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West Seattle Bridge Update; Highlighting Violence Prevention Efforts; July 12 Public Safety and Human Services Committee; Chief of Police Search; Sound Transit Resolution Vote; Strength Over Silence: Minority Mental Health Awareness Month; Touring City Hall with People’s Academy for Community Engagement; Learn About Colman Pool Maintenance Project; Valuing the Work of Social Sector Workers; Truck Parking Meeting in South Park; In-Person Office Hours

West Seattle Bridge Update

Concrete post-tensioning ducts have been completed and, this week, the installation of post tensioning steel cables continues.

After installation of post-tensioning steel cables, the next step is to tension (or tighten) the cables. The contractor is expected to begin this work on Monday.

Tensioning of the cables will be done in two phases: first to 20%, and then to fully tensioned.

In addition to work to repair the bridge, major maintenance work is proceeding at the same time.

The first two of six deck overlay pours are scheduled this week for the Fauntleroy Expressway leading up to the bridge.  The first 10 of the 60 concrete panels being replaced are being poured this week as well.

The project remains on track for opening the week of September 12th.

Highlighting Violence Prevention Efforts

At my Public Safety & Human Services committee on Tuesday, I welcomed several presentations from leaders in regional violence prevention efforts.

Youth LINC (Leadership, Intervention & Change) is a multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary coordinated effort to reduce youth gun violence and gang involvement.  I have served as a member of the Steering Committee of LINC for the past year or so.  LINC is based on the Comprehensive Gang Model, a collaborative response to gangs that has been heavily evaluated since the early 1990s and proven successful in reducing gang-related violence and increasing pro-social outcomes for gang-involved individuals.

LINC engages gang-involved or high-risk young people through street outreach, then provides wraparound services to help them meet goals such as school enrollment or graduation, finding a job and housing, completing probation, receiving behavioral health treatment, and decreasing gang involvement.  You can review the LINC presentation materials here, or watch video of the presentation here.

Next, leaders from the King County Regional Approach for Gun Violence Reduction shared their work.  The City of Seattle has contributed $2M to the Regional Peacekeepers Collective, which joins $7M from the County to ramp up through 2022 and early 2023.  I appreciate that this work takes a data-driven, public health approach starting with a tight focus on the people most impacted by gun violence.

Once identified, the group pulls in and coordinates the multiple systems that touch their lives to provide supports and decrease the likelihood of additional violence.

I very much appreciate that this effort is a regional approach.  We know that both people and violence cross city boundaries regularly, and we need to be able to respond wholistically and consistently regardless of the individual jurisdiction.  You can review the Regional Approach presentation materials here, and watch video of the presentation here.

Many thanks to our presenters: William Hairston, Director, Gina Terada, and Fredericka Pie, Center for Children & Youth Justice; Ted Boe, City of Burien Police Chief; Aaron Fox, Seattle YMCA Director of Young Adult Services; Dennis Worsham, Interim Director; Eleuthera Lisch; Tia Yarbrough; Public Health, Seattle & King County.

July 12 Public Safety and Human Services Committee

In additional to the violence prevention efforts noted above, the Public Safety and Human Services Committee heard two additional items.

First, the committee voted in support of legislation establishing a process for complaints that names the Chief of police. The legislation now moves to the Full Council.

Secondly, Interim Police Chief Diaz presented the Seattle Police Department Race and Social Justice Report.

He noted several initiatives SPD has worked on, including a new civilian hiring process to reduce bias, and expansion of the Community Service Officer team that the Council funded.

He also highlighted the Before the Badge program, an initiative of the Chief that the Council provided funding for last year to help get it started. The program provides 5-week Seattle-specific training for new officers before they begin the training at the state academy and focuses on cultural and community competency; wellness and mental health; RSJI principles; empathy and relationship-building; and community-led instruction. The first class recently completed this program.

He also noted that 40% of hires during 2021 were BIPOC persons, and 50% in 2022.

Chief of Police Search

I am honored to serve as a member of Mayor Harrell’s Chief of Police Search Committee.  See here for more about the search committee composition.  The search process is set by charter. As a search committee member I will help assess candidates and together the committee will recommend up to five individuals to proceed to a competitive examination. The search committee will also help formulate the questions for the written portion of the examination.

To better understand what’s needed from our next Chief of Police the City is holding five community conversations between July 25th and July 30th.  Two of the events will be held virtually and three will be held in-person.

Facilitating the conversations will be Ben McBride, and the Empower Initiative. The conversation focus areas, as well as dates, times, and details to access on: the Mayor’s Seattle Chief of Police Search – Mayor | seattle.gov website. Bookmark the site for additional updates and information regarding the Police Chief Search.

Sound Transit Resolution Vote

The City Council voted to approve the resolution to provide recommendation to the Sound Transit Board regarding their selection for a Preferred Alternatives for the West Seattle and Ballard light rail extensions.

The resolution states support for the Medium Tunnel option for the West Seattle Junction, and for Delridge, that the City is unable to state a preference due to the inadequate Draft EIS analysis of impacted social resources, and states that the City’s future support for the Del-6 option is conditioned on avoidance or mitigation of impacts, or relocation, of impacted child-care and transitional housing providers.

Also, Sound Transit released a summary of comments on the Draft EIS. Here’s the comment summary page. This page includes links to the main summary report, s links to appendices for comments from tribes, agencies and elected officials, businesses and business organizations, and West Seattle businesses and business organizations, West Seattle community and arts organizations and individual public comments.

Strength Over Silence: Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Bebe was a pioneering mental health advocate recognized by Congress for her work to improve public health awareness and access in minority communities.

Looking for local mental health resources and support groups that are BIPOC- or culturally-specific? Check out National Alliance on Mental Illness-Seattle’s resources list at NAMI Seattle | Black, Indigenous & People of Color Mental Health Resources.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has collected stories of courage, culture and community that highlight perspectives on mental health across backgrounds and communities. Watch them here.

We are all struggling with the shadow pandemic – the crisis in mental health that is affecting all of us, brought on by more than two years of isolation, grief, and anxiety caused by Covid.  Last year, Governor Inslee declared a state of emergency due to the mental and behavioral health of Washington’s kids.  Last December, the nation’s Surgeon General followed suit.  We are feeling the crisis in every community, in every home where someone is struggling.  Help exists for you.

Touring City Hall with People’s Academy for Community Engagement

On Saturday, I joined a Civic Engagement and Affordable Housing Education Event hosted by Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition (DVAHC) & People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE).  A cohort of Latinx community members have been meeting over the past 5 months to learn about civic engagement and homeownership; this event celebrated the cohort’s commitment and brought the Latinx community closer to city government and to resources about equitable and affordable housing.  It was a great opportunity to give a tour of City Hall and Council Chambers to the cohort and do a little civic 101!

Learn About Colman Pool Maintenance Project

You’re invited to join Seattle Parks and Recreation at Colman Pool on Sunday, July 17 from Noon to 2 p.m. to learn about and provide input on an upcoming maintenance and improvement project at the pool.

The goal of the upcoming maintenance project is to renovate the locker rooms to increase access for people of all abilities, provide family and non-gender-specific restrooms and changing areas (none currently exist), improve the caretaker residence, and provide several other improvements throughout the bathhouse and on the pool deck that will increase access to all users. This project will also provide general much-needed updates to the unique operation-critical filter equipment essential for drawing and filtering water from Puget Sound, and reinforcement to the walls to ensure that building occupants can safely withstand an earthquake.

If you have questions please contact the project planner, Oliver Bazinet at oliver.bazinet@seattle.gov or 206-427-9086. To learn more about Colman Pool please visit https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/pools/colman-pool.

Valuing the Work of Social Sector Workers

City residents and visitors rely on our social sector workers to do extremely difficult and demanding work. They show up every day ready to help folks find safe housing, feed their families, heal from trauma, and get connected to services. But human services workers are significantly underpaid for the difficult work they do, which puts the whole sector in a precarious position.

Last year, at the request of Seattle Human Services Coalition, I sponsored a successful budget action to fully fund a wage equity study to address high turnover and compensate frontline workers appropriately for doing the work we desperately need them to do.  This week, the City’s Human Services announced they awarded the funding to the University of Washington School of Social Work, who will conduct a comparable worth wage analysis of the City of Seattle and King County human services sector.  This analysis will compare jobs in the human services sector with jobs in different fields, especially in the private sector, that require similar levels of skills, education, and difficulty.

The rating committee was impressed with the University of Washington’s experience with comparable worth wage analysis, their work on public policy issues, and the team they assembled—including national and international leaders in research who can provide critical checks and balances in the study.

University of Washington will produce a report that will include recommendations for an updated pay structure for human services organizations – the first step in appropriately investing in service providers and their effectiveness.

Truck Parking Meeting in South Park

The City of Seattle and Port of Seattle/The Northwest Seaport Alliance will be addressing the issues related to Port truck parking in South Park on July 18th at the Duwamish River Community Hub, 8600 14th Avenue South.

South Park Meeting / Reunión en South Park
Monday, July 18
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Duwamish River Community Hub
8600 14th Ave S

Food will be provided at the in-person events.

Please contact westseattlebridge@seattle.gov or call (206) 400-7511 if you have accessibility needs or would like to request translations.
Si tiene necesidades especiales o requiere interpretación (traducción), por favor contacte a westseattlebridge@seattle.gov o llame al (206) 400-7511.

Legislation to amend the traffic code to designate truck will be before the Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities Committee next Tuesday. The legislation notes “many drayage drivers currently park their truck tractors in the public right-of-way in Georgetown, South Park, SODO, and other Seattle neighborhoods near Port facilities.” “Drayage” refers to trucks that transport ocean freight.

The legislation includes a map showing the parking locations on Harbor Island, and in SODO. It also establishes a fine which is consistent with the penalty for parking in load zones and other areas designated for specific uses.

In-Person Office Hours

On Friday, July 29, I will be hosting in-person office hours between 3pm and 7pm, with the last meeting of the day beginning at 6:30pm.

As we move back to in-person office hours I am asking that you still please contact my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov) to schedule an appointment to ensure too many people aren’t gathering in a small area.

Here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours. These are subject to change.

  • Friday, August 19, 2022
  • Friday, September 30, 2022
  • Friday, October 28, 2022
  • Friday, December 16, 2022

 

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