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 This website is for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.

Posts for 'Random'

Hearing Examiner Clears Way for Backyard Cottage Legislation

May 15th, 2019

Hello, I am excited to share with you some updates about a longtime legislative priority of mine: making it easier to build backyard cottages and basement units. I believe ADUs have the potential to provide new housing opportunities in neighborhoods where single family homes are unaffordable to many. ADU’s would also allow homeowners to generate […]


Mandatory Housing Affordability—Reflections on Crown Hill

March 18th, 2019

On Monday, March 18, the Council will hold its vote and likely approve the MHA legislation, which has been years in the making.  Included in that legislation are a set of amendments that I made to the Mayor’s proposal for the Crown Hill neighborhood.  Before I explain those amendments, let me first explain some of […]


My Vote on the Employee Hours Tax

June 14th, 2018

Earlier today, I voted to repeal the proposed employee hours tax on Seattle’s top-grossing 3 percent of businesses. While the need hasn’t changed in the months since we started this conversation, it’s clear that we need to come together for the common good of our city. My vote is not something I take lightly. I […]


Focusing on Homelessness Solutions that Work

October 24th, 2017

As we close in on the two-year anniversary of our City’s mayor having declared a “civil emergency” around homelessness, Seattle’s housing crisis is still very visible across the city.  It’s obvious that we need more money for immediate fixes – like funding emergency shelters and diversion programs to keep people off the streets and out […]


Addressing Effective Strategies Towards Encampments

September 6th, 2016

Since the declaration of the State of Emergency on Homelessness last November, the City has conducted 441 cleanups, or “sweeps” of unsanctioned encampments. Current City protocol provides homeless residents 72 hours’ notice before each cleanup occurs and access to outreach workers to connect to shelter and services. In reality, the notice can be as little […]


Do No Harm and Do the Most Good

August 12th, 2016

On July 27, in what felt like one of our warmest evenings of the summer, I joined almost 200 neighbors and community members in Ballard to have a conversation about the issues I’ve been hearing most about in recent months – homelessness, property crime, and drug addiction. The Safe and Healthy Communities Public Forum (video […]


District Office Hours Update

May 20th, 2016

Once again, City Hall is coming to District 6 in another series of drop-in office hours! Thursday, May 26th, 3pm – 6pm Green Lake Public Library Wednesday, June 8th, 3pm – 6pm Fremont Public Library Thursday July 7th, 4pm – 7pm Greenwood Public Library In the four sessions we’ve held so far, over 80 people […]


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 […]


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 […]


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