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.

People and Issues

Street Musicians (1974)
Includes Jim Page

Bicycle Registration (1978)
Includes Councilmembers Michael Hildt and Sam Smith

Opening the Doors of Government (1978)
Includes Nick Licata

Intermittent Workers (1977)
Includes John Scannell

Central Area Police Precinct (1977)
Includes Councilmember Sam Smith

Energy Conservation (1977)
Includes Councilmember Jonathan Whetzel and Robin Calhoun

Crimes Against Women (1975)
Includes Sheila Bayne

Roberto Maestas (1973 and 1997)

Interstate 90 (1970)
Includes Councilmember Tim Hill, Robert Eyre, Ed Banks, Tom Gayton, Pat Emerson, Carl McCray, William Merry, and Kathy Howlett

Open Housing (1963)
Includes Rev. John H. Adams, Tak Kubota, Rabbi Norman Hirsch, Robert Gans, Nancy McGhee, Eileen Meacham, Rev. Thomas W. Miller, and Wing Luke

Bicycles at Westlake (1977)
Includes Councilmember Tim Hill and Bill Stalzer

Sewage and Environmental Health (1977)
Includes Eldon L. Grimes and Margaret Ceis

Sexual Orientation and Housing Discrimination (1972)
Includes Tim Mayhew

African American Protest in City Council Chambers (1971)
Includes African American community leader Larry Gossett and Acting Mayor Charles M. Carroll

Women in the Fire Department (1977)
Includes Councilmember Jeanette Williams at a Seattle City Council Budget Committee meeting

Hollow Point Bullets (1975)
Includes Police Chief Robert Hanson, Jonathan Hake, Judith Freel, Roberto Maestas, and Rev. Samuel McKinney

Musicians in the Pike Place Market (1975)
Includes Garry Marshall and Sam Smith

Medical Waste Incineration (1994)
Includes Dr. Glover Barnes and Liz Moses from Washington Toxics Coalition