District 1 Office Hours
I am happy to announce that I will soon be starting my District 1 office hours. Every other week I will be holding office hours from 12:00pm – 7:00pm; the in-district office will rotate to help best serve all communities in District 1.
I’m still working on finalizing a schedule and locations, but I do know that my first office hours will be at the Southwest Neighborhood Service Center (2801 SW Thistle St) on March 4th from 12:00pm – 7:00pm.
I’m including evening hours for folks who want to stop by after work. These will be open office hours for anyone to stop by; additionally, you’re welcome to schedule a meeting with me through my scheduler, Alex Clardy. There likely will have to be adjustments as we move forward, but I’m eager to try this out and see what works and what does not. Your input is welcome!
West Seattle Chamber Luncheon
Last Thursday I was an invited speaker at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce February luncheon. Pete Spaulding introduced me and kindly pointed out that even though it was only mid-February I’d already been in attendance at 3 West Seattle Chamber events. It was great to have the opportunity to talk about some of the issues we will be championing in my Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts (CRUEDA) committee this year. The Office of Economic Development falls under this committee jurisdiction and while I am working on issues like strengthening and enforcing Seattle’s labor laws, I am also interested in workforce development with programs like Priority Hire, strengthening neighborhood business districts, and small business retention and development. Sometimes progress at City Hall can be slow and incremental, I see it is my role to be one of the people to keep things moving.
What is Secure Scheduling?
Many workers aren’t on a set schedule – they work in retail, restaurants, and service industry jobs. They often don’t get their schedule until a day or two before they start work for that week – other times they’re on-call and cannot predict when they will be required by their employer to pick up a shift. In a city where affordability is such a challenge that many people need to work 2 jobs, others juggle childcare responsibilities, or are attending school in order to get a better job, not having advance notice of a schedule can mean forgoing other income earning opportunities. Working Washington recently had a forum where workers described these challenges in their own words; I encourage you to take a minute to hear their stories.
This isn’t just a workers’ rights issue, it’s a gender and racial equity issue. Check out the op-ed that Councilmembers Gonzalez, Juarez, and I recently penned:
“Women are disproportionately affected by this problem because they hold two-thirds of low-wage jobs and still shoulder the majority of caregiving responsibilities.
Almost half of African-American and Latino workers (49 and 46 percent, respectively) report a week or less of advance notice. In addition, 63 percent of women are the primary or co-primary income source for their family and 26 percent of families have a single mother listed as the head of household.
In short, unpredictable work schedules disproportionately affect women and especially women of color and do not promote the health and well-being of Seattle’s working families, which help build a successful and sustainable economy for our city.”
This is an issue I will bring before my committee starting next month so that we can start a conversation about Secure Scheduling in Seattle. As a committee chair person with responsibility to both Labor Rights and Economic Development, I take seriously my responsibilities to both of these constituencies and I will develop a transparent public process that fairly engages with workers and their advocates as well as employers.
HALA Community Focus Groups
The Department of Neighborhoods and the Office of Planning and Community Development are convening Community Focus Groups as part of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda. If you’d like to participate, application forms are available here. Though I would really like to see that more renters and people from traditionally underrepresented groups apply, I encourage any and all West Seattle and South Park residents to apply, to get involved in the decision-making are these new policies that are intended to help us do a better job meeting the need for affordable housing. .
You can send any questions to HALAinfo@Seattle.gov.