The citys 2017 budget approved today includes some big wins and disappointing losses.
The city's 2017 budget approved today includes some big wins and disappointing losses. City of Seattle

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As has become tradition, the Seattle City Council today approved next year's city budget with the lone vote against it coming from Council Member Kshama Sawant.

"The budget as a whole remains overwhelmingly the same business-as-usual budget that has failed to meet the needs of regular people in our city year after year," Sawant said, adding that the budget "fundamentally depends on taxing poor and working people" instead of the wealthy.

The city budget, totaling more than $5 billion, is a combined vision of the mayor and city council members, who have spent the last month haggling over how to change the mayor's original proposal. Aside from Sawant, today's mood was largely self-congratulatory, with council members patting themselves on the back for their pet projects and additions to the budget.

You can find an exhaustive list of all the additions the council made right here. And last week, I ran down the good, the bad, and the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ in the council's version of the budget.

Among the highest profile wins: The city will sell bonds to raise $29 million for affordable housing. Council Member Lisa Herbold sponsored that proposal after Sawant initially proposed redirecting $160 million from a new police station in North Seattle toward affordable housing.

Herbold said today that her office has heard from many members of the public who are demanding increased affordable housing funding and that her proposal "wouldn’t have been possible without Council Member Sawant putting forward her 1,000 homes proposal."

One budget item I missed last week: The council failed to include funding for a municipal broadband plan pitched by Council Members Sawant and Rob Johnson. Council Member Tim Burgess, who chaired the budget committee this year, did not include the proposal in his budget package and council members did not bring it up for a separate vote. (The council rejected city-run internet service last year, too.)

"It's particularly disappointing after [Burgess] publicly stated his support for municipal broadband during his 2015 run," said Devin Glaser, policy and political director at Upgrade Seattle, which advocates for a city-run internet service. Glaser sent the photo below from an April 2015 forum at which candidates were asked whether they support building municipal broadband in Seattle.

A 2015 forum, where candidates were asked whether they support municipal broadband.
Tim Burgess is on the far left holding up a "yes" sign when asked about municipal broadband. devin glaser

"We look forward to gaining Council Member Burgess' support for municipal broadband again in 2017," Glaser said.

Mayor Ed Murray will sign the budget tomorrow morning.

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