2022 Annual Report of the Seattle City Council

The 2022-2023 Seattle City Council


Each year, the Seattle City Council reflects on its accomplishments and the impact legislation has made toward making Seattle a more equitable, accessible, and economically resilient city.

2022 was a year of change for the City of Seattle, which saw a new mayor, new councilmember, and new council president take office. The change also led to renewed collaboration across the city to address Seattle's most important issues. That includes responding urgently and effectively to new crises – like the Supreme Court's devastating decision to undermine abortion rights.

Whether it be through its powers to create new laws, allocate public funds, or shine a light on issues, here's how the Council approached the following issues in 2022:

🏘️ Housing & Homelessness


Passed an ordinance to protect tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic from eviction by capping repayment installments to landlords at one-third of the tenants rent Announced the first 17 affordable housing projects made possible by JumpStart Seattle. Passed legislation requiring property owners to submit rental data to a research institution to help the city better address displacement. (The legislation was vetoed by the Mayor).
Housing & Homelessness in the Budget
Made record-high investments in affordable housing Funded community investment trusts Funded eviction legal defense Added $700k to support workforce development for youth experiencing homelessness Added $200k and $650k for food funds in the Human Services Department Saved funding to address homelessness through the King Country Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) that would have otherwise been cut Added $2.8 million to support existing tiny home villages Added funding for vehicle residency outreach Funded KCRHA homelessness outreach

🤝 Public Safety

Public safety

Confirmed Adrian Z. Diaz as chief of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) Confirmed Gino Betts as the director of the Office of Police Accountability Passed a resolution stating the Council's intent to lift a proviso on anticipated 2022 salary and benefits savings to fund staffing incentives for uniformed police officers Passed an ordinance freeing up $1.5 million in SPD salary savings to be used for recruitment Authorized SPD to use salary savings to create a hiring incentives program offering as much as $30,000 for lateral recruits and $7,500 for new recruits Approved a new contract negotiated with the Seattle Police Management Association, the union representing police managers, that included pay increases and stronger police accountability measures Passed legislation outlining procedures for investigating accusations of misconduct against the chief of police The Council and Mayor sent a letter calling on Congress to pass the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow cannabis businesses to access traditional banking services and shift away from the cash-only model they currently are forced to use, which has led to public safety issues
Public Safety in the Budget
Returned Parking Enforcement Officers to the Seattle Police Department as the Council awaits recommendations on a permanent home Expanded mental health services in schools in the wake of the Ingraham High School shooting Funded the Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth program Saved funding for Seattle Fire Department's (SFD) Ladder 13 and Medic 26, protecting emergency response times in West Seattle and throughout the city Funded a nurse practitioner for SFD's Health One Funded a first-of-its-kind program in Seattle to send mental health professionals as leads into some mental health crisis calls Funded the creations of a dedicated phone line for crisis prevention and intervention services for first responders Added funding for behavioral health outreach in the Chinatown-International District Expanded the scope of hospital-based gun-violence reduction programs Restored funding that would have been cut to address anti-Asian hate crimes Added funding for Seattle Neighborhood Group Safe Communities Program Requested that the Mayor's Office, with the collaboration of the Human Services Department, develop a plan to fund addiction treatment using proceeds from a settlement against opioid medication distributors Created an affected persons program to support the families of people killed by police

⚒️ Supporting Workers

Passed a resolution expressing the Seattle City Council's support for workers at Starbucks in Seattle attempting to form unions and urging Starbucks to accept card check neutrality Voted to keep pandemic-related hazard pay requirements for grocery store workers in place, declining to override a mayoral veto, as the COVID-19 Omicron spread. The Council later ended hazard pay requirements in August, at the request of the Mayor Passed PayUp, becoming the first city in the nation to create a minimum wage requirement for app-based delivery drivers
Worker Protections in the Budget
Protected the law requiring Seattle to keep wages for human service workers in line with inflation Restored funding for the Office of Labor Standards to protect workers and implement PayUp Added $120,000 JumpStart Fund (2023) and $120,000 JumpStart Fund (2024) to OED to support the MLK Labor Hiring Hall Invested $5 million in childcare provider worker wages

📈 Economic Development

Passed legislation making Seattle's street café/outdoor dining program, introduced due to pandemic public health restrictions, permanent Held a public hearing in the Economic Development, Technology, and CIty Light Committee for business owners to talk about crime and safety concerns and outline steps the city can take to help Passed legislation making Seattle's street café/outdoor dining program, introduced due to pandemic public health restrictions, permanent Doubled hotel fees to $4 at the request of the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area to promote tourism Capped the fees that third-party delivery corporations can charge restaurants at 15 percent Passed legislation creating a Seattle Film Commission to support local film projects and attract the film and TV industry to Seattle
Economic Development in the Budget
Put $33 million from JumpStart each year into economic revitalization projects Allocated $2.75 million in 2023 for small business development capital Budgeted $7 million in 2023 for commercial affordability Allocated nearly $3 million in 2023 for downtown and neighborhood economic recovery

✊🏽 Protecting Reproductive Rights

In preparation for the Supreme Court's decision to undermine women's access to reproductive healthcare, the Council passed a resolution urging Congress to codify Roe v. Wade and outlining the initial steps the City of Seattle should take to protect access to reproductive healthcare Passed an ordinance establishing Seattle as a sanctuary city for those seeking abortion care and preventing the Seattle Police from pursuing out-of-state warrants related to abortion Added people who have received or are seeking abortions as a protected class under the city's civil rights laws Creates a misdemeanor charge for people who encroach on individuals seeking abortions or gender affirming care Appropriated $250,000 of city funds to fund expanded access to reproductive healthcare by making an investment in Northwest Abortion Access Fund Prohibits false and misleading advertising by limited services pregnancy centers, a.k.a. crisis pregnancy centers

⚖️ Advancing Equity

Passed three bills to increase equity in Seattle's cannabis industry Appointed the first members to the Indigenous Advisory Council, created by the Council in 2021 to advise city government on issues affecting American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people residing in Seattle Approved legislation returning 270 artifacts to the Upper Skagit Tribe that were found during an excavation project
Advancing Equity in the Budget
Funded the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs' New Citizen Program Directs funding for interactive and ADA accessible improvements to the AIDS Memorial Pathway

🌱 Climate & Environment

Passed legislation requiring arborists to register with the City before cutting down mature trees Adopted a resolution outlining an approach to focus on addressing climate change in the upcoming Comprehensive Plan update Allocated the first $6.5 million dollars in Green New Deal funding from JumpStart Passed a resolution to phase out gas-powered leaf blowers in Seattle
Climate & Environment in the Budget
Funded the creation of a climate resilience hub in South Beacon Hill Created a City Urban Forester Position to work across city departments and manage Seattle's tree protections Funded Indigenous-led sustainability projects Funded Green New Deal investments Repealed Seattle's Heating Oil Tax Added funding to the Seattle Department of Transportation's Urban Forestry Capital Establishment project to plant trees in the public right-of-way

🚍 Transportation

Completed repairs of the West Seattle Bridge and reopened it to traffic Provided recommendations to Sound Transit on the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions Confirmed Greg Spotts as director of the Seattle Department of Transportation
Transportation in the Budget
Invested a total of $42 million in 2023 and $35 million in 2024 for bridge operations, maintenance, and replacement Increased the Vehicle License Fee by $10 dollars to invest in bike lanes, Vision Zero projects, and bridge maintenance over the next two years Supported school zone safety improvements, doubling school zone cameras Funded pedestrian safety improvements in the Ballard Brewery District Provisoed $1 million Transportation Fund in SDOT for protected bike lane barrier improvements in Council District 2 Provisos half-a-million of Seattle Transportation Benefit District Funds for the transit related Roosevelt Way Safety Enhancements Provisos $375,000 in the Bike Master Plan Greenways to extend the Neighborhood Greenway from NW 50th Street to NW 58th Street

🌳 Parks

The Seattle Parks District Board, made up of all nine councilmembers, voted to nearly double Seattle's investment in its parks, expanding access, increasing staffing, funding community centers, focusing on decarbonization, increasing equity, and more
Parks in the Budget
Allocated $250,000 in JumpStart Funds for the Station Space project Added $250,000 in JumpStart Funds for the Cultural Space Agency Public Development Authority Funded the Bumbershoot Workforce Development Program of the Seattle Center to revitalize the festival and assist its return in 2023 Made major investments in the Seattle Center's efforts to redevelop Memorial Stadium Allocated $2.3 million toward activating City Hall Park in partnership with King County and reopen the space to the community

🏛️ Good Governance

Councilmember Debora Juarez unanimously elected Council President, making her the first Indigenous Council President in Seattle's history The Council welcomed a new councilmember, Sara Nelson, and implemented new committee structures and assignments The Council implemented a new hybrid meeting format, allowing both in person and virtual participation The Council fulfilled its charter responsibilities, sending a proposal to switch City of Seattle elections to “approval voting” to the ballot. Additionally, the Council voted to add an option to switch city elections to “ranked choice voting” to the ballot. Seattle voters elected ranked choice voting Similarly, the Council fulfilled its charter responsibilities, sending Initiative 135 to the ballot. The initiative, which will create a public housing developer to build and maintain affordable social housing, was approved by voters Seattle began collecting money from the JumpStart progressive payroll tax approved by Council in 2020, and the tax ended up raising more money for things like affordable housing than anticipated The Council fulfilled its charter responsibilities confirming numerous appointments from Mayor Bruce Harrell to lead city departments

City Council

Address: 600 Fourth Ave. 2nd Floor, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA , 98124-4025
Phone: (206) 684-8888
Phone Alt: Listen Line: (206) 684-8566
Fax: (206) 684-8587
Meet the Council

The Seattle City Council establishes City policy through enactment of ordinances (laws) and adoption of resolutions. The City Council also approves and adopts the City's budget. The nine Council members and their legislative assistants are part of the City of Seattle Legislative Department.