The Seattle City Council’s Select Budget Committee met this morning to hear from community groups and service providers about the positive impacts that JumpStart Seattle Progressive Revenue has had on their work and the challenges still ahead. The conversation was led by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide and Chair of the Select Budget Committee), the architect of JumpStart.
>> Watch the full presentation starting at 25 minutes into the recording. It will be posted here soon.
>> View the presentations and committee materials here.
The Results from JumpStart investments:
Groups on the frontlines of responding to some of Seattle’s biggest needs reported on how JumpStart has helped their efforts today. That includes:
- Human Services Provider Wage Stability: The Downtown Emergency Services Center and SEIU 1199 reported on how JumpStart has helped stabilize their workforce. To help address huge turnover rates and understaffing, JumpStart has helped the DESC raise it wage floor 48 percent since January 1, 2022 allowing them to make significant progress on addressing the issue.
- Affordable Housing: JumpStart has become the single largest source of funding for affordable housing in Seattle, accounting for $240 million of the Office of Housing budget between 2022 and 2023. El Centro de la Raza reported on how JumpStart funding has helped them begin construction on the Four Amigos, Beloved Community project in Columbia City. That project will create 87 units of affordable housing, an Early Child Development Center, and other cultural spaces.
- Equitable Development: Puget Sound Sage reported on the nearly 35 community projects that have received funding through JumpStart Equitable Development Initiative dollars between 2022 and 2023. That included funding for Somali Health Board, Friends of Little Saigon, Estelita’s Library, Tubman Health Center, Nehemiah Initiative, and more projects that help root community in place, create greater cohesion, and lift up community entrepreneurship and community-driven development to fight displacement and create greater shared prosperity.
- Green New Deal: Representatives from the Green New Deal Oversight Board reported on how JumpStart allowed them to guide the investment of $6.5 million in 2022 and more than $20 million in 2023. That funding went directly to programs that focus on a just transition address climate change.
“Just two years in, we are already seeing the quantifiable and tangible impacts of JumpStart across our communities. The 2022 and 2023 investments into affordable housing capital and workforce stabilization, equitable development, Green New Deal priorities are putting resources directly into serving our most vulnerable community members, combatting displacement, fighting climate change, and providing affordable housing for those who need it most. These are the upstream investments we need to be making to truly improve public safety and community health,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda.
“Over the last year we have gone from a reality where I was the only nurse on my team—so clients were not getting the care they need and I was pushed past my own limits—to having a coworker cry telling me how much wages increases thanks to JumpStart changed her family’s financial security at home. We are seeing more stable staff which translates to more stable clients. But cost of living is still rising and we have not yet closed the gap to provide the wages and staffing we need to provide the housing, treatment, and support the City of Seattle and its residents need. We have shown that investments where they are most needed at a scale that can make a difference works—we need to finish the job to see the outcomes Seattle deserves,” said Naomi Lewis, RN.
“Amid a deepening housing crisis, JumpStart Seattle has been instrumental in supporting over 20 affordable housing projects. This budget year, it stands as the largest single funding source for housing. The investments from the JumpStart Seattle spending plan are crucial for advancing our city’s objectives to expand investments in affordable housing solutions, equitable development, and environmental sustainability. Ensuring the reliability and predictability of these investments is paramount. Seattle must stay the course of the programs funded by the spending plan,” said Patience Malaba, Executive Director of Housing Development Consortium.
“Through Seattle’s EDI, JumpStart is enabling BIPOC communities to stay in Seattle and create cultural anchors that will last for generations by bringing the EDI to scale. As an experiment in community-driven and community-governed development, there is nothing like it across the country. Its success as well as that of the other JumpStart initiatives also shows that city government can be smart about connecting revenue to uses. Seattle’s massive growth over the last decade has exacerbated longstanding inequities and has led to the housing and displacement crisis we are in now. Many long-time Seattleites are being outbid for land and housing by new people working for giant tech firms. JumpStart represents the right companies paying for mitigation to the right people,” said Abdi Yussuf, Equitable Development Director of Puget Sound Sage.
“In order to confront the real impacts of climate change and to meet the goals of Seattle’s Green New Deal resolution, it requires a real commitment in investments. JumpStart is essential in providing funding towards achieving a just transition for workers and climate justice,” said Matt Remle of Mazaska Talks.
“JumpStart has been an indispensable pillar in helping our organization realize the vision of a thriving community we’re building at Beacon Pacific Village on the Pacific Tower Campus. We’re excited for JumpStart’s enduring impact on future projects dedicated to empowering and uplifting community focused housing development throughout our region,” said Jamie Lee and Jared Jonson, Co-Executive Directors of the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda).
JumpStart Seattle Progressive Revenue is the city’s landmark progressive revenue source. It was sponsored by Councilmember Mosqueda with co-sponsors from over half of the sitting councilmembers and passed by the Council in 2020. It is a progressive payroll tax that’s only levied on the largest companies and only on salaries over $174,337 and on companies with more than $8,135,746 in Seattle payroll (numbers updated annually). Per a spending plan adopted by Council, the revenue is dedicated to bolster affordable housing, small business, equitable development, and the Green New Deal.
The Budget Chair will release her package Friday, Oct 20th and will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Oct 18th at 5 pm.