Seattle is a charter city, with a mayor–council form of government. From 1911 to 2013, Seattle's nine city councillors were elected at large, rather than by geographic subdivisions. For the 2015 election, this changed to a hybrid system of seven district members and two at-large members as a result of a ballot measure passed on November 5, 2013. All city offices are officially non-partisan.
The Seattle City Council Finance and Housing Committee provides policy direction and oversight on legislative matters relating to:
- the financial management and policies of the City and its agents, including the operating and capital budgets, levies, taxes, revenue, audits, and judgments and claims against the City;
- oversight of the City’s public works construction projects except as otherwise specified;
- the City Employees’ Retirement System;
- the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, including the Seattle Animal Shelter, the City’s fleets and facilities, the Customer Service Bureau, and other administrative functions;
- housing policies and programs, including the Office of Housing, investing and promoting the development and preservation of affordable housing for workers, families, and retirees