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Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for January, 2011

Jan 13 2011

City Light bond sale saves utility and customers $10 Million

Published by under Seattle City Light

Press Release: January 12, 2011

Council action reaffirms utility’s financial ratings

Seattle – The Seattle City Council today approved a utility bond refinance and an issuance of new bonds that saved Seattle City Light and its customers $10 million.

“Last year we created the $100 million Rate Stabilization Account and developed a strategy to change our financial policies to protect customers from unreasonable rate increases caused by wholesale revenue shortfalls,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “Savings from this bond sale will help keep rates low.”

City Light’s rate of 6.88 cents per kilowatt hour is the lowest in the country among the top 25 cities. The national average is 9.89 cents. San Francisco’s rate is 13.47 cents and Los Angeles’ is 11.80 cents. When adjusted for inflation, City Light’s rates are lower than they were in 2004.

An element of this action is the Clean Renewable Energy Bond where City Light will receive subsidies from the Federal Government for expenses related to renewable energy.

Last year, City Council’s approval of a bond sale resulted in $57 million in savings and set the stage for City Light’s favorable bond ratings of AA- (Standard & Poor’s) and Aa2 (Moody’s) which allows City Light to borrow at a lower interest rate. This year’s bond sale reaffirms the strength and competitiveness of the utility and its commitment to its customers.

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Jan 05 2011

Race and Social Justice Initiative Interview

Published by under Civil Rights

Below is an interview with RSJI E-News, a quarterly publication to keep up to date on the Race and Social Justice Initiative in the City of Seattle.

On December 8, CM Harrell received this year’s “Management in Race and Social Justice” award from the Seattle Management Association. The RSJI E-News spoke recently with Bruce Harrell about his personal involvement with RSJI and the significance of the Initiative.

Why did you first get involved with RSJI?

Because it’s an effective strategy. My impression is that until the Race and Social Justice Initiative became an identified process within City government, we tended to be more reactive to individual acts that raise race issues. We tended to raise race or racism when there was a particular controversy, like a police shooting. Other issues we would talk about more strategically and with forward thinking – for example, environmental sustainability.

In my own policy work, I’ve tried to take a more methodical approach and develop solutions for sustainable change relative to race and social justice. I got involved in RSJI because I realized that a lot of the work in this field that I did as an attorney continued to limit my focus to individual acts and not the larger picture. The RSJI presented me with an effective, sustainable set of strategies to work for systemic change. That made sense to me. While we can still react to controversies, we can also leverage the conversation into the systemic issues that are raised.

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