Budget Update; Budget Investments in Homelessness Response; HOMES Tax Update; Encampment Removals Process; 2018 Investments in Reducing Congestion

Budget Update

Last week, Council approved the City of Seattle’s 2018 budget. This year’s budget process was memorable for the urgent emphasis on our homelessness crisis, rigorous debate, and the bold actions taken by Council to fund solutions. In addition, as Chair of the Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee, I am proud to have sponsored a number of budget actions to support better transportation options and infrastructure in our growing City.

The complete list of Council amendments to the budget is available here, and you can find the Mayor’s initial proposed budget here.

Budget Investments in Homelessness Response

The Council passed a number of items that ensured that essential services already in place will not be rolled back, such as funding for emergency shelter serving over 230 survivors of domestic and sexual violence, maintaining existing permanent supportive housing services, ensuring two transitional housing programs for homeless foster youth do not close, sustaining support for a homeless child care program, and continued funding for homeless youth employment programs. In addition, I co-sponsored the following budget proposals that add to our homelessness response:

  • Funding for expansion of Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) to our North Precinct
  • Funding for the creation of a safe consumption site to ensure people have a safe place consume and receive treatment advice from trained nurses
  • Funding for a new homeless youth opportunity center in Capitol Hill
  • Support for tenant outreach and support services
  • Funding for two additional authorized encampments to provide people safe temporary places to be

Update on the HOMES Tax Proposal

Despite our 2018 investments, I believe we need to invest at a much larger scale to make a dent in the homelessness crisis we are facing. The problems around housing and homelessness have continued to grow at a pace faster than we can address due to rising rents, the opioid crisis, an underfunded state mental health system and defunding from the federal government.

Much of the success we’ve seen in transitioning people into housing has been due to additional low-barrier shelter options and permanent housing.  During this year’s budget, now-former Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley and I sponsored a proposal to create more immediate shelter spaces, as well as long-term affordable housing. We called it the HOMES proposal – Housing, Outreach, and Mass-Entry Shelter. The HOMES proposal would have businesses making more than $5 million in revenue a year pay 5 cents an hour per employee ($100/year for a full-time employee), exempting the smallest 90% of businesses in Seattle, and generating about $24 million in revenue annually. Through the City’s ability to bond against this new revenue in the future, starting in 2018 we could have begun to invest nearly $50 million each year in affordable housing, nearly doubling our Housing Levy.

Instead of passing that ongoing revenue source, last week the Council passed Resolution 31782.  This resolution requires the Council to assemble a task force that will develop recommendations for a dedicated progressive revenue source to support people experiencing or at high-risk for homelessness and to raise no less than $25 million a year. If you’d like to participate in this Progressive Revenue Task Force on Housing and Homelessness, you can apply HERE by Monday, December 4th. This task force will deliver recommendations by February 26, 2018, and the Council intends to take legislative action by March 26, 2018. While it is a little delayed, this commitment to pursue progressive revenue options is a huge win for those who have been waiting for something big and bold to address the city’s civil emergency on homelessness.

Encampment Removals Process

How we get people who are living outdoor into more stable living situations continues to be a struggle.  The city’s Navigation Team (a combination of police officers and outreach workers) has had some success in getting more people into shelter in the past year.  This is in part because we have put more resources into outreach and in part because we had a significant increase in good shelter options for people (Georgetown tiny-house village, Navigation Center and Compass First Hill shelters, and two new sanctioned tent encampments all opened up this year).  It is critical that as we move people experiencing homelessness we give them good shelter options to choose from.

To that end, in this budget cycle, we increased requirements about notice and reporting so that the council and the public has more clarity on when and where sweeps are happening and who is ending up in shelter and who simply moves to the next unsanctioned encampment.  We are also requiring recommendations on how to improve the outcomes in this system.

This system will continue to be a struggle until we get significantly more affordable housing options, continue to add good shelter options, and reduce the number of people entering homelessness.

2018 Investments in Reducing Congestion

I’m proud to support the Seattle Department of Transportation’s continued focus on creating a City where everyone can safely get around by foot, transit, or bike, when possible. These investments are critical to reducing congestion and creating a livable and sustainable city. A couple budget items I sponsored to further these goals include:

  • Funding for outreach and assistance to businesses to establish Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit programs.
    • The IRS allows employers to offer a tax-free transit subsidy up to $255 per employee per month for buses, light rail, ferry, water taxi, and vanpool. However, many businesses do not take advantage of this program due to perceived complexities in establishing and administering this program. Offering transit passes allows employers to save up to 9% on that spending in payroll taxes, and employees save between 25% and 40% on their commute expenses. These benefits also encourage transit use, which helps reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. We hope that with additional outreach and assistance, we can change that perception and get more people commuting by transit to work.
  • Funding to examine issues related to diversion and congestion on local streets due to tolling on SR-99.
    • WSDOT is bringing tolling to Seattle, with the opening of the new State Route 99 tunnel through downtown. That means that we are likely to experience diversion on our streets by people looking to avoid tolls. Early models indicate that this diversion could have a significant negative impact on congestion on city streets and be specifically detrimental to transit and freight travel times. The study would focus on the broader equity implications of congestion pricing in Seattle (particularly who is driving at what times) and explore options to minimize diversion so that transit service continues to operate reliably.

Thanks to all who engaged with our office over the last couple months. If you have further questions or comments about the budget, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at mike.obrien@seattle.gov, or 206-684-8800.

In Community,

Councilmember Mike O’Brien

Highlights of our 2018 Budget

On Monday, November 20, we City Councilmembers held our final vote on the 2018 budget. This was my 8th budget as a Councilmember and it proved to be a challenging one. With many admirable programs deserving funding within the balanced budget, we had hard decisions to make.

I approached the budget with four key priorities and had success in each category:

First, Increase Affordable Housing options: I set a goal of having 1000 more stable indoor housing units up and operational in 2018.  We are investing $30 million immediately—based on best practices and results based accountability principles —  and more housing is on the way.  We know what works to improve conditions for people who are homeless:  simply put, more housing.  Following on Pathways Home recommendations, I am supporting a pipeline of fast-tracked options, from more 24/7 shelter, additional managed encampments, a targeted landlord liaison program as well as new possibilities such as modular-built projects on public land, detached dwelling units (DADU’s) on private property and tiny homes tailored to meet individual needs.  With community support, we will identify or create units and we will move another 1000 people off the streets of Seattle and indoors.

Second:  Increase Youth opportunity and Public Health Programming:  We secured funding to support the building of a homeless youth opportunity and housing center on Broadway and Pine. Working with Speaker Frank Chopp, Seattle Central College and local non-profits, we identified key real estate near the College where youth and young adults can gain the education and skills training to get good paying jobs as well as providing them with the housing and services necessary to take their next steps.

As part of my work with the Seattle/King County Board of Public Health, I worked diligently with my colleagues to expand public health services within our Downtown neighborhood by funding a full-time medical prescriber for our medically assisted treatment programs available at the 4th Avenue Public Health Clinic. Expanding our medically assisted treatment services such as buprenorphine-on-demand  is critical in our fight against the opioid addiction crisis. We are finally treating addiction like the disease it is, and I am proud to work alongside my King County colleagues to provide regional services and treatment they people need.

We also funded a public outreach nurse who will support the work of the Navigation team, and will help connect people on the street with the services and help they need. By providing medical help to homeless neighbors where they are, we can serve them better and avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency ward.

Third, Support our Fire Arm Surrender Program.  With Seattle’s leadership, our region is developing a program that will serve as a model statewide. I want to thank Chris Anderson in the City Attorney’s office, Dan Satterberg in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and retired-Judge Anne Levinson for laying the ground work for this critical program. Removing firearms from domestic abuse perpetrators means protecting victims and making a community safer. A March 2017 study by Everytown For Gun Violence, found that over the last seven years, 54 percent of mass shooting cases involved domestic or family violence. This gun surrender program is a coordinated approach between the Superior Court, District Court, and Municipal Court.  It WILL protect domestic abuse survivors and save lives from gun violence.

Fourth, Expand Mobility Options and Reduce Congestion in District 7. My office worked with the Mayor, SDOT and Council Central Staff to ensure pedestrian improvements and walkability along the Market to MOHAI corridor between Pike Place Market and the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) along Western Ave, Bell St, and Westlake Ave N. I want to thank the entire Market to MOHAI Steering Committee, which includes the Downtown Seattle Association, the South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce (SLUCC), Belltown Community Council, Pike Place Market, MOHAI, Seattle Parks Foundation, Friends of the Waterfront, the South Lake Union Community Council, Google, Amazon, Vulcan, Facebook, Argosy, Visit Seattle, Clise, and many others for your commitment to the livability of these growing neighborhoods. And especially, I want to thank John Pehrson, my personal hero for mobilizing the community and turning his vision of multi-modal and green connections such as Bell Street Parkway and now Market to MOHAI into action.

I am also happy in this budget to support the work we have started with SDOT and the University of Washington around Freight Mobility and Alley Congestion. I look forward to the freight and mobility report planned for July, 2018 to identify tools and best practices to reduce alley congestion and traffic clogs in the Downtown core.

Regarding the Employee Hours Tax:  I am pleased we agreed to identify needed additional revenue sources for homelessness projects through a collaborative community process.  I believe good policy is crafted through a thoughtful process that starts first with defining and agreeing on the needs and problems to be solved, identifying the funding gap, and then raising revenues to meet the needs.  I do not support an approach that raises revenues first and then decides on how the money will be spent.

I believe a good policy approach requires the appropriate people – those with experience and those who would be taxed – to be at the table over the course of several months, NOT just nine Councilmembers making a hasty decision over the span of two weeks. It requires analysis and vigorous vetting to limit the number of unintended consequences. For example, ensuring organizations like Horizon House, a retirement and senior community that employs 310 people to care for their seniors, shouldn’t be burdened with an increased estimated cost of $38,750 per year without assurance of some benefits in return.

I wholeheartedly agree we need additional progressive revenue sources and I plan on working with my colleagues and the community to achieve our goals over the next several months.

Lastly, I want to recognize and thank my legislative aides Alberta Bleck, Brian Chu and Alyson McLean.  They work hard for District 7, and are the upbeat voices you hear when you call my office.  As always, please contact me with your suggestions and recommendations for positive change.  If you want to learn more about the City’s 2018 proposed budget and process, here is a link to the City’s budget office website.  I will update this blog when the final executive summary is completed.

 

All the best,

 

Sally Bagshaw

 

 

 

Council Approves 2016 City Budget

On the Monday the Council approved the 2016 City of Seattle budget. As Chair of the Council’s Budget Committee, I was responsible for assembling a balancing package for consideration by the City Council.

The budget passed by the Council focuses on urgent, immediate needs. I believe that when more people have a chance to reach their full potential and enough economic security to make investments in their future, the benefits ripple throughout communities. The budget approved by the Council invests in those basic needs such as safety, stability and health.

A summary of the changes the Council made to the Mayor’s proposed budget can be seen here. I’d like to first highlight three key areas:

Homeless funding

I sponsored an addition of $2.3 million in homeless funding, to expand shelter beds to get people off the street, fund new beds, extend day center services and outreach services to vulnerable homeless adults, support authorized encampments, and childcare for homeless children. This is in addition to the $5 million in one-time funds approved by the Council earlier this month, in conjunction with the Mayor’s declaration of a civil emergency regarding homelessness.

The Council’s action comes as federal funding has diminished significantly. From 1999, the first budget I voted on, to 2016:

  • Federal human services grants to Seattle have decreased from $46.5 million to $37.9 million, a decrease of 43%, adjusted for inflation
  • Federal grants have shrunk from 62% to 26% of the City’s Human Services budget, a 58% decrease
  • The City’s General Fund contribution to the Human Services budget has more than doubled, from 25% to 55%
  • The percent of the City’s General Fund dedicated to human services has doubled, from 3.5% to 7%.

This increasing reliance on the city’s general fund for human services is a direct result of federal neglect.

These figures place in stark relief the impact of years of the federal government’s retreat. The needs have not gone away–they have simply been shifted onto cities. Mayor Murray’s declaration of a homeless emergency, and the emergency declared in Portland, have been building for years. Cities cannot solve this emergency alone: federal assistance is needed.

Homelessness in Seattle is at a crisis level. The Council’s addition of $2.3 million in one-time funding, not only to expand shelter beds to get people off the street, but to fund new beds, extend day center services and outreach services to vulnerable homeless adults, support authorized encampments, and childcare for homeless children.

Youth Participatory Budgeting

I also want to highlight the innovative new Youth Participatory Budgeting program, which will allow young people to not only directly decide how to spend $700,000 in city funds; it will also help train young people in working with city departments to develop proposals, helping to give them the skills and knowledge they need to become effective community leaders.

Renters

The Council passed funding for a position to support the Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance program, which follows from Council passage of Council Bill 118516 which I co-sponsored along with Councilmember O’Brien.

In addition, the Council passed funding for a senior housing inspector to develop and lead an auditing program for the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance program, and a separate request to find permanent funding for this position.

Other Council priorities:

The Council also added funding in other key areas:

Social Justice

  • $600,000 for Zero Detention projects, and alternatives services to youth detention; this follows from Resolution 31614, passed by the Council in September, which endorse a vision of becoming a city with zero detention for youth, and seeking to eliminate racial inequities in arrest rates, detention, sentencing and prison population.
  • $254,000 for family intervention and restorative services center.
  • $136,000 for criminal justice equity work in the Office of City Rights
  • $50,000 for employment bias testing
  • additional support for a Citywide Gender Pay Equity Initiative.

The Council also requested an equitable development strategy for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan that includes anti-displacement strategies for areas with high-risk of displacement; this follows from Resolution 31577, adopted earlier this year.

Human Services/Health/Food

In addition to the $2.3 million, the Council dedicated additional resources toward homelessness: $255,000 for a homeless shelter and $154,000 for homeless hygiene services.

The Council also passed $250,000 for social support services at senior centers, and $75,000 for LGBTQ elders, training for professionals working with LGBTQ older adults, families, and caregivers, and peer support. In addition, the Council passed three food-related items: $40,000 for fruit gleaning services in Seattle, to provide fresh fruit for food banks; $50,000 for additional support for the Fresh Bucks food assistance program, to provide a match for food stamp purchases at Farmer’s Markets, and $40,000 to support food banks serving American Indian/Alaskan Native community.

The Council also dedicated funds toward an updated assistive listening system in the Bertha Knight Landes meeting room on the main floor of City Hall.

Transportation

  • $600,000 for SDOT for West Seattle Bridge Corridor congestion management investments; $500,000 is for installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems, and $100,000 for corridor feasibility studies; a separate request is included for an update from SDOT on implementation of initiatives described in the West Seattle Bridge Corridor Whitepaper and Priority Investment List.
  • $1 million for transit passes for income-qualified youth in Seattle Public Schools.

I also proposed a change in the Municipal Code to direct 10% of red light camera revenue toward pedestrian improvements; previously, it went to the city’s General Fund. This moves City policy toward best practices recommended by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances and strictly constrain the use of a portion of red light camera revenue for improvements to pedestrian infrastructure.

Economic Opportunity

  • $1.9 million toward development of a Southeast Seattle Economic Opportunity Center; $100,000 to manage business vacancies in Chinatown-International District and Little Saigon;
  • $400,000 for Career Bridge;
  • $100,000 to provide assistance and advocacy for Women and Minority Owned businesses; and $50,000 for business and assistance services to small local manufacturers and producers

Neighborhoods

  • $300,000 for construction of a restroom in Hing Hay Park in the Chinatown-International District;
  • $348,000 for the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands project, and space for youth, $106,500 for the Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth project
  • a budget action to allow additional time for the community to purchase surplus City Light properties.

Arts

The Office of Arts & Culture (OAC) now receives 75% of admission tax revenues. The Mayor proposed 80% in 2016 and 100% in the future, but provided no timetable for reaching 100%. After gaining Council approval for next year’s 80% level, I was able to secure a stepped increase to 100% by 2018. The Council and Mayor will assess if economic conditions allow for each year’s increase.

I created a special “Capital Arts” account for OAC reserved just for capital funds the office awards. It would centralize all of the City’s arts and culture capital project awards and transfer into it the Mayor’s 2016 funding for the Seattle Opera, the Burke Museum, Seattle Town Hall, and the Nordic Heritage Museum.

Seattle’s Percent for Art program is lauded world-wide, but hasn’t seen an increase since its start in 1973. As Seattle’s built environment continues to grow exponentially, the Percent for Art Program lags behind.  I’ve asked the Executive to report next year on the feasibility of removing some of the current exemptions to the program as a way to increase the number of art projects without increasing the percentage.

In order to encourage more small-venue nightlife, I simplified music venue exemptions to the City’s Admission Tax collections. Some small music venues were unsure if they should pay admission tax and sometimes they’d pay when they were actually exempt. Other small venues reduce the number of performances in order to avoid the tax. Large music venues, with capacities over 500, would not be affected by this proposal.

I also provided amnesty for non-profits assessed penalties for withholding admission tax payments, in spite of being qualified for exemptions to such payments. These non-profits were not even aware of their need to apply for admission tax exemptions.

Budget Victories

This was an exciting budget season with passionate testimony and messages directed to the Council daily.  This was my final opportunity as a Councilmember to work for the goals that are most important to me.   I am pleased that all of my recommendations were approved by the Council.

We were fortunate that during our budget deliberations in late October we learned that projected revenues had increased by just over $10 million.  This allowed us to be even more effective with our investments and the Council added nearly $2.3 million to the approximately $40 million dollars in the Mayor’s proposed budget to provide services to the homeless

Below is a list of the issues by topic area, and their outcomes, that I successfully sponsored in the 2016 Budget. I’ve linked to a more detailed description of the budget action items online and any other pertinent information.  Please let me know if you want more information.

Human Services, Civil Rights, and Accessibility

Support Social Work Services at Senior Centers
Added: $250,000

The Council added $250,000 dollars to increase social work hours at our senior centers.  This is a huge victory to help isolated older adults throughout Seattle!  Social workers provide essential information and assistance, convene support groups, provide counseling, and perform home visits.  As many noted in their testimony and messages, social workers save lives.  This win would not have been possible without the strong advocacy of so many older adults, social workers, and senior center staff.

LGBTQ Older Adult Competency Training
Added: $75,000

The Council will add $75,000 to the Human Services Department to support cultural competency and equity training for professionals working with LGBTQ older adults, families, and caregivers, and a peer support program for this population. This program will increase the knowledge and skills of practitioners working with LGBTQ older adults and provide LGBTQ older adults with access to needed support services – a strong first step in addressing barriers and inequalities that can stand in the way of healthy aging.

Homeless Youth Casework
Added: $80,000

The Council increased funding to provide services to the homeless by approximately $7.3 million.  These allocations are directly connected to the State of Emergency on homeless which now exists in Seattle.  I’m happy to report that, as result of strong community advocacy, the Executive has agreed to allocate $80,000 to help fund social work for youth on Capitol Hill through Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets (PSKS). This program helps homeless youth get the education, support to transition from homelessness into self-sufficient lives off the streets. These funds will help expand the amount of support PSKS can offer by providing a full time caseworker. To hear for yourself how necessary these services are, listen to the moving testimony from PSKS participants during this year’s Budget Committee sessions.

Hearing Loop Expansion
Added: $117,181

The Council will appropriate $117,181 for an updated assistive listening system in Bertha Knight Landes (BKL) Room – City Hall’s large conference meeting space. We also have support to pass a resolution stating the City’s commitment of increasing accessibility, while specifically instructing the Department of Finance and Administrative Services to report regularly on its progress in managing that ongoing expansion of accessibility.

Planning for Seattle AIDS Legacy / Memorial Project
Added: $75,000

The Council will add $75,000 to the Office of Arts and Culture in 2016 to help fund the initial planning process for an AIDS Legacy/Memorial. Also, there will be a $75,000 match in community support, for a total planning budget of $150,000. Most importantly, this is a community investment in planning for an AIDS Legacy Memorial Project in Seattle – and diverse stakeholder groups will be closely involved. Stay tuned, you’ll hear more from us about next steps.

Transportation Solutions

Corridor Congestion Reduction
Added: $600,000

The Council dedicated $600,000 to additional improvements on the West Seattle Bridge.  This will begin to carry out or plan some of the many improvements that were identified in the West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor Action Report.  Specifically, $500,000 will allow SDOT install ITS equipment including Bluetooth readers and dynamic message signs along the Corridor between Airport Way South and Port of Seattle Terminals 5 and 18 in order to collect and display real-time travel time information to trucks drivers and other motorists.  The $100,000 will fund a feasibility review of some of the most promising physical and operational improvements that were identified in the Report.

As part of the Budget, Council has also included a statement of legislative intent requiring SDOT to provide Council early in 2016 with a status update and action plan for implementing improvements in the West Seattle Bridge Corridor.

Employer Mandated Transit Benefits
Ask: Statement of Legislative Intent

It’s well documented that one of the best ways to encourage commuters to take transit is to provide them with transit passes. Through the budget process I gained the support of my colleagues to request the Executive to evaluate the feasibility and merits of a new program requiring employers to provide transit benefits to employees.  

To me it’s a win-win-win: When employers provide passes or payroll deductions to purchase passes they can actually reduce the payroll taxes employers and employees pay. That’s good for employees, employers and our environment.

Public Spaces and Community Development

Open Space Planning Process
Added: $200,000 

Another key victory of this year’s budget process was the appropriation of $200,000 to develop innovative strategies to increase the acquisition and development of public spaces.  Our public spaces include parks, greenbelts, community and recreation centers, as well as P-Patches and other urban farms.  Seattle is growing faster than it has in decades.  Public spaces help to create community.  As we develop strategies to keep Seattle affordable, and to provide effective transportation solutions, it is paramount that we also pursue strategies to develop public spaces that contribute to a high quality of life.

This effort would not have been possible without community advocacy.  Organizations such as the Seattle Parks Foundation, Forterra, The Trust for Public Lands, Seattle Tilth, Grow, the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition, and countless public advocates including Cisco Morris all came together to make this effort possible.  Don’t forget to eat your Brussel sprouts!

Community Visions for Local Open Space
Added: New Legislation

For years, communities across the city have been advocating for the retention of public property as public space.  Many of these public properties belong to Seattle City Light (SCL), which is required to move forward with the sale of many of its former substation properties.  However, as part of the budget process, the Council developed an innovative approach in which SCL will continue to use some of those properties for utility purposes for 1 – 2 more years, allowing time for community organizations to raise the funds necessary to keep the property in public hands.

The sites include the former Delridge, Fauntleroy, and Dakota substations.  Visions for these sites include open space, urban farming, and environmental learning activities.  This would not have been possible without countless hours of advocacy by communities throughout West Seattle, and by the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition.

A Closer Look at Highland Park
Added: Statement of Legislative Intent

Thanks to the advocacy of the Highland Park Action Committee, this year’s budget included a Statement of Legislative Intent in which the Council directed the City’s planning department to take a closer look at the needs of that community.  This could include more space for neighborhood retail, and possibly for more affordable housing.  This is the first step toward developing better community assets in a wonderful neighborhood.

Budget: End of Round 1

Round 1 of the Council budget review concluded on Monday.  Now we move into the phase of the budget where it’s important for people to express their support for the budget action items they favor.

During the next week, councilmembers will be gauging public support on items that could make it into the budget package that Councilmember Licata is developing for the Council.

Below is a description of a few of my proposed Budget Action Items, some of which I blogged about last week.  I’ve included quotes from people who provided their comments at our meetings. I find their testimony to be very compelling. I hope you do as well.

Please send an email to all councilmembers council@seattle.gov or to specific councilmembers by looking up their email addresses here if you support any of these recommendations. My advice is to include the budget action item title in the subject line of your email along with your stance on the topic. For example, “Please support the AIDS Memorial/ Legacy Planning proposal!”

  • AIDS Memorial/ Legacy Planning proposal: I am proposing that $75,000 be allocated to the Office of Arts and Culture to support the development of an AIDS Memorial/ Legacy Planning process. This amount would be matched within the community. Please see the full description here and click the following names to view public testimony in favor of this project from Robert Feldman and Michele Hasson.
  • Land Trust Study: requesting funds for consultant services for a planning process regarding the possible creation and operation of a Seattle-based land trust or conservancy. Please click here for the full description and click on the following names to hear public testimony in favor of this proposal from Joyce Moty, of GROW, and Thatcher Bailey, of the Seattle Parks Foundation.
  • LGBTQ Older Adult Competency Training: adding funds to the Human Services Department to support cultural competency and equity training for professionals working with LGBTQ older adults, families, and caregivers. Please click here for the full description of the proposal and click on the following names to hear Public Testimony in favor of this proposal from Rita Smith and Charles Emlet, Professor of Social Work at the UW and also from Peter Quenguyen, Social Worker at South Park Community Center.
  • Homeless Youth Casework: adding funds to the Human Services Department to provide casework for homeless youth in the Capitol Hill and downtown neighborhoods. Please click here for the full description of the proposal or click on the following names listed to hear public testimony in favor of this budget add from Millie Heyes, PSKS Social Worker; Dakota Donley, Christina Solus, Anthony Abel, and Quinn McVicker, participants of PSKS.

Final discussion and voting is scheduled for Friday, November 13th and Monday, November 16th. Stay tuned. I hope that you can take a few minutes, after the busy election season, to send an email to your councilmembers regarding the issues you support.

This is when we ask you to participate in our legislative process by telling us, your City Council, how you feel about the items we support.

Thank you for reading.