Council shows leadership with much-needed COVID relief for families, small businesses, immigrants and refugees
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) celebrates the enactment of the JumpStart Seattle plan, which raises more than $200 million per year in progressive revenue to respond to the immediate COVID crisis and focus on Seattle’s long-term economic revitalization and resiliency by investing in affordable housing and essential city services, despite the Mayor’s return of the legislation to Council without signature.
The Council passed JumpStart Seattle on Monday, July 6, 2020. The Council will move forward with its scheduled vote on JumpStart Seattle’s accompanying COVID relief bill and spending plan resolution Monday afternoon during Full Council.
“Today we celebrate that we are one step closer to providing the relief our community desperately needs. We are disappointed the Mayor returned the legislation unsigned. Kicking the can down the road and pointing to a tax source that isn’t available is easy; pulling together a diverse coalition to pass one of the biggest relief packages the City has seen requires collaboration, hard-work, and dedication. I’m proud of my Council colleagues and advocates who worked together to address our City’s overlapping crises. A broad coalition — diverse stakeholders including business, labor, housing and community organizations — collaborated to pass JumpStart Seattle to support and meet our community’s most pressing needs during this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. This is what leadership looks like, and that’s what our City needs right now,” Mosqueda said.
Mosqueda pointed to several community coalitions that showed support for JumpStart Seattle and asked the Mayor to sign the legislation. Mosqueda also notes investments into our community are ongoing, citing the ongoing work to fund equitable community safety and real upstream investments into our BIPOC community.
From a letter signed by more than a dozen unions representing tens of thousands of Seattle workers:
“Every day has made the stakes of the economic crash more apparent, with furloughs, missed rent payments, and other financial struggles. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Our city is making a choice to meet the crisis head on by asking the wealthiest companies who call Seattle home to pay their share for our shared recovery. Through this ordinance, our city will be able to support residents through COVID, as well as starting to address the immoral homelessness emergency that is occurring daily on our streets.”
From a community letter signed by more than two dozen homelessness, housing and community advocacy groups:
“JumpStart Seattle is what our community needs now in order to prevent a significant increase in homelessness, especially among renters of color, as well as to address the deep need that already existed in Seattle before the pandemic …
We deeply appreciate and support proposed spending plan elements to invest in equitable community development; to assist Seattle’s immigrant community members and support small local businesses; to prioritize green new deal construction and rehabilitation; and to address community members’ emergency needs due to COVID-19 this year and next. Please sign this excellent legislation quickly.”
A letter of support from social, environmental and climate justice groups:
“The Jumpstart legislation is not a panacea, but by providing an estimated $214 million every year to fund housing and housing services, the Equitable Development Initiative, and the City’s Green New Deal and Economic Revitalization programs, Jumpstart will enable us to make significant progress in responding to our multiple, interconnected crises. This is a critical opportunity to invest in Seattle communities and chart a course to a more equitable & healthy future for all.”
JumpStart Seattle addresses the immediate economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, and in later years supports existing city services, new affordable housing and economic resiliency by taxing Seattle’s largest businesses on executives and employees with the highest salaries. The vast majority of Seattle businesses will not be subject to the tax because the ordinance excludes businesses with less than $7 million of annual Seattle payroll and does not place an assessment on salaries under $150,000.
The proposal will immediately address the COVID -19 crisis by investing in housing security, such as rental assistance programs and resources for non-profit affordable housing providers; our homelessness crisis, including further de-intensifying our shelters; food security through the city’s grocery voucher program; and cash assistance to small businesses. In later years, JumpStart Seattle transitions to funding the construction of and operations and maintenance of existing affordable housing city services and economic resiliency.