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MDC Resolutions

 
 

At its March 12, 2014 meeting the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle unanimously agreed to the following statement and has sent letters to this effect to all members of Washington’s congressional delegation.

The Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle supports the negotiated January 2014 Joint Plan of Action agreement between the P5+1 countries and Iran. We are encouraged by the current Iranian government’s willingness to negotiate in good faith toward the objective of reducing Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and any possibility of Iran’s developing a nuclear weapon. Accordingly, we vigorously oppose additional punitive measures such as increased sanctions, and especially oppose any threats to attack Iran by military force. The “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, S.1881”, which was supported by 59 senators, would be a big step in the wrong direction. It not only threatens to increase sanctions, which would sabotage negotiations, but also includes the dangerous Title V Miscellaneous, Sec. 2, (5) section which commits the US to war if the Government of Israel takes military action.

 
January 25, 2012 - Resolution for Continued Prohibition of Charter Schools in Washington State

Whereas the platforms of the King County Democrats and the Washington State Democrats specifically oppose publicly funded charter schools and vouchers; and

Whereas the voters of Washington State have defeated charter measures three times1; and

Whereas peer-reviewed research shows that 83% of charter schools perform no better than public schools2; and

Whereas charter schools often serve only a select group of students; and

Whereas some charter schools shift public moneys to private for-profit firms; and

Whereas Washington State is experiencing a prolonged fiscal and budgetary crisis; while charter school legislation would require substantial additional revenue; and

Whereas children with special needs are rarely allowed access to charter schools3; students who do not meet school performance goals are “counseled out” of charter schools4; and charter school populations are more segregated and less diverse than public schools5; and

Whereas charter schools receive public funds but receive limited local or state oversight6; and

Whereas the financial instability of charter schools causes many of them to fail and close, creating greater instability in a community; and

Whereas charter schools often hire less qualified and inexperienced teachers to control their costs; and

Whereas charter school teachers are required to work longer hours and take on additional responsibilities with the same or less pay than their counterparts in public schools; and

Whereas many charter schools outsource the administrative duties to unknown profit-making entities7; and

Whereas students are required to compete for positions in charter schools, rather than being admitted by the first-come, first-served policy that public schools uphold;

Therefore, be it resolved that we Democrats strongly advocate for continued prohibition of charter schools in Washington State; and

Be it further resolved that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle (1) rejects the emphasis on charter schools as the vanguard approach for the education of children, instead of focusing attention, funding, and policy advocacy on improving existing public schools and (2) will work through local, state and federal legislative processes to ensure that all public schools are provided the necessary funding and support necessary to educate all students; and

Be it finally resolved that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle urges our legislators to oppose charter schools and to work to support and adequately fund public schools to educate all children to their highest potential.

July 27, 2011 - Resolution in Support of Requiring Seattle Police Officers to Wear Body Cameras While On Duty.
WHEREAS, the Seattle Police Department has demonstrated a history of some officers using excessive force and brutality and historically it has been difficult to prove in a court of law; and
WHEREAS, recent events include the killing in August 2010 of a Native woodcarver with a shooting that a Seattle Police Department review has called unjustified; and
WHEREAS, recent events also include the unnecessary kicking of a teenager in the head and genitals in October 2010; and
WHEREAS, Seattle residents who pay the salaries of Seattle police officers with their taxes have a right to know what the officers are doing on their work time and how they respond to potentially violent situations, and
WHEREAS, the cost of body cameras can be recouped from litigation costs that will be avoided or reduced with camera surveillance; and
WHEREAS, officers who are doing a good job will appreciate having their excellent work documented; and
WHEREAS, many cities have deployed body cameras in our state, such as Lake Forest Park, Bainbridge Island, Black Diamond, and Orting, and cities across the nation are deploying this equipment, such as Cincinnati, Oakland, and San Jose; and
WHEREAS, this equipment will help officers learn what they could do differently and help the public understand what the officers face, creating a win-win for officers and the public;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle calls for a requirement that all police officers wear a body camera during all hours they are on duty; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle sends a copy of this resolution to Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle City Council Members, and Police Chief John Diaz.
May 11, 2011 - Resolution opposing commercialization of Magnuson Park's Building 11.
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle believes public parks represent a good which should be freely available to all citizens; and WHEREAS, Building 11 at Magnuson Park’s North Shore Recreation Area is a waterfront facility the vision for which has always emphasized small-boat sailing, kayaking, and water-related activities, along with arts programs and cultural events; and
WHEREAS, Building 11 Investors LLC, the current lessee for Magnuson Park Building 11, intends to fill the building with private-party subtenants offering expensive products and services available only to those enrolled in their programs and not available to the public at large; and
WHEREAS, Building 11 LLC now seeks an additional 11,000SF of outdoor property for exclusive daytime use Monday through Friday by a private daycare center, thus further encumbering and impeding public access to the building’s surrounding waterfront area; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the private daycare center, the tenant mix proposed by Building 11 LLC includes an anchor tenant, Virginia Mason Pediatrics Clinic, which is not a shoreline or recreation-oriented entity; and
WHEREAS, the Shoreline Master Plan prohibits medical offices within a shoreline Conservancy Management Zone, necessitating the Building 11 Investors LLC to request a carve-out from the code specifically permitting occupancy by its primary tenant, Virginia Mason Medical Center; and
WHEREAS, Virginia Mason Pediatrics Clinic and the daycare center are likely to draw clients city-wide, thus further limiting public access to the Lake Washington shoreline; and
WHEREAS, under the deed that provided Magnuson Park to the City of Seattle the site must be dedicated to park and recreation uses in perpetuity; and
WHEREAS, the existing lease to Building 11 LLC has not provided any tangible benefit to the City of Seattle or its citizens;
WHEREAS, Building 11 LLC now seeks City approval of a new and amended lease;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle call on the Mayor and Seattle City Council to oppose the proposed Amended and Restated Lease and to use this occasion to terminate the existing lease agreement with Building 11 LLC.
March 23, 2011 - Resolution opposing commitment of U.S. Armed Forces without act of Congress.
BE IT RESOLVED that while the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle appreciates the efforts of President Obama to secure the end of the bloodshed in Libya, it opposes any act involving the commitment of the U.S. armed forces to attack a sovereign nation without an act of Congress in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.
March 9, 2011 - Resolution calling for equity in proposed redevelopment of Yesler Terrace housing project.
WHEREAS, according to the County’s Housing Benchmarks report, in Seattle there are 39,500 households with incomes at or below 40% of median but only 13,500 privately owned rental units offered at rents affordable to this income group; and

WHEREAS, two thirds or 30,000 of those 39,500 households have incomes at or below 30% of area median (about $23,150 for 3 person household) yet there are only 310 unsubsidized rentals in all of King County offered at rents affordable to these very low income families;
WHEREAS, redevelopment and gentrification in our communities continues to cause an accelerated loss of this dwindling stock of very low income housing units due to demolition, speculative sale, conversion, and increased rents; and

WHEREAS, nearly all that is left of Seattle’s housing stock serving those with incomes at or below 30% of area median are subsidized “public housing units” owned and managed by the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) including the 28 acre 561-unit Yesler Terrace Garden Community; and

WHEREAS, Yesler Terrace is an irreplaceable resource that has served generations of extremely low income families, those with disabilities, the elderly, first generation immigrants, and households of color - especially families from the black community -  since its establishment over 70 years ago as the first fully integrated low density public housing project in the Country; and

WHEREAS, Yesler Terrace and the housing, services, and sense of community it provides is needed now more than ever to address a resurgence of poverty and homelessness in our city; and

WHEREAS, the Seattle Housing Authority now is seeking permits from the City of Seattle to demolish Yesler Terrace and replace it with as many as 5000 units (most offered as expensive rentals and condominiums), expensive retail space, and over a half million square feet of offices;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle goes on record calling on SHA to make the following commitments:  

1)  SHA shall commit to 100 percent replacement on site of all 561 public housing units (serving those at or below 30 percent of median income) they are removing and to the extent it’s economically feasible, SHA shall increase the number of public housing units on site above 561 so that public housing makes up a significantly higher percent than only 10 percent of the 5000 units now planned for the site;

2)  SHA will ensure that all units located in the surrounding community that the agency has acquired and vacated in anticipation of relocating Yesler Terrace residents to those sites – that all such units will either be reopened as low income units or replaced by SHA at their expense and offered at comparable prices.  Such removal further contributes to a loss of very low income units in our city;

3)  SHA shall pledge to use only new sources of revenue, including substantial income generated from the more intense retail and office uses planned for the site, to build their replacement public housing units and further SHA shall pledge that no existing finite source of revenue such as city housing levy dollars, state tax credits, or state trust fund dollars, needed to expand our city’s low income stock, shall be tapped for construction of any on or off-site replacement units; and

4) SHA will guarantee that the public housing located in the redeveloped site will not be segregated and moved away from views, parks, play areas, trees, and other amenities offered to higher income groups, and that such amenities including the availability of larger ground related and view units shall be distributed equally among all income groups and be equally accessible to all income groups, especially those living in the public housing units; and

5) through all phases of the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace, SHA will take all necessary steps needed to ensure an easy transition with minimum disruption to the lives of existing residents including maintaining an ample stock of available public housing units on the site at all times, removing only those existing units required for a given phase when construction is imminent and only after replacement units have been guaranteed for each displaced household; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle will forward this position to our Mayor and City Councilmembers, and also call on them to exercise their clear authority over SHA’s plans and to require SHA to comply with the commitments identified in the above four subparagraphs by attaching them as binding conditions to the alley vacations, upzones, and other land use changes SHA has requested and which are needed for their redevelopment of Yesler Terrace, all of which is needed in order to ensure that SHA continues to fulfill its historic mission and what it was created to do – serve the poorest of the poor in our city.

 

February 9, 2011 - Resolution supporting bill to create state board on geographic names.

Whereas, the Washington State Constitution provides for a board to accomplish specific tasks including a board of appraisers provided for in Article 16, Section 2, and a commission on harbor lines provided for in Article 15, Section 1; and

Whereas, the Washington State Legislature dissolved the previously provisioned board on geographic place names without resolving how to accomplish the ongoing work of and requirements for these bodies; and

Whereas, the dissolution of the state board on geographic place names left Washington state as the only state without a duly authorized body to cooperate with the United States board on geographic names; and

Whereas, the citizens of Washington state will be well served by a fully functional board on geographic place names which can respond to changing public sentiment, culture and priorities; and

Whereas, the members of this proposed board will already receive adequate compensation as state employees or elected officials and so this bill will not necessitate additional expenditures by the state;

Therefore be it resolved that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle supports the passage of the bill to create a board on geographic place names; and

be it Further resolved that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle urges each legislator who represents its members to vote yea for passage of the bill and that copies of this resolution be sent to all of the legislative representatives within the sphere of activities of the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle.

 

January 12, 2011 - Resolution calling for federal recognition of Duwamish Tribe.

WHEREAS, the ancestral lands of the Duwamish Tribe include the current boundaries of the City of Seattle, and members of the Duwamish Tribe continue to reside on these lands; and

WHEREAS, the Duwamish Tribe, represented by Chief Si’ahl (Seattle), was the first signatory of the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855 guaranteeing the Tribe rights and federal recognition, but the government of the United States of America has not honored the provisions of this treaty with respect to the Duwamish Tribe; and
WHEREAS, the Duwamish Tribe received federal recognition by Executive Order of President Bill Clinton on January 19, 2001; and
WHEREAS, that Executive Order was rescinded by the Bush Administration on January 21, 2001; and
WHEREAS, four Bills to extend federal recognition to the Duwamish Tribe have been submitted by Representative Jim McDermott (HR 477 – Jan. 29, 2003; HR 852 – Feb. 16, 2005; HR 949 – Feb. 8, 2007; HR 2678 - June 3, 2009) which Congress has failed to act upon; and
WHEREAS the State Democratic platform calls for “restoration of federal recognition for formerly recognized Tribes,” and the King County Democratic Platform states specifically that “federal recognition of the Duwamish tribe must be restored;”
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle affirms its support for federal recognition of the Duwamish Tribe as provided by President Clinton’s  Executive Order; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle urges all members of Washington state’s congressional delegation to sponsor and support legislation to accomplish such recognition, and to notify us of their actions toward rectification of this unfortunate miscarriage of justice.

 

October 13, 2010 - Resolution supporting proposal to establish NW Native Cultural Center at Seattle Center.

WHEREAS, Seattle Center is on the ancestral land of the Duwamish people and was once a tribal gathering place; and

WHEREAS, Seattle derives its name from that of Chief Seattle and his image is used widely by the City of Seattle; and

WHEREAS, the environmental ethic was embraced by the Indians of the Northwest, as exemplified by the Chief’s own words, “The land does not belong to us, we belong to the land,” and modern society is only lately coming to the realization of the wisdom of those words; and

WHEREAS, a nationally recognized Native American architect who helped create the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is committed to help design the proposed Northwest Native Cultural Center at Seattle Center; and

WHEREAS, Seattle Center is a Seattle park, it is appropriate that this educational, cultural, noncommercial facility be sited on the land from which the amusement park is scheduled to be removed;

THEREFORE be it resolved that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle supports establishment of the proposed Northwest Native Cultural Center at Seattle Center and urges the mayor and city council to approve it.

Dec. 16, 2009 - Resolution opposing U.S. Senate health care bill without public option or Medicare buy-in provision.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle urges Democratic members of Congress to oppose any Senate health care bill that does not contain a public option or Medicare buy-in provision.