Seattle City Council passes 2021 budget, including cuts to SPD funds
The Seattle City Council on Monday passed its 2021 budget, which includes a near-20% cut to the Seattle Police Department budget.
Mayor Jenny Durkan said shortly after the votes that she will sign the new budget into law next week. She released a news release. It reads, in part:
“In the midst of an unprecedented year, we had to go through two budget cycles to both address the significant drop in revenue for 2020 and to plan for 2021. I proposed, and the City Council adopted with few changes, a budget that makes truly historic investments in Seattle communities, lays the groundwork for an equitable recovery, and reflects our values for the future of Seattle. In September, I outlined four priorities: continuing to invest in our historic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, making the City’s largest-ever investment in racial equity and justice, addressing our homelessness and housing crisis, and advancing public safety while reimagining policing.”
Councilmember Debora Juarez
“And that’s a wrap! The City Council has officially passed the 2021 budget. I was happy to see all six of my budget amendments included in the final package. I want to thank my council colleagues, Budget Chair Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda for her leadership, our central staff, the IT department, and the residents of Seattle for their advocacy to craft a budget that reflects our shared priorities.”
Councilmember Tammy Morales
“Today the book is closed on Nav Team, but we’re not just replacing a team. We’re listening to the experts, creating a new ecosystem where the City truly collaborates with shelter and outreach providers, who work with people where they are to provide services tailored to individual needs. Beyond outreach, our neighbors have great need for more supportive non-congregate shelter options. This is why the HOPE proposal includes increased funding for non-congregate shelter in hotels and staffing to meet those needs.”
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda
“Over the course of the last 2 budget cycles as Chair, I have set out to do 3 things in response to the movement for Black Lives: 1) downsize the SPD’s budget, 2) invest in community alternatives that produce healthy outcomes for our BIPOC communities, and 3) not grow the size of the force in the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor murders, and thanks to the amendment on Monday, the budget no longer reflects new net hires. We have much more work to do, and we must get to work on those next steps now.”
Councilmember Kshama Sawant
“It was a real testament to the power of that movement in the summer that 7 of the 9 councilmembers committed to defunding the police by 50 percent at that time. And it is because of thousands of people speaking up from the People’s Budget and the Solidarity Budget, and because the movement has its unwavering voice through my socialist Council office, that we have now won a $31 million – or 8.2 percent – reduction in the police budget, not counting the mechanisms like moving the costs of parking enforcement out of the police department, which do not honestly represent actual cuts. And those millions have been made available for community programs and services.”
KIRO Radio’s Hanna Scott and MyNorthwest’s Nick Bowman contributed to this report.