Councilmember O'Brien left office on December 31, 2019. This website is for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.

Delta 5’s Victory ‘A win for the planet’

January 15th, 2016

SEATTLE, Washington – Councilmember Mike O’Brien issued the following statement regarding today’s ruling in the Delta 5 case, in which five climate activists used civil disobedience to blockade a train transporting Bakken shale oil at the Delta rail yard in Everett. The jury in the case ruled the Delta 5 were not guilty of obstruction […]


My 2016 Inauguration Speech

January 5th, 2016

(Remarks presented as prepared, see Seattle Channel for the full video and remarks as delivered.) This is a new beginning for me, but so many of the challenges we face are not new, and Courtney’s story really embodies some of our biggest challenges in the coming years. Courtney and her family moved to Seattle like […]


2015 Year in Review

December 31st, 2015

It feels like an understatement to say that 2015 has been an incredible year. Seattle continues to be at the forefront of a bold, progressive movement in our country, continually demonstrating that cities can lead the way forward to a just economy and healthy environment. Of course, we face huge challenges too, particularly with regard […]


Update on Affordable Housing Work

September 3rd, 2015

I continually hear from people in our city struggling to keep up with rising rents. That is why I have been working to ensure that as Seattle grows, new development helps pay for new affordable housing. For me, this work dates back to 2013, when the Council debated the rezone and affordability requirements in South […]


A Voice for Drivers

August 31st, 2015

For the past few years, Seattle has been on a mission to make sure that every worker in this city has the opportunity to earn a living wage. We’ve made wage theft a crime, expanded paid sick and safe leave to workers across the city, and instituted a new minimum wage that will see workers […]


Proposed Changes to Single Family Zones

July 17th, 2015

There has been a lot of discussion and disagreement about some of the recommendations that came out of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda Committee (HALA), specifically around the recommendations regarding the future of our single family zones. It appears that even among some members of the HALA committee there are different interpretations about the single family zone […]


Linking Affordablility to Growth: The Best & Fastest Way to Create the Most Affordable Housing in Seattle

July 13th, 2015

Click the graphic below to view a larger version.


Update on the lowrise legislation

June 25th, 2015

Last week in the Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee (PLUS Committee), we voted out the lowrise legislation that we have been deliberating over for the past couple of months. The bill makes several changes to the multi-family code to ensure that new development in lowrise zones is at-scale with the neighborhood, while continuing to […]


Infographic: How Arctic Drilling Violates Our Laws, Values & Planet

June 15th, 2015

The people of Seattle are doing everything possible to stop the myopic environmental damage caused by Arctic drilling. Some critics have tried to foment a feeling of futility and kowtow popular opposition by shaming ordinary people for participating in our fossil fuel economy. But the point of the popular outcry – its very essence – is […]


SHELL NO! Why I am out on Elliott Bay today

June 15th, 2015

The past few months, I have been one of thousands of activists trying to stop Shell Oil’s irresponsible, reprehensible plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. We’ve fought to prevent Seattle from becoming the home base for Shells Arctic drilling fleet, but the bigger fight has always been about stopping Shell’s drilling plans. We […]


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