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Public Hearing

Today at 5:30pm we will have our second and last Public Hearing this budget season. Folks can sign up to provide one-minute public testimony at 3:30pm, two hours before the public hearing begins. We want to hear from as many of you as we can to make informed decisions that will shape this year’s budget package. If you can’t provide your comments during the public hearing tomorrow, please email us with your ideas, thoughts, and city priorities at council@seattle.gov. If you experience any issues trying to sign up for public comment please email my office at teresa.mosqueda@seattle.gov.

Budget Preview

This week, starting on Wednesday, October 28, we will move into Council Budget Action and Statements of Legislative Intent discussions. Councilmembers will discuss proposed Council Budget Actions (CBAs) and Statements of Legislative Intent (SLIs) in advance of the development of this year’s Balancing Package. As we go through each proposed CBA or SLI, councilmembers will have an opportunity to indicate support for a CBA or SLI during these discussions. Below is a chart with the departments that are scheduled for discussion this week. We hope that you tune is every morning at 9:30 am via Seattle Channel—as always we will begin with 30 minutes of public comment, then move into the committee discussions.
Committee Discussion: Council Budget Actions and Statements of Legislative Intent
28-Oct
 
29-Oct 30-Oct
  • City Budget office (CBO)
  • Dept of Education & Early Learning (DEEL)
  • Dept of Neighborhoods (DON)
  • Finance & Admin Services (FAS)
  • City Attorney’s Office (LAW)
  • Legislative Department (LEG)
  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
  • Office of Economic Development (OED)
  • Office of Housing (OH)
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG)
  • Office of Intergovernmental Relations (OIR)
  • Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (OIRA)
  • Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD)
  • Seattle Employees Retirement System (SCERS)
  • Seattle Public Libraries (SPL)
  • Seattle Public Utilities (SPU)
  • Citywide
  • Finance General (FG)
  • Human Services Department (HSD)
  • Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE)
  • Parks
  • Seattle Dept of Construction and Inspections (SDCI)
  • Seattle Information Technology (ITD)
  • Seattle Fire Department (SFD)
  • Seattle Dept of Transportation (SDOT)
  • Homelessness (HOM)
  • Seattle Police Department (SPD)
    [SPD will include proposals related to OEM, SECC, PEOs]
     

Cooper Legacy Award from Homestead Community Land Trust

This weekend, I was honored to join Councilmember Herbold and our teams in accepting the Homestead Community Land Trust Cooper Legacy Award. The award recognizes individuals who have helped to create affordable homeownership opportunities that benefit people in King County, and who have embodied inclusion and social justice in their work.
 
We were nominated Joy Garlin Hunt, who recognized in particular our work on including homeownership funding in the Jump Start spending plan starting in 2022. JumpStart was a collaborative effort and I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of all our affordable housing and homeownership partners who helped us develop and advocated to include robust housing funding in the JumpStart plan, and councilmembers who voted to make the funding a reality.
 
The Jumpstart legislation dedicates 62% of revenues to affordable housing beginning in 2022, 5% of those going to permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for households making at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, with a focus on undoing the impacts of past discriminatory policies on BIPOC communities. With 51 % of white households in Seattle own their own home, compared to only 24% of Black or African-American households, the legacy of past policies like redlining, racial covenants, and continued exclusionary zoning are clear today in Seattle. And this situation has fed into the displacement crisis we’re seeing unfold: From 1990 to 2010, the black share of the neighborhood’s population dropped from 58 percent to 24 percent, while the white share increased from 32 percent to 58 percent.

Communities of color and renters are more likely to be severely cost burdened (spend more than 50% of their income on rent), with 56% of Black households compared to 35% of white households in King County cost burdened.
 
Undoing these harms is why we explicitly called out in the JumpStart spending plan to invest in community-focused investments in land acquisition, affordable housing, and homeownership, with specific language outlining the intent to address harm to BIPOC communities by past discriminatory policies in Seattle. We literally wrote the language into the bill: “to address past discriminatory policies and practices, such as redlining, restrictive racial covenants, and other discriminatory practices that have resulted in certain populations and neighborhoods prospering at the expense of others.”
 
Thank you to Homestead Community Land Trust for this honor, Joy Garlin Hunt for the nomination, CM Herbold and team for their partnership, and all our affordable housing partners for their tireless advocacy and collaboration!

Ruth Kagi Child Care Resources Award

This week, I had the honor of being recognized by Child Care Resources for the innovative work that we're doing to support child care providers around Seattle. The Ruth Kagi Award for Excellence in Early Learning Advocacy is given to regional leaders who devote time, energy, and effort to champion the needs of our children. I am proud to work with regional partners like Child Care Resources on this crucial mission.  

A robust child care network is the backbone of our city's most essential services. Without child care, parents can't return to work, students can't attend school while they look after siblings, and women and people of color are disproportionately pushed out of the workforce and into poverty. As every parent and caregiver knows, high-quality child care is not a luxury – it is a necessity. 

Child Care Resources is at the front lines of our region's push for high-quality, affordable child care. I am honored to receive their recognition and excited to work with them as we help every child in Seattle get a great start to life.  

Get Out the Vote!

Election day is Tuesday November 3rd! Your vote is your voice. Don’t be silenced. Make yourself heard. Vote and return your ballot by November 3. Voting has never been more important. It’s also never been easier. Thanks to King County you can register to vote or update your registration at VoteWA.gov! Registering to vote takes two minutes, for example if you have moved or changed your name you will need to update your voter registration. If you are worried you missed the voter registration deadline,  you can still register in person and get your ballot. Just because you CAN wait until 7:58 pm on Election Day to get in line to register to vote, doesn’t mean that you should. Get it taken care of today and avoid the long lines! 

Sign it, seal it, drop it. Find a drop box near you here: Ballot Boxes

Find locations and hours here: bit.ly/KCVoteCenter

My Budget Priorities

To the health of our economy and workforce:

Many of you know I've been fighting for workers' rights for a decade.  That fight means nothing if we can't also fight for the rights of our own employees and if the working-class residents of our City don't have the basics they need.  That's why, in JumpStart Seattle's spending plan, I decided to allocate approximately $60 million to preserve city services, contracts and by extension, city jobs. There are sometimes good reasons (e.g. policy changes) and necessary but tough reasons (e.g. budgetary) why we have to lay off employees.  That's not the case in this year's budget; we had the money to keep people employed.
 
I'll be fighting to restore budgetary layoffs in the Mayor's proposed budget.  Here's why that's good for the City:
  1. Keeping people employed maintains the institutional knowledge and efficiency in City programs;
  2. City employment means fewer people who rely on social safety nets;
  3. The more people have in the pockets, the more they spend locally, helping revitalize our struggling economy;
  4. City employees provide vital services, helping support the residents of our city. City employees slated for budgetary layoffs currently provide important services to our City, including support on capital projects (like bridges), fixings roads, and supporting our small nightlife businesses; and,
  5. Typically first-in, first-out layoffs result in more diverse employees being let go from the City
I hope you'll join me in supporting the restoration of unnecessary layoffs, benefiting our city's economic recovery, and supporting services to Seattle residents.
 
Health One
 
The Health One program is part of the Seattle Fire Department’s Mobile Integrated Health response unit. The program started in 2019 and it has shown a significant reduction in the number of calls to police and firefighters, freeing them up to respond to the emergencies they trained for. However, Health One has limited availability. In this years budget I would like to expand the program to reach more locations and increase response time. 
 
Inclusive Zoning
 
During last year’s budget process, I sponsored two actions to set Seattle on a path towards a more equitable way of growing—to enable more housing diversity, support communities fighting displacement, and create an equitable and inclusive community engagement process for the upcoming Comprehensive Plan update. One was a proviso on the Comprehensive Plan EIS funding to require that housing diversity across the city—including duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes—be studied as an option in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), so that there is a real, actionable policy option on the table to end exclusionary zoning when the major Comprehensive Plan update is adopted. Here’s some great coverage of that proviso. I also included a proviso on outreach funds to make sure the plan is crafted using a racial equity lens with the City’s Racial Equity Toolkit.
 
Due to COVID, these efforts did not move forward in 2020 as expected, so we are working to restore these provisos in this year’s budget.
 
Housing Stability and Homelessness Prevention
 
The crisis of COVID-19 has laid bare the stark economic inequality and housing instability that communities across Seattle were already facing prior to this pandemic, with Seattle in the midst of a homelessness emergency and affordable housing crisis prior to COVID. There were an estimated 11,199 individuals experiencing homelessness countywide in 2019. Due to rising rents and insufficient supply of affordable housing, thousands of Seattle renters face eviction threats every year—and the 2018 Losing Home report found that most tenants who are evicted become homeless. Evictions Seattle fall disproportionately on women and people of color, with people of color constituting about 35% of renters, and nearly 52% of evictions involved people of color.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic and unemployment emergencies are already exacerbating the existing affordable housing crisis and homelessness emergency. An estimated 30-40 million people could be evicted from their homes by the end of 2020. Our neighbors experiencing unsheltered homelessness are at risk for infection when there is community spread of COVID-19, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that congregate shelter settings could facilitate the spread of infections. And with federal support so far falling short and spikes in infection rates, 2021 could be even more dire.
 
The 2021 JumpStart spend plan legislation allocated funds for continued investments in emergency COVID relief, including rental assistance and homelessness prevention. However, these investments are not reflected in the Mayor’s proposed budget. In addition, we MUST invest in non-congregate shelter/housing options for sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness so that everyone in our community is able to follow public health guidelines to stay healthy as the pandemic continues.
In solidarity,
Teresa Mosqueda
#BlackLivesMatter

Seattle City Council Councilmember, Position 8
teresa.mosqueda@seattle.gov
206-684-8806
Copyright © 2020 Seattle City Council, All rights reserved.


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