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Guide to the Archives of the City of Seattle
Record Group 5200
The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the City with responsibilities for appointing executive department heads, directing and controlling all subordinate officers and agencies, preparing and executing the City budget, ensuring that the laws of the City are enforced, and maintaining the peace and order in the City. The legal roles and responsibilities of the Mayor are prescribed by the City Charter, state statutes, and municipal ordinances. A candidate for the position must be a citizen of the United States, a qualified elector of the State of Washington, and a registered voter of the City of Seattle at the time of filing his/her declaration of candidacy.
Seattle was incorporated by an act of the Territorial Legislature on December 2, 1869, and the City’s first mayor, Henry A. Atkins, was appointed by the Legislature pending the first City election scheduled for July 1870. The City Charter, granted by the Legislature, set the Mayor’s term of office at one year. Under this first Charter, the Mayor served as ex-officio President of the Common Council. A Charter amendment in 1875 gave the Mayor a vote on Council, but that provision was amended in 1886 to provide for a tie-breaking vote only.
The City's first Freeholders’ Charter (1890) completely separated the Executive and Legislative branches and changed the term of office for the Mayor to two years. Through the first decade of the 20th century, elected offices in Seattle were partisan. A Charter Amendment passed by the voters on March 8, 1910, established non-partisan nominations and elections for all City elective offices. A new Freeholders Charter in 1946 changed the term of the Mayor to four years.
Proceedings of a three member committee hearing protests, claims, and offers regarding adjustments of assessment taxes for local improvements. Includes meeting minutes, resolutions, and determinations.
23 audio recordings of Mayor Uhlman's press conferences, radio appearances, and community meetings. Recordings are indexed in the online Audio Database.
Collection includes images of Mayor Mike McGinn and others at events including: town halls and budget hearings; signing ceremonies for the panhandling ordinance veto and rental inspection resolution; Bike-to-Work Day; South Lake Union trolley announcement; and the City Hall Open House.
Collection also contains photographs of Mayor Greg Nickels and others at events including: signing of the labor union contract with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers; the Mayor’s Scholar Awards program and City of Seattle summer interns; and the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Summit in 2007, which includes images of other mayors and dignitaries from across the United States as well as heads of business who participated in the annual conference.
Also included are images depicting the following events: the swearing-in ceremony of Seattle Police Chief John Diaz; street demonstration protesting the killing of John T. Williams; 2010 Workers Rally March; same-sex marriage ceremonies at City Hall; Seattle Department of Transportation’s “pot-hole rangers” completing street repairs; and Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith’s attendance at the viewing of the “Jade Buddha” at Co Lam Temple.
Messages for the Mayor and Reports of City Officers for the fiscal years ending May 31, 1889 and May 31, 1890 are bound into one volume. The City Officers include: City clerk, Health, City Surveyor, City Attorney, Building Inspector, Chief of Police and Fire Cheif. Included in this volume are comptroller annual reports for the years 1891-1894.
Three additional bound volumes for the years 1891 to 1893 include Mayor's messages and annual report of various city offices including: Comptroller, Finance Committee, Board of Public Works, City Engineer, Superintendent of Water Works, Street Commissioner, Superintendent of Sewers, Superintendent of Buildings, Bridges, and Wharves, Board of Fire Commissioners, Police, Board of Health, Library Commission, Park Commissioners, and Port Warden. Harbor Master, License Inspector and Law Department are included for some years as well.
Newsletters published for city employees. Some contain general news, while others are specific to particular issues such as safety or diversity.
Informational pamphlets, mailings, brochures, and ephemera produced by the Office of the Mayor. Includes material from Wes Uhlman, Charles Royer, Norm Rice, Paul Schell, Greg Nickels, and Mike McGinn.
Correspondence, reports, memos, and other records retained in the Office of the Mayor. Rather than being filed with a particular Mayor's subject correspondence, these records were kept for reference purposes, often into succeeding mayoral administrations. Topics covered include ongoing concerns such as homelessness, neighborhoods, and the arts, as well as specific projects such as the sculpture park and the Seattle Commons. The series includes records documenting the city's involvement with the Seattle Mariners baseball team through the 1980s and 1990s, including issues surrounding the sale of the team in 1992. Also included are records relating to domestic partnerships, housing, Sand Point, transit, Weed and Seed, telecommunications, KeyArena, and the Pang warehouse fire.
Official City of Seattle websites and related social media sites make up the bulk of the collection. Among the seattle.gov pages are numerous city department sites, sites for city services, and sites for Seattle visitors, residents and businesses. Also captured are many city department and elected officials' blogs, Twitter feeds, as well as Flickr and Facebook pages. Other related sites that are included are those for events, partnerships, organizations and projects of which the City of Seattle or one of its departments are involved, such as the Saving Water Partnership and Seattle Streetcar.
Records from the Seattle Mayor's Office mainly from the files of Dorm Braman and Gordon Clinton, but also including material from Floyd Miller's brief term, as well as a small amount from the beginning of Wes Uhlman's time in office. The records reflect a wide variety of issues of public interest in the 1960s. Concerns relating to discrimination, open housing, and civil rights are documented at length. Transportation is another topic covered in depth, including the transit system and METRO, parking issues downtown, I-5, the Lake Washington bridges, I-90, the R.H. Thomson Expressway, and downtown transportation planning. The Century 21 World's Fair in 1962, as well as Seattle Center's transition into a civic campus, is represented as well. The records cover a number of other topics, including urban renewal, environmental issues, civil defense, police actions and complaints, charter amendments, airline service, youth programs, and engineering projects. The files contain a good deal of citizen correspondence reflecting the public's views on a wide variety of issues. There is a small series of other media that includes audio and photographs.
The Advisory Committee was created by City Council Resolution 13527 in April 1943 and originally consisted of the Mayor, City Council President, Chair of the City Council's Streets and Sewers Committee, chair of the Board of Public Works, the City Engineer, chair of the City Planning Commission, and president of the Park Board. Soon thereafter, the size of the Committee was increased by adding three additional City Council members.
The Committee's task was to provide for the preparation plans for a comprehensive series of public works projects and improvements to be undertaken following World War II. Two overriding purposes were to be served by this planning. First, labor shortages and the inability to obtain certain materials during the War meant that civic improvements had to be deferred, thus creating an inventory of much needed work, especially on the City's infrastructure. Second, was the realization that returning military personnel would need work immediately to bridge the gap to normal employment and it was going to take some time for American factories to be reconditioned from war production to peace-time production.
The Committee's final report lists 318 identified projects comprising 11 million worker-hours and an estimated cost of nearly 52 million dollars. The report includes project sheets for each recommendation organized by City agency or function. They include project name, a priority rating, estimated costs, the status of planning for the project, a justification for the proposed project, and various maps and charts related to agency projects.
Proclamations issued by the Mayor honoring individuals or organizations, or declaring the City's support for issues outside the City's governance. Files include supporting materials and correspondence from organizations requesting proclamations.
Braman served on the Seattle City Council from 1954 to 1964, when he was elected Mayor. He remained in this office until 1969 when he resigned to become Assistant Secretary of Urban Systems and Environment in the United States Department of Transportation. During his term as mayor, he oversaw the city's involvement in the federal Model Cities program and the acquisition of Fort Lawton. He supported the Forward Thrust program and advocated for rapid transit. One notable accomplishment during this period of racial tensions was the passage of Seattle's open housing bill in 1968.
Gordon Stanley Clinton defeated incumbent Mayor Allen Pomeroy in a close election in 1956 and subsequently served two terms as Mayor of Seattle, from 1956 to 1964. Upon taking office, Clinton established the Metropolitan Problems Advisory Committee, headed by local community leader John Ellis, to suggest approaches to dealing with chronic local and regional problems. During his administration, Clinton tackled issues as divergent as regional governance, international trade, and discrimination in housing.
Clinton actively supported development of enabling legislation used by the State Legislature to allow creation of regional governments, leading to the formation of the Metropolitan Municipality of Seattle (Metro) in 1958. Clinton also initiated Seattle's sister-city program in 1956, supported the development of the current Seattle Center site for the World's Fair in 1962, and fought illegal gambling in Seattle.
In 1963, Clinton created the 12-member Seattle Human Rights Commission to promote equality and understanding among Seattle residents; the Commission investigated and made recommendations regarding discrimination based on race, religion, and national origin. The Commission was also charged with drafting an open housing ordinance which was referred to the voters in 1964; it was overwhelmingly defeated (the City Council passed an open housing ordinance in 1968).
Correspondence, reports, and studies, financial papers, minutes, speeches, notes and memoranda, newspaper clippings, and ephemera relating to Clinton's term as mayor. Includes departmental files and correspondence with agencies and individuals outside City government. Arranged alphabetically for each year.
Black and white photographs commemorating Mayor Clinton's official visits to Kobe, Japan; Taipei, Republic of China; and Manila, Philippines in November 1959. Included are photographs of tourist activities, ceremonial events, and officials. Images from Kobe include an album documenting Clinton's visit to the Mitsubishi site and shipyard.
Two scrapbooks containing materials relating to Gordon Clinton's mayoral races in 1956 and 1960. Volume 1 contains clippings and advertising about Clinton's opponents in the 1956 election, including William Goodloe, Bob Odman, and incumbent mayor Allan Pomeroy. Includes advertisements, newspaper articles, campaign brochures, and mailings. Appears to have been compiled by the Honig-Cooper advertising firm. Volume 2 is mainly materials from Clinton's 1960 reelection campaign, including fact sheets, mailings, photographs, advertisements, television ad scripts, and newspaper clippings. Also contains some material about opponents Gordon Newell and Bob Odman.
Miller served as Acting Mayor for nine months in 1969 after Dorm Braman went to work for the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC. Miller was City Council President at the time of his appointment. In his brief time as mayor, he oversaw the City's responses to riots in the University District, the murder of civil rights leader Edwin Pratt, and corruption in the Police Department. Miller served until Wes Uhlman took office in December 1969.
William Earl Millikin was elected Mayor at a special election in 1941 to fill the vacancy left when Arthur Langlie became Governor. Millikin served 15 months. His mayoral records are a small portion of a larger collection of personal papers located at the University of Washington.
Correspondence, reports, studies and speeches relating to Millikin's term as Mayor. Subjects include national defense, censorship, wartime housing, shacktowns, and wartime labor relations. There are also records related to the internment of Japanese citizens and aliens during World War II.
Correspondence, reports, and studies relating to Millikin's term as Mayor. Subjects include national defense, censorship, housing, and streets. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Moran served two one-year terms as Mayor of Seattle from 1888-1890. He was Mayor during the Great Fire of 1889.
Mayoral correspondence dealing especially with fire protection services and equipment. Moran was mayor during and immediately after the fire that destroyed Seattle's commercial district in 1889.
Born in Chicago in 1955, Greg Nickels moved to Seattle with his family at the age of six, where he attended Seattle Prep and the University of Washington. He got his first job in city government in the mid-1970s, working as a buyer-trainee in the purchasing department. He was a legislative assistant to City Council member Norm Rice from 1979 until 1987. In that year he was elected to the King County Council and served there until 2001, when he was elected Mayor of Seattle. He served two terms as Mayor but was defeated in the 2009 election. He was perhaps most well known nationally for his environmental advocacy, leading the effort to create the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, in which over 1000 cities pledged to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Kyoto protocols. Nickels was president of the United States Conference of Mayors and also served on the Sound Transit board of directors.
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, and other materials relating to City programs and services during the Nickels administration. Records are arranged by year and then grouped by City function: for example, transportation, public safety, economic development, parks, human services, and so on. Major topics covered include environmental issues, the Alaskan Way Viaduct, public utilities, civil rights, neighborhood issues, and Seattle Public Schools.
Ceremonial documents issued by the Mayor honoring individuals and organizations, and celebrating special events. Records include a copy of the proclamation and information about the honoree or the event being celebrated. Proclamations for June through December of 2008 are missing.
Activity reports sent to the Mayor each week from executive department directors. The reports highlight issues needing attention and document progress on departmental projects and goals. Reports are filed chronologically.
Agendas and background materials for the Mayor's weekly meetings with the executive team, which was made up of City department heads.
Agendas and background materials for the Mayor's regular meetings with his senior staff aides.
Charles served as legal counsel to Mayor Nickels. Her records focus largely on police issues and public safety, including racial profiling, police accountability, urban search and rescue, use of firearms and less lethal weapons, emergency preparedness, and marine fire protection. Other topics covered in the records include the Seattle Municipal Court, homelessness, alcohol impact areas, and children and youth issues.
Norman B. Rice was born in Denver on May 4, 1943. He received his college education at the University of Washington, earning a bachelor's degree in communications and a Masters of Public Administration. Rice holds honorary degrees from Seattle University, the University of Puget Sound, and Whitman College. Before entering City government, he worked as a reporter at KOMO-TV News and KIXI radio, served as Assistant Director of the Seattle Urban League, was Executive Assistant and Director of Government Services for the Puget Sound Council of Governments, and was employed as the Manager of Corporate Contributions and Social Policy at Rainier National Bank.
Beginning in 1978, Rice served eleven years on City Council, including a term as Council President; he also served as chair of the Energy and Finance and Budget Committees. Rice facilitated the development of more equitable cost allocation and rate design procedures for Seattle City Light as part of his work on the Energy Committee; his accomplishments on the Finance and Budget Committee included the passage of the Women and Minority Business Enterprise Ordinance and the elimination of City investments in firms doing business in South Africa. Norm Rice also worked to improve public safety in Seattle and advocated for the use of local funds to improve conditions for disadvantaged Seattle citizens.
Rice was elected mayor of Seattle for the term beginning January 1, 1990, and served two full terms. He was the first African-American mayor in Seattle's history. An important issue in his first mayoral race was mandatory busing of schoolchildren to improve integration in schools; schools and education continued to be an important issue throughout his tenure as mayor, including support for the Families and Education Levy. Downtown revitalization was also a top priority during his tenure as mayor.
Rice ran for mayor a second time in 1993 and was re-elected. He also served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. After leaving office, Rice served as President and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle from 1998 to 2004; he then became vice-chair of Capital Access, LLC, and a visiting professor at the University of Washington.
Records include correspondence, memoranda, reports, studies, and briefing materials to and from City agencies regarding the full range of municipal government activities during Rice's terms as mayor. Topics include municipal facilities, arts and culture, planning, budget and financial issues, and schools and education, among others. Records are arranged chronologically and then by major departments within City government. Constituent correspondence is included in this record series.
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, studies, and other materials to and from non-city government agencies, businesses, associations, and the general public. Includes records about King County, state and federal government agencies, public development authorities, Metro, and boards and commissions, as well as constituent correspondence. Topics include the Seattle Mariners, sister cities, the Pang warehouse fire, the 1990 education summit, Pike Place Market, the Seattle Jobs Initiative, affirmative action, and regional transit.
Appointment calendars documenting meetings and events during Rice's tenure as mayor. Also includes one appointment book from 1978.
Activity reports filed with the Mayor each week by Executive Department directors and superintendents. The reports include items needing the attention of the Mayor, and progress reports on departmental and mayoral work program goals. The records are useful in establishing a chronology of departmental activities and for identifying high profile news events involving City agencies. The reports are arranged chronologically and then by City department. Reports exist only for the first two years of Rice's terms as mayor.
Ceremonial documents issued by the Mayor honoring individuals or organizations, or declaring the City's support for issues outside the City's governance. Records are arranged chronologically and without an index.
Talking points and speeches of Mayor Norm Rice. Speeches given at events and organizations such as Martin Luther King Memorial Service, United Way, National Association of Women in Construction, Earth Day, Red Cross, Chamber of Commerce, arts groups, meetings, ceremonial events and commencements on topics such as volunteerism, regional cooperation, social services, education, and the environment.
Photographs, primarily informal, of Norman Rice's tenure as Seattle mayor and some from his years as Councilmember and before. Most are color photographs, but some black and white photographs are also included. Represented in the images are campaigns, city events, political events, meetings and conferences (including the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Black Bar Association Conference), visits to Seattle by dignitaries and celebrities, and sister city events and travel. Events pictured include groundbreaking ceremonies, fundraisers, receptions, dedications, award ceremonies, announcements and proclamations, banquets, parades, marches, and celebrations, including the Chinese New Year. Rosa Parks, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, the Reverend Billy Graham, Muhammad Ali, Dionne Warwick, and B.B. King are among the visiting political figures, religious leaders, and celebrities pictured in the collection. Portraits of Rice and family photographs are also included. Negatives are included with some color snapshots. A few images are scanned and available in the Photograph Index.
Records from Rice's city council races in 1978, 1979, and 1983 and his mayoral runs in 1989 and 1993. The series also includes materials from his 1985 mayoral bid, his 1988 congressional race, and his 1996 gubernatorial race, all unsuccessful. Records include campaign flyers, news clippings, briefing books, invitations, debate preparation materials, and calendars.
Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and other items collected by Mayor Rice. Articles cover the Mayor and his wife, Seattle events and issues, and other topics of interest to the Mayor.
Born in 1939 in Medford, Oregon, Charles Royer briefly attended Portland State University before being drafted by the Army in 1961. Upon being discharged from the military, he went to the University of Oregon and studied journalism. He worked as a news reporter for television stations in Eugene, Portland, and Seattle for about ten years before running for Seattle mayor in 1977. He won election, taking office in 1978 and serving three terms before stepping down at the end of 1989. Major issues Royer worked on during his tenure included public housing, the downtown bus tunnel, pollution, the High Ross Dam, the convention center, downtown development, and public health. He served as president of the National League of Cities in the early 1980s. After leaving office, Royer was the director of the John F. Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics at Harvard for five years before returning to Seattle to work for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Urban Health Initiative. He later founded the nonprofit Institute for Community Change and worked as a consultant.
Correspondence with city departments regarding departmental activities and programs. Records document ongoing operations as well as specific issues and events. A large portion of the records relate to the Department of Community Development and document the city's work on urban renewal, housing, neighborhood improvement, and historic preservation. Records relating to City Light deal with issues ranging from nuclear power to rates to discrimination against female and minority employees. Department of Construction and Land Use records cover zoning, permits, and displacement. Fort Lawton, the aquarium, and the zoo are all addressed in correspondence from the Parks Department. Other departments heavily represented in the records include Engineering, Police, Human Resources (social services), Personnel, and the Office of Management and Budget. Arranged alphabetically for each year.
Correspondence, reports, and other records related to the issues, programs, and organizations that were part of the work of the Mayor's Office during Royer's tenure. Major topics covered include downtown issues, housing, the arts, community councils, transportation, KidsPlace, environmental issues, sports, Interstate 90, Metro, gay and minority issues, Pioneer Square, schools, and boards and commissions. Arranged alphabetically by subject for each year.
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, copies of legislation, and City Attorney opinions relating to City-involved litigation, ordinances and codes, and subjects of a legal nature. Also included are some records from Mayor Wes Uhlman's legal staff. Primarily the records of Hugh Spitzer. Topics covered include personnel issues, Westlake Mall, Interstate 90, police intelligence, affirmative action, gay issues, and condo conversions.
Proclamations, vetoes, directives, executive orders, and other official messages of Mayor Royer.
Weekly program and project progress and activity reports to the mayor from executive department heads. The reports highlight issues needing attention and document progress on departmental projects and goals.
Correspondence, newspaper clippings, notes, and reports of Mayor Royer's public information staff. Records cover topics including budgets, housing, the West Seattle Bridge, police, and transit.
Correspondence, resumes, and evaluations of individuals interviewed for department director positions.
Speeches delivered to local, regional, national, and international conferences, seminars, colloquia, and special meetings. Series consists primarily of speeches given between 1978 and 1982; also includes budget messages and State of the City speeches from 1978 to 1990.
Records of deputy mayor Bob Royer. Correspondence, memoranda, and reports on issues including transportation, housing, and energy and regional power issues. Arranged alphabetically.
Records of deputy mayor Carol Lewis, including correspondence, memoranda, and reports relating especially to housing, land use, and downtown development.
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, and studies relating primarily to land use and transportation issues and planning for Seattle Center development.
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, and studies relating primarily to health and human services issues, especially public health concerns and homelessness.
Correspondence, memoranda, and reports relating to human services issues including welfare reform, youth services, the homeless, and alcoholism and drug abuse.
Correspondence, memoranda, reports and studies relating primarily to Seattle Public Schools, the International District, and housing and neighborhood development issues.
Press releases from Mayor Royer's communications staff concerning issues, events, and other items related to City business.
Transition document prepared by the outgoing Mayor's staff for the new administration. It contains a comprehensive snapshot of city government including an overview of the city's organizational structure, significant transition issues, administrative procedures, a review of city-wide financial procedures, a listing of appointments that fall to the mayor, and an overview of the operation of the Executive Department. It provides a comprehensive snapshot (in 1989) of City government organization and issues.
Students at Stevens Elementary prepared this book for a project about waterfront planning, apparently in conjunction with the Mayor's Office and the Office of Policy and Evaluation. The book identifies problems with the waterfront's streets, services, and recreational opportunities, and outlines the students' ideas for solving those problems. Students' color drawings appear throughout to illustrate their plans.
Paul Schell was elected Seattle's 50th mayor for the term beginning January 1, 1998. He subsequently was defeated in the primary election in a run for a second term. Schell received a law degree from Columbia University in 1963 and moved to Seattle in 1967. He served as the director of the City's Department of Community Development (1975-1977) before establishing a private development company. He entered the political arena in 1989 when he was elected to the Port of Seattle Commission. From 1992-1995 he was Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Washington.
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, and notes related to all City functions during Mayor Paul Schell's administration. Records are organized by City agency responsible for the specific issue addressed in the correspondence. Major topics covered in the materials include transportation, public safety, education, housing and human services, utilities, economic development, the arts, parks, and neighborhoods.
Schell Mail was an email newsletter sent out by the mayor discussing city programs and current issues. It did not have a regular publication schedule but usually went out about two or three times a month. Records consist of the newsletters plus replies from constituents about issues discussed in the publication. Records are arranged chronologically.
Activity reports sent to the Mayor by executive department directors each week during 2001. The reports highlight issues needing attention and document progress on departmental projects and goals. Reports are arranged by department.
Ceremonial documents issued by the Mayor honoring individuals and organizations, and celebrating special events. Records include a copy of the proclamation and information about the honoree or the event being celebrated.
Records relating to the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting and demonstrations, including reports created after the fact to determine lessons learned. Materials created before and during the conference include planning documents and status reports, emergency orders, information about press conferences and media contacts, and staffing schedules. Post-meeting records cover legal proceedings, chronologies, public disclosure of records, and the work of various review panels. Additional materials relating to WTO can be found in the WTO Accountability Review Committee Document Catalog (record series 1802-K1), as well as various City Council records.
Records created and collected by Mayor's Office staff relating to the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting and demonstrations. This set of records was compiled for public disclosure requests filed after the fact. Includes memos, correspondence, news clippings, and other types of materials relating to planning the conference and the city's response to the demonstrations. Some office-wide files are arranged by type (weekly reports, emergency orders, etc.), but most of the records are arranged by the staff member who compiled them.
Emails and letters sent by citizens to the Mayor during and after the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting and demonstrations. Dating from November 28 through December 29, 1999, the correspondence expressed both support and condemnation of the Mayor's and Police Department's actions. Seattle residents as well as national and international correspondents are represented. Series also includes some transcribed phone messages.
Videotapes of press conferences held by Mayor Schell regarding the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting and demonstrations in 1999. The ten VHS tapes date from November 1998 to July 2000, and are cataloged separately in the motion picture database.
Wes Uhlman was born in 1935 in Cashmere, Washington. He attended Aberdeen High School, Seattle Pacific College, and the University of Washington, where he served as president of the Young Democrats. He married a classmate, Leila Hammond, and returned to UW for law school in 1956.
In 1958, as a 23-year-old law student, he defeated incumbent Republican Hartney Oakes to represent the 32nd district in the Washington State House of Representatives, becoming the youngest member of the State Legislature. He served four terms before running for, and winning, a seat in the Washington State Senate.
Uhlman was elected Mayor in 1969, the youngest chief executive in Seattle's history and the first Democrat in almost 30 years. He was immediately faced with a host of problems ranging from racial tensions and large anti-war demonstrations to a police scandal and an economic downturn. He responded by overhauling the city bureaucracy, encouraging increased citizen participation in government, and expanding social services. He was a strong believer in affirmative action, and the percentage of City workers who were minorities doubled during his time in office.
He left the mayor's office in 1977 after serving two terms that included an unsuccessful run for governor in 1976. After his political career, he worked in law and real estate development.
Correspondence with city departments regarding ongoing operations as well as specific issues and events. The largest section of records covers the Executive Department, which includes the office and activities of the Mayor as well as subsidiary agencies like the Citizens Service Bureau, the Office of Policy Planning, and the Office of Management and Budget. Mayoral staffers' files are also included. Records relating to the Department of Community Development go into detail about the city's neighborhood improvement and urban renewal projects, including the Westlake and Yesler-Atlantic projects, as well as the plan to redevelop Pike Place Market. Materials from the Lighting Department cover issues including Ross Dam and labor strikes. Police Department files include citizen complaints as well as discussions of gambling and hollow point bullets. Other departments heavily represented in the records include Engineering, Legislative (City Council), Human Resources (social services), and Personnel.
See also 5210-01
Correspondence, reports, and other records related to the issues, programs, and organizations that were part of the work of the Mayor's Office during Uhlman's tenure. Topics range in scale from large transportation projects and the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial to individual parks and fire stations. The records include correspondence with and about local organizations, boards and commissions, and other governmental entities. The records also include routine mayoral correspondence such as thank you letters, congratulations, responses to invitations, condolences, and letters of introduction. The emergence of a number of issues and movements can be traced in these records, including the creation of environmental policy and the codification of historic preservation in the city. Civil rights and related issues are documented in records relating to demonstrations, affirmative action, redlining, school desegregation, the Black Panthers, and the city's first Gay Pride proclamation. Transportation projects are detailed in files about Interstate 90, rapid transit, and freeway projects, and records about Fort Lawton, Sand Point, and the Kingdome relate to major land use issues of the day. Other topics represented in this series include Forward Thrust, drug abuse, housing, city charter amendments, the Burke-Gilman Trail, major league baseball, the municipal building, neighborhood issues, Seafair, sister cities, and the city's animal shelter.
See also 5210-01
Series contains correspondence with individuals and institutions, filed by letter. Many of these are from citizens who wrote to the mayor about a particular issue of concern to them. Other miscellaneous correspondence, sorted by year, is also included.
Ceremonial documents issued by the Mayor honoring individuals and organizations, and celebrating special events. Records include a copy of the proclamation and, in some cases, information about the honoree or the event being celebrated. Proclamations exist for 1969-1970 and 1976-1977. The earliest proclamations are arranged alphabetically, while those from 1976 and 1977 are filed in rough chronological order.
Harry White was born in Iowa in 1859, and in 1887 came to Seattle, where he invested in real estate. As a City Council member, he advocated for city ownership of utilities: this became an important issue in the mayoral election of 1890. White, a Republican, was elected to the office of Mayor in August of 1890 and served an abbreviated term until October of that year, when Seattle's first home rule City Charter was adopted. He subsequently was elected under the new Freeholders' Charter. The new charter also allowed for city ownership of water utilities, and Seattle was able to purchase the privately owned water systems. Other important issues in White's short term of office were the organization of the police and fire departments, the library, and Seattle's parks system. White resigned due to illness on November 30, 1891, and George Hall was appointed by the City Council to fill the remainder of his term.
Includes annual message on the state of the City, vetoes, proposed Charter amendments, and various communications to City Council.