Politics of Seattle, Washington


Spending in 2014
Goal Money (in millions) Percentage
Facilities and transport $ 2.536,5 58 %
Administration $ 618,4 14 %
Funds and other $ 55,6 1 %
Art, culture and recreation $ 291,5 7 %
care and people $ 158,9 5 %
Neighborhoods and development $ 147,0 3 %
Safety $ 577,1 13 %

Seattle City Hall

According to itypejob, Seattle’s government is divided into four branches of power. These are the mayor, the city council, the court and the attorney general. The board is responsible for road maintenance, street lamps, safety and parks, among other things. Seattle has had a body of government since December 2, 1868. This body of government was appointed by the then Washington State Legislature. The Seattle board has more than 10,000 employees and a 2014 budget of $4.4 billion. The pie chart below shows 2014 spending.


In Seattle, elections are held every two years. These elections always take place in November of an odd year. There are two types of elections, namely an election in which five municipal councilors are elected and an election in which four municipal councilors, the mayor and the attorney general, are elected. A total of 29 elections have been held in Seattle.


The mayor of Seattle has executive power. The current mayor of Seattle is Democrat Ed Murray. He has been mayor since 2014, winning by 100,017 votes over then-incumbent Mayor Michael McGinn, who secured 90,454 votes. Its first mayor was Henry Atkins, who was appointed mayor on December 2, 1869, by the then Washington State Legislature.

City Council

The city council has the legislative power and is made up of nine city councillors, including one leader. The current City Council leader is Sally Clark. The first city council was appointed by the then Washington state legislature on December 2, 1869. At that time, the city council consisted of seven members.


The court of Seattle is the Seattle District Court and has the judiciary. The court has seven judges, who are elected every four years, and six magistrates, who are appointed. The court only hears minor cases and cannot give a prison sentence of more than one year or a fine of more than $5,000.

Attorney General

The current Attorney General is Peter Holmes. The first Attorney General was Cornelius H. Hanford, who was elected in the municipal elections. His term began on August 3, 1884.

District Council

Each city district in Seattle has its own neighborhood council. A ward council discusses solutions to minor problems, among other things. These neighborhood councils have been in existence since October 1987, when the city council passed a resolution that each city district would have its own neighborhood council to help Seattle residents get more involved in politics.



The Seattle flag was designed by City Councilman Paul Kraabel and was adopted by the City Council as the official Seattle flag on July 16, 1990. The flag bears an image of Chief Seattle ‘s chief and above it reads “City of Goodwill”. This is English for “city of good will”. Under Chief Seattle is “Seattle”. The flag also features wavy white lines. These symbolize the waves of the Puget Sound.


Seal of Seattle

The Seattle Seal was adopted as the official seal of Seattle in 1937 and was designed by James A. Wehn. The seal shows the head of Chief Seattle. Around his head are “City of Seattle” and “1869”, the year Seattle got its own government. Around this is again “Corporate Seal of the”, which means “corporate seal of”. At the bottom of the stamp are two cones and two salmons next to it.


Seattle has two city mottos. The first was adopted as the official motto in 1937. This motto is The City of Flowers, which is English for the city of flowers. The second motto was adopted by the city council on July 16, 1990. This motto is The City of Goodwill, literally this stands for benevolence, but which equates to the city that does good. This latter motto was adopted before the Goodwill Games were held in Seattle that same year.


In May 1909, Arthur O. Dillon proposed that his song, “Seattle the Peerless City,” be adopted as the official song of Seattle. This song was also eventually adopted by the city council as the official song of Seattle.

Other symbols

In addition to a flag, seal, motto and song, Seattle also has an official flower and an official bird. The official flower, the dahlia, was adopted on November 19, 1913. The official bird, the American Blue Heron, was adopted by the City Council on March 17, 2003. The official bird was chosen after an election organized by the Seattle Audubon Society. Voting could take place in nature centers, parks and schools. The American blue heron eventually won against its greatest rival, the crow.

Politics of Seattle, Washington

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