D5 Budget Wins!

November 21st, 2016

On November 21, 2016 the Seattle City Council voted 8-1 to approve the 2017-2018 City Budget. Reviewing and approving the city budget is one of the most important responsibilities of the City Council. I am pleased to report that, due to strong community advocacy as well as my actions, I have succeeded in securing several crucial investments for District 5.

In this budget I advocated for and secured $4.4 million in targeted investments in our community including improvements in human services, construction of sidewalks, and neighborhood planning initiatives. Ultimately, I achieved a 94% success rate for my specific District 5 budget priorities.

In the 2017/2018 budget I sponsored and successfully secured funding for:

  • Shelter for unhoused District 5 residents near Lake City
  • Pedestrian safety improvements and additional sidewalks on and near Aurora Ave North
  • Planning and design work for the future Bitter Lake Reservoir Park
  • Establishment of Literacy Source’s Ready to Work program in Lake City
  • Service Navigators at food banks including North Helpline
  • Sidewalk construction in the Meadowbrook neighborhood
  • Planning for additional affordable housing in Northgate
  • Implementing the recommendations from the upcoming North Seattle Human Services Summit
  • Events and performances to activate our parks
  • Low barrier services for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation near Aurora

For a detailed breakdown of the add-in budget items I sponsored, please click here.

I would also like to report that I joined the successful votes that added funding for expansion of the 13th Year Scholarship program to North Seattle College, supported successful transitional housing programs, paid for citywide community planning for siting affordable housing, and provided more space for child care programs.

There were a few additional items I advocated for that were not included in the final budget. These items included:

  • Funding for the Family Works food bank in the Greenwood neighborhood
  • Planning and design funds to complete the Jackson Park Perimeter Trail
  • Funding for North Helpline’s eviction prevention program

These items remain important to me and I am committed to continuing to advocate for funding for these projects. I have communicated to Family Works my wish to assist their efforts to secure private funding to support their operations. There will be some transit corridor work near Jackson Park and I am interested in seeing if there is a way to use some of those funds to support the perimeter trail. The Housing Levy oversight committee will soon be identifying which organizations will receive eviction prevention funding, and I am pushing hard to ensure they take geographical parity into account when awarding funding for this approach to homelessness prevention.

All of the achievements we made during this budget were made possible by local organizations and constituents voicing their support for these critical improvements. I look forward to working further with these groups as they implement these important initiatives and to continuing my advocacy for my beloved community.

THANK YOU!

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Our North Seattle Police Precinct

September 15th, 2016

Thank you for your interest in the on-going efforts to replace the current North Precinct police station, a facility which provides public safety services for the nearly 300,000 Seattleites who live north of the ship canal plus all those who attend school, visit hospitals, and work in the area.

The current North Precinct police station is an inadequate facility which needs to be replaced. Severe overcrowding has meant that the precinct has lacked community meeting space for positive community-police interactions since 1998. Most importantly, the building is not meeting the needs of our area’s expanding community and the related growth in demand for police services. As the City of Seattle responds to the federal consent decree for police reform, our infrastructure must support improved police-community relations. For this reason, two mayoral administrations and previous councils voted on 10 occasions to replace the North Precinct. The actual law to fund the police station at $160 million was passed unanimously in August of 2015.

However, the current proposal is too expensive and was not designed with meaningful input from communities of color. Today I joined Mayor Murray, Councilmember Tim Burgess and Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez in announcing plans to pause the project long enough to develop a more fiscally responsible design and conduct a fair and thorough Racial Equity Toolkit. The financial overview and the Racial Equity toolkit that council called for, in the resolution I co-sponsored and that was passed by a majority of the council, should not be rushed. Although the previous councils did not call for this work to be done, I believe these steps are critical to ensure a successful project is delivered to our community.

Plans to re-evaluate the project will be done with a commitment to rebuilding a useful and productive North Precinct station. Constituents in Districts 4, 5 and 6 deserve a cost-effective proposal that is responsive to racial justice issues and will provide for north end public safety reliably over the long-term. I hope you will join me in supporting this proposal to take the time to do this project right.

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Support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Opposition to the Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

September 9th, 2016

On Monday I will be introducing a resolution declaring the City of Seattle’s support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as the Tribe engages in a determined defense of their treaty rights and environmental heritage. I stood with my sisters and brothers and spoke at the anti-DAPL rally on Monday Sept. 1st, but I believe the City as a whole needs to take a more explicit stance backing our Native peoples. I invite every Seattleite to join me at City Hall when we vote on this resolution Monday.

I would like to thank the Mayor for concurring in support of this resolution. Additionally, I would like to thank President Obama for showing his support for tribal rights and native peoples through the joint statement released today by three federal agencies.

What: Full Council vote on resolution supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

When: Monday 9/12 at 2pm (the regular Full Council meeting

Where: Seattle City Hall, Council Chambers (2nd floor)

Dakota Access Pipeline Resolution:

WHEREAS, the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,168-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline being developed by of Energy Transfer Partners and its affiliates, which would carry as much as 570,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude from western North Dakota to Illinois; and

WHEREAS, the DAPL would run across or beneath 209 rivers, creeks and tributaries, including the Missouri River, which provides drinking water and irrigates agricultural land in communities across the Midwest, serving nearly 10 million people; and

WHEREAS, the DAPL would also run through the ancestral lands and waters reserved for the traditional use of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe by the Treaty of Ft. Laramie, including the Missouri River, burial grounds and gravesites, and other sacred sites of cultural, religious, and historical significance; and

WHEREAS, Indian Treaties such as the Treaty of Ft. Laramie are recognized by the U.S. Constitution as “the supreme law of the land,” and require consultation and cooperation by the United States with its Indian Treaty partner before any federal action is taken that affects Treaty lands, territories, waters or other resources; and

WHEREAS, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 affirms the need to “protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions,” particularly in American Indian sacred places; and

WHEREAS, Washington State recognizes that American Indian burial grounds and historic graves are “a finite, irreplaceable, and nonrenewable cultural resource, and are an intrinsic part of the cultural heritage of the people of Washington” (RCW 27.44.030);

WHEREAS, Articles, 11, 12, and 25 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), as endorsed by the United States in 2010, affirms that indigenous peoples like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe possess the right to maintain and protect their culture, religion, practices, and relationship with their “traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories [and] waters”; and

WHEREAS, the UNDRIP Article 32 further provides that governments shall consult with indigenous peoples “in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources”; and

WHEREAS, the Seattle City Council proclaimed in 2012 by Resolution 31420 that Seattle is a Human Rights City and is committed to promoting human rights; and

WHEREAS, the Seattle City Council passed Resolution 31538 in 2014 to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the City of Seattle, in recognition of “the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States” and in “honor [of] our nation’s indigenous roots, history, and contributions”; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consult with or obtain the free, prior and informed consent of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as required by the Treaty of Fort Laramie, Executive Order 13175, the UNDRIP Article 10, and other federal and international laws, before issuing a “Mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact” that would result in an easement for horizontal directional drilling for the DAPL; and

WHEREAS, any spill of oil into the Missouri River would irreparably harm the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Treaty reserved lands, territories, waters and other resources; burial grounds, gravesites and other sacred sites of cultural, religious, and historical significance; and spiritual relationships and indigenous ways of life; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor of the City of Seattle, City Councils of Portland, Oregon, St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians comprised of 59 Indian Nations in the Northwest, and nearly 200 Indian Nations, are among the governmental bodies that have taken formal action to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and oppose the DAPL; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, THE MAYOR CONCURRING, THAT:

Section 1. The City of Seattle stands in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) across the Tribe’s ancestral lands, waters and sacred sites.

Section 2. The City of Seattle calls upon the United States and the Army Corps of Engineers to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, prior to taking any federal action regarding the DAPL that would harm or destroy the Tribe’s ancestral lands, waters and sacred sites.

Section 3. The City of Seattle proclaims that October 10, 2016, Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the City of Seattle, will commemorate and support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to the DAPL.

 

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Resolution regarding the North Seattle Precinct

August 19th, 2016

Thank you for your advocacy regarding the new North Seattle Precinct police station.

On Monday, August 15th, the Seattle City Council took action passing a resolution to re-shape and provide much needed guidance regarding the new station moving forward. Replacing the failing station is a necessary, Seattle’s City Charter clearly calls out public safety as an essential governmental duty. Although the planning for this station started in 2012, and was identified as a need as far back as 1998, the project needed better direction regarding the function and the price.

The new police station had been studied and approved by the previous council in prior years. As recently as August of 2015 the council voted unanimously to pass Council Bill (CB) 118474 that allocated $2.7 million for planning a design specifically for a $160 million station. However, I along with my colleagues believe the cost is too high. We have been working with the Finance Administration Services Department (FAS) to identify ways to bring the cost down, so far we have found over $10 million in potential cost savings. When we started hearing from constituents that they were deeply concerned about the project’s cost, Councilmember Gonzalez decided to write a resolution to clearly detail the City Council’s commitments and intent regarding this project. I was proud to co-sponsor the resolution.

This Resolution:

  • Requires city departments to use the Racial Equity Toolkit to analyze the current and future state of the project
  • Establishes a 3rd party financial review of the project
  • Removes commitment to a specific dollar amount for the project and allows the council to maintain cost flexibility during the budget process
  • Expresses a council intent to use the site of the current precinct or proceeds from the sale of the current site for affordable housing
  • Establishes an expectation that the new facility will be designed to address critical components of the Federal consent decree specifically regarding relationship building between the SPD and the community, and will accommodate increased training for officers

This resolution is a step forward in the process of replacing the current overcrowded facility. There is more work to be done to ensure all the commitments made Monday come to pass. I am also excited to continue working with the Finance and Administrative Services Department to find ways to lower the cost of the station while retaining its core public safety functionality.

Thank you again for your interest in this project. I appreciate the opportunity to share this update with you.

 

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It is time for Live in D5!

August 10th, 2016

You might have heard me or my staff talking about a District 5 arts and culture event recently, if you haven’t consider this your official invitation! This is the first ever councilmember led (and district specific) event that we are hosting. We intend for this to be an annual event so we hope you will join us for this inaugural celebration!

I will be hosting a free community celebration of arts and culture in Seattle’s North-end this Saturday afternoon from 1-5pm at Hubbard Homestead Park (the one behind the Target on Northgate Way). We are partnering with the Seattle Drum School and Music Center of the Northwest to bring local live music to Hubbard Homestead Park.  The event includes:

  • Live music from local musiciansLive-in-D5-Poster_final
  • Free tacos Taqueria Los Chilangos, for the first 200 people
  • Cash beer garden featuring Fremont Brewing Company
  • Activities for children
  • Vendors and information booths – Thank you to all the city departments who are coming out!
  • PokemonGo Lures
  • Incredible weather forecast
  • Voter registration, courtesy of The Washington Bus

Big shout out to our event sponsors who are helping to make this event possible: Seattle Parks Foundation, Thornton Place, Northwest Hospital/UW Medicine, North Seattle College, Fremont Brewing Company and Northgate North. And thank you in advance to all the volunteers who are dedicating their time so that this can be a fun event for the community

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A Find It Fix It Win!

June 27th, 2016

On May 31st I joined Mayor Murray and numerous members of the city staff and community members for a community Find It Fix It walk around Aurora-Licton Spring Urban Village. During that walk I met a community member named Nathan. He expressed concern about illegal activity in neighborhood parks. I encouraged him to put his concerns in writing following the walk so that my staff and the Department of Parks and Recreation could follow up on the issues he was concerned about.

I am proud to say that this community dialogue has resulted in several short-term and long-term deliverables to increase the safety, accessibility and enjoyment of Licton Springs and Mineral Springs parks.

Thank you to the active community members who care about their parks and thank you to the Department of Parks and Recreation for your dedication. This is exactly the kind of result we were hoping to see come out of the Find It Fix It community walks, this is just the first a many small steps forward.

Excerpt from an email from the Department of Parks and Recreation to the community

We [Parks and Recreation] are immediately:

  • Increasing staff visits to these parks from three per day to four visits per day. This will enable Parks and Recreation staff to collect garbage, litter and needles more frequently.
  • Clearing some of the brush and trimming some shrubs and trees to open site lines and reduce hiding areas. The landscaping work will follow Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) guidelines.
  • Removing and repairing a broken bench at Licton Springs.
  • Opening the restrooms later in the day when the play area is active and closing it earlier in the evening, when residential activity falls off. (It is now opened at 6:30 and closed at 10:00 pm)
  • Increasing lighting by adding flood lights on the outside of the comfort station.

We are committed to completing this work by July, with the exception of the lighting which may take a bit longer.

For the longer term, we will be:

  • Replacing the playground equipment, expected to be completed by year-end.
  • Working with our volunteer office to get more neighbors involved in work parties, and our park activation staff to promote activating the parks.
  • Attending the neighborhood council meeting at North Seattle Community College to discuss the work that has been done, and the work yet to be completed in both parks, and how the community and Parks and Recreation can continue working together.  

 

capture - FindItFixIt

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NE 130th Street Station FULLY funded in ST3!

May 26th, 2016

Councilmember Juarez Hails Improved ST3 Proposal

Amended Package to Include Full Funding for NE 130th St. Station

SEATTLE – Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) issued the following statement after the completion of today’s Sound Transit Board meeting, during which time City of Seattle representatives presented an amendment to the Sound Transit 3 package which will fully fund the NE 130th Street station on the Lynnwood LINK rail line.

“A stop at NE 130th Street will be a regional asset, bringing more riders into the tri-county light rail system. Today’s amendment is due in large part to successful advocacy by North Seattleites, who are committed to the prospect of light rail service for generations to come” said Juarez.

“Our call for access to light rail was heard loud and clear. A stop at NE 130th -if approved- will mean neighborhoods including Cedar Park, Lake City, Pinehurst, Haller Lake, and Bitter Lake will have access to a light rail station, translating into increased ridership across the entire system. In a city and region beset with daunting congestion, a Sound Transit 3 measure with a NE 130th Street Station represents a giant step forward.

2008324070“This amendment also made possible thanks to leadership from Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Rob Johnson, Councilmember Mike O’Brien and the unanimous support of the Seattle City Council.”

The amendment will be considered as part of a revised ST3 proposal scheduled for a vote by the 18 member regional Sound Transit Board on June 2, 2016.  The actions at this meeting will be related to the final adoption of the system plan, which is scheduled for the June 23, 2016 Board Meeting.

 

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Seattle Proposed Housing Levy

May 10th, 2016

I am pleased to announce that today after 7 committee meetings the Seattle City Council took action unanimously passing the proposed Seattle Housing Levy. This proposal will now appear on the August ballot for voters to consider.

In 2009, the voters of Seattle passed a Housing levy to set aside property taxes to pay for affordable housing. That program brought us about 2,184 new homes, provided rental assistance and homeless prevention services to 2,442 households, and helped 187 households purchase their first homes. The program exceeded nearly all its goals, specifically producing 25% more new affordable homes than we thought possible, making the program a great success in its ability to stretch every dollar to the fullest potential.

The new proposed Housing Levy proposal seeks to create 2,150 new homes, provide services to prevent homelessness to 4,700 households and help an additional 380 households purchase their first homes.

I was proud to vote for this proposal and an accompanying resolution. Working with my colleagues I added language to the resolution directing the Office of Housing to ensure geographical diversity in the projects the levy funds. District 5 is a growing community. The neighborhoods of Northgate, Lake City and Bitter Lake will continue to grow and we must ensure we have affordable housing as part of that new development as well as services for homelessness prevention and homeownership. The new proposed Housing Levy would also, for the first time, include foreclosure prevention services. As a critical part of ensuring that we end homelessness we need to be sure that people are able to stay in their homes.

Throughout the council review process I advocated for a ways to keep people in their homes. The best way to end homelessness is to stop it from happening. I have heard from several elders in our community who are concerned that they won’t be able to stay in their homes with the continuing rise in property taxes while they are trying to live on fixed incomes. There are opportunities for tax exemption and deferment if you are a senior with a low income, a disability or widow/widower of a deceased veteran.

I wanted to have programs like these integrated in the work of the Housing Levy. As a result several city departments have identified ways that they can improve education and access to these programs. They have committed to better training and resource management; including finding more places to link to the information on their websites and pass along the information to those who are interested. We want to make sure that we are not only supporting those most in need but that we are also not pushing our neighbors over the edge. Everyone deserves a home.

I want to see our communities prosper together.

I appreciate the opportunity to share this update with you. For more information on property tax exemptions and referrals please go here: http://dor.wa.gov/content/findtaxesandrates/propertytax/incentiveprograms.aspx

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UPDATE! 130th Street Station Call to Action

April 27th, 2016

I will be at the Sound Transit Board meeting to provide comments.

I am your elected official but I am also a resident of D5 in the Pinehurst Neighborhood. I will be attending the Sound Transit Board meeting to provide public comment tomorrow and I want you to join me!

Please arrive at Union Station (at 401 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104) at 1:30pm to sign up and testify with me. I will be joined by 46th District Representative Jessyn Farrell.

If you can’t attend, but you want your voice voice to be heard please send in your survey and write a letter to Sound Transit. The deadline is Friday April 29th. See our recent blog post for instructions and a template letter to get your message in!

If we are going to get the 130th Street Station we need to work together!

See you tomorrow!

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If we are going to get the 130th Street Station, we need to work together!

April 26th, 2016

If we are going to see some an amendment to the Draft ST3 Plan we need you to write in and tell the Sound Transit leadership that we need a commitment to build the 130th Street Station!

I am not sitting around hoping there will be a change, I am out here pushing every button and looking for all the possible ways to get North Seattle what it needs. I met with Sound Transit Board Members, Sound Transit Director Peter Rogoff, other Seattle City Councilmembers, King County Councilmembers, our Legislative delegation in the 46th District, the Federal Transportation Administration WA liaison and even Senator Patty Murray’s Office. We have been meeting with community groups representing Haller Lake, Lake City, Pinehurst and Broadview. We have met with advocacy groups like Transportation Choices Coalition. We have discussed the need for a station at a 130th with major employers like the University of Washington, North Seattle College, Northwest Hospital, Northgate Mall and Thornton Place. I recently wrote an Op-ed that was published in the Seattle Times. And through all these meetings I have learned that what is really going to change the course of the ST3 draft plans depends on the demands of the community. They need to hear from us, and we need to be loud.

I want to thank the North District Council, Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, Olympic Hill Neighborhood Council, Pinehurst Community Council, 46th State Legislative delegation and all the individual neighbors that have sent in their survey and are sending in letters to Sound Transit.

Please consider attending the next Sound Transit Board meeting on April 28th at 1:30pm to testify in person about the importance of Sound Transit making a commitment to build the 130th Street Station. The meeting will be held at the Union Station building at 401 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104.

We need to keep the pressure on. The public’s opinion really does matter, I need your voice! Fill out your survey and send in a letter of your own to: soundtransit3@soundtransit.org, EmailTheBoard@soundtransit.org and cc: me at debora.juarez@seattle.gov 

Write in as an individual, as a representative of your community council, as a business representative, as a person who uses public transit or as a person wants to! Feel free to use our sample letter below, and thank you for advocating with me!

Response Letter from the community to Sound Transit

To Sound Transit:
We need a commitment to build the NE 130th Street Station. North Seattle is a growing community, one which already lacks adequate transit service. We appreciate that the Sound Transit draft plan has included the recognition that the 130th Street Station could serve thousands of people. However, the current “provisional” designation for the 130th Street Station, with zero dedicated funding and no timeline, is unacceptable. We need a commitment to build. The ST3 draft is only half done. To get this draft ready for the ballot we need the 130th Street Station funded, as well as a timeline for station completion.
Not only will this station serve the immediate surrounding communities, like Pinehurst and Haller Lake, it will also act as the focal point of a powerful East-West connection, working in concert with buses to provide light rail service to Bitter Lake and Lake City, the fastest growing Urban Villages in North Seattle. North Seattle’s solution to light rail should not be to walk or drive to Shoreline’s station. The 130th Street Station is a common sense move for the Sound Transit Board as it requires no extra track and no new tunnel; we just need a platform for a stop. This is the most cost-effective possible addition in the entire ST3 proposal. We are calling on the Sound Transit Board to make a commitment to build the NE 130th Street Station.
Other key issues to mention:
  • Station Spacing – Best practice for high capacity rail lines in other cities have stations averaging every 0.4 mile. North of the ship canal we will be looking at an average of 2 mile spacing getting as high as 2.5 miles between the Northgate and 145th stations. This is unacceptable.
  • Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative – Bitter Lake Hub Urban Village and Lake City Hub Urban Village are the fastest growing urban villages in North Seattle while remaining some of the most affordable places to live in Seattle. High numbers of low-income families and seniors live in these communities. They also represent the areas with the highest concentration of neighbors who are English language learners in North Seattle
  • 130th is an ideal place to build out better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. In fact, some of that work has already started along this corridor. This station could prove to be the most accessible via bike above both Northgate and 145th street stations.
  • Car ownership is below the city wide average in these areas. This is a transit dependent community
  • Based on Seattle’s 2035 Growth Analysis, the Bitter Lake Hub Urban Village has new growth capacity of over 10,000 residential units and nearly 20,000 jobs. Lake City Hub Urban Village has new growth capacity of 4,000 residential units and 5,000 jobs. These growth numbers will only be attainable and successful with access to reliable transit like light rail. These estimations don’t even touch the untapped capacity that could be attained with a transit oriented development (TOD) plan directly around the station area. With our current housing crisis can we really say no to this kind of growth potential?
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