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Bruce’s City Council Record

Innovative Solutions and Getting Things Done – Select Accomplishments:

Public Safety & Police Accountability

  • Bias-Free Policing: In 2017, Bruce drafted Seattle’s first “Bias Free” policing law, creating a private right of action for persons alleging to be a victim of racist or biased policing; required the City of Seattle to collect specific data regarding “Terry” stops and traffic stops in order to evaluate the issues of racial profiling; and required SPD to undergo specific training on Bias Free policing.
  • Improving Neighborhood Safety: With Bruce chairing the Public Safety Committee, Seattle hired the most officers in Seattle’s history and major crimes were down 25% in Southeast Seattle from the previous year. His plan included hiring officers who were culturally competent and who knew the communities they were serving. He also led efforts to direct more resources to community-based policing and alternatives to incarceration such as social services and drug and alcohol treatment.
  • Police Body Cameras: Bruce was the first Seattle leader to call for use of body-cameras, leading to early adoption by SPD and prompting state legislation to expand their use.
  • Neighborhood Policing Plans: Bruce directed the Seattle Police department to create micro community policing plans specifically designed for each neighborhood in Seattle.
  • LEAD Program: Funded $1.1 million to expand the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program throughout downtown, and created a new Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) to tackle street crime and disorder.
  • Gun Safety: Assembled framework for common sense gun safety laws the City and State could enact. Lobbied the State Legislature to modify RCW 9.41.290, which prevents Seattle from passing meaningful gun safety laws in any meaningful way.
  • Police Chief Search:  In 2014, Bruce served on the Seattle Mayor’s Police Chief Search Committee, a nationwide search. He sponsored Chief Kathleen O’Toole’s confirmation for Seattle Chief of Police, who become the city’s first female police chief. Bruce later voted in support of Chief Carmen Best, who would become the first permanent African-American Chief in the Department’s history.


Workers and Civil Rights

  • Minimum Wage: Bruce was a key member of Seattle’s Inequality Advisory Committee to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. In public testimony, former MLK Labor Council leader David Freiboth called Bruce “one of the unsung key people in the minimum wage campaign.” 
  • Job Assistance: Bruce was the sole sponsor of the Job Assistance Bill also known as “Banning the Box”, reducing employment barriers to those who repaid their debt to society. Passage in Seattle led to statewide adoption of this important restorative policy. 
  • Race and Social Justice Initiative: Bruce championed Race and Social Justice legislation, requiring the City to implement an equity analysis on every major policy decision or executive action taken; ensuring that the voices and positions of underrepresented groups are heard before adoption of the decision. This law has now become a standard practice in how the City of Seattle conducts business and a process other cities have adopted to address institutional racism.  
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day: In 2014, Bruce was the first sponsor of the legislation to create Indigenous Peoples’ Day, celebrating the region and nation’s Native American people, culture, and history.
  • Human Rights City: Bruce sponsored legislation declaring Seattle a Human Rights City under the Declaration of Human Rights in 2012. This became the policy framework for the City of Seattle to base its legislative policies requiring a human rights perspective in its policy and investment decisions.



  • Helping Students Go To College: Later expanded as the “Seattle Promise”, Bruce was the first elected official to propose and establish a City partnership with South Seattle College to allow graduating seniors to attend tuition free. 
  • Internet Access for Students: Bruce championed the Great Student Initiative to provide 20,000 Seattle Public School students access to computers and high speed Internet access for less than $10/month, along with a $150 netbook computer and free computer training. 


Governance & Finance

  • Lowest Power Rates: As chair of City Light, Bruce achieved the lowest power rates amongst the country’s 24 largest cities, and established a $100 million dollar rainy day fund to protect ratepayers from the volatility of the wholesale market. 
  • Saving Energy: Converted 41,000 streetlights to money and energy saving LED bulbs, using nearly 60 percent less electricity.
  • Protecting the Public’s Privacy: Launched the Digital Privacy Initiative, one of the country’s first, to provide greater transparency into how Seattle uses and treats data when it collects personal information. 


Transportation Investments

  • Prioritizing Federal Investments: As a member of the Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Policy Board, Bruce fought for Seattle to receive over $32.5 million in federal road funds, and $14 million to support transit station pedestrian improvements, transit speed and corridor improvements.
  • Expanding Free Transit: Supported expanding the ORCA Opportunity Program, providing free transit passes to 1,500 low-income Seattle residents. Bruce also allocated $1 million to provide ORCA cards to low-income students in Seattle Public Schools.
  • Expanding Seattle Transit Options: Bruce helped build programs and place before voters a successful $60 vehicle license fee and 0.1% sales tax increase to increase citywide Metro service and expand access to service for low-income riders.