“Today’s actions by the Trump administration and House Republicans are a devastating blow to millions of Americans who need access to health care, and particularly millions of American women. These steps gut policies meant to increase access to affordable health care for all Americans, and tell women that President Trump will make their health care decisions.
“Trump’s ‘religious freedom’ Executive Order provides dangerous exemptions for employers who want to cut off access to reproductive health care and contraception. And the House Republican’s health care bill could make being a woman a pre-existing condition again.
“This is an attempt to codify discrimination and to widen the gap between men and women in the workplace. In Seattle we will continue to support policies that benefit women in our city and make the City itself a model employer, such as the 12-week paid family leave policy passed this year. Through our leadership and our action, we will continue to provide the progressive alternative to the Trump administration.”
Today, Mayor Ed Murray took steps to protect the privacy of Seattle’s internet users. Mayor Murray directed the implementation of a Seattle IT rule, which requires the City’s key internet service providers to obtain permission from their customers before selling web browsing history and personally identifiable information at a detailed or aggregate level. This rule reinstates a key consumer privacy protection eliminated by the U.S. Congress and the Trump administration last month.
“Where the Trump administration continues to roll back critical consumer protections, Seattle will act,” said Mayor Murray. “I believe protecting the privacy of internet users is essential and this policy allows the City to do just that. Because of regulation repeals at the national level, we must use all of the powers at our disposal to protect the rights of our residents.”
Mayor Murray is directing the City to issue this rule under its authority to issue and oversee cable television franchises. Seattle Municipal Code (SMC 21.60) grants the City of Seattle authority to issue rules related to the privacy practices of cable operators. These rules govern not only cable television services but also non-cable services, such as internet service. The new rule states cable operators must obtain opt-in consent before sharing a customer’s web browsing history or otherwise using such information for a purpose other than providing a customer with their requested service.
Comcast, CenturyLink, and Wave have cable franchise agreements with the City of Seattle and will be subject to the new rule. Under the terms of the rule, these cable operators must report their compliance by Sept. 30, 2017 and annually thereafter. The rule also stipulates that any aggrieved person may begin a civil action for damages for invasion of privacy against any grantee.
Since 1999, the City of Seattle’s “Cable Customer Bill of Rights” has provided the public with strong protections to ensure competent, responsive service from cable operators. The Rights were modified in 2002 and 2015 to add privacy protections to address concerns that advances in technology would greatly increase the capabilities of cable operators to collect, use and disclose their customers’ information without customers’ permission. Learn more about the Rights and how to issue a comment or complaint by visiting http://www.seattle.gov/cable.
Mayor Ed Murray released the following statement on the passing of former Governor Mike Lowry:
“Former Washington Governor Mike Lowry was a dedicated champion for the vulnerable. His tenacity on behalf of children, the elderly, and the poor culminated with a historic, progressive achievement when he passed a statewide health insurance program in 1993. He extended coverage to 140,000 adults and 195,000 low-income kids.
“His determined fight for liberal ideals will always be remembered by the working people whose lives he put front and center every day during his 20 years of public service, first as a King County Council member, then as a member of Congress, and finally as a scrappy governor.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Today, Mayor Ed Murray was joined by Councilmembers M. Lorena González and Tim Burgess in signing an ordinance creating a $1 million legal defense fund for Seattle residents and workers who cannot afford legal representation or services in immigration proceedings. The measure was introduced in response to the Trump administration’s actions in its first 100 days against immigrants and refugees, which will likely increase the number of people in need of legal services in court.
“President Trump has spent his first 100 days attacking immigrants and refugees and threatening Constitutional cities like Seattle,” said Mayor Murray. “We have reinforced our values and our promise to be a welcoming city that embraces everyone who lives here. The legal defense fund will provide immigrants, who are increasingly and unfairly targeted by the Trump administration, with critical resources they need to ensure they have representation in court. It is one way Seattle is showing a better, progressive vision for America.”
“The scales of justice are out of balance when immigrants, and oftentimes children, appear alone in court without legal representation or any viable way to defend themselves, while the government has seasoned immigration attorneys working every single case,” said Councilmember González (Position 9, Citywide). “Everyone deserves access to legal aid, and this legislation will help make that a reality.”
“Seattle had an opportunity to strengthen our communities and we rose to that challenge,” said Councilmember Burgess (Position 8, Citywide). “Together, we’re providing a fighting chance for our immigrant neighbors, friends and families, and that’s good for all of us as Seattleites.”
The legal defense fund will be structured as contracts that eligible community-based organizations can apply for to hire immigration attorneys, legal staff, and services to aid immigrants who are detained, as well as those who are not detained but facing deportation and other complex cases. Unlike other courts, people in immigration proceedings do not have the right to a court-appointed attorney. The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs will administer the program, which will become available this summer.
Recent incidents at SeaTac International Airport, where refugees and immigrants from several majority-Muslim countries were denied entry into the U.S., and the detainment of Daniel Ramirez-Medina, a young man who was brought to the U.S. as a child, highlight the need for legal assistance for people facing immigration proceedings initiated by the Trump administration. In the first national study of access to counsel in immigration courts, the American Immigration Council found that immigrants who were represented in court were up to 10 times more likely to obtain relief than those without representation.
During President Trump’s first 100 days in office, he’s pursued policies of division and exclusion, whereas Seattle has continued to push ahead with progressive vision for a more inclusive city and country. Comparing 100 Day Actions:
- Proposed de-funding the Community Development Block Grant
- Proposed reduced funding for HUD
- Mayor Murray Unveiled Affordable Housing Proposal for Chinatown-International District
- Mayor Murray designated long-neglected Mt. Baker sites for revitalization
- Issued proposal for Uptown Urban Center
- Mayor Murray Signs U District Rezone Legislation triggering mandatory affordable housing creation
- Threatened to de-fund “Sanctuary Cities”
- Pulled back on consent decrees covering police reform
- Mayor Murray transmitted landmark police accountability legislation to Council
- Seattle Police Department reaches initial compliance with Use of Force Reforms
- De-funded the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
- Mayor Murray, Paul G. Allen announced partnership to provide $35 million to support homeless families
- King County, Seattle, cities unite on regional tax plan to fight homelessness
- City launched Navigation Team, announced 24/7 Navigation Center to support people experiencing homelessness
- Mayor announced Consolidated Action Plan on homelessness
- Proposed de-funding EPA
- Rolled back vehicle efficiency standards
- Mayor Murray unveils updated Pedestrian Master Plan, investments improving safety in Seattle neighborhoods
- Mayor Murray, stakeholders announced framework to complete ‘missing link’ of Burke-Gilman Trail
- Metro, SDOT expanded late-night bus service for workers, travelers and nightlife denizens
- Threatened to leave Paris Climate Accord
- Nominated a climate-change denier to lead EPA
- Mayor Murray, in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, appointed Jessica Finn Coven as Seattle’s first Chief Resilience Officer
- Mayor Murray attends March for Science on Earth Day, champions local climate action
- Seattle recognizes Earth Day by releasing environmental progress report Moving the Needle
- Discriminatory travel ban on individuals traveling from predominantly Muslim countries
- Threatened to de-fund so-called “sanctuary cities” that serve all residents
- Had ICE ramp up immigration raids, including some resulting in deportation of Dreamers without due process
- Mayor Ed Murray delivered the State of the City address from the Idris Mosque in North Seattle.
- Held an immigration workshop on inauguration day with over 800 volunteers
- Seattle City Council passed a resolution affirming the City of Seattle’s commitment as a Welcoming City by a unanimous vote (9-0).
- City of Seattle filed Freedom of Information Act requests for information relating to Trump immigration order
- Mayor Murray: Seattle joined national legal fight against Trump’s Muslim ban
- Mayor Murray statement on federal judge blocking President Trump on ‘sanctuary city’ funding
- Rescinded rules on bathrooms protecting transgender students
- City joined lawsuit for transgender student rights
- Upheld travel ban on North Carolina for City business
- Took credit for job creation begun under previous administration
- Proposed massive tax cuts for wealthy and health care bill that would leave 24 million more people without coverage
- Mayor Murray calls on local employers to connect more youth with jobs
- Mayor Murray joins other mayors in calling for federal investment in affordable, accessible broadband
- Mayor Murray applauds Seattle’s Priority Hire, announces program expansion
- Included language to de-fund Planned Parenthood in Trump Care
- Mayor Murray, Council enact 12-week paid parental leave, increased wage transparency for City employees
Today, Mayor Ed Murray announced an $18 million proposal to fund education and healthy food programs, including nearly $10 million for the Education Action Plan, a series of programs aimed at eliminating the opportunity gap between white students and African American/Black and other students of color. An additional $5.7 million will fund increased support for children from birth-to-five years old and their caregivers, such as prenatal care. And $3.2 million will fund expanded food access including the Fresh Bucks program, which provides low-income households vouchers for fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets. These programs will be funded by a 1.75 cent sweetened beverage tax Mayor Murray transmitted to Council today.
“Addressing equity in education and health are paramount challenges to ensure everyone has access to opportunity in Seattle,” said Mayor Murray. “It is imperative that we proactively support Seattle Public Schools students and improved food access with frontline programs that put equity first. Healthy kids get better educations and are more likely to have a brighter future. The sweetened beverage tax transmitted today gives the City the financial resources to address each of these challenges.”
Despite significant efforts to provide an equitable education system, a persistent opportunity gap exists between white and Black students in education. In Seattle, public school students of color meet third grade reading standards at a rate 31 percent lower than white students. The proposed investments in the Education Action Plan will be implemented using guidelines recommended by the Education Advisory Group that are directly tied to eliminating educational disparities for African American/Black students and other students of color.
The robust investments proposed in the Education Action Plan will significantly scale up programs devoted to eliminating inequality in education such as investments in before and after school opportunities like STEM extracurricular classes; adding more mentors in schools; reducing discipline disparities by providing personalized case management and providing special training to teachers; expanding summer learning programs; funding more internships; and diversifying Seattle’s teaching staff.
To fund these investments in education and food access, Mayor Murray has proposed a local tax on naturally and artificially sweetened drinks including soda, energy drinks, juice and sweetened teas. The proposed $0.0175 per ounce (1.75 cents) tax is expected to raise $23 million for the first year, and because consumption is expected to decline, $18 million annually thereafter. Of the revenue raised in the first year, 20 percent will be invested in one-time start-up costs or time-limited projects such as $5 million for the 13th Year program – an investment intended to ensure all Seattle Public Schools graduates can attend at least one year at the Seattle Colleges.
The $3.2 million investment in the Fresh Bucks program helps fund a match of purchases at Farmers Markets for low-income recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, promoting more healthy eating by increasing accessibility of fresh fruits and vegetables. This investment is important because the Fresh Bucks program is supported by federal funding which is not expected to be renewed by the Trump Administration. Additional health investments will also address food insecurity for households that do not qualify for SNAP or who may be unauthorized immigrants.
The Education Action Plan is the result of the City’s inclusive process that began in 2016 by bringing various communities together to address education disparities for African-American/Black students and students of color. The City heard from a total of over 2,000 parents, teachers, and advocates on how best to combat these disparities across 20 community conversations, on-line forums, and Seattle’s first citywide Education Summit in over 25 years. From those conversations, an Advisory Group was formed of representatives from the City, Seattle Public Schools, community organizations, businesses, philanthropies and education advocates to create recommendations that would address the opportunity gap.
More Information about the Education Action Plan and the sweetened beverage tax can be found at http://seattle.gov/educationactionplan/.
More about the community conversations, Mayor’s Education Summit and Education Summit Advisory Group can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/educationsummit.
Today, Mayor Ed Murray and philanthropist Paul G. Allen announced a partnership to address the region’s homelessness crisis through an innovative, permanent supportive housing and onsite services community that will serve as a resource hub for Seattle-area families with children who are experiencing homelessness. Under the partnership, Mr. Allen will provide $30 million in capital toward the development, with the City of Seattle committing $5 million in capital and additional funds to support operation and maintenance of the center.
“Paul Allen understands the homelessness crisis requires everyone in our community, particularly our business leaders, to help,” said Mayor Murray. “This partnership with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation will build permanent supportive housing for vulnerable homeless families with children and help the City leverage our affordable housing funds 6-to-1. This commitment is an example of the incredible difference our philanthropic and business leaders can make in our community, as I called on others to do during my State of the City speech this year. Thank you to Paul Allen, his family, and the foundation for making this incredibly generous investment to address this crisis.”
“We should all be alarmed by the growing crisis of homelessness in our community, especially its impact on families,” said Bill Hilf, CEO of Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. “Addressing this crisis requires the commitment and creativity of business, government, and the human services community. We approached the City of Seattle some months ago to get this project going because we wanted to make a significant impact toward disrupting the cycle of homelessness, and to give homeless families an opportunity to thrive.”
Mercy Housing Northwest, one of the nation’s largest non-profit developers of affordable housing operating 48 properties in Washington state, will develop, own, and operate the multi-family complex. It is anticipated that other nonprofit providers will partner to provide services for children and families in the community.
“This remarkable partnership between Paul Allen and the City of Seattle will make lasting opportunities for families most in need,” said Bill Rumpf, President of Mercy Housing Northwest. “We are grateful for the opportunity to create affordable apartments and a family service center where parents and children can get out of homelessness, regain resilience and dignity, and pursue economic mobility.”
There are currently 1,684 families awaiting housing in King County and more than 3,498 homeless students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools who experienced homelessness during the 2015-2016 school year. According to the Homeless Needs Assessment, 43 percent of homeless adults experienced homelessness before the age of 25. Through a mix of housing and onsite services, this project aims to assist families experiencing homelessness, helping them transition to stable housing and break the cycle of homelessness. This development aligns with the guidelines identified in Mayor Murray’s Pathways Home plan and aims to address needs often cited by homelessness service provides, advocates, and people experiencing homelessness.
Additional details about the design, location, and target opening date for the community will be released in the coming months.
About Paul Allen
Paul G. Allen is a Microsoft cofounder, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who explores the frontiers of technology and human knowledge, and works to change the future. Through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and his organization Vulcan Inc., Mr. Allen is working to save endangered species, improve ocean health, tackle contagious diseases, research the human brain, and build sustainable communities. All told, Mr. Allen’s philanthropic contributions exceed $2 billion. As a member of the Giving Pledge, he remains committed to giving away the majority of his fortune. For more information, please visit www.paulallen.com.
About Mercy Housing Northwest
Mercy Housing Northwest creates stable, vibrant and healthy communities for Washington state residents. They build homes, transform lives and help individuals, families and seniors thrive by providing permanent housing with supportive services. Mercy Housing Northwest was formed 25 years ago by five women’s religious communities: the Tacoma Dominicans, the Adrian (Edmonds) Dominicans, the Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. MHNW is the northwest arm of Mercy Housing, one of the largest affordable rental housing providers in the US. Mercy Housing owns 48 affordable housing properties in Washington, serving approximately 5,000 people each year. For more information, please visit www.mercyhousing.org/washington.
Today, Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement after U.S. District Judge William Orrick blocked a Trump administration order to withhold federal funding from “sanctuary cities”:
“This court ruling preventing President Trump from punishing ‘sanctuary cities’ is yet another rebuke of his misguided agenda. Once again, a federal judge has blocked President Trump’s dangerous overreach. While we review this ruling’s impact on our City’s lawsuit against the president’s order, we will continue to embrace all our residents because we know Trump’s attacks on ‘sanctuary cities’ are attacks on Constitutional Cities.”
In March, the City of Seattle filed its own lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s “sanctuary cities” executive order, arguing the order is unconstitutional and that the City has not violated federal law. The City’s legal team is reviewing today’s ruling with its national counsel, Andrew Pincus, which will inform Seattle’s next steps in its suit against the Trump administration.
Today, Mayor Ed Murray announced that he will propose $2.3 million in startup funding to help Seattle Public Schools students get more sleep and be better equipped for academic success. The funding will help SPS implement a two-tiered bell schedule (down from three), in response to requests from families. Mayor Murray will request the Families and Education Levy review board support the allocation, which is needed to fund additional school buses to sustain the new schedule. Additionally, the Mayor will also propose $380,000 to increase safety by maintaining crossing guards during school hours.
“The City of Seattle is happy to contribute this funding to help the School District better serve our students and put them in a position to succeed,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This use of Families and Education Levy resources will go to implementing a better bell schedule and helping our students get to and from school safely. These are our children and I am committed to ensure they have all the tools they need to get a great education.”
After listening to parents, community partners and teachers, the City concluded that the health and academic welfare of students would be greatly increased by supporting the change of Seattle Public School start times from the current three-tier system to a two-tier one. This change will cost $2.3 million in startup costs, which the Mayor will propose to the Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee as well as City Council.
“Thanks to the Mayor’s generosity and City support, Seattle Public Schools may be able to eliminate third tier busing for 2017-18. This means that in 2017-18 schools would start at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. This change would build on our efforts to improve academic outcomes by aligning school start times with student sleep patterns. Early data show that SPS high school students are already benefiting from adjusted start times with increased attendance and decreased discipline. The City’s investment would not only support improved school start times, but fund crossing guards for our schools. Thank you to the Mayor and the City of Seattle for recognizing our need and working to support our students, families and community,” said Superintendent Larry Nyland.
“As a parent and former PTSA member, one of our most important jobs is making sure our children show up prepared at school,” said Council President Bruce Harrell. “Students are more rested and engaged in the classroom when they show up alert and ready to learn. Sleep can have a cascading positive impact on enhancing academic performance. I look forward to seeing favorable results immediately.”
“As a councilmember and a father of two, soon to be three, daughters in the Seattle Public School system, I believe this is an important investment to help our students thrive in school and beyond,” said Councilmember Rob Johnson. “The proposed one-time funds to facilitate the move to a two-tier start time model will align the school day better with the time of day students are apt to learn their best, will help buses keep on schedule to ensure kiddos get to school on time, and will make it easier for families to access critical after school opportunities, like tutoring and behavioral support. When we invest in Seattle Public School students and their families, we invest in positive outcomes for our entire city. I am proud to be part of this partnership, and look forward to seeing more examples of this kind of collaboration.”
When Seattle Public Schools changed school start times for elementary and secondary schools in the 2016-2017 academic year, they saw positive changes in both longer reported hours of student sleep and reduced levels of discipline in high school students. These outcomes follow years of research around the American Association of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association’s recommendation to more closely align school start times with students’ biological and sleeping patterns.
“From my time as principal at Rainier Beach High School I know getting kids to school rested and ready to learn is one of the greatest challenges facing parents and teachers,” said Department of Education and Early Learning Director Dwane Chappelle. “Today’s announcement means we can work to ease the lives of parents and students, as well as create a healthier student body.”
Costs for district transportation are reimbursed by the state using a funding formula based on the prior year’s cost. The City’s transportation investment is one time.
The Office of Sustainability & Environment has released an update to Seattle’s environmental progress report, Moving the Needle, showing more Seattlites are riding transit, buying from local farmers, conserving more energy and cutting the amount of waste going to landfills. The report highlights Seattle’s progress towards goals in environmental categories such as climate, building energy, transportation, food, trees and green space, complete neighborhoods, and healthy environment and shows continued progress toward our goal of being better stewards of the environment and fighting climate change.
The original Moving the Needle report, released in 2014, was the first time the City assembled Settle’s key environmental metrics in one report. This most recent release includes updated data from the 2014 report and where possible, includes outcomes by race or Equity & Environment Initiative (EEI) Focus Areas—the geographic areas where communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and people with low incomes tend to live in Seattle.
“While we continuously advance environmental solutions with an eye toward the future of our city, it’s these instances where we look back at our progress to date that create a clear picture of Seattle’s environmental vision and our path to achieving it, ” said Mayor Ed Murray. “As we continue to grow, we will take steps to ensure that those who have not benefitted from Seattle’s environmental accomplishments to date will share equally in those advantages going forward.”
Moving the Needle shows that while people of color and people with low incomes are accessing Seattle’s environmental services in greater numbers, they are still burdened by unequal distribution of environmental amenities such as trees and green space. Key findings related to race include:
- People of color are accessing transit in greater numbers thanks to ORCA lift and 70% of households in EEI focus areas have access to frequent transit service.
- Over half of the households served by Seattle’s low-income weatherization program, Homewise, are people of color.
- There has been a year over year increase in people of color using Fresh Bucks, indicating Seattle’s targeted outreach is effective.
- People of color are still subject to poorer air quality and the corresponding health impacts due to their proximity to heavily traveled roadways.
“This Earth day, while I am pleased to demonstrate the remarkable progress Seattle is making in key citywide environmental areas like transportation, forest restoration, and food access, I am also happy to have data that will help guide our work in areas where we can improve,” said Jessica Finn Coven, director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment. “This report can be a resource for all individuals and organizations working for environmental progress.”
Moving the Needle will be updated periodically to track progress over time. The report was developed by the City’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, which works to develop innovative environmental solutions that foster equity, vibrant communities, and shared prosperity.