Sawant to chair City Council’s new committee dedicated to homelessness services, renters rights

Seattle City Council fans, grab your popcorn. The new committee assignments are out and you’ll be seeing some familiar faces in new roles in council business in 2018.

District 3 representative Kshama Sawant will start the third year of her four-year term with a new assignment for the council as chair of the newly formed Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights Committee. The HSEDRR will “work on issues relating to services provided by the Human Services Department, including programs that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community.” Sawant’s new committee will also consider “matters involving public health” and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) as well as renter rights, “including but not limited to legislation intended to protect renters facing gentrification, economic evictions, excessive background checks, and unaffordable rent.

In a crucial but challenging role, Sally Bagshaw will step into the council’s budget chair. Bruce Harrell, meanwhile, has been voted to continue serving as the body’s president.

City Hall’s full details on the committee assignments are below.

Council Sets 2018-19 Committee Assignments

Seattle – The Seattle City Council today adopted Resolution 31789 establishing committee assignments for 2018 and 2019. Each Councilmember is responsible for chairing a Councilcommittee and managing legislation related to the committee’s respective subjects. In addition, each Councilmember serves as vice chair, member and alternate on three additional committees.

Councilmembers elected Council President Harrell to continue serving as Council President. The Council President is the presiding officer of the Council, sets the Full Council agenda, assigns legislation to committees and is the primary point of contact for external agencies. When the Mayor is absent from the city or incapacitated, the Council President assumes the duties and responsibilities of the Mayor.

“I’m honored to work alongside some of the most dedicated and compassionate people I’ve ever known,” said Council President Bruce Harrell. “I’m thankful for my colleague’s confidence in electing me to my second term as Council President. Together, as a team, we will continue to work side by side to address the challenges facing Seattle, such as homelessness and affordability, and ensure Seattle is an equitable place for all.”

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (District 7, Pioneer Square to Magnolia) will chair the Finance and Neighborhoods Committee. The committee will be responsible for reviewing the City’s financial management policies and will also focus on Seattle neighborhoods, building strong communities through outreach and engagement. Councilmember Bagshaw will also chair the Budget Committee, overseeing the review of the Mayor’s proposed budget.

Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) will chair the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans, and Education Committee. As chair, Councilmember González will consider policies to address gender inequality and help improve the lives of Seattle’s immigrant and refugee residents. The committee will also focus on public safety, including emergency preparedness and the provision of fire and emergency medical services, to foster safe and resilient communities.  Councilmember González’s committee will also continue its work to improve police accountability systems and ongoing police reform, reducing crime and violence and reforming the criminal justice system. New to Councilmember González’s committee are policies related to education. The committee will work on issues relating to education and early learning initiatives, Seattle Public Schools, improving student outcomes, and reducing the opportunity gap.

Council President Bruce Harrell (District 2, South Seattle) will chair the Governance, Equity, and Technology Committee. The committee will work on issues relating to technology, intergovernmental relations, regional legislative priorities, ethics and elections, and equity issues in the taxi, transportation network companies, and for-hire industry. As chair, CouncilPresident Harrell will also focus on issues relating to youth justice, alternatives to youth detention, and alternative options to youth incarceration.

Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park) will continue chairing the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee. Councilmember Herbold’s committee will manage issues relating to civil rights and Seattle Public Utilities. As chair, Councilmember Herbold will also consider economic development policies, including small business development and support, workforce development, and improving access and opportunities to education and training for low- and middle-income workers, youth and communities of color. The committee will also manage issues relating to arts and culture in Seattle, which includes nightlife issues.

Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle) will continue chairing the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Johnson will take up issues involving city zoning, community planning, design guidelines, major institutions, quasi-judicial decisions, community development, and land use regulations.

Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) will chair the Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native Communities Committee. As chair, Councilmember Juarez will focus on issues relating to City parks, community centers, the Office of the Waterfront, the Seattle Public Library system, and public grounds, including the Seattle Center. The committee will also bring attention to Native American issues, including housing affordability, health and mental health services, services for youth, access to justice, art and culture, and historic preservation.

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) will chair the new Housing, Health, Energy, and Workers’ Rights Committee. Councilmember Mosqueda’s committee will focus on housing policies and programs, investing in and promoting the development and preservation of affordable housing for workers, families, and retirees. The committee will also handle policies relating to Seattle’s energy usage, utility rates, and Seattle City Light finances. The committee will attend to matters of public health, including a Regional Health Plan and take the lead on issues relating to the Office of Labor Standards, especially workers’ rights.

Councilmember Mike O’Brien (District 6, Northwest Seattle) will continue chairing the Sustainability and Transportation Committee. Councilmember O’Brien’s committee will handle matters pertaining to city-wide and regional transportation policy and planning. These issues range from pedestrian and bicycle programs, traffic control and parking policies, and overseeing the City’s coordination with regional and state departments of transportation. The committee will also have a shared-focus on Seattle’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions. In addition, Councilmember O’Brien will take up matters that relate to climate and environmental protections, conservation programs, and green infrastructure.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) will chair the new Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights Committee. Councilmember Sawant will oversee Council’s work on issues relating to services provided by the Human Services Department, including programs that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community. The committee will also consider matters involving public health and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), which allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services. The committee will also focus on renter rights, including but not limited to legislation intended to protect renters facing gentrification, economic evictions, excessive background checks, and unaffordable rent. 

Standing CommitteeCommittee MembersCommittee Meeting Days and Times*
Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native CommunitiesChair:  Debora Juarez

Vice-Chair:  Sally Bagshaw

Member:  Lorena González

Alternate:  Kshama Sawant

1st and 3rd Wednesdays

2 p.m.

Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and ArtsChair:  Lisa Herbold

Vice-Chair:  Kshama Sawant

Member:  Mike O’Brien

Alternate:  Rob Johnson

2nd and 4th Tuesdays

9:30 a.m.

Finance and NeighborhoodsChair:  Sally Bagshaw

Vice-Chair:  Lorena González

Member:  Bruce Harrell

Alternate:  Mike O’Brien

2nd and 4th Wednesdays

2 p.m.

 

Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans, and EducationChair:  Lorena González

Vice-Chair:  Teresa Mosqueda

Member:  Rob Johnson

Alternate:  Debora Juarez

2nd and 4th Wednesdays

9:30 a.m.

Governance, Equity, and TechnologyChair:  Bruce Harrell

Vice-Chair:  Lisa Herbold

Member:  Teresa Mosqueda

Alternate:  Sally Bagshaw

1st and 3rd Tuesdays

9:30 a.m.

Housing, Health, Energy, and Workers’ RightsChair:  Teresa Mosqueda

Vice-Chair:  Debora Juarez

Member:  Sally Bagshaw

Alternate:  Lisa Herbold

1st and 3rd Thursdays

9:30 a.m.

Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter RightsChair:  Kshama Sawant

Vice-Chair:  Bruce Harrell

Member:  Debora Juarez

Alternate:  Teresa Mosqueda

2nd and 4th Tuesdays

2 p.m.

Planning, Land Use and ZoningChair:  Rob Johnson

Vice-Chair:  Mike O’Brien

Member:  Lisa Herbold

Alternate:  Lorena González

1st and 3rd Wednesdays

9:30 a.m.

Sustainability and TransportationChair:  Mike O’Brien

Vice-Chair:  Rob Johnson

Member:  Kshama Sawant

Alternate:  Bruce Harrell

1st and 3rd Tuesdays

2 p.m.

             

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