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Womxn’s March Tomorrow, Pronto/Bike Share Ending in Seattle; Reminder: Alaska Junction MHA/HALA meeting January 26; In the Cold Poetry Reading January 26; Annexation Briefing; Mayor’s Executive Order on Encampments; In-District Office Hours January 27

Womxn’s March Tomorrow

Please join me at the Womxn’s March on Seattle tomorrow, January 21st. All people are invited to join in solidarity with the march taking place in Washington D.C. as well as in 200 events planned in 46 states and 30 countries.

Are you wondering about the “x” in the title “Womxn’s March?”  Seattle organizers adopted the name ‘Womxn’s March on Seattle” to recognize intersectionality.  The organizers say: “different forms of discrimination intersect, overlap, and reinforce each other, and take into account the impact of discrimination based not only on gender but also race, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, faith, class, disability, and other backgrounds.”

The day will start with a rally at 10am in Judkins Park (2150 S Norman St) and the march will begin at 11am. There are over 80 organizations participating and an expected turnout of more than 50,000 people.

The march will follow a route through downtown and disperse at the Seattle Center. Along the route, community advocates and social justice leaders will speak about issues threatened by the incoming Presidential administration, such as the safety and wellbeing of undocumented people, reproductive and LGBTQ rights, combating climate change, and more.

I believe our collective efforts to intentionally support one another in new ways will be more important than ever before in the days and years to come. If you can’t join the march tomorrow morning, please consider other avenues to show your support for community members who will be impacted by future efforts to reverse the gains of our nation in keeping immigrant and refugee families safe, protecting a woman’s access to birth control and her right to choose, maintaining drug policy reform, supporting the rights of everyone to love whom they choose, and defending a workers’ right to unionize.

Pronto/Bike Share in Seattle Ending

On Friday January 13 Mayor Murray announced the city would not pursue a new $4.7 million bike-share program in Seattle to replace the Pronto system, and instead direct funding to pedestrian and bicycle safety, and the Safe Routes to Schools program.

Here’s my statement on the Mayor’s announcement that the City will not pursue a new bike share system following Pronto’s decommissioning later this winter:

“This was absolutely the right call. With limited public dollars, these resources are better used to develop safe routes to schools for our students.  Now is not the time for public investment in a bike share system.

 “I’m glad to see these funds are proposed toward implementing the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, and School Safety projects, in line with my proposal last year to re-direct $4 million in funding away from expansion of the Pronto system toward these existing needs. I regularly hear from constituents about school crossing safety, most recently regarding Genesee Hill Elementary.

 “During last year’s budget cycle, I sponsored a budget action the Council adopted to remove $900,000 in funding for operation of the Pronto system in 2017 and 2018, to preserve funding for these existing needs.”

Last year I voted “no” on legislation for the City to purchase the Pronto system for $1.4 million; it passed 7-2.

The cut adopted by the Council during the budget process allows the Pronto system to operate no longer than March 31.

Reminder: Alaska Junction MHA/HALA meeting January 26

Here’s a reminder about the Alaska Junction public meeting on the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability and the Executive’s initial proposal for zoning changes:

  Alaska Junction. Thursday, January 26th, 6-9pm, West Seattle Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon St, RSVP for the Alaska Junction Workshop by clicking here.

To RSVP, click the link above, email Spencer.Williams@Seattle.Gov or call (206) 384-2709.

The meeting originally scheduled for Morgan Junction on the 23rd has been delayed, and is being re-scheduled.

In the Cold Poetry Reading January 26

Seattle Civic Poet Claudia Luna Castro has organized In the Cold, a poetry reading on the eve of the annual survey to document homelessness in Seattle and King County.

It will feature Castro Luna, Seattle’s Youth Poet Laureate Angel Gardner, and writers from the Recovery Café and Mary’s Place for a Count Us In poetry reading and showing of Michelle de la Vega’s film US THEM WE.

It will take place on January 26 in City Hall Plaza at 600 4th Avenue, at 7 p.m.

It is Co-sponsored by Open Books, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and myself.

Annexation Briefing

On Wednesday I attended the Education, Equity, and Governance Committee briefing on the potential annexation of both the North Highline area and the Duwamish area (or Sliver by the River). You can see a map of both proposed annexation areas here, a memo describing the process and timeline here, and a document outlining the impacts to service providers such as school districts, utilities, fire, police and other emergency services here.

The proposed timeline for the Duwamish area annexation includes May Council deliberations on a resolution approving an election date, proposed at this time to be August 2017, though this might change.  If approved by the voters then, the effective date would be January 1, 2018. Because annexation would result in the transfer of King County-owned assets to the City and an assumption of the costs of services, the Executive is currently negotiating an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) with King County as a prerequisite to moving forward.

The proposed timeline for the North Highline annexation includes an election in August or November of 2018 and, if approved by the voters, an effective date of January 1, 2020. You may recall I previously wrote about the public hearings for the North Highline annexation held by the County Boundary Review Board where they voted 8-1 to approve the annexation and directed staff to prepare the written findings and decision. Negotiations of an ILA for the North Highline Annexation Area are required but have not started.  Similar to the Sliver by the River Annexation, the City Council will first need to approve placing the question on the ballot and establish an election date.

We learned in the briefing that the financial analysis to determine City costs to provide services to the proposed annexation area, and determine revenues generated within the area to support those costs, is out of date.  I requested that the Executive prepare a new analysis prior to the Council deliberations on each of the two annexations.

If you have specific questions or a group that would like to receive a presentation from the City, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Mayor’s Executive Order re: three new encampments

This Tuesday the Mayor’s office filed three emergency orders with the City Clerk, as allowed by the state of emergency declared by the Mayor in late 2015. The emergency orders created encampments at three locations, each able to serve between 60 and 70 persons experiencing homelessness. One of those locations is the current Myers Way encampment. I have heard from many constituents about this encampment, specifically about the illegal dumping near the site and the surrounding greenbelt as well as the lack of available services at the current location.

The Executive Orders, as originally proposed, did not provide for the important standards and procedures applicable to already-existing sanctioned encampments authorized by the Seattle Municipal Code. The Highland Park Action Committee is seeking additional accountability structures, and in an effort to support their request, I proposed a modification to the orders requiring that these encampments also conform to standards applicable to the existing sanctioned encampments authorized by Seattle Municipal Code 23.42.056. Specifically:

  • Establishment of a Community Advisory Committee to facilitate resolution of complaints;
  • Development of an encampment operations plan; and
  • Access to bathrooms and water and removal of garbage no-less frequently than weekly.

These modifications to the Emergency Orders were approved.  I will follow the implementation of these requirements at Myers Way.  In addition, I’m working with Seattle Public Utilities to support community requests for monitoring of water quality at nearby Hamm Creek as well as the wetlands, both of which are impacted by unauthorized camping in other sections of the Greenbelt.

In-District Office Hours

I will be at the Southwest Neighborhood Center (2801 SW Thistle St) on Friday, January 27th from 2:00pm – 7:00pm.  The final meeting of the day will begin at 6:30pm. 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 (alex.clardy@seattle.gov).

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