Via KOMO News:

SEATTLE — The city of Seattle has entered into a contract with Andre Taylor, a high-profile civic activist who will become the city’s first “Street Czar,” a role that has come under fire from some in the community.

Under the terms of the year-long contract, the city will pay Taylor and his group, called Not This Time, $150,000 to provide “expertise and support services in de-escalation, community engagement, and alternatives to policing.” The city’s contract was first reported by Publicola.

Taylor said the role will benefit the city and its outreach efforts to the community.

“A street czar is a person who has a particular genius in a particular area,” Taylor told KOMO News on Tuesday. “I know the term ‘street czar’ is quite provocative.”

Taylor said he devised the title by following a practice by former President Barack Obama of designating “czars” to handle a variety of areas of interest while he was in the White House.

“This should be a prominent position because it could help quell some of the incidents that are going on between community and cities,” said Taylor, who came to prominence after his brother, Che Taylor, was shot and killed by Seattle Police Department officers in Wedgewood in 2016.

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