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Dear Neighbor,

This year is off to a fast start, so I want to wish you a Happy New Year and update you on my work as we transition from 2021 to 2022.

In this newsletter I summarize some of the key accomplishments from 2021 in three areas: policies I have passed, District 6 issues I have acted on, and funding I secured in the budget to push important priorities forward. This is just a snapshot of my work last year and my team accomplished more than can be contained in one newsletter. This is the link to all past newsletters. In particular, our budget newsletters last fall broke out my work by policy area for more in-depth coverage.

In this new year our City Hall already feels different, and I am working closely with many members of Mayor Harrell’s team. At City Council we also have changes with a new Council President, new council rules, and changed schedules. I share more details of these changes below.

This first month of 2022, I am quickly getting to work on policies and projects for our District - from addressing homelessness to outdoor dining - so I summarize some of what I am already working on. As always, meeting with constituents is one of my favorite parts of being your city councilmember so I’m continuing my weekly D6 office hours. If you would like to meet with me directly, please sign up here.

By the way, if you have a question about your home remodeling project or rental housing rules, Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) is hosting virtual Seattle Home Fairs this weekend. They're a great opportunity for you to ask the experts questions and get answers in real time. Don't miss it!


2021 Accomplishments

Even with a two-year-long and surging pandemic, 2021 was a big year for us all to come together and make real, felt impacts in D6 and throughout Seattle. We have a lot to be proud of, and there’s so much more to do. In 2021 I held 259 meetings with District 6 residents during office hours. I also worked with constituents year-round to resolve issues with City departments and make tangible improvements to our neighborhoods, such as adding streetlights to a block of NW 48th Street and making pedestrian improvements to Seaview Avenue. Here are just a few highlights:

View 2021 Accomplishments

Greener Energy Code: Adopted the strongest Energy Code in the nation to tackle Seattle’s second largest source of pollution -- building emissions – and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Protecting Senior Housing: Passed protections for manufactured home parks to protect seniors and low-income families and prevent them from being displaced from the neighborhoods they call home.
Café Streets Path to Permanency: Established the Path to Permanency for outdoor dining to be a permanent fixture in our City and hosted a design charette to turn Ballard Avenue into a Café Street
Bringing Business Home: Provided flexibility for small businesses to operate out of homes or garages during the pandemic, adding vibrancy to neighborhoods during the stay-at-home orders.

Ballard Commons: Removed the encampment at the Ballard Commons without a sweep by expanding adequate shelter and connecting people with the shelter that meets their needs.
Green Lake Boat House and Park: Secured funding for a new Green Lake Boathouse, ensured we are on-track to re-develop the Green Lake Community Center, and pushed to re-open West Green Lake Way North with a two-way protected bike lane.
Crown Hill Action Plan: Revived and passed the Crown Hill Community Action Plan after it was put on indefinite hold, championing the community’s vision for Crown Hill.
Greenwood Senior Center: Passed legislation completing the 15-year process of transferring the Greenwood Senior Center to the Phinney Neighborhood Association so our neighborhood controls our destiny with the programming and services we need.

Expanding the Mobile Crisis Team: Created dedicated Mobile Crisis Team services for the City of Seattle, bringing us dedicated teams providing emergency mental health response teams for individuals in crisis.
Addressing Homelessness: Saved and expanded the Vehicle Residency Outreach program to address the impact of vehicle residency in D6, expanded shelter capacity, and funded Affordable and Permanent Supportive housing at $194 million.
Improving Parks and Public Spaces: Added additional funding to clean up and restore our parks, including the Leary Triangle, and revived a stalled 2019 plan to build a children’s playground at Ballard Commons Park.
Rental Market and Small Landlord Data: Funded a study of Seattle’s rental market and partnered with Councilmember Lewis to create a working group of small landlords to inform City policy.

2022 Preview

New People: I’m thrilled to announce that we unanimously elected my friend and colleague Debora Juarez as our new Council President, making her the first Indigenous Council President in our city’s history. I’ve always appreciated her candid and common-sense approach. I look forward to supporting our shared vision of building bridges and collaborative relationships that will help our city and region heal from historical trauma and grow together. I also welcome fellow District 6’er Sara Nelson as a newly elected citywide councilmember; I’m excited to work with her on economic development and technology issues. With our new Mayor Bruce Harrell, we have already felt the difference of a Mayor working to create a unified city. I am working closely with his senior team and departments on important issues impacting our city and our district.

New Rules: Every two years we can change the rules that govern our council. This year was my first opportunity to change the rules so I brought forward a number of changes to help us work more effectively. For instance, in the past, if a bill did not receive a majority vote in committee it would still pass out of committee. I changed this and now if a bill fails in committee it will not proceed further. I also proposed to use best practices from the Washington State Legislature where policy and budget deliberations follow a schedule with, "legislative sessions" rather than our current practice of holding a year-long continuous, "legislative session". Another change I brought forward is intended to keep our meetings more succinct. KUOW dubbed it the ‘Blowhard rule” requiring Councilmembers to keep our speeches to ten minutes or less. I believe it’s important to be concise and stay on track with the issues before us so we can do the real work of Council the City needs and expects of us.

New Schedules: Council Briefings and Full Council meetings have changed times. Council Briefing is now on Mondays at 2:00 pm and Full Council is now on Tuesday at 2:00 pm. Moving Full Council to Tuesday is a big change and has already created a better working environment. If you would like to sign up to provide public comment at Full Council or Committee you can use this link to sign up.

Committees: I’m proud to be returning as your Chair of the Land Use Committee, which oversees planning and land use, including comprehensive planning, community development, zoning, design, and land use regulations. As Chair, I’ll be working to put people at the center of urban transformation and help Seattle grow gracefully into the modern, 15 minute city it needs to become. The Land Use Committee will now meet 2:00 pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. Here is the full list of committees I’m a member of:

Fast Start to 2022

My office and my team are running fast in this new year because we have a lot of work to do – building on the budget items I funded last year, getting stalled policy across the finish line, and delivering outcomes to improve District 6. Here are just a few of my items I’ve been working on this month:

Homelessness in District 6

As I did last year, I continue to hold operational coordination meetings that bring together a broad coalition of community leaders, government, and non-government entities to address homelessness in specific places in District 6. When my team focuses on one or two locations at a single time we are able to deliver meaningful resolutions as compared to trying to address homelessness everywhere at once. Mayor Harrell’s team and I are working together to address the Woodland Park homeless encampment as our city’s top priority; using and building upon the successful model we used at Ballard Commons. This does not mean Woodland Park is the only place in the city being addressed and work continues city-wide. The timeline for addressing Woodland Park is dependent upon shelter and housing resources. Shelter availability is dependent on two things: (1) throughput of current shelter residents out of shelter and into housing, and (2) expansion of current shelter spaces. To be successful, we will be working section by section and move people out of the park into shelter in groupings of people who are already living together. We can’t wait for there to be enough shelter for everyone living in the park to move all at once and we are already working to get people inside as quickly as possible.  If you would like to know more about this work please sign up for office hours. Our other priority areas have been and continue to be in the areas between 3rd Avenue and 15th Avenue NW; Market Street and Leary Way; and 85th Street NW and Mary Avenue NW. If there is a specific issue you need assistance with, please do let us know so that we can help advocate to the City on your behalf.


Seattle is called "The Emerald City" for a reason and updated tree protection rules are long overdue to keep true to our name. Seattle’s tree-protection and preservation regulations on private property were codified in 2001. In  2017, research by city departments determined that our regulations were not protecting trees. This work was highlighted by the Seattle Times and I agree with their recent editorial calling for City Hall to take a balanced approach, providing greater protections for trees and allowing builders to build the density Seattle needs. In December we received reassurance a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) decision would be published by the 1st of the year, and this did not occur. We will have the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) present at my committee in February to explain what happened, and we will hold a briefing on the Tree Arborist Registration bill that Councilmember Pedersen and I have sponsored.

Protecting Businesses Against Organized Crime

I facilitated a meeting for District 6 businesses and restaurants to meet with the Seattle Police Department to discuss solutions and actions we can take today to intervene in organized criminal activity in District 6. We were joined by our North Precinct Captain and the City Attorney's Office along with community leaders, business owners, and restaurant owners. This was an opportunity to come together to discuss what improvements we can collectively make to tackle the current issues impacting District 6. This workgroup will continue to meet and deliver on action items identified. It is important to note we are aware of organized criminal activity hiding behind homelessness, and for us to be successful we will need to separate these predators and intervene in organized criminal enterprises.

Street Cafés

Since June 2020, Safe Start permits have been supporting Seattle restaurants and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by making it easier for businesses to open up outdoor spaces for dining, shopping, or other uses. More than 270 businesses throughout Seattle have participated and there is an overwhelmingly positive perception of the program. I’m championing a pathway to permanence to extend the program through January 2023 to give the mayor, SDOT, and Council time to create permanent guidelines for the program that balance and meet the needs of our city. My goal is to make this well received program ongoing so we can use our outdoor spaces in new ways, adding vibrancy to our neighborhoods while supporting so many small businesses.

Ballard Avenue

Parallel to street dining's pathway to permanence is my work to reimagine Ballard Avenue, this work is being used as a model and pilot for forthcoming permanent regulations for street dining across the city. Ballard Avenue is both easy and difficult: easy because it is not a through street from Market Street to 15th/ the Ballard Bridge; and difficult because the area is the transition between Commercial/ Industrial zones, and is a historic district with diagonal streets. We have broken this work into three timelines– short-term (6 months to 2 years), interim (2 to 5 years), and long-term changes (+5 years). We are currently working to implement the short-term changes in the next few months with weekly implementation meetings. This month we have met with the Ballard Alliance, the Farmers Market Association, the North Seattle Industrial Association and a few other stakeholders to discuss changes to be implemented in the immediate future.

Advocating for Seattle at the State Level

This month I had the opportunity to testify in support of Senator Jamie Pedersen's bill that would allow voters to accelerate investments in segments of the regional light rail network. Time and time again voters in Seattle have voted to support transit investments. We believe this bill provides an opportunity for them to continue doing so.

Here is a link to my testimony on SB 5528 advocating for additional revenue options for regional transit. In Seattle, we’ve seen the immense use of new light rail stations. If you have been at the Northgate Station after a Kraken or Seahawks game, you have seen the uninterrupted line of cars pouring out of the parking garage onto I-5. It is a physical demonstration of how many "vehicle miles traveled" are reduced, and how many people to our north are using light rail to get downtown. This is just one example, multiplied over and over by connecting people to work, school, and home.

With the Ballard to West Seattle light rail line being the only line wholly within one municipality – this bill could give us the authority we need to build this line faster and prepare us for ST4 to build us the light rail network we need.

Separately, as one of my roles as your Councilmember I serve on the Association of Washington Cities Board. This work includes dull items such as serving on the Audit Committee and higher profile work as developing the legislative agenda and navigating the association's position on important policies before the legislature.

Hearing From You

Every week I meet with D6 residents to hear about issues impacting you daily. I love talking directly to D6ers, it is often the best part of my week. If you would like to meet with me, please use this form to set up a time. I meet with residents during the day and evening too. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Subscribe to My Newsletter

If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, I encourage you to sign-up for my newsletter! I send out a regular newsletter about the happenings in our district, updates from City Hall, and progress reports on the work we are doing to make life better for all of us in Seattle.

To stay up to date, sign up for my newsletter here!

Videos on My Website

Every time we have Council Briefing, I update my colleagues on issues in District 6 and the work my office is doing that week. These updates are a helpful way to follow along with my work. I also post these videos weekly on my website and social media. You can view the latest updates and past videos on my website here.
If you need assistance, please reach out to my office:
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