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Seattle Voices

The Seattle City Council has been making audio recordings of its proceedings, including committee meetings and public hearings, since 1971. Before that, selected meetings were recorded on audio tape, including public hearings, community meetings and certain committee proceedings. This page offers samples of audio material from selected events. Note that these samples are not intended to be a full representation of what happened at any meeting. They are provided here to offer an idea of the range of viewpoints that might have been expressed and and an idea of the quality of the audio recordings.

Audio holdings at the Seattle Municipal Archives are primarily of City Council Committee and Full Council meetings and provide a different perspective on the legislative process than can be gained from textual documents alone. Listening to the audio recordings of meetings provides a personality to the meetings not found on paper, it allows individuals to come to life in a way not possible with textual documents, and it also brings voices to life of individuals not documented anywhere else in the archives.

Full digital copies of meeting recordings cataloged in the audio index are available for public use at the Seattle City Clerk's Office. Copies of these recordings are available from the Archives for a fee. Our audio database is searchable by keyword and time period. Note that the sound quality is quite variable on these recordings.

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