Dear District 7,
It is truly an honor to be the first Councilmember to represent you, Seattle’s newly formed District 7. Thank you voters in Queen Anne, Magnolia, Uptown, Belltown, Downtown, South Lake Union and Pioneer Square for your votes. You have a strong voice in City Hall.
Every day I appreciate our city’s beauty and am delighted with its growth and accomplishments. With this growth come challenges we all experience every day. I commit to addressing these issues with you this year. Further, I look forward to working with you, my colleagues, and the Mayor to promote what I see as Seattle’s growing values: a city where every one of us can live and thrive in a healthy and safe neighborhood, and irrespective of income, gender, religion or race, we are embraced for our strengths and can learn, grow, and succeed.
As we embark on our first year with Councilmembers elected by district, I will be a champion for our District 7. I will facilitate direct and open communications between neighbors, neighborhoods, businesses and organizations large and small and my office. My fabulous legislative aides, Alberta Bleck, Alyson McLean, Lily Rehrmann and I welcome your calls and will regularly be in your neighborhoods.
District 7 encompasses many distinct parts of Seattle, both urban and residential. Each must be nurtured and respected. I will foster our potential and advocate for our distinct neighborhoods’ needs as your District 7 representative.
I am proud of the steps we have taken as a City to make Seattle stronger in recent years, including paid sick leave, a healthy parks system, $15 minimum wage, Universal Pre-K, and improved transit options as starting points. In 2016 we have more to do. As chair of the Council’s new Human Services and Public Health Committee, my goals include the following five priorities:
- Stand up for the Vulnerable: We will add shelter for those most in need by expanding indoor facilities such as the Queen Anne Shelter in Uptown. We will leverage public health and housing funds for vulnerable populations and learn best practices from programs like King County’s Familiar Faces; we will work to put roofs over the heads of at least 1000 more people seeking shelter county-wide; we will target services for our neighbors living on the streets and in encampments so they can move up and on with their lives; and we will create systems to respond more quickly to neighborhoods’ requests for assistance where needed.
- Expand Family Leave: We will support Seattle families so they can thrive. By working with our Human Resources Department as well as labor, business and education leaders, we will work to create and fund a portable, family leave model not just for City of Seattle workers, but also for all workers in our City.
- Move Seattle Safely: We will create a safer, connected transportation system by improving pedestrian connections for schools and seniors, prioritizing signals so cars, buses and freight can move more smoothly, and add more protected bike lanes on designated streets to ensure riders commute safely. Additionally, I am committed to mitigating traffic impacts on key corridors including Mercer Street, Second and Fourth Avenues and Elliott Way. We budgeted funds to do this work; we need to get it done.
- Grow our Parks System: We will continue to make our parks and community centers clean and welcoming for all users, and support planned redesign and activation of parks including Smith Cove, Victor Steinbrueck Park, Westlake and our fabulous Waterfront.
- Promote Gun Responsibility: We must make our children, communities, and all who live, work and visit our city safer by coordinating our gun responsibility policies. I will work with our King County Prosecuting Attorney and City Attorney to assure every court and police department is in sync with the firearm surrender procedure authorized two years ago by the legislature in HB 1840. I will also promote local strategies for our police and King County Sheriff and invite other Puget Sound cities to link our purchasing power to required changes by the gun manufacturers who sell to law enforcement. I will also work with our legislature to invest in the promotion of user authentication technology, and require lock boxes for guns in all homes.
- Increase Housing Opportunities: Everyone deserves to be able to afford to live near where they work. I will work to increase housing opportunities by requiring affordable housing in new construction, preserving existing housing through new programs to safely support unreinforced masonry buildings and passing our housing levy this year. Few cities do as much as Seattle; as we continue to grow we need to do more.
- Strengthen our Racial and Economic Equity Lens: I am angered that inequities continue to exist every day in our City and I will work to improve the lives of all who live and work here. I commit to implementing the Race and Social Justice policies for all our efforts in City Hall, for those in our schools, for those who are trying to find housing and work here. Indeed, fairness and the pursuit of justice for all will be a baseline for my next four years.
As Chair of the Human Services and Public Health Committee, I am excited to collaborate with the Seattle Human Services Department and King County Public Health to implement strategies to care for our communities most vulnerable. In my first 100 days chairing the committee we will explore:
- Are the City’s programs meeting the needs of people who are homeless?
- Do we have a coherent and practical communication system with those who are homeless, our service providers and our neighborhood residents and businesses?
- Do we treat every person with respect?
- Are we making progress toward our goals?
Most importantly, we will listen and take action together. I invite you and other interested community members to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206 684 8801. I will schedule gatherings and meet you in Magnolia, Queen Anne, Uptown, Belltown, and other neighborhoods to witness and experience what you see every day.
I look forward to working with you as we move forward in making District 7, and Seattle, the best it can be; compassionate, safe and equitable.