Councilmembers to elect Council President and assign committees on January 4, 2016
Seattle City Council announced its tentative plan for committee assignments Friday, in preparation for work in 2016. Each Councilmember is responsible for chairing a Council committee and managing legislation related to the committee’s focus. Councilmembers also serve as a vice-chair on one committee and as a member on another. Councilmembers can also sponsor legislation on other committees under certain conditions. Committee assignments are made official at the first Full Council meeting of the year, on Monday January 4, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Councilmembers will also elect their 2016-17 Council President at the meeting. Committee assignments last for two years.
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw will chair the Human Services and Public Health Committee. Councilmember Bagshaw will oversee Council’s work on issues relating to services provided by the Human Services Department, including programs that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community. The committee will also consider matters involving public health and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), which allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services.
Councilmember Tim Burgess will chair the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Burgess will focus on issues relating to housing—investing and promoting the development and preservation of affordable housing, and building strong neighborhoods through outreach and engagement. Councilmember Burgess will also chair the Budget committee, overseeing the review of the Mayor’s proposed budget.
Councilmember Lorena González will chair the Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee. As chair, Councilmember González will consider policies to address gender equity and help improve the lives of Seattle’s immigrant and refugee residents. The committee will also focus on fostering safe communities, improving police accountability, crime prevention, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, and fire and medical services.
Councilmember Bruce Harrell will chair the Education, Equity and Governance Committee. As chair, Councilmember Harrell will focus on issues relating to public schools and improving student success rates, intergovernmental relations, technology, ethics and elections, prisoner reentry and equity issues for underserved communities.
Councilmember Lisa Herbold will chair the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee. Councilmember Herbold’s committee will manage issues relating to labor standards, civil rights, Seattle Public Utilities, and economic development. The committee will also manage issues relating to arts and culture in Seattle, which includes nightlife issues.
Councilmember Rob Johnson will chair the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Johnson will take up issues involving City zoning, planning, major institutions, quasi-judicial decisions, community development, and land use regulations.
Councilmember Debora Juarez will chair the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee. As chair, Councilmember Juarez will focus on issues relating to City parks, community centers, and public grounds, including the Seattle Center. Her committee will also manage legislation relating to the Seattle Public Library system. Councilmember Juarez will also chair the Central Waterfront committee.
Councilmember Mike O’Brien will chair the Sustainability and Transportation Committee. Councilmember O’Brien’s committee will handle matters pertaining to city-wide and regional transportation policy and planning. These issues range from pedestrian and bicycle programs, traffic control and parking policies, and overseeing the City’s coordination with regional and state departments of transportation. The committee will also have a shared-focus on Seattle’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant will chair the Energy and Environment Committee. Councilmember Sawant’s committee will handle policies relating to Seattle’s energy usage, as well as issues relating to alternative energy sources, air pollution regulation, energy utility rates, and Seattle City Light finances. In addition, Councilmember Sawant will take up matters that relate to climate and environmental protections, conservation programs, and green infrastructure.
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