Budget season is almost upon us! In Seattle, budget season begins on Monday, September 27 when the Mayor delivers her proposed 2022 budget. I will be writing a great deal about budget season over the course of the next few months, and I’d like to invite you to join me at People Power Washington – Police Accountability’s general meeting this Sunday, September 19 at 11am, where I will be giving a presentation on the basics of local budgets and how to get involved. You can register for the meeting here.
Seattle City Council News
Good morning, and welcome to the Seattle Council Briefing! Hope you haven’t missed me too much over the past four weeks. 😉
Yesterday the Seattle City Council took their final vote on the mid-year supplemental budget, which included their plan for how to spend the $15m the SPD expects to save this year from increased attrition rates. You can remind yourself of what is involved in this bill relating to SPD-related spending here
Further complicating matters were several last-minute amendments, including two from CM Pedersen
that would either remove $3m from community-led public safety efforts in order to fund SPD hiring and retention bonuses (almost $2.8m of this was to be for retention purposes) or that would allocate $1.1m to SPD hiring and retention bonuses. The first of these amendments was defeated handily. The second was defeated by a single vote: CMs Morales, Sawant, Mosqueda, Herbold and CP González voted against and CMs Pedersen, Juarez, Lewis, and Strauss voted in favor. CM Sawant proffered an amendment that would have transferred more of the SPD salary savings to community safety capacity building, but this was also defeated, with only CMs Sawant and Morales voting in favor.
At the Public Safety and Human Resources committee meeting this morning, council members also discussed a bill
that would prohibit SPD from training with countries that have verifiable incidents of human rights violations. The bill passed out of committee, with CMs Herbold, Sawant, and Morales in favor and CM Lewis and CP González abstaining. CP González said she abstained because there are many moving pieces, and there is going to be more information available before the final vote on September 20. CM Lewis added that he needs to know what the training definition will be. The Full Council will consider this legislation at their meeting on Monday, September 20. The Public Safety and Human Resources committee will have a special meeting on Friday, September 24.
Other News Tidbits
It looks like signature gathering for the campaign to recall Sawant is completed, although the signatures weren’t submitted in time for the recall to be on the November ballot, meaning a special election sometime this winter.
There’s been a recent shake-up at the CPC (Community Police Commision). Co-Chairs La Rond Baker and Erin Goodman resigned
from their positions, and new Co-Chairs will be finishing the term. The CPC is also opening some community engagement meetings to the public in upcoming months. The first meeting is tonight
from 6-8pm, and there will be other meetings on October 12, November 9, and December 14.
After recent reports about Bellevue School Board candidate Faye Yang, who until recently believed race was linked to IQ scores
, there has been news about another Bellevue School Board candidate. Gregg Smith has said
“Critical race theory is inherently racist in itself and is out of control in the schools as well as society in general” and “It’s both hypocritical and senseless to make racist attacks against white people in an attempt to supposedly end systemic racism against blacks.” Unfortunately, these remarks demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of white supremacy and how systemic racism operates in our society. Watching the school board races in Bellevue right now is a case study in understanding why getting involved in local politics matters.