Eliminating the Seattle City Council’s veto-proof majority, council member Mike O’Brien said moments ago that he will vote against the aggressive solicitation bill.
“Last week, I said publicly that I would support this legislation," O'Brien told the city council and audience in the City Council Chambers. "Over the weekend, a battle has raged inside me in my head and heart. Today I am changing my mind, and I am going to vote no. I don't think passing the law... will solve the root cause of the problems,” O’Brien said to a cheering crowd.
With O’Brien’s opposition, only five members of the council support the bill—not enough votes to overcome a mayoral veto. Mayor Mike McGinn will veto the measure, he says, and he has 10 days to do so. The council may vote again, but it is uncertain whether the council will try if they lack to votes to overcome a veto.
O’Brien campaigned, in part, on a platform to oppose the bill, but he said late last week that he would vote for this measure, spurring fevered lobbying from his past supporters.
This is a major defeat for city council member Tim Burgess, who sponsored the bill and has worked hard to cast himself as a consensus-builder at city hall.