Mayor Murray’s statement on Seattle Police officer conduct

Mayor Murray today issued the following statement on conduct by a Seattle Police officer related to an arrest last summer and subsequent social media posts:

“I am very disappointed by these incidents. They are both concerning to me.

While I support the Chief’s decision yesterday to call for a more comprehensive review of the overall conduct and performance of the officer involved – considering there were two incidents with this officer in the same summer – there appear to be lapses in our protocols.

I’ve directed the Chief to look not just at the officer’s conduct, but all the circumstances and decisions related to these incidences. We must do more to reform our system to restore the public’s trust in our police department so that everyone feels safe in our communities.

After meeting with the Chief this morning, we agreed she will conduct a comprehensive management investigation and transfer the officer to non-patrol duties for the time being.”

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Mayor, council celebrate Seattle’s new priority hire ordinance

Youth Build

Marquia Woo, a recent graduate of an apprenticeship program, speaks about the opportunities that job training programs like Youth Build create for communities. Since Woo graduated from her training program, she has been working on Seattle’s Seawall with Mortenson Construction.


Mayor Murray, city councilmembers, construction contractors, community members and workers today celebrated the signing of Seattle’s new priority hire law that will bring more jobs to disadvantaged communities through City construction projects of $5 million or more.

“This law is a major move to support workforce development for areas in our region that are being left behind,” said Murray. “This new priority hire ordinance ensures direct access to training programs and construction jobs. New city streets and community centers will not just benefit all of us that use them, but also local workers seeking a career in the trades and earnings to support a family.”

The ordinance will improve access to construction employment and improve training programs for workers in need of family-wage jobs, while minimizing increased costs on City projects. The proposed ordinance would prioritize the hiring of residents that live in economically distressed areas in Seattle and King County.

“With this bill, more Seattleites who have faced barriers to getting into construction careers will reap the rewards of both a well-paying job in the short-term and portable skills for the future,” said Councilmember Sally J. Clark, the legislation’s sponsor and chair of the council’s Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency Committee. “This legislation has been a team effort all the way through and the community of social justice advocates has been invaluable in getting us this far. The impact of this bill for people in Seattle will be far-reaching and lasting as more people find the training and careers to change their lives.”

The ordinance will use poverty levels, concentrated unemployment and gaps in educational attainment to identify economically distressed communities by zip code, with the aspirational goal of increasing construction career opportunities for women and racial minorities.

“Using our local tax dollars to put people from communities in our city with higher unemployment to work just makes good sense,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, co-sponsor of the legislation. “I am proud of the step we are taking today, and I also want to acknowledge the incredible community organizing that began years ago to bring this bill to fruition.”

Currently, only five percent of construction workers contributing to City projects live in the economically disadvantaged areas of Seattle and only nine percent live in King County’s economically disadvantaged areas.

The City piloted the concept on the Seawall project, where compared to past roadway projects, there has been an increase in the hiring of local residents (44 percent of the hours served), women (15 percent of the hours served), people of color (26 percent of the hours served), and those from distressed neighborhoods in Seattle and King County (22 percent).

“We are standing here today to boldly say we know we have great, qualified local workers, so let’s keep these jobs in this City and foster career opportunities for our community,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “This was an inclusive process with our local workers, contractors, labor, and social and environmental justice advocates.”

The ordinance increases existing requirements for contractors to hire apprentices – between 15 and 20 percent of positions – and introduces requirements for hiring of graduates from local pre-apprentice institutions. The City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) will support pre-apprentice and apprentice programs to increase graduation rates and worker retention, including concentrated recruitment of Seattle and King County workers, scholarships for tuition, boots and tools, and providing classes. The goal of the new law is to give access to careers in construction – from pre-apprentice, to apprentice and journey-level worker training.

The ordinance also directs FAS to execute Project Labor Agreements on projects meeting the $5 million threshold to provide the means to meet priority hire objectives and help avoid the risk of labor stoppages and/or shortages.

“The Building Trades is excited to be part of this historic agreement to improve community inclusion in the construction industry,” said Lee Newgent, Executive Secretary, Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council.

“We need to get more diverse people into the construction trades and help those trade workers who live in Seattle to hold good jobs,” said Connie Gersberg, owner of Metro Painting, LLC. “This ordinance will make the field better for local workers and help small and disadvantaged companies have a better chance to compete.”

Ordinance Signing at Youth Build The mayor signed the ordinance at the Georgetown Campus of South Seattle College, home to YouthCare’s YouthBuild program and other educational opportunities that open the door to careers in the construction trades.

“We know that jobs are the solution to youth homelessness, young adult poverty, and youth violence,” says Dr. Melinda Giovengo, Executive Director of YouthCare. “Priority hire offers an opportunity for graduates of pre-apprentice training programs like YouthCare’s YouthBuild to find stable, career-path jobs in our community, and have an opportunity to shape the future of Seattle.”

“This Priority Hire Ordinance will allow me to start my own career right here where I live, not just get a job, but give me the chance to actually build the city I live in and raise my daughter,” said Aikilah Eslava, a student at South Seattle College.

For more information:

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Murray statement on MLK Day use-of-force investigations

“Together with the Department of Justice, a court-appointed Federal Monitor and the Community Police Commission, we have worked to create and implement a comprehensive and transparent police accountability system that will be the most robust in the nation.

This includes ensuring that we have clear policies and protocols in place to investigate incidences when force is used. These investigations must take place quickly and comprehensively. Ingrained in my values – and the values of our city – is ensuring that people are able to protest peacefully to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of expression while providing the resources, support and training necessary for our police department to do their jobs and protect the public’s safety at these protests.

Under the accountability system that we’ve set up, the uses of force that occurred during the MLK protests are currently under review and being investigated. Moving forward, the City must also continue to implement many other reforms to ensure our officers are adequately trained and prepared to serve and protect all of Seattle’s residents.”

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Seattle, King County receive record $28 million in federal homeless assistance grants

A record $28 million in federal homeless assistance funds was awarded jointly to the City of Seattle and King County, including over $3.6 million to create new housing opportunities for over 200 people across the region, in addition to renewing critical funding for new and existing homeless housing and services countywide for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the award today, following the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announcement of $1.8 billion awarded nationwide.

“Seattle is working to address our current crisis in homelessness and these resources will help fund our response as we move people from emergency shelters into housing,” said Mayor Ed Murray, co-chair of the Committee to End Homelessness Governing Board. “This also grant helps us leverage additional federal funds to invest in best practices to serve homeless individuals and families.”

“The recent One Night Count highlights the need not only to create more safe shelter and affordable housing, but to keep people from falling into homelessness and to rapidly re-house those who find themselves without a home,” said Executive Constantine. “Thanks to this extraordinary federal support, we can act quickly to move more individuals and families from homelessness to housing.”

The funding awards and new bonus funding come just days after nearly one thousand volunteers across King County counted 3,772 unsheltered people across the County. The annual One Night Count conducted on Jan. 23 found a 21 percent increase over the number counted last year.

New for this federal funding round was approximately $40 million nationally specifically to create housing for chronically homeless persons. In a very competitive process, Seattle-King County was successful in applying for a $3.6 million bonus award, the second largest in the country, to transition over 200 chronically homeless individuals to permanent supportive housing by providing long-term rental assistance and services. The project will focus on people who have histories of the longest shelter use and who are also disabled by one or more significant vulnerabilities. This project is a partnership of Plymouth Housing Group, Catholic Housing Services and DESC – all of whom excel in serving chronically homeless people.

“We are ecstatic to receive funding to house more chronically homeless individuals with permanent supportive housing, an evidence-based approach to ending homelessness,” said Mark Putnam, director of the Committee to End Homelessness. “Our nonprofit providers’ experience with this model is second to none in the country.”

The federal grant also provides support for a new Regional Rapid Re-Housing Project that will assist 50 homeless families countywide to transition from homelessness to permanent housing. The program will offer quick, light-touch services to help families achieve stability, including assistance in finding housing, help with move-in expenses and case management. The program will focus on families who are homeless, either in shelter or on the streets.

The balance of funding awarded to the Seattle/King County Continuum of Care supports 77 community-based projects for a total of 2,176 units of housing: 1,457 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless people with disabilities and 721 units of transitional housing. The total includes funding for two Safe Haven facilities that offer supportive housing for homeless adults with severe mental illness. Also renewed is funding for Continuum of Care planning and the Safe Harbors Homeless Management Information System, which collects data on services provided to homeless people in programs throughout King County.

For more information on the programs and projects funded by the McKinney Continuum of Care grant funds, please call Eileen Denham, City of Seattle McKinney Programs Coordinator, 206-684-0915 or Kate Speltz, King County Housing and Community Development Program, 206-263-9084.

The full list of organizations receiving funds the consolidated application is provided after the jump: [Read more…]

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$470,000 in matching funds offered for technology projects; applications due March 19

Apply now 000024468147XSmallThe City of Seattle invites community organizations and nonprofits to apply for nearly $500,000 in funding to increase digital equity. The Technology Matching Fund awards are matched by the community’s contribution of volunteer labor, materials, professional services or funding.

“As a city, Seattle is known for technology and innovation, yet too many residents do not have sufficient internet access or the skills necessary to participate fully in today’s economy,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This funding leverages the resources of the community by matching time and funding.”

The Technology Matching Fund has been in existence since 1997 and this year the City has $470,000 available for matching awards of up to $30,000 each to community groups and nonprofits. The deadline to apply is March 19, 2015.

The funding will be awarded in July to organizations who will improve digital equity by connecting traditionally-underserved populations, empower residents with digital literacy skills, and encourage diverse communities to use technology for civic participation.

Application materials and more information are available at

Two workshops will be held for those interested in applying for the matching funds. The free workshops will provide an overview of the grant program, explain how to apply and detail characteristics of a successful application. First time applicants are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, Feb. 10: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
2100 Building, 2100 24th Ave South, 98144

Thursday, Feb. 12: 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Solid Ground, 1501 N. 45th St, 98103

Interpretation and accommodations are available upon request by calling 206-233-2751 or emailing by February 6.

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20 years later: How are urban villages performing?

15217953753_a3969ec15e_zOn Wednesday, January 28, former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck will present the results and achievements of the Urban Village strategy, which was first adopted into the Seattle Comprehensive Plan in 1994. Part of the Seattle Sustainable Neighborhoods Project (SSNAP), Steinbrueck will share what he believes has worked and how we can continue to monitor how well the Comprehensive Plan is working to manage growth in the city.

It’s been 20 years since the City adopted the 1994 Comprehensive Plan. The Plan’s hallmark, the “urban village strategy,” aimed to guide growth and City investment to designated urban centers and villages. The Seattle Sustainable Neighborhoods Assessment Project (SSNAP) is a study that measures results and achievements of the urban village strategy. Hear about the findings and conclusions that will inform Seattle 2035, the process to update the plan for the 120,000 more people and 115,000 more jobs expected over the next 20 years.

Measuring the Success of Seattle’s Urban Village Strategy

When: Wednesday, January 28
Where: City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room, 600 4th Ave. (Enter on 5th Ave.)
Time: 5:30 p.m. (Open House), 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. (Program)
RSVP here

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Mayor Murray raises the 12th Man flag at City Hall

Mayor Murray was joined by Councilmember Jean Godden and several enthusiastic Seahawks fans and City employees at Seattle City Hall today to raise the 12th Man flag on the public plaza. Murray predicted a big Super Bowl win for the Hawks thanks to the hard work and dedication of the team, coach Pete Carroll, and a notoriously loud contingent of fans that will do their best to be heard all the way to Arizona on Sunday! #gohawks!

Full video of the event is available on Seattle Channel’s website.

12 Flag Raising at City Hall 2015
12 Flag Raising at City Hall 2015
12 Flag Raising at City Hall 2015
12 Flag Raising at City Hall 2015
12 Flag Raising at City Hall 2015
12 Flag Raising at City Hall 2015
12 Flag Raising at City Hall 2015

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Murray praises Councilmember Rasmussen’s public service

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

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

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

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Murray comments on discussions with NBA, NHL

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

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

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

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Murray lauds Councilmember Licata

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

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

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