Seattle City Council passes $5.9 billion budget, finds money for Nav Team
Seattle City Council passed its 2019 and 2020 budget Monday afternoon, including money for social service pay increases and full funding for the expanded Navigation Team.
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda had previously pushed the Seattle Council to cut nearly $500,000 from the Navigation Team, the group responsible for connecting services with the homeless, while cleaning up encampments that pose significant health risks.
City Council rolled that back with the passing of its two-year budget, allocating enough money to fully fund the Navigation Team, as well as a 2 percent raise for homeless service workers.
The Navigation Team, which includes case workers and SPD officers, connects homeless people with services, in addition to cleaning up encampments full of human waste, used needless, garbage, and rodents.
The budget passed by the council was roughly the same as the one proposed by Mayor Jenny Durkan in September, with just a few minor changes.
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said this balanced budget reflects the cities “collective commitment to invest in areas that need the most attention.”
“Using this budget as our guide, we must continue to be stewards of taxpayer dollars and invest in a more affordable, inclusive and vibrant future for all who call Seattle home,” said Mayor Durkan in a news release.
Both the 2019 and 2020 budgets passed 8-1, with Councilmember Kshama Sawant representing the lone “no” vote for each. According to Sawant, the budget fell short of meeting “human needs.”