Murray praises Councilmember Rasmussen’s public service

Mayor Murray today issued the following statement after Councilmember Tom Rasmussen announced his intention not to run for reelection:

Rasmussen 2014“Councilmember Rasmussen has been deeply engaged in public life as long as I can remember. As an advocate for seniors, human services, parks and innovative transportation solutions, Tom demonstrates active and effective leadership for our City. He was instrumental in our successful campaign last year to expand bus transit – for which I’m very grateful.

I am especially thankful for his partnership in our effort to secure civil rights and marriage equality for the LGBT community. Seattle is losing a major champion on the council, but we know his community activism will find new outlets as he writes his next chapter.”

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Murray comments on discussions with NBA, NHL

Mayor Murray today issued the following statement after meeting this week with the commissioners of both the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League:

“On Monday in New York City, on my way to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I met for the first time with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver regarding the status of an NBA team returning to Seattle. While Commissioner Silver said Seattle remains a very attractive city for an NBA franchise with our NBA championship heritage and enthusiastic fan base, the league has no plans to expand at this time. The city will continue to do our part to bring NBA basketball back to Seattle.

While in New York, I also met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman about the future of NHL hockey in Seattle. We are very keen on bringing an NHL team here, and the commissioner recognizes the value we would bring as home to a future franchise. We will continue to work toward that shared vision.”

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Murray lauds Councilmember Licata

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today issued the following statement after Councilmember Nick Licata announced his intention not to run for reelection:

Licata2014_thumb“Councilmember Licata has been a stalwart advocate for those who are too often shut out of the public process – the single working mom, the homeless veteran, the struggling artist. He has used his political savvy to support social justice across our community. After decades of committed public service to the people of Seattle, we owe him a huge debt. His voice will be sorely missed on the City Council.”

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Murray applauds priority hire, car share passage

Today, Mayor Murray issued the following statements on legislation passed by the Seattle City Council:

Mayor Murray on priority hire:

“I salute the entire City Council and the leadership of Committee Chair Sally Clark as our city adopts strong priority hire legislation based on my proposal from last September. This win is an important piece in our shared agenda to make Seattle more affordable and equitable for all communities. When we invest in our community centers, streets and city buildings, we must also invest in the people of our community. This ordinance not only helps someone land a family-wage job, it also opens the door to training and support that can launch a construction career. This partnership benefited from much work from faith leaders, trade unions, community advocates, contractors, apprenticeship programs and others who envision a more prosperous Seattle for all.”

Mayor Murray on expanded car sharing:

“I applaud our City Council for unanimously passing my office’s proposed expansion of car sharing permits in Seattle. This is another step in making Seattle a more livable and interconnected city for those who don’t own vehicles.  This legislation also provides important resources for us to assess the benefits and impacts of car sharing in Seattle. I especially would like to thank Transportation Chair Councilmember Tom Rasmussen for his work on this issue.”

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Celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of service


Following the annual Garfield High School Martin Luther King, Jr. rally, Mayor Murray, Deputy Mayor Kate Joncas, and Mayor’s office staffers participated in the National Day of Service. The Mayor’s office joined the Nature Consortium, students from the University of Washington, and current Miss Seattle Taryn Smith to plant native trees and spread mulch to help restore the West Duwamish greenbelt.

You can find ways to participate in today’s National Day of Service and beyond by visiting

More photos from today’s event:

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Mayor Murray: The determination of the Seahawks is truly inspiring.

imageMayor Ed Murray released the following statement following the NFC Championship Game:


Super Bowl here we come! That was the greatest football game ever played in Seattle. The determination of the Seahawks is truly inspiring. Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for another incredible season. Not only do we have the best team in the NFL, we truly have the best — and loudest– fans in the NFL.

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Statement on the Timing of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Potential New Arena in Seattle

Today Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement on the timing of the Environmental Impact Statement for the potential new arena in Seattle:

“Thursday afternoon I received a briefing about the arena project from the Department of Planning and Development. It was during that briefing that I was informed about the delayed EIS. I have asked DPD to review the EIS timeline and to bring greater transparency to the process surrounding the arena proposal, for all who have an interest in it.”

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Murray on Supreme Court decision to hear marriage equality case: ‘This nation is ready’

Mayor Murray released the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to hand down a ruling on marriage equality by June 2015:

“Together we worked for decades in Washington State to pass marriage equality and to help prepare the nation for this moment – when the United States Supreme Court has the opportunity to rule that all Americans should be treated equally under the law regardless of who they love or in which state they live.

I am proud to live in a state where more than one million voters have already affirmed the rights currently under review by the Supreme Court. I know that millions more await an affirmation that equality is not reserved for the few, but for the many. This nation is ready.

Most importantly, we will watch as thousands of gay and lesbian families, who are still living without legal protection in their home states, fulfill their dreams of equality.

It is time that we settle the question once and for all with a simple word – yes. Yes, you can marry the person you love, and yes, your family has a right to be protected under the law just like any other family.”

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Murray proposes more pedestrian zones to strengthen local business districts


Photo courtesy of SDOT

Mayor Murray has sent to City Council a plan that will help foster vibrant business districts in neighborhoods throughout Seattle. Changes have been proposed to encourage more commercial businesses that support compact and walkable communities, while allowing flexibility in design to better meet the changing needs of our neighborhood business districts.

“These proposed changes will help ensure active storefronts in our neighborhoods and more design flexibility to accommodate a range of business types,” said Murray. “This helps minimize vacancies in some commercial areas but also helps to provide better access to the goods and services our local communities rely upon. Promoting pedestrian zones just make sense – a more walkable Seattle is good for the economy, good for the environment and good for public health.”

A key element of the proposal is an effort to identify, encourage and protect pedestrian-oriented commercial street fronts in neighborhood business districts by evaluating where additional pedestrian zoned areas are appropriate. The pedestrian zone designation serves to identify neighborhood business districts where active commercial use would be required at street-level. In neighborhood commercial zones outside of these areas, a wider range of uses is allowed at street level including a broad range of commercial, residential and live-work properties.

This proposal provides recommendations on those areas and includes modifications including:

  • Rezone 39 neighborhood commercial areas around the city to add or expand a pedestrian zone designation;
  • Expand the list of allowed active street-level uses;
  • Modify design review departures available in pedestrian zones for ceiling height, transparency requirements and residential uses at street level;
  • Clarify the transparency requirements to specify that transparent areas must allow views into and out of the structure at eye level;
  • Add a standard to require overhead weather protection along 60 percent of the building facade for new development along a Principal Pedestrian Street;
  • Eliminate waivers to minimum parking standards specific to pedestrian zones; and
  • Add standards for live-work units.
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City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools announce successes in collaboration to close access gap in arts education

ca-logo-800pxThe City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools today announced the first year results of their Creative Advantage arts education initiative. The program succeeded in closing the access gap in arts education for students in the initial roll out area of the Central District. For 2015, the program will expand to include ten more schools in the district.

The Creative Advantage is a unique public-private partnership between the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and The Seattle Foundation. It is reinvesting in Seattle’s students and our community’s economic and creative future by addressing inequities in access to the arts and restoring arts education to all Seattle classrooms.

Arts are considered a core academic subject by the state of Washington and are included in the current SPS Strategic Plan. In alignment with these state and district policies, the goal of the Creative Advantage is to address the systemic barriers to student access to arts and ensure that every student has arts integrated into their education, starting in kindergarten. The long term goal is that by 2020, all Seattle students will have access to a continuum of arts learning opportunities.

“We must invest in our students’ ability to problem solve, collaborate, think outside of the box and persevere,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “These are exactly the kinds of skills that are developed through arts education. Our partnership is helping to close the opportunity gap in the arts.”

“We know students learn best when their education engages their heads, their hearts and their hands,” said Dr. Larry Nyland, Seattle Public Schools superintendent. “The Creative Advantage is a shining example of the district, the City and the community collaborating to give all students access to a well-rounded education.”

In March 2013, the Creative Advantage began implementation in the Central Arts Pathway, all schools that feed into and out of Washington Middle School.

Highlights from the Creative Advantage Year One Evaluation report include:

  • In 2013-14, the minutes of arts instruction in the Central Arts Pathway elementary schools increased from 2012-13 levels, and now reflects similar levels to the rest of SPS.
  • Similarly, students meeting standard in the arts significantly improved in Central Arts Pathway elementary schools.
  • During 2013-14, 1,659 elementary students attended music classes that would not have been available without the Creative Advantage roll-out.
  • Among stakeholders, there is a sense that arts learning has become a priority, not only for the district, but for the city and the community at large.
  • Stakeholders report that there is a conversation occurring around issues of social justice as a benefit of the arts initiative
  • Building on this year’s success, next year, every K-5 student in the Central Arts Pathway will have music class.

In 2015, SPS and ARTS will roll-out the Creative Advantage to one new K-12 Arts Pathway, the 10 schools in south-southwest Seattle: Arbor Heights, Concord International, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo, West Seattle, and K-5 STEM, Denny International Middle School, Chief Sealth International High School and Middle College at High Point.

The program expands into two additional pathways in 2015-2016.

The City has prioritized this program through new staff capacity and an investment of $450,000 in the program to date, with plans for an additional investment of $525,000 over the next two years.

The School District has invested $600,000 in increased staffing, supplies and professional development, while the Seattle Foundation has created capacity in private fundraising that raised $200,000 from foundations and individuals to date.

For more information on the report click here:

The Creative Advantage can be found online at, at and on twitter @SeattleArtsEd.

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