The Seattle City Council doubled down on its plans for how best to spend $6 million in Sweetened Beverage Tax revenue Monday, voting to ignore Mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of the legislation.
Only interim Council member Abel Pacheco, downtown rep Sally Bagshaw, and North Seattle rep Debora Juarez sided with the mayor Monday.
CHS reported on the fight over funding scraps for health and food programs as the mayor attempted to focus the tax revenue on a smaller set of existing resources vs. creating new, often progressive programs.
The tax on sugary beverages was originally earmarked for creating new programs related to “healthy food and beverage access, birth-to-three services and kindergarten readiness, a public awareness campaign about sugary drinks, support for people actively living with obesity and diabetes, community-based programs to support good nutrition and physical activity and evaluation support for those programs.” With Monday’s veto-killing vote, the council’s plan for new programs can again try to move forward.
Meanwhile, Monday’s full City Council action also included approval of Seattle’s Green New Deal resolution. Durkan’s response to the approval was much friendlier than the sugary beverage tax situation. In a statement, the mayor applauded the vote and said she was “committed to expediting climate action” by issuing an Executive Order directing City departments to “evaluate how they can accelerate their action items under the City’s Climate Action Plan, and how Seattle can best meet the goals of the Green New Deal.” The final resolution can be found here.