Fresh off a year of district elections that saw four seats turn over, a reconstituted Seattle City Council started work Monday with a key vote, oaths of office and a volley of speeches.
Here are eight things that council members said as they took their seats at City Hall.
“It’s not only a new year, it’s a new decade and a new chapter for this City Council.” — citywide Councilmember Lorena González, after her colleagues voted unanimously to make her president of an increasingly lefty council through 2021.
“We’re going to work to address homelessness by doubling our annual investment in permanent supportive housing — 95% of people who get into permanent supportive housing stay in it, regardless of mental health or substance abuse disorder.” — District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who also vowed to advance Seattle’s Green New Deal transition away from fossil fuels.
“I was elected to repair the harm done to our black and brown communities in this city. To help democratize the wealth, power and resources that are here so that people who call our city home can stay.” — new District 2 Councilmember Tammy Morales, whose diverse Southeast Seattle district has been hit hard in recent years by displacement and gentrification.
“I think it is worth noting that the socialist on the City Council has become the most senior council member.” — third-term District 3 Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who urged audience members to support her push to build more affordable housing by attending a “Tax Amazon” rally later this month.
“I pledge to remain a voice of reason, and while investing your hard-earned tax dollars to solve problems, I pledge to use a calculator instead of a megaphone.” — new District 4 Councilmember Alex Pedersen, who held up the shoes he wore out campaigning as evidence he’ll remember his vows to voters.
“We are on indigenous land … My name, as you know, is Nah Too Yii Mis’Stuckie, which means Holy Mountain Woman.” — reelected District 5 Councilmember Debora Juarez, a Blackfeet Nation member who underscored her Native American heritage and who called on council members to approach their work with kindness.
“Seattle today is not the city I grew up in … We are already a decade behind addressing the growth we are experiencing with commensurate infrastructure.” — new District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss, who called constituent services his top priority and promised to open a district office Tuesday.
“The common denominator for people who are experiencing homelessness is trauma.” — new District 7 Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who said he would work to correct a “failure of our society” as chair of a council committee on homelessness by pushing the region to build more supportive housing.
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