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West Seattle Bridge; Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal Public Meetings/Online Open House; Update on SW Andover Street; Monitor’s Comprehensive Assessment of the Seattle Police Department; Stand in Solidarity Seattle; Funds Available for Child Care Facilities!; Join Me — On the Board of Health; Applications Due June 30; Shape the Future of Outdoor Pickleball in Seattle; Mourning 1 Million Americans Dead From COVID; PayUp Update + App Worker Pay Gap

West Seattle Bridge Update

SDOT is expecting the final two structural pours for specialized concrete next week!

The additional recent update we’ve received is that SDOT expects to make a time-frame announcement on June 9th.

Work is continuing on post-tensioning anchorage forms in the south girder.

During the structural concrete pours, there is a review of post-tensioning work completed to date, to make any real-time adjustments needed.

SDOT notes the following construction closures in West Seattle this weekend:

Construction in West Seattle this weekend; closure on eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct

Starting at 9 PM tonight, we’ll close the on-ramp from eastbound SW Spokane St to the Spokane St Viaduct, along with eastbound lanes of the Spokane St Viaduct. A signed detour will be in place along S Spokane St. All lanes will reopen by 5 AM, Monday, May 23. 

The closure is needed to install new bridge expansion joints, which allow the bridge to expand and contract during winter and summer months. While we do this work, we will also fill the potholes on the Viaduct.   

On Saturday, starting as early as 7 AM to 4 PM, we will upgrade the signal at 16th Ave S and East Marginal Way S. During this work, we’ll need to reduce the two travel lanes on each direction on East Marginal Way S to a single lane. We’ll have someone directing traffic at the work location to keep traffic moving efficiently. Please drive safely in work zones and follow directions from signs and flaggers.

On Sunday, we’ll install reflectors on West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way SW. We’ll begin as early as 5 AM and conclude by 3 PM. We’ll start near the Chelan 5-way intersection and work our way south, before going west on Highland Park Way SW, then go in reverse to cover eastbound Highland Park Way SW and northbound West Marginal Way SW. Please anticipate delays as we continuously move down the street to complete this work. This work may continue into next weekend. If there’s a change in schedule, we’ll include an update in next week’s email.   

Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal Public Meetings / Online Open House

Washington State Ferries (WSF) will be holding an online open house and two virtual meetings about the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal replacement project.

Here’s a link to the online open house that includes information about alternatives WSF is considering. The online open house goes through June 13, and you can submit comments and questions.

The two online community meetings will be on Tuesday, May 24, from noon to 1:30 p.m. and Wednesday, May 25, from 6-8 p.m. Both meetings will cover the same material. You can click the links to register for these Zoom meetings.

The week after each meeting, a video recording will be available online on the project webpage.

Several options were considered in what is called “Level 1” screening, the first level of consideration. Some alternatives were eliminated from consideration, including potential terminal locations at Lowman Beach, Colman Dock, Burien or Des Moines.

The alternatives moving into “Level 2” screening are all located at the current terminal location. At the recommendation of the Community Advisory Group, Level 2 alternatives were expanded to not only include maintaining the same dock size, but also options to maintain the dock size and include advance ticketing and using the Good to Go! Program – like it’s currently used for toll collection on the SR99 tunnel – but for ferry tickets.

Some options expand the size of the terminal or would affect traffic circulation on Fauntleroy Way SW.

Here’s a chart that shows the results of the Level 1 screening analysis. Here is the full Level 1 analysis, which has the easiest to read layout for the alternatives.

The section of the open house on the alternatives shows what will be analyzed moving forward in “Level 2” screening.

Update on SW Andover Street

Last Friday I wrote about the shooting on Andover near 26th, the second several weeks, near the RV encampment at that location.

SDOT announced they are resuming full 72-hour parking enforcement. When the Mayor’s Office briefed me about this the week before, and potential areas of focus, I emphasized the long-standing issues at Andover. I followed up with the Mayor’s Office about prioritizing this location. The Mayor’s Office responded:

“The Nucor site is currently scheduled for remediation for June 16th. This date is tentative and can be changed if circumstances shift but you should start to see a surge of outreach efforts to prepare vehicle owners prior to remediation day. Outreach will advise owners to get back in the habit of regularly moving vehicles to avoid a possible warning and citation. Our goal is to get as much compliance as possible or to offer services to those whose vehicles are not operable prior to the 16th.”

Monitor’s Comprehensive Assessment of the Seattle Police Department

The Seattle Police Monitor overseeing the Consent Decree has released a Comprehensive Assessment of Seattle Police Department.

Prior to this, the Monitor released separate preliminary assessments on the topics of 1. use of force; 2. crisis intervention; and 3. stops and detentions.  The Monitor presented these preliminary assessments separately at Community Police Commission community outreach meetings over the last few months to gather community input. The final assessment released this week combines all three area and finds that SPD “SPD has sustained its compliance with the Consent Decree generally, outside of notable issues with SPD’s response to the 2020 protests and other specific issues that require additional work to help prevent such problems in the future.”

The report shows a trend in reduced use of force, with an exception in 2020 due to use of force at protests. From 2015 to 2021, officer use of force declined 48%. That kind of change is a clear and positive result of officers implementing their updated policies.

It’s worth noting, however, that the Monitor did not recommend ending the Consent Decree. The Monitor’s letter at the start of the report notes three areas of work needed; first to restore trust lost during the protests and demonstration in 2020 in the wake of the murder of George Floyd; second, an assessment of the police accountability system; and third, “the City of Seattle must address disparate impact in policing,” noting the assessment shows “Black and Native American persons in Seattle are disproportionately stopped, detained and subjected to force.”

The report also hints at the forthcoming 2022 monitoring plan, which includes an Accountability System Performance Assessment. I appreciate this; in 2017 the City Auditor issued a report that recommended periodic evaluation of how the police oversight system functions to ensure that it is effective. I sought funding to begin similar work in the 2022 budget and have been in touch with the Auditor and the accountability bodies about beginning some of this work. I’m glad to see this is a point of emphasis for the Monitor and hope there can be productive collaboration that avoids duplication of efforts.

The report was sent to District Court Judge Robart, who oversees implementation of the Consent Decree.

Stand in Solidarity Seattle

Mothers for Police Accountability is asking for our support in the aftermath of last week’s heinous attack, being investigated as a hate crime, at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. Eleven of the people shot were Black, two were white. If you haven’t read about their lives, please take a moment to do so, here. The store manager said that the suspected gunman raised red flags to employees in his prior visits to the store.  She was quoted as saying, “How did we miss this…What did we do wrong that we missed this?”

As we mourn this horrible racially motivated attack and murder in New York, I urge us to think about the accounts of extremism and racial hate in our own community and in our workforce. What are we also missing?

Just the week prior to this, several elected and appointed city leaders received a letter from the city’s RSJI Network stating their concern and asking about actions being taken to address the noose found in mid-February in Fire Station 24.  Here is an excerpt:

“This is the second known such incident in recent years, with another noose found in the Fall of 2020 in Fire Station 17. Both Fire Stations 17 and 24 have Black officers and leadership within the organization; the threat for Black employees to “know your place” has deep historical roots in America, tracing back to slavery, the Klan, Jim Crow, and persists today. This targeted attack was committed in an attempt at making our Black colleagues fear for their safety, security, and life. As we are sure you agree, this behavior is beyond unacceptable and is a violation of the City workplace values of equity, inclusion, and accountability and falls under the definition of City workplace malicious harassment.”

When I met with Chief Scoggins this week, he was at a Fire Chief’s conference in Nashville.  He had been visiting the Lorraine Motel, the site of Rev. Martin Luther King’s assignation.  With that, as well as the previous week’s hate attack in New York as the subtext of our conversation, he read to me his response to the RSJI Network’s letter.  Here is an excerpt:

“The leadership of Seattle Fire Department stands in complete agreement that the use of any symbols, (verbal, written or body) language and/or behavior to communicate hatred, fear, intimidation, racism or any form of “other-ism” is untenable and cannot be tolerated.

We acknowledge the department has a history of racism, sexism and other disenfranchising practices. As much as we wish it were not so, the instances of nooses being left in fire stations on two separate occasions are stark reminders of the work we have yet to do.

Our messaging to the department and with media about those incidents has been clear: these actions are racist, have no place at Seattle Fire, and we are committed to pursuing the appropriate level of discipline depending on the outcome of an investigation. While the investigation at Fire Station 17 could not identify the responsible party, the investigation is ongoing into the noose at Fire Station 24. Providing regular updates to the Seattle Black Fire Fighters Association and SFD’s Change Team on the investigation status is something we are committed to doing.

Each member of the Seattle Fire leadership team has fully committed themselves to changing department culture to one that not only reflects the diversity of Seattle’s residents but where all of our uniformed and professional staff members feel accepted, safe, welcome, known and comfortable being their whole selves.”

I thank Chief Scoggins for this message of support of our public servants in the face of these terror-inducing acts of racial hate.  We must do much more to identify and root out extremism and racial hatred in our community as well as among city employees.

Funds Available for Child Care Facilities!

Apply now for City funding for your child care facility.  The Human Services Department is making up to $6 million available to invest in capital improvements:

  • Nonprofit, center-based providers and preschools are eligible to apply for $25,000 (min) to $2,000,000 (max)
  • Nonprofit, home-based agencies are eligible to apply for $10,000 (min) to $75,000 (max)

Providers must have experience in:

  • providing developmentally and culturally appropriate early learning programming;
  • working with Seattle children and families most disproportionately impacted by the effects of COVID-19; and
  • working with Seattle children 0 – 5 years old.

For more information, and all RFP materials, please visit HSD’s Funding Opportunities web page. Completed application packets are due by Noon on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Join Me — On the Board of Health; Applications Due June 30

The King County Board of Health is expanding in 2023 to include more members of the community.

Applications to join the Board are welcome from King County residents who share a commitment to public health principles and addressing racism as a public health crisis, including public health and health care providers, people with experience with public health programs, residents who are working to address health inequities, and others who have permits with Public Health. 

Applications are due June 30, 2022.  Learn more, register for an online open house, or apply at King County Board of Health – King County

Shape the Future of Outdoor Pickleball in Seattle

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) invites the community to the final online Open House for the pickleball study on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.  This online event is an opportunity for all to review strategies and locations for expanding access to outdoor pickleball in Seattle.  Use this link to register.

Learn more about SPR’s 2021-22 Outdoor Pickleball Study here.

Mourning 1 Million Americans Dead From COVID

Sometime this week, the nation passed a tragic milestone: 1 million Americans dead from COVID.  That figure is roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II – combined.

Among the dead: more than 241,000 children lost a parent or caregiver.  That’s an unimaginable burden of grief for a generation of young people.

The U.S. has the highest reported COVID-19 death toll of any country.  Predictably, the burden of loss has not been shared equally.

  • Three out of every four deaths were people 65 and older.
  • Black, Hispanic and Native American people have been roughly twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as their white counterparts.
  • Unvaccinated people have a 10 times greater risk of dying of COVID-19 than the fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Here’s CDC’s statement on the significance of this milestone: “Every life lost to COVID-19 is a tragedy and should be a reminder to continue taking precautions to prevent further serious illness and death.”

Every day in King County, another 1,000 people catch COVID.  Cases are increasing rapidly, and hospitalizations are starting to follow suit.  To honor the lives lost and keep your neighbors safe, stay up to date on your Covid vaccination; wear masks indoors; and stay home when you feel sick.

COVID-19 vaccine and boosters are free and no insurance required.  No appointment is needed: most pharmacies, clinics, and Public Health centers now offer drop-in COVID-19 vaccination. Enter your zip code in Washington’s Vaccine Locator tool or check the Getting Vaccinated page to find a vaccination site near you.

 

PayUp Update + App Worker Pay Gap

This coming Tuesday we’ll hear amendments on CB 120294, also known as PayUp. This bill has been heard several times in committee, and we hosted a Public Hearing on it on May 5. If you haven’t already you can sign up here to receive the Public Safety and Human Services Committee agendas here and you’ll be notified when the agenda is released and what amendments Councilmembers are sponsoring.

This week Working Washington released a report that shows:

  • The average pay for an app-based worker was $9.58/hour after accounting for basic expenses — 55% or almost $8 below Seattle’s minimum wage.
  • 92% of jobs paid less than minimum wage.
  • Average net pay for grocery delivery apps was $11.09/hour, and for restaurant delivery apps was $8.71/hour.
  • Without Seattle’s gig worker covid-19 hazard pay law, more than 1 in 8 delivery jobs would pay below $0 — in other words, they’d require more in driving and other expenses than they’d pay.
  • About 1/3 of workers’ earnings came from tips. But even if tips were treated as pay, workers’ average net earnings would be below minimum wage.
  • Marketplace apps also offer services at rates below minimum wage and engage in a variety of practices to drive down pay.
  • Finally, the report also found that raising pay to Seattle’s minimum wage after expenses would provide a direct economic boost of approximately $79 million annually for gig workers in Seattle — money that would be put right back into local business.

 

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