Highlights from 2022

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

We’re using this month’s newsletter to provide you with highlights from 2022.

After emerging from the COVID pandemic, Seattle residents, schools, and store owners have made it clear they expect their government to make progress reducing crime and homelessness. As the elected City Councilmember for Northeast Seattle, I strive to provide sensible solutions for challenges such as community safety and our aging infrastructure, while remaining accountable to neighborhoods with a wide range of viewpoints. I’m confident we can make progress in 2023 by focusing on the basic services and hard work of local government. I sincerely hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season. Thank you!

For a better view of the 2022 Highlights graphic, CLICK HERE.

Photos and More from 2022:

January 2022: Councilmember Pedersen on a crime prevention tour to hear from small businesses owned by women and people of color.  Several said they want community policing officers to return once our Seattle Police Department hires more officers to replace the hundreds of officers who departed.

January 2022: After hearing the report from our Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) about the challenges they faced filling thousands of new potholes after the winter storms, Councilmember Pedersen visited the Pothole Rangers in District 4.  Potholes can increase risks for all modes of transportation.  While it was initially more fun than sitting at a desk in City Hall, Councilmember Pedersen was grateful to return the machines to the experts and thanked them for serving the public where the rubber meets the road.

March 2022: Councilmember Pedersen and new Traffic Engineer Venu Nemani met with the principal and parents at View Ridge elementary school on March 25, 2022 to discuss installation of improved lighting to alert cars to the crosswalks on NE 70th Street. 

March 2022: Councilmember Pedersen joins other volunteers cleaning up Roosevelt sidewalks and greenways. 

March 2022: Councilmember Pedersen answers questions from constituents at the University House retirement community in Wallingford.

March 2022: The Sand Point Community Church in the View Ridge neighborhood organized a forum on homelessness in the region.  Councilmember Pedersen was honored to join the panelists to help answer the full crowd’s many questions about the ongoing crisis of homelessness in our region.  One key point was that most of the city and county government functions have been transferred to the new Regional Homelessness Authority and that new organization is already making sure other Puget Sound cities do more to address homelessness in the region.

April 2022: At the East Howe Steps with Eastlake Community Council leader Detra Segar on April 12, 2022, the same day we passed the legislation enabling a public plaza while saving a large conifer tree. Thanks to the collaboration with SDOT, Eastlake residents, and the property owner.  

April 2022: Councilmember Pedersen enjoyed joining over 20 other volunteers to clean up Wallingford’s business district in April, focusing on N. 45th Street between Stone Way and I-5. With the robust turnout, the proactive community organizer Colleen is inspired to make this a quarterly event!  I also appreciate our own Seattle Public Utilities providing the “Adopt a Street” trash bags, trash grabbers, gloves, and orange vests. To get Adopt-a-Street supplies for your community, CLICK HERE or call (206) 684-7647 or email adoptastreet@seattle.gov. 

May 2022: Councilmember Pedersen (center) cleaning up Cowen Park with dozens of eager volunteers, including fellow civic leaders Christa Valles and Gabe Galanda. In the background, Legislative Aide Gabby is wondering when they’re going to stop posing and get back to work. Mayor Harrell’s idea for the “One Seattle: Day of Service” was a big success, with a reported 4,000 Seattleites participating across our city.

May 2022: Councilmember Pedersen (in the shades) thanking Don Blakeney (in the blazer), his team at the nonprofit U District Partnership, and all the sponsors of the wildly successful U District Street Fair. Springing forth from the new light rail station were tens of thousands of visitors dazzled by the energy of Seattle’s best destination for funky fun: the University District adjacent to our world-class university. The variety and volume of the music, food, and arts were energizing and the smiles on the throngs of people were uplifting as we all celebrated the return of the Street Fair and each other to the neighborhood.

June 2022: At our City Council meeting on June 28, 2022, we unanimously confirmed Mayor Harrell’s nomination of Andrew Lee as the General Manager and CEO of the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), a $1.3 billion enterprise that delivers clean water and takes away wastewater and solid waste. Mr. Lee has been ably serving as the interim head of SPU after the previous leader, Mami Hara, departed near the end of the Durkan Administration last Fall. Councilmember Pedersen has been achieving his goal of working with SPU to limit utility bill increases to a minimum. A key role of the City Council, under the “checks & balances” system of our City Charter, is to consider and confirm (or reject) a Mayor’s nominations to head the most important departments.

June 2022: Leaders from the nonprofit Commute Seattle join Councilmember Pedersen on his morning commute by bus and light rail from Northeast Seattle to City Hall downtown during “Ride Transit Month.”

June 2022: Councilmember Pedersen was honored to spend radio time with two living legends of Seattle City Council, Jean Godden and Sue Donaldson.

June 2022: Seattle Councilmember Alex Pedersen (left) accompanies a team from U.S. Senator Patty Murray’s office on a tour of the National Archives Building on Sand Point Way NE in our City Council District 4, June 17, 2022. Senator Murray secured $98 million in federal funds to keep these precious records in the Seattle area. (The buttons we received from the local archivists proclaim, “You don’t have to go to Washington D.C. to visit the National Archives” (photo courtesy of the City’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations).

June 2022: Mayor Bruce Harrell leads our city government team at the Seattle Pride Parade. Councilmember Pedersen marches along in solidarity, with his new shorts unofficially proclaiming the start of summer in Seattle.

July 2022: Councilmember Pedersen joined the South Seattle Councilmember, leaders from the Seattle Department of Transportation, and advocates for safe streets.  They visited several locations as examples of dangerous intersections and arterials: 4TH Ave South in SODO, the Lighthouse for the Blind, and the schools near Rainier Ave South & South Henderson Street.

July 2022: Matt Donahue, Seattle’s Director of Roadway Structures, discusses the University Bridge’s condition with Councilmember Pedersen and Gregory Spotts, Mayor Bruce Harrell’s nominee to become the next Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). This multimodal bridge ranked “poor” by the 2020 audit of Seattle’s bridges. My committee led the confirmation approval of Greg Spotts in September 2022.

July 2022: Councilmember Pedersen supported Mayor Harrell’s plan to recruit police officers and detectives to begin to restore the 400 who left Seattle. Everyone deserves to feel safe, and I appreciate that we need a holistic approach that includes not only sufficient staffing of frontline public safety workers, but also alternative emergency responses for mental health crises and a police contract that expands reforms.

On September 10th of 2021 — 10 months earlier – I introduced two budget amendments to fund between $1 million and $3 million dollars for SPD recruitment and retention but, unfortunately, only 3 of my colleagues supported it. Since that time, we’ve received more recent data showing unacceptable increases in 9-1-1 response times and unacceptable increases in crime.

Councilmember Pedersen recently attended several “roll calls” at the beginning of police patrol shifts to hear from many of the officers who keep North Seattle safe. I appreciate the good work that they do and know it takes a long time to train and deploy new recruits.

July 2022: Councilmember Pedersen visited the Wallingford Farmers Market this month, where he enjoyed a coveted strawberries & cream popsicle from Seattle Pops, which also has a storefront on N 45th Street at Interlake Ave N. The Councilmember is seen here demonstrating his acquired political skill of chewing and smiling at the same time. The Wallingford Farmers Market, held adjacent to the Meridian Playground, is open every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. through September 28.

July 2022: The annual Wedgwood Arts Festival was back in its full glory this month and Councilmember Pedersen (sporting his vintage “Wedgwood” T-shirt) had fun attending the community event with one of his children. They arrived with the goal of buying a piece of art, but departed with other goodies from local artists including handmade jewelry, clothes, and a candle that smells like winter holiday spices.  To see what you might have missed and to get it early on your calendar for next summer, you can visit their website at wedgwoodfestival.com. Regrets: not buying a homemade ice cream sandwich.

July 2022: (from left to right in photo) Mayor Harrell’s Chief Equity Officer Adiam Emery, the Executive Director of “Kids & Paper” Azadeh Eslamy, Councilmember Alex Pedersen, and Parks & Rec coordinator Paul Davenport attend the first anniversary of the nonprofit serving elementary school age immigrant children at Magnuson Park.

August 2, 2022: Councilmember Pedersen had fun attending 8 block parties from the U District to View Ridge. As you probably know, “Night Out” is a national event on the first Tuesday of August for neighbors to enjoy time together on side streets in their community to connect and share food while heightening crime prevention awareness. Our D4 neighbor Dr. Jacqueline Helfgott (leftside of photo above) is a Professor of Criminal Justice at Seattle University. She conducts an annual public safety survey (CLICK HERE). Along with dozens of other community leaders across Seattle, she and her neighbors organize a major block party for National Night Out every year.

September 2022: You can see in the background the recently restored West Seattle High Bridge (and the workhorse “low” bridge). Of all the key public servants involved in restoring the West Seattle High Bridge, monitoring the low bridge, and creating alternative routes during this transportation crisis, we’d like to applaud Heather Marx (standing 3rd from the left in this photo from September 16, 2022). Since the sudden closure of the bridge for safety reasons in March 2020, Heather and her team served as the steady hands at SDOT to oversee all aspects of the emergency stabilization and substantial renovation needed to save and re-open the bridge that serves more than 100,000 Seattle residents. Thank you, Heather! As Transportation Chair, I also greatly appreciated the close working relationship with West Seattle’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold, whose district was most impacted. For more thank-you’s, CLICK HERE. Thankfully, SDOT completed the project UNDER budget, so we’ll have SDOT return to our Transportation Committee to reconcile the final numbers.

September 2022: Councilmember Pedersen fielding great questions from neighbors who attended an event at the Northeast branch of the Seattle Public Libraries where Bryant and Wedgwood meet. He was proud to stand with Chief Librarian Tom Fay (pictured on the right) and other library boosters. Neighbors asked several book smart questions about property taxes, public safety, and digital equity. Coming soon to our NE branch thanks to our budget amendment from November 2021: equipment to keep the building energy efficient and cool for greater resiliency in the midst of climate change.

September 2022: Councilmember Pedersen listening to the head of the View Ridge Community Council at the return of their annual “Party in the Park” on September 11, 2022. While most party goers were smiling and happy to reconnect as we emerge from the pandemic, I also shared the public safety concerns of several other parents upset by disturbing crimes nearby in what has historically been a relatively safe neighborhood. They want City Hall to prioritize increasing public safety and reducing homelessness


September 2022: Councilmember Pedersen enjoying the music and neighborhood spirit at the return of the Wedgwood “Community Picnic” on September 10, 2022. The annual event was organized, in large part, by the former head of the Wedgwood Community Council, John Finelli. Great to see the current head of the WCC, Per Johnson, who continues to chair the monthly meetings of the community council – for more info, CLICK HERE. Many thanks to the Seattle Firefighters who attended to discuss fire safety with the children. For those who have experienced frustrating and repeated power outages near 35th Ave NE, CLICK HERE for an update from Seattle City Light.

September and November 2022: Councilmember Pedersen appreciates his colleagues unanimously adopting his Resolution 32064 in September 2022 to rid Seattle of gasoline-fueled leaf blowers (by January 2025 in city government and by January 2027 everywhere else). Thanks to everyone who emailed and called to provide their supportive comments. We also appreciate the other feedback from those concerned about focusing on Seattle’s priorities and making sure small businesses are not negatively impacted. To encourage executive officials to implement the Resolution, we adopted a budget requirement (proviso) in November 2022 to prohibit the Parks Dept from buying any new gasoline-fueled leaf blowers. Therefore, we will speed up the process to improve public health, working conditions, and the environment through attrition of this harmful equipment. For more info, CLICK HERE.

November 2022: Councilmember Pedersen with Seattle’s new SDOT Director Greg Spotts, along with his top-notch team, experiencing firsthand the I-5 overpass connecting Wallingford to the U District this month. Councilmember Pedersen was grateful to City Council colleagues for voting in favor of his proposed $1.5 million for SDOT to complete the safety improvement project that will add fencing to protect pedestrians and bicyclists. The majority agreed that a proposed $10 increase in Vehicle License Fees (VLF) would be the source of funds for this overpass pedestrian project in 2023 — with future funds going 50/50 toward other Vision Zero pedestrian safety projects as well as to bridge maintenance (via Council Budget Action SDOT-505-B-002-2023). (This followed up on last year’s investment of $350,000 to study and design the overpass safety project: SDOT-104-B-001-2022.)

November 2022: We doubled the School Safety Zone Speed Enforcement Cameras! Currently only 19 out of 100 Seattle public schools benefit from this Vision Zero effort to protect young pedestrians. In other words, 80% of Seattle schools do not benefit from this traffic safety measure. Thanks to our proposal and support from the Budget Chair, we are adding $1 million in 2023 and more in 2024 to increase the number of enforcement cameras from 35 to 70 to cover 40 locations. An additional upside: this program earns money so that it can pay for itself AND reinvest net revenues into more pedestrian safety! For more info, click on these links: SDOT-103-B-001-2023 and SDOT-304-A-001-2023. For a KOMO TV News story about our efforts, CLICK HERE.

November 2022: The final vote on the City budget on November 28th — and my concerns about the policing elements as amended by a majority of the City Council — were a big deal this year. For more on that, CLICK HERE.

December 2022: A special thank you to the various community groups throughout our District 4 that invited me to speak during the past month (in alphabetical order): Inverness Community Council, North Precinct (Police) Advisory Council, Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, View Ridge Community Council, and the Wallingford Community Council. My team and I always appreciate the insightful questions and ideas we receive at your meetings. Everyone: joining your community council is a great way to get involved in local government. To invite me to your community council meeting, just write to Alex.Pedersen@seattle.gov .

For a more detailed summary about 2022 and the previous years, CLICK HERE. You can also visit my blog by CLICKING HERE. Let’s make 2023 the best year yet! Thank you.

With gratitude,





Councilmember Alex Pedersen
Seattle City Council, District 4

Email: Alex.Pedersen@seattle.gov
Phone: (206) 684-8804
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