Mayor Murray’s statement on SR 99 tunnel project delays

Mayor Ed Murray released the following statement on delays and additional costs for the SR 99 tunnel project:

“The tunnel is a project of statewide significance funded by state gas-tax dollars on a state highway. As an Attorney General opinion found on this very project, cities do not assume financial liability for the state highways that run through their jurisdictions. I look to the State of Washington to uphold the commitment it made to this City to build a tunnel and replace the Alaska Way surface street.”

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Mayor’s statement on SPOG contract vote

Mayor Ed Murray released the following statement regarding the recent contract vote by members of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG):

“I am disappointed that SPOG failed to approve this contract.

“We negotiated the greatest reclamation of management rights this City has ever seen, including expanded authority for the chief regarding transfers, rotations, promotions and the civilianization of significant positions.

“The contract also affirmed accountability reforms we and the community have sought for months, including streamlining the Discipline Review Board into a single neutral arbitrator, increased transparency into the discipline appeals process, and full agreement on the implementation of future court-mandated accountability reforms and subsequent enacting legislation.

“Unfortunately, this great progress was undermined during the ratification process when the management documents were leaked to the press. This was a shocking violation of a core labor principle about collective bargaining that threatens the direct relationship between the union and its members, which is why the City is investigating.

“Confidentiality is a promise and a key component of labor negotiations to ensure that labor and management maintain a positive and respectful relationship built on trust. Breaching that promise undermines that trust.

“The collapse of this contract also occurred in the middle of a major change in union leadership and amidst a tumultuous period in our history around the nature of policing.

“The effect of all of this is to set back compliance with the consent decree. In the context of the ongoing reform process, this is a disappointment. But whether through arbitration or the federal court, these reforms will happen and will be here to stay.”

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Murray issues statement on officer shooting in Baton Rouge

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement regarding the shooting of officers in Baton Rouge:

“My thoughts go out to the families of the officers victimized by today’s tragedy in Baton Rouge, and to the entire law enforcement community of this nation. 

“Once again, it appears that the demonization of a group of people has led to fatal violence. Once again, it appears that members of the law enforcement community have been gunned down because of the community they belong to. Once again, it appears that an assault rifle was used to make a political point. 

“This violence must end. Our country, our communities cannot become places where peaceful democratic discourse is replaced by slaughter. 

“As I have said, this is a vital moment in our history, and we cannot allow our reaction to these tragic events feed the very elements of fear and anger and extreme rhetoric and the stigmatization of others that is driving this violence in the first place. We must use this moment, actively and deliberately, to defuse tensions and build trust, throughout this country and in each and every community, including here in Seattle.

“I want to thank the men and women of the Seattle Police Department for your service to our community. Your city appreciates and values your commitment and your readiness to answer the call of duty and keep us safe.”

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Mayor Murray announces $250,000 for Duwamish River neighborhood projects

Mayor Murray announced $250,000 from the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund has been awarded to four community projects supporting neighborhoods along the Duwamish River. This fund provides support to programs focused on challenges faced by Duwamish River neighborhoods during the Superfund clean-up.

“The neighborhoods along the Duwamish have had to struggle with significant environmental challenges due to the river’s contamination,” said Mayor Murray. “The Duwamish River Opportunity Fund is one facet of the City’s commitment to support the needs of these communities during the ongoing cleanup and to help promote a healthy and thriving community.”

The projects will be implemented this year and will continue into 2017.

The 2016 Duwamish River Opportunity Fund Awards

  • $46,000 to Catalyst to support business recruitment and attraction in the South Park business district, working in partnership with the South Park Area Redevelopment Committee.
  • $70,000 to Just Health Action to develop a peer training program for Vietnamese and Latino subsistence fishers about fishing regulations, sustainable resource protections, and fish consumption health advisories.
  • $75,000 to Seattle Parks Foundation to fund a program manager to continue the Duwamish Valley Green Spaces program; and create and teach a new outdoor air quality curriculum for the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps, including hands-on experience locating, installing, and maintaining a green wall.
  • $59,000 to Seattle Good Business Network to pilot a co-production and training sewing studio, create opportunities for flexible employment via freelance sewing opportunities, and continue to revitalize the local sewn-goods economy through resource and coalition development.

About the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund

The City of Seattle is working to make the Superfund cleanup of the Duwamish River result in the optimum outcome for the river and its adjacent neighborhoods. In addition to its commitment to the clean-up efforts, the City recognizes that the communities along the Duwamish have many needs. To address some of these, the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund was created in 2014 to enhance existing programs and support new ones. Seattle Department of Neighborhoods manages the fund.

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Mayor Murray issues statement on passing of Ruth Woo

Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement on the passing of longtime political and community advocate Ruth Woo:

“Ruth Woo was a legend in the community, and I’ll always remember our many breakfasts together at AJs over the years. Her legacy will be the dozens, no hundreds of us, whom she mentored as we embarked on our careers. Look around, from Olympia, to DC, to the City and nonprofits, every part of our region’s public life have people who leaned on her for advice and support. To all of us, today and forever, she will always be ‘Auntie Ruth’.”



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Mayor Murray announces planned usage of Myers Way property in Southwest Seattle

Following months of community input, Mayor Ed Murray today announced the planned usage for the Myers Way property in Southwest Seattle.

“Thank you to those who shared their input on the future of the Myers Way property,” said Murray. “The City will retain the land, dedicating the four-acre northernmost portion for important fire training needs and expanding the Joint Training Facility. The remainder of the property will be retained and designated for open space and/or recreation purposes, consistent with the community response provided through our outreach. At a future date, Seattle Parks and Recreation will conduct further public outreach to determine how best to use the property.”

Seattle Parks and Recreation does not currently have resources needed to immediately repurpose the site, but the Department will retain the property as one of its “land banked” sites. Holding such properties ensures that valuable open space is not lost, even if resources for repurposing the property are not immediately available.

The Myers Way property is one of the largest pieces of undeveloped City-owned land and is adjacent to the Seattle-White Center border.

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Mayor: New community engagement plan will bring more diverse neighborhood voices before the City

Mayor Ed Murray today signed an executive order to bring greater equity to the City’s outdated system for promoting public engagement among residents of Seattle’s neighborhoods.

“Our city has changed dramatically since our District Councils system was created three decades ago, and we have seen them over time become less and less representative not only of their neighborhoods but of Seattle itself,” said Murray. “For immigrants and refugees, low-income residents, communities of color, renters, single parents, youth, people experiencing homelessness, LGBTQ, and more, the system today has become a barrier for many to become involved in the City’s decision-making process. Now is the time to recreate our outreach and engagement process to become more accessible and inclusive, and to account for the ways that people communicate and connect in the 21st century.”

The District Council system, established in 1987, includes thirteen area-based councils whose membership includes local residents representing their neighborhood’s community council, business associations, and nonprofit organizations. In 2009, the City Auditor issued a strongly-worded report advocating for a reset of the District Council system, due in part to the low-level of diverse representation on the district councils.

In 2013, a demographic snapshot of District Council attendees showed that they tend to be 40 years of age or older, Caucasian, with the vast majority owning their homes. At least six District Councils had no reported people of color attending, and only three District Councils reported any African American attendees.

Murray’s executive order directs City departments to begin developing robust community engagement plans, and takes steps toward dissolving the City’s ties to each of the thirteen district councils. The district councils may still exist, but Department of Neighborhoods’ resources that previously supported the district councils will be redirect to support all City departments in these efforts. Throughout the month of August, the Department of Neighborhoods will conduct civic engagement focus groups. By September 26, the department will also draft legislation for a new citywide community engagement framework and strategic plan, including a new Seattle Community Involvement Commission to be established by January 2017. The Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle IT are also directed to submit a digital engagement plan by March 1, 2017 to broaden public accessibility.

“How we reach out to residents to bring them into the governing process reflects the City’s fundamental commitment to equity and to democracy,” said Murray. “We’re constantly looking to bring down barriers, to open up more opportunities, and to reflect the face of our diverse and growing city. I know that community members have committed untold hours serving on the district councils over the years: this change is about distributing opportunity for community input, not taking it away.”

An FAQ on today’s announcement can be found here.



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Mayor Murray recognizes local partners for employing Seattle youth, calls for more support

Mayor Ed Murray today recognized the top supporters of his Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative, which connects Seattle youth ages 14-24 with paid internships and employment opportunities.

The mayor thanked the Port of Seattle, Alaska Airlines, Goodwill, Swedish Medical Center, JPMorgan Chase, AT&T and Starbucks for their support of the initiative, which ranges from hosting interns to donating funds to support wages for youth placed at other organizations. These businesses and organizations represent the various ways employers can support Seattle’s youth, through financial contributions to support jobs and through internship programs.

“In a city with so much economic growth and opportunity, we can’t leave Seattle’s young people behind,” said Murray. “By providing opportunities to Seattle’s youth, employers are changing lives. I want to thank those who have stepped forward and challenge more companies and organizations to get involved. The need is still great.”

At 12%, youth unemployment is almost four times the city’s overall rate, according to the latest data from the 2014 American Community Survey. For low‐income youth, young people of color, and youth who aren’t in school the unemployment rate is as high as 28%.

To address Seattle’s high youth unemployment rate, Mayor Murray launched the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative in 2015 to build career pathways for Seattle’s youth.  Backed by financial support from JPMorgan Chase and building on decades of success of the Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP), the 2015 initiative connected more than 2,000 youth with life-changing internship opportunities. This year, the City has enlisted Educurious to help connect more youth with meaningful employment throughout the year.

“JPMorgan Chase is proud to work with Mayor Murray, the City of Seattle and Educurious to help prepare our youth for the future,” said PNW Chairman for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Phyllis Campbell. “One of the most urgent challenges we face is the need for more inclusive economic opportunity—we know that helping young people gain early work experience and build job skills is a powerful strategy for promoting economic mobility. That’s why we’ve been at the forefront of expanding high-quality youth employment initiatives— investing $6 million in 15 cities across the country including $600,000 in Seattle.”

Out of the 150 participating employers (not including the City of Seattle), the Port of Seattle is employing the largest number of youth, with nearly 100 interns this summer alone. As part of its commitment to the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative, the Port increased its number of high school interns nearly tenfold, worked with manufacturing partners and Seattle Public Schools to support career exploration, and is investing in interns’ long-term success through résumé workshops and other career development opportunities.

“The Port of Seattle Commission approved $400,000 this week to strengthen training curriculums in local schools to better prepare students for technical and industrial jobs,” said Commissioner Stephanie Bowman.  “It’s a top Commission priority to increase awareness about the opportunities in the maritime and aviation industries, to strengthen the middle class here in Seattle.”

“Swedish is very honored and proud to partner with Mayor Murray and other participating organizations to provide students in our community with opportunities that we hope will make a significant and positive difference in their futures,” said Swedish’s Chief Human Resources Officer Naren Balasubramaniam. “Our goal is to invest in these students through time and mentorship so that they build work and life experience and learn firsthand about healthcare and hospital operations. The SYEP program is an important way for us as an organization to live our commitment to caring for our communities and improving the health of our region beyond normal patient care.”

“At Alaska Airlines we are committed to youth in the state of Washington and believe that programs like the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative, open up possibilities and allows our future work force to gain valuable work experience. It helps to remove barriers for young people to imagine their future and all the opportunities that come with meaningful employment,” said Tammy Young, vice president of human resources.  “We’re thrilled to work closely with the 10 high school students we have on-site with us this summer – they bring so much energy and we’re learning from each other!”

“As an organization whose mission is to prepare people for employment, it makes perfect sense for Seattle Goodwill to host summer youth interns and expose them to a variety of work experiences in a non-profit setting.  By making their internships meaningful and rewarding Goodwill will help these young people establish a positive foundation for many career opportunities that they will have in their lifetime,” Daryl Campbell, President and CEO, Seattle Goodwill said.

AT&T committed this week to a $10,000 contribution to support jobs for young people in Seattle.

“Through our own internship program at AT&T, we have seen how training programs and opportunities to work on real-world projects can launch a young person’s career.  We are honored to be a part of Mayor Murray’s Youth Employment Initiative which will unlock the potential of so many young Seattleites,”  Bob Bass, President, External and Legislative Affairs, AT&T Washington.

Together with local employers, the City and has connected 2,000 youth with employment opportunities so far this year through the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative. The program has also helped fill a need for employers who need to fill the employee pipeline.

Even with the apparent success of the initiative, however, the demand for youth employment in Seattle is not being met. For example, less than half of the 1,600 youth who were eligible for a position have been able to be placed in positions.

If the City secures an additional $1.1 million in a combination of paid internships and donations, 400 more young people will be able to access employment opportunities that will have a lasting impact on their self-esteem, job readiness, and economic mobility.

“Seattle’s young people are eager to work. If more companies don’t step up to support youth employment this year, we’ll be forced to turn away hundreds of qualified youth,” added Murray.

To learn more and register your organization to participate in the initiative, visit

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Mayor Murray responds to Dallas shootings

Today, Mayor Ed Murray delivered the following remarks in response to the Dallas shootings:

For the second day in a row, I am speaking to you because our country is shaken.

We were shaken just days ago by the tragic shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. 

And last night by the violent reaction of a single individual in Dallas to those tragic deaths, resulting in the shooting deaths of five law enforcement officers and the wounding of seven others.  

Today, there is anger, and uncertainty, and bitterness, and fear. Among the black community. Among our law enforcement community. And across this county and this city.

This is a pivotal time in our history and it is also a dangerous time in our history.

How we chose to respond will determine our ability to come together as a city and a nation, or be further divided and sink into ever more violence.

Let us respond and be united in denouncing violence as the answer.

Let us be respond and be united in hearing the peaceful voices of the peaceful protesters in Dallas, in Louisiana, in Minnesota and here in Seattle.

Let us respond and be united in not allowing the viciousness of one man to silence these voices, so many of whom were crying out in pain.

Violence will not resolve the hurt or helplessness or frustration. The politics of simply tearing others apart and denouncing our opponents will not heal the wounds of racism.

The stigmatization of any group, based on race or religion or sexual orientation or of police officers, only leads to violence.

To the members of the Seattle Police Department, this tragedy is a somber reminder of the uncertainties and risk you and your colleagues take each and every day in service to our community.

You have an extraordinarily difficult job and, as I said yesterday, often are called to respond to the failure of other systems.

You put your life on the line every day to keep us safe. For this we thank you, and we simply must do our best to make sure you are safe.

To further reiterate what I said in my remarks yesterday, the causes of the violence we have seen this week are institutional and structural racism.

And the best answer we can give is to continue our work to create a more equitable city, giving young people of color opportunity, and leading the nation in reforming our police department.

But we are also challenged with a politics locally, nationally and globally based on fear and intent on dividing us. Where issues are pushed to the extreme, and we demonize those who disagree with us.

Our challenge at this tragic moment, as individuals and collectively as a city, is to step back from the politics of divisions and find a way, despite our disagreements, to recognize the good in others and build bridges to overcome the challenges we face.

As Congressman John Lewis said just this morning, “We are one people, we one family, we are one house. We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters. If not we will perish as fools.”


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Mayor Murray’s statement on officers killed in Dallas

Mayor Murray released the following statement regarding the death of officers in Dallas:

As I have said before, if we are to engage in a serious discussion about racism, we must recognize that the police are on the receiving end of the failure of so many systems to deal with racism; schools, mental health, foster care. As I have said before, the stigmatization of any group including police officers leads to violence. The death of police officers in Dallas is a tragedy for the officers, their families and all of us. It is only by building bridges between communities of color and the police that we can finally build the trust that will bring us together in our stand against racism. The men and women I have come to know in the Seattle Police Department are committed to that challenge. As Mayor I want our officers to know I am committed to their safety and again thank them for the service they provide to the people of Seattle.

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