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Record No: Res 31946    Version: Council Bill No:
Type: Resolution (Res) Status: Adopted
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 5/18/2020
Ordinance No:
Title: A RESOLUTION related to the response to the Covid-19 public health emergency; requesting that Governor Inslee create a "Washington Worker Relief Fund" to provide economic assistance to undocumented Washingtonians during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sponsors: M. Lorena González , Teresa Mosqueda
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. Proposed Amendment 1 (added; 5/18/20)

CITY OF SEATTLE

RESOLUTION __________________

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A RESOLUTION related to the response to the Covid-19 public health emergency; requesting that Governor Inslee create a "Washington Worker Relief Fund" to provide economic assistance to undocumented Washingtonians during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee declared a statewide state of emergency in response to outbreaks of the COVID-19 disease in Washington State; and

WHEREAS, in response to outbreaks of the COVID-19 disease in Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan proclaimed a civil emergency exists in Seattle in the Mayoral Proclamation of Civil Emergency dated March 3, 2020, as modified by Resolution 31937; and

WHEREAS, on March 23, 2020, the Governor issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, which, combined with other measures taken to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, effectively closed many businesses in Washington; and

WHEREAS, on April 2, 2020, the Governor extended the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order through May 4, 2020; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic and the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order have led to a severe disruption of Washington’s economy; and

WHEREAS, from March 7 to May 2, 2020, a total of 1,428,775 initial claims for unemployment were filed and a total of 810,538 distinct individuals filed for unemployment benefits; and

WHEREAS, undocumented workers are not eligible for unemployment insurance, even though many undocumented workers pay payroll taxes that fund Washington’s unemployment insurance system; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has provided over $2 trillion dollars toward COVID-19 relief funds; and

WHEREAS, undocumented workers are not eligible for federal COVID-19 relief funds; and

WHEREAS, according to the American Immigration Council, over 250,000 undocumented immigrants live in Washington and undocumented workers comprise five percent of the state’s labor force; and

WHEREAS, according to the American Immigration Council, over 130,326 children in Washington are U.S. citizens living with at least one undocumented family member; and

WHEREAS, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants in Washington paid an estimated $316.6 million in state and local taxes in 2014; and

WHEREAS, many undocumented workers are denied their right to state-mandated paid sick leave; and

WHEREAS, undocumented workers are particularly vulnerable to violations of their rights at work, and without a viable safety net they may be forced to work without personal protective equipment (PPE), forced to work despite feeling ill, or be afraid to report working conditions that violate the stay-home orders; and

WHEREAS, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and many Medicaid programs and therefore must pay for medical care out of pocket; and

WHEREAS, as an integral and valued part of our community, undocumented persons must be supported through the health and economic crisis created by COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, over 400 organizations have signed a coalition letter demanding the creation of a Washington Worker Relief Fund; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, THE MAYOR CONCURRING, THAT:

Section 1. The City Council finds and declares that:

A. On February 29, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed a State of Emergency for all counties throughout Washington State as a result of the confirmed person-to-person spread of COVID-19 in Washington.

B. The COVID-19 disease, caused by a virus that spreads easily from person to person and which may cause serious injury and death, has spread throughout King County and Seattle.

C. On March 3, 2020, Mayor Durkan issued a Proclamation of Civil Emergency declaring a civil emergency within Seattle based on the confirmed spread of COVID-19 in King County and resulting deaths.

D. In recognition of the danger that hospitals may become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients unless the spread of the disease is slowed, on March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee imposed a stay-home order throughout Washington, prohibiting all people in the State from leaving their homes or participating in gatherings with only limited exceptions for participating in essential activities or essential business services. The order is currently in effect through May 4, 2020.

E. The Governor’s Proclamation 20-28 prohibits agencies from taking action (as defined in RCW 42.30.020), unless the matter is (1) necessary and routine; or (2) necessary to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

F. This legislation is necessary to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency because this legislation urges the governor to provide economic relief to those impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and who cannot access many of the existing COVID-19 relief funds.

Section 2. The Seattle City Council urges Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature to:

A. Create a “Washington Worker Relief Fund” with an initial allocation of at least $100 million, to be administered by community-based organizations to provide emergency economic assistance to undocumented Washingtonians during the COVID-19 pandemic; and,

B. Work to create a system that will provide wage replacement protection to workers who lose their jobs and are excluded from the current unemployment insurance system, including undocumented immigrants, to protect public health and support workers and their families during Washington’s economic recovery.

Section 3. The City Council requests that the Office of Intergovernmental Relations deliver copies of this resolution, upon adoption, to Governor Jay Inslee and caucus leadership.

Adopted by the City Council the ________ day of _________________________, 2020, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its adoption this ________ day of _________________________, 2020.

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President ____________ of the City Council

The Mayor concurred the ________ day of _________________________, 2020.

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Jenny A. Durkan, Mayor

Filed by me this ________ day of _________________________, 2020.

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Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk

(Seal)