2023 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 safer, more affordable, more livable city for all.

Whether it be through its powers to create new laws, allocate public funds, or shine a light on issues, here are selected highlights of actions the Council took on the following issues in 2023:

🏘️ Housing & Homelessness


Passed a resolution supporting King County’s Crisis Care Centers Levy 
Appointed the Seattle Social Housing Developer Board which will oversee the social housing developer created by initiative 135 approved by votersApproved a legislative package to increase affordable housing production by streamlining the permitting process 
Housing & Homelessness in the Budget
Added rental assistance funding for households with past due rent to avoid eviction ($1 million)
Added ongoing funding for operational services at existing non-congregate shelters – by and large the preferred form of temporary shelter ($1 million) 
Added Inflationary increases for Continuum of Care contracts and applies an updated calculation on all human service contracts ($3 million) Added funding to support migrants and asylees through public health interventions, housing or shelter support, training and capacity building for local community organizations serving immigrant and refugee communities, and developing a long-term coordinated response to the emerging migrant crisis in the area ($200k) Added funding to develop a comprehensive assessment to address operational sustainability for affordable housing providers ($50k) Added funding for a workgroup to develop a plan for establishing a future Office of Renters’ Standards ($50k) Mandated the convening of a workgroup on updating the City-owned land disposition policy that includes Federally Recognized Tribes, organizations serving Native Americans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and representatives of non-profit housing providers Identified the City of Seattle’s priorities for use of 2023 underspend at the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA). Added to the emergency food fund to increase the number of clients able to receive meal delivery services and for expenses to sustain staffing and purchase food for clients at food bank ($650k) Added senior meal program funds, including in-person dining and to-go meals ($42k)

🤝 Public Safety

Public safety

Oversaw the creation of Community Assisted Response and Engagement (CARE), Seattle’s third public safety department, and it’s dual-dispatch response team consisting of qualified behavioral health specialists trained to provide support and resources to support people experiencing crises
Called for an audit of organized retail theft in Seattle and convened law enforcement stakeholders to put its recommendations into action
Public Safety in the Budget
Fully funded the Seattle Police Department’s staffing planAdded funding for an inpatient substance use treatment pilot ($300k)Added Seattle Community Safety Initiative (SCSI) youth violence prevention worker supports for those focused in Southwest Seattle, Rainer Valley, and the Central District ($500k)Added full funding through 2024 for the Harborview Bedside Gun Violence Interrupter program ($500k)Added pre-filing diversion to ensure the City Attorney’s Office does not file a charge against individuals who successfully complete these programs($200k)Added funding for Consejo Counseling, the only organization in the city providing culturally responsive domestic violence advocacy and support services for Latinx Seattleites, which will allow them to continue providing wrap-around services and reopen their crisis hotline ($500k)Added public space activations in Capitol Hill and communities disproportionately impacted by street safety issues ($600k)Added funding to contract with a community-based organization to convene survivors of police violence and family members of individuals killed by Seattle police to create recommendations for support services ($100k)Added funding for a Ballard Ambassador position and funding for administration of community safety coordinator programs ($175k)Provided mental health resources, training, workshops, and/or support to the community-based organizations that comprise the Seattle Community Safety Initiative ($200k)Added funding for culturally-specific domestic violence services and domestic violence mobile community-based survivor supports ($450k)Approved a Criminal Justice Pilot Program that would deploy CCTV and acoustic gunshot location systems while requiring a Racial Equity Toolkits be performed in addition to the requirements of the Surveillance Ordinance

📈 Economic Development

Appointed the first-ever members of the Seattle Film Commission to help revitalize Seattle’s film and entertainment industry Passed legislation to make it easier to build downtown - creating housing and jobs - by streamlining the environmental review process Passed legislation making Seattle's street café/outdoor dining program, introduced due to pandemic public health restrictions, permanentPassed the “Bringing Business Home” bill, introducing permanent regulations for home-based businesses, building upon interim measures that were implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic Capped the fees that third-party delivery corporations can charge restaurants at 15 percentApproved a series of bills known as the “Industrial and Maritime Strategy” legislation, which  updated the City’s land use code to increase flexibility for maritime and industrial businesses while creating an estimated 35,000 new jobs over the next 20 years
Renewed and expanded the Ballard Improvement Area
Renewed the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area, making its funding more sustainable and allow it to better compete for tourism spending that is critical to downtown’s recoveryPassed first in the nation regulations on personal guarantees, capping the total value of a personal guarantee at two years of commercial rent, plus the value of any tenant improvements made by the landlord to the tenant space.
Economic Development in the Budget
Added funding for the Bumbershoot Workforce Development Program to support teaching 10 to 15 young people, ages 17 to 25-years-old, the skills of concert and event promotion ($150k)Added funding for the Film Commission and the Music Commission to support participation in the creative economy ($20k)

⚒️ Worker Protections

Passed an ordinance that protects app-based workers from being unreasonably deactivated from their platforms with a focus on workers providing food delivery, pet sitting and grocery shoppingCreated permanent paid sick leave and safe time benefits for app-based workers; first in the country to create these types of benefits on a permanent basis for gig workers
Worker Protections in the Budget
Added funding for Filipino Community of Seattle job training, education, and support services for individuals facing barriers to unemployment and housing ($150k)
Added $25k in funding to scale up the online labor hiring hall to respond to pandemic workforce changes and preparedness ($150k total) Added $120,000 JumpStart Fund (2023) and $120,000 JumpStart Fund (2024) to OED to support the MLK Labor Hiring HallAdded funding to support the analysis of a portable benefits policy for domestic workers at the request of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Board ($100k) Added funding for implementation of the App-Based Worker Deactivations Rights Ordinance and Transportation Network Company fee at OLS and FAS ($1.4m)Added funding to support City Auditor staff recruitment and retention and salary adjustments to advance pay equity ($40k)

🍎 Student Mental Health

Seattle students advocated for and the Council approved an expansion of JumpStart Progressive Revenue, totaling around $20 million per year, to support additional counselors and mental health resources in Seattle Public Schools

🏙️ Community Projects

Community Projects in the Budget
Added capacity support for the Central District Garfield Super Block project ($80k)
Added funding to support the revival of the Chinatown-International District night market and activation ($50k)

🌱 Climate & Environment

Passed the Tree Protection Ordinance to protect Seattle's tree canopy
Passed landmark legislation today to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings, which account for 37 percent of Seattle’s total core emissions le
Climate & Environment in the Budget
Added outreach and engagement funds for tree equity and resilience plan ($30k)
Added funds to increase compliance on updates to the tree protection code ($50k)
Secured funding for expanded cleaning services in the Chinatown-International District ($400k)

🚍 Transportation

Supported the MLK Way Safety Project to address critical road safety needs between S McClellan and S Henderson Streets that have seen a high number of traffic collisions
Transportation in the Budget
Added funding to contract with King County Metro for Transit Ambassadors on transit service in Seattle ($1 million)Added funding for street safety projects in Mt. Baker, Ballard, and 45th Ave. I-5 crossing ($3.2 million) 

⚖️ Advancing Equity

Passed first-in-the-nation legislation to protect people from discrimination based on their castePassed an ordinance officially codifying the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) into law
Advancing Equity in the Budget
Added free tax preparation services for low- and moderate-income households to retain income and create savings. ($100k) Added support for equitable community engagement for upcoming the comprehensive plan ($130k)Added funding to support BIPOC cultural and community art programs ($400k)Added support for the work of local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artists, neighborhood identity, and public space activation improvements in Interbay and integration with the Seattle Storm training facility ($675k)Added support for a program like El Centro de la Raza After School Programming to support programs supporting students in their academic success, and provide academic support for maintaining appropriate grade level skillsets ($143k)Added funding for an organization like Rise Above, an organization that empowers Native youth to live healthy lives by providing education, prevention skills, and character enrichment activities ($200k)

🏛️ Good Governance

The Revenue Stabilization Workgroup, which included councilmembers, the Mayor’s Office, and community stakeholders, completed their work and issued a final report considering revenue options to address the City’s widening budget gapPassed a resolution requesting the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank (NIB)Passed a resolution through the King County Board of Health urging alljurisdictions within King County to align their opioid settlement funding and invest in services recommended in the Opioid Settlement Stakeholder Feedback reportRenamed a section of Union Street D’Vonne Pickett, Jr. Way” in honor of the late community leaderReleased three public-facing tools to help people better understand and engage with the budget process: Demystifying the Council’s Budget Process, Budget Dashboard, and Understanding Council’s Budget Amendments

About 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. 

The members of the Seattle City Council in 2023 were:  

  • Debora Juarez (District 5) | Council President, Chair of Governance, Native Communities, and Tribal Governments Committee   
  • Lisa Herbold (District 1) | Chair of Public Safety and Human Services Committee 
  • Tammy J. Morales (District 2) | Chair of Neighborhoods, Education, Civil Rights, and Culture Committee 
  • Kshama Sawant (District 3) | Chair of Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee 
  • Alex Pedersen (District 4) | Chair of Transportation of Seattle Public Utilities Committee 
  • Dan Strauss (District 6) | Chair of Land use Committee 
  • Andrew J. Lewis (District 7) | Chair of Public Assets and Homelessness Committee 
  • Teresa Mosqueda (District 8) | Chair of Finance and Housing Committee 
  • Sara Nelson (District 9) | Chair of Economic Development, Technology, and City Light Committee 

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.