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Vaccination Site Coming to West Seattle; West Seattle Bridge Funding; Highland Park Survey; Food Banks Proposals; Community Safety Investments; Testimony at State Legislature on Brady List, Youth Rights Bills; Hazard Pay for Grocery Workers; Seattle Hospitality Worker Emergency Relief Fund – Deadline Extended

Vaccination Site Coming to West Seattle

A couple weeks ago, I let you know that the Seattle Fire Department has begun COVID vaccinations starting with mobile teams that will vaccinate up to 1,000 residents and staff of adult family homes and some permanent supportive housing residences. I explained that the City has the infrastructure in place to quickly turn at least one of the existing COVID testing sites into a mass vaccination site – what we don’t have is access to the necessary vaccine supply.  I’ve heard from many of you wanting to know what’s in store for West Seattle, given the closure of the West Seattle Bridge and ongoing restrictions on lower level bridge access and significant congestion on detour routes off of the peninsula.

This week, I received confirmation from the Mayor’s Office that the City is planning to stand up a West Seattle vaccination site as part of its overall testing strategy. I’ll meet with the Mayor’s Office next week to learn more about their plans.  The timing is dependent upon when there is an adequate supply of vaccines; vaccines are in limited supply and the number and timing of doses that Seattle receives is determined by the state and federal government. I know there is a lot of interest in supporting West Seattle vaccination sites, and I will keep you updated about these plans as I learn more and continue to advocate for local vaccinations.

The City of Seattle launched a vaccine website and weekly vaccination newsletter this week: learn more and sign up here.

Where can I learn more about vaccination?

West Seattle Bridge Funding: Regional Funding Secured; State and Federal Options

On Thursday, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) Executive Board voted to approve $14.4 million in funding for the West Seattle Bridge project.

Thank you to PSRC Executive Board members Council President González, Councilmembers Lewis and Strauss and Mayor Durkan for their work at the Executive Committee. Thanks also to members from King County, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, for affirming the importance of the West Seattle Bridge as a critical regional asset.

Thanks to PSRC Transportation Policy Advisory Board members, Council President González, and Councilmembers Juarez and Pedersen for their work on the PSRC Transportation Policy Advisory Board for making the recommendation to move this funding to the Executive Board for final action.

The Council received updates on Monday about potential funding at the state and federal level.

At the state level, the House Democrats Transportation Revenue Package proposal includes $6.7 billion for state and local capital projects, with $1 billion reserved for the I-5 Crossing Bridge. Other projects are to be determined, which isn’t unusual at this point. The State Senate Transportation Chair’s proposal includes a placeholder for the West Seattle Bridge listed at $25 million.  I appreciate the state legislature’s transportation funding proposals. While proposals can evolve over time, it’s good to see funding proposed or potentially available for the bridge.

At the federal level,  the City’s Federal Goals for 2021 include seeking federal funding for the bridge.

During the update on federal issues the Council heard on Monday, I asked about the potential for funding for the West Seattle Bridge. The City’s federal lobbyist noted the Biden administration plans to first act on a coronavirus relief package. After that, they will move to work on an infrastructure bill for which the bridge could be a good candidate.

SDOT posted a summary of the bridge stabilization work they completed in December, and the eight months of work. Here’s a visual that shows where the work has taken place:


Highland Park Home Zone Survey

As part of the Reconnect West Seattle program to address the impacts on neighborhoods from the closure of the West Seattle Bridge, SDOT initiated work on the Home Zone program in Highland Park, South Park, and Georgetown. A Home Zone involves the neighborhood working together to prioritize improvements that calm traffic and improve pedestrian mobility and neighborhood livability.

SDOT has released a survey on the Highland Park Home Zone, showing the current status of the proposal. The survey is open through February 15. Below are links to the survey in English, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese.  To request the survey in other languages, contact SDOT at WestSeattleBridge@seattle.gov or 206-400-7511.

The survey links to locations where SDOT is proposing, for example, speed humps, curb bulbs, crosswalks, flashing beacons, all-way stops, signal upgrades’, and other improvements.

Next steps include reviewing survey results and presenting a final home zone plan to the community, and implementing priority projects during 2021, and working with neighbors on construction plans.

The survey includes maps of proposals in different areas in the neighborhood; here’s one example.

Participation in the Home Zone program is one of the ten prioritized projects in the Roxhill, Highland Park, Riverview and South Delridge neighborhoods as part of the Reconnect West Seattle program.

Request for Proposals: Food Banks Serving Delridge, Georgetown, and South Park

The Youth and Family Empowerment (YFE) Division of the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is seeking applications from agencies to provide food to low-income individuals and families in Delridge, Georgetown, and South Park.  Applications are due March 24th.   Find the full Request For Proposals and timeline here.

This RFP is in response to a February 2019 report produced by Public Health and partners on healthy food availability, funded by Sweetened Beverage Tax revenue, that found, “healthy food priority areas are clustered near the southern boundary around the Duwamish waterway (including Georgetown, South Park, Delridge, and High Point).”

Briefing on New Community Safety Investments

At the September 26th meeting of the Public Safety & Human Services committee, which I chair, we heard two presentations on investments in community safety and alternatives to the traditional criminal legal system.  Both investments were funded through Council action.

The Seattle Community Safety Initiative (CSI) operates three community safety hubs – including one in West Seattle – which build an alternative to traditional policing that is led by and for Black and brown communities in Seattle.  I sponsored this investment, which Council funded through a $4M appropriation during last summer’s 2020 budget rebalancing process.   You can view presentation materials here, and watch video of the presentation here.

The Human Services Department also gave a brief update on their work to contract $12 million to build capacity in community safety organizations that will provide alternatives to policing and the traditional criminal legal system for both violent and non-violent crime.  I sponsored this budget action, which will help build a public health-centered, harm reduction model of restorative justice, crime prevention, and ameliorating the harm caused by the criminal legal system to individuals and communities most impacted.   You can view a memo about the work here, and watch video of the briefing here.

The community safety capacity investment is still in development.  HSD has agreed to return to my committee in late February to share the results of a landscape analysis of investments in existing public safety programs and a proposed spending plan.

Testimony at State Legislature on Brady List, Youth Rights Bills

On Wednesday the 20th, I testified at the state House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee in support of a bill that helps to implement the state legislative recommendations of the Community Police Commission and the City’s state legislative agenda. I also noted support for a youth rights bill.

My testimony is below.

Good morning.  My name is Lisa Herbold and I am the Public Safety and Human Services Committee Chair of the Seattle City Council.  It’s an honor for me to be here with you today.

I am here to speak in support of HB 1088 but I’m thrilled that this committee is also considering, under Rep. Johnson’s leadership, HB 1140, a Youth Rights Ordinance.  I was honored to be the prime sponsor of the Seattle Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens’ Youth Rights Ordinance.  

I want to thank Chair Hansen, Mr. Speaker Pro Tem Lovick, and the sponsors of HB 1088 for their advocacy for updating statewide standards with best practices to address potential impeachment disclosures of misconduct affecting their credibility, pursuant to Brady v Maryland.

There is an additional opportunity with HB 1088, and that is to address a concern that SB 6188, passed in 2018, may overly limit adverse personnel actions and accountability sought over Brady list officers. I respectfully request that HB 1088 include language that does not require, but allows consideration of adverse personnel actions for Brady list officers are on the list for good reason, who because of investigated and proven misconduct, lack credibility, and consequently may be limited in their ability to completely fulfill the obligations of their job such as testifying in the prosecution of arrests they themselves have made.

In addition, HB 1088 as currently drafted, appears to limit law enforcement agencies from basing hiring decisions on Brady list participation by stating that, it is not itself a bar to employment. I respectfully request that you please include language clarifying that local law enforcement departments are not required to but may refrain from hiring those officers for whom there is a investigated and proven record of engagement in misconduct affecting their credibility and, in doing so, please support law enforcement efforts to hire only those officers who can fully do the job that they are hired to do.

Hazard Pay for Grocery Workers

Last week Councilmember Mosqueda brought forward legislation to compensate our local grocery store workers who have not received hazard pay from their employers for roughly eight months. The legislation provides for an additional four dollars and hour in pay in recognition of the hazards these workers take on every day. Unfortunately, as the pandemic got steadily worse essential grocery store workers lost the hazard pay that many companies had been paying. This, in the face of unprecedented new earnings these grocery retailers were seeing. The Bookings Institute released a report that detailed these findings:

  • Kroger (QFC and Fred Meyer) saw its net earnings for the first two quarters jump to more than $2.031 billion compared to $1.069 billion in the same period of 2019.
  • Walmart’s net earnings was $15.6 billion for the first 3 quarters compared to $10.7 billion for the same period for 2019, a 45% increase.
  • Amazon/Whole Foods saw a $17.4 billion profit for the first three quarters, up $6 billion from the same period last year.
  • Albertsons/Safeway saw an additional $523 million in profits in 2020.

The passage of the hazard pay ordinance recognizes the essential work of grocery store employees who keep stores running safely and smoothly  – while many are able to work form home these workers put themselves in harm’s way every day.

While I wish we could require hazard pay for all essential workers, this legislation is focused on large grocery stores, most who have massive profits from a shift in consumer behavior.

Seattle Hospitality Worker Emergency Relief Fund – Deadline Extended

You now have until February 15th to apply for one-time financial relief from the City-funded Hospitality Worker Relief Fund.  The Hospitality Worker Emergency Relief Fund serves low-income, hospitality workers who live and work in Seattle and have lost their jobs or experienced a pay reduction due to employment changes and business closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apply here.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must live in Seattle
  • Employed or lost employment due to COVID in Seattle
  • Presently work or worked in Hospitality in Seattle
  • Household income at or below 60% AMI (area median income) in Seattle

Applications and answers to frequently asked questions are available in multiple languages:

The City partnered with Wellspring Family Services to provide this one-time cash assistance to help meet the basic needs of workers in the hospitality industry impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

This funding is part of the Mayor and City Council’s December announcement to provide up to $5 million in new financial assistance for small businesses and hospitality industry workers impacted by the most recent COVID-19 restrictions. More than 1 million people have collected unemployment benefits in Washington state since the pandemic began. In Seattle alone, more than 600 restaurants and bars have been forced to close for good due to the pandemic.

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