Seattle/King County Climate News 6.27.22

Skip to first unread message

Robin Briggs

Jun 28, 2022, 1:54:51 AM6/28/22
Here's the climate news from the last month.


The Green New Deal Oversight Board released its budget recommendations for  how to spend the $6.4M in the 2022 Budget, as well as $22M spending for 2023. There were 15 different recommendations, including, broadly, increased funding for the Clean Heat Program (convert low income housing to heat pump), increased funding for workforce development, vehicle electrification of the City's fleet, and more staffing in the Office of Sustainability and Environment. For 2023, it includes, among other things, funding for climate resilience hubs, and public education.  The 2022 recommendations are expected to be incorporated into a standalone legislation to be considered by the Council Budget Committee in the next few months.

The Office of Sustainability and Environment has just completed an RFP for workforce training (Priority Hire Program) that includes clean energy jobs as well as construction apprenticeship programs and work readiness. These are oriented to BIPOC, women, and people from distressed neighborhoods. This is an $1.8M program which will extend to 2024.

SDOT presented an update on Vision Zero to the Transportation Committee. Some astonishing statistics:

  • 1200 people have died in traffic accidents in Seattle since 2015. Fatalities are up sharply since the pandemic.

  • Those disproportionately impacted: walkers & cyclists (61% of fatalities), homeless (21%), and people of color.

  • 56% of all fatal accidents happened in District 2 in South Seattle (Seattle has 7 districts in all)

  • More than 80% of bike fatalities happened in places where there are no bike lanes.

SDOT released plans for a Rainier Ave S. makeover. It will include bus lanes for a subset of the length, northbound from Alaska to Walden, and southbound only from Oregon to Edmunds St. Buses come every 3.5 minutes during the morning commute hour, and this corridor has plans for a RapidRide line, so it is not clear why the bus only lanes don't extend for the entire route. Also there is no bike lane planned, and this is in spite of the fact that it is part of the Bicycle Master Plan. There have been many fatalities along Rainier Ave. S., and it is the only direct, relatively flat route from South Seattle north to downtown.

The timeline for the Seattle Budget Process is as follows:

  • June: Departments submit "High Level Budget Memos"

  • July-August: CBO Budget recommendations, review by Mayoral staff

  • September:  Final review, Mayor submits proposed Budget to City Council in end of Sept.

  • Oct.-Nov.: City Council holds budget hearings, offers amendments, final budget approved by end of Nov.

  • Nov.-Dec. : Mayor signs or vetoes

The Nov. ballot will include an initiative on approval voting. It may also include an initiative for social housing (signatures in process of being verified).

King County

The Executive has proposed a plan to preserve open space. This would increase the property tax slightly and restore funding for the Conservation Futures Program to previous levels. County Council is currently considering this.

The County Council is considering a Charter Amendment to move elections to even-year. This is expected to increase turnout.
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages