The Mayor recently chatted with Geekwire’s Taylor Soper about the future of the Startup Seattle Initiative under his administration. In the interview, Mayor Murray expresses his interesting in beefing up resources to the program but under the condition that the program’s intent and goals need to be made more explicit. Following is an excerpt from the interview, but you can read the whole thing here.
The mayor is also bullish on the work coming out of the University of Washington, a place that could soon become a new thriving startup hub.
“I think that the UW and the city together have a real opportunity to really make this a place where people come to do startups,” Murray said.
Murray made it clear that he doesn’t like “the old model,” which he described as cities and states stealing companies from each other by offering attractive incentives like tax breaks.
“That is the losing model,” he said. “You don’t gain any money off it. How you gain revenue and gain jobs is by actually incubating your own startups — companies that choose to be in this city. We want our startups to be home grown, and we want people to move here who have good ideas, or for the people already here who have good ideas, we want them to have access to more resources.”
Crosscut’s Bryan Johnson sat down with the Mayor in an exclusive interview to discuss how to make sure waterfront projects fit together, what his biggest frustration in office has been and the status of changes to the police department.
The major topic of conversation was the waterfront, including what the Mayor intends to do about a $40 million cost overrun for the rebuilding of Seattle’s Elliott Bay seawall and how a damaged tunnel boring machine might affect progress on the waterfront. Mayor Murray reaffirmed that, despite problems with the tunnel project, work on the waterfront will continue and will do so under the management of a newly created Office of the Waterfront.
“It is a serious problem. It’s one that we tried to raise during the campaign and were told it wasn’t a problem. It turns out that actually the Seattle Department of Transportation had the information that [there] was a 40 billion cost overrun. That came out after the election. It’s now my problem. …
“We are bringing on new project managers, individuals who have had experience managing major mega projects, including tunneling. I think the problem has been, [SDOT] has not had the capacity and the skill level to manage a mega project. So we’re going to bring people in who can help us manage that project and help us keep costs under control.
“I believe in the current budget that we can find the savings to make up the difference for the cost overrun, but that’s just our preliminary look.”
Mayor Murray also joined Mayor Hancock on the Today Show this morning to announce a national-level Super Bowl wager, this time for a service project in the winning city. The losing mayor will visit the winning mayor’s city for a day of service which will be organized by Americorps. Mayor Murray also predicted a 24-14 Seahawks win for the game.
You can read the full details of the bet in this press release from the Corporation for National & Community Service.
Watch the interview here:
Last night, Mayor Murray made a fun guest appearance on the Colbert Report alongside Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. The two made their Super Bowl predictions (no surprises) and made a friendly wager with a surprise ending.
Watch the debate after the jump…
The Mayor was featured on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co this morning discussing his move to raise Seattle’s minimum wage. Speaking with the show’s host, veteran journalist Chris Jansing, the Mayor emphasized his goal of creating a more affordable and economically diverse city.
“Seattle’s a very successful city. It’s economy is doing great and one of the byproducts of that is it’s becoming less and less affordable, so the people who work hard in Seattle can’t afford to live there. If we don’t address issues of wages and housing, it will simply become a city of the very rich and I don’t think that’s good for the business environment at all,” the Mayor said. “I think we can do this in a way that will help business, not hurt business. I think we need to be sensitive, particularly, to small businesses, but I do think we need to be a city that is economically diverse.”
Thanks to the Editorial Board of the Seattle Times for their support of Mayor Murray’s recent actions in the search for a new SPD Police Chief.
The breadth of skills, talents, leadership experience and community connections represented by those who answered the mayor’s call to help is a measure of the confidence invested in Murray’s commitment.
We agree and we are honored to have these leaders at the table to facilitate the search and the public input process.
Mayor Murray is featured today in a piece by Salon.com’s Josh Eidelson. The two chatted about the move toward a $15 an hour minimum wage and the role of city government as a progressive change agent.
You know, traditionally cities have been incubators of social change in this country.
Civil rights laws were often passed by cities before they were passed by states and by the federal government.
The first gay rights protections were passed by Seattle, San Francisco and cities like that, before states did it. I think when it comes right now to a very dysfunctional federal government, and many states are not particularly functional, I think more and more people are looking to cities — particularly the progressive movement — to be the incubators of progressive ideas and making government work.
Bill Lucia of Crosscut sat down with Mayor Murray to learn more about him and his policy priorities for Seattle. In the process, he unearthed a few fun and little-known facts about the Mayor, including that he is a distant cousin of
President Bartlet actor Martin Sheen. We suppose that makes him the distant-cousin-once-removed of Charlie Sheen as well.
The article also sheds some light on the bracelet of Jerusalem olivewood beads that he wears on his right wrist. Read the full story…
In the next week or two, we will be releasing more detailed information about the Mayor’s plan for the first 100 days of his administration, but this story by KIRO-7’s Essex Porter gives a great preview of what priorities you’ll see in that plan.