District 3 representative Kshama Sawant has lost control of her bid to hold Mayor Jenny Durkan to a higher standard in her selection of Jason Johnson as Director of the Human Services Department.
Friday, Johnson’s nomination will be picked up for a restarted process under the Select Committee on Homelessness and Housing Affordability, a committee Sawant co-chairs with fellow Seattle City Council members — and relative centrists when it comes to the mayor’s agenda — Sally Bagshaw and Teresa Mosqueda.
The process to consider Johnson’s nomination had sat with the Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights Committee where Sawant serves as the only chair.
Sawant has pushed back on Durkan’s selection of Johnson saying the choice did not meet the goals and priorities of the City’s Race and social Justice Initiative.
The move of the confirmation process for Johnson means the delayed process can likely now move forward for a vote and finally exit the committee phase.
HSD has a budget of over $200 million including $80 million dedicated to homelessness services.
Meanwhile, in other council news, Rob Johnson has announced he is resigning his seat representing District 4’s Northeast Seattle. Johnson had already announced he would not seek reelection later this year to take a job with Seattle’s NHL expansion team. The resignation announcement comes just a day after the mayor signed the Johnson-shepherded Mandatory Housing Affordability legislation into law. Johnson’s final day in office will be April 5th. The council must now appoint someone to represent District 4 until the general election in November. Council president Bruce Harrell has said that given the work the interim council member must take on and the short amount of time before the election, he would prefer nominees that agree to not run for the open seat.
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