Kirsten Harris-Talley gives an inside look at what it was like to go from activist to a temporary Seattle City Councilmember during budget talks this fall.
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After years of activism outside City Hall, Kirsten Harris-Talley got an exclusive inside look at how Seattle city government works over the last couple months.
A program manager with the Progress Alliance, a nonprofit group that organizes for liberal and Democratic causes, Harris-Talley was appointed in October to fill a council vacancy created when Tim Burgess became temporary mayor. It was part of a domino effect this year after the resignation of Mayor Ed Murray amid sex-abuse allegations.
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Harris-Talley beat out former City Councilmember Nick Licata, among others, to land the 51-day appointment.
In Episode 60 of The Overcast, Harris-Talley joins hosts Jim Brunner and Dan Beekman to talk about her short stint at City Hall, and her efforts – some successful and some not – to push for more funding to fight the city’s homelessness crisis.
The podcast was recorded at the Seattle studios of public radio 88.5 FM KNKX as part of an ongoing partnership.
Harris-Talley gives her analysis of the budget fight for an employee-hours tax on the city’s top-grossing businesses, which failed on a 5-4 vote. The money raised would have gone to homelessness programs. While it didn’t pass, pressure by Harris-Talley and others led to formation of a “progressive revenue” task force that may refine the idea and bring it back in the new year.
Did Harris-Talley’s arrival signal a shift toward an even more activist City Council? Will she run for a full term in 2019, possibly challenging Councilmember Bruce Harrell in District 2? We explore those topics and more.
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And, as always, have a cloudy day!