Mike McGinn, Mayor
2/2/2004 2:30:00 PM
Mayor Nickels Announces Initiatives on
“We are moving in the right direction for our city”
Jobs, Neighborhoods, Kids
SEATTLE – Mayor Greg Nickels today announced three initiatives to create jobs, build great neighborhoods in and around downtown and help children succeed in school. Nickels unveiled the new direction during his annual State of the City speech outlining the city’s progress during his first two years as mayor.
“We ended paralysis by process, recognized opportunities, and seized them,” said Nickels, adding that the city has restored confidence in public safety, started building a 21st century transportation network and worked to create jobs in biotechnology and in neighborhoods like Northgate, the University District and Rainier Valley.
“We’ve made a great start with biotechnology. But let’s do more. Let’s work to create jobs in all areas that pay living wages,” said Nickels. Saying maritime and manufacturing industries employ 140,000 people in Seattle, the mayor announced the city will work closely with the Port of Seattle and the Manufacturing Industrial Council to preserve those jobs and grow them.
“Seattle has all the assets for growth in these industries. No other city on the West Coast can match our combination of land and port and rail facilities. So start spreading the word. Seattle is a great place to start and grow a business, whether it’s software or steel, blue collar or bio-tech white. We want these jobs,” he said.
Nickels also announced an initiative to double the residential population in neighborhoods in and around downtown over the next 20 years.
“Let’s shift policy from capping residential growth to unleashing it. We can build great neighborhoods that are lively, interesting and pedestrian friendly with active public spaces, grocery stores and shops, daycare and schools,” he said. “Growth in the Center City benefits all of Seattle. By concentrating people into the heart of the city, there’s less traffic on our streets and less pollution in the air we breathe. And by doing so, we take pressure off our single-family neighborhoods.”
Nickels said his first step in the strategy will be to send legislation to the City Council to spur residential growth in the Denny Triangle.
Quoting the philosophy of the late Seattle Schools superintendent John Stanford, Nickels said the community must make success a goal for all Seattle school children. The mayor encouraged voters to approve the two school levies on the ballot tomorrow that make up a quarter of the school district’s operating budget and fund capital costs to maintain and renovate schools. He vowed to work hard for passage of the Families and Education Levy this fall, and promised to get results from the investment.
“We must do better for our kids, and we will. We will identify which programs truly make a difference in children’s lives, and we will shift from counting dollars spent to seeing results in the lives of our children.”
The mayor’s State of the City address will be broadcast again at 9 p.m. tonight on Seattle Channel 21/28, or you can watch or read the speech on the mayor’s web site at seattle.gov/mayor.
Get the mayor's inside view on initiatives to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at www.cityofseattle.net/mayor/newsletter_signup.htm.
- 30 -