Councilmember Okamoto left office on January 1, 2016.
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Posts for 'Councilmember Okamoto'

Yes to Paid Parental Leave (if it’s done right)

November 23rd, 2015

For the record, I support additional paid leave for parents, as well as eldercare. But today, I voted no to amend the budget committee agenda to increase paid parental leave from four weeks to 12 weeks. As I said in the deliberations, I voted no based on the process – not on the merits of […]


You Will Be Missed

November 18th, 2015

My time on Council has been filled with heated policy debates and second-floor strategizing, and I’ve come to admire my colleagues during this process. It takes all kinds of thinkers to make good policy, and I hope you enjoy the following observations and tongue-in-cheek predictions about my Council family. At the very least, these will […]


210 Days of Accomplishments

November 17th, 2015

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Stopping Homelessness Before It Starts

October 30th, 2015

Originally posted at The Seattle Times. Does the City Council have the political will to redirect spending for programs that help prevent homelessness from happening? PREVENTION is Seattle’s best-kept secret to answering homelessness. As the city pours resources into shelters, the city’s homeless population continues to grow. And while sheltering is an immediate necessity — […]


Better Capacity, Better Outcomes

October 19th, 2015

Capacity-building has become a hot topic for governments and foundations everywhere, but what does it really mean and why do we want to invest in it? The City relies on non-profit organizations to deliver a significant amount of critical human services. The Human Services Department (HSD) currently has 400 contracts with nearly 200 organizations. HSD’s […]


Honoring Our Native Peoples

October 12th, 2015

One year ago, I remember how proud I was when the Council and Mayor declared the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the City of Seattle.  Many know that date to be the federally enacted Columbus Day. For a long time, Columbus was celebrated for his “discovery of America,” when indigenous people […]


A Voice for Drivers: A Complex Solution

October 5th, 2015

I support the effort to offer independent contractors needed protections in an evolving and competitive industry. This past Friday, the Committee on Finance and Culture unanimously voted to create collective bargaining protections for for-hire drivers in Seattle. I’ve heard significant public testimony and met with unions, taxis, Uber, Lyft, and independent drivers regarding this legislation. […]


No Data, No Justice

September 29th, 2015

Today, with the Mayor officially signing the resolution I sponsored, Seattle became the first city in the nation to adopt legislation on data disaggregation. I’ve found that there’s no faster way for people’s eyes to glaze over than by using the term “data disaggregation.”  But at the recent iCount Symposium hosted by the White House […]


First HALA Action Passed

September 29th, 2015

Yesterday, Council passed legislation that took action on the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). The legislation renews and expands the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) program as recommended by HALA. The MFTE program – one housing affordability tool in a box of many – provides a tax exemption on the residential improvements on multifamily projects […]


100 Days Down, 100 More to Go

August 5th, 2015

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