On this Thanksgiving Day eve, I find that there is so much for which I have to give thanks. There are people in District 1 and elsewhere who deserve recognition. In raising their voices, they help contribute every day to making Seattle a better city and they insure that City government is making decisions in the public interest. This year, as in previous years, there also are legislative victories that I couldn’t have accomplished without others. I am thankful for those as well, but I’ll wait until my annual year end wrap up post, to give recognize those accomplishments and those who helped me get it done.
Please indulge me now reflecting on my thanks for particular inspirational individuals. Anyone reading this, if you are working for your community I’m thankful for you, I’m just doing a shout out to a few people and groups on my mind today as I write this. No hurt feelings I hope, for names not mentioned!
I am thankful for small business owners like Cote Soerns and John Bennett who work in District 1 to advocate for small businesses as well advocating for healthy, cohesive, and engaged community!
I am thankful to Ann Levinson, a District 1 resident who has done so much for Seattle. She was the former Office of Professional Accountability Auditor, she was a Seattle Municipal Court Judge, and a Women’s National Basketball team, the Seattle Storm, Association team owner. I’m thanking her here for not only her service to the City but for her support of my efforts working to advance police accountability.
I am thankful to Marianne McCord for the work she has done in the South Delridge Neighborhood; it is through her advocacy that I was able to secure passage of the new Vacant Building Monitoring Program.
I am thankful for Bruce Stotler’s recent life estate that will facilitate an eventual donation of his property to expand Schmitz Park Reserve, and want to recognize here how that donation may inspire others, like a possibility that may led to a donation to expand the Orchard St Ravine.
I am thankful to Matt Algieri and John Lang for the work that they do every year organizing their neighbors to do a cleanup under the Admiral Bridge – picking up more than 4,000 pounds of garbage in 2018.
I am thankful for Steve Daschle honored by Southwest Youth and Family Services (SYFS) with the Weeks Award for his 30 years of leadership at SYFS and growing SYFS from a small neighborhood organization to one of the area’s leading human services organizations.
Finally, I want to thank Tomasz Biernacki for his production of Trickle Down Town, a documentary film about the homeless crisis in Seattle including visits to Camp Second Chance here in West Seattle and the RVs along Avalon Way. Tomasz says about making the film:
“I have discovered that most people have uneducated, knee-jerk reactions and false beliefs . . . about the homeless. They see the tents, the RVs, the addicted people who have untreated mental and physical health issues, and instead of doing something to help their neighbors, they degrade, cast away, and add insult to injury…”
Many thanks to Casey Flagg for sharing so much of her own personal struggle in the film.
This week’s budget update: Council passes 2019-2020 City budget
On Monday the City Council adopted a 2019 City budget, and endorsed a 2020 City budget.
The City’s total budget is $5.9 billion, of which $2.6 billion is for City Light and Seattle Public Utilities, which are ratepayer-funded. The City’s General Fund totals $1.3 billion, of which 52% is dedicated to public safety.
Thanks to all everyone who contacted me during this budget process. My press statement about the budget is linked here, and copied below.
Councilmember Herbold Celebrates District 1 Wins in 2019-2020 Budget
Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle, South Park) released the following statement celebrating items secured in the budget that address District 1 needs:
“I regularly hold office hours in West Seattle and South Park to hear directly from District 1 constituents. Leading up to this year’s budget, I heard the needs of D1 related to addressing public safety, supporting vital community organizations and needed capital improvement projects,” said Councilmember Herbold.
“I fought hard to secure funding in this budget to increase public safety in D1, including funding to maintain a public safety coordinator for South Park, funding for RV Remediation, and enhancing and adding three inspectors to the Vacant Building Monitoring Program, so more vacant properties are monitored and don’t become public safety nuisances for the neighborhood. I heard from the community and secured $60,000 in funding for Concord Elementary’s Community Learning Center, Citizenship Program funding for Neighborhood House at High Point, funding to allow Colman Pool stay open for an additional 4 weekends a year.
“I want to thank D1 constituents for making their voices heard year round as well as during this budget process. I also want to thank my Council colleagues and Budget Chair Sally Bagshaw for a collaborative process and producing a budget that addresses our city’s most pressing needs.”
DISTRICT 1 CAPITAL PROJECTS:
- Adding the Highland Park Way SW/SW Holden Street Roundabout project to the SDOT Capital Improvement Program
- Adding 35th Avenue SW road paving to the SDOT Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
- Seattle Parks Department planning to enhance Trail Access on SW Brandon Street
- Adding the South Park Playfield to the CIP, noting $1.8 million in funding
OTHER COMMUNITY CITYWIDE WINS:
- Adopted legislation to increase oversight for large capital projects, with enhanced reporting requirements, and use of the ‘stage-gate’ appropriation process for selected projects;
- Legacy Business Program to designate and provide resources to one Legacy Business in each of the 7 Council Districts in 2019;
- Civil legal aid to assist for indigent defendants in civil legal aid needs including, but not limited to, eviction prevention;
- Utility Discount Program Statement of Legislative Intent to address enrollment barriers;
- Adding an additional Animal Control Officer;
- Move Levy spending plan stating Council’s intent to consider and approve SDOT’s revised spending plan before SDOT implements a new Move Levy Plan;
- Funding to complete construction work at Town Hall;
- A resolution to resolve the uncertainty created by the “Mutual Offsetting Benefit Leases” held by the Greenwood Senior Center, and Central Area Senior Centers, and Byrd Barr Place; and,
- Transgender Economic Empowerment Program funding.
The Council also voted to create 40 additional police officer positions, and requested monthly updates on hiring progress.
A summary of Council’s individual budget actions can be found here.
Alaskan Way Viaduct Closure Information Meeting November 26 @ Delridge CC
On January 11th, WSDOT will permanently close the Alaskan Way Viaduct. For the following three weeks, WSDOT will realign SR 99 through Downtown to connect to the new tunnel. Afterwards SDOT will remove the Alaskan Way Viaduct and rebuild Alaskan Way. It’s actually a whole lot more complicated than that, removing walls, realigning the road into the tunnel, demolishing detours, building new roads, and unburying ramps, and finishing a new northbound offramp! Here is an instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGJ9ObcP3Jg&feature=youtu.be
SDOT and the Department of Neighborhoods will host an information session meeting about the forthcoming changes on Monday, November 26th at the Delridge Community Center at 4501 Delridge Way SW, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Buses from West Seattle, White Center and Burien that access Downtown on the Alaskan Way Viaduct such as the C Line and 120 will use interim pathways during 2019; here’s a link to the interim travel maps for the 21X, 37, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125 and C Line. SDOT engineers are examining my request for a dedicated bus lane on 1st Avenue, where buses will travel for much of 2019.
Once Alaskan Way is rebuilt, buses from West Seattle will access exit SR 99 right before the tunnel, and access Downtown via a transit lane on Alaskan Way, then turn right onto Columbia.
SDOT has a new website, Seattle Traffic, with information about the closure and forthcoming “Period of Maximum Constraint.”. WSDOT also has a new website, www.99tunnel.com, with information about the tunnel.
No Garbage Collection on Thanksgiving Day
Just a quick reminder that due to the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 22, there will be no garbage, recycling, or compost collection. Collections scheduled for Thursday will occur on Friday, and Friday collections will occur on Saturday. Customers should be sure to have their containers out by 7 a.m. to ensure collection.
If your garbage is not collected at the expected time, you can report missed collection by calling (206) 684-3000 or online here and click on “Report Missed Collection.”