleep. It has a kitchen, indoor plumbing, and electricity, but it sits on a trailer hook up that is secured to the ground in the backyard of a home in Kent.
Continue reading From Pilot Projects to Systemic Change: Seattle City Council Mulls Solutions to Homelessness in Biennial Budget
Four months after the abrupt repeal of the Employee Hours Tax, subsequent developments are underscoring just how hard it will be for local governments to find money to seriously address our region’s affordable housing and homelessness crises.
by Geov Parrish
It’s been four months since Seattle City Council, in apparent violation of the state’s Open Public Meetings Act, abruptly decided behind closed doors to repeal the compromise Employee Hours Tax (EHT) it had unanimously passed only a month before. Since then, a lot has happened on the homelessness front locally — almost none of it positive, from the standpoints of saving lives or getting people off Seattle’s streets.
Continue reading The City of Seattle Spiked a Progressive Revenue Source, and We’re Stuck Watching the Fallout
by Cliff Cawthon
On Wednesday afternoon, after much speculation, Washington State Labor Council (AFL-CIO) Political and Strategic Campaign Director, Teresa Mosqueda announced her candidacy for Seattle City Council’s Position 8. The position is one of the council’s two city-wide seats. Continue reading Vowing to be the “Collaborative Candidate” Teresa Mosqueda Enters City Council Race