Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

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    Archive for March, 2012

    Mar 30 2012

    Seattle Police Department Recruitment Day

    Saturday, March 31, 2012 | 10:00 am – 2:00 pm | Filipino Community Center

    I wanted to let you know that the Seattle Police Department is holding a Recruiting Fair this Saturday, March 31st, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Filipino Community Center. The community center’s address is 5740 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. Seattle.

    This is an event that I know many of you have often expressed an interest in holding in your respective communities. I ask that you sponsor up to five potential candidates from your community to meet with the recruiting officers.

    I encourage Seattle residents whose character and skills exemplify the ideals of the Seattle Police Department. Eligible candidates will work in the community with respect and professionalism; have the courage to protect and serve; and serve with a passion to creatively and effectively resolve and de-escalate problems.

    For more information about becoming a Seattle Police Officer, contact Recruiting Officer Andre Sinn at or call 206-615-0762.

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    Mar 30 2012

    Breastfeeding Discrimination Legislation

    • Scheduled for briefing and discussion at the Public Safety, Civil Rights, & Technology Committee on Wednesday, 4/04/12, 2:00 pm.

    • Council Bill 117416: AN ORDINANCE relating to Unfair Public Accommodation Practices; amending sections 14.06.020 and 14.06.030 to add the right of a mother to breastfeed her child in places of public accommodation free from discrimination.

    Seattle Women’s Commission (SWC) Breastfeeding Fact Sheet:
    • SWC has focused on addressing infant mortality for those communities disproportionally affected. Working with community partners such as the breastfeeding coalition of WA and the Equal Start Community Coalition we identified breastfeeding as an area in which to focus.
    • In mid-year 2011 the US Surgeon General issues a call to action to support breastfeeding, this report cited research that shows that only 43% of American’s believe a mother should breastfeed in public. This research also cited restaurant managers, etc., who report they routinely ask breastfeeding mothers to leave, move or cover up. The mothers feel embarrassed and harassed and cite this as a cause to stop breastfeeding. This proposed legislation is supporting this federal call to action, specifically by working on a community identified issue.
    ( see pg. 13).
    • American Indians/Alaska Natives and African American women experience disproportionally high rates of infant mortality in at two and three times the rate of white women in Seattle. Breastfeeding is shown to reduce rates of infant mortality (SIDS), however by age 6 months only 13% of women are still breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has also been shown to reduce rates of obesity, diabetes and improve brain function just to cite a few additional benefits.
    • In consulting with the WA Breastfeeding Coalition they shared the experiences of women who had experienced discrimination in public places such as restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores. This was further expressed at the “The Liz Thomas Legacy Policy Summit to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality” where the goal to establish family friendly policies around breastfeeding was articulated. (see attached report pgs. 13-14, SWC was a member of the planning)
    • The state has anti-discrimination breastfeeding law in place but many women didn’t know about it or how to file complaints. The WA Human Rights Commission (who enforces this law) suggested local enforcement would benefit those who were not aware of these laws and further support and protect them from discrimination. With the state budget cuts they have not been able to focus on outreach and education relating to this law.
    • The proposed legislation would add breast feeding women to a class protected from discrimination in public accommodations. They would not be able to be told to leave, cover up or move to a secluded place to breastfeed.
    • As part of their normal activities, SOCR will provide info on this at their tabling events and trainings. This provides a much needed educational piece for the public and those operating public spaces.

    Frequently Asked Questions: Civil Rights Protection for Breastfeeding in Public in Seattle

    What would this bill do?

    If this bill becomes law, it would be a violation of City law to discriminate against someone who is breastfeeding in a public place. Individuals who feel their rights have been violated would be able to file a charge with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, who would investigate the allegation.
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    Mar 21 2012

    Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee (Wednesday, 3/21/12, 2pm)

    Public Safety, Civil Rights, Technology Committee Agenda for Wednesday, 3/21/12, 2:00 pm

    1. Seattle LGBT Work Plan and Other Discussion
    Presenters: Julie Nelson, Director, Seattle Office for Civil Rights; David Howenstine and Mac Scotty McGregor, Co-chair s, Seattle LGBT Commission

    2. C.F. 312192
    Appointment of Beryl Fernandes as member, Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, for a term of confirmation to January 1, 2014.
    DISCUSSION AND VOTE (5 minutes)
    Presenter: David Keyes, Community Technology Manager, Department of Information Technology

    3. C.F. 312193
    Appointment of Benjamin B. Krokower as member, Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, for a term of confirmation to January 1, 2014.
    DISCUSSION AND VOTE (5 minutes)
    Presenter: David Keyes, Community Technology Manager, Department of Information Technology

    4. Seattle Women’s Commission Work Plan – Seattle Office for Civil Rights
    Presenters: Julie Nelson, Director, Seattle Office for Civil Rights; Jamila Johnson, Co-chairs, Seattle Women’s Commiss ion

    5. Proposed Excess Fiber Legislation
    Presenter: Bill Schrier, Chief Technology Officer, Erin Devoto, Deputy Director, Department of Information Technology; Martha Lester, Council Central Staff
    Supporting Document:
    a. History of Fiber Partnership Presentation

    6. C.B. 117417
    Relating to Human Rights; amending sections 14.04.130, 14.06.090, and 14.08.150 of the Seattle Municipal Code to revise deadlines for appeal decisions by the Human Rights Commission.
    Presenter: Julie Nelson, Director, Seattle Office for Civil Rights

    7. Seattle Police Chief Quarterly Progress Report Ending December 2011.
    Presenters: Chief John Diaz, Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer, and Assistant Chief Mike Sanford, Seattle Police Department
    Supporting Documents:
    a. Police Chief Report for Quarter 4 – 2011
    b. SPD Transmittal Memo

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    Mar 20 2012

    Proclamation: Hunger Action Week

    Published by under Human Services

    Proclamation issued at Full Council on March 19, 2012

    WHEREAS, Everyone has experienced or knows someone who has experienced food insecurity; and

    WHEREAS, In the United States, 1 in 5 kids is at risk for hunger, 1 in 3 kids is considered overweight or obese, and 13 percent of residents are food-insecure; and

    WHEREAS, Estimates show Washington state households who are food insecure rose from 255,000 in 2007 to 288,000 in 2008, a 13 percent increase; and

    WHEREAS, King County has a 6 percent food insecurity rate, with 6 in 100 people in King County being unsure of the source of their next meal; and

    WHEREAS, Seattle food banks have seen a 31 percent decline in donations, but a 30 percent increase in hungry clients; and

    WHEREAS, With the area’s economy still struggling, large numbers of people are facing hunger or food options that, while cheap, aren’t healthy; and

    WHEREAS, United Way of King County Hunger Action Week fosters invaluable public discussion and action aimed at creating a hunger-free, healthy community for all of King County;

    NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved, that the Seattle City Council hereby proclaims March 19th to 24th, 2012 shall be

    Hunger Action Week

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    Mar 20 2012

    Proclamation : 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America

    Published by under Seattle's Youth

    Proclamation issued at Full Council on March 19, 2012

    WHEREAS, March 12, 2012, marks the 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, which began when Savannah, Georgia, native Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low gathered 18 girls to provide them opportunities to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually; and,

    WHEREAS, Today, more than 50 million American women are Girl Scout alumnae, 3.3 million girls and adult volunteers are active members, and Girl Scouts is the largest member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. In the city of Seattle, there are 2,374 girls, 1,087 dedicated adult volunteers, and 205 lifetime members who are proud to a part of the Girl Scout tradition; and,

    WHEREAS, The award winning Girl Scout Leadership Program helps girls discover themselves and their values, connect with others, and take action to make the world a better place; and,

    WHEREAS, As part of the 100th Anniversary celebration, our community has over 4,000 girls and adults being challenged to live Forever Green by exploring their impact on the environment and learning ways to lessen their footprint; and,

    WHEREAS, Girl Scouts is committed to ensuring that all girls can participate in Girl Scouts regardless of their financial circumstances and the Girl Scout program continues to evolve to address the changing societal challenges through many innovative programs.

    NOW, THEREFORE, be it proclaimed that the Seattle City Council officially recognizes 100 years of Girl Scouting and 2012 marks this year as the


    And we do hereby applaud the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for their 100 years of leadership and expertise as the voice for and of girls; the Girl Scouts of Western Washington for providing local support; and, the Girl Scouts of Seattle for their courage, confidence, and character.

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    Mar 14 2012

    Post from Jeremy Racca: Disability Rights Advocacy

    Published by under Civil Rights

    This post was written by my Legislative Assistant, Jeremy Racca.

    At the UW, I studied and advocated for people with disabilities. College, while an intellectually fulfilling endeavor, often fails to achieve actual action. While lofty ideals are cultivated in academia, I want pragmatic action to be practiced in government.

    As a Legislative Assistant for the Council, I have had enumerable opportunities to practice the ideals I formed in college. Since my first day, Councilmember Harrell has enthusiastically encouraged me to use my disability rights advocacy experience to help as many people as possible. “Policy work is useless if it is not translated into action and practice.”

    An older man contacted our office and told us about a problem he was having getting business managers to let him use their restrooms. The man, like myself, suffers from Crohn’s Disease. An often-misunderstood disease, Crohn’s can sometimes cause a person to frequent the restrooms several times an hour.

    The man was a patient at the Pike Place Clinic, but he had not seen his doctor in sometime. In addition, he was unaware that simply presenting a letter from a doctor can often get you access to restrooms in public. Our office contacted his caseworker and arranged a doctor visit for him to get such a letter. Unfortunately, while the letter was helping him gain access to restrooms, it was not holding up to Seattle’s often-wet weather. I told the Councilmember Harrell about the problem and he suggested we make laminated, wallet-sized cards for the man to use.

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