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    Musings on Transparency, Accountability, and the Public Benefit of Conferences

    This week, after reading of my attendance at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce Retreat in the local media, a constituent sent me a quote of mine from 1998: “It’s not a novelistic imagery…When some of the big projects done recently have been criticized, it’s usually been a last-minute kamikaze effort…We don’t have a conspiracy world […][More]

    Councilmember Sawant in Solidarity with Activists Rallying Today Against SHA’s ‘Stepping Forward’ Proposal

    City of Seattle FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/24/2014

    Councilmember Sawant in Solidarity with Activists Rallying Today Against SHA’s 'Stepping Forward' Proposal

    SEATTLE - Councilmember Kshama Sawant issued the following statement regarding today’s protest against the Seattle Housing Authority's (SHA's) "Stepping Forward" proposal. The protest is organized by Tenants United Against Stepping Forward, a group of tenants and housing justice activists who are bringing their struggle to City Hall. The proposal would increase rents for low-income residents by 430% over the next six years for a family living in a two bedroom house.

    "I stand in solidarity will all those who are fighting to defend and expand affordable housing in this city, and I strongly support the demands being put forward by Tenants United Against Stepping Forward. These demands include scrapping Stepping Forward entirely, appointing tenant activists to the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee, and ensuring that there is a voice for tenants in the SHA Board of Commissioner’s appointment process.

    "The tenants' protests have already been effective. The City Council has sent a unanimous letter opposing Stepping Forward. Five of the seven SHA board members must be appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Council in the next six months. I urge the Mayor and Councilmembers to join me in signing a proclamation pledging to only appoint or confirm individuals who oppose Stepping Forward and who have a proven track record of housing advocacy for low-income people."

    Today's protest, organized by Tenants United Against Stepping Forward, will begin at 3 p.m. in Seattle City Hall’s lobby at 600 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104.

    [View in Council Newsroom]


    Where to go when you gotta go

    I’ve been hearing concerns from many that our downtown public spaces feel unwelcoming. As someone who lives and works downtown, I am committed to creating a civic center that is safe, healthy and welcoming to all. I’m working on several ideas including making it easier to access a restroom for everyone who lives, works and […][More]

    Letters from Second Grade

    This week I visited a 2nd grade classroom in my neighborhood to talk to them about life in the city. They each wrote letters to me expressing their concerns. Here are a few of them: Dear Councilman Burgess, I am...[More]

    Artists and Vacant Buildings?

    I came across the article, below, on today, written by Rachel Belle, that I found interesting enough to share with you. In a related effort, I’m working to convince developers to buy visual art from local artists as amenities for new apartment buildings and condos. Look for an update on my progress in a […][More]

    A Strong and Sensible Step for Affordable Housing

    This week the City Council took another strong and sensible step toward creating more affordable housing in Seattle. The Council passed a Resolution that should lead to a significant increase in resources for affordable housing. Rents are increasing rapidly. Our...[More]

    Action Summary, 10/20/14

    Action Summary of the Seattle City Council Full Council Meeting Monday, October 20, 2014 All Councilmembers were present.   PLANNING, LAND USE, AND SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE: 1. Res. 31551 ADOPTED As Amended (7-2; opposed: Bagshaw, Rasmussen) Stating the City's intent to implement an affordable housing linkage fee program, establishing policy parameters for such a progra[More]

    Budget Update: Public Hearing Thursday @ 5:30 p.m., Issue ID

    The City Council will hold its second budget public hearing on Thursday, October 23 at 5:30 p.m., in the Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 4th and James. The sign-in sheet will be posted at 4:30 p.m. Additional details are listed on the official notice. The Council will begin Issue Identification […][More]

    Our reality – We must create affordable housing. Starting now.

    I want to make Seattle affordable for every income bracket. We can no longer limp along and hope the market builds and preserves enough affordable housing that helps everyone build a better life. To accomplish this we must encourage those who live and work and build in our community to be part of the solution: […][More]

    Linkage Fees

    Councilmember O’Brien and I submitted a guest opinion piece to the Seattle Times about linkage fees.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read it here:   Guest: Seattle needs a linkage fee to make housing more affordable for lower-income residents[More]