Legislative Process Guide
Be Informed. Be Involved.
City Council Agendas
You can find upcoming City Council meetings using the City Council Calendar. You may also wish to sign up to receive agenda notifications via email. Or, you can search Council Meeting Agendas on the City Clerk's Online Information Resources site.
Watching and Attending Meetings
Most Council meetings take place in the Council Chamber in City Hall. For directions, see Visit Seattle City Hall. You may also watch live Council Meetings online. Council meetings are available for later viewing on Seattle Channel's Website. Meetings are also broadcast live on Seattle Channel's Cable Channel 21.
Communicating with Council
There are many ways to share your thoughts with and ask questions of the City Council. See Contact the Council to find Council phone numbers, email addresses, and social media sites.
Public Comment at Council meetings is governed by the Council Rules and Procedures.
Other Ways to Participate in City Government
The City provides many different ways for the public to engage in early development of policy and planning, before ideas are presented to Council. For example, members of the public may apply to serve on Boards and Commissions that provide input on City policy, and, the City Neighborhood Council and District Councils offer additional ways for residents to be involved in City planning.
Individual Departments also provide opportunities to engage in City planning, along with other activities and projects. See, for example, Parks, Planning and Development, Transportation, and Police, to name only a few.
Researching Council Action and Legislative History
Minutes of Full Council Meetings are posted on the Clerk's Council Minutes search page. Minutes tell you what action Council took on each item at a Full Council meeting, including the vote tally and whether or not an item was passed into Law.
If you wish to learn about the history of a piece of legislation or City policy, the Clerk's Office and Municipal Archives have created several research guides, which may prove helpful as a starting point. For assistance with research, feel free to contact the Clerk's Office or the Municipal Archives.
Public Disclosure Requests
The City strives to make records of wide public interest easily accessible, either online or directly from the relevant department. In addition, historic records may be found at the Seattle Public Library and in the Seattle Municipal Archives. If the records or information you are seeking are not already publicly available, you may wish to make a request for disclosure under the Public Records Act.
Under the State Public Records Act, RCW 42.56, the public has the right to request disclosure of City records. A "public record" is defined by RCW 42.56.010 to include "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics."
"Writing," as defined in the Act, "means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photographing, and every other means of recording any form of communication or representation, including, but not limited to, letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, motion pictures, film and video recordings, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, diskettes, sound recordings, and other documents including existing data compilations from which information may be obtained or translated."
Each City department designates a public records disclosure officer for the purpose of responding to public records requests for that department's records.