Protesters in city hall. Photo by Alex Garland.

Protesters in city hall. Photo by Alex Garland.

Bunker? Blocked.

The mayor and some councilmembers walked back a proposed, expensive new police station. For now.

Mayor Ed Murray announced today that the city will “update” its plans to construct a new, $149 million police precinct in north Seattle. Black lives activists have been fanning public pressure against the project all summer, arguing that funding for the unprecedentedly expensive precinct would be better used to build affordable housing.

Those activists just won. For now.

In a press release, Murray and his council allies on the precinct project—Tim Burgess, Debora Juarez, and M. Lorena González—announced that “the City will review the proposed new North Precinct facility, citing concerns around equity, cost and community needs. The City will…conduct a Racial Equity Toolkit review of the proposed precinct, and review…project cost.”

Murray summarized his current stance on the project: “I remain committed to replacing the aging precinct in North Seattle and am prepared to consider multiple design options, if it is determined that is the best path for the community.”

The precinct’s council supporters each emphasized that they still believe the existing north Seattle precinct, which is about 30 years old, needs to be replaced. Still: “I greatly appreciate the opportunity to slow this down and do it right,” said Juarez. “We listened,” said Burgess. Based on community feedback and cost concerns, “we want to take another look at the component parts of the building and even redesign some of them in an effort to lower the cost.” González said that for the same reasons, she’s reached the “conclusion that the only responsible next step is to return to the drawing board.”

Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Mike O’Brien, the precinct’s strongest critics on the council, responded via press releases to the news by thanking the #BlackLivesMatter and #BlockTheBunker activists whose “sustained and intense public opposition and protests” Sawant credits for “forc[ing the mayor and council] to retreat from their previous insistence on building the most expensive precinct in the country.”

Here are more council reactions via Twitter:

This post has been edited to clarify that Sawant and O’Brien’s reactions were via press release.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Courtesy photo
State offers free at-home COVID-19 tests

You can order the tests through the state’s new online portal.

Sen. Mona Das, D-47
Kent Democratic Sen. Mona Das proposes 1% cut in state sales tax

Starting in 2023; Republicans voice support for Senate Bill 5932

tsr
Federal Way police arrest suspect in fatal carjacking

Ruvim Stukov, 20, was shot and killed in a Federal Way shopping center on Dec. 8, 2021.

File photo.
Man accused of fatally shooting 11-year-old girl’s dog in front of her

The defendant is being charged with first-degree animal cruelty and reckeless endangerment.

Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics
Auburn, Federal Way mayors speak out against multifamily housing bill

Leaders say they don’t need state intervention.

File photo
Non-profit sponsors study on how the pandemic impacted arts and culture in Puget Sound

The study helped identify challenges faced by residents and cultural organizations in Washington

File photo
WA lawmakers propose making companies responsible for recycling improvements

SB 5697 would compel industries to report data, invest in infrastructure, meet standards.

Governor Jay Inslee. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee: Officials’ lies about election results should be crime

Governor wants lawmakers to pass legislation making it a gross misdemeanor.

State Sen. Jesse Salomon
Shoreline senator’s bill would close loophole on police disciplinary actions

Jesse Salomon says Kent Police assistant chief case example of why changes are needed

Most Read