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

Rent Control is Not the Answer (Just Look at SF)

July 28th, 2015

Originally posted at The Seattle Times. Rent control is not the answer to Seattle’s housing crisis. But as housing demand outpaces housing supply, renters are bearing the resulting brunt of rent increases. Understandably, for renters who want to halt these rising costs, rent control sounds like an appealing idea. Some politicians are seizing upon the […]


Data: It’s Sexier than You Think

July 27th, 2015

Data has a story to tell.  In Seattle, that story is about equity – about communities struggling to get an education, to be healthy, to get jobs.  The story goes something like this.  Only about half of Samoan, Native American, Latino and African American students graduate from Seattle Public Schools.  Obesity is at least twice […]


Councilmembers Issue Statements on Death of Donnie Chin

July 23rd, 2015

SEATTLE – Council President Tim Burgess, Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Councilmember John Okamoto issued the following statements in response to the tragic death of Donnie Chin early this morning: Council President Tim Burgess:  “The shooting of Donnie Chin is a shocking and profound loss to the people of the Chinatown-International District and the entire Seattle […]


HALA: What’s the Plan?

July 20th, 2015

The first meeting of the Select Committee on Housing Affordability, of which I am vice-chair, will be today, Monday, July 20, where the Council will receive a briefing on the entire Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) suite of recommendations. Once the Council has been briefed, we’ll create a work plan and schedule to prioritize […]


Around Town Last Week

July 20th, 2015

Last week I had the opportunity to see the economic resiliency of the waterfront up close and check out the progress on the Seawall project, the newly renovated Pier 54 and Ivar’s Acres of Clams, and the Seattle Aquarium expansion plan.  I also had a chance to talk shop with a vibrant group of civically […]


Council Conversation

July 16th, 2015

Josephine Cheng chatted with me at the Wing Luke Museum about what I plan to accomplish during my short tenure as a Councilmember on some of the city’s hottest issues like affordable housing, data disaggregation, transportation and more. Catch up with us HERE.


Homelessness: Rare, Brief, and One-time

June 29th, 2015

More than 10,000 people experience homelessness in this region on any given night.  For more than a decade, Seattle has been working with King County’s Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) to house these people, yet each year the number of unsheltered continues to grow. Part of this can be attributed to the lack of housing […]


Igniting Young Minds

June 26th, 2015

Congratulations to the four exceptional Seattle students selected at the Associated of Washington Cities (AWC), Center for Quality Communities scholarship.  Today, at the AWC conference in Wenatchee, WA, I was impressed by these young leaders who reminded me of possibility and gave me a glimpse into a future of heightened civic engagement. The scholarships constitute […]


State, Pass a Budget!

June 24th, 2015

In the absence of a budget agreement, the State is on the verge of a shutdown will halt services to over 28,000 individuals throughout the county – including 10,000 Seattle residents – who receive State-funded family caregiver support, congregate and home-delivered meals, transportation and a host of other services. In addition, 11,000 elderly and individuals […]


Density is Key in Lowrise Code Deliberation

June 16th, 2015

I recently wrote about Seattle’s growing pains and the many moving parts that are part of the affordable housing machine.  One of these parts – land use – is so closely related to housing affordability, you might say they march in lockstep. Today, the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee will deliberate on a set of […]