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Changes to Lowrise zoning regulations

On Monday, the Council will introduce a bill that makes several changes to the multi-family code to ensure that new development in Lowrise zones is at-scale with the neighborhood, while continuing to produce significant new housing throughout the City. Background In 2010, the City Council adopted a comprehensive package of changes to the multi-family code. […]

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Creating a more pedestrian-friendly Seattle

Today the Planning, Land Use and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee voted on a CB 118327 which establishes a new “pedestrian designation” in 40 neighborhoods throughout Seattle. A pedestrian-designation is a tool to support the development of walkable business districts in the City. The local businesses that make up our business districts bring the people and create […]

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My reflections on the People’s Tribunal on the Juvenile Justice System

This past weekend I attended the People’s Tribunal on the Juvenile Justice System, hosted by Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC), Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR) and their community partners. It was an inspiring day. Several hundred activists, concerned neighbors and community leaders came together to deepen our understanding of the systems that result in […]

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership

The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries — including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam — are  currently negotiating a significant trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The reach of this trade pact will likely extend beyond the 12 countries, as negotiators intend to be […]

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A bold step to help address homelessness

As we reach the end of the ten-year time frame set out in the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, there are still more than 2,300 people on our streets each night in Seattle. These figures are especially heart-wrenching during these colder, wetter winter months in Seattle, but the fact is we simply don’t have […]

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2014 in Review

What an exciting year it has been to be a Councilmember in Seattle. We passed historic legislation to raise wages for over 100,000 workers in the City and saw the voters support two progressive initiatives to establish a universal preschool program and expand transit service in Seattle. There is so much more to be proud […]

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Affordable Housing Linkage Fee Proposal

City Council is currently considering a new way to help fund workforce affordable housing in Seattle. It is called the Affordable Housing Linkage Fee. The basis of the proposal is that the rapid growth and new development we are experiencing in Seattle is causing an even greater need for more affordable housing. This new fee […]

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My proposal for new microhousing regulations

As Chair of the Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee (PLUS), I recently convened a working group of neighborhood residents—including people who live in or near microhousing buildings—and developers of microhousing to help dig into the micro-housing regulations that were proposed by the Department of Planning and Development earlier this spring. We convened this group because it […]

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Setting minimum density requirements in areas where we want density

Today, on Wednesday August 13th, the PLUS Committee will receive a briefing on Council Bill 118167, related to minimum density requirements in the city’s most dense and walkable neighborhoods. Density helps create better pedestrian environments because it means more people on the street–whether they are coming from home or work, or out shopping in local […]

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Guest blog post: The dangers of gas-powered leaf blowers

[Note: The following is a guest blog post. Let us know in the comments or via email what you think Seattle City Council ought to do about the issues Maddy raises here: mike.obrien@seattle.gov.] Hi, my name is Maddy and I have recently graduated from my senior year of high school. After reaching out to Councilmember O’Brien […]

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