Seattle City Council

Business
3:34 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Seattle City Light Employee Raises Workplace Safety Concerns To City Council

Dana

On a morning when a fire at a Seattle City Light substation knocked out power to customers including the Monorail, the utility’s CEO happened to be in city council chambers answering questions about safety. 

Seattle City Council members brought CEO Jorge Carrasco into an energy committee meeting to discuss a string of recent embarrassing news stories, including Seattle City Light’s effort to suppress unflattering online search results.

But public testimony at the meeting steered toward the issue of employee safety.

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Transportation
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Seattle Mulls Reviving Downtown Streetcar In Hopes Of Easing Gridlock

A Seattle cable car is seen at Third and Yesler in 1940.
Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

The Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote today on whether to bring back the downtown streetcar.  

The proposed line would traverse First Avenue and link to the existing South Lake Union line and the First Hill line, which is slated to open later this year. 

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Seattle Police
4:59 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Seattle Police Chief Nominee Endorses Hiring Outside Assistants

Former Boston police commissioner Kathleen O'Toole left, speaks after being introduced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, right, as his nominee to be Seattle's new Chief of Police, Monday, May 19, 2014, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Confirmation hearings begin today for Kathleen O'Toole, the woman nominated to be the new Seattle police chief. Kathleen O’Toole will appear before the Seattle City Council Public Safety Committee.

One issue stirring controversy among the top brass in the Seattle Police Department is O’Toole’s plan to hire assistants from outside the department.

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Park Funding
4:14 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Seattle City Council Mulls Creating Park District To Fund Repairs

Matt Kowalczyk Flickr

The city of Seattle says its parks need major repairs and it doesn’t have the money to pay for them.

On Monday night, the Seattle City Council will hear from the public on the idea of creating a special park district that could levy its own taxes.

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Police & Privacy
6:05 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Seattle Police To Buy Facial Recognition Software — Should Citizens Be Worried?

zeraien Flickr

Following a decision by the Seattle City Council this week, the Seattle Police Department will soon use facial recognition software. 

The ACLU of Washington doesn't think the move will encroach on citizens' rights, but privacy advocates, including Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, aren’t fond of the new policy.

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Trash Pickup
12:06 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Mayor: Seattle To Stay On Weekly Trash Pickup Schedule

Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Seattle will not switch its trash pickup schedule to every other week following an unpopular pilot program.

Mayor Ed Murray asked the Seattle City Council to shelf the proposed plan and keep the city on its current weekly pickup schedule.

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Affordable Housing
5:59 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

As Ballard Complex Residents Face 75 Percent Rent Hike, Licata Calls For Future City Action

Residents protest outside Ballard's Lockhaven Apartments on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.
Ashley Gross

Options are running out for tenants of an apartment complex in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood who are facing much higher rents once the new owner renovates their units. Seattle City Council members say more needs to be done to make sure other renters don’t face a similar plight.

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Homelessness
12:11 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Seattle May Soon Have A Citywide System Of Lockers To Serve Homeless Residents

File image
joolie Flickr

Seattle city leaders are working to establish a citywide system of lockers for the city’s homeless residents, council members Sally Bagshaw and Bruce Harrell announced in a guest blog post in The Stranger on Tuesday.

Lockers, the council members wrote, would free homeless residents from having to “drag your possessions with you to your interview, on your back, in bags, whatever you have, stigmatizing you for sure as homeless.”

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Minimum Wage
3:51 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Not Yet In Office, Sawant Promises $15 Minimum Wage In 2014

File image
Elaine Thompson Associated Press

Seattle’s newly-elected Socialist city council member Kshama Sawant isn’t wasting any time. At a news conference Tuesday, Sawant boldly promised “2014 will be the year of the $15-an-hour minimum wage.”

Sawant, who won’t be sworn in until January, has already been meeting with council members and labor leaders. But she says she’s also looking for support from ordinary people on the street.

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Election 2013
5:01 am
Thu October 24, 2013

As Seattle Voters Mull Amendment 19, Tacoma Serves as Example

Fay Garneau
Jennifer Wing

Many people who live in Seattle probably have a hard time naming their city council representatives. There are nine at-large positions that govern the entire city. Charter Amendment 19 on the November ballot wants to make politics more local in Seattle by having seven of those positions look out for the needs of specific districts.

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Social responsibility
4:49 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Seattle to Require its Bank to be Socially Responsible

Ted S. Warren Associated Press

The Occupy Wall Street movement has faded from the news, but the Seattle City Council invoked its memory Monday with the passing of a banking ordinance. 

The city council wants the bank where it deposits money to reinvest back into the community. 

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Politics
4:58 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Plan to carve city council into districts likely headed for ballot

Supporters deliver their petition signatures to the Seattle city clerk's office.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Seattle voters will likely get a chance to consider a new way to elect the city council. Supporters of a district-elections amendment delivered 10 boxes of petitions to the city clerk, containing 46,633 signatures – more than enough to grab a place on the November ballot.

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Seattle mayoral race
4:30 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Burgess exits Seattle mayoral race

Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess has bowed out of the mayoral race.

Burgess said recent polling showed his campaign lacked the sparkle he needed to win, and he posed a risk of splintering the vote in the crowded race.

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Politics
7:20 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Seattle city council president says state may have to raise taxes to fund schools

The president of the Seattle City Council says the state needs to make sure it adequately funds schools – and that may mean the state has to raise taxes. 

The state of Washington faces a grim budget deficit – more than $2.5 billion over the next two years, by one estimate. At the same time, the state also has to boost money for schools, according to a state supreme court decision.

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Business
5:00 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Should Seattle require all landlords to register rental units?

The city of Seattle wants to crack down on problem rental buildings by requiring landlords to register and get inspections of their units. Tenants’ advocates say they’re hopeful the new system will mean fewer people living in unhealthy or dangerous housing.

Jonathan Grant runs the non-profit group Tenants Union of Washington State. He says he hears from tenants all the time about the poor conditions of their apartments.

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