City Council overcomes mayor’s veto on Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax revenue plan

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.

City Council to vote on Seattle’s Green New Deal resolution

Monday afternoon’s last full City Council before the body’s summer break will include a vote on a resolution setting the terms of Seattle’s “Green New Deal.”

The Seattle resolution (PDF), part of a nationwide movement to address climate change and the continued reliance on fossil fuel, encourages a catch-all roster of Green initiatives including: “Building efficiency, Transportation , Housing affordability, Renewable energy, Climate, preparedness and emergency management,” and “Job training.”

The resolution will only set the stage for future legislation but it is being embraced by City Council members including Kshama Sawant. “Avoiding climate catastrophe will take a rapid shift away from fossil fuels,” a Sawant campaign statement on the Green New Deal reads. “We will need to bring the big U.S. energy corporations into democratic public ownership and retool them for clean energy.”

“The full draft of the Seattle resolution is below. Continue reading

‘Left-turn Signals at Broadway & John’ only D3 project to survive crowd-sourced Street Fund process

Cut from an earlier plan to improve the corridor for pedestrian, bicycling, motor vehicle, and public transit travel, one of the more challenging intersections on Broadway is lined up to finally get left-turn signals — eventually.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has released the final roster of projects approved this week as part of the crowd-sourced 2019 Neighborhood Street Fund process, an annual series of online voting and community meetings that allocates funding to projects identified by citizens and often including efforts with relatively significant budgets of $100,000 or more. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Turn right on E Barbara Bailey Way

If you are meeting friends at the southern entrance of Capitol Hill Station near Cal Anderson, you’ll now want to tell your phone to head to E Barbara Bailey Way. The new street name to honor the longtime Broadway business owner is now official after a Tuesday afternoon ceremony attended by Mayor Jenny Durkan and city officials.

Calling Bailey and “LGBTQ+ activist civil rights champion,” Durkan announced the plan to honor the founder of the long gone but not forgotten Bailey/Coy book shop earlier this summer. Bailey passed way last September at the age of 74.

The new street name replaces a stretch of E Denny Way that was updated as a “festival street” appropriate for closure for festivals and events near the light rail station.  The festival street was designed as both a one-way traffic route above the center of the underground Capitol Hill Station facility and through the development, plaza, and the AIDS Memorial Pathway that will open at the site in 2020. Continue reading

Mayor Durkan’s $143M ‘Mercer Mega Block’ deal: Tons of new development, some affordable housing, and a new South Lake Union community center

Mayor Jenny Durkan has a $143 million deal in place that will create 175 affordable apartments and a new 30,000-square-foot community center as part of a massive sale of city property in South Lake Union:

Mayor Durkan has transmitted legislation to the City Council to move ahead on the agreement with potential buyer Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.,  the first and longest-tenured which owner, operator, and developer of collaborative life sciences campuses in key urban innovation clusters. Alexandria has supported the Seattle life science cluster for more than 20 years with a number of notable office/laboratory properties, including the Lake Union Steam Plant at 1201 Eastlake Avenue East, the Juno Building at 400 Dexter Avenue North, and its most recently completed development at 188 East Blaine Street.

The nearly $300 million in public benefits that the City of Seattle would receive from Alexandria include: Continue reading

District 3’s Primary Election Night parties, from 12th Ave to Madrona

The qualifying round in Seattle’s most expensive and hotly contested City Council race is finally nearing the finish line and District 3’s candidates are ready to celebrate — or commiserate — with you. Here’s a look at the Election Night events planned by D3 candidates around the district. Come out and join CHS and your neighbors for a night of democratic good times — and the first ballot drop around 8 PM. Still need to vote? You have until 8 PM to either find your nearest ballot box or have your ballot post marked.

District 3 Primary Election Night Parties

  • Sawant (incumbent): Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute — 104 17th Ave S — 6 to 10 PM. Info
  • Bowers: Chuck’s — 2001 E Union — 7 to 10 PM. Info
  • DeWolf: Marjorie: 1412 E Union — 7 to 9 PM. Info
  • Murakami: Madrona Arms — 1138 34th Ave
  • Nguyen: Seattle Fish Guys —  411 -23rd Ave S — 7 to 9 PM — Info
  • Orion: Rachel’s Ginger Beer — 1610 12th Ave — 7 to 9 PM — Info

Still need to vote? If you are the kind of voter who chooses your candidate based on party location, here you go. If not, check out CHS’s Election 2019 coverage, below. Continue reading

New legislation will allow Seattle DNA kits to finally be tested

New legislation would allow Seattle to upload data from hundreds of DNA kits collected in sex-based and domestic violence convictions in the city to the federal Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, a move officials say will help identify suspects in sex crimes across the country.

“This legislation I’m introducing in partnership with Pete Holmes is about fulfilling our obligation to do everything possible to get closure for victims. With this action, we can help add to the body of evidence behind unsolved crimes against people,” Seattle City Council member Lorena González said in a statement on the introduction of her new legislation. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Umoja Fest parade marches from 23rd and Union

Over the weekend, CHS reported on Wa Na Wari, a single-family style home just blocks from the multitude of change going on around 23rd and Union that has been turned into a center for community and the arts in celebration of Black culture and history in the Central District.

Saturday, a tradition in the Central Area since the 1940s returned to the neighborhood with the annual Umoja Fest Parade marching from 23rd and Union to Judkins Park.  Continue reading

What candidates have to say about safe streets and transportation investments around District 3

(Image: SDOT

If Monday morning’s CHS post on collisions around Capitol Hill, the Central District, and First Hill and the city’s difficulty in making headway on Vision Zero goals got you worked up about street safety — and you still haven’t cast your August Primary ballot which is due Tuesday, August 6th by 8 PM! — here’s a quick look at the District 3 candidates’ answers about safe streets and car dependence from our CHS Reader D3 Candidate Survey.

We asked each candidate for an overview of their plan to support safe streets and also which areas of D3 transportation infrastructure they feel is most in need of investment. You can also check out the full candidate survey answers on a variety of Central Seattle-focused topics.

Meanwhile, readers who responded to our CHS D3 Primary Poll who indicated they considered “transportation” as a “very important” factor in choosing their candidate, were mostly likely to have said they were supporting Sawant or Orion — also the top vote getters among the full group of respondents. What candidate gains the most support when focusing just on Transportation? That would be Bowers who ranks third after Sawant and Orion among the “very important” transportation respondents. The small percentage of voters who considered transportation to be less than “important” in their decision? They also support Orion and his competitor Murakami.

More survey results here. Answers from the candidates on transit and transportation issues, below.

What is your plan to support safe streets and continue to reduce car dependence in our district? Continue reading