Council Sets 2018-19 Committee Assignments

The Seattle City Council today adopted Resolution 31789 establishing committee assignments for 2018 and 2019. Each Councilmember is responsible for chairing a Council committee and managing legislation related to the committee’s respective subjects. In addition, each Councilmember serves as vice chair, member and alternate on three additional committees.

Councilmembers elected Council President Harrell to continue serving as Council President. The Council President is the presiding officer of the Council, sets the Full Council agenda, assigns legislation to committees and is the primary point of contact for external agencies. When the Mayor is absent from the city or incapacitated, the Council President assumes the duties and responsibilities of the Mayor.

“I’m honored to work alongside some of the most dedicated and compassionate people I’ve ever known,” said Council President Bruce Harrell. “I’m thankful for my colleague’s confidence in electing me to my second term as Council President. Together, as a team, we will continue to work side by side to address the challenges facing Seattle, such as homelessness and affordability, and ensure Seattle is an equitable place for all.”

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (District 7, Pioneer Square to Magnolia) will chair the Finance and Neighborhoods Committee. The committee will be responsible for reviewing the City’s financial management policies and will also focus on Seattle neighborhoods, building strong communities through outreach and engagement. Councilmember Bagshaw will also chair the Budget Committee, overseeing the review of the Mayor’s proposed budget.

Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) will chair the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans, and Education Committee. As chair, Councilmember González will consider policies to address gender inequality and help improve the lives of Seattle’s immigrant and refugee residents. The committee will also focus on public safety, including emergency preparedness and the provision of fire and emergency medical services, to foster safe and resilient communities.  Councilmember González’s committee will also continue its work to improve police accountability systems and ongoing police reform, reducing crime and violence and reforming the criminal justice system. New to Councilmember González’s committee are policies related to education. The committee will work on issues relating to education and early learning initiatives, Seattle Public Schools, improving student outcomes, and reducing the opportunity gap.

Council President Bruce Harrell (District 2, South Seattle) will chair the Governance, Equity, and Technology Committee. The committee will work on issues relating to technology, intergovernmental relations, regional legislative priorities, ethics and elections, and equity issues in the taxi, transportation network companies, and for-hire industry. As chair, Council President Harrell will also focus on issues relating to youth justice, alternatives to youth detention, and alternative options to youth incarceration.

Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park) will continue chairing the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee. Councilmember Herbold’s committee will manage issues relating to civil rights and Seattle Public Utilities. As chair, Councilmember Herbold will also consider economic development policies, including small business development and support, workforce development, and improving access and opportunities to education and training for low- and middle-income workers, youth and communities of color. The committee will also manage issues relating to arts and culture in Seattle, which includes nightlife issues.

Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle) will continue chairing the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Johnson will take up issues involving city zoning, community planning, design guidelines, major institutions, quasi-judicial decisions, community development, and land use regulations.

Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) will chair the Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native Communities Committee. As chair, Councilmember Juarez will focus on issues relating to City parks, community centers, the Office of the Waterfront, the Seattle Public Library system, and public grounds, including the Seattle Center. The committee will also bring attention to Native American issues, including housing affordability, health and mental health services, services for youth, access to justice, art and culture, and historic preservation.

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) will chair the new Housing, Health, Energy, and Workers’ Rights Committee. Councilmember Mosqueda’s committee will focus on housing policies and programs, investing in and promoting the development and preservation of affordable housing for workers, families, and retirees. The committee will also handle policies relating to Seattle’s energy usage, utility rates, and Seattle City Light finances. The committee will attend to matters of public health, including a Regional Health Plan and take the lead on issues relating to the Office of Labor Standards, especially workers’ rights.

Councilmember Mike O’Brien (District 6, Northwest Seattle) will continue chairing the Sustainability and Transportation Committee. Councilmember O’Brien’s committee will handle matters pertaining to city-wide and regional transportation policy and planning. These issues range from pedestrian and bicycle programs, traffic control and parking policies, and overseeing the City’s coordination with regional and state departments of transportation. The committee will also have a shared-focus on Seattle’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions. In addition, Councilmember O’Brien will take up matters that relate to climate and environmental protections, conservation programs, and green infrastructure.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) will chair the new Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights Committee. Councilmember Sawant will oversee Council’s work on issues relating to services provided by the Human Services Department, including programs that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community. The committee will also consider matters involving public health and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), which allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services. The committee will also focus on renter rights, including but not limited to legislation intended to protect renters facing gentrification, economic evictions, excessive background checks, and unaffordable rent.


Standing Committee Committee Members Committee Meeting Days and Times*
Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native Communities Chair:  Debora Juarez

Vice-Chair:  Sally Bagshaw

Member:  Lorena González

Alternate:  Kshama Sawant

1st and 3rd Wednesdays

2 p.m.

Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Chair:  Lisa Herbold

Vice-Chair:  Kshama Sawant

Member:  Mike O’Brien

Alternate:  Rob Johnson

2nd and 4th Tuesdays

9:30 a.m.

Finance and Neighborhoods Chair:  Sally Bagshaw

Vice-Chair:  Lorena González

Member:  Bruce Harrell

Alternate:  Mike O’Brien

2nd and 4th Wednesdays

2 p.m.



Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans, and Education Chair:  Lorena González

Vice-Chair:  Teresa Mosqueda

Member:  Rob Johnson

Alternate:  Debora Juarez

2nd and 4th Wednesdays

9:30 a.m.

Governance, Equity, and Technology Chair:  Bruce Harrell

Vice-Chair:  Lisa Herbold

Member:  Teresa Mosqueda

Alternate:  Sally Bagshaw

1st and 3rd Tuesdays

9:30 a.m.

Housing, Health, Energy, and Workers’ Rights Chair:  Teresa Mosqueda

Vice-Chair:  Debora Juarez

Member:  Sally Bagshaw

Alternate:  Lisa Herbold

1st and 3rd Thursdays

9:30 a.m.

Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights Chair:  Kshama Sawant

Vice-Chair:  Bruce Harrell

Member:  Debora Juarez

Alternate:  Teresa Mosqueda

2nd and 4th Tuesdays

2 p.m.

Planning, Land Use and Zoning Chair:  Rob Johnson

Vice-Chair:  Mike O’Brien

Member:  Lisa Herbold

Alternate:  Lorena González

1st and 3rd Wednesdays

9:30 a.m.

Sustainability and Transportation Chair:  Mike O’Brien

Vice-Chair:  Rob Johnson

Member:  Kshama Sawant

Alternate:  Bruce Harrell

1st and 3rd Tuesdays

2 p.m.



Council Approves Unprecedented Agreement to Redevelop KeyArena

SEATTLE – Council today authorized Mayor Jenny A. Durkan to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Oak View Group (OVG) to redevelop KeyArena into a world-class multi-purpose sports and entertainment arena. The legally binding agreement commits OVG to project costs, including all project overruns, $40 million in neighborhood transportation improvements, and a bevy of additional financial commitments and other obligations.

“We’ve set the stage to make the most significant investment in Seattle Center since the World’s Fair,” said Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle), co-chair of the Council’s Select Committee on Civic Arenas. “Today’s agreement was the Seattle Process at its best: We gathered stakeholders, consulted the community, highlighted our concerns and goals, aggressively negotiated, and when we had a solid plan, we pushed it through.  I cannot overstate the diligence that went into this agreement.  We can all be proud of this transformational partnership.”

Council was party to a four-month negotiation between the City and OVG to develop agreement conditions. Council also retained a financial consultant to provide independent analysis to ensure the City would be party to a fiscally sound agreement. Council signaled its priorities early in the negotiation process, which generally fell into the following six categories:

  • The project must be fiscally prudent
  • The project must positively integrate with Seattle Center
  • Current Seattle Center tenant impacts must be addressed
  • Transportation impacts must be mitigated
  • OVG must treat workers equitably and consistent with the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative principles during construction and operations
  • Needs of impacted neighborhoods must be addressed

The MOU agreement commits OVG to a 39-year lease with two, eight-year renewal options for a total of up to 55 years. The redeveloped arena will nearly double the size of KeyArena, meet LEED Gold or equivalent standards, and will preserve the current historic roofline. KeyArena was last renovated over 20 years ago, and a 2015 evaluation concluded that for the City to attract a sports franchise, the arena would need to be modernized.

Council President Bruce A. Harrell (District 2, Southeast Seattle), co-chair of the Select Committee on Civic Arenas, said, “The City negotiated one of the strongest arena agreements you will find in the country, protecting our taxpayers and the City. The community benefits agreement is unprecedented with investments to help address issues like homelessness and other social needs. I am confident this will be a partnership of success with OVG in building a state-of-the-art arena, generating economic vitality, and the ultimate goal of getting an NHL team and bringing back the Sonics.”

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (District 7, Pioneer Square to Magnolia) said, “After a year of hard work and negotiations, we’ve taken the next step toward our civic Arena becoming the iconic destination for Seattle and the region. This redevelopment unlocks the potential for the best new arena for sports, entertainment, high-tech expos, concerts and more—with partners who have already demonstrated their commitment to partnering with the City for success. Thank you to the members of the Oak View Group, to Brian Surratt and City negotiators, and to the community leaders who have come to the table to address mobility and economic development challenges.  We’re underway!”

OVG will not use City bonding capacity for development of the project, nor will they be exempt from paying admissions taxes to the City. OVG intends to fund the project through a combination of private equity, debt financing from lenders, and federal historic tax credits. OVG will assume all costs related to operating and maintaining the arena.

OVG is expected to contribute the following to the KeyArena redevelopment project:

  • $600 million in project costs, plus all cost overruns.
  • $3.5 million to cover the City’s cost for the hiring of expert consultants and legal counsel during the MOU negotiation process.
  • $250,000 for a transportation consultant to develop a neighborhood mobility action plan.
  • $40 million payment for transportation improvements over the 39-year lease term (approximately $1 million per year), as informed by the mobility action plan.
  • Guaranteed baseline rent and tax guaranty payments, amount to be determined by an accounting firm based on the four-year trailing historical annual average of arena-related revenues for years 2014 through 2017 (roughly estimated to be approximately $2.6 million per year.
  • $20 million in-kind or cash to non-profit organizations, including $10 million dedicated for YouthCare. Council amended the MOU to require that at least half the contributions be made in cash.
  • $1.5 million to relocate the Seattle Center campus’ skate park and maintenance facility.
  • $500,000 for relocation of other affected Seattle Center tenants.
  • All costs related to temporary and permanent relocation of Pottery Northwest
  • Hire and pay for a community liaison.
  • 14 rent-free days per year for the Seattle/King County Public Health Clinic, Bumbershoot, and other community events.
  • Dedicate one percent construction costs to the 1% for the Arts Program.
  • Make a Mandatory Housing Affordability payment for the increase in arena square footage.
  • Arena workers are expected to be paid a prevailing wage, and current qualified KeyArena employees will be offered an equivalent job following the arena’s opening.
  • As revenue collections begin, the City will collect 25 percent of excess revenue in the first ten years of the lease, and 50 percent for the remaining years beyond the baseline rent and tax generated.
  • If arena tax revenues ever fall below current levels (about $2.4m/year), OVG will reimburse the City the difference.

The MOU provides an agreed-upon framework that will soon be memorialized in a Development Agreement, Lease Agreement, and Seattle Center Integration Agreement. Redevelopment construction is estimated to begin at the end of 2018 for opening in October 2020.

Mercedes Elizalde, Councilmember Juarez’ Office, 206-684-8805
Dana Robinson Slote, Council Communications, 206-615-0061

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Council Votes Encourages Housing, Pedestrian-Friendly Development in North Seattle

Limits New Heavy Development in Urban Villages

SEATTLE – Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) and her colleagues voted unanimously in favor of passing Council Bill 119093, effectively placing a temporary limit on new heavy commercial development to encourage more housing and pedestrian friendly commercial development in the Aurora Licton Springs Urban Village.

“I am proud to share this update with the many community members who worked with me to develop and pass this legislation, and who expressed concerns that the developable land in their Urban Village was being taken up by new developments that did not reflect the vision for this community,” said Juarez.  “Ultimately many of these new developments will not be supported by the new citywide zoning changes that were being proposed by the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program.”

The Aurora Licton Urban Village (ALUV) has been supportive of the MHA proposed zoning changes, providing positive and constructive feedback to the Office of Planning and Community Development. “It was their vision and continual commitment to reimagining their community that made it possible for me to draft and pass this legislation that will focus development capacity on housing and pedestrian friendly commercial development,” Juarez concluded.

Mercedes Elizalde, Councilmember Juarez’s Office, 206-684-8805
Dana Robinson Slote, Council Communications, 206-615-0061


Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast and Webcast live on Seattle Channel 21 and on the City Council’s website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook.

Councilmembers’ Statement In Response to Allegations Against Mayor

SEATTLECouncil President Bruce Harrell and Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Lisa Herbold and Debora Juarez issued the following statement in response to allegations of abuse in the Seattle Times against Mayor Ed Murray:

“Allegations of abuse must be taken seriously at all times. Despite serious allegations that Mayor Ed Murray committed acts of misconduct, there have been no judicial findings or conclusions that he committed an offense or willfully violated any laws. The Mayor is entitled to due process and legal counsel.

“Although the City Council may act as a court of impeachment, our powers to do so are limited by our City Charter. Article V, Section 10 of the City Charter regarding ‘Removal of Mayor’ states: ‘The Mayor may be removed from office after a hearing, for any willful violation of duty, or for the commission of an offense involving moral turpitude, upon written notice from the City Council at least five days before the hearing. He or she shall have the right to be present, to the aid of counsel, to offer evidence and to be heard in his or her own behalf. Upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members of the City Council, acting as a court of impeachment, the office shall become vacant.’

“As we speak today, there has been no proof that he has “willfully violated” his duties. The Mayor has directed staff in the necessary transitions this fall to a new mayoral administration and these are necessary steps for a successful transition.

“Today, we have received calls and emails from survivors of sexual assault who are reliving their own experiences. Many are coming forward to add their voice to the discussion. We are listening to their voices; each of us knows survivors and we underscore our concerns for each person. The Council will continue to support survivors, advocates, and those agencies that provide critical support to survivors and their families.

“Allowing due process to proceed before the courts or other competent tribunal does not lessen our compassion and understanding of victims who have been assaulted. These crimes are unspeakable and require the utmost attention from our legal and social service system no matter how long ago they might have occurred. Collectively, we appeal to the Mayor to stop referring to the criminal background of his accusers. This re-traumatizes survivors and hinders the City’s efforts to enact policy to assist people who have criminal backgrounds.

“Our primary focus will be to assure that the City’s best interests are being served and we have an effective transition in mayoral administrations.”

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Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast and Webcast live on Seattle Channel 21 and on the City Council’s website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook.

Councilmember Juarez’s Statement on $30M from Allen Foundation

Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) issued the following statement today after the Allen Foundation announced $30M to support homeless families:

“It’s not every day our city receives word of a multi-million-dollar partnership that will help to alleviate a decade-old crisis.  But today, due to the Allen Foundation’s tremendous generosity, families and young children will secure the housing they need to stabilize and thrive.

“My sincere hope is that these funds will serve families from North Seattle, as well as the rest of our great city.

“Mr. Allen is a hometown hero to many, and today we are all grateful for his civic pride and generosity. I’m impressed, but not surprised, by his gesture of compassion.”