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Explore City Budgeting: Understanding the Financial Process

Message from Director Mohamed
Since the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) was created in 2012, we’ve aimed to strengthen Seattle’s immigrant and refugee communities by engaging them in decisions about Seattle’s future and by improving the City’s programs and services to meet the needs of all constituents.

I am honored to work with an amazing team of program leaders, policy analysts, and inspired advocates all committed to improving the lives of our diverse and powerful immigrant and refugee communities and helping to create a Welcoming City.

We’ll be updating our Welcoming Seattle blog more regularly about our programs and projects, how our partners are helping us serve the community, and by sharing opportunities to attend events. You can also sign up for our email list or engage with OIRA on Facebook and Twitter.

Director Hamdi Mohamed

Understanding the Financial Process

Author: Rodha Sheikh

One of the most important activities your City government undertakes is creating and passing a budget to fund a variety of public services and projects, including utilities, transportation, affordable housing, public safety, education, human services, arts and culture, and more.

The 2024 proposed $7.8 billion budget is composed of an operating budget, covering an array of day-to-day City services, and the capital improvement program budget which consists of spending on infrastructure and other capital projects.

The City government tracks the details of budget proposals and negotiations and hosts a hearing for public input. Everyone in Seattle, regardless of citizenship status or language spoken, can join the conversation – after all, it’s your city.

What’s the Process and Timeline?

In September, Mayor Bruce Harrell submitted a proposed budget to the City Council which then spent a lot of time discussing and voting on various budget amendments. The Council will continue crafting and balancing the budget up until November 21 when they adopt a final budget and return it to the Mayor for his approval. If you’re interested in finding out more about the budget process and timeline, see this helpful outline.

How can the Community Get Engaged?

Share your budget priorities in writing at any time before November 21. You can do this by writing an email to send to your Councilmember or email all nine Councilmembers at