Seattle Mayor Prepares to Veto Noise Ordinance

Anitra Freeman (
Sun, 17 Oct 1999 19:01:56 -0700 (PDT)

A letter from Seattle Mayor Paul Schell to a local activist:

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 14:30:35 -0700
From: Mayors Office <>
Subject: Re: Noise Ordinance

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts about proposed
revisions to the City's Noise Ordinance.

I have received many letters and e-mails expressing interest in
revisions to the Noise Control Ordinance.  I strongly believe in the
need for continued noise control regulation.  I introduced the original
revisions to the Noise Control Ordinance earlier this year.  Since then,
however, the City Council has made several significant changes, most of
which occurred Monday, October 11 at the full Council meeting.

In an effort to make my concerns clear about their proposed changes, I
sent the Council a letter on Monday outlining two major concerns:  1)
their attempts to restrict how, when, and where lawful picketing,
marches, and rallies can occur; and 2) the lack of a first warning for
commercial establishments.  After finding that the Council had addressed
neither of these concerns fully, I am prepared to veto the ordinance.

As Seattle grows, we must be very careful to ensure our city remains a
livable oneŻdespite the increased density and its concomitant issues,
such as noise.

But to be a livable city also means people must be free to express their
opinions.  In a city preparing for a major international summit on
issues about which opinions vary significantly, we must not squelch
opportunities for civil expression.

Similarly, in a city where music has helped to define us, and has
contributed so much to our cultural landscape, we must ensure that it
continues to thrive as an art form.  The Council's ordinance will give
music venues and other commercial establishments no warnings if they
exceed noise levels.  This is not acceptable.

I am awaiting a letter from Council with proposed changes to the
ordinance they passed this week.  If they are unable to find suitable
language to address these concerns, I am prepared to veto the

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

Very truly yours,

Paul Schell
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