This year we celebrate two years since the Priority Hire legislation was adopted. This program maximizes the City’s investment in public infrastructure to help residents secure apprenticeship and journey level employment opportunities on city funded public works projects
What is Priority Hire? Prior to the 2015 passage of the Priority Hire legislation the percentage of Seattle residents working on taxpayer funded public works projects was only 5%, which means 95% of workers on these projects were non-Seattle residents. The program requires that public works construction project contracts totaling $5 million or more are covered by a master community workforce agreement that: (1) requires a minimum percentage of workers being local residents from economically disadvantaged zip codes; and (2) minimum requirements for utilization of apprentices that come from pre-apprenticeship programs. This 2nd requirement improves the opportunities of un/underemployed workers receiving entry-level training to eventually be placed on public works projects as apprentices and gives them access to living wage careers.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at 9:30a.m., the 2016 Priority Hire Annual Report and the Priority Hire Advisory Committee Report will be discussed during the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee (CRUEDA). A few highlights that will be discussed next week include:
- Seattle residents doubled their percentage of hours on projects compared to past projects.
- Workers in economically distressed zip codes in Seattle perform more than three times the hours as compared to past projects.
- Women work more than two times the hours, compared to previous years.
The Mayor recently proposed an Executive Order to make some immediate changes to the program and, in addition, the Mayor has proposed new legislation that will be discussed in the CRUEDA committee in March and April 2017. If you are interested, please sign up for agendas to track this issue.
West Point Treatment Plant
As many of you are aware, King County’s West Point Treatment Plant experienced an equipment malfunction and flooding during intense rains and maximum flow to the treatment plant on Thursday February 9th. To protect the plant from further damage the facility operated in emergency bypass mode on the 9th and again on February 16th.
During the initial overflow, an estimated 250 million gallons of storm water and sewage was discharged into the Sound over a 19-hour period. As much as 90% of overflow was storm water, which can include contaminates such as dust from brake pads, engine oil, and yard chemicals. Additionally, sewage contains bacteria and pathogens that can make people sick. To protect public health, King County posted signage and closed beaches in impacted areas and sent out press releases and social media alerts. Discovery Park, Golden Gardens Park, and Carkeek Park beaches were closed. With approval from Public Health-Seattle & King County, all beaches were opened on February 21st after favorable water quality tests over multiple days.
Major effort by King County employees and contractors is underway to restore the West Point Treatment Plant. As of February 22nd, about 95% of the treatment plant was cleaned and sanitized. Workers continue assessing and restoring damaged electrical and mechanical equipment. Electrical demolition and assessment is at 55 percent complete plant-wide. Additional cleaning and sanitizing is needed in the lowest below-grade levels of the treatment plant, which are currently used for mechanical parts storage.
Upon learning of this situation, I asked a couple of questions of SPU:
- Does this situation create non-compliance with the Federal Consent Decree?
- SPU’s answer: No, our Consent Decree has no provisions related to the operation of King County’s system other than that we coordinate with King County on system operations.
- When a facility malfunctions to this extent, do our system operations change?
- SPU’s answer: Not significantly, however we do coordinate on system operations on an ongoing basis to ensure that impacts to public health and the environment are mitigated to the greatest extent possible.
SPU also notified me that they are working on a report summarizing the impacts of the situation on the City’s sewer system, I will update you when I have that in hand.
As King County continues to make progress, you can stay up-to-date by visiting this page from King County and following King County’s social media channels. Additionally, King County developed a FAQ which you can find here to learn more about the incident.
Finally, I wanted to make sure you knew about another incident at a King County sewer regulator in South Park. A gate malfunction resulted in sewer backups into homes and caused customers in South Park to experience sewer backups into their homes. King County, again taking the lead, relocated 27 customers with 11 total properties impacted, three customers have returned home. The cause of the problem was a failure of a controller that operates the overflow gate in backup mode to allow overflows to the Duwamish. The equipment has been repaired, and King County continues to work on residential cleanup and repair so that people can return home.
High Point Community Center Play area renovation project meeting on Saturday
Seattle Parks and Recreation is replacing playground equipment at the High Point Community Center Play area, and will be holding a meeting for community input on Saturday, February 25th from 1-3 p.m. at the High Point Community Center, at 4920 34th Avenue SW.
This project will replace the play equipment, provide access improvements, and improve safety and other features at the park. Funding comes from the Seattle Parks District approved by voters in 2014.
You can also take an online survey about the project.
African-American History Month – Breaking Through the Wall of Slavery
During the month of February I am featuring upcoming events in my emails to help promote the dozens of events that are happening in honor of Black History Month. Here is one such event:
The Seattle Public Library will be hosting a presentation on African-American genealogy by Janice Lovelace, Ph.D.:
“Want to trace your ancestors but keep getting stuck? Many African American researchers struggle to break through the brick wall of slavery… [Janice Lovelace, Ph.D.] will demonstrate techniques to identify emancipated slaves and their prior slave-owners through the use of land, probate, census and court records. Janice Lovelace, Ph.D., has 20 years of experience in family history research as well as academic work in the area (Genealogy and Family History certificate at University of Washington in 2012, certificate program in genealogy at Boston University in 2013, ProGen 18). A member of Seattle Genealogical Society for a number of years, she joined the SGS Board as Vice-President in 2014. She is a member of Association of Professional Genealogists and National Genealogical Society. In her work life, she is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialization in child and family therapy and has been a private practice therapist and a faculty member teaching psychology.”
When: This Saturday, February 25th between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Where: Seattle Public Library, central branch, 1000 4th Ave
For more information visit the event page here.
Tonight the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association (DNDA) will be hosting their annual fundraiser. This year’s theme is “Art | Nature | Neighborhood” and among many great achievements they are celebrating the addition of Nature Consortium to their suite of programs.
When: Friday, February 24th, 6pm mingle, 7pm dinner
Where: Metropolist, 2931 1st Ave S
Volunteer Opportunity: Victim Support Team
The Victim Support Team is a mobile crisis responsible team that assists people impacted by domestic violence by offering on-scene and over-the-phone support. Every weekend, volunteers work in teams of 2 and provide resource referral, safety planning and emergency supplies.
Spring Academy is 8:00am-4:30pm, Mondays and Tuesdays for 3 weeks in May, in the Seattle Municipal Tower. The deadline to apply is March 1
For additional information or questions, please contact the VST Volunteer Supervisor, Kaylee.email@example.com or call (206) 615-0892.
Update on In-District Office Hours
I will be at the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Avenue S) today, Friday February 24th, from 12:00pm – 5:30pm. The final meeting of the day will begin at 5:00pm. The slight change is to accommodate the Destination Delridge event which starts at 6:00pm.
These hours are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming in advance you can email my scheduler Alex Clardy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Additionally, here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours. These are subject to change, but I wanted to make sure you had a rough idea of when I would be available and where.
|Friday, February 24, 2017||South Park Community Center||8319 8TH Avenue S|
|Friday, March 24, 2017||Senior Center of West Seattle||4217 SW Oregon St|
|Friday, April 28, 2017||Southwest Neighborhood Service Center||2801 SW Thistle St|
|Friday, May 26, 2017||Senior Center of West Seattle||4217 SW Oregon St|
|Friday, June 23, 2017||South Park Community Center||8319 8TH Avenue S|
|Friday, July 28, 2017||Southwest Neighborhood Service Center||2801 SW Thistle St|
|Friday, August 18, 2017||Senior Center of West Seattle||4217 SW Oregon St|
|Friday, September 22, 2017||South Park Community Center||8319 8TH Avenue S|
|Friday, October 27, 2017||Southwest Neighborhood Service Center||2801 SW Thistle St|
|Friday, December 15, 2017||South Park Community Center||8319 8TH Avenue S|