Tonight's Bellevue City Council meeting has some interesting items on the agenda: a discussion on a requirement to use a certain quota of apprentices in City contracts, an update on the implementation of recommendations from the police use of force review, and ARCH's budget. ImageImage
The apprentice initiative is being introduced by CM Barksdale, who notes that such a requirement would provide an avenue for tradespeople to acquire needed skills & time while providing job opportunities for Bellevue youth. He's seeking Council comment & feedback tonight. ImageImage
CM Barksdale notes that out of the 17 projects awarded by the City last year, only one actually used apprentices.

I'm very interested in seeing where CMs fall on this. At first glance this feels like a good, non-partisan/non-controversial initiative, but we'll see. Image
First speaker is a representative from LiUNA 242 speaking in support of CM Barksdale's proposal. Notes how increasing these opportunities can open up job opportunities for Bellevue youth in skilled trades & allow them to work where they live.
Second speaker is also supportive of the proposal. Notes the average age of apprentices has risen from 19 to 28 in the last few decades. "There's a growing need of people in their late 20s that are looking for pension, healthcare, livable wages as the cost of living goes up."
Another LiUNA member & Bellevue resident who was formerly incarcerated speaking about how his apprenticeship gave him job access with good wages that he's been able to spend back in the community. Apprenticeships are a type of support for and from the community.
Final speaker spoke last week about a hate crime incident she encountered while working on Mercer Island. Says there are judges in the Bellevue District Court that "failed her".
Although not on the written agenda, the City Manager is taking time to note the $7.5 million pledged by Amazon to aid refurbishment of the Wilburton Trestle. It'll definitely be an amazing piece of trail infrastructure when it's completed.
CM Barksdale starting his presentation, notes that the city is helping people stay in the community by providing affordable housing, and that providing apprenticeships is another avenue towards that goal, by providing stable, high-paying jobs here in Bellevue.
CM Zahn supports this proposal. Is curious about the data on projects that might even be able to implement these guidelines sooner rather than later.
CM Lee: "I always believe that apprenticeship is a very important part of our community's workforce." After about 3 minutes of stories, he notes that the city has looked into this before - is curious what was found then and what had been done & learned.
CM Stokes agrees that the city has talked about it but not taken the step to implement it. Agrees that this is a way to fill another gap in Bellevue's affordability while providing skills towards good-paying jobs. No questions from him.
Mayor Robinson asks 1) how such a policy would affect minority-owned small businesses who are not unionized, 2) if there's enough supply of potential apprentices to fill the need if there were something like this policy, and 3) how utilization of apprentices would affect costs.
Is supportive of the idea regardless. DM Nieuwenhuis supports taking a look at this and fostering connections w/ schools. CM Barksdale is looking to gather comments by next Monday to advance this w/ staff thereafter.
Moving on to an update on the implementation of modifications to BPD's use of force policies. Tonight's presentation is the 2nd quarterly update and the first update to be presented by Bellevue's new Chief of Police, Wendell Shirley. Image
"This community has a very good police department. However, we will continue to strive to get better. From good to great." At the June update, it was presented that 7 of the 47 recommended changes had been incorporated into the PD's policy manual. Image
Since June, the city has reviewed and incorporated thirteen of the recommended changes. However, a lot of them were to bring the department in line with newly-passed state legislation. Others are admittedly things that should've already been policy (see #17, #32, #40). ImageImage
Focusing on #40, Chief Shirley notes that the city currently has annualized data available but "is working hard to improve this product by leveraging new technologies..." that will supposedly be discussed later.
These 9 policies are in final review stage. Again, some of them feel like low-hanging fruit (#22, #25). Doesn't seem like there's been movement on body-worn cameras. Still talking with departments and hoping to have community engagement sessions "as we move through the process. ImageImage
I'm sorry, it *wasn't* already a law that interviews of minors or felony suspects needed to be audio and video recorded?! That's apparently something that only goes into affect starting next year.
Chief Shirley notes that all the recommendations implemented so far are in alignment with CALEA best-practice - the accrediting organization that BPD's been certified by since 2005.

How was the city getting CALEA accreditation before these policies were implemented then?
The "new technology" Chief Shirley touted is "new" ESRI-ArcGIS software that BPD is hoping to launch by early 2022.

...Unless I'm missing something, there's *nothing* new about ArcGIS/ESRI. When I studied it 3 years ago, it was already well established. Other city dpts use it. Image
An observation that's really more of just a "vibecheck", but I believe Chief Shirley, who is a Black man, has been more explicit about how incidents of police brutality impact communities of color in unique ways more than former Chief Mylett (a white man) ever was.
"As your interim police chief, I pledge that [community policing] will be one of my top priorities as we move forward in making sure everyone, and I do mean everyone, feels safe and welcome in Bellevue."
CM Barksdale appreciates the data analysis opportunities that are coming. CM Robertson supports body cameras and notes how they also protect officers - her brother, who is an officer, apparently had his motorcycle run over the first day he used one.
Mayor Robinson seeking clarification on #10 and confirming that the PD actually removed the duty of loyalty clause from department policy. Chief Shirley confirms that it *was* removed and not just "considered" for removal.
DM Nieuwenhuis praises BPD, notes how "this entire City Council supports them." Asking how often the data portal will be updated. Sgt Engman notes that update frequency will depend on the type of data. Crime data might be daily, use of force data might be monthly/quarterly.
Notes that BPD has 10-12 use of force incidents/month, "not a drastically high number". Chief Shirley says BPD uses feedback from police interactions to drive policy, to which DM Nieuwenhuis says "If the OIR Report is any indication, it would be a lot of positive reviews."
CM Stokes notes how CALEA and the recommendations from the OIR report work together to make the department even better, that they complement each other. Also acknowledges the need to address disproportionalities "both real and perceived."
CM Lee asks if the department plans on implementing all 47 recommendations, what the timeline would be, and if the department is planning on keeping the advisory councils. Chief Shirley says whether all recommendations get implemented "remains to be seen."
Chief Shirley reiterates previous information presented by Chief Mylett, who stated the goal is to have all planned policies implemented by June 2022. CM Zahn recommends that the data portal also show trends over time, so citizens can see how city is progressing.
In response to suggestion from Zahn, Chief Shirley notes that the department can use information provided by advisory councils in areas outside uses of force, like hiring practices or mental health responses. Supposedly they are in the process of reviewing BPD hiring protocols.
Moving onto a discussion of ARCH's 2022 work program budget, which has been slightly increased from 2021. Tweaks to each city's contribution to the ARCH trust fund will also be discussed. Image
Exhibit Lambda on why we're in a real affordable housing crisis. There are only 24,000 units affordable to people making <30% AMI in *all of King County*. This in spite of the significant dent that ARCH has made in building/preserving affordable housing. ImageImage
Speaker notes that ARCH staffing has not kept up with the rising workload the agency has seen over the last two decades. Part of their recommendations are to implement 3 new FTEs over the next 2 years. Image
ARCH work in Bellevue involves administering certain incentive programs, like MFTE; supporting the implementation of the city's HB 1590 funding; and other tasks as listed below. Image
CM Zahn notes that ARCH parity contributions do not reflect all that the city is doing on affordable housing. She supports the extra staffing proposed by ARCH. Also asks if staff can provide a future update on how distribution of ARPA funds for rental relief is going.
CM Lee supports more funding for ARCH, but as he often says, "the devil is in the details." Then proceeds to offer no details or suggestions other than asking how new programs might affect the implementation of ARCH's mission. Just generally expressing desire for transparency.
CM Stokes notes that community might not understand what ARCH does and asks if it's possible for ARCH to do more because the need is so great. Staff notes that discussions will be coming up in October around how to use HB 1590 funding that will help address that need.
DM Nieuwenhuis appreciates that ARCH has laid out how to pay for the new FTEs, asks why the 3rd FTE had to be delayed to '23. Reps note the need for board consensus and the difficulties in finding funding in mid-biennium budget years.
CM Robertson notes that 2 positions were added recently and asks if these new positions are separate from those. ARCH notes those two previous positions were made permanent, so these are separate. In response to Stokes, Robertson says she believes the "city *is* going big."
Notes that several cities aren't even hitting the stated low goals for parity contributions to ARCH and wonders how those jurisdictions can be pressured to give more.
I'm legitimately curious how Bellevue's contributions/targets have changed through the years. Anybody got a link?
CM Barksdale asking if there's ways to make data around need more available around the community. Rep notes that they are currently developing a new website. Barksdale notes the importance of keeping the sheer need at the top of everyone's mind.
Motion to direct staff to prepare legislation approving ARCH budget & workplan passes unanimously. Moving on to the final item, updates on the King County District Court Interlocal Agreement. This is likely the reason the victim of a hate crime testified today. Image
Cities are required to provide court services for misdemeanors, so Eastside cities have often entered interlocal agreements to provide these services, contracted through King County. This is why Bellevue (and other cities) don't have publicly elected City Attorneys like Seattle.
(Though we do have the elected judges. I'm really probably not qualified to speak many details to this system, but feel free to tag along as I hopefully learn a lot about this topic).
City Attorney provides a lot of details that flew by me, but notes as a final remark that the other 11 cities in the Interlocal Agreement have already ratified, so after Bellevue presumably does so it will go onto King County Council for review.
CM Zahn asking for information on how long options for going to court will persist. City Attorney doesn't know that information, but Zahn hopes it would be continued to accessibility. Also wants more information for funding for community court.
After confirming staff supports this moving forward, CM Stokes expresses his support as well. CM Robertson asks how court costs compared to revenue in Bellevue, staff notes that historically court revenues (fees, etc.) have exceeded program costs.
Motion to have staff bring back an ordinance to approve the ILA passes unanimously, so the meeting is adjourned! If you appreciate my tweets and want to support the work I'm doing, consider becoming a patron of mine on Patreon.

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More from @Deutski1

24 Nov
Just got rejected for a transpo job that I was really eyeing and it's hitting me kinda hard. It was the first time I applied for something that really felt like it would be a career, and I was really excited at the prospect of making a positive difference in the world.
I want to do good work. There's a lot of directions I can go in right now with my life (journalism, advocacy, environmental research, etc.), but it almost feels like a master of none situation where I don't have enough qualifications in any particular field to actually get hired.
CSB stuff is fine & good & I know it makes a difference, but it's *really* hard to establish a nonprofit infrastructure from nothing. That's really what I've been struggling the most with. That's why it'd just be so nice to be hired into an already-existing org doing great work.
Read 4 tweets
16 Nov
Tonight's Bellevue City Council meeting is a packed one - testimony on mid-bi budget adjustments, discussion on an affordable housing LUCA, further decisions on the East Main station area, and an ordinance to comply with state law re: unrelated people living together. ImageImageImage
I hear there's going to be people testifying in the budget hearing asking for more funding to implement the city's environmental stewardship initiative. As I & others have noted before, the city wants to reduce GHGs by 50% in a little over 8 years' time.
The 1st affordable housing ordinance being discussed tonight is about strategy C1: to allow AH development on public & religious land. Staff are recommending including a 50% density bonus - allowing developments meeting affordability criteria to build 50% above current maximums. ImageImage
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19 Oct
It's two weeks & one day before Election Day, and I'm covering tonight's Bellevue City Council meeting. Important discussions on the East Main LUCA, implementation of the Environmental Stewardship Initiative, and a preliminary timeline for mid-biennium budget discussions. ImageImage
Tonight's East Main study session is because CMs were unable to come to consensus around FAR & height at the previous meeting. Tonight's meeting will seek to work out those details. Supposedly staff has met with CMs to iron out their concerns.
Because it's campaign season, I expect tonight's update of the Environmental Stewardship Plan implementation to be met with CMs praising staff for their work & talking about how Bellevue is leading on this effort.
Read 58 tweets
5 Oct
Prepping for tonight's Bellevue City Council meeting.

Two interesting topics are being discussed this evening as study session items - the framework plan for Eastrail in the Wilburton area, and another discussion on the East Main LUCA. Image
Regarding the former - unlike other cities along #Eastrail, Bellevue does not own the trail ROW. The majority is owned by King County, and about 1 mile near the OMFE is owned by Sound Transit. County & city have been conducting outreach to guide trail design standards. ImageImage
Regarding the latter - tonight is the 5th study session on East Main and the first of several decision points. Staff are asking Council for the following FAR #'s - I'll let somebody else explain to me if they're good or bad. Image
Read 55 tweets
14 Sep
Tonight's Bellevue City Council meeting will feature discussions around renaming an Environmental Education Center after Jim Ellis (local advocate), the East Main LUCA process, and all the development going on around the city. ImageImageImage
I don't mean this as any personal slight against Mr. Ellis or his work, but it's weird hearing this item being introduced when, just four months ago, Council was (relatively) united around no longer wanting to name things after people.
As I've made clear, I believe a policy of "never naming things after people" is short-sighted - it's all about *who* you name them after and what they stood for.

But I'd at least appreciate consistency from Council on this issue.
Read 53 tweets
8 Sep
Livetweeting Bellevue's first City Council meeting after their August recess. Topics of discussion include: nomination to the Transportation Commission, B&O Tax amendment, and an update on city's Homelessness Outreach. The latter is what interests me most this evening. ImageImage
Demographic data for the people that the city's homelessness outreach coordinator has contacted in 2020 & 2021. General note to @bellevuewa - "transgender" is not a gender itself, but rather an additional adjective to be used to describe one's gender (in contrast to "cisgender"). ImageImageImageImage
The fact that there's no reason given for why this informational presentation is being held this evening makes me believe it's in response to the conversation around Redmond & the Silver Cloud Inn purchase. Image
Read 32 tweets

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