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Seattle City Council passes resolution on resolutions

Monday, a pared down version of the “full” Seattle City Council approved a resolution “condemning all forms of oppression throughout the world.”

The effort led by newly added council member Alex Pedersen, representing Northeast Seattle on the council, followed resolutions introduced earlier this month by District 3 representative Kshama Sawant on two major global issues — one on opposing war with Iran that was passed, and another condemning  India’s new citizenship law which was tabled for a future vote.

Though clearly a response to Sawant and the council’s resolution process, Pedersen said Monday before the vote that his blanket resolution cites the council’s many past resolutions and was not meant to prevent future resolutions on human rights and global political issues. He also introduced an amendment to add a definition of the word “oppression” to the statement:

District 2 council member Tammy Morales was the sole vote against Pedersen’s effort. “We have to continue to lift up the voices of those who have been silenced to the margins when their oppression has been brought to our attention whether it’s locally, nationally, or internationally,” Morales said. “We can’t be silent when the issues of human rights are at stake.”

Council resolutions are defined formally as “a statement of policy that has been passed by the City Council, but is not legally binding.” They can be used to show intent or to give attention to a topic or issue at the city level. And, yes, they can be used and are frequently successful at driving press coverage.

Monday’s 4-1 vote came before a small turnout for the newly seated council that has adopted a schedule with fewer committee meetings and new quorum rules. Council president and citywide representative Lorena Gonzalez is out on parental leave and D3’s Sawant had a planned absence for the session.


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Dub
Dub
9 months ago

Boo. Resolutions on national and global issues can feel a bit like shouting in the void, but what a jerk move to minimize actual suffering of vulnerable people in specific situations.

Unfortunately, none of the Capitol Hill reps were there to speak to it (two out on parental leave, one ???), so here we are.

Changler
Changler
9 months ago
Reply to  Dub

The clowncil wasn’t elected to address global or national issues. I know Bozo, Cookie, and the gang like to use their paid positions to grandstand about their pet concerns, but it’s time they address what’s going on in lil’ old Seattle.

louise
louise
9 months ago

I’m sure oppressors around the world are paying attention to the Seattle City Council.

iluvcaphill
iluvcaphill
9 months ago

How about the council stay in their lane and actually do work on our many issues here in Seattle. We’ve elected other people to be outraged on our behalf on national and global issues. Start doing the work worthy of your inflated 6 figure salaries and I’m sure Cadillac benefits.

PD
PD
9 months ago

Can we please stop with a municipal body making these sweeping, global-level declarations constantly?

This is not the council’s job, and it just makes Seattle look ridiculous.

I mean…the whole resolution process should be limited to situations where cities across the country are trying to make a unified statement…not constant, useless, waste-of-time resolutions that come directly from Sawant and her Socialist Alternative cohort.

I mean…come on! You’re cheapening the process by constantly making these useless resolutions!

That said, it does raise Sawant’s profile, which from her perspective of I-really-really-really-really-hope-to-take-Pramila-Jayapal’s-seat-in-DC-so-I-can-take-my-grandstanding-to-another-level is great!

My bet is it really feeds her ego!

Why oh why couldn’t the anti-Sawant crowd find a better candidate than Egan Orion?

zeebleoop
zeebleoop
9 months ago
Reply to  PD

I think last year’s election had more to do with Orion getting Amazon cash than it was about him per se. There could’ve been an identical Sawant clone running and the moment Amazon put dollars behind that person, the race was over.

Amazon is a triggering word among some around here and the defining rallying call for who got elected. Without it, I think Sawant would have had a tougher time keeping her seat.

Bob Knudson
Bob Knudson
9 months ago
Reply to  zeebleoop

Agree completely. Egan Orion was a perfectly reasonable candidate. The Amazon money made the difference in that election, in a negative way for Egan.

David
David
9 months ago

Oh, the irony.

Governing in an unfair way and preventing opportunities for freedom is exactly how many of these self-righteous, virtue-signaling Council members go about their jobs.

Brian N.
Brian N.
9 months ago

This is basically our council’s version of #Kony2012. Gives the slacktivist class something to rally around while actually impacting zilch.

Hey maybe this ends with CM Sawant standing on a corner naked feverishly masturbating 🤷‍♂️

Ryan Packer
Ryan Packer
9 months ago

A City Council resolution on a specific issue like CAA could have real impact. Microsoft employs a lot of people in India and is basically giving the shrug emoji right now.

Fred
Fred
9 months ago

Primila Jayapal voted against two resolutions condemning anti-semitism. No one had a problem with it. Sawant refuse to condemn anti-Semitism that happened in her own district. And instead gave an all lives matter response. Why is it the politicians who can chant black lives matter till the cows come home, and constantly condemn violence towards Muslims women gaze all of a sudden cannot bring themselves to condemn anti-Semitism without all lives matterng it. I support a resistance to constantly showing solidarity two particular demographics as long as he saying people can’t bring themselves to condemn anti-semitism when it is coming from their side.

joanna
9 months ago
Reply to  Fred

I don’t know all the details of some of the antisemitism bills, but some defined criticism of the Israeli government as an antisemitic act. I think that is where the controversy in the laws lays. It would be the same as saying that criticism of any country that tends to have Muslim rulers is illegal and the same as violence against Muslims.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
9 months ago

This is a ridiculous waste of time and tax dollars…. We have varying levels of government *for a reason*…. just as we do not expect the federal government to facilitate or oversee things like neighborhood parks, we should not expect our local governments to create foreign policy….

Let’s make a deal guys – when the city council has done their job so thoroughly that you’ve solved our gun violence problems, our addiction problems, our homelessness problems, make sure our public parks are needle free, fix all of the potholes, create an efficient and sustainable mass transit system, solve our traffic problems, achieve vision zero, give adequate services to the mentally ill, fix the public schools and can actually deal with it when we get a couple inches of snow *then* you can try your hands a foreign policy….

HTS3
HTS3
9 months ago

(City Council members thoughts:)
Let’s see, we can’t seem to figure out how to tax the Amazon Evil Empire—because in spite of the fact that we don’t know why all the money we’ve already spent trying to address the homeless issue hasn’t worked at all we need to spend a few more hundred million a year anyway and Amazon seems like the perfect source—let’s pass a resolution condemning all forms of oppression all over the world. What a great idea. We think big, because thinking small about things that really matter in my community is So Hard!