On the Mayor's Mind: Lobbying for Shoreline

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Shoreline City Council
in Olympia
From Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts

Local control is the mantra of the Association of Washington Cities. The organization of cities formed in 1933 to advocate for the cities in Washington State.

This past week, I went to Olympia, with many of my colleagues on the Council, to advocate for Shoreline's legislative priorities and other cities across the State.

Legislators in Washington and other states frequently introduce measures preempting city officials from passing legislation that reflects the values of their residents.

Most notably, the North Carolina legislature passed HB2 in 2016, preventing cities from passing non-discrimination ordinances. Other states passed legislation preventing cities from raising their local minimum wage.

In Washington, several pieces of proposed legislation would limit the ability of Shoreline to regulate homeless encampments, safe injection sites, or site small cell phone facilities.

While in Olympia, we talked with our legislators about these bills, and the need for the legislature to pass legislation dealing with the affordable housing issues we face in the region.

One of the ideas we advocated for was the elimination on the sunset on the document recording fee. This fee supports activities related to creating and implementing state and local plans to end homelessness and is currently scheduled to expire in 2019.

Our legislators also told us about their priorities for the session.

Senator Maralyn Chase talked about her support for the creation of a state bank. She said the creation of a state bank would allow local governments to save money and return profits to the state.

Representative Cindy Ryu talked about her proposal that would implement the recommendations of the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing. The legislation would provide for independent investigations of deadly force incidents and require the collection of data on uses of deadly force in the state.

During our meeting with Representative Ruth Kagi, we talked about her proposal to create the Department of Children, Youth and Families. This proposal came out of a blue ribbon commission recommendation to improve service delivery and outcomes for children, youth, and families.

Our legislators told us to expect a long session as they try to reach agreement of how to fund public education in the state.

Next month, we will meet with our federal delegation about the need to invest in infrastructure funding in our country and in our city.


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