Seattle announces Safe Routes to School action plan

Today Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Public Schools, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), and community partners unveiled Seattle’s inaugural Safe Routes to School Action Plan.

Safe Streets, Healthy Schools and Communities is a five-year action plan that guides investments for engineering improvements, education, encouragement, and enforcement around schools in Seattle. It is a first of its kind document for Seattle, developed by a coalition of public agencies, parents and safety advocates.

“With children now back in school, and as the fall rains come, drivers must do more to keep kids safe,” said Murray. “Seattle continues to invest in the sidewalks, crosswalks and speed cameras that improve pedestrian safety and reduce speeding around schools. All children must have a safe walking route to their neighborhood school.”

Today’s announcement was made at Sacajawea Elementary School in north Seattle, one of 12 locations where SDOT completed Safe Routes to School projects in 2015, which include new sidewalks and crossing improvements.

The Mayor’s proposed 2016 budget allocates $5.8 million to support Safe Route to School projects at another 9 schools.

Over the past ten years, more elementary students have been walking and biking to school, growing from 15 percent in 2005 to 24 percent in 2015.

As part of the action plan announced today, every third, fourth and fifth grade Seattle public elementary school student will receive walking and biking safety education through their physical education class. A new partnership between SDOT, Seattle Public Schools and Cascade Bicycle Club will deliver that opportunity beginning next year. Today, only half of Seattle public elementary schools receive bike safety education, and no formal pedestrian safety education program exists.

“I’m excited to grow our partnership with SDOT and Cascade Bicycle Club to expand walking and biking safety education to more children through our physical education program,” said Superintendent Larry Nyland. “Making sure our students have safe and healthy ways to get to school will help them be poised to learn and contribute in the classroom.”

Safe Routes to School is funded by fines from the school speed zone camera program, state and federal grants, and the Bridging the Gap transportation levy, which expires this year. Seattle’s school zone speed camera program has generated $16 million for the Safe Routes to School program since 2012.

To protect more children walking and biking to and from school, SDOT and the Seattle Police Department recently installed school zone speed cameras near six additional schools, bringing the total number of Seattle school zones covered by cameras to 14.

Drivers are becoming more aware of new cameras. Over the last two years, the average number of traffic violations per camera per day has dropped 64 percent and average speeds in these zones have decreased by four percent.

“Nine out of ten drivers who get a school zone speeding ticket don’t get a second one,” noted SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “The cameras are protecting children and funding safety improvements near schools, resulting in safer streets for everyone.”

Safe Routes to School is a core component of Seattle’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

Download the full Safe Routes to School Action Plan at

For more information about Vision Zero, visit #VisionZeroSEA

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Mayor, Police Chief Unveil Real Time Crime Center

Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole today unveiled the Seattle Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center (RTCC). The RTCC is a centralized data and logistics hub, partnering analysts and investigators with officers on the street to rapidly identify suspects and solve crimes, and disrupt emerging crime trends.

“The Seattle Police Department has taken data-driven and proactive policing to a whole new level with the Real Time Crime Center,” Mayor Ed Murray. “This high-tech hub will provide our officers with instant analysis of 911 data, trends and other critical information to help officers answer calls more efficiently and better protect our neighborhoods.”

The RTCC serves as the information center of the department’s Agile Policing strategy, which aims to streamline and enhance the department’s responsiveness in the field as crime unfolds using data-driven strategies and tactics. The RTCC incorporates information collected from 911 dispatch calls, SeaStat data, radio traffic, and vehicle information data.

“Agile Policing leverages the combined skills of career police officers and civilian crime analysts,” said Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole. “With the Real Time Crime Center at the hub, this innovative, data-driven approach will enhance police service in all Seattle neighborhoods.

Analysts in the RTCC will monitor incoming data and will communicate spikes, trends, and anomalies in reported crimes to commanders who then can deploy resources proactively as situations develop.

Under the Agile Policy strategy, the department will consolidate the Criminal Intelligence Section, the Data Driven Policing Section and Crime Analysis detectives into the new Intelligence and Analysis Section. Teams from the Intelligence and Analysis Section will staff the RTCC.

The RTCC is funded through a combination of asset forfeitures and a Department of Justice grant of $411,000. A portion of that grant will fund a team of research scientists that will continue to refine best practices to improve the RTCC and proactive public safety in Seattle.

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Council acts on Roosevelt park

Today Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement after the Seattle City Council adopted his legislation to acquire land near Roosevelt High School for new public open space:

“Thanks to the Council for swift adoption of this ordinance. While it will take time to acquire the land and realize our vision, this is a victory for neighbors who have been fighting blight and seeking a park for this community. The City intends to use funds collected from the Sisleys to acquire open space for this growing neighborhood, provide assistance to tenants, and manage nuisance properties that are a safety concern. We are also working closely with developers to ensure that additional affordable housing is part of a revitalized neighborhood.”

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Mayor Murray Celebrates National Manufacturing Day, Awards $100,000 to Grow Manufacturing Businesses

Mayor Ed Murray today celebrates National Manufacturing Day with an announcement that Industry Space Seattle, LLC will receive a $100,000 award to create an incubator to benefit multiple emerging manufacturing businesses.

Industry Space Seattle owns 47,500 square feet of industrial space to be used as an incubator to develop startups and emerging industrial businesses within Seattle’s industrial core. They plan to use the funds to rehabilitate industrial property into shared space where emerging manufacturers will have access to heavy equipment and common office space. The Industry Space building is located in South Park at 8009 7th Ave. S.

“Seattle has a proven history of making things that change the world,” said Murray. “I’m proud to support Industry Space Seattle, a project that shows Seattle’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. Maritime and manufacturing businesses are vital to our economy, and this repurposed industrial facility will help the next generation of businesses thrive.”

The city of Seattle sought a proposal to promote networking, information sharing, and mentoring among co-located, early-stage manufacturers.

Johnny Bianchi, owner of Industry Space Seattle, LLC called the project “a win for Seattle’s manufacturing community,” saying that “the funds will help spur innovation and allow companies to emerge that may not have been able to manage the initial costs of space and equipment on their own.”

Business owners are already benefitting. Hans Hofstee, owner of HGH Metalworks, a small metal fabricator, moved his business into the Industry Space building in April 2015. “Thanks to the building’s heavy lifting capacity, compressed air, and access to heavy power, I was able to spend money on the machines I need, rather than improving a new space,” he said. “I look forward to a long future at Industry Space where I can be part of building a community and building Seattle.”

The award is funded by fees generated by the city’s New Markets Tax Credit (“NMTC”) program, a federal tax credit financing tool. NMTCs attract private investment to important development and business projects benefitting low-income neighborhoods.

“It’s smart for Seattle to invest in emerging local businesses that grow our economy,” said Seattle City Councilmember John Okamoto, Investment Committee member of Seattle Investment Fund LLC, the city’s NMTC entity. “The fees collected from NMTCs are an innovative way to support these businesses.”

Seattle’s manufacturing sector represents a wide range of subsectors, including maritime, industrial machinery and fabricated metal, aerospace, printing and publishing, stone, clay, glass and concrete products, home and office furnishings, food and beverage production, construction, transportation, and wholesale distribution.

City’s Office of Economic Development (OED)
OED supports a healthy business environment and empowers companies to grow and compete. We provide services directly to businesses through advocacy, retention and expansion assistance, and workforce development. OED has several financing options for businesses, including options for small to medium to large businesses. Visit to access city services for businesses, and for more information about our office, visit

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Mayor Murray Names Rainier Beach’s Dwane Chappelle Director of Education and Early Learning

IMG_2159Today Mayor Ed Murray nominated Dwane Chappelle to be the first director for the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL). Chappelle has been the principal at Rainier Beach High School since 2011.

“Dwane has done a remarkable job at Rainier Beach High School, a model of success that we want to benefit all Seattle students,” said Murray. “His students leave high school better prepared for college and the 21st century workplace. Dwane’s vision and experience will be instrumental as we work together to address the opportunity gap, ensuring our education system serves all our students, regardless of their background or family income.”

Under Chappelle’s leadership and with the support of students, parents, teachers and the community, the graduation rate at Rainier Beach has increased 25 percentage points. By 2014, the graduation rate at the school reached 79 percent, exceeding the district average. The school’s International Baccalaureate program has generated widespread acclaim, challenging students to high achievement and winning praise from parents.

“I am looking forward to this incredible opportunity to serve the kids and families of Seattle,” said Chappelle. “Throughout my career as an educator, I have seen students rise to new challenges again and again. As a community, we must always send the message that every student can achieve.”

Statewide studies have shown that readiness to learn in Kindergarten varies widely and that for many students of color, those from lower-income families, and immigrant and refugee students, an opportunity gap is evident in the first few weeks of school. That opportunity gap persists through elementary and secondary schools, leading to disparities in educational attainment between students of color and their peers.

Mayor Murray announced the creation of DEEL in September of 2014. DEEL’s mission is to foster opportunities for Seattle children to succeed in school and graduate from high school prepared for continuing education and success in the workplace.

Chappelle will seek to form stronger strategic partnerships with Seattle Public Schools, institutions of higher learning and other education stakeholders throughout the region, with an eye to improving outcomes for all Seattle children.

DEEL oversees the Seattle Preschool Program that seeks to provide high-quality preschool services for young children to help improve their readiness for school, regardless of family income.

Since 1990, the City’s Families and Education Levy has grown to fund community and school-based family supports, preschool programs, academic supports, summer learning opportunities, school-based health programs and other services for students. In 2015, DEEL will administer $32 million in grants and services funded by the levy.

Prior to joining Seattle Public Schools, Chappelle was an assistant principal in Arlington, Texas and Plano, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Grambling State University and his Masters of Secondary and Higher Education at Texas A&M University.

Chappelle will start with the City on Jan. 1, 2016 with an annual salary at the level of the current interim Director: $158,688.

In the meantime, interim Director Holly Miller will stay on with DEEL.

“My thanks to Holly for her incredible work to help stand up this new department,” said Murray. “Throughout her long career with the City, Holly has provided strong leadership and deep devotion to public service.”

Chappelle’s nomination requires review and approval by the Seattle City Council.

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Mayor comments on T5 ruling

Today Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement after the Seattle Hearing Examiner ruled against the Department of Planning and Development’s land use code interpretation on the Port of Seattle’s use of Terminal 5 to berth an off-shore oil drilling rig:

“While I am disappointed that the hearing examiner ruled that servicing off-shore drilling rigs is a cargo terminal use, I will respect the ruling. Shell has made a business decision to halt further off-shore oil exploration in Alaska. Now is the time for us to come together to collaborate on new projects to support the growth of maritime jobs while protecting our natural environment. I look forward to renewing the City’s partnership with the Port, Foss Maritime, our unions and other maritime interests to build a vibrant future for our harbor.”

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Mayor urges donations for those injured in Aurora Bridge crash

Mayor Ed Murray today called on the community to join in support those injured the Aurora Bridge crash. United Way of King County has established the Sept. 24 Aurora Collision Relief Fund,
with all proceeds to support patients and their families. Donations can be made at:

The Sept. 24th crash on the Aurora Bridge has devastated the lives of families from abroad and here in Seattle and King County. Many patients and their families are struggling to meet their most basic needs as they try to recover from this tragedy and stabilize their lives. Several patients will require long-term medical care. The international students, other visitors from overseas and their families who speak little or no English have unique needs for housing, transportation and meals.


“Our hearts go out to those injured, many of whom came from countries around the world to visit or study in Seattle,” said Mayor Murray. “For many of these families, the long-term medical expenses will be considerable, not to mention the immediate needs associated with hospital stays and travel expenses. As a compassionate city, this community is already coming together to provide much-needed support.”

uwkc-logo“United Way of King County is all about bringing people together to give, volunteer and take action to help people in need,” said Jon Fine CEO of United Way of King County.  “This tragic accident provides us all an opportunity to help stabilize families’ lives and help to build the kind of community we want all want to live in. I hope people will consider giving their time and funds to make that happen.”

Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines have provided flights to reunite families after the crash. T-Mobile has provided international phone services to keep families connected. RealNetworks Foundation has made a sizeable financial donation to kick start relief efforts.

The Seattle Hotel Association has coordinated the donations of rooms at numerous hotels, including: Travelodge Seattle Center, Clise Properties, Hilton Seattle, Silver Cloud Lake Union, Marqueen/Inn at Queen Anne, Hotel Nexus, Waterfront Marriott, Inn at Virginia Mason, Motif Seattle, Homewood Suites, Alexis Hotel, Silver Cloud Broadway, Pan Pacific Hotel, Pineapple Hotels – Hotel Five, Best Western Executel – Airport, and Mayflower Park Hotel.

Several restaurants, including Munchery, Poquitos, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Rhein Haus and Canlis have donated food to families and first responders.

City of Seattle employees will be giving to the United Way relief fund through the established Seattle Shares charitable giving campaign.

Because of the outpouring of support and requests to make financial contributions, the Foundation for the Seattle Colleges has set up a fund to aid North Seattle College students and staff in need. To make a financial contribution to this fund, please visit the North Seattle College or Seattle Colleges websites. All proceeds will go directly toward helping the students and staff involved in the accident.

“We are extremely grateful for the words of condolence and offers to help our students and staff,” said Seattle Colleges Chancellor Jill Wakefield. “The outpouring of support for our college community has been astounding, and we are blessed that we have the opportunity to share the burden of grief.”

To honor the five North Seattle College students who lost their lives and to support the students and staff still recovering from their injuries, North Seattle College and Student Leadership have invited the community to a vigil tonight at 6 p.m. The vigil will be held in the North Seattle College courtyard and is open to all.

On Thursday, Mayor Murray and many in Seattle will observe a moment of silence at 11:15 a.m. to reflect on those injured and killed in last week’s tragedy.

Donations can be made at:


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Murray announces recipients of $1 million Community Fund to support Seattle workers

Mayor Ed Murray today announced the award of $1 million in funding from Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards (OLS) for organizations to provide outreach, education and technical assistance to Seattle’s workers about their rights under Seattle’s Minimum Wage, Wage Theft, Paid Sick and Safe Time, and Job Assistance Ordinances.

OLS has selected ten different organizations and community partnerships to receive funding. Organization activities will include door-to-door outreach, hosting community-based education events, developing training materials to educate workers and other organizations about Seattle’s labor standards, and providing labor rights intake, counseling, and referral for workers experiencing labor standards violations. Each organization and partnership will emphasize reaching out to low-wage working communities who disproportionately experience workplace violations.

“These new community partnerships will help educate workers to ensure they understand their rights and receive the wages and benefits they deserve,” said Murray. “We focus our efforts on reaching immigrant and minority communities because they are most at risk for wage theft and other abuses, and may not be well served by traditional English-language news sources.”

The organizations who will receive funding include:

  • Casa Latina and Eritrean Association – $319,000
    • Partners:
      • Entre Hermanos
      • South Park Information and Resource Center
      • South Park Neighborhood Center
      • Washington Community Action Network
      • Wage Claim Project
    • Communities of Focus: Latino, LGBTQ, East African, and youth workers
  • Coalition of Immigrants, Refugees and Communities of Color – $65,000
    • Communities of Focus: Filipino, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Khmer, and African American/black workers and at risk youth workers
  • Chinese Information and Service Center – $60,000
    • Communities of Focus: Asian Pacific Islanders, Chinese, and other Asian workers
  • Eritrean Community – $60,000
    • Communities of Focus: East African workers and small business owners
  • El Centro de la Raza – $25,000
    • Communities of Focus: Latino workers
  • Fair Work Center – $376,000
    • Partners:
      • Al Noor Islamic
      • Somali Community Services
      • NAACP
      • Latino Community Fund
      • Got Green
      • 21 Progress
      • LGBTQ Allyship
      • Puget Sound Sage
    • Communities of Focus: Asian Pacific Islander, Somali, African American, Latino, youth, and LGBTQ workers
  • Millionaire Club – $3,500
    • Communities of Focus: Workers with criminal backgrounds and temporary workers
  • NAACP – $60,000
    • Communities of Focus:  African American and African workers
  • Washington Community Action Network – $20,000
    • Communities of Focus: Membership of 30,000 comprised of low income workers of color
  • Washington Wage Claim Project – $9,500
    • Communities of Focus: Low wage workers experiencing workplace violations

“These community partnerships will dramatically strengthen our reach and impact to uphold labor standards for Seattle’s workers, most importantly among those workers most likely to experience labor standards violations – including female workers, workers of color, immigrant and refugee workers, LGBTQ workers, and youth,” said OLS Director Dylan Orr. “Announcing these awardees is a proud moment for all of us.”

For more information about the Office of Labor Standards or the Community Outreach and Education Fund, call 206-684-4500 or visit


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Murray praises expansion of Multifamily Tax Exemption

Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement following the Seattle City Council’s passage of affordable housing legislation (CB 118505) that renews and expands the Multifamily Tax Exemption program:

“The Multifamily Tax Exemption Program continues to be one of the most important tools to create affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents near transit, jobs and services throughout Seattle.

“Thanks to the Council for its work to expand the tool so that more working families will benefit. We create a new incentive for more family-sized units, require that buildings include more affordable homes, and expand this opportunity to apartment buildings in neighborhoods across Seattle.

“This effort will make a major contribution to creating 20,000 more affordable homes we will need in our community over the next 10 years.”

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Murray proposes increased funding for body cameras, new office for integrated planning, homelessness prevention

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today presented to the City Council a proposed budget for 2016 that increases City investments to improve city planning and manage construction impacts, funds a mobile City Hall to bring services to more residents, reprioritizes human services to address homelessness, and provides funding for body-worn cameras for every police officer on patrol.

“Building a sustainable city means managing growth, reducing poverty, and creating an enduring economy,” said Murray. “This budget continues us on the path to build a sustainable Seattle that works for everyone.”

The mayor gave his annual budget address in City Council Chambers filled with first responders from last week’s deadly crash on the Aurora Bridge and dozens of young people who participated in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative.

The 2016 Proposed Budget for the City of Seattle totals $5.1 billion, including $1.1 billion of General Fund spending. General fund spending increases 4.5 percent over last year to respond to the needs of a growing community. A summary can be found here.

More than 70,000 new residents have moved to Seattle in the past five years. A proposed Office of Planning and Community Development will improve integration of planning across City departments. The budget also adds new positions to support the development of policies to support affordable housing. The mayor proposes increased fees paid by developers to fund efforts that reduce construction-related impacts on cars, buses, bicycles and pedestrians.

“Too often residential growth is disconnected from planning for transportation, open space, economic development and the need for schools,” said Murray. “To create vibrant neighborhoods that promote walkability, access to efficient public transit, parks and the cultural amenities that enrich urban life, we need a new integrated approach to planning how we grow.”

As a result of the current construction boom, one-quarter of the City’s sales tax receipts are directly attributable to construction. The 2016 forecast for general fund revenue growth remains strong at 4.6 percent, but revenue growth is projected to slow as the pace of construction stabilizes. In anticipation, the mayor’s budget deposits an additional $7.3 million into the City’s financial reserves, increasing those reserves to a historic high of $106 million.

But the rising tide of the growing economy has not lifted all boats. While the unemployment rate in Seattle is 3.5 percent, young people experience an unemployment rate of 13 percent. And for young people of color, the rate is 28 percent.

Murray spoke directly to the young people in the Chamber, saying, “The global crisis of growing income inequality and long-standing issues of racial inequity are also challenges that you and other young people throughout this city face as you enter the job market. These disparities are real, and our communities of color bear these burdens daily.”

The mayor proposed an additional $650,000 to support his Youth Employment Initiative, a partnership between City agencies and private and non-profit employers. The mayor’s budget also funds implementation of the Priority Hire law, which opens the door to careers in the construction trades for workers from neighborhoods with high unemployment and poverty.

Population growth and increasing congestion in Seattle’s urban villages and urban centers is driving demand for transit capacity. The 2016 proposed budget includes nearly $1 million in capital investments to improve service on Metro’s C and D RapidRide lines, significantly enhancing transit service to South Lake Union. The budget also includes funding for safety overhauls for Rainier Avenue South, Lake City Way, 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Roxbury Street, as well as continued support for Safe Routes to School and additional neighborhood sidewalks.

The mayor’s proposed budget also reflects his pledge to improve police accountability and fully comply with the Department of Justice Settlement Agreement. The proposed budget includes $1.8 million to fund body worn cameras for every patrol officer. This City funding augments a $600,000 federal grant awarded earlier this month. Before the cameras can be deployed, the City will engage stakeholders including community groups and the Police Officer’s Guild to establish appropriate policies and protocols for their use.

“We know that body cameras improve interactions between officers and the public and reduce the likelihood that force will be used,” said Murray. “We will work carefully to get this right and adequately address privacy concerns.”

The budget also adds 30 new police officers in 2016, keeping the City on pace for 100 additional officers by 2018.

The mayor noted that even as the department is making significant progress on police accountability, crime rates across the City continue to fall in 2015 compared to 2014:

  • City-wide crime is down by 11 percent.
  • Property crime is down by 12 percent.
  • Crime in the South Precinct is down 25 percent.

The Seattle Fire Department will recruit 60 new fire fighters in 2016 to serve the growing city. To help ensure greater diversity among recruits, the City will provide EMT training after recruits have been accepted, rather than requiring it before one can apply.

The 2016 budget includes $47 million in parks improvements in the first full year of investments made through the Seattle Park District approved by voters in August 2014.

As Seattle responds to the national crisis of homelessness, the City continues to move to an outcome-focused approach to contracting with local service providers. The goal is to streamline services and shift funding to programs that provide the best outcomes. The City will increase emphasis on preventing the loss of housing. The City will fund three permitted encampments on public lands.

“The growing number of people with nowhere to sleep but our streets is agonizing and weighs on me every day,” said Murray. “I understand the frustration and disappointment with homeless services being located in some of our neighborhoods. As a city, we must not forget that there are families and children with no other choice.”

As part of an ongoing effort to connect residents to City government, the mayor proposed a new Mobile City Service Center that will travel to neighborhoods throughout the city. At farmers’ markets, neighborhood festivals or other community events, residents will use this Mobile City Hall to access services, pay utility bills, register to vote and conduct other City business.

“This is one of the new ways the City will engage with residents, and broaden access for participation,” said Murray.

As a city of immigrants, Seattle will launch the Immigrant Family Institute to build trust between new immigrants and the Seattle Police Department, modeled on a successful program for immigrant women. The budget increases funding for the New Citizenship Program to help immigrants along the path toward citizenship and the Seattle Votes campaign will increase civic engagement and voting by new citizens.

“This budget continues and strengthens Seattle’s commitment to do our part and help our immigrant communities – not just to survive, but to thrive,” said Murray. “In Seattle, we realize that by opening our doors, not building walls, we are a stronger city.”

For more information, visit:

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