Lining up the pieces on the chess board of local and state politics

Moves getting ready for renewed police union contract negotiations; the state legislative session is almost upon us; the first news of Seattle's Election Year has come out.

Happy 2021!

First up, the first Council Briefing of the year was this past Monday:

This week the Seattle City Council passed their legislation granting the OPA and OIG subpoena powers. It’s worth noting these subpoena powers have to be bargained with the police unions before they’d come into effect, making this legislation another move in the City of Seattle’s attempt to come to the bargaining table in a stronger position (similar to their move late last year allowing for more representation for the various oversight authorities and the Council at the closed bargaining meetings).

The SPOG contract has officially expired now that we’re in the New Year, and it sounds like the city is probably going to delay the bargaining until spring in the hopes that legislation might be passed in the upcoming state legislative session that will assist in bargaining efforts. Both sides are currently maneuvering to be in the best possible position.

CM Morales mentioned the Black Brilliance Project’s preliminary report was delivered to her office before the Winter Recess, and she’ll be passing it along to the other CMs sometime this week. She did not say when the report might be made public.

This morning CM Mosqueda announced that this year she’ll be running for her City Council seat and NOT running for Mayor. This leaves the field open for a potential run by CP González, and we can expect more candidacies to be announced in upcoming days. The filing window for mayoral candidates is in mid-May in preparation for the primaries in early August.

The Court is also expected to be discussing the CM Sawant recall case later this week.

Meanwhile, all eyes are turning towards Olympia, with the state legislative session scheduled to begin this Monday, January 11. Many bills pertaining to police reform are on the docket, and Publicola published a good overview about the upcoming session. As the session gets going, there will be opportunities to write/speak to your representatives and give public testimony (remotely) to support some of this important legislation.

Here is a chart of some of the important events happening in 2021. The SPOG contract negotiations is an estimate and could easily start later and/or take longer than five months, but this gives us an idea of what the year might look like.

I hope your 2021 has gotten off to a good start, and thank you for reading!