Below is a list of proposed amendments to next year’s Seattle City budget from the People’s Budget 2021 campaign. Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s office sent this list to the Democratic Party Councilmembers on the City Council, urging them to join us and the People’s Budget 2021 campaign to push for the maximum possible progressive gains for working people in the budget vote this year.
Here are just a few of this year’s People’s Budget demands:
- INCREASE the Amazon Tax by $120 million to expand funds for affordable housing and Green New Deal projects, including urgent building and home weatherization!
- ADD $4.6 million to open 3 new tiny house villages, and follow through on opening the 3 villages we won funding for last year.
- FUND the urgent needs of unsheltered neighbors forced to live in their vehicles, such as in RVs, because of the stunning housing affordability crisis.
- FUND housing and services by cutting Jenny Durkan’s proposed $13-million police budget expansion. This includes a $1-million increase for restarting police “recruitment and retention,” such as hiring bonuses. (Police officers are some of the highest-paid City employees. Where are the hiring bonuses for social workers?)
- ADD $200,000 to fund Clean Greens, a Central District based non-profit organization dedicated to providing locally grown, affordable produce to the Seattle community.
- FUND the services for Vietnamese seniors, as the People’s Budget movement has advocated for every year.
Every year since 2014, our People’s Budget campaigns have won tens of millions of dollars in affordable housing, services for homeless neighbors, restorative justice, and renter organizing and attorney services against evictions. This year marks the eighth consecutive year of the annual People’s Budget campaign, first launched by Councilmember Sawant’s socialist Council office alongside many affordable housing and homeless service advocates.
As the Covid pandemic continues wreaking havoc on the economy and working class families, especially marginalized communities, U.S billionaires have gotten $1.8 trillion richer during the pandemic, an increase of 62 percent! Globally, billionaires are $10.2 trillion richer than they were at the start of the pandemic. Contrast this with the daily struggle facing most working people in and around Seattle. This year alone, rents have shot up 25.6% and average home prices exceed $800,000, far out of reach for most working-class families. A recent Census Bureau Report found 60,000 Seattle-area renters are in debt to their landlord, and vulnerable to eviction once the moratoriums expire.
In this context, Mayor Jenny Durkan’s proposed 2022 budget is completely unacceptable. It cuts $100 million from the Amazon Tax funds for affordable housing and Green New Deal projects. Join the fight for a People’s Budget that funds working people, not big business and the billionaires!