Trouble seeing the message? View this email in your browser.

Dear Neighbor,

As the City Council’s budget deliberations progress, I am sending this update to share with you the comprehensive list of amendments that I have proposed to the City budget. These amendments cover my top priorities of investing in vibrant public spaces, responding to the crisis of homelessness, and improving our behavioral health response system. They also address pressing needs in District 6 and ensure adequate funding to important government functions. 

This newsletter contains some of the information sent in the previous two newsletters which have focused on the homelessness and public spaces parts of the budget. I am spotlighting these sections of the budget because there are many budget items included in the transmitted budget, and items I have worked with colleagues as co-sponsors. This newsletter is focusing on the budget amendments I have brought forward as a prime sponsor. 

Later this week, the Chair of the Select Budget Committee, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, will unveil her proposed budget, which will then serve as the starting point for any future discussions. The amendments below are things to watch for in that package. Councilmembers will have an additional opportunity to propose amending the Chair’s budget to include any priorities that were left out, but those proposals will have to pay for themselves by either raising revenue or cutting other spending. 


My Budget Amendments

Homelessness and Human Services:

Mobile Crisis Team: My top priority for this year is providing citywide, 24/7 mental health responders to address the full scale of the crisis unfolding on our streets. To do this, I am proposing to dramatically scale-up the Mobile Crisis Team and Behavioral Health Response Teams, while also opening a second crisis stabilization center in Seattle. My proposal would provide $7.8 million to expand both teams to the level that would allow for around the clock responses to individuals in crisis anywhere in Seattle, while the new crisis stabilization center will provide places for people in acute crisis to go. 

Vehicle Residency Outreach and Safe Lot Expansion: The Vehicle Residency Outreach Team, formerly known as the Scofflaw Mitigation Team, works with people living in vehicles to connect them to services including shelter and housing, help people regain stability, and ensure they have current tabs, driver’s licenses, and access to repairs. Safe Lots complement this work by providing a temporary, safe parking location for people living in their vehicles. This reduces the number of vehicles on public streets, while also providing a safe environment where people can be connected with services. The Mayor’s Proposed Budget ends funding for these vital programs. I am proposing $770,000 to maintain and expand their work. 

Urban Rest Stop Expansion: The Urban Rest Stop is a hygiene center with free restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities for people experiencing homelessness. My $212,000 amendment will expand the hours of the Urban Rest Stop’s Ballard Location and provide administrative support to the downtown location. Based on past usage, expanding the hours in Ballard will allow for 10,000 more showers, 1,000 more loads of laundry, and another 500-600 people served. 

District 6 Homelessness Outreach: Last year, I secured funding for two District 6 based homelessness outreach workers, who work with homeless individuals to meet their needs and connect them with housing and services. I am proposing $250,000 to hire two additional outreach workers specific to District 6 as the homelessness crisis worsened in our district in the last year. 

Seattle Conservation Corps: The Seattle Conservation Corps is a program that provides employment in “green jobs” to people experiencing homelessness. This program provides people exiting homelessness a job, with case managers who help them secure permanent employment once they graduate from the Seattle Conservation Corps. As the program ramps back up after being significantly impacted by COVID-19, I am proposing to add one employee to identify future expansion opportunities for the program after it returns to full scale. 

Food Bank Support: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing meaningful investments in food access and security has been a key priority of mine. This amendment would add $5.8 million of funding to our food banks, including $2.5 million for staffing and compensation, $1 million to increase purchasing power, $2 million for food bank infrastructure, and $300,000 for food banks that have not received City support before. 

Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Hot Meal Program Expansion: The PNA’s Hot Meal Program is so much more than community dining, providing a safe environment for people to feel cared for, deserving, and a part of the neighborhood. This amendment would use $175,000 to expand the Hot Meal Program to operate five days-a-week rather than three, to expand wrap-around services like free medical and dental clinics, and to hire two more staff members. 

Rental Assistance: This amendment would add $800,000 to provide community-based rental assistance through Neighborhood Helplines and Community Connectors. With eviction moratoriums and other protections lifting, providing rental assistance will help us avoid a serious eviction crisis and stop more families from falling into homelessness.

Vibrant Public Spaces:

Mural at the 63rd Street Underpass: The beautiful mural on 63rd Street under the Aurora Ave underpass has been badly defaced over the past year. For community members who worked to make this mural a reality in 1997, it has been painful to watch. This amendment would add $50,000 to restore the mural. 

Tree Protection Staff: As we await a new, stronger tree protection ordinance, I am proposing to hire two additional arborists in the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection to immediately enhance the City’s ability to enforce the tree code and review permit applications to ensure compliance with tree protections. While the bigger changes we need will come with a new ordinance, we can start by adequately enforcing the laws we currently have. 

Farmers Market Support Staff: After working with our community farmers markets to help them restart during COVID-19, I saw how difficult it could be for the markets that we love to navigate complex City bureaucracy and permitting processes. This amendment would add a City employee who would be a point of contact for farmers markets and help them navigate the City. 

Green Lake Boathouse: The Green Lake Boathouse, or Small Craft Center, is in serious need of replacement. The current facility is not ADA-accessible, does not meet seismic safety requirements, lacks proper ventilation and lighting, and is too small for its current usage. A community-led replacement project has been fundraising for years and is on the verge of securing the funding needed to begin construction. I proposed $250,000 to ensure we can fully fund this project, and I am working with the project’s leaders to understand if this additional funding is necessary. 

Ballard Commons Playground: The Ballard Alliance previously received City funding to complete public engagement and the conceptual design of a playground at Ballard Commons Park. That work was completed in 2019, but the playground itself was never been funded. While the pandemic stalled this plan, now is our opportunity to build back better. This amendment would add $1 million to install a playground at Ballard Commons. 

Parks Remediation: The Proposed Budget already includes $2 million for remediation efforts in City parks, including things like re-planting, re-seeding grass, repairing lighting and irrigation systems, and conducting soil remediation. I am proposing to add an additional $1 million to this effort, so that the City can cover all our parks and complete this work. 

Leary Triangle Dog Park: I have worked with community members around the Leary Triangle since last year to come up with a vision for how we can better activate this public space. The leading idea has been a dog park, as well as potentially a skate park and food-truck corral, which would create a “entryway” to our brewing district. This amendment would add $430,000 to establish a dog park. 

Adaptive Cycling Center: Outdoors for All’s Adaptive Cycling Center in Magnuson Park rents (for free!) adaptive cycles of various kinds to provide mobility and recreation opportunities for people with disabilities or limited mobility. I am proposing $25,000 to expand this service, either by offering rentals for two additional months of the year, or by expanding to seven days-a-week. 

Ballard Avenue Redesign: The embrace of outdoor dining and café streets has been one of the rare bright spots over the past two years. When the pandemic began, I worked to bring a café street to Ballard Avenue, and for the past year I have turned my focus to establishing a pathway to permanency for outdoor dining. One aspect of this work is redesigning Ballard Avenue to demonstrate what a permanent outdoor dining street would look like. Following the design charette I hosted with community members earlier this year, I am looking to secure $270,000 to fund a 30% design based on the recommendations of that charette.

More in District 6:

Streetlights on NW 48th Street: The block of NW 48th Street between 6th Ave NW and 8th Ave NW does not currently have streetlights. I am proposing $160,000 to add streetlights to this block, including to the alleyways to the north and south. This request is a product of a neighbor meeting with me during D6 Office Hours.  

Supporting Museums: The federal governments primary relief program for museums only provided support to institutions that included fixed-seating, such as a fixed-seat theater. Many museums, like our very own National Nordic Museum, lack fixed-seat venues, leaving them without federal aid in a perilous time. I have proposed adding $2 million to provide financial support to struggling museums who were not eligible for this federal aid. 

Ballard Boys and Girls Club Roof: Ballard is home to the largest Boys and Girls Club facility in Seattle, which serves 250 kids per day in grades pre-k through 12. The roof of their facility partially collapsed into the building earlier this year, specifically falling into the bathroom facilities. I am proposing to provide $300,000 to assist in the repair and replacement of this roof.

Good Governance: 

Water Safety Study: This amendment would add $200,000 for an third-party, independent consultant to conduct an analysis of the staffing and capacity required to ensure safety on our water ways. We have seen increased recreational usage of our water recently, and this study will establish a baseline level of service the City should provide by comparing our practices to other waterfront cities’ staffing levels. 

Lifeguards and Parks Employees on Boats: In addition to studying the staffing levels needed to ensure safety on the water, I also want to take action right away to get more resources on the water. I’ve proposed two approaches to doing this, either hiring lifeguards who could work from boats, or hiring Parks employees who could similarly work from boats to provide more eyes on the water and respond to people in distress at our parks.  

Two Animal Shelter Employees: I have proposed to fund two positions at the Seattle Animal Shelter, with a cost of $227,000. One position would be a full-time, permanent behaviorist, which is currently a temporary role. The behaviorist works with animals to improve behavior, facilitate adoptions, and works with adopters to reduce the number of animals who are returned to the shelter. This amendment would also restore the Foster Care Manager position to professionalize a role currently being done by volunteers. 

Permit Review Staff: Seattle’s permitting system is under resourced, leading to long delays to obtain permits for everything from simple remodels to constructing affordable housing. Many of the worst bottlenecks in the permitting process are from reviews that occur outside the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. This amendment would provide those review desks, such as the Fire Marshall’s Office and Seattle City Light, the ability to increase staff levels when more permit applications and revenue are received and would provide a one-time infusion of funding to address the permit backlog next year. 

Permitting Consultant Report: In addition to expanding the ability to hire permit review staff, I am also proposing to fund an independent consultant report to evaluate our permitting process, compare our review times to peer jurisdictions for various types of projects, and make recommendations for improvements. 

Design Review Report: Design Review is one aspect of the permitting process that I believe needs particular attention. We hear many complaints about the current design review program, including that it can be used to slow development unnecessarily, and at the same time, that it lacks the teeth to make the real impact it is intended to have. This amendment would ask City departments to evaluate outcomes from the Design Review program and recommend solutions that could make the program more equitable and effective. 

Rental Housing Market Study: Seattle’s housing market has evolved quickly in recent years, and we need to understand the ways it is changing in order to make good policy for tenants and landlords alike. The City used to rely on a firm called Dupree & Scott for data about the rental housing market, but that firm has closed. This amendment would add $200,000 to hire a consultant to analyze the current rental market and how it has changed over time. 

Comprehensive Plan Major Update Outreach and Environmental Analysis: In 2024 the City of Seattle will update its Comprehensive Plan, which is a long-term vision for how Seattle grows. This will be our community’s best chance to shape the future of our city, so it is important that we get it right. My amendment would add $745,000 to improve the City’s outreach efforts and environmental analysis that will inform the Comprehensive Plan update. These resources will allow for a more robust, citywide conversation about our future growth, and provide funding for an inventory of the historic resources that we should preserve. 

Regional Growth Center Planning: By 2025 the City is also required to update our plans for six regionally designated urban growth centers, which include Downtown, First Hill/Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, the University District, and Uptown. As the Chair of the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee, I have proposed adding $300,000 to fully fund this effort. 

Two Opportunities to Make Your Voice Heard: Town Hall and Public Hearing

As a reminder, I am hosting a Town Hall tonight, beginning at 5:30pm. I will be joined by guest speakers from the City Budget Office, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, King County's Department of Community and Human Services, and the Downtown Emergency Services Center. RSVP to join us here!

In addition to my Town Hall tonight, there will be a public hearing on the budget tomorrow, Wednesday, November 10th. The public comment sign-up sheet opens at 3:30. Please join - it’s crucial for us to hear from the public as we build the 2022 budget.

As I have all year, I will continue meeting with District 6 residents and stakeholders to ensure that my budget work reflects your priorities as a district, and that we build a budget that works for you. If you would like to meet with me directly, please sign up here.

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 Monday morning, I update the City Council on issues in District 6 and the work my office is doing that week. These updates are a helpful way to follow along with our 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:
Copyright © 2021 Seattle City Council, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list