Councilmember Licata left office on January 1, 2016.
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Urban Politics #42: Initiative 45 Debate Televised – Tonight

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By City Councilmember Nick Licata.

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.



  • Initiative 45 Debate Televised – Tonight
  • Community Kiosks Task Force Created
  • Arboretum Meetings
  • Renter Issues

Initiative 45 Debate Televised – Tonight

Tonight at 7PM, on the Municipal Cable Channel 28, I will be debating Jordan Brower, author of Initiative 45, on the talk program. The debate will be repeated again, for those who have mastered your VCR’s programming abilities, this Thursday at 2:00 A.M. and 10:30 A.M.

Call 684-8824 for additional scheduling information. Or go to Seattle Citizen’s Web Site Page at:

Brower’s campaign is called Back to Basics, but in fact the initiative would greatly hamper the city’s ability to provide basic services. It would require all funding for the construction of libraries to come out of the City’s general fund rather than property taxes. That would be a $20 million annual hit on the city’s operating budget for the next 20 years.

Consequently, I’ve helped form STP (Save The Police & Parks) 45 to fight Initiative 45 when it gets on the ballot. I, and other community leaders and activists believe that I-45 is fiscally irresponsible and could easily result in the loss of basic police, fire and park services.

The STP campaign will hold an open, public meeting to form a steering committee and select an executive committee on Tuesday, July 21 at 7:00 P.M. in the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, 6535 Ravenna Ave. N.E. (not N.E. Ravenna Blvd.)

Community Kiosks Task Force Created

Legislation creating a Community Kiosks Task Force , co-sponsored by Richard Conlin and me, passed unanimously by the Council last week. The task force will advise the Mayor and Council on policy and funding options for providing public kiosks in Seattle neighborhoods.

The Task Force will be comprised of fifteen people who represent neighborhood groups, art and music groups, small businesses Chambers of Commerce, City Departments, Metro, the design profession, and kiosk consultants.

Task force will provide the City with recommendations, including possible funding strategies and/or pilot projects, and public/private models. To meet this goal, the task force is being asked to review the legal issues involved, coordinate community input, analyze costs and potential revenue sources, and develop policy options and implementation strategies. Members of the task force will attend monthly meetings for six months.

Those interested in being considered for the Community Kiosks Task Force should send a one page letter describing their experience and reasons for wanting to serve on the task force to the Seattle City Council, 11th Floor Municipal Building, 600 Fourth Ave, Seattle, 98104-1876, Attention: Sheila Capestany by August 3rd. Applications may also be submitted via email to:

City Council Resolution 29782 establishing the task force, can be viewed on the Internet at

Arboretum Meetings

There will be a public hearing on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the Arboretum/Lakeside trail at 7:00 p.m. on July 22, at McGilvra Elementary School, 1617 38th Ave. East. Public Comment is open until July 31, and can be sent to Kevin Stoops, Senior Planner Seattle Dept. of Parks & Recreation 2911 2nd Avenue Seattle, WA 98121.

The Portico Group will present the Arboretum Master Plan to Arboretum Foundation members today, Wednesday, July 15 and Wednesday, July 22. The meetings are at 7 P.M. and 2 P.M. respectively. The meetings are at the Graham Visitor’s Center in the Washington Park Arboretum.

Renter Issues

Last week I invited renters of the Qualman Apartment Building on Capitol Hill to brief City Council members on the hardships they and others face when rents increase by 20 percent to 50 percent. With the current rental vacancy rate less than 2% in Seattle, it is very difficult for a renter to find comparable housing in the same location if they are forced to move. Under the current laws they only have 30 days to find such housing or they must pay the rent increase.

Given this extremely tight housing market, I’m drafting legislation to allow renters who receive rental increases of 10% or more (over a year’s time) to have at least 60 days notice to allow them a decent chance to find new housing. I expect to introduce the legislation in Peter Steinbrueck’s Housing Committee in August. Steinbrueck will be a co-sponsor of the legislation.

Keep in touch…


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