LOCAL NEWS

Veto-proof council majority now supports defunding SPD by 50%

Jul 10, 2020, 11:18 AM
Seattle City Council, tax, coronavirus illegal immigrants, police...
Seattle City Council. (Seattle Channel)
(Seattle Channel)

Seven of nine Seattle City Councilmembers — a veto-proof majority — now support a bid to defund the police department by as much as 50%.

Opinion: No more reform — it’s time to rebuild Seattle policing

The measure was first floated by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda in early June, following weeks of protests in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Those protests saw police clash with demonstrators numerous times, often releasing tear gas into the residential area to disperse late-night crowds.

That quickly garnered support from Councilmembers Tammy Morales and Kshama Sawant. Sawant also spearheaded a unanimously approved bill to ban the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and other crowd control weapons. That ban takes effect on July 26.

Council President Lorena Gonzalez joined the call to cut SPD’s budget in half as well this week, stating that “the current public safety model does not produce safety for Black, Indigenous, and brown people.”

Mosqueda, Gonzalez, Sawant, and Morales all vowed to advance a joint plan from Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now, which lays out a roadmap for sweeping cuts to the Seattle Police Department. The plan has been described by that coalition of councilmembers as the “north star” for what they hope to accomplish in the days ahead.

Councilmember Andrew Lewis also stated this week that he is “100% in favor” of that roadmap, “including the goal of a 50% cut of SPD’s budget.” Councilmember Dan Strauss was similarly supportive, while emphasizing a need to “define how 50% cuts occur.”

After Decriminalize Seattle called on Lisa Herbold to voice her opinions on the defunding proposal, Herbold stated that her staff had sent a copy of her own proposed budget action for a 50% reduction to the SPD budget.

The lone holdouts on the council are now District 4’s Alex Pedersen and District 5’s Debora Juarez. Both have expressed that they believe the city’s police department is in need of fundamental changes, but have stopped short of advocating for a halving of SPD’s funding.

What does it mean when protesters call to defund the police?

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s own proposal for cuts to the police budget fell well short of the goals expressed by councilmembers. Her planned reduction would total $20 million, accounting for 5% of SPD’s total budget, and 10% of its remaining budget in 2020. That reduction encompasses $16 million that had been identified prior to calls to drastically defund the department, as well as $4 million in funds originally set aside for a new North Precinct facility.

Durkan also asked SPD to draw up models for possible 20%, 30%, and 50% budget cuts “for community engagement.”

Local News

USS John McCain...
L.B. Gilbert

Navy conducting anti-terrorism exercises in Everett

If you live near a Navy base like naval station Everett and you hear sirens this week -- it's not an emergency.
23 hours ago
vaccine mandate...
Frank Sumrall

King County, Seattle eliminate employee vaccine mandate

King County and the City of Seattle will no longer require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.
23 hours ago
internet...
Frank Sumrall

Edmonds School District’s internet still down after ‘suspicious activities’

The Edmonds School District is investigating “suspicious activities” within its network — causing the district-wide internet shutdown.
23 hours ago
People walk past the Pike Place Market, Seattle's top tourist destination on March 09, 2022 in Seat...
Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News

Pike Place Market invites people to celebrate Black History Month at Black-owned businesses

Pike Place Market is inviting the public to celebrate Black History Month by exploring the market’s Black-owned businesses.
23 hours ago
brandi carlile...
L.B. Gilbert

Seattle-area native Brandi Carlile wins big at 2023 Grammys

Washington native Brandi Carlile made a powerhouse performance on stage singing her single "Broken Horses" after winning multiple Grammys.
23 hours ago
Rescue workers try to reach trapped residents in a collapsed building in Kahta, in Adiyaman provinc...
Associated Press

Live Updates | Turkey, Syria earthquake kills thousands

ADANA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated parts of southeast Turkey and northern Syria early Monday. ___ India and South Korea are among nations sending rescue personnel and supplies after a devastating earthquake hit Turkey and northern Syria. India said it would send 100 members of its Natural Disaster […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Veto-proof council majority now supports defunding SPD by 50%