Council Connection » West Seattle Bridge Timeline and Concrete; nurse navigation program; Pre-Basic Law Enforcement Training Program; SPD 2021 Year-End Crime Report; PayUp campaign update; Celebrating Black History; Virtual office opening hours
West Seattle Bridge timeline and concrete
I was concerned that the concrete companies’ failure to fairly address the rights issues of workers from the Teamsters, Local 174, the 300 cement mixer drivers and the striking concrete plant workers, and to resolve the strike could possibly affect the reopening schedule for West Seattle. Bridge. The strike to demand that employers stop violating federal labor laws and provide fair wages, health care and retirement benefits has been going on since Dec. 3.
This week we received confirmation of this impending possible impact, in particular the sad news that if concrete is not available by February 20andthere will be a delay in the West Seattle Bridge repair schedule.
At this week’s West Seattle Bridge Community Working Group meeting, I made the following remarks:
The West Seattle Bridge is an essential lifeline not only for West Seattle residents and businesses, but for the entire region. Completing the bridge repairs by mid-2022 as planned is our primary responsibility.
I don’t need to tell you how this closure has affected us all, our access to the rest of the city, businesses cut off from customers and their workers, and traffic detours through communities in the southern part of the peninsula, becoming more and more unbearable.
We know how, with the number of trucks using the lower level bridge, when Terminal 5 reopened last month, the urgency of bringing other vehicle traffic back to the West Seattle Bridge is even more urgent.
This bridge is not a new project. It’s not something we’re expanding; it’s not part of a long-term plan. It has been in use for about 40 years and needs to be repaired. Our current transportation system is built around it. As a community task force, we need to think about how we will work together to ensure the city, transit agencies, state and private sector support that the West Seattle Bridge will be on the front line for concrete at the end of the strike. It is the largest emergency project taking place in the Pacific Northwest.
We are only 245 cubic yards – less than 30 truckloads – from the finish line. The amount of concrete required for this project is much lower than for other large projects.
Thanks to Mayor Harrell for emphasizing the importance of opening the bridge as soon as possible. thank you very much as well as the Constantine County Executive and his Chief of Staff Shannon Braddock to work to help resolve the strike and we want to see that bridge fixed as soon as possible. Myself, my staff and potentially my City Council colleagues are available to help advocate for the priority given to the West Seattle Bridge and are also here to share the stories and impacts of my constituents to help you make pour concrete.
Here is my statement in a press release prepared by Mayor Harrell.
Here is the latest update on the construction progress:
Here is the project schedule, which shows the continuation of post-tensioning work; specialized concrete is needed for this.
Here is an image of where concrete is needed inside the bridge to guide and anchor the blocks for the post-tensioning steel cables, which compress the concrete into the bridge structure to prevent cracking:
Nurse Navigation Program
On Tuesday, Mayor Harrell announced the launch of the Nurse Navigation Counseling Program. I commend Mayor Harrell for acting quickly on this council budget action and Chief Scoggins’ leadership in implementing it.
Nurse advisors are an incredible resource. They answer the phone at all hours of the day to provide the necessary advice to first responders. The Seattle Fire Department has partnered with AMR to staff this program, which will divert 8,000 to 10,000 low-severity calls per year. This will help preserve our first responder resources to focus on handling 911 calls that only they can answer.
Seattle joins five other states and Washington DC in integrating a nurse consultant navigation program.
Pre-Basic Law Enforcement Training Program
When Seattle hires new police officers, they complete a 720-hour “basic law enforcement academy training.” This training takes place at the state academy run by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. This training is standardized for recruits in departments across the state. There is no training element specifically focused on gaining knowledge about the local Seattle community and what it means to work for the Seattle Police Department.
To fill this gap in training and ensure that recruits who intend to work for the SPD have the values and knowledge essential to work in Seattle, Chief Diaz has launched a new program to supplement this training called the pre-Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) training program.
The first course, which is expected to start in May, will last 30 days. The program focuses on 1) community-centered dialogue and learning 2) wellness and professional development and 3) public safety “360”. This training takes place before state training, when newly hired officers usually have to wait to enter the state academy.
The goal is to connect agents to the community, taking them out of the classroom and into Seattle neighborhoods. They will be paired with community service officers or members of the Office of Collaborative Policing and gain experience in the community, as well as knowledge about brain development and the impact of childhood trauma, poverty and drug addiction.
Additionally, there is an emphasis on officer well-being, as well as the mental and physical well-being of officers, who are themselves exposed to trauma. Additionally, it will focus on how the overall public safety system works in Seattle and understanding the role we expect officers to play in a holistic model of public safety in Seattle.
I have sponsored funding to begin development of this program in the 2021 supplemental budget, and $200,000 in additional funding for 2022.
I thank the chef for his work on this innovative program. When hiring officers, let’s make sure those candidates are the recruits we want for Seattle.
SPD 2021 Year-End Crime Report
Last week, I noted that the Seattle Police Department released its 2021 year-end crime report, which shows an increase in crime in 2021 compared to 2020. The report also compares the times of 9-1-1 response in 2021 compared to other years. Among the top community-generated distributed locations, Westwood Village generated 473 calls in 2021, the 4th highest number of calls in the city.
I have invited the SPD to present this report to the Public Safety and Human Services Committee on February 22. At this meeting, we will also hear the SPD year-end 2021 headcount update. During 2021, the department saw a total of 81 new hires versus 170 departures for a net -89 officers. The SPD’s hiring target for 2022 is 125 officers, more hires than the SPD has ever made in a single year.
PayUp Campaign Update
On Tuesday, the PSHS Committee heard an update from the Board’s central staff on the development of the PayUp policy that Board Member Lewis and I are co-sponsoring.
I have already written updates on the evolution of this policy in July and September. Conversations with stakeholders were paused while the Board dealt with the 2022 budget. In the new year, we resumed conversations with stakeholders and have now held a dozen meetings.
Tuesday’s central staff presentation informed the committee of policy changes since September. These changes include:
- Refine definitions of committed time to recognize the differences between on-demand work and pre-scheduled work and define on-demand work as work that should be completed within two hours of accepting a job.
- Allow a grace period for the minimum payment of $5 per offer.
- Simplify the obligation to provide information on the contents of the order.
- Updated penalty amounts.
We are still receiving feedback from stakeholders and are working towards the introduction of this legislation in March.
Celebrating Black History
This month we celebrate and honor black history in the United States and Seattle. It is important to remember black history as we continue to work to build an equitable city. You can learn more about the origins of Black History Month.
The Seattle City Archives curated a digital collection about Black History Month in Seattle.
The Seattle Public Library has also compiled a special collection of online archives on black culture and history.
On February 17, the Northwest African American Museum will also host a conversation with the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture – Lonnie Bunch – to discuss the past, present and future of Black history.
Virtual office opening hours
On Friday, February 25, I will be hosting virtual office hours between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., with the last meeting of the day starting at 5:30 p.m.
Due to the nature of virtual office hours, please contact my scheduler Alex Clardy ([email protected]) to receive call information and schedule a time.
Additionally, here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours which will continue as virtual office hours until otherwise specified. These are subject to change.
- Friday, March 25, 2022
- Friday, April 29, 2022
- Friday, May 27, 2022
- Friday, June 24, 2022
- Friday, July 29, 2022
- Friday, August 19, 2022
- Friday, September 30, 2022
- Friday, October 28, 2022
- Friday, December 16, 2022
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