Urban Politics #115: Two Public Forums This Weekend

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By City Councilmember Nick Licata.

With assistance from my Legislative Assistant Newell Aldrich on this issue.

Urban Politics (UP) blends my insights and information on current public policy developments and personal experiences with the intent of helping citizens shape Seattle’s future.


Two Public Forums This Weekend

I am sponsoring two public forums on a couple of issues that have received much discussion over the past year in the media. The first one takes place this Friday evening and covers the issue of citizen oversight of police departments. Seventy of our nation’s largest cities have some type of functioning such body. Seattle is in the process of creating one but it has yet to be fully established. San Francisco started theirs in the early 1980’s through the initiative process. It has since received a reputation for being one of the most effective in the nation, and one that also has a working relationship with their police union. Are there any lessons for Seattle to learn from San Francisco’s experience?

The second forum will be held Saturday morning and discusses the option of electing Council Members from districts rather than electing them at-large from the entire city, as they are now. San Francisco has transitioned from at-large to district elections within the past 10 years. A number of other cities have also made this conversion, although some cities have retained a portion of at-large seats. Has this change resulted in a more fragmented council or a more responsive one to the San Francisco’s communities?

Tom Ammiano, the President of their City Council (known as their Board of Supervisors), will be the keynote speaker at each forum. He will lead a discussion in answering the above questions. I believe that San Francisco’s experience with district elections and citizen oversight of their police could help influence Seattle’s efforts to achieve greater accountability from our elected representatives and our police department. Please join the panelists listed below and me this coming weekend to listen, discuss and learn more about these important issues.

How Do We Get Accountability

From our City Council Members and Public Employees?

Come listen to Tom Ammiano, President of San Francisco’s City Council Talk about his city’s experience with

– Operating one of the nation’s best Civilian Police Review Boards (formally known as their Office of Citizen Complaints)

Friday – October 26th, 6 to 8 pm, First AME Church, 1522 14th Ave. (Capitol Hill)


– Converting City Council representation from at-large elections to district elections

Saturday – October 27th 10 am to Noon, Lafayette Elementary School in West Seattle, 2645 California Ave SW

A distinguished panel will begin a public question and answer period by first asking Ammiano to address some their concerns

Police Accountability Panel:

Master of Ceremonies: Tony Orange – Ex. Director of Washington State Commission on African-American Affairs

1. Tony Granillo, Member of Seattle Human Rights Commission

2. Andrew Cho, Teacher at Northwest Asian Weekly’s Summer Youth Program

3. Lynne Wilson, Legal Counsel to Mothers for Police Accountability

4. Bert Caoili Past Chair of the Philippino Police Advisory Council to the Police Chief

5. Hon. Larry Gossett, King County Council

6. Mike McKay, attorney, former member of Mayor’s Citizen’s Review Panel that proposed the Office of Public Accountability (OPA)

City Council Accountability Panel:

Master of Ceremonies: Rep. Ed Murray (Democrat, 43rd District)

1. Knoll D. Lowney, Attorney, Co-Chair of YES for Seattle

2. Jay Sauceda, former City Council Candidate

3. Dawn Mason, former State Rep. From 37th District

4. George Howland, News Editor from The Weekly

5. Walt Crowley, President of History Link

6. Terri Mast, National Sec-Treasurer of Inland Boatmen Union

Keep in touch…

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