Point of View
As a subscriber to my Point of View newsletter, I thought that you would be interested in learning about the 2008 Budget that was passed unanimously on Monday by the City Council. I received many messages during the budget process and wanted to respond with the most current information possible and to share my priorities and thinking on the budget.
The City has a biennial budget schedule. Our 2007-2008 budget was adopted in the fall of 2006. The budget was based upon the best information available last year. This fall the Council reviewed the $900,000,000 2008 budget and the changes proposed to it by the Mayor.
The Council made a number of significant changes to the 2008 budget because revenue projections are higher than anticipated earlier in the year and we did not support some of the Mayor’s recommendations.
My goals were to increase funding for human services and housing programs and to support parks programs for people with disabilities and for children. The following is a brief description of the programs and services which I was able to have successfully funded for next year.
Specialized Parks Programs – Added $100,000 for programs for children and adults with special needs in Southeast and Southwest Seattle. Other neighborhoods already have such programs.
Senior Centers – Increased funding by $200,000.
HIV Prevention – Added $150,000 for increased HIV/AIDS prevention and testing services.
Dental Clinics - Added $1,000,000 for the expansion of dental services to primarily minority, low-income residents in the International District and Southeast Seattle.
Rental Assistance – Added $350,000 for emergency rental assistance and homeless prevention to include renters being evicted due to the conversion of their apartments to condominiums.
Summer Sack Lunch Program – Added $25,000 to continue this program that provides a healthy meal for low-income children at supervised playgrounds.
Affordable Housing Production and Preservation - Added $1,150,000 to build and retain more housing for low-income people.
Affordable Housing Search Engine – Added $100,000 to create a City-sponsored website to provide “real time” information on affordable rental vacancies in private and non-profit housing.
Domestic Violence Parenting Assessments – Added $19,400 to develop a protocol and training for conducting parenting evaluations in domestic violence cases.
I am very proud of the City Council for supporting these programs and services and for continuing to put people first. There were other notable changes including adding $400,000 for food banks and food delivery programs, $2,000,000 for the Seattle Public Library collection and $2.8 million for pedestrian safety improvements including the construction of more sidewalks and stairway improvements.
If you would like further information please contact me.
Seattle City Councilmember
Chair, Housing, Human Services and Health Committee
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