Morales: Council quietly rushes vote today on legislation that would block equitable development funding

With nearly no time for public input, the Seattle City Council is rushing toward a vote today on legislation that would block $25.3 million in funding already allocated for the City’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI).

The legislation is sponsored by Councilmember Martiza Rivera and was not made public until Friday afternoon.

“This amendment would preemptively undermine commitments that Seattle has made to mitigate displacement for communities of color. It would endanger funding for community organizations doing work everyone on this Council says they agree with, like supporting small businesses, building affordable housing, and addressing racial equity. This is not good governance. If this amendment passes, our community partners will lose trust with the City of Seattle and our commitment to anti-displacement strategies,” said Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (District 2).

What the legislation would do:

If adopted, this legislation would block $25.3 million in funding for EDI that has already been budgeted for 2024.

The EDI grant program is intended to support community organizations in high displacement-risk neighborhoods in acquiring sites and developing major projects. It is a crucial funding source for community-based organizations looking to build projects that support small business, build affordable housing, and address racial disparity.

The legislation would proviso that funding by amending the carry-forward ordinance, which is up for a vote today.