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Dear Neighbor, 

This weekend the City Council will begin its two-week holiday recess. While there will not be any Council meetings during this time, my office will still be open, except for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. As always, I am happy to take phone calls from constituents who want to discuss issues facing the city and more specifically District 7.

Schedule a call with me
Since this will be my last newsletter of 2021, here are some updates on what is going on in District 7. Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter and engaging with me this year as I work to serve you and our neighbors. 

Celebrating tiny houses in Interbay 

Today I was proud to join residents and neighbors in celebrating the recent expansion of the tiny house village located on Port of Seattle property on 15th Ave W. This expansion added 30 additional tiny houses to the site, which can now serve up to 90 formerly unsheltered individuals and couples. The village has also added a second hygiene facility and a second common kitchen. 

These volunteer-built houses are effective, desirable shelter options for people as they transition from living on the street into permanent housing. As the City and County respond to our regions dire affordable housing shortage, it is imperative that we offer people better options than tents while they wait. 

Activating vacant Downtown storefronts 

The Office of Economic Development is helping to re-activate Downtown Seattle and bring vacant storefronts to life! The “Seattle Restored” program will fund at least 25 space activations from December 2021 through April 2022, providing flexible short-term activations that run for two to four months each.    

The activations consist of a $2,500 grant in working capital to small businesses and artists to facilitate pop-up shops and art instillations. In addition to the economic benefits to the businesses and artists, these instillations will bring social and cultural benefits to the neighborhood by creating vibrant and engaging streetscapes, and encouraging the public to visit Downtown.  

Furthermore, the City will offer a wide range of complementary supports to program participants, such as commercial space development, marketing strategy development and execution, technical assistance, and connecting businesses to additional working capital. Through Seattle Restored, property owners will build relationships with new tenants, while small businesses and artists will have the ability to stabilize in pop-up spaces in prime commercial locations, explore new opportunities in the downtown market, and connect to technical assistance for their long-term recovery and growth.  

Energy code parity and fewer greenhouse gases  

This month I sponsored and passed Council Bill (CB) 120239, which updates Seattle’s 2018 Energy Code requirements. That legislation required that central water heating in new, large multifamily buildings and hotels utilize heat pump water heaters rather than gas or electric water heaters. This legislation represents an important and necessary step toward aligning our city's energy code with the City's urgent climate commitment to limiting greenhouse gases. While we know abating our climate crisis will take global action, it is important to remember the broad impact that changes such as this can make, knowing that 37% of Seattle's emissions come from buildings alone. 

This legislation takes a bold step in reducing this sector of our emissions footprint, extending the requirements to most new commercial buildings and ensuring that we incorporate these best practices to older buildings when substantially renovated. 

Regards,
Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis
Seattle City Council // District 7
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