Legislative Process Guide

City Council

The City Council:

  • establishes City laws
  • approves the annual budget
  • oversees the executive operating departments
  • ensures the City provides a quality environment for its citizens through its policy-making role

City Council members participate on various regional committees.

The Council plays a key role in regional issues such as the economy, education, transportation, the environment, public health, and many others.

Council Committees

The City Council assigns individual standing committees the responsibility of reviewing assigned legislative proposals and recommending action to the Full Council.

The chair of each committee is responsible for:

  • reviewing assigned committee items for accuracy and completeness
  • assessing programmatic and fiscal implications
  • obtaining expert review as necessary

The City Council adopts a work program for the year to identify major projects in the various standing committees.

View Current City Council Committees.

Historic committee names and membership can be researched using the Council Committee History Database.

Full Council Meetings

Regular meetings of the Full Council are scheduled each Monday at 2 p.m. with exceptions as set forth in the Council Rules and Procedures.

Any regular meeting of the Full Council may be canceled with the concurrence of a majority of the Council.

Full Council and committee meetings are open to the public and broadcast by the Seattle Channel online and on Cable Channel 21.

Select Committees

Select committee meetings are held in the Council Chamber unless a specific alternate location is established by the Chair with concurrence of a majority of the regular members of the committee.

All select committees will be noticed as joint meetings of the Full Council. No final action shall be taken at any such Joint Committee/Full Council meeting.

Special Meetings

The Mayor, the President of the City Council, or any three Council members, may call a special meeting of the Council consistent with the provisions of RCW 42.30.080.

Executive Sessions

Executive sessions may be held during Full Council Meetings, Council Briefings, or standing or select committee meetings, and at other times as allowed by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 42.30.110 and RCW 42.30.140) and the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC 5.24.020 and SMC 5.24.030).

Council Rules

The Council has adopted, and periodically revises, Rules and Procedures that govern its internal management and the procedures available to the public.