Mayor Ed Murray Signs Executive Order Banning Official City Travel to Indiana

EO SigningMayor Ed Murray today signed an Executive Order banning official City of Seattle travel by employees to Indiana in response to passage of SB 101.

“Enough is enough,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “Legalized discrimination should not be tolerated. No one should be denied access to critical services simply because of who they are or who they love. My action today sends a strong signal Seattle does not support Indiana’s discriminatory law, rather we stand with those in Indiana fighting for equality.”

“This is a settled issue. We are long passed the day when it is acceptable to discriminate against someone because of the color of their skin, their gender, or who they love. We cannot allow bills like SB 101 to take us back to the 1950s when businesses could deny services to people because of who they are.”

SB 101 could be used by businesses to deny service to LGBT people and others.

On Saturday, Mayor Murray announced the travel ban for City of Seattle employees on official business. The Mayor of San Francisco is also restricting travel for City employees and the Governor of Connecticut announced a similar ban for State employees. On Monday, Governor Inslee announced a travel ban for Washington State employees to Indiana. Governor Cuomo of New York also issued a travel ban for non-essential travel to Indiana.

President Obama also came out strongly against the bill.

Major corporations like Apple and Angie’s List have decried SB 101. The NCAA and NASCAR spoke out against the measure.

Following the public outcry, Montana’s Republican controlled legislature voted down a similar bill. Georgia’s bill may have stalled. Indianapolis’s Republican Mayor is publicly urging the Indiana State legislature to pass a bill prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people and signed an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people.

Executive Order 2015-01:  Prohibiting City Funded Travel to the State of Indiana and Reaffirming the City’s Commitment to Champion Civil Rights and Equity

 

An Executive Order prohibiting the use of City funds for travel by all City employees on City business to the State of Indiana after passage of S.B. 101 until further notice and reaffirming this Administration’s continued commitment to civil rights and ensuring equity for all people in Seattle and beyond and the establishment of an action plan that supports these efforts.

 

WHEREAS, the Indiana State Legislature passed and Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law SB 101, known as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”; and  

 

WHEREAS, Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides individuals and any type of business, whether for-profit or non-profit, irrespective of its purpose, the right, based on a religious belief, to discriminate against a person because of his or her sexual orientation or any other protected category; and

 

WHEREAS, Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is inconsistent with the work and values of my Administration to promote equity, to end discrimination, to eliminate institutional racism and to advance social justice for the people of Seattle; and

 

WHEREAS, Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act expressly provides that Indiana’s law does not provide a person a right to access the civil justice system if he or she is subjected to a discriminatory act as a result of its enactment;

 

WHEREAS, in his April 16, 1963, letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote, an “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere;” the City of Seattle will not stand by idly while discriminatory laws like Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act are enacted because such laws stand to threaten the equity victories in Seattle and elsewhere; and

 

WHEREAS, the City of Seattle will stand with those who are fighting for equity in Indiana and elsewhere across the county; and

 

WHEREAS, the use of discretionary public taxpayer dollars should, to the extent possible, reflect the values of the people of our City and should not be used to support the economies of businesses and governments that support and enact discriminatory laws and policies; and

 

WHEREAS, it is within my authority as the Chief Executive of the City of Seattle to manage, direct and restrict the expenditure of funds appropriated annually through the adopted budget by the Seattle City Council;

 

Now therefore, I, Edward B. Murray, Mayor of Seattle, hereby affirm the City’s commitment to civil rights and ensuring equity for all people in Seattle and beyond and order the following actions to establish a plan and strategies that support this commitment to equity:

 

  1. All Executive department and office employees are hereby prohibited from using City funds for travel on City business to the State of Indiana in light of the passage of S.B. 101 until further notice.

 

  1. All Executive departments and offices are hereby directed to review and identify existing contracts with any businesses with headquarters in the State of Indiana within 15 days of this Executive Order and report such findings to Deputy Mayor Kate Joncas.

 

  1. The Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations (OIR), Nick Harper, is directed to develop and advance a strategy to voice the City’s strong objections to Indiana S.B. 101 in cooperation with other jurisdictions, the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to identify other cities that share our values on equity and ending discrimination for all.
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Murray announces plan to address pay equity in City workforce

Mayor Ed Murray today signed an executive order establishing an action plan to close the gender wage gap within the City of Seattle workforce.

“The City of Seattle already outperforms the region and the rest of the nation when it comes to gender equity in the workplace, but better is not good enough,” Murray said. “We must do more to ensure that women, particularly women of color, are provided more and better opportunities to access higher paying jobs.”

Last year, Mayor Murray and Councilmember Jean Godden introduced a joint resolution affirming the City’s commitment to gender equity. As part of that resolution, the Mayor and Council committed to providing a deeper analysis of City-wide gender pay data, including an analysis of other factors such as race, age, sexual orientation, and other demographic information.

DCI Consulting Group, a Washington D.C. consulting firm specializing in human resource management, was commissioned to provide this follow-up analysis in a Workforce Pay Equity and Utilization study released today. The study found that the City of Seattle shows that the average annualized salary for women in Seattle city government is 89.8% of the average male salary, or about 90 cents to the dollar. That compares to 77% nationally and 74% regionally.

The study found there were no indications of systemic gender or race/ethnicity discrimination by the City in its compensation, hiring or promotion practices. The data shows, however, that more men are employed in higher-wage positions in the City’s three largest departments which comprise 43% of all City employees: the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Fire Department, and Seattle City Light. After removing these departments from the Citywide analysis, the City found that the unadjusted gender pay gap narrows to 98.2%.

The study also finds that 22 percent of women in the City of Seattle are employed part-time versus 12 percent of men. And in two job classifications – Strategic Advisor 1 and IT Professional C – there was an unexplained pay gap between Caucasians and people of color.

“Now is the time to make salary transparency the rule here in Seattle, to end promotion obstacles for women and minority employees and to bolster and improve recruitment, mentoring and retention policies,” said Councilmember Godden, Chair of the Council’s committee on Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Gender Pay Equity. “While I am proud of the work Seattle has done, I want to take this a step farther by looking at discretionary job placement – the ground zero of wage gap inequality – and continue to adopt policies that help us reach our pay equity goals. I will be working hard, alongside the Mayor and city department heads to make sure all of these become a reality.”

The mayor will sign an executive order that outlines the following Action Plan steps:

  • An interdepartmental team (IDT) will be formed and will be comprised of key members from the Mayor’s office, City Budget Office, the Office of Civil Rights, the Seattle Department of Human Resources, the Seattle Police Department, Seattle City Light, the Seattle Fire Department, and Seattle Public Utilities to review the study findings and determine root causes and potential solutions to the gender pay gap. The IDT will create and propose enhanced best practices around recruitment and retention of women and people of color for Citywide implementation.
  • The IDT will assess why Strategic Advisor 1 and IT Professional C classifications show an unexplained pay gap. The IDT will provide recommendations to address their findings.
  • The IDT will assess how employees are assigned to full- and part-time jobs to understand the disparity between genders. The assessment will determine whether positions occupied by women are more likely to be budgeted as part-time or if women request part-time work more often than men.
  • The Citywide Human Resources Leadership Group will work with departments to consolidate and align best HR policies, processes, and practices Citywide. This work will specifically look at ways to increase opportunities for women and people of color and will include developing a consistent Citywide exit interview and employee engagement process to determine why, in aggregate, employees stay or leave City employment.
  • To support these efforts and increase transparency, the Human Resources department will determine the most appropriate method to publish City salaries.
  • The Office of Civil Rights and the Human Resources Department will continue to develop a comprehensive Gender Justice Project, focusing on policy, programs, training, and services for women of color and girls of color, as well as transgender and gender non-conforming people. This work will include developing a web portal to serve as a gateway to access Citywide services.
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Mayor Murray applauds passage of authorized encampment legislation

Today the Seattle City Council approved Mayor Ed Murray’s legislation permitting up to three homeless encampments on surplus City property by a 9-0 vote. Mayor Murray issued the following statement:

“My thanks to the City Council for their action today on my proposed authorized encampment legislation. This legislation will help provide a minimum level of safety and stability for hundreds of people currently without a home. I am pleased the council was able to work collaboratively and unanimously pass a proposal that failed just less than two years ago.

I thank Councilmember Licata and O’Brien for their continued leadership on this issue. While authorized encampments are not a long-term solution to homelessness, this legislation provides for safer, more stable shelter with dedicated human and social services staff for residents.”

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Seattle Center visitors now enjoy fast, free Wi-Fi

Mayor Murray today unveiled a new free Wi-Fi service at Seattle Center. The service, which serves tens of thousands of people simultaneously, was developed in partnership with Microsoft.

“This is another step forward in our work to seek out public-private partnerships to improve Internet access in Seattle,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “More than 12 million people visit Seattle Center each year, and now they will enjoy fast, free broadband on their devices. This pilot program tests new technology that we may be able to deploy to other neighborhoods in the city.”

Seattle Center is offering two Bumbershoot passes to a user chosen at random who shares how they will use the faster service on the Seattle Center Twitter feed.

“The most obvious advantages of this technology are speed and performance,” said Dayne Sampson, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Engineering. “What will be exciting for those attending big events such as Bumbershoot is that this technology can handle more than 25,000 users at a time. That’s a distinct difference from the free Wi-Fi often found in public places.”

Previous Wi-Fi network speeds at Seattle Center supported email and basic web browsing, but bogged down when too many people used the system at the same time. The new system enables users to browse at speeds more than 5,000 times faster than the old system, enabling visitors to make Skype calls, back-up photos, and connect with events and vendors at Seattle Center. Microsoft brought in a digital fiber line capable of transmitting multiple gigabits per second.

“At Seattle Center, our purpose is to delight and inspire the human spirit, and this remarkable new Wi-Fi system will definitely serve to enrich the visitor experience,” said Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams.

The service has a new landing page with tips about how to enjoy Seattle Center and the city. Users can download a Microsoft Wi-Fi app that allows regular visitors to automatically connect to the platform at the highest possible speed.

“The new technology places Seattle at the forefront of fast, convenient, and accessible public broadband. We are grateful for Microsoft’s efforts to pilot the technology in Seattle,” said Michael Mattmiller, Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer.

In August, Mayor Murray announced his three-point plan for more and better broadband service in Seattle:

Learn more about the new Wi-Fi at Seattle Center at www.seattlecenter.com/microsoftwifi.

 

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Mayor Murray prohibits Indiana travel for City employees

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today announced his decision to prohibit the use of City funds for travel by all City employees on City business to the State of Indiana after the passage of S.B. 101. The new law, which was signed by Governor Pence on Thursday, March 26, has the potential to legalize discrimination against LGBT people and others based on religious beliefs.

“Seattleites know that discrimination has no place in our City – that’s just equality ‘101’,” said Mayor Ed Murray.

“Indiana’s S.B. 101 doesn’t reflect the values of our City. Seattle has been a leader in the fight to protect civil rights and ensure equality for all people – no matter who you are, or who you love,” said Mayor Murray. “This is why I am ordering that none of our taxpayer dollars should go toward supporting this discriminatory law. To those in Indiana today who are working hard in the fight for equality – know that Seattle stands with you as you continue your efforts to end discrimination and protect civil rights for everyone.”

To formalize the Mayor’s decision, he will be issuing an executive order next week. The order will ban City employees from work-related and city-funded travel to the State of Indiana. The Mayor will also direct all departments to conduct a review of current City contracts to identify if there are any contracts the City has with businesses headquartered in Indiana.

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Mayor Murray announces goal of 20,000 affordable housing units

Mayor Murray today directed the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee to meet his new goal for both income-restricted affordable and market-rate units to be created over the coming decade.

Mayor Murray asked the committee to develop specific proposals that will allow the building and preservation of 50,000 housing units over in the next 10 years within the city limits. 20,000 of these must be income-restricted affordable units for individuals and families making 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) and below. 30,000 units would be market rate.

“Seattle is facing a serious lack of affordable housing options that displace families and people in this city,” said Murray. “Next week, Seattle’s minimum wage workers are getting a raise as a part of our broader affordability agenda. We need to make sure that those who work in Seattle can afford to live here.”

The increase in income-restricted affordable units is nearly a tripling of the current rate of units being built for those at 80 percent of AMI or less. Currently, income-restricted affordable housing is being built at a rate of around 700 units per year.

“As the HALA enters the last stretch of analysis and discussion of strategies, this target will sharpen our focus,” said Faith Li Pettis, co-chair of the advisory committee. “No matter your perspective, the target we’ve been given by the Mayor is an enormous number. We’ll need determination, long-sightedness and civic commitment to meet the challenge.”

The Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee was formed by Mayor Murray and city councilmembers in the fall of 2014 to develop policy recommendations for the city. The committee is made up of 28 housing experts, activists and community leaders. They will issue their recommendations to the Mayor in May.

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Mayor, City Light announce ‘Operation LED’ program to distribute up to 370,000 energy efficient light bulbs

Every residential customer of Seattle City Light can now get a free, energy efficient LED light bulb through the utility’s Operation LED campaign.

Mayor Murray kickstarted the campaign in the Chinatown International District today, handing out bulbs at Uwajimaya and Legacy House.

“Seattle is a leader in conservation, showing the rest of the world how it’s done when it comes to being green and what it means to be an LED city,” Murray said. “These bulbs will help our customers lower their electricity bills and reduce the pressure on City Light to buy additional power on the open market.”

Seattle was one of the first cities in the nation to switch its streetlights to LEDs. Safeco Field is the first Major League Baseball stadium to use LEDs for all its on-field lighting. And numerous other city icons use the energy efficient lights, including The Great Wheel, The Paramount Theatre, Starbucks and the floodlights for the roof arches at Centurylink Field.

“Our goal is to give all our 370,000 residential households a free LED,” City Light General Manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco said. “Energy conservation is our first resource of choice to meet the electricity needs of our growing community.”

While many LEDs look different than a traditional Edison-shaped bulb, they offer significant advantages:

  • They are more efficient than even compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • They last much longer
  • They start up quicker
  • And they are compatible with most dimmers.

City Light expects the campaign to generate about 3.9 million kilowatt-hours of energy savings in the first year. That’s enough electricity to power 458 Seattle homes for a year.

“Conserving energy while creating safe, affordable and comfortable homes for our residents is such a win-win for us,” said Paul Mar, director of real estate development for the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority. “We’re proud to be part of helping the City do the light thing for conservation and for seniors.”

City Light customers have several options for getting a free bulb. Visit seattle.gov/freebulb and enter your City Light account number. Online instructions are available in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Somali in addition to English. Follow the instructions on a mailer being sent to all City Light customers with a unique code. Or call 877-606-1599 and talk with a live person to request one.

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

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Duwamish River Opportunities Fund seeks proposals

The City of Seattle is seeking applications for community-based projects that enhance the quality of life in Seattle neighborhoods along the Duwamish River. Successful applicants will engage in projects to improve access to the river, support job creation and economic development, increase access to healthy food and other challenges faced by communities along the Duwamish.

“The Duwamish is our city’s river and we are committed to its future,” said Seattle Mayor Murray. “The larger clean-up effort is aimed at mitigating the effects of decades of legacy pollutants. These smaller-scale projects will help restore our community’s access to and enjoyment of the river as an important natural resource.”

This year, the City will fund $250,000 in projects. Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend a community event about the fund on Wed., April 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM, at Coliman Restaurant, 6932 Carleton Avenue S, in Georgetown. Applications will be accepted through May 15.

Successful projects will:

  • Be developed through a process of community engagement and participation.
  • Have a clear statement of the way the project addresses community priorities, the anticipated results, and the metrics used to measure success.
  • Build linkages among communities and involve a diversity of people and organizations; have engaged project partners.
  • Address an issue important to the success of the Duwamish River communities.
  • Be connected to the long range future of the Duwamish River communities.
  • Have a clear budget and demonstrated capacity to manage funds effectively.

For more information on the opportunity fund, including past awards, visit murray.seattle.gov/duwamish or email drof@seattle.gov.

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Murray applauds passage of cable code amendments

Today, Mayor Murray issued the following statement after the Seattle City Council approved changes to the City’s rules governing cable television services in Seattle:

“I want to thank the Seattle City Council, especially Councilmembers Harrell and Licata, for their hard work updating Seattle’s cable code. I applaud the legislation’s unanimous adoption today.

Today was an important day for Seattle with the passage of our new cable code. The revised code encourages the entry of competitive cable television providers throughout the city. Competition is the best way to help our community realize lower cable television prices and improved customer service. In addition, the code reflects our commitment to equity by requiring providers to serve diverse communities and neighborhoods.”

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Murray praises funding for Pike Place Market Front

Today, Mayor Murray issued the following statement after the Seattle City Council approved funding for the Market Front project at Pike Place Market:

MarketFront“Pike Place Market is an iconic symbol and a major hub of community life in Seattle. The Market Front expansion will expand that role for the Market and provide much-needed parking, public space, affordable housing and improved pedestrian access to the waterfront. My thanks to the City Council for helping bring this vision to reality. The City is proud to partner with the Market as we reconnect downtown with the waterfront.”

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