City selects first classrooms for Seattle Preschool Program

Today Mayor Ed Murray announced the providers and locations for the first classrooms of the new Seattle Preschool Program. Beginning in September, the program will serve about 230 students in neighborhoods across the city.

Four providers will offer full-day, high-quality preschool for three- and four-year-olds in 12 classrooms:

  • Causey’s Early Learning Center, with classrooms in the Central District and Beacon Hill.
  • Community Day School Association in Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Delridge and Leschi.
  • Sound Childcare Solutions with classrooms Downtown and in Mt. Baker.
  • Creative Kids in Greenwood.

“Seattle is teaming with quality educators to provide these children with a great start to classroom learning,” said Mayor Murray. “Quality early childhood education will have a lasting impact on these kids, leading to success in school and in life.”

In one study of Chicago students, children who attended a quality preschool program were 29 percent more likely to graduate from high school than their peers who did not.

“We have a strong group of high-quality preschool providers,” said Council President Tim Burgess. “This is a great start. Full day, affordable, high-quality preschool will become a reality for hundreds of Seattle families this September, then thousands more in the coming years. This is an investment to make certain Seattle children have a fair and strong start. It will change lives.”

All Seattle Preschool Program classrooms will be staffed by well-qualified teachers with access to continuing professional development. The student to teacher ratio will be no more than 10 to 1. All providers are licensed by the State of Washington and rated three or higher by the State’s Early Achievers program.

Sites were selected based the preschool’s proximity to low-performing public schools, its track record serving diverse communities, and plans to actively engage families in their students’ success.

Seattle Public Schools continues to experience an opportunity gap for lower-income kids and children of color.  Nearly 90 percent of Caucasian 3rd graders are meeting math and reading standards in this city, compared to approximately half of African-American students. About one-quarter of African American and Latino students do not graduate on time, compared to 8 percent of Caucasian students.

“Our kids come from all different environments, but they can all learn by doing, so we use a curriculum that engages both a child’s mind and their hands,” said Ruth Brown of Causey’s Learning Center. “I strongly believe in professional development, and this program will encourage continued skill-building for our teachers. We are very excited to be in this first group of providers.”

All Seattle Preschool Program classes will meet six hours a day throughout the 180-day academic year. All classrooms will use approved age-appropriate curriculum geared for hands-on learning.

Families seeking an application for a student to participate in the Seattle Preschool Program can find it online HERE, or contact the Department of Education and Early Learning at preschool@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-3942.

Tuition is based on family income and is free for families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty rate, currently $70,000 for a family of four. The highest-earning families will pay $10,173 for the 180-day school year.

The average rate for unsubsidized center-based preschool programs in Seattle is $1,228 per month.

In December, the Department of Education and Early Learning will accept applications from additional providers to join the program. For the 2016-2017 school year, an additional 25 classrooms will serve another 500 children. In its fourth year, the program will serve 2000 children across Seattle.

Last November, Seattle voters approved $58 million over 4 years to launch the program.

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Statement on sentencing of man convicted in hate-crime assault of Somali cab driver in Seattle

Mayor Murray issued the following statement after a King County judge sentenced Jesse Fleming, under Washington’s hate-crime statute, for assaulting a Seattle cab driver in December of 2014.

“We must stand together across all faiths and religions, races and ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations, and renew our resolve against violence and hatred. While this sentence will not erase this terrible crime, we will continue to fight intolerance and hatred throughout Seattle.”

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Mayor Murray Statement on Court Hearing Regarding City’s Progress in Fulfilling Federal Consent Decree

Mayor Ed Murray released the following statement about today’s Federal Court hearing regarding the Consent Decree:

“Today Judge Robart affirmed that the Seattle Police Department, under the leadership of Chief O’Toole, is making significant progress on police reform, rebuilding community trust and becoming a national model for urban policing.

“The direction today from Judge Robart was clear: any reforms must align with the consent decree and be approved by the Court. As planned, I will be working with the Department of Justice, Federal Monitor, CPC, labor unions and City Attorney to achieve meaningful reforms to our civilian oversight system and improve accountability.”

 

 

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Mayor Murray recommends funding 22 projects to promote digital equity

Mayor Ed Murray today transmitted legislation recommending 22 recipients of the City’s 2015 Technology Matching Fund for projects that will assist more than 14,900 residents in need and help to further the City’s digital equity goals. Once approved by the Seattle City Council, a total of $470,000 will be distributed to community organizations throughout the city. The Council will discuss these recommendations on Wednesday, July 15.

“These funds play an important role in leveling the playing field in our city by helping our most vulnerable residents access technology,” said Murray. “Technology skills are necessary for success in the 21st century and these funds play a critical role in teaching and preparing our residents.”

The money will support projects throughout the city to ensure all Seattleites have access to and proficiency using internet-based technologies. These projects were selected from Seattle’s Community Technology Advisory Board from 64 applicants and will contribute more than $1 million in projected community matching resources, more than double the City’s investment.

The recommended projects will connect populations that have limited access to technology, empower residents with digital literacy skills, and build capacity for diverse communities to use technology for civic participation. Half of this year’s recipients are new provider organizations, while the other projects build on infrastructure and knowledge at prior provider sites. Ten projects will provide technology training for youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and digital media programs. The projects will serve more than 1,350 immigrants and refugees.

The recommended 2015 Technology Matching Fund award recipients include:

  • Barton Place Computer Lab
  • Big-Brained Superheroes Club
  • Coalition for Refugees from Burma
  • Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association
  • Denny Terrace Computer Lab
  • East African Community Services
  • Full Life Care
  • Georgetown Community Council
  • Jefferson Terrace Computer Lab
  • Kin On Community Health Care
  • Lazarus Day Center
  • Literacy Source
  • Millionair Club Charity
  • Neighborhood House
  • Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange
  • Smilow Rainier Vista Clubhouse & Teen Center of Boys & Girls Clubs of King County
  • Sound Child Care Solutions
  • SouthEast Effective Development
  • The Seattle Globalist
  • Voices of Tomorrow
  • Washington Middle School PTSA
  • Xbot Robotics

For more information and a map of Technology Matching Fund awardees visit  http://www.seattle.gov/tech/TMF/2015.

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Joint statement on proposed police accountability and civilian oversight legislation

Today Mayor Ed Murray, the Community Police Commission, the Chief of Police, the OPA Director and the OPA Auditor, with input from the City Attorney’s Office, announced that they have reached an agreement on joint police accountability reform legislation to be transmitted to Council. The joint legislative proposal represents the shared vision of the City of Seattle.

CPC Co-Chair Reverend Harriett Walden stated: “Credit is due to the years of community activism to demand Constitutional policing for the people of Seattle. This legislation is a direct response to the community’s call for meaningful and sustained police reform.”

Mayor Murray stated: “Improving our police accountability and civilian oversight system is one of the critical pieces of my goal to make the Seattle Police Department the national model for urban policing. I want to thank the CPC, Chief O’Toole, Pierce Murphy and City Attorney Holmes for their hard work to bring this to fruition. I now plan to consult with the Department of Justice, Federal Monitor and police labor unions to ensure that our joint proposal is fully aligned with the consent decree.”

“We will submit our legislative proposal to Council for consideration at the City Council’s Public Safety Committee hearing on July 15,” said CPC Executive Director Fé Lopez.

The legislation will:

• Make the CPC the permanent, independent civilian oversight body over the police accountability system.
• Consolidate case review of OPA investigations under the OPA Auditor and incorporate other functions of the OPA Review Board into the CPC.
• Strengthen the role and independence of OPA.
• Implement additional mechanisms that support transparency and accountability.

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City identifies public lands for permitted encampment sites

Today Mayor Ed Murray released a map of City-owned properties most suitable for new permitted encampments to serve at least 200 individuals experiencing homelessness. The mayor will transmit a resolution on the encampment sites to the Seattle City Council tomorrow.

The three preferred City-owned sites for 2015 are:

  • 2826 NW Market Street for approximately 52 residents.
  • 3234 17th Avenue W for approximately 70 residents.
  • Industrial Way between 5th and 6th Avenue S for approximately 78 residents.

Four City-owned sites were identified as potential future locations:

  • 8030 15th Avenue NW for approximately 36 residents.
  • 3830 4th Avenue NE for approximately 64 residents.
  • 7115 2nd Avenue SW for approximately 95 residents.
  • 7110 Rainier Avenue S for approximately 32 residents.

“Permitted encampments are not a permanent solution to the crisis of homelessness we are experiencing in Seattle,” said Murray. “These encampments will provide a safer community environment than sleeping under a highway overpass or on a park bench. Residents will have improved access to services and we hope to open the door to permanent housing as quickly as we can.”

This year the mayor proposed and the City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance that allows up to three permitted encampments of no more than 100 persons each on City-owned or private property. Each location will be permitted for one year, with the possibility of permit renewal for an additional year. Each site must be vacant for one year between encampments.

“The One Night Count, tells us that there were over 2800 people in our community living without shelter this year,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “Identifying city-owned sites for transitional encampments is an important next step. I look forward to working with community to establish up to three sites where people can stay safely and in community as we seek permanent housing solutions.”

“I am right by Mayor Murray’s side as we create safe spaces for community members who are without shelter,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “Managed encampments will offer the most basic resources for people, such as a 24-hour shelter with public health services, hygiene facilities, and potentially access to electricity. I wholeheartedly support this approach which will make our city better for all of us.”

Before recommending the sites, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development reviewed more than 135 vacant City-owned parcels. The ordinance adopted by the Council limits encampment locations to unused property in non-residential zones, excluding park properties. Each encampment must be at least one mile from other legal encampments.

The City estimates that one-time start-up costs for the encampments will be $32,000, with annual lease costs and services for encampment residents of approximately $200,000 already provided in the 2015 budget.

Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) has selected two encampment operators through a qualification review process: SHARE and Nickelsville. The encampment ordinance requires that operators have prior experience managing shelters, low-income housing or homeless encampments. The Murray Administration continues to reach out to other faith-based and non-profit organizations that may be interested in operating an encampment.

The encampment operators are responsible for safety and security within the camp and residents will be screened by the operators for acceptance. A third organization, Low Income Housing Institute, will provide case management services to individuals living in the encampments.

HSD contractors and staff will make regular site visits to support SHARE and Nickelsville, and coordinate public health, medical outreach and food assistance.

“A place to store your things, sit and talk with friends, and rest your head at night are taken for granted by most of us,” said Mark Putnam of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County. “For many, however, these are not givens. Encampments can offer a temporary safe place for people to be human, while working to get back into stable housing.”

“The Mayor rightly sees the crisis facing people experiencing homelessness as requiring a response that includes the safety and community of sanctioned encampments,” said Michael Ramos of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. “We welcome this step to expand the continuum of care to meet this most basic of human needs.”

Encampment operators will form a Community Advisory Committee to respond to community concerns, review operations standards, and work with neighbors when encampments move to new permitted sites.

More information is available on HSD’s website.

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Every American is free to marry

Today Mayor Ed Murray delivered the following remarks from Seattle City Hall after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of all Americans to marry the person they love:IMG_7653

“Good morning. Today I am able to say to Americans what I said to Washingtonians the day we signed our marriage equality bill: welcome to the other side of the rainbow. America is a place where you can dream dreams that really do come true.

“I want to thank the United States Supreme Court for affirming our constitutional right to marriage. I want to thank President Obama for his leadership and showing courage in his own personal journey on our issue.

“I am so proud of the Washington State Legislature and the Washington state voters who led this nation on this issue. It was our legislature and our voters who were the first to overturn DOMA. It was our voters on that election night – along with voters in Maine and Maryland – who by a vote of the people affirmed the right of gay and lesbian families to full equality. I want to particularly call out the legislators who I served with, particularly Jamie Pederson and Senator Mary Margaret Haugen, who was the 25th vote and paid the ultimate price by losing her election for her heroic stand.

“This journey has been historic, it has been long, it has not been easy and it has often been painful. But we are here today because of the courageous families – gay, lesbian, transgender and straight – who told the stories of their lives and changed hearts and minds of legislators, voters, and ultimately justices of the United States Supreme Court.

“Those everyday heroes showed that democracy still lies in the hands of people. It lies in those who are willing to organize, those who are willing to conduct campaigns, and those who are willing to go the ballot box and vote. We can still make a difference. I think that is an important message today at a time when our country struggles with so many issues. There is no reason to engage in the politics of futility. If we learned anything, we can make a difference by taking control of that ballot box.

“The American journey has not always been easy. It has always been a struggle to more inclusion and more equality. From the day the Constitution was signed to this day, that journey has led in one direction. And today we are one step closer to its fulfillment.

“While today feels like a very political moment, ultimately it is about something very personal to all of us. I thanked many people, and I want to thank my husband, Michael.

“I think Justice Kennedy expressed it best in the opinion released today. He said, ‘No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, they respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.’

“To all who brought us to this moment over many decades – those who worked, those who protested, those who organized and those who are not here with us anymore – thank you. Thank you to the state of Washington for leading and God bless the United States of America.”

 

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Sign up to assist Seattle’s K-12 students with their homework!

homework-helpThe Seattle Public Library is seeking volunteers to assist K-12 students with homework assignments at 10 Library locations. Volunteers will also encourage additional math and reading development through a variety of fun learning activities.

Successful Homework Help volunteers are comfortable interacting with students of all ages individually and in small groups. Homework Help is a drop-in program for students and not “tutoring” in the traditional sense. A volunteer does not, for example, work with one student throughout the school year. Each week, the students and their requests may be different.

English is a second language for many of the students who use the Homework Help program. You don’t need to be a subject expert to participate, although that is helpful, particularly in the areas of math and science.

Homework Help will be offered at the following Library locations from Sept. 14, 2015, through June 16, 2016:

  • Beacon Hill Branch,2821 Beacon Ave. S.
  • Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • Columbia Branch, 4721 Rainier Ave. S.
  • Douglass-Truth Branch, 2300 E. Yesler Way
  • High Point Branch, 3411 S.W. Raymond St.
  • Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. N.E.
  • NewHolly Branch, 7058 32nd Ave. S.
  • Northgate Branch, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E.
  • Rainier Beach Branch, 9125 Rainier Ave. S. (begins January 2016)
  • South Park Branch, 8604 Eighth S.

Volunteers will be scheduled for weekly two-hour shifts. Those who cannot make weekly commitments can be scheduled as substitutes at least twice a month.

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Mayor invites public to sign condolence book to Charleston

Today Mayor Ed Murray invited the people of Seattle to sign a condolence book to the people of Charleston in honor of the nine victims killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Murray urges Seattle residents to send messages of support to the victims’ families and all of Charleston.

“The people of Seattle feel utter revulsion over this vicious act,” said Murray. “But we cannot dismiss this tragedy as merely the product of racist extremism. We must also acknowledge and address the uncomfortable truth of racism and racial inequity here in Seattle and across the country.”

Through its Race and Social Justice Initiative, the City of Seattle continues a commitment to acknowledge our own history of racial inequity, end institutional racism within City government, and work with the community and with other governments to achieve racial equity.

Beginning at 4 p.m. today through July 10, the condolence book will be available in the lobby of Seattle City Hall. Public are invited to sign between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Cooling shelter locations announced ahead of heat wave

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for Seattle and surrounding areas from Friday afternoon through late Saturday night. The City of Seattle is providing information and public spaces that may be used by residents to stay cool in the high temperatures.

Stay hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water. Have a beverage with you at all times, and sip or drink frequently. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually de-hydrate your body.

Protect your pets

Pets are especially vulnerable in high heat and the Seattle Animal Shelter recommends the following:

  • Never leave your animal chained or penned up directly in sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat, such as a dog house, porch or shady tree, and always provide cool water.
  • If you leave animals indoors, open screened windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and if possible, leave them in a cool location.
  • Never leave dogs or cats unattended in a closed, locked car. Animals do not perspire like humans; they cool themselves by panting and seats in vehicles get hot under animals’ feet and prevent them from perspiring through their paws.
  • If you must travel with your pet, carry water. If a trip requires you leave your pet in the car at any point, think about saving that for another day. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Exercise is fine when taken in moderation, but obesity, old age, underlying disease and previous bouts of heat stroke can predispose an animal to the condition.
  • For birds, take caution and place the bird’s cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

Libraries

The following Seattle Public Library locations are equipped with air conditioning, and serve as cooling centers when the area experiences extreme heat. Please call the individual location before you go for open hours and to verify that the air conditioning is working.

  • Central Library (1000 4th Ave) – 206-386-4636
  • Ballard (5614 22nd Ave NW) – 206-684-4089
  • Beacon Hill (2821 Beacon Ave S) – 206-684-4711
  • Broadview (12755 Greenwood Ave N) – 206-684-7519
  • Capitol Hill (425 Harvard Ave E) – 206-684-4715
  • Delridge (5423 Delridge Way SW) – 206-733-9125
  • Douglass-Truth (2300 E Yesler Way) – 206-684-4704
  • Greenwood (8016 Greenwood Ave N) – 206-684-4086
  • High Point (3411 SW Raymond St) – 206-684-7454
  • International District / Chinatown (713 8th Ave S) – 206-386-1300
  • Lake City (12501 28th Ave NE) – 206-684-7518
  • Madrona-Sally Goldmark (1134 33rd Ave) – 206-684-4705
  • Magnolia (2801 34th Ave W) – 206-386-4225
  • NewHolly (7058 32nd Ave S) – 206-386-1905
  • Northgate (10548 5th Ave NE) – 206-386-1980
  • Rainier Beach (9125 Rainier Ave S) – 206-386-1906
  • South Park (8604 8th Ave S) – 206-615-1688
  • Wallingford (1501 N 45th St) – 206-684-4088

Seattle Center (View the campus map PDF at http://www.seattlecenter.com/downloads/sc_map_color_gates.pdf) – 206-684-7200

  • Seattle Center Armory (Open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • International Fountain
  • Fountain of Creation (Dupen Fountain)

Senior Centers
The following senior centers have air conditioning or are relatively cool and are open to the public. Please call the individual location before you go for open hours and to verify that the facility is cool.

  • Asian Counseling and Referral Service Senior Center (3639 Martin Luther King Way S.) – 206-695-7600
  • Ballard NW Senior Center (5429 32nd Ave NW) – 206-297-0403
  • Central Area Senior Center (500 30th Ave S) – 206-726-4926
  • Greenwood Senior Center (525 N. 85th Street) – 206-297-0875
  • International Drop-In Center (7301 Beacon Ave S.) – 206-587-3735
  • Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank (85 Pike St, #200) – 206-728-2773
  • The Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St) – 206-932-4044
  • Southeast Seattle Senior Center (4655 South Holly St) – 206-722-0317
  • Sunshine Garden Chinese Senior Community Center (611 S. Lane St.) housed in the Chinese Information and Service Center – 206-624-5633
  • Wallingford Community Senior Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Suite 140) – 206-461-7825

Pools and Water Areas

Four-day-a-week Wading Pools (both are open noon to 6:45 p.m.):

  • Hiawatha Community Center, 2700 California Ave. SW, Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat
  • Delridge Community Center, 4501 Delridge Way SW, Mon/Tues/Sat/Sun

Three-day-a-week Wading Pools (all are open from noon to 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted):

  • Bitter Lake, 13035 Linden Ave. N, Wed/Thu/Fri
  • Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave., noon to 6:45 p.m., Fri/Sat/Sun
  • Dahl Playfield, 7700 25th Ave. NE, Tues/Wed/Thurs
  • East Queen Anne, 160 Howe St., Sun/Mon/Tue
  • E.C. Hughes, 2805 SW Holden St., Wed/Thu/Fri
  • Soundview, 1590 NW 90th St., Sat/Sun/Mon
  • South Park, 8319 8th Ave. S, Mon/Tue/Wed
  • Wallingford, 4219Wallingford Ave. N, Wed/Thu/Fri

Daily Wading Pools (all are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted):

  • Green Lake, N 73rd and E Green Lake Dr. N
  • Lincoln Park, 8600 Fauntleroy Ave. SW
  • Magnuson, eastern end of NE 65th St., noon to 6:30 p.m.
  • Van Asselt, 2820 S Myrtle St.
  • Volunteer Park, 1400 E Galer St.

Daily Water Spray Parks (all are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted):

  • Ballard Commons, 5701 22nd Ave. NW
  • Beacon Mountain at Jefferson Park, 3901 Beacon Ave. S
  • John C. Little, 6961 37th Ave. S
  • Lower Judkins, 2150 S Norman St.
  • Georgetown Playfield, 750 S Homer St.
  • Highland Park, 1100 SW Cloverdale
  • Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N
  • Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E
  • Northacres Park, 12800 1st Ave. NE
  • Pratt Park, 1800 S Main St.

Lifeguarded Beaches  (noon to 7 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays)

  • Matthews, 9300 51st Ave. NE
  • Madison, 1900 43rd Ave. E
  • Baker, 2301 Lake Washington Blvd. S
  • Seward, 5902 Lake Washington Blvd. S
  • West Green Lake, 7312 W Green Lake Dr.
  • East Green Lake, 7201 E Green Lake Dr. N
  • Magnuson, park entrance at NE 65th and Sand Point Way NE
  • Madrona, 853 Lake Washington Blvd.
  • Pritchard Beach, 8400 55th S

Outdoor Pools

  • “Pop” Mounger Pool, 2535 32nd W, daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., call 206-684-4708 for public swim times
  • Colman Pool, 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW, daily, noon to 7 p.m., call 206-684-7494 for public swim times

Additional resources

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