Seattle City Council President M. Lorena González issued the following statement after the Council voted 7-2 on Council Bill 119825, overturning the Mayor’s veto:
“Earlier today, I voted to override Mayor Durkan’s veto of three bills that were passed by this City Council during our summer budgeting process.
“In the wake of a racial reckoning, a $300 million budget shortfall, a pandemic, a climate crisis, a homelessness crisis, an affordable housing crisis, widening wealth inequities, and a lack of federal leadership, our fundamental duty remains: to balance the City’s budget and meet the needs of Seattle’s most vulnerable residents. On this task, the Charter of our City is unequivocally clear. In a year unlike any other in living memory, I am proud of the work Council did under the leadership of Budget Chair Mosqueda.
“City Council’s budget actions over the summer were a starting place to achieve public safety that truly includes and serves everyone, and I stand by the votes and positions I took then. The modest actions that the Council took over the summer were necessary. Transforming public safety requires us to begin the process of divesting from carceral systems and investing in real community safety centered on harm reduction for the well-being of all Seattlelites, especially BIPOC community members.
“It is imperative that our budget makes meaningful community investments to build wealth and security in BIPOC communities; fund a robust community-led participatory budget process; and reduce the size of the police force through out-of-order layoffs and shifts to community-supported public safety programs centered on harm reduction, and a more civilianized E911 response system.
“I’ve spent the past several weeks in intense conversation and negotiations with the Mayor and her office, spending countless hours invested in finding common ground and policy alignment. Ultimately, the collaboration between the Mayor and my office yielded a proposed compromise bill, but also illuminated and quantified just how far apart we are on our vision and approach from that of the Mayor.
“Despite differences in spending priorities, the Council’s relationship with the Mayor’s office is functional and focused on making sure City Hall is working for our constituents. I have had productive conversations over the past several weeks, and I feel hopeful about continued collaboration going into the fall budget deliberations, and our ability to meet the community’s needs. I remain committed to my relationship with my colleagues, with the Mayor, and with the public to work together to address our city’s most pressing challenges.”