Council Press Conferences

Councilmember Strauss discusses Café Streets program
Councilmember Strauss discusses Café Streets program

Councilmember Dan Strauss (District 6 - Northwest Seattle), chair of the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee, with the support of area business owners, announces the official extension of the city's existing Café Streets program through May 31, 2022. The program enables restaurants and other retail storefronts to utilize streets outside of their businesses for outdoor dining or displays for an additional year and creates a path to permanency. 

Speakers include:

Councilmember Dan Strauss, City of Seattle

Mike Stewart, Ballard Alliance

Max Genereaux, Hattie's Hat

Hannah Carter, Bitterroot BBQ

Doug Farr, Seattle Farmers Market Association

Anna Zibarts, Disability Rights Washington


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Councilmember Sawant and rent control

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, union members, and renters discuss proposed rent control legislation. The press conference precedes a special meeting and public hearing of the Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee.

Speakers include:
Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Julia Kobelt, rank-and-file member of UAW 4121

Ellen Anderson, UW student & Seattle renter

Sally Soriano, 32nd Legislative District member, former Seattle School Board member

Jordan Young, PCC grocery worker at the View Ridge store, member of PCC Workers United, member of the UFCW 3000 PCC Bargaining Committee

Jonathan Rosenblum, labor and renters’ rights organizer

Councilmember Pedersen pitches tax reform to make system more fair for Seattle

Councilmember Alex Pedersen (District 4 – Northeast Seattle) announced Wednesday a bold tax reform to make our system more fair for Seattle with legislation eliminating a regressive water tax for everyone and replacing it with a 2% local expansion of the State’s new progressive tax on high-end capital gains.

Matching the new State law, this local tax would apply to only a very small number who gain more than $250,000 in a single year from the sale of assets, such as stocks or bonds, and it would exempt retirement savings and real estate transactions. Using zip code-level information gathered for the state-level capital gains excise tax, a local 2% could generate approximately $50 million annually, which would offset the amount City Hall’s General Fund takes from your water bills each year, so that this tax reform is essentially revenue-neutral.

The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) consistently ranks Washington State as one of the most unfair systems in the country, where lower income residents pay a much higher percentage of their household earnings for taxes and fees than wealthier residents.

Speakers include:
Councilmember Alex Pedersen, City of Seattle

Councilmember Mosqueda and partners announce legislation renewing the Seattle Housing Levy

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, joined by a coalition of affordable housing developers, labor leaders, community organizations, the City of Seattle Office of Housing, and others, announced legislation (Council Bill 120584 and Resolution 32093) renewing the Seattle Housing Levy, including amendments proposed by the Seattle City Council. The Mayor and Select Committee Chair are in lockstep on the need for a robust $970 million package that invests in permanent supportive housing, resident services, workforce supports, and strong labor standards. 

Councilmember Mosqueda chairs the Council’s Select Committee about the 2023 Housing Levy, which received Mayor Bruce Harrell’s seven-year, $970 million proposal for the Levy on March 30, 2023. The Select Committee has been meeting since March, unpacking the proposal, hearing from the public, and crafting amendments.  

Seattle’s affordable housing needs have grown dramatically since the last Housing Levy was passed in 2016. The COVID pandemic and economic downturn have created far greater housing instability in our community than Seattle has seen in previous decades. At the same time, wages have not kept pace with inflation, and many workers in affordable housing are struggling with housing insecurity. 

Speakers include:

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, City of Seattle

Patience Malaba, Executive Director, Housing Development Consortium

Katie Garrow, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, MLK Labor

Maiko Winkler-Chin, Director, Office of Housing

James Lovell, Development Director, Chief Seattle Club

Naomi Lewis, Registered Nurse, DESC

K. Wyking Garrett, President & CEO, Community Land trust

Legislation prohibiting public consumption of controlled substances announced

City Attorney Ann Davison proposed legislation with City Councilmembers Sara Nelson and Alex Pedersen to prohibit the use of drugs in public places including parks, sidewalks, bus stops, and public transit. This legislation is modeled after a similar ordinance passed this month in Bellingham. This legislation acknowledges the public health crisis of substance use disorder and will provide a new tool to engage those using drugs in public. In 2022, there were 589 overdose deaths in Seattle, with the majority attributed to fentanyl and methamphetamines.

Speakers include:

City Attorney Ann Davison, City of Seattle

Councilmember Alex Pedersen, City of Seattle

Councilmember Sara Nelson, City of Seattle

Councilmember Sawant joins PCC workers

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) joined workers from PCC Community Markets on Monday, March 13, 2023. The workers, who are members of UFCW Local 3000, shared stories of their working conditions, highlighted their demands, and announced a rank-and-file organizing effort at PCC stores across the Seattle area. PCC workers’ contract expires later this year.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council

Maddy Olson, PCC grocery worker, Workers Strike Back activist

Arlo Bender Simon, PCC grocery worker

Kai Lee-Kenniz, PCC worker

Jared Housing, PCC worker

Tiffanie Boldizsar, PCC worker

Varun Belur, Workers Strike Back activist

Shirley Henderson, Owner of Squirrel Chops coffee shop

Mayor Harrell, Councilmember Mosqueda Honor D’Vonne Pickett Jr. with honorary designation of E. Union

Mayor Bruce Harrell and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) hosted a ceremony on Wednesday to rename a section of Union Street “D’Vonne Pickett, Jr. Way” in honor of the late community leader.  

Pickett was shot and killed in October outside The Postman, the mailing services shop he opened in 2018. Pickett and his wife, KeAnna — who have three young children — opened their business named after the profession of Jacques Chappell, Pickett’s great-grandfather, a mail carrier in the neighborhood. 

Seattle City Council unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Councilmember Mosqueda to pave the way for the renaming. The resolution was written in conjunction with Mayor Bruce Harrell and Pickett’s family to honor his legacy. 

The street, which stretches between Liberty Bank Building, and Midtown Square, and is an area honoring important and loved figures including Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney Ave added in 2014 near Mount Zion Baptist Church and E Barbara Bailey Way designated in 2019 between Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill Station. 

Speakers include:

Mayor Bruce Harrell, City of Seattle

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Council

KeAnna Rose Pickett, wife of D’Vonne Pickett, Jr.

De’Auzjanae Pickett, sister of D’Vonne Pickett, Jr.

Cassandra Nicole Chappelle, mother of D’Vonne Pickett, Jr.

Craig First-Rider, brother of D’Vonne Pickett, Jr.

Jermaine Williams, friend of D'Vonne Pickett, Jr.

Paul Sutton, friend of D'Vonne Pickett, Jr.

Councilmember Sawant & community leaders rally for first-in-nation caste discrimination ban

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Seattle City Council’s Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee, held a press conference and rally alongside community leaders, socialists, and supporting organizations to demand Seattle City Council vote ‘Yes’ on the ordinance her office has introduced, to make Seattle the nation’s first city to ban caste discrimination. 

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council

Samir Khobragade, tech worker

Tanmay Waghmare, tech worker

Ram Kumar, Ambedcar International Center

Raghav Kaushik, tech worker


Councilmember Lewis unveils amendment protecting Pike Place Market Historical Commission’s authority

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis (District 7 - Pioneer Square to Magnolia) announced his intentions to protect Pike Place Market from proposed legislation that would permanently strip historic districts of key administrative review authority. The Market, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, was stripped of its independent administrative review processes like many other historic districts at the start of the COVID pandemic. This disconnect between the community stewards and administration of the Market has outlasted its need and is cutting out some of the Market’s strongest advocates from discussions on its future. Thursday’s event features representatives from Friends of the Market who have an extensive history of service to the Market and can speak to the importance of returning administrative review to the Market, provided by Councilmember Lewis’ amendment to CB120456.

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis, Seattle City Council

Sara Patton, Friends of the Market advocate

Duncan Thieme, Friends of the Market Board member


Councilmember Sawant to propose legislation against caste discrimination

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Seattle City Council’s Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee, proposes City legislation aimed at fighting caste discrimination. Caste is a system of rigid social stratification characterized by hereditary status, endogamy (completely closed categories), and social barriers based on birth and descent. Caste discrimination occurs in the form of social segregation, economic deprivation, physical and psychological abuse, and violence. Caste discrimination is also manifested in employment, education, and housing.

It is faced by South Asian American and other immigrant working people in their workplaces, including in the tech sector, in Seattle and in cities around the country. Sawant and other speakers will present the draft ordinance, which will be the first of its kind in the nation if passed by the City Council. Speakers will explain the caste discrimination that exists locally and nationally, and how the proposed ordinance will help fight caste discrimination.

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council

Samir Khobragade, Tech worker & South Asian American community member

Raghav Kaushik, Tech worker & South Asian American community member

Hassan Khan, Human rights activist

Javed Sikandar, Technology leader

Lama Rangdrol, Seattle-based African American teacher of Buddhism

Alvin Muragori, Socialist & community organizer

Budget Chair Mosqueda releases balancing package

Budget Chair Teresa Mosqueda presents the balancing package and provides an overview of the budget.

Speakers and attendees include:

Budget Chair Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Council

Esther Handy, Director, Seattle City Council Central Staff

Councilmember Nelson & film community urge creation of Seattle Film Commission

Councilmember Sara Nelson (Position 9, Citywide), film industry professionals, and community members urge the Seattle City Council to pass her legislation to create a Seattle Film Commission. The Council is scheduled to vote on the legislation during its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 20. If passed, the Commission would help advise city leaders on ways to both bring the film and television industry to Seattle and ensure creatives already in Seattle have more professional opportunities in the city. 

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Sara Nelson, Seattle City Council

Tom Skerritt, Emmy Award winning actor

Susan LaSalle, Seattle-based film producer & member, SEATTLE FILM SUMMIT

Anthony Tackett, member, SEATTLE FILM SUMMIT

Markham McIntyre, Director of Seattle Office of Economic Development

Amy Lillard, Executive Director, Washington Filmworks

Councilmember Lewis announces his budget for Seattle Park District

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis (President of the Seattle Park District Governing Board and Councilmember from District 7) announces his budget for the Seattle Metropolitan Park District. The Park District is a supplemental funding source for Seattle’s parks that was approved by voters in 2014, making investments citywide for six years at a time. This is the second round of investments by the Park District. More information here.

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis, Seattle City Council

Jon Scholes, President & CEO, Downtown Seattle Association 

Christopher Williams, Superintendent, Seattle Parks and Recreation

Rebecca Bear, President & CEO, Seattle Parks Foundation

Andrea Ornelas, Assistant Political Director, Laborers Local 242 

Katie Garrow, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Laborers Local 242

Nicole Grant, Executive Director, 350 Seattle

Morales & Herbold announce legislation protecting abortion access

Following the the U.S. Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe v. Wade, Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (District 2, Chinatown / International District and South Seattle) and Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle and South Park) are joined by reproductive justice advocates to announce legislation that will protect people seeking abortions in Seattle.

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Seattle City Council

Councilmember Tammy Morales, Seattle City Council

Kim Clark, Legal Voice

Kia Guarino, Pro-Choice Washington

Yvette Maganya, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates (PPAA)

Councilmember Mosqueda, Housing Providers to Announce Affordable Housing Projects Possible Due to JumpStart Tax

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide), Seattle Office of Housing, and affordable housing providers unveil the first slate of housing projects funded by JumpStart Seattle. JumpStart is a progressive payroll tax that makes historic investments in affordable housing and also funds critical investments into equitable development, the City’s Green New Deal, economic resilience, and workforce development. 

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Council

Maiko Winkler-Chin, Office of Housing

Velma Veloria, Filipino Community Center and former WA State 11th LD Rep 

Miguel Maestas, El Centro del la Raza 

James Lovell, Chief Seattle Club

Nicole Macri, State Representative (D-43rd)

Councilmember Sawant & community supporters introduce abortion rights sanctuary city legislation

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), joined by community leaders, announce legislation making Seattle a sanctuary city for pregnant people and their doctors. The legislation is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, which overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday. 

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council

Sam Sumpter, UAW Local 4121

Dr. Amy Zhang, Resident & Fellow Physician Union

Emily McArthur, Socialist Alternative

Councilmember Morales joins Seattle Maritime Academy to announce funding

Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (District 2) and community representatives of the maritime industry announce the release of $1 million in funding by the city to support maritime training and education. 

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Tammy J. Morales, Seattle City Council

Deputy Mayor Kendee Yamaguchi, City of Seattle

John Lederer, Seattle Office of Economic Development

Louise Chernin, Seattle Colleges

Daniel P. Golosman, Seattle Skills Center (Seattle Public Schools)

Berit Erikkson, Sailors Union of the Pacific 

Forest Reese, Student, Seattle Maritime Academy 

Councilmembers Herbold, Lewis introduce ‘PayUp’ legislation to protect app-based workers

Lisa Herbold (District 1 – West Seattle/South Park) and Andrew J. Lewis (District 7 – Pioneer Square to Magnolia) join Working Washington and Seattle Restaurants United to discuss the first in a suite of bills called “PayUp” focused on labor standards protections for app-based workers. 

The bill sets minimum compensation standards, transparency in employment terms, and flexibility in employment issues for app-based workers. This bill is the result of nearly a year of engagement with stakeholders including drivers and the companies with whom they work. Engagement thus far has included over a dozen large-format stakeholder meetings and three public meetings in the Seattle City Council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee.  Discussion of the introduced bill will begin at the April 12 Public Safety and Human Services committee. 

Speakers and attendees include: 

Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Seattle City Council

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis, Seattle City Council

Mikey Pullman, gig worker & PayUp campaign leader

Kim Wolfe, gig worker & PayUp campaign leader

Carmen Figueroa, gig worker & PayUp campaign leader

Wei Lin, gig worker & PayUp campaign leader

Jeanie Chunn, Seattle Restaurants United

Councilmember Sawant, Starbucks workers discuss local union movement

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council's Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee, holds a press conference at the Starbucks Headquarters with Starbucks Workers United members from Buffalo and Seattle, local progressive union members, and socialists. The group unveils a new council resolution in solidarity with Starbucks unionization.    

Speakers and attendees include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle

Casey Moore, Starbucks, Buffalo, New York

Gianna Reeve, Starbucks, Buffalo, New York

Michah Lakes, Starbucks, Seattle

Brent Hayes, Starbucks, Seattle

Sydney Durkin, Starbucks, Seattle

Sarah Pappin, Starbucks, Seattle

Star Willey, Starbucks, Seattle

Sam White, Darwin's Ltd. coffee shop, Boston

Elan Axelbank, Socialist Alternative

Rep. Jayapal, Councilmember Mosqueda urge Sen. Manchin to pass Build Back Better Act and deliver on long-overdue investments in child care

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda join local child care provider Jenny Lowery and representatives from SEIU 925 to highlight the importance of long-overdue investments in child care. The U.S. Senate continues to negotiate the Build Back Better Act that was passed by the House of Representatives in November. 

The Build Back Better Act is a $1.85 trillion package that would make unprecedented investments in working people, families, and communities across America. This is particularly true when it comes to child care. The House bill includes universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, expanding access to free, high-quality preschool for more than six million children; affordable, high-quality childcare with costs limited to no more than seven percent of income for families earning up to 250 percent of the state median income; and four weeks of guaranteed paid family and medical leave, guaranteed. 

Speakers include:

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Washington Dist. 7.

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Council

Jenny Lowery, Hullabaloo Preschool

Councilmember Strauss, partners discuss new model of encampment removal used at Ballard Commons Park

Councilmember Dan Strauss (District 6 - Northwest Seattle) and a coalition of homelessness service providers, city officials, business leaders and others highlight their successful work to offer people residing at Ballard Commons Park appropriate shelter and a path towards permanent housing. 

Since August, Councilmember Strauss has worked to bring together a host of community members, city departments, and service providers to coordinate a robust response that ensured people living in the park were offered the support they needed, including 24/7 enhanced shelter with wraparound onsite services like case management and housing navigation. 

Speakers include:

Councilmember Dan Strauss, Seattle City Council

Mike Stewart, Ballard Alliance

Chloe Gale, REACH

Rev. Canon Britt Olson, St. Luke's Episcopal Church

Councilmember Sawant holds press conference in support of Terrace Crest tenants

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the council's Sustainability and Renters' Rights Committee, joins tenants at the Terrace Crest Apartments in Seattle's First Hill Neighborhood to demand their landlord, Breier-Sheetz Properties, fix the boiler which has been broken since mid-September, leaving tenants almost entirely without hot water and/or heating for the last two months. Councilmember Sawant shares a letter she has sent to the landlord in support of tenants and announces future plans for legislation to protect renters from landlord negligence.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council

Allison Rau, Terrace Crest Tenant

Fran Love, Terrace Crest Tenant

Thaddaeus Hug, Terrace Crest Tenant

Violet Lavatai, Tenants Union of Washington State

Melina McCombs, former Terrace Crest Tenant

Mark Dunn, Terrace Crest Tenant

Perry Holstein, Terrace Crest Tenant

Councilmember Lewis highlights model to address homelessness in Pioneer Square

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis (District 7 - Pioneer Square to Magnolia) and a coalition of service providers, members from the business community, and others provide an update about the team effort to successfully shelter 31 individuals experiencing homelessness on 1st Ave. and Yesler, all of whom accepted appropriate shelter voluntarily. The JustCARE alliance coordinates whenever possible with City-funded shelter options via the Human Services Department (HSD), and partners with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), and Public Utilities (SPU) for debris removal when people have voluntarily left items behind when they move. As Seattle wrestles with the homelessness crisis, this model - non-siloed teams of JustCARE and the City working in concert - has been repeatedly proven effective, both humanely providing shelter services for those experiencing unsheltered homelessness as well as clearing public spaces for everyone.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis, Seattle City Council

Dominique Davis, Wheeler Davis Safety Team

Emily Kim & Heather Hodge, The Pastry Project

Lisa Howard, Alliance For Pioneer Square

Jon Scholes, Downtown Seattle Association (DSA)

Karen Salinas, Evergreen Treatment Services - REACH

Nichole Alexander, Public Defender Association

Lyly Nguyen, JustCARE

Lisa Daugaard, Public Defender Association

Councilmember Sawant holds a press conference

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) holds a press conference.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council

Liban Abdalla, Tenant

Annie Byse-Moore and Patricia Bruce, Tenants 

Jacob Schear, Real Change 

Kate Rubin, Be:Seattle 

Lydia Rubenstein, Tenants Union

Councilmember Pedersen celebrates opening of Rosie's Tiny House Village

Councilmember Alex Pedersen (District 4, Northeast Seattle), Sound Transit, City of Seattle Human Services Department, Low Income Housing Institute, service providers, neighbors, and members from the local business community celebrate an Open House of Rosie's Village. This will be the first tiny house village to open on Sound Transit property.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Alex Pedersen, Seattle City Council

Sharon Lee, Low Income Housing Institute

Tracy Williams, tiny house village resident

Theresa Barker, Northeast Seattle community member

Barb Oliver, Sound Foundations NW

Kimberly Farley, Sound Transit

State Representative Frank Chopp

Don Blakeney, U District Partnership

Councilmember Sawant & others unveil legislation to fund affordable housing in Central District

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council's Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee, joined Central District faith leaders, the Low Income Housing Institute, and community organizations to unveil legislation to support the New Hope Family Housing project and the compensation of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and others for land taken from them by the City of Seattle under the racist Urban Renewal programs of the 1960s. New Hope Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Robert Jeffrey Sr. documented this forced sale in a recent Seattle Times op-ed. The legislation will also fund affordable housing for displaced and low-income neighbors with roots in the neighborhood.

Speakers include:

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, District 3

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

Aisaya Corbray, Low Income Housing Institute

Rev. Lawrence Willis, Pastor, Truevine of Holiness Baptist Church

Rev. Angela Ying, Senior Pastor, Bethany United Church of Christ

Alvin Muragori, Socialist Alternative member, community organizer with Councilmember Sawant's office

Eddie Rye, Jr., Community Activist

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