Resolution for a $1.7 billion Move Seattle levy renewal package that uplifts working people 

March 20, 2024

WHEREAS, the 2015 Levy to Move Seattle will reach completion in 2024 and the Mayor and Seattle City Council are considering renewing the levy to fund transportation infrastructure;

WHEREAS, this levy provides 30% of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s budget;

WHEREAS, for expenditures from the last two transportation levies, SDOT has relied on outside engineering firms to provide critical engineering services for the department, work that could and should be done by PROTEC 17 union represented civil engineers who are public employees who do not have a financial interest in the infrastructure that the City builds; and

WHEREAS, Seattle has critical and ever-worsening funding gaps for basic maintenance and preservation for the City’s aging transportation infrastructure resulting in seriously deteriorating, worsening and in many cases, unsafe roads and bridges;

WHEREAS, according to the City’s own Asset Status & Condition report (2020), the City has allowed all-too-many of its core assets to deteriorate due to under-investment in basic road and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation;

WHEREAS, according to its own Asset Status & Condition report, SDOT is responsible for approximately 1,548 lane miles of arterials with a current value of $5 billion and according to nationally-recognized standardized measures such as the Pavement Condition Index (PCI), 35% are in “poor” or “very poor” condition. There are 2,396 lane miles of non-arterials with a current value of over $4.1 billion and 31% in “poor” or “very poor condition.” And there are 122 bridges with a current value of over $7.1 billion and according to standardized national measures, 16.4% are in “very poor” condition and only 26.2% are in “good” condition.

WHEREAS, delaying maintenance while pavement and bridges deteriorate seriously impacts users’ vehicle repair and operating costs, freight mobility, Metro buses and other public transit as well as bicyclists, and pedestrians and creates unsafe travel for all in our community;

WHEREAS, in 2035, new vehicles sold in Washington, Oregon and California will have to be zero emissions, and this will significantly increase the demand for electric vehicle charging stations. Seattle City Light’s map of charger locations shows how notably sparse public charging is in neighborhoods with higher BIPOC populations, with rapid charging almost completely absent. Thousands of gig workers in these neighborhoods drive for a living and will require access to high speed (150 KwH or greater) rapid charging just to earn a basic wage. The Federal Government, through the Inflation Reduction Act, provides a 30-60% rebate to cities for electric vehicle charging stations making this the best time to prepare for the 2035 zero emissions vehicle requirements;

WHEREAS, Executive Secretary-Treasurer Garrow and Seattle Building Trades Executive Secretary Monty Anderson serve on Mayor Bruce Harrell’s levy “Kitchen Cabinet” that is providing recommendations for the composition of the proposed levy renewal package; and

WHEREAS, coach operators, members of ATU 587 and the disability community are united in their shared interest for a greater investment in sidewalks in the upcoming levy

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that MLK Labor calls for Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and Seattle City Councilmembers to put forward a $1.7 billion levy renewal to Move Seattle on the November ballot, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED MLK Labor will lobby Seattle Mayor Harrell and City Council to allocate $100 million to electrification in the levy for the following improvements in the proposed levy package, including but not limited to: public and affordable electric vehicle charging stations on City owned properties, and where the City is investing in the vitality and stability of BIPOC communities and where most needed by Uber and Lyft drivers; infrastructure upgrades to support additional electrical capacity for EV charging; transitioning the City of Seattle owned vehicles to EV, and to support port, ferry and public transit electrification; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MLK Labor will work with PROTEC 17 and the Mayor and City Council to ensure that SDOT does not contract out transportation design and engineering work in the next levy, appropriately staffs the department and changes contracting practices to prevent the contracting out of public services.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MLK Labor will lobby Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and the Seattle City Council to prioritize and increase funding levels to include a robust allocation to fundamental needs in basic road and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation of critical infrastructure for which funding has been woefully inadequate and unsustainable.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MLK Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Garrow will advocate for these demands at the Mayor’s Move Seattle Levy “Kitchen Cabinet,”

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MLK Labor will forward this resolution to all nine Seattle City Councilmembers, Seattle Mayor Harrell and SDOT Director Spotts.

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