On January 2, Seattle’s political landscape experienced a significant shift as five new members joined the City Council, accompanied by the election of a new Council President, marking a new chapter in the city’s governance. Rob Saka, Joy Hollingsworth, Maritza Rivera, Cathy Moore, and Bob Kettle took their oaths alongside incumbents Tammy Morales and Dan Strauss at City Hall. Sara Nelson, already serving as a citywide Councilmember, was unanimously chosen as the Council President, pledging to focus on “simple good governance.”
This change includes the departure of the other citywide Councilmember, Teresa Mosqueda, who won election to the Metropolitan King County Council. The City Council must name a person to fill her Council position until voters choose the new Councilmember in the November 2024 election. The new Council composition suggests a shift from the activist-driven approach of previous years to more pragmatic governance.
The Council’s upcoming agenda includes tackling an updated city growth plan, a new property-tax levy for transportation, addressing a budget gap, and negotiating a police union contract. Having endorsed several new members, Mayor Bruce Harrell might find a more agreeable Council for his policies.
In their inaugural speeches, the new members emphasized a commitment to core local government functions, including public safety, vowing to rebuild public trust. In summary, Seattle’s City Council is embarking on a transformative journey with new members and leadership, poised to address critical issues with fresh perspectives and a commitment to fundamental governance.