‘Neighborhood activist’ Murakami, pot entrepreneur Bowers join race for District 3

There are now three challengers for the Seattle City Council District 3 seat held by Kshama Sawant.

And none of them are Kshama Sawant.

Pat Murakami, defeated in her 2017 run against Lorena González for the council’s Position 9 citywide seat, and pot entrepreneur Logan Bowers have joined nonprofit director and entrepreneur Beto Yarce in the race to lead District 3 representing neighborhoods including Capitol Hill, the Central District, First Hill, and, yes, Beacon Hill. Continue reading

Should city help cover community costs of Capitol Hill Block Party weekend? — UPDATE

A group of “residents, property owners and business owners in Pike/Pine” is asking questions about the annual Capitol Hill Block Party music festival in a survey being sent around the neighborhood.

The goal, an organizer says, isn’t to cancel Block Party — but the group does want to do a better job of documenting the challenges the neighborhood around the festival sometimes faces so that the city can better plan the event and how to mitigate major issues.

“In order to start that work towards adequate mitigation, Seattle Office of Film, Music, and Special Events along with Dept. of Neighborhoods and Office of Economic Development asked if we could circulate a survey in order to get more detailed info on the types of barriers businesses, residents, employees, and property owners face over block party weekend,” local jewelry designer and project architect Rachel Ravitch, organizer of the survey, tells CHS.

You can answer the two-question, open-ended questionnaire here through December 15th. Continue reading

At Capitol Hill open house on Seattle single-family zoning, calls for big change, affordability

Representatives from the Seattle Planning Commission chose Capitol Hill to meet with community members Monday night to discuss the findings of a report that officials say shows major changes to Seattle’s single-family zoning are “necessary for the city’s future.” CHS stopped through the lobby of 12th Ave Arts to talk with people who showed up.

“Restoring the flexibility in housing types seen in Seattle’s historic residential neighborhoods is critical if the city is to achieve its goals of being a diverse, equitable and sustainable place to live,” a statement on the new “Neighborhoods for All” report reads.

Alex Broner, who says the housing issue is a personal one to him after struggling to afford it in Seattle in the past, thinks this report is a “good foundational step,” but wanted to know how the city transitions from the findings into policy that reflects the suggestions of the commission, which included encouraging more compact development on all lots.

“People whose housing is threatened or who lack housing really start falling down in terms of their ability to take care of themselves in every other way,” Broner, director of the Housing Now advocacy group, said. “It seems like something a society should be able to get its handle on, but we seem not to.”

“It’s only a first step, it’s only a foundation, we have to keep going. We need to, I think, allow these realizations to kind of liberate us from some old ways of thinking.” Continue reading

Seattle mayor executive order: Help small businesses get relief from city taxes, bureaucracy

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s week of activity marking the end of her first year in office included a Friday executive order she says was shaped by her Small Business Advisory Council to help small businesses get relief from city taxes and fees and efforts to make it easier for entrepreneurs to navigate the city’s bureaucracy.

The executive order includes three elements:

  • Direct the City Budget Office to study ways to reduce the impact of taxes and fees on small businesses, explore a possible holiday from the B&O tax, and look for others ways to support small business employees; and, Continue reading

Yarce to make 2019 run for Sawant’s City Council seat

UPDATE: Here’s a report on the Yarce announcement and our CHS interview with the candidate:

‘Beto for Seattle’ — from Capitol Hill’s little pink house to a run for City Hall

Original report: Nonprofit director and former Capitol Hill business owner Beto Yarce will challenge for the District 3 seat on the Seattle City Council representing Capitol Hill and the Central District currently held by Kshama Sawant.

Yarce’s campaign describes the candidate as an “award-winning community leader and advocate for women and community of color owned businesses” —

Entrepreneur, immigrant, and award-winning community leader Beto Yarce will announce his campaign for Seattle City Council at El Cuento Preschool on Thursday, November 29th at 11:00am.

Yarce will run for the Seattle City Council in District 3, which includes the Capitol Hill, Leschi, Central District, Madison Park, Madison Valley and Montlake neighborhoods. Yarce, making his first run for office, is the first candidate to announce they will challenge Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

Continue reading

In search of a District 3 candidate at mayor’s Capitol Hill ‘community celebration’ — UPDATE: Yarce is in

Mayor Durkan chats with Rachel’s Ginger Beer owner Rachel Marshall during Monday’s “Capitol Hill community celebration” (Image: CHS)

If there was a prospective District 3 candidate inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer on 12th Ave Monday night at the mayor’s Capitol Hill stop on her “community celebration” tour to mark her first year of office, they weren’t talking.

Neither was Mayor Jenny Durkan.

“I can’t get distracted by that,” Durkan said. “We proved this year and in the budget that Seattle gets things done when we work together.”

Ok, Mayor Durkan, but what about the lone council member who voted against your $5.9 billion budget package? Surely, you have to be thinking about District 3 in 2019.

“Every city needs different voices,” Durkan said. Alas, the mayor wasn’t on Capitol Hill Monday night to back a horse in a race for the seat currently held by Socialist Alternative leader Kshama Sawant. Continue reading

Uber, Lyft joining Lime as Seattle bike share providers

Seattle’s next era of bike share is about to begin and it will be powered, oddly enough, by competition between the two largest providers of motor vehicle “share” services.

Uber and Lyft will join existing vendor Lime with bikes for rent on the streets of Seattle with the fleets expected to ramp up by spring 2019, the Seattle Department of Transportation announced. Continue reading

One year in, what’s your Jenny Durkan Capitol Hill approval rating?

During Seattle’s annual “Kitty Hall,” Durkan faced what was *probably* the easiest decisions of her first year in office (Image: City of Seattle)

Last year around this time, newly sworn-in Mayor Jenny Durkan stopped through Capitol Hill and was met by a disruptive protest as she kicked-off her administration. It was the start of a sometimes rocky year for Mayor Durkan — and Seattle including an ugly fight over the Amazon head tax and the slogged out final miles of the police union contract. Monday, with her new $5.9 billion city budget in hand, Mayor Durkan returns to the neighborhood to start her second year with a “Capitol Hill Community Celebration,” part of a week “crisscrossing Seattle,” “listening to community members,” and attending “nearly a dozen community events and roundtables in all seven Council districts, from Northgate to West Seattle to New Holly to Ballard.”

Take the Durkan Approval Survey
View latest results

Monday’s Capitol Hill event is mostly a social calling. Taking place at 12th Ave’s Rachel’s Ginger Beer starting at 4:30 PM, the Capitol Hill gathering will be short and sweet. The mayor’s people only gave her 90 minutes to enjoy a Moscow Mule and make it through Seattle traffic to a second celebration scheduled in Ballard. If only it were the late 2030s, she could take the train. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | My day at City Hall

By Zoe Schurman

My name is Zoe Schurman, and I’m a 7th grader at Washington Middle School. Wednesday (November 14th), I went to a Seattle City Council meeting, wanting to learn about what was going on in our city. I got a real education in how government works – and how it’s not working for most of us.

I got involved in this fall’s city budget debate because I’m part of Zero Hour Seattle – part of a worldwide movement of young people fighting for climate justice. We advocate for things like free and accessible mass transit, zero-emission school buses, an end of fossil fuel dependency, and a stop to the youth jail. Like many people, I see that climate and other issues are all inter-connected. For example, if people can’t afford to live in Seattle because of the high cost of living, then they have to commute further to work and school – burning fossil fuels in the process. I came to see that here in Seattle, we need to build a lot more affordable housing in the city.   Continue reading

Seattle’s $5.9B budget is set: more SPD and firefighters, Navigation Team expansion amid tighter belts at City Hall

Seattle City Hall (Image: Seattle.gov)

The City Council Monday finalized its efforts to fill in a few blanks in Mayor Jenny Durkan’s 2019-2020 Seattle budget, her administration’s first budget and, most likely, one of the few municipal $5.9 billion budgets in the world to get slapped with the “austerity” label.

“The goals of inclusion and economic opportunity have guided us for these past 12 months, and this approved budget invests in these promises and commitments and shows we can live within our means,” Durkan said in a statement following Monday’s 8-1 votes approving the 2019 and 2020 budgets. “From giving Seattle’s young people free ORCA and a passport to their city, to urgent action on homelessness, to protecting our immigrant and refugee neighbors, we’re continuing to build a more inclusive Seattle with true economic opportunity.”

“Using this budget as our guide, we must continue to be stewards of taxpayer dollars and invest in a more affordable, inclusive and vibrant future for all who call Seattle home,” Durkan said Monday.

District 3’s Kshama Sawant, representing Capitol Hill, the Central District, and nearby neighborhoods, was the sole vote in opposition to the spending package and called the process at City Hall business as usual for the “establishment” council and mayor.” Continue reading