City Council Notes | Jayapal endorses Sawant for District 3, Pre-K implementation plan, Council weighs in on U.S. Pacific trade deal

Jayapal celebrates on last November's Election Night (Image: Pramila for State Senate)

Jayapal celebrates on last November’s Election Night (Image: Pramila for State Senate)

Here’s a look at this week’s Capitol Hill-centric highlights from the City Council’s chambers:

  • On Monday, State Sen. Pramila Jayapal announced her endorsement for City Council member Kshama Sawant, who’s running for the Capitol Hill-centered District 3 position this year. In a statement, Jayapal underscored Sawant’s ability to work collaboratively as the three other District 3 candidates have dinged Sawant in various ways for being too adversarial:

“I was proud to work with Kshama to fight for a $15 minimum wage. She combines a principled approach, a willingness to listen, and the ability to move critical legislation that affects our most vulnerable communities,” Jayapal said.

Jayapal is backing a measure in the senate to raise the statewide minimum wage to $12 an hour over four years. She represents the 37th District, which includes Central Area neighborhoods south of Madison St. down to Renton and overlaps with part of Council District 3.

  • Mayor Ed Murray has said that implementing a universal pre-K program in Seattle would be the most important thing he’ll ever do as mayor. Earlier this month the mayor submitted that pre-K plan to Council, where it’s up for a public hearing this week. Last year, voters approved a 4-year levy to offer free pre-K schooling to a quarter of Seattle’s 3- and- 4-year-olds and make subsidies available for the rest. Included in the implementation plan up for consideration is a sliding fee schedule that offers free pre-school for those at or below 300% of the federal poverty line. Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 7.45.23 PMThe Wednesday meeting of the Council’s education committee will feature a presentation by researchers from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as a panel of pre-K experts that will include Dr. Debra Sullivan of Seattle Central College.
  • The City Librarian will present the annual library levy report to city council members on Tuesday. Part of a $2.5 million maintenance budget included safety improvements made to the Captiol Hill branch.
  • Now and then some City Council members like to use their position to weigh in on international issues (remember last year’s flare-up over Sawant’s letter on Gaza?). Council member Mike O’Brien has put forth a resolution to state the council’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement President Barack Obama is quietly hammering out with 11 other Pacific nations. Among the many reasons laid out in the resolution to oppose the TPP, one section argues that the TPP “threatens Seattle’s work force by forcing the U.S to waive ‘Buy American’ or ‘Buy Local’ requirements.” Council members will discuss the resolution during Thursday’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee meeting.
Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

4 thoughts on “City Council Notes | Jayapal endorses Sawant for District 3, Pre-K implementation plan, Council weighs in on U.S. Pacific trade deal

  1. I certainly support universal pre-K, but of course the devil is in the financial details. To offer it free to those families below 300% (!) of poverty level seems awfully generous.

  2. I see the SEIU mafia is all standing together. If district 3 elects Sawant no one who actually lives there will see any gain out of it for the community. Unless of course you are itching to go build buses at Boeing once she takes it over.

  3. This expensive pilot program is not universal prek. It only offers free services to a small number of the kids who need it. I imagine the mayor will have to come back to the voters for more money after this 4 year funding is spent.

  4. Pingback: Seattle’s minimum wage law goes into effect — but, first, a Capitol Hill victory lap | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle