Notes from the Emerald City

By Amy Sundberg

This newsletter covers Seattle politics and policy with a particular focus on police accountability and criminal legal reform, while also referencing relevant news in Washington State and beyond.

This newsletter covers Seattle politics and policy with a particular focus on police accountability and criminal legal reform, while also referencing relevant news in Washington State and beyond.

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Continued Institutional Resistance to a Civilian Alternate Response Service in Seattle

We had a doozy of a Public Safety and Human Services committee meeting yesterday morning.911 Call Types and Risk Management Status ReportFirst the committee members listened to a presentation on the status of SPD's 911 call analysis/risk analysis, attempting …


It's Police Union Contract Negotiation Time in King County

The tensions between CMs Herbold and Nelson over SPD hiring incentives continued this week at both Council Briefing and the Full Council meeting. CM Nelson spent the bulk of her Council Briefing time talking about it, in fact, including offering the claim tha…


Arguments Flare Over SPD Hiring Incentives

Fireworks exploded at Tuesday's Seattle Public Safety and Human Resources committee meeting when CM Nelson clashed with Chair Herbold on how the meeting ought to be run. The conflict took place during a discussion on CM Nelson's resolution regarding hiring in…


More on data and disparity in Seattle's policing and criminal legal systems

Guy Oron reports that data from the Seattle Municipal Court shows the City Attorney's Office has disproportionately prosecuted Black and Indigenous people during the first three months of 2022. 31.7% of the people charged were Black during these months, compa…


The Police Hiring Incentives Conversation Continues

Lots of news pieces of note to go over today!


The OPA is Back in the News

The South Seattle Emerald is currently conducting a survey asking for readers' priorities for the new OPA Director, and I highly encourage you to fill it out and be active in this process.Yesterday morning at the CPC meeting we learned that Director of Public…


A Revealing Lens into the WA State Legislature

There are two big pieces of news related to the state legislature this week.First, Kirsten Harris-Talley wrote a revealing op-ed that ran in the South Seattle Emerald about why she's choosing not to run again for her representative seat. In particular, she wr…


Alternate Response in Seattle Meets Another Hurdle

Seattle's Public Safety and Human Services committee met on Tuesday morning and discussed two items of interest.First they discussed the process by which the City will hire a new Director of the OPA. As suggested by CM Mosqueda two weeks ago, a public forum w…


A Grab Bag of Public Safety News

I wrote last week that both 2037 and 5919 would be sent to the Governor to be signed, and in this case I am happy to be wrong! 5919 was killed at the last minute during concurrence in the Senate. The bill was moved for concurrence by Republicans three separat…


The WA Legislative Session Winds to a Disappointing End

The two policing bills we've been following here rolling back reforms made in the 2021 session--2037 and 5919--both passed out of their second chamber largely unchanged on Friday and will now make their way to the Governor's desk for a signature. There was ve…


The WA Redistricting Commission Gets Slap on the Wrist

Senator Peterson has gone on the record saying he intends to pursue legislation similar to this year's solitary confinement bill next year. The bill was bogged down partly because the Department of Corrections gave it a >$115m price tag, even though advoca…


More Bills and More Accountability Shenanigans

Another week, another chance to sign in CON to oppose HB 2037 (now in the Senate) and SB 5919 (now in the House). Both bills roll back changes made to policing last session from HB 1310 and HB 1054.Click here to sign in CON for SB 5919.Click here to sign in C…


More Police, and Let's Allow Them to Use More Force Too

SB 5919 and HB 2037 both passed out of their respective chambers late last week. As those following along know, both of these bills roll back some of the accomplishments passed in the last legislative session through HB 1054 and HB 1310. You can read more abo…


WA Legislature Discusses Rollbacks to Last Year's Public Safety Progress

With the exception of HB 1756 regarding solitary confinement, most of the potentially helpful public safety bills are dead at this point in the session. Instead, advocates for more equitable public safety are having to fight against serious rollbacks to polic…


The WA State Legislature session is heating up

There are lots of bills that you can support this week! Hopefully having them listed all in one place will make your life a little bit easier.First, HB 1756 (solitary confinement) has a hearing in the House Appropriations committee on tomorrow at 3:30pm. You …


Gaps in SPD's Disciplinary System

This year's WA state legislative session continues at the breakneck pace of a short session. This Thursday 1/27, the House's Public Safety committee will be meeting with several bills up for executive session. People Power Washington - Police Accountability e…


More Ruse News, Fewer Stops for Traffic Infractions

First up today we have HB 1788, which would un-do reforms made last year with HB 1054 and revert to a previous standard of Reasonable Suspicion for vehicular pursuits. People Power Washington - Police Accountability OPPOSES this bill.You can sign in to regist…


More State Bills to Support, More News on the Proud Boys Ruse

First up we have HB 1756, a bill to end (or at least strictly limit) solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is considered to be a form of torture and is currently still practiced in WA state. You can sign in to register your support. (This takes less than…


WA State Legislative Session Begins; SPD's Proud Boys "Ruse"

There are several public safety-related bills that I'll be talking about during the current session of the Washington State Legislature, which opened today. If you live anywhere in Washington State, you are eligible to give your feedback on these bills.First …


A New Mayor and New Council Committee Assignments for the New Year

I hope everyone had a nice break because we're about to be in the thick of it again!