Capitol Hill Community Post | Public comment period opening for technologies subject to city’s surveillance ordinance

From the Seattle Information Technology Department

The City of Seattle will hold a series of five public meetings and ask for public comment regarding an initial six of the 29 technologies that meet the City’s definition of a surveillance, as defined in the City’s Surveillance Ordinance (ORD # 125376), which went into effect on September 1, 2017. The meetings will feature a short presentation on the technologies and then attendees will break down into small group discussions. As required under the legislation, the public comment period for these technologies opened on Monday, October 8 and will run through Monday, November 5. The schedule and location of these public meetings is listed below. The West Seattle location, which is highlighted, has been moved to the American Legion Post 160 of West Seattle (West Seattle Legion Hall) on Alaska Street.

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To boost the Seattle dream of an electric car in every affordable garage, public charging stations being added across city, including one on Capitol Hill

(Image: Seattle.gov)

Elon Musk wouldn’t be pleased with the delivery timeline but Capitol Hill is lined up to host one of the city’s 20 planned public electric car chargers hoped to, um, jumpstart the adoption of electric vehicles in Seattle and make the automobiles more accessible.

Seattle City Light is making plans to install 18 more of the DC Fast Chargers for electric vehicles at 10 to 15 curbside and off-street locations across the city one of which will be located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

“We feel that as a public utility we have a responsibility to our ratepayers to invest in and implement solutions that support sustainability,” Jenny Levesque, community outreach manager for Seattle City Light, said at Monday’s Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council meeting. Continue reading

What’s inside Seattle’s tentative deal with its police union

Mayor Jenny Durkan and city officials say the new proposed contract with its more than 1,300 Seattle Police personnel sets the department fully on a path of reform including:

  • Full implementation of body worn cameras by front line officers;
  • Management improvements in transfers and performance evaluations;
  • Improvements and clarity for the 180 timeline for investigations of police complaints;
  • Civilianization of OPA supervisor positions and a HR leadership role in SPD; 
  • Office of the Inspector General provided full and unfettered access to fulfill duties under the accountability; and 
  • The Guild will withdraw several pending Unfair Labor Practice claims.

The mayor sent the proposed six-year, 96-page contract (PDF) with Seattle Police Officers’ Guild to the Seattle City Council for approval Monday. CHS reported in September on the union’s approval of the deal that includes solid raises while also tying further reforms to the package. Continue reading

Sawant and the People’s Budget rallies for increased funding for affordable housing, shelters

Socialist Alternative Party community organizer Kailyn Nicholson introduces Council member Kshama Sawant as the first speaker at the People’s Budget 2018 at Seattle City Hall, Saturday, October 6, 2018. This was Sawant’s fifth year hosting the People’s Budget. (Image: Ryan Phelan)

By Ryan Phelan, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

Concerns for affordable housing, homeless shelters, tenants rights, workplace protections and Indigenous Peoples Day stoked criticism of the mayor’s proposed budget at the People’s Budget rally hosted by District 3 representative Kshama Sawant on Saturday.

“This budget that Mayor Durkan has proposed this year is not even a business as usual budget,” said Kailyn Nicholson, a community organizer for Socialist Alternative, Sawant’s political party. “This budget is even worse than that. This budget is flat out regressive.”

The People’s Budget, hosted at City Hall, is a political movement that rallies yearly for progressive change in the proposed Seattle budget. Several speakers and attendees focused on affordable housing initiatives. Less than 1% of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s proposed budget is allocated for affordable housing, Sawant said. Continue reading

Seattle City Council endorses I-1631 state carbon tax

(Image: CHS)

Global climate change experts said Monday we have only a matter of years to reverse environmental damage or be doomed to living on a dying planet.

One path to doing our part on the needed correction on global warning is a carbon tax.

Monday afternoon, the Seattle City Council approved a resolution endorsing Washington’s I-1631, an initiative to require the largest polluters in the state to pay $15 — and, eventually, more — for every ton of carbon dioxide their corporations release into the atmosphere:

A RESOLUTION endorsing “Clean Air Clean Energy” Initiative 1631, a statewide initiative to the people that would charge pollution fees on the largest corporate polluters and use the revenue to invest in healthy communities, clean our air and water, promote clean energy, and slow down the impacts of climate change – all under oversight of a public board.

The state estimates the initiative would raise more than $2 billion to combat climate change in its first five years and $1 billion annually starting in 2023. Continue reading

In midst of $5.9B Seattle budget process, proponents hope $100k+ needed for Capitol Hill homelessness outreach doesn’t get lost in the shuffle

With the Seattle budget process fully in motion, a coalition of groups representing three central city neighborhoods including Capitol Hill is working the phones and inboxes at City Hall to increase funding for homelessness outreach spending to help people living on the street in areas like Broadway and Pike/Pine get services and, hopefully, a safe place to find shelter and help.

Egan Orion of the Broadway Business Improvement Area said the group is “pushing to get more robust funding” and hopes to “lessen the burden on the neighborhood to fund” the outreach workers. The shops, restaurants, schools, and organizations he represents need the support and outreach, Orion says, is a better way to help the people struggling with homelessness and addiction in the neighborhood.

“Right now the only number they can call is 911 which isn’t effective because many business owners and employees are not wanting to contribute to criminalizing homelessness,” Orion said. “So this helps us get back to a saner system.” Continue reading

Seattle approves prioritizing affordable housing in city land sales

The sales pitch for the “Mercer Megablock” — a valuable chunk of city-owned land being put up for sale — is geared around Seattle’s expensive luxury housing market (Image: mercermegablockseattle.com)

Even before the final vote was taken, affordable housing advocates were pushing to put the new policy to work on Seattle’s “Mercer Megablock” Monday afternoon as the Seattle City Council approved new rules for how the city sells off its surplus land.

CHS reported here on the prioritization for affordable housing in the surplus property disposition policies built on Teresa Mosqueda’s work to reshape how Seattle sold off Seattle City Light land.

The new legislation applies to all city-owned property and “sets a policy that requires the city to prioritize using surplus land for affordable housing, parks or open space, child care, early learning and educational facilities, light rail station area development, and community and economic development,” according to an announcement from the City Council.  Continue reading

Central District students walk out to say annual teacher reshuffling unfairly targets Seattle’s ‘marginalized’ schools

Seattle school kids led by students at E Cherry’s Nova High School marched on City Hall Tuesday afternoon to protest the district’s enrollment-driven teacher transfer process and its effect on schools with strong LGBTQ, and student of color populations.

“We are marching and walking down to Seattle City Hall just to show that we stand with our teachers as much as they stand with us,” senior Casey Thomas told CHS about the walkout and rally. Thomas and student organizers say the district’s transfer of teachers targets marginalized students. “Schools up north are not being targeted,” Thomas said. Continue reading

17 things — including a few about Capitol Hill — CHS heard in Mayor Durkan’s Seattle $5.9B budget proposal

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced details of her administration’s first budget proposal Monday at downtown Seattle’s Fire Station 10. You can listen to the speech here via Facebook)

Austerity in Seattle means more police officers, more firefighters, and new staff at City Hall to implement programs like the Domestic Workers Ordinance created this summer to provide an oversight board and minimum wage for Seattle’s nannies, house cleaners, and gardeners. It will also mean maintaining nearly $90 million in annual spending on homelessness and housing services despite the summer reversal on an employee hours tax — though how the money is going to be spent appears to be up for change.

After plenty of scrubbing and a search for efficiencies like cutting fuel and consultant costs, Mayor Jenny Durkan on Monday unveiled the first Seattle budget proposal of her administration, weighing in at $5.9 billion — and 11 MB (PDF). Good times continue to roll in Seattle but the forecast is for things to slow and for the money to get tighter.

Along with general belt-tightening — most departments will face cuts to consultant spends and to their fuel budgets as Durkan plans to axe 10% of the city’s vehicle fleet — and some major commitments to the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Fire, and SDOT, there are also a few Capitol Hill-specific line items of note in the Durkan proposal including money earmarked for homelessness outreach in the neighborhood and a holdover $1 million to help boost an affordable housing and youth center project on Broadway.

“When I ran for mayor and when I took office, I made a promise to Seattle: That I would act with urgency to address our shared challenges, and that I would work hard to make sure we always provide the greatest public benefit possible from our work, our resources, and how we spend the taxpayers’ money,” Durkan said in announcing the proposed spending plan for 2019-2020.  “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 affordable, inclusive, and vibrant Seattle. Those values have guided us for these past nine months, and this budget invests in those promises and those commitments.”

Durkan Budget Proposal Highlights

  1. Anyone worried about austerity measures in the city after Durkan asked her departments for 2%-5% cuts earlier this year should note the mayor’s proposal actually weighs in at around a $300 million increase in proposed spending. Continue reading

Seattle Police Officers’ Guild says yes to new deal

Seattle Police officers have voted to approve a new contract, the Seattle Times reports:

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) has overwhelmingly voted to ratify a collective-bargaining contract with the city that includes long-delayed pay raises while imposing sweeping accountability reforms. The outcome of mail balloting was announced Thursday by the guild, which represents more than 1,300 officers and sergeants. Guild President Kevin Stuckey said in a news release that 1,013 of 1,059 returned ballots voted to accept the contract offer.

The contract now moves to the Seattle City Council which must approve the deal.

The union representing the department’s more than 1,300 personnel reached a compromise deal in August with the city on a new contract that will give officers solid raises while also tying further reforms to the package.

Part of the deal is expected to include an agreement on the “civilianization” of the department’s Office of Police Accountability. The boost in salary, meanwhile, will be retroactive to 2015 meaning officers will receive back pay covering the last three and a half years they have been without a contract.