Today the City Council passed the 2015 City budget, and endorsed a 2016 budget.
I’d like to thank members of the public for their involvement in helping the Council craft the 2015 City budget. Public involvement resulted in a more responsive city budget that emphasizes human services, social justice and labor standards.
In an effort to reach out to more people than in the past, I’ll be initiating a community participatory budget process for next year’s budget.
Here are my comments from today’s Council meeting:
“This is a darn good budget. It’s not perfect but it goes beyond what past budgets have done to meet the needs of those who are most vulnerable to the swings in the market economy.
It has provided new funding for low-barrier shelter for homeless women and has recognized that those living in inhumane conditions in encampments deserve to have their basic needs met.
It has recognized the critical value of our city employees by bringing up the lowest paid to $15 an hour this coming April.
Perhaps most importantly, it has created, along with the cooperation of the Mayor, a new Office of Labor Standards. This Office will enforce the laws that the City has passed to guarantee fair labor practices for all those who work in Seattle, including the minimum wage, sick and safe leave, and wage theft. Without enforcement, laws are worthless, with enforcement we make Seattle a great place work.
We have much to be proud of, and we have much more to do.
I want to thank all the Councilmembers, who have worked hard to make Seattle a better place to live.
I’d like to thank Central Staff, especially Director Kirstan Arestad, Dan Eder, Rebecca Herzfeld, and Traci Ratzliff, and my staff.
And most of all Seattle citizens for helping the Council craft a more responsive budget.”