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Coronavirus/COVID-19; Police Staffing and Hiring Update; Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line Project: SDOT Final Report; Park District Planning Meeting Tonight; Free Tax Help; Auditor Report on Trash Around Unsanctioned Encampments; Committee Workplan; Delridge Neighborhood Development Association Fundraiser

Coronavirus/COVID-19

For updates on the coronavirus, you can follow Public Health – Seattle & King County or sign up for AlertSeattle – the City of Seattle Government’s emergency notification system – to receive customized alerts via text, email, voice mail, or on Facebook or Twitter.

More info at alert.seattle.gov.

 

Police Staffing and Hiring Update

I’ve heard support for hiring more officers from residents of neighborhoods all over West Seattle and South Park. In the annual public safety surveys Seattle University does, this is listed as a top priority every year in all the neighborhoods in the Southwest Precinct. Since becoming Chair of the Council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee in January, I’ve heard the same message from residents throughout the city. During the 2020 budget, the Council voted to fund 12 items recommended in the 2019 Officer Recruitment and Retention Report.

On February 25th the Public Safety and Human Services Committee I chair hosted an update from the Seattle Police Department on staffing in 2019 and 2020 hiring plans.

The presentation notes a net increase in 16 officers in 2019, and the highest percentage of people of color hired during 2019 in SPD’s history, 39%. It’s encouraging to see, and I thank SPD for this work; a police department that reflects Seattle’s diversity is a primary pillar of our effort to grow the number of officers available to serve.

The presentation also notes items SPD is working on included in the 2019 Officer Recruitment and Retention Report. Here’s a link to the presentation, and the Council staff analysis. You can watch the discussion here.

A new community-focused hiring campaign was announced on February 24th.  I had the opportunity to participate in the event along with Mayor Durkan and Chief Best.

 

The Council adopted several budget motions requiring updates on progress to the Public Safety and Human Services Committee throughout 2020. The Council received the first monthly staffing update required by those budget actions; it shows a net gain of 7 officers in the month of January alone. An update on the implementation of Recruitment and Retention Report is requested by May 29th.

For more information on SPD’s recruitment and hiring initiatives, including information on how to apply to become an officer, salaries, benefits, and testing schedules, visit www.seattlepolicejobs.com.

 

Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line Project: SDOT Final Report

SDOT has delivered a report the Council required for the Delridge Way SW – H Line project in a budget action. The report includes an update on SDOT’s work on final design and construction schedule, and response to community suggestions, and why they were or weren’t included.

The report requested SDOT report back on several items, including public outreach, feedback, changes from 90% to 100% design; status of funding; construction schedule; business outreach and engagement; pedestrian access and crossing at bus stops; decisions regarding 24/7 bus lanes; implementation of Bicycle Master Plan (included in last week’s newsletter), and consideration of a traffic diverter and speed humps where cut-through traffic is occurring.

Project work is scheduled to begin in early summer of this year, and continue through late 2021 or early 2022. In September 2021, bus route 120 is planned for conversion to the Rapid Ride H Line. The project includes re-paving of the roadway from SW Orchard to SW Andover.

Changes included in 100% design compared to 90% design include reducing the level of pavement restoration between Andover and the West Seattle Bridge, to avoid the need to remove new pavement if Sound Transit builds a Delridge station at that location; adding an emergency cut-through for Fire Department emergency access north of SW Hudson Street; and improvements for bicycle safety on the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway on 26th Avenue SW.

SDOT outreach to organizations and businesses is included in an appendix.

Here’s a link to the report.

 

Park District Planning Meeting Tonight:

Join neighbors to help Seattle Parks & Recreation strengthen your local parks and invigorate your community.  The Park District is holding a community meeting on Monday, March 2 from 6-8pm at Delridge Community Center, 4501 Delridge Way SW.  Your voice will help develop a plan for the next six years of parks investment.  Learn more here.

If you can’t make it to the Monday meeting, take the public survey here.

 

Free Tax Help

If you make less than $66,000, United Way of King County will help you prepare and file your taxes for free. From January 13 through April 18, 2020, they’ll have free tax experts at 33 locations, ready to help you maximize your refund. No appointment is needed.

Locations in District 1 include:

  • West Seattle Food Bank, 6516 35th Avenue SW
  • YWCA Greenbridge, 9720 8th Avenue SW
  • South Seattle College – Jerry Brock Student Center, Room 140, 6000 16th Avenue SW

Be sure to bring…

  • Social Security card/ITIN letters for everyone on the return
  • Photo ID
  • All tax statements (W-2 form, 1099 form, SSA-1099 form, etc.)
  • Health insurance form 1095-A
  • Your spouse, if you are filing together

Learn more, and check hours of availability here.

 

Auditor Report on Trash Around Unsanctioned Encampments

On Monday the City Auditor released an audit with recommendations titled Five Steps the City of Seattle Should Take to Reduce Trash Around Unsanctioned Encampments.  This audit was undertaken upon my request.

In short, the report makes five recommendations to help prevent trash accumulation around unsanctioned encampments:

  • Track trash accumulation systematically
  • Develop and implement strategies for persistent trash “hot spots”
  • Protect urban streams and watersheds
  • Improve needle recovery efforts, and
  • Use best practices to deter metal theft

I have already been working on many of the issues this report makes recommendations on. During budget last year, I proposed several budget actions in order to address these concerns. Specifically:

  • HOM-50-A-2 expands the Encampment Trash program with a nonprofit provider to allow for a more efficient expansion of the encampment trash program (purple bags).
  • Statements of Legislative Intent (SLIs)  for the Human Services Department to develop Good Neighbor Agreements that include garbage and needle collection requirements in provider contracts.  While not included in the final budget, both are Select Committee on Homelessness Strategies & Investment workplan issues.  The Auditor’s recommendation will help insure this work gets done.
  • SPU-4-A-2 begins mobile pump-out services to RVs. The pilot program would service between 40 and 64 RVs per month near infrastructure that drains to waterways as critical areas under the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
  • HOM-16-A-1 provides funding to buy and staff five mobile bathroom facilities, aka Mobile Pit Stops. The Mobile Pit Stops are a place for people to use the bathroom, dispose needles and pet waste, and have staffing to ensure safety and cleanliness that the Auditor estimates is less costly than the self-cleaning bathrooms the City sold years ago, and less than the recently installed Ballard Commons Portland Loo.
  • SLI SPD-9-A-2 requests SPD to develop a Citywide approach to collect and report the theft, damage or vandalism of City assets, namely copper wire and the damage caused by the theft. This SLI requires a quarterly report to Council that:
    • Identifies whether City departments are tracking damage to City infrastructure, including damage caused by copper wire theft;
    • Recommends how City departments could most effectively track damage to City infrastructure; and
    • Recommends steps that SPD and other departments can take to deter theft and to identify and address frequent offenders of copper wire theft
  • SLI SPD-10-A-2 requests that SPD investigate the purchases of copper wire at the Seattle scrap metal recyclers, and requests a report that:
    • Indicates how SPD examines records of copper wire transfers;
    • Identifies steps that SPD is taking to ensure that metal recyclers are keeping accurate records of transactions and deterring purchase of stolen metals; and
    • Identifies financial or personnel related resources that are needed to ensure that SPD has what it needs to do this work.

I will continue to track the progress of these items as either report backs from departments or in other committee workplans, to be tackled over the course of the year.

 

Committee Workplan

On Tuesday, in my new committee, Public Safety & Human Services, we had an updated from Council staff on the draft committee workplan.

Committee workplans help identify our work products, division of labor, and can be used to hold ourselves accountable for the work we promise to undertake.  The Committee workplan is not intended to capture all of the priorities I have for the year, only those that will go through my specific committee because they are the responsibility of either the Seattle Police Department, the Seattle Fire Department, the Human Services Department, the Office of Emergency Management, the Seattle Municipal Court, or the Law Department, the Office of Professional Accountability, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Community Police Commission.

Council intends on voting on the finalized workplans today at Full Council, and once approved they will be posted here.

 

Delridge Neighborhood Development Association Fundraiser

The Delridge Neighborhood Development Association (DNDA) is having their annual fundraiser on Friday, March 6. A non-profit, DND is developed to social, racial, and environmental justice. Their mission is “Integrating Art, Nature, and Neighborhood to build and sustain a dynamic Delridge”

You can support DNDA at their annual fundraiser:

When: Friday, March 6 – 6pm mingle, program starts at 7pm

Where: Metropolist, 2931 1st Ave S

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