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Councilmembers to Participate in ‘Workers Voice Summit’ Thursday

Seattle – Councilmembers will participate in a “Workers Voice Summit” this Thursday to hear experiences and policy ideas from workers from a cross section of low-wage jobs in the region. The event, organized by a coalition of organizations representing workers, was developed to provide employees themselves the opportunity to address public officials regarding challenges relating...


Councilmember Rob Johnson to Open District Office on ‘The Ave’ Friday, Public Invited

Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle) will open his in-district Council office on “the Ave” in the University District this Friday, March 4, and he has invited District 4 neighbors to join him in opening the space.  Councilmember Johnson will provide light refreshments for his fellow Northeast Seattle residents, as he celebrates the grand...


My personal and professional worlds collide

My urban planning background means I end up having a lot of discussions and strategy sessions with friends and colleagues around built environment, transportation, and density. But it also inspires me to get involved with related considerations such as the recent issue around Seattle Public School capacity. The recent discussion by Seattle Public Schools to […]


Councilmember Johnson Remarks from Seattle City Council Inauguration


Councilmember Johnson Remarks from Seattle City Council Inauguration

SEATTLE - Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle) delivered the following remarks at the Seattle City Council inauguration ceremony on January 4, 2016:

"Councilmembers, distinguished guests, friends, and family - I am honored to stand before you as District 4's first representative and humbled by the trust you've placed in my passion for the city of Seattle.

"I want to send a heartfelt message of gratitude to everyone who helped me get here and provided guidance along the way, most importantly my wife Katie and our girls, whose collective patience and support knows no bounds.

"I ran for office not only to make the process of civic engagement more efficient and enjoyable for my constituents, but to be a voice at the table, helping to steer this city at a crucial juncture in our collective history.

"As the fastest growing major city in the country, the problems to solve and the hurdles to overcome are many as we work to keep pace with those who currently call Seattle their home and those who want to call Seattle their home. The time for making two year decisions has passed, and we must commit ourselves, as leaders of this city, to planning for 2065, not 2018.

"Recent initiatives such as our HALA recommendations and the Move Seattle levy lay an exceptional foundation for this type of long term planning, and I recognize the responsibility we as leaders of this city share is to balance that strategic visioning with hard and fast implementation.

"When I think of the Seattle I want my daughters to enjoy 50 years from now, it inspires my guiding vision and subsequently, the types of decisions I will make over the course of my term.

"I envision a transportation system that is efficient, affordable, safe and interconnected. I envision a decreased dependence on vehicles and the celebration of carbon neutrality in the not too distant future.

"I envision our neighborhoods and urban villages alike as communities where all have the opportunity to live, work, and play - regardless of socio-economic status. Where better planning, design and architectural innovation ensure new development improves quality of life and enhances the character of all our neighborhoods.

"And I envision an education system of the highest caliber, resulting from meaningful dialogue between the city and our school district to coordinate our growth strategies. I envision a system that provides not only a seat for every child in the classroom, but also access to a holistic education, one including the arts, that prepares our students for any path they choose to pursue.

"This vision comes with a responsibility to express opinions, propose solutions, to be bold - and a little bit wonky. My wonkiness ultimately stems from my passion for the role that cities play in our national, cultural landscape. In my opinion, the best cities thrive when focused on the quality of life of each and every one if its' residents, and the efficiency of its infrastructure. Cities work optimally when both the private and the public sectors come together in the spirit of collaboration. Cities don't necessarily succeed by having the most money in their coffer, but by finding creative solutions that make an impact. And cities have the opportunity to provide leading innovations in the absence of action at the state and federal level.

"Seattle is an incredible city built to inspire and engage - and recent examples including December's vote allowing ride-share drivers to unionize, and our response to homelessness make me very proud to play a part in this city's future. 

"Today marks a milestone in Seattle's history as we commence a council term characterized by district representation. So to conclude, and to recognize this occasion, I'd like to give each of my fellow council members this mug from the University of Washington. Let it represent how honored I am to represent District 4 and to work alongside you all to make Seattle a more livable, equitable, and enjoyable city. Thank you."

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Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21, HD Channels 321 Comcast, 721 Wave and on the City Council's website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook.

[View in Council Newsroom]


Councilmembers Inaugurated in First District-Based Representation System Since 1910, Harrell Elected Council President


Councilmembers Inaugurated in First District-Based Representation System Since 1910, Harrell Elected Council President

SEATTLE - All nine Seattle City Councilmembers took their oaths of office in the traditional inauguration ceremony in City Council Chambers today, following their successful victories in last November's election. Newly elected Councilmembers Lorena Gonzalez, Lisa Herbold, Rob Johnson and Debora Juarez joined returning re-elected Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell, Mike O'Brien and Kshama Sawant in taking their seats at the Council dais.

Family, friends, colleagues and community members filled the Seattle City Council chambers to celebrate the new and returning local government leadership. Each elected official was sworn in by someone of their choice and gave brief remarks.

Following their oaths, Councilmembers elected Councilmember Bruce Harrell to the position of Council President. Harrell has served as Seattle City Councilmember since 2008 and most recently chaired the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee.  The Council President is the presiding officer of the Council, sets the Full Council agenda, assigns legislation to committees and is the primary point of contact for external agencies.  When the Mayor is absent from the City or incapacitated, the Council President assumes the duties and responsibilities of the Mayor.

Today's historic oath of office ceremony ushered in first district-based representation system since 1910. Seven of the Councilmembers will now each represent a geographical district, while two Councilmembers will each represent the entire city:

  • District 1 (West Seattle, South Park): Councilmember Lisa Herbold
  • District 2 (Southeast Seattle): Council President Bruce Harrell
  • District 3 (Central Area, Capitol Hill): Councilmember Kshama Sawant
  • District 4 (Ravenna, Wallingford): Councilmember Rob Johnson
  • District 5 (North Seattle): Councilmember Debora Juarez
  • District 6 (Fremont, Ballard): Councilmember Mike O'Brien
  • District 7 (Downtown, Magnolia): Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
  • At-Large (city-wide): Councilmember Tim Burgess
  • At-Large (city-wide): Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez


Click here for an interactive tool to help find which Council district you live in.

Today's inaugural ceremony also marked a series of notable firsts in Seattle local government history:

  • First Enrolled Native American Councilmember - Debora Juarez
  • First Latina Councilmembers - Lorena Gonzalez and Debora Juarez
  • First Japanese American/African American Council President and first African American Council President since Council President Sam Smith in 1986-1989 - Bruce Harrell
  • First Female Majority City Council since 1998 - Sally Bagshaw, Lorena Gonzalez Lisa Herbold, Debora Juarez and Kshama Sawant


Councilmembers also took their first votes in their 2016-2017 term and assigned committee chairs. Each Councilmember is responsible for heading a Council committee and managing legislation related to that committee's focus:

  • Council President Bruce Harrell, Chair: Education, Equity and Governance
  • Councilmember Tim Burgess, Chair: Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance
  • Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Chair: Human Services and Public Health
  • Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez, Chair: Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans
  • Councilmember Lisa Herbold: Chair: Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts
  • Councilmember Rob Johnson, Chair: Planning, Land Use and Zoning
  • Councilmember Debora Juarez, Chair: Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront
  • Councilmember Mike O'Brien, Chair: Sustainability and Transportation
  • Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Chair: Energy and Environment


For more information on the 2016-17 committee assignments click here. To sign up to receive forthcoming committee agendas via email, click here.

Today's inauguration ceremony served as an opportunity for the public to witness and participate in their local government. The ceremony was broadcast live on the Seattle Channel and can be viewed beginning tomorrow at http://www.seattlechannel.org/mayor-and-council/city-council/full-council.

# # #

Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21, HD Channels 321 Comcast, 721 Wave and on the City Council's website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook.

[View in Council Newsroom]


Seattle City Council Announces 2016 Committee Assignments


Seattle City Council Announces 2016 Committee Assignments

Councilmembers to elect Council President and assign committees on January 4, 2016

SEATTLE - Seattle City Council announced its tentative plan for committee assignments today, in preparation for work in 2016. Each Councilmember is responsible for chairing a Council committee and managing legislation related to the committee's focus. Councilmembers also serve as a vice-chair on one committee and as a member on another. Councilmembers can also sponsor legislation on other committees under certain conditions. Committee assignments are made official at the first Full Council meeting of the year, on Monday January 4, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Councilmembers will also elect their 2016-17 Council President at the meeting. Committee assignments last for two years.

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw will chair the Human Services and Public Health Committee. Councilmember Bagshaw will oversee Council's work on issues relating to services provided by the Human Services Department, including programs that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community. The committee will also consider matters involving public health and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), which allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services.

Councilmember Tim Burgess will chair the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Burgess will focus on issues relating to housing—investing and promoting the development and preservation of affordable housing, and building strong neighborhoods through outreach and engagement. Councilmember Burgess will also chair the Budget committee, overseeing the review of the Mayor's proposed budget.
Councilmember Lorena González will chair the Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee. As chair, Councilmember González will consider policies to address gender equity and help improve the lives of Seattle's immigrant and refugee residents.  The committee will also focus on fostering safe communities, improving police accountability, crime prevention, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, and fire and medical services.

Councilmember Bruce Harrell will chair the Education, Equity and Governance Committee. As chair, Councilmember Harrell will focus on issues relating to public schools and improving student success rates, intergovernmental relations, technology, ethics and elections, prisoner reentry and equity issues for underserved communities.

Councilmember Lisa Herbold will chair the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee. Councilmember Herbold's committee will manage issues relating to labor standards, civil rights, Seattle Public Utilities, and economic development. The committee will also manage issues relating to arts and culture in Seattle, which includes nightlife issues.

Councilmember Rob Johnson will chair the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Johnson will take up issues involving City zoning, planning, major institutions, quasi-judicial decisions, community development, and land use regulations.

Councilmember Debora Juarez will chair the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee. As chair, Councilmember Juarez will focus on issues relating to City parks, community centers, and public grounds, including the Seattle Center.  Her committee will also manage legislation relating to the Seattle Public Library system.  Councilmember Juarez will also chair the Central Waterfront committee.

Councilmember Mike O'Brien will chair the Sustainability and Transportation Committee. Councilmember O'Brien's committee will handle matters pertaining to city-wide and regional transportation policy and planning. These issues range from pedestrian and bicycle programs, traffic control and parking policies, and overseeing the City's coordination with regional and state departments of transportation. The committee will also have a shared-focus on Seattle's Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant will chair the Energy and Environment Committee. Councilmember Sawant's committee will handle policies relating to Seattle's energy usage, as well as issues relating to alternative energy sources, air pollution regulation, energy utility rates, and Seattle City Light finances. In addition, Councilmember Sawant will take up matters that relate to climate and environmental protections, conservation programs, and green infrastructure.


Standing Committee

Committee Members

Committee Meeting Days and Times

Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods & Finance

Chair:  Tim Burgess
Vice-Chair:  Lisa Herbold
Member:  Rob Johnson
Alternate:  Mike O'Brien

1st and 3rd Wednesdays
9:30 a.m.

Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development & Arts

Chair:  Lisa Herbold
Vice-Chair:  Kshama Sawant
Member:  Mike O'Brien
Alternate:  Bruce Harrell

2nd and 4th Tuesdays
9:30 a.m.

Education, Equity & Governance

Chair:  Bruce A. Harrell
Vice-Chair:  Lorena González
Member:  Debora Juarez
Alternate:  Tim Burgess

1st and 3rd Wednesdays
2:00 p.m.

Energy & Environment

Chair:  Kshama Sawant
Vice-Chair:  Debora Juarez
Member:  Lorena González
Alternate:  Sally Bagshaw

2nd and 4th Tuesdays
2:00 p.m.

Gender Equity, Safe Communities & New Americans

Chair:  Lorena Gonzalez
Vice-Chair:  Tim Burgess
Member:  Sally Bagshaw
Alternate:  Debora Juarez

2nd and 4th Wednesdays
9:30 a.m.

Human Services & Public Health

Chair:  Sally Bagshaw
Vice-Chair:  Bruce Harrell
Member:  Tim Burgess
Alternate:  Rob Johnson

2nd and 4th Wednesdays
2:00 p.m.

Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries & Waterfront

Chair:  Debora Juarez
Vice-Chair:  Sally Bagshaw
Member:  Bruce Harrell
Alternate:  Kshama Sawant

1st and 3rd Thursdays
9:30 a.m.

Planning, Land Use & Zoning

Chair:  Rob Johnson
Vice-Chair:  Mike O'Brien
Member:  Lisa Herbold
Alternate:  Lorena González

1st and 3rd Tuesdays
9:30 a.m.

Sustainability & Transportation

Chair:  Mike O'Brien
Vice-Chair:  Rob Johnson
Member:  Kshama Sawant
Alternate:  Lisa Herbold

1st and 3rd Tuesdays 2:00 p.m.

Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast and Webcast live on Seattle Channel 21 and on the City Council's website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook.

[View in Council Newsroom]