Council Press Conferences

Councilmembers define vision for defunding police department
Councilmembers define vision for defunding police department
8/6/20201:11:51

Council President M. Lorena González and Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Tammy J. Morales clarify with the public the Council's plan for meaningful community investments this year to improve public safety for everyone, especially BIPOC communities in Seattle. 

The Councilmembers discuss cuts to the Seattle Police Department's Budget during the 2020 summer rebalancing package, and proposed cuts that will be decided on during the fall budget process, which will kick off in September. They also share their vision for a pathway forward during the upcoming fall budget session with the explicit goal to uproot the harmful systems that have continued to oppress Black and Indigenous communities, and also to lay the foundation for new systems to be built that center the humanity, healing, and growth of BIPOC communities.  

Speakers include:

Council President M. Lorena González, City of Seattle

Councilmember Lisa Herbold, City of Seattle

Councilmember Tammy J. Morales, City of Seattle

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Councilmembers define vision for defunding SPD through budget session

Council President M. Lorena González and Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Tammy J. Morales clarify with the public the Council's plan for meaningful community investments this year to improve public safety for everyone, especially BIPOC communities in Seattle. 

The Councilmembers discuss cuts to the Seattle Police Department's Budget during the 2020 summer rebalancing package, and proposed cuts that will be decided on during the fall budget process, which will kick off in September. They also share their vision for a pathway forward during the upcoming fall budget session with the explicit goal to uproot the harmful systems that have continued to oppress Black and Indigenous communities, and also to lay the foundation for new systems to be built that center the humanity, healing, and growth of BIPOC communities.  

Speakers include:

Council President M. Lorena González, City of Seattle

Councilmember Lisa Herbold, City of Seattle

Councilmember Tammy J. Morales, City of Seattle

Sawant unveils plan to defund 2020 Seattle Police budget, invest in BIPOC communities

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council's Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee, announces amendments she will introduce at the Friday, July 31, 2020 City Council Budget Committee. The amendments incorporate the Black Lives Matter movement's demands that the remaining 2020 Seattle Police budget be cut by 50%, with those funds invested in Black and Brown working-class communities.


Speakers include:
Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Sam Sumpter, UAW 4121

Bruce Jackson, Educator

Rev. Dr. Robert Jeffrey, Sr., Pastor, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church 

Councilmember Sawant, faith leaders demand 1,000 affordable homes

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council's Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee, joins Central District faith leaders, the Low Income Housing Institute, and community activists to unveil demands for social housing. They demand that the city commits to building 1,000 new affordable homes over three years for residents displaced due to gentrification and institutional racism, to be funded by a progressive tax on big business that raises at least $500 million per year.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Rev. Dr. Robert Jeffrey, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Lawrence Willis, Truevine of Holiness Baptist Church

Rev. Willie Seals, The Christ Spirit Church

Aisaya Corbray, Low Income Housing Institute

CM Mosqueda, community & housing advocates, debut JumpStart Seattle Plan

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) and a coalition of housing advocates, businesses, labor groups, and community advocates debut a new progressive revenue proposal, called JumpStart Seattle. This plan would respond to the immediate COVID crisis and focus on Seattle's long-term economic revitalization and resiliency by investing in affordable housing and essential city services. Mosqueda walks through how the tax will address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, and in later years support existing city services and new affordable housing. 

Councilmember Sawant, NAACP, community leaders demand police accountability

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council's Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee, joins with NAACP leaders and faith and community activists, including family members of African Americans killed by Seattle police to demand that Mayor Durkan and Council immediately cease efforts to end federal oversight the Seattle Police Department.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Carolyn Riley-Payne, Seattle/King County NAACP

Katrina Johnson, family member of Charleena Lyles

Nikkita Oliver, community organizer

Jason Fuhr, father of Shaun Fuhr

Rev. Angela Ying, Bethany United Church of Christ

Willard Jimmerson, United Better Thinking and King County Zero Youth Detention

K. Wyking Garrett, Africatown Community Land Trust

Sawant challenges cancellation of 'Tax Amazon' hearings as legally unsound

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council's Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee, joins legal experts who question the legality of the cancellation of the City Council's budget committee, which was conducting hearings on the Sawant-Morales Tax Amazon legislation. The legal experts explain why Governor Inslee's Proclamation 20-28, which limits what city councils can legislate on, illegally overreaches his authority, and why Seattle no sound legal justification for canceling hearings on the Tax Amazon legislation. The legislation, co-sponsored by Sawant and Councilmember Tammy Morales, addresses the triple crisis of public health, jobs, and housing affordability driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sawant also announces next steps for the Tax Amazon movement.  


Speakers include:
Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Dmitri Iglitzin, Attorney

Sawant discusses findings that "Amazon Tax" would spur job growth

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3 - Central Seattle) local construction workers, and a pair of national experts in economics and employment policy discuss new findings that the Tax Amazon legislation will create or support up to 34,000 jobs in construction and related industries.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Logan Swan, Ironworkers Local 86

Nathan Morlock, Piledrivers Local 196

Gordon Lafer, Professor, University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center

Lenore Palladino, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Roosevelt Institute; Political Economy Research Institute

Morales, Elected Leaders Call on State to Open an Immediate Special Session to Address Impacts of COVID-19, Provide More Support to Renters

Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (District 2 - South Seattle & Chinatown/Int'l District), along with fellow legislators from across the state, calls on Washington State's Governor and State Legislature to immediately schedule a special session in support of rent and mortgage cancellation and to provide accessible healthcare to everyone facing COVID-19.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Tammy J. Morales, City of Seattle

Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx, City of Burien

Director Brandon Hersey, Seattle Public Schools

Councilmember Kate Burke, City of Spokane

Councilmember Daniel Hammill, City of Bellingham

Councilmember Hollie Huthman, City of Bellingham

Councilmember Varisha Khan, City of Redmond

Sawant Joins Faith Leaders Calling on City Council to Pass ‘Amazon Tax’

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3 - Central Seattle) joins faith leaders from around the region who are calling on City Council to enact legislation to fund emergency COVID relief, social housing construction, and the Green New Deal by taxing Amazon and other big businesses. The Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith leaders will share a letter signed by more than 70 clergy and faith activists, urging the Council to adopt the legislation sponsored by Councilmember Sawant and Councilmember Tammy J. Morales.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Rev. Angela Ying, Bethany United Church of Christ

Rev. Robert L. Jeffrey, Sr., New Hope Missionary Baptist Church

Sister Aneelah Afzali, Muslim community

Rabbi David Basior, Kadima Reconstructionist Community

Morales, Sawant announce acceleration of tax on Amazon, big business to fund COVID-19 relief

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3 - Central Seattle) and Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (District 2 - South Seattle & Chinatown/Int'l District) announce an acceleration of legislative plans to provide emergency city relief for low-income households, seniors and workers who are struggling with the economic fallout from COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Sawant and Morales announced a tax proposal  ("Amazon Tax") to fund a massive expansion of social housing and the Green New Deal. On Wednesday, they announced a proposal to accelerate their legislation, with the first-year proceeds going to provide monthly emergency cash assistance up to 100,000 households and individuals impacted by the social and economic consequences resulting from this pandemic.

Speakers include: 

Councilmember Tammy J. Morales

Councilmember Kshama Sawant

Violet Lavatai, Executive Director, Tenant Union of Washington

Amzi Jeffs, UAW 4121, the union of Academic Student Employees and Postdocs at the University of Washington

Matt Smith, Amazon cargo worker

Councilmember Sawant joins Elliott Bay Book Company Book Workers Union

Councilmembers Kshama Sawant (District 3 - Central Seattle) joins Elliott Bay Book Company bookstore workers who just orgnaized a union. 

Speakers:

Anthony Manno

Lara Kaminoff

Callie Winter

Jacob Schear

Althea Lazzaro

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Councilmembers Unveil Draft Big Business Tax Legislation

Councilmembers Kshama Sawant (District 3 - Central Seattle) and Tammy J. Morales (District 2 - South Seattle and Chinatown/International District), alongside community members, unveil their jointly-sponsored draft legislation to tax Amazon and other big businesses to fund social housing, the Green New Deal, and related services. The legislation would raise $300 million by taxing the largest businesses to fund permanently affordable social housing and services, as well as retrofitting existing houses to meet energy efficiency standards of the Green New Deal. 

Speakers include

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Councilmember Tammy J. Morales, City of Seattle

Rev. Angela Ying, Bethany United Church of Christ   

Kathy Yasi, SEIU Local 925  

Peter Fink, Univ. of Washington student

Councilmember Sawant unveils big business tax proposal

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) announces and details a proposed tax on big business. In December, Sawant won her reelection, calling for an Amazon Tax on big businesses to fund a major expansion in affordable and green social housing, despite unprecedented amounts of corporate PAC money against her campaign.

Councilmember Sawant denounces proposed ban on big business taxes

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) alongside union members, renters rights activists, socialists, rank-and-file Democratic party members, and faith leaders, speaks out against the threat of a statewide ban on big business taxes in Seattle, known as "preemption."

Speakers include:

Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council

Jon Manella, Tenants Union of Washington State

Reverend Angela Ying, Bethany United Church of Christ

Kathy Yasi

Eva Metz

Councilmember Sawant calls for budget focused on human needs

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) holds a press conference with activists and community members to demand a city budget that meets human needs, and to reject the Mayor's business-as-usual budget.

Councilmember Sawant & faith leaders advocate for more affordable housing

Councilmember Kshama Sawant and faith leaders unveil a letter signed by 43 Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders calling on City Council to adopt Sawant's proposal to greatly increase authority and funding for tiny house villages. Under Sawant's proposal, about 1,200 people currently living on the street would get homes in tiny house villages as a step toward permanent, stable housing.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council

Rev. Angela Ying, Bethany United Church of Christ

Rev. Robert L. Jeffrey, Sr., New Hope Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Lawrence R. Willis, True Vine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church and Urban League program manager for priority hire jobs program

Melinda Nichols, Vice President, Low Income Housing Institute Board of Directors

Danette Davis and Carol Spaulding, residents of True Hope Village who were previously homeless

Josh Castle, Director of Community Engagement, Low Income Housing Institute


Councilmember Sawant calls for Driver Solidarity & Resource Center

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) joins Uber and Lyft drivers to call for at least half of the revenues from Mayor Durkan's proposed ride tax to go to support drivers directly, through the establishment of a Driver Solidarity and Resource Center.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Councilmember Sawant & rent control advocates demand "People's Budget"

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) and rent control advocates gather for a press conference and rally in City Hall to announce their 2019 People's Budget demands, including the right to an attorney for all renters facing eviction, more tiny homes as a way to begin addressing the homelessness crisis, and a major expansion of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program.

Speakers include:

Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Councilmember
LouDella Bowen, Brighton Apartment tenant facing economic eviction
Maru Mora - La Resistencia, immigrant rights activist
Deyo Esquivel - Housing case manager for the Urban Native community
Laura Wright- Rainier Beach High School & Freedom School educator
Kim Lundgreen, Vietnamese Senior Association
John Frazier, WFSE 3488 President

Councilmember Sawant unveils draft rent control legislation

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) and tenants gather for a press conference and rally in City Hall to unveil and answer questions about draft rent control legislation for Seattle and the rent control movement in our state and around the country. Also, Sawant stands with the tenants of the Chateau Building to celebrate their breakthrough victory on affordable housing and relocation assistance last week against developer Cadence. This press conference was held just ahead of a special committee meeting to discuss the draft rent control legislation.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Reverend Angela Ying, Bethany United Church of Christ

Renee Holmes, Chateau Building Tenant

Violet Lavatai, Tenants Union of Washington State

Devin Silvernail, City of Seattle Renters Commission

Matt Maley, Seattle Education Association

Shirley Henderson, Seattle small business owner

CM Sawant rallies with students for excused absences for Global Climate Strike

Following Seattle City Council's unanimous vote on Resolution 31907, "in support of the youth-led September 20, 2019 Global Climate Strike", Councilmember Kshama Sawant joins students at Washington Middle School to compel Seattle School Board Directors to excuse absences for the worldwide Climate Walkout. Sawant sent letters to the Seattle School Board, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau, Governor Jay Inslee, and Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal reiterating the role that school boards across the country and world play in the struggle to protect our planet.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Washington Middle School students

Zoe Schurman, Washington Middle School

Kimaya Mahajan, Interlake High School

Dr. Sarah Myhri, University of Washington

Lucas Vargas Zeppetello, 350 Seattle

Councilmember O’Brien introduces bill to eliminate natural gas piping in new buildings

Councilmember Mike O'Brien and representatives from community and environmental advocacy groups, introduce new legislation to make Seattle a greener city by prohibiting natural gas piping in new residential and commercial buildings. Following cities such as Berkeley and more recently San Luis Obispo, O'Brien's proposal would support new construction to be 100% electric, which would eliminate carbon emissions from new buildings, as natural gas use in buildings is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions in Seattle. 

Speakers include:

Councilmember Mike O'Brien, City of Seattle

Jill Mangaliman, Executive Director, Got Green

Jess Wallach, Organizer, 350 Seattle

Max Savishinsky, Executive Director, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility

Aaron Fairchild, CEO, Green Canopy Homes

Chris Maykut, Founder, Chaco Canyon

Councilmember O’Brien announces details of MASS transportation package

Councilmember Mike O'Brien and representatives from the Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition, announce details of their MASS transportation package. MASS is a coalition of organizations and advocates working to connect Seattle's diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, minimize reliance on private vehicles, achieve Vision Zero, make Seattle carbon-neutral, create walkable communities, and ensure equitable access to transportation for all people.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Mike O'Brien, City of Seattle

Councilmember Abel Pacheco, City of Seattle

Sam Lockhart, 350 Seattle

Pauline Van Senus, Seattle Transit Riders Union

Margaret McCauley, Rainier Valley resident

Rosario Medina, South Park Resident

Courtney Cole, Rooted in Rights

Councilmember O’Brien, Community Members Lay Out Vision for Seattle’s Green New Deal

Councilmember Mike O'Brien (District 6, Northwest Seattle) stands with representatives from the environmental justice community to lay out a vision for a Green New Deal for Seattle. The Sierra Club defines as mobilizing "vast public resources to help us transition from an economy built on exploitation and fossil fuels to one driven by dignified work and clean energy." 

Speakers:

Councilmember Mike O'Brien

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda

Representatives from 350 Seattle

Maria Batayola

Matt Remle, Mazaska Talks

Nikkita Oliver

Gregory Davis, Rainier Beach Action Coalition

Nancy Huizar, Got Green

Councilmember O’Brien stands with community on Sweetened Beverage Tax funds

Councilmember O'Brien discusses creating a separate fund for sweetened beverage tax revenues to ensure that money is used to expand or add new programs. 

Additional speakers: 

Tanika Thompson - Food Access Organizer, Got Green

Lindsay Hovind - Government Relations Regional Lead, American Heart Association

Jim Krieger - SBT CAB Co-Chair OR Executive Director, Healthy Food America

Giulia Pasciuto - Equitable Development Policy Analyst, Puget Sound Sage

Councilmembers, community groups advocate for additional police accountability reforms

Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide), Chair of the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans & Education Committee, stands with her Council colleagues and leaders of community organizations to outline a strategy for how the City can move forward and come into full and effective compliance with the federal consent decree.

In May, U.S. District Judge James Robart found the City of Seattle partially out of compliance with the federal consent decree, saying the City's ratified contract with the Seattle Police Officers' Guild (SPOG) fails to sufficiently address officer accountability in several key areas, including labor arbitration process, timeline for completing investigations and subpoena powers of civilian investigators. 


Councilmembers González, Mosqueda and Herbold delivered a detailed letter to Mayor Durkan that expresses their preferred strategy to 1) center community-voices in ongoing police reform efforts, 2) maintain labor harmony and 3) return to full and effective compliance with the Consent Decree.  

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