The 2020 priorities for a new-look Seattle City Council
It was the start of a new era in Seattle Monday, as the next city council takes over for 2020.
After November’s elections, Seattle now has re-shaped city council, though not quite the re-shaping many in the business community had hoped for.
Councilmembers Debora Juarez, Lisa Herbold, and Kshama Sawant all fought off challengers to keep their seats, while four long-time councilmembers left city hall, bringing in a quartet of newcomers.
Those four are:
- District 2: Tammy Morales
- District 4: Alex Pedersen
- District 6: Dan Strauss
- District 7: Andrew Lewis
Andrew Lewis already notched up an early win in his efforts to save the Upgarden P-Patch on top of the Mercer Street Garage, which was in danger of being turned into parking spots. Lewis made the announcement in an early swearing-in last week.
“The Upgarden is here to stay,” Lewis touted at the ceremony.
District 6’s Dan Strauss was sworn in just before Christmas in Ballard, and spoke a bit about his priorities.
“We need to build a city that is sustainable, that is affordable, and that is equitable; that really works for everyone, whether you’ve been here for one year or 40,” he said.
District 4’s Alex Pedersen took over right after Thanksgiving, filling the vacated seat left by Rob Johnson when he stepped down before the end of his term. Pedersen already released a proposal to ensure the current city council considers climate change and its carbon footprint in any legislation the council takes up moving forward. Right now, the council only looks at the financial impact of all proposed legislation.
Pedersen is also a big supporter of Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez’s campaign finance reform proposal to restrict donations from political action committees. That’s something expected to come up early in 2020.
Six of the seven new and returning councilmembers will haven taken the oath of office by Monday, while District 3’s Kshama Sawant will take hers at an evening ceremony next Monday, Jan. 13. She’s expected to get her proposed ban on winter evictions bill up fairly early in the 2020 session.
Sawant briefly sat in the chair left vacant by council president Bruce Harrell. She joked that she was a senior councilmember who was also a Socialist. The acknowledgement prompted a ripple of chuckles in council chambers.
Sawant oversaw the nomination and council vote for Harrell’s replacement. Councilmember Lisa Herbold was the only one to make a nomination — Lorena Gonzales. The entire council was quick to approve.