In an uncommonly bold approach to Council leadership, newly-elected President Sara Nelson set forth her goals and vision in an OpEd in The Seattle Times.
President Nelson has gone from being in a one or two-vote minority over her first two years on the Council to its leader. This transformation was driven by her success in electing five new Councilmembers in last year’s election – and the selection of Tanya Woo to fill the citywide position vacated by CM Teresa Mosqueda so that she could take her seat on the King County Council.
Council President Nelson vowed that the new Council “won’t externalize our policymaking authority.” With her authority to refer legislation to committees, Nelson said that no referrals would happen until the legislation “has gone through a robust stakeholder process.”
Nelson also made it clear that the Council will respond to public demands for “faster progress on homelessness and public safety.” She vowed stronger oversight of service providers.
She was equally unwavering in her commitment to “break our reliance on new revenue (taxes) to pay our bills. . . . The real problem is spending.” Facing a $220 million annual general fund deficit, CP Nelson expressed confidence that her “incredibly accomplished” colleagues will be capable of dealing with “some very difficult choices” to bring the budget into balance.