Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

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  • February 2016
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Feb 08 2016

Council Confirms Dwane Chappelle as Education Director

SEATTLE – City Council voted unanimously to confirm Dwane Chappelle as the new Director for the Department of Education and Early Learning today. Chappelle served as principal for Rainier Beach High School since 2011 and, under his leadership, achieved a 79 percent graduation rate that exceeded the district average. Chappelle also garnered great success with the school’s International Baccalaureate program.

“I really look forward to working with Mr. Chappelle in taking the next bold steps to improve our local education system,” said Council President Bruce A. Harrell, Chair of the Education, Equity, and Governance Committee. “His success in turning Rainier Beach High School around, passion to help students on all socioeconomic levels, and experience working with students displaced from Hurricane Katrina demonstrates his intrinsic leadership skills in getting the job done.”

The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s mission is “to ensure that all Seattle children have the greatest opportunity to succeed in school and in life and to graduate from school ready for college and a career.”

Chappelle intends to address the most critical challenges facing the department, which include:

• Implementing the ambitious Seattle Preschool Program phase-in schedule adopted by the Mayor and City Council.
• Working with Seattle Public Schools to address the persistent opportunity gap minority students face.
• Reauthorizing the Families and Education Levy and the Seattle Preschool Levy, which both expire in 2018.

“Mr. Chappelle has shown tremendous dedication and aptitude in improving educational outcomes at Rainier Beach High School,” said Councilmember Debora Juarez. “We look forward to seeing him tackle the persistent racial disparities in our city’s schools.”

Mr. Chappelle was an assistant principal in Arlington, Texas and Plano, Texas and earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Grambling State University and his Masters of Secondary and Higher Education at Texas A&M University.

For more information regarding Dwane Chappelle, visit the following links:
Dwane Chappelle Appointment Packet
Dwane Chappelle written confirmation questions and answers

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Jan 14 2016

ADVISORY: City to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. with ‘Unity’ Events

Published by under Civil Rights

SEATTLE — Mayor Ed Murray, Council President Bruce A. Harrell and members of the Seattle City Council, along with community leaders, and City employees, invite the public to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, and to live out his vision, by participating in the second annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Seattle City Hall.
Thursday’s all-day event will include exhibits, workshops, remarks from the Mayor, Councilmembers and the City Attorney, as well as a reading by the City’s first-ever Civic Poet, and musical performances.
The event is free and the public is welcome to attend.
WHAT: Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘Unity’ Events
WHEN: 7:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (NOTE: A complete schedule of events is available ONLINE)
Selected highlights include:
• 8:30 – 10:55 a.m. Workshop Presenters – Former Assistant Superintendent Erin Jones and Gerald Hankerson, NAACP Director
• 11:15 a.m. Walter Kilgore Memorial Color Guard – US National Anthem / Black National Anthem Medley presented by Pat Wright, Seattle’s First Lady of Gospel
• Remarks by Honorary Chair Mayor Edward Murray, Council President Bruce A. Harrell, Councilmember Tim Burgess, City Attorney Pete Holmes and Former Assistant Superintendent Erin Jones
• Emcee Isiah Anderson, Captain John Hayes (Seattle Police Department), and featuring the City’s Civic Poet Claudia Castro Luna
• Key Note Speaker – Director Stephan Blanford, Seattle Public Schools
• Introduction of Musical Guest Josephine Howell
The celebration will close with music by Gabriel Teodros, D.J. Sureal.
WHERE: City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA
WHO: Elected officials, community leaders and the public
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Jan 04 2016

Councilmembers Inaugurated in First District-Based Representation System Since 1910, Harrell Elected Council President

Published by under Council President

SEATTLE – All nine Seattle City Councilmembers took their oaths of office in the traditional inauguration ceremony in City Council Chambers today, following their successful victories in last November’s election. Newly elected Councilmembers Lorena González, Lisa Herbold, Rob Johnson and Debora Juarez joined returning re-elected Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell, Mike O’Brien and Kshama Sawant in taking their seats at the Council dais.

Family, friends, colleagues and community members filled the Seattle City Council chambers to celebrate the new and returning local government leadership. Each elected official was sworn in by someone of their choice and gave brief remarks.

Following their oaths, Councilmembers elected Councilmember Bruce Harrell to the position of Council President. Harrell has served as Seattle City Councilmember since 2008 and most recently chaired the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. The Council President is the presiding officer of the Council, sets the Full Council agenda, assigns legislation to committees and is the primary point of contact for external agencies. When the Mayor is absent from the City or incapacitated, the Council President assumes the duties and responsibilities of the Mayor.

Today’s historic oath of office ceremony ushered in first district-based representation system since 1910. Seven of the Councilmembers will now each represent a geographical district, while two Councilmembers will each represent the entire city:

• District 1 (West Seattle, South Park): Councilmember Lisa Herbold
• District 2 (Southeast Seattle): Council President Bruce Harrell
• District 3 (Central Area, Capitol Hill): Councilmember Kshama Sawant
• District 4 (Ravenna, Wallingford): Councilmember Rob Johnson
• District 5 (North Seattle): Councilmember Debora Juarez
• District 6 (Fremont, Ballard): Councilmember Mike O’Brien
• District 7 (Downtown, Magnolia): Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
• At-Large (city-wide): Councilmember Tim Burgess
• At-Large (city-wide): Councilmember Lorena González

Click here for an interactive tool to help find which Council district you live in.

Today’s inaugural ceremony also marked a series of notable firsts in Seattle local government history:

• First Enrolled Native American Councilmember — Debora Juarez
• First Latina Councilmembers — Lorena González and Debora Juarez
• First Japanese American/African American Council President and first African American Council President since Council President Sam Smith in 1986-1989 — Bruce Harrell
• First Female Majority City Council since 1998 — Sally Bagshaw, Lorena González Lisa Herbold, Debora Juarez and Kshama Sawant

Councilmembers also took their first votes in their 2016-2017 term and assigned committee chairs. Each Councilmember is responsible for heading a Council committee and managing legislation related to that committee’s focus:

• Council President Bruce Harrell, Chair: Education, Equity and Governance
• Councilmember Tim Burgess, Chair: Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance
• Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Chair: Human Services and Public Health
• Councilmember Lorena González, Chair: Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans
• Councilmember Lisa Herbold: Chair: Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts
• Councilmember Rob Johnson, Chair: Planning, Land Use and Zoning
• Councilmember Debora Juarez, Chair: Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront
• Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Chair: Sustainability and Transportation
• Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Chair: Energy and Environment

For more information on the 2016-17 committee assignments click here. To sign up to receive forthcoming committee agendas via email, click here.

Today’s inauguration ceremony served as an opportunity for the public to witness and participate in their local government. The ceremony was broadcast live on the Seattle Channel and can be viewed beginning tomorrow at http://www.seattlechannel.org/mayor-and-council/city-council/full-council.

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Dec 07 2015

Council Forms Prisoner and Community Corrections Re-entry Work Group

SEATTLE – Council unanimously approved Resolution 31637 today, which calls on City departments to convene a prisoner and community corrections re-entry work group to coordinate and strengthen the City’s efforts to assist re-entry. Councilmember Bruce Harrell sponsored the resolution to help formerly-incarcerated people gain access to jobs once they’ve paid their debt to society. The work group will identify opportunities for more effective coordination with other criminal justice agencies and develop a set of additional recommendations the City can implement to facilitate prisoner re-entry and remove unnecessary barriers to employment and housing.

The Resolution also re-affirms the City’s support for the Certificate for Restoration of Opportunity Program (CROP). CROP will help individuals with criminal histories gain access to jobs that require a vocational license. Currently, a person with a criminal record cannot attain jobs in more than 90 career paths that require vocational licenses, including barbers, commercial fishers, or dental hygienists. CROP would allow an individual to file for a civil motion certifying that the required time had passed, without any new arrests or convictions, and had met all the terms of their sentence. Councilmember Harrell intends to pursue creation of a Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity if the State Legislature does not pass one in the upcoming legislative session.

In 2015 approximately 2.2 million people are incarcerated nationally—a 500% increase in the last 30 years. Locally, 16,675 adults were incarcerated in Washington State prisons and almost 12,618 people per day are placed in local jails with 2,800 being jailed in King County. In 2014 about 20 percent of the almost 8,000 individuals released from Washington State Department of Corrections were released in King County. People of color are disproportionately represented among those released from jail in King County; a 2003 reentry study demonstrated that while African-Americans were only six percent of King County’s population, 41 percent of people released from DOC were African-Americans, and while Latinos were only six percent of King County’s population, 18 percent of people released from DOC were Latinos.

“We must set a new course to address the failed policies from mass incarceration,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, primary sponsor of the legislation. “The two biggest barriers for individuals re-entering society are jobs and housing. Collectively, we have failed on these two fronts and as a result, the cycle of re-incarceration often repeats itself. The failure to help these individuals has rippled through our society, impacting families, our schools, public safety, and our community. Council will work with our regional partners and lead on this effort in 2016.”

Council added $136,000 in the 2016 budget to support work on Zero Detention and the Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity Program.

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Dec 02 2015

Councilmember Harrell to Consider Labor Standards Bill; Vote on Resolution Supporting Job Access for People with Criminal Records

SEATTLE – Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, chaired by Councilmember Bruce Harrell, will consider a bill tomorrow relating to improving labor standards for Seattle workers, and vote on a resolution supporting efforts to help individuals with criminal histories gain access to jobs that require a vocational license.

The committee will review the labor standards proposal, which would address violations of programs like wage theft, paid sick and safe time, $15 minimum wage and job assistance (“ban the box”). The bill would provide remedies for victims of labor violations, allows anonymity for worker complaints, and establishes a private right of action, which would allow employees to sue employers for violations.

The committee will vote on a resolution supporting the Certificate for Restoration of Opportunity Program (CROP). Currently, a person with a criminal record cannot attain jobs in more than 90 career paths that require vocational licenses, including barbers, commercial fishers, or dental hygienists. CROP would allow an individual to file for a civil motion certifying that the required time had passed, without any new arrests or convictions, and had met all the terms of their sentence. The resolution also requests that the Mayor convene a Prisoner and Community Corrections Re-entry Work Group to coordinate and strengthen the City’s efforts to assist prisoner re-entry.

The CROP proposal expands on Council’s efforts to improve public safety and access to jobs. Data from the 2013 Job Assistance “Ban the box” Legislation has demonstrated laws helping individuals gain access to jobs benefits Seattle’s economy and reduces recidivism.

WHAT:
Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee discussion on Labor Standards proposal; vote on resolution in support of Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity legislation

WHEN:
Wednesday, December 2
2:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Council Chambers, 2nd floor
Seattle City Hall
600 Fourth Ave., Seattle 98104

WHO:
Councilmembers
Dylan Orr, Office of Labor Standards
David Mendoza, Office of the Mayor
Columbia Legal Services

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Nov 02 2015

RELEASE: Harrell’s Statement on Obama’s “Ban the Box” Announcement

SEATTLE – Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s “Ban the Box” announcement today:

“I applaud President Obama’s order to ‘ban the box’ during the hiring process for federal government employees. Statements like, ‘felons need not apply’ on job applications have been barriers for employment and opportunity for millions in this country seeking re-entry into society. Research also points to racial bias and inequality for many minorities.

“Seattle has been at the forefront of reforming the criminal justice system and working to address the root causes of institutional practices that leads to recidivism. We worked with the community and Seattle’s ‘ban the box’ law took effect November 1, 2013. Data from the 2013 Job Assistance ‘ban the box’ Legislation has demonstrated laws helping individuals gain access to jobs benefits Seattle’s economy and reduces recidivism.

“The work continues and in the upcoming months we will pursue a new certificate program to help individuals with criminal histories gain access to jobs that require a vocational license. Currently, a person with a criminal record cannot attain jobs in more than 90 career paths that require vocational licenses, including barbers, commercial fishers, or dental hygienists. The Certificate for Restoration of Opportunity Program (CROP) would allow an individual to file for a civil motion certifying that the required time had passed, without any new arrests or convictions, and that they meet all the terms of their sentence. A CROP will assist a person successfully re-enter society.

“Additionally, for the 2016 budget, I am seeking $50,000 to conduct fair employment bias testing. The employment testing will seek to determine if employment opportunities are influenced by a person’s perceived race, accent, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics. Above all, I am most proud of the opportunity that we will afford people to rebuild their lives.”

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