Mayor, City Light announce ‘Operation LED’ program to distribute up to 370,000 energy efficient light bulbs

Every residential customer of Seattle City Light can now get a free, energy efficient LED light bulb through the utility’s Operation LED campaign.

Mayor Murray kickstarted the campaign in the Chinatown International District today, handing out bulbs at Uwajimaya and Legacy House.

“Seattle is a leader in conservation, showing the rest of the world how it’s done when it comes to being green and what it means to be an LED city,” Murray said. “These bulbs will help our customers lower their electricity bills and reduce the pressure on City Light to buy additional power on the open market.”

Seattle was one of the first cities in the nation to switch its streetlights to LEDs. Safeco Field is the first Major League Baseball stadium to use LEDs for all its on-field lighting. And numerous other city icons use the energy efficient lights, including The Great Wheel, The Paramount Theatre, Starbucks and the floodlights for the roof arches at Centurylink Field.

“Our goal is to give all our 370,000 residential households a free LED,” City Light General Manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco said. “Energy conservation is our first resource of choice to meet the electricity needs of our growing community.”

While many LEDs look different than a traditional Edison-shaped bulb, they offer significant advantages:

  • They are more efficient than even compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • They last much longer
  • They start up quicker
  • And they are compatible with most dimmers.

City Light expects the campaign to generate about 3.9 million kilowatt-hours of energy savings in the first year. That’s enough electricity to power 458 Seattle homes for a year.

“Conserving energy while creating safe, affordable and comfortable homes for our residents is such a win-win for us,” said Paul Mar, director of real estate development for the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority. “We’re proud to be part of helping the City do the light thing for conservation and for seniors.”

City Light customers have several options for getting a free bulb. Visit seattle.gov/freebulb and enter your City Light account number. Online instructions are available in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Somali in addition to English. Follow the instructions on a mailer being sent to all City Light customers with a unique code. Or call 877-606-1599 and talk with a live person to request one.

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

Duwamish River Opportunities Fund seeks proposals

The City of Seattle is seeking applications for community-based projects that enhance the quality of life in Seattle neighborhoods along the Duwamish River. Successful applicants will engage in projects to improve access to the river, support job creation and economic development, increase access to healthy food and other challenges faced by communities along the Duwamish.

“The Duwamish is our city’s river and we are committed to its future,” said Seattle Mayor Murray. “The larger clean-up effort is aimed at mitigating the effects of decades of legacy pollutants. These smaller-scale projects will help restore our community’s access to and enjoyment of the river as an important natural resource.”

This year, the City will fund $250,000 in projects. Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend a community event about the fund on Wed., April 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM, at Coliman Restaurant, 6932 Carleton Avenue S, in Georgetown. Applications will be accepted through May 15.

Successful projects will:

  • Be developed through a process of community engagement and participation.
  • Have a clear statement of the way the project addresses community priorities, the anticipated results, and the metrics used to measure success.
  • Build linkages among communities and involve a diversity of people and organizations; have engaged project partners.
  • Address an issue important to the success of the Duwamish River communities.
  • Be connected to the long range future of the Duwamish River communities.
  • Have a clear budget and demonstrated capacity to manage funds effectively.

For more information on the opportunity fund, including past awards, visit murray.seattle.gov/duwamish or email drof@seattle.gov.

Mayor Murray’s statement supporting smoking ban in Seattle parks

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners today announced plans to host a public hearing regarding a proposed change to the Parks Code of Conduct which would prohibit smoking in all public parks in the city of Seattle. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray released the following statement about the proposed smoking ban:

“Residents of and visitors to our beautiful city deserve to fully enjoy every amenity our parks have to offer, including fresh air and a clean, sustainable environment. We know the dangers of secondhand smoke, particularly for those with asthma and allergies, and we know that cigarette litter is abundant and harmful to our environment, especially for the wildlife that inhabit it. Waste from cigarettes leach arsenic, cadmium, lead and other toxins into our soil and water streams and damage ecosystems. This ban just makes sense for our community. It is the right thing to do for Seattle.”

Mayor Ed Murray Names Capitol Hill LGBT Task Force

Mayor Ed Murray announced a task force today to develop recommendations to create a safer environment for LGBT people in Seattle and to specifically address ongoing issues on Capitol Hill.

LGBT people have reported increased violence, verbal harassment, and bias crimes on Capitol Hill and other Seattle neighborhoods. Hate crime statistics from SPD show a rise in bias crimes between 2013 and 2014.

“Capitol Hill is an eclectic neighborhood that is attracting more businesses, residents and visitors every day – and it’s the neighborhood I’m proud to call home,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “I am eager to hear their recommendations to improve safety on Capitol Hill and citywide while making everyone feel welcome – regardless of who they are or who they love. This issue is important to me both as the Mayor, and as a longtime resident of Capitol Hill.”

The Task Force will look at how the City of Seattle can constructively work with community members, businesses and organizations to increase safety and LGBT visibility in Capitol Hill and citywide – as well as to honor the history of the neighborhood.

The Task Force will be made up of the following people:

Louise Chernin, GSBA
Michael Wells, Capitol Hill Chamber
Marxa Marnia, LGBT Commission Co-chair
John Bailey, Amazon
Kelly Stonelake, Facebook Creative Shop
Raven E. Heavy Runner, Northwest Two-Spirit Society Acting Co-Chair
Luzviminda “Lulu” Carpenter, LGBT Commission
Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation
Brady Walkinshaw, Legislative Representative, 43rd District
Elayne Wylie, Gender Justice League
Shelley Brothers, Wildrose
Kristen Wieliczka, Director of Civic Engagement for Seattle University Student Body
Mineth Elman McClain, Director, Public Safety, Seattle Central Community College
Josh Castle, Community Organizer
Jim Ritter, Seattle Police Department
Michael Renner, Seattle Police Department
Sina Ebinger, Seattle Police Department
Jared Brayton Bollenbacher, Social Worker
Marcos Martinez, Entre Hermanos
Jesse Gilliam, Ingersoll Gender Center, Council Staff
Shannon Perez-Darby, Northwest Network of LGBT Survivors of Abuse
Monisha Harrell, Equal Rights Washington
Lauren Mathisen, Capitol Hill Community Council
Danni Askini, Gender Justice League
Rodney Jarreau Greene, Quare Arts Program
Darrell Goodwin, Dean of Students at Seattle University
Melinda Giovengo, Youthcare
Shaun Knittel, Seattle Gay News
Michael Andrew, Pride at Work

Co-Chairs are Josh Castle and Monisha Harrell.

“The group we have assembled has a proven track record of success,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “We have not seen a coalition like this since the marriage equality campaigns. Clearly our work was not finished when we won in November 2012. There are still people in this world who believe LGBT people should be denied the most basic human right, the right to live without fear of violence because of who you are or who you love.”

 

City proposes Transportation Levy to Move Seattle

Transportation Levy announcement

Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Scott Kubly today outlined details of a nine-year, $900 million Transportation Levy to Move Seattle.

Transportation Levy At-A-Glance-ProposalThe draft levy proposal would help fund the priorities that Mayor Murray announced earlier this month with Move Seattle, his 10-year transportation vision that integrates the city’s long-term plans for walking, biking, driving, freight and transit into a comprehensive strategy.

“This levy recognizes we have needs that we must address now, including street maintenance, sidewalk repair and bridges at risk in the next earthquake,” said Mayor Murray. “We must evolve our transportation system with affordable, convenient travel options that work for everyone. We will build for the future, to provide people more transportation choices and help freight move, even as our city grows.”

The $900 million Transportation Levy to Move Seattle would:

  • Seismically reinforce 16 vulnerable bridges and eliminate the backlog of needed bridge spot repairs, meeting a critical safety need
  • Repave up to 250 lane-miles of arterial streets, minimizing future maintenance costs and improving safety for all travelers
  • Repair up to 225 blocks of existing sidewalks and improve curb ramps and crossings at 750 intersections throughout the city, making it safer and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to walk
  • Invest in 12-15 corridor safety projects, improving safety for all travelers on all of the city’s high-collision streets
  • Complete 9-12 Safe Routes to School projects each year, improving walking and biking safety at every public school in Seattle
  • Fund a targeted freight spot improvement program, improving mobility for freight and delivery vehicles
  • Complete 7-10 multimodal corridor projects, redesigning major streets to improve connectivity and safety for all travelers
  • Optimize traffic signal timing on five corridors throughout the city each year, improving traffic flow
  • Create seven new high-quality bus rapid transit corridors, providing convenient and affordable travel choices for more people

“The current levy has helped us pay for many important transportation projects, but there is much more to work to be done,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. “The Council will review the proposal and place the final package on the fall ballot after holding public hearings and after receiving public comments and recommendations.”

“This draft proposal supports basic improvements to our streets, sidewalks and bridges while making targeted investments to address the wave of growth Seattle is experiencing,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “The funding proposal also aims to create a safer system that provides residents more high-quality, low-cost travel options. I look forward to the public discussion to come and encourage everyone’s participation.”

“Transportation Choices is excited to see a bold transportation vision for Seattle to give people more choices to get around,” said Shefali Ranganathan of Transportation Choices. “Investing in our streets, sidewalks, bike lanes and freight corridors will keep our growing city vibrant and connected.”

“Our overextended transportation systems all too frequently leave our patients and employees stuck in traffic or stranded at their bus stops, as full buses pass them by,” said Betsy Braun of Virginia Mason. “We are pleased to see that Move Seattle goes beyond maintaining the transportation infrastructure we already have, and proposes growing our transportation systems to meet the booming regional demand.”

“This levy proposal makes the right investments in our transportation system and in local jobs,” said Monty Anderson, Executive Secretary of Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council. “These local construction projects will support hundreds of middle-class jobs and help local residents work in their own communities. It’s a win-win.”

The Transportation Levy to Move Seattle includes meaningful accountability, including measureable outcomes so the public can track the progress of projects. An online “dashboard” where SDOT will chart its performance will bring enhanced transparency. The city will continue the strong legacy of accountability on the use of levy funds with a public oversight committee.

“Seattle’s expiring levy has been very successful in making our sidewalks, bridges, stairs, trails and streets safer for all users in every community in the city,” said Ref Lindmark, past-chair of the levy oversight committee. “With the mayor’s new “Move Seattle” initiative and the renewal of the levy this fall, we have the opportunity both take care of our basic transportation infrastructure and realize our vision of Seattle as a great place to live, work and play.”

Before Mayor Murray submits the levy proposal to the Seattle City Council in May, SDOT will seek public input on the draft proposal to ensure that it is informed by community priorities. A feedback survey, detailed proposal information, and a full public outreach calendar are available online at www.seattle.gov/LevytoMoveSeattle. In addition to briefing close to thirty community groups, SDOT will host three community conversations in late March to engage the public and ask for feedback on the proposal.

Schedule of Community Conversations

Saturday, March 28, 10 AM – 12 PM
New Holly Gathering Hall
7054 32nd Ave S

Monday, March 30, 6 – 8 PM
Roosevelt High School
1410 NE 66th St

Tuesday, March 31, 6 – 8 PM
West Seattle High School
3000 California Ave SW

After incorporating feedback from the public, the Mayor will submit the proposal to the Seattle City Council in May 2015. The City will need to submit a final levy proposal to King County by early August for it to be on the ballot in November 2015.

This proposal would replace the current nine-year, $365 million Bridging the Gap transportation levy that expires at the end of 2015. The Transportation Levy to Move Seattle would be paid for through a property tax that would cost the median Seattle household, valued at $450,000, approximately $275 per year. By comparison, the cost to the median household for the Bridging the Gap levy was about $130 per year.

Press conference video

Murray statement on International Franchise Association injunction order decision

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray released the following statement today after U.S. District Judge Richard Jones denied a preliminary injunction request from the International Franchise Association that would have temporarily reclassified franchises as a small business under Seattle’s new minimum wage rules:

“This is a great day for Seattle’s fast food franchise workers. This ruling ensures that on April 1st, the minimum wage will go up for everyone in our city.

We must remember that the ongoing movement for wage equality in our nation was led by fast food workers from large franchise restaurants. Their actions sparked a national conversation about growing wage gaps. Our actions in Seattle have set the bar high for developing a process to raise wages in a way that works for workers and business. Rather than investing in lawyers to prevent workers from earning higher wages, it is time for these large businesses to begin investing in a higher minimum wage for their employees.”

Mayor announces support for legislation to increase film production in Washington; Proclaims March 17th ‘Seattle Film Day’

Seattle Film DayMayor Murray announced his support of Senate Bill 6027 (SB 6027), introduced this February in the Washington State Senate to increase the funding for the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.

The bill doubles the size of the Film Competitiveness Program over the next two years to $7 million, and increases the fund incrementally each year until it reaches $10 million in 2019. The sunset date for the program will also be extended to 2022.

Last year, under the program’s current annual $3.5 million cap, the annual fund was expended by May and a total of $55 million worth of film production projects were immediately turned away.

“Washington’s current incentive program is the fifth smallest in the country,” said Mayor Murray.  “I support this legislation because it strengthens the State’s best tool to keep our film industry competitive. This program, alongside the City’s Commercialize Seattle initiative, will help retain and increase film industry talent to fuel our creative economy.”

Mayor Murray proclaimed Tues., March 17, 2015 “Seattle Film Day” in honor of Seattle’s 80-plus years as a film making destination.

# # #

Senate Bill 6027

SB 6027’s prime sponsor is Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D, 36th), with co-sponsors Senator Andy Billig (D, 3rd) and Senator Joe Fain (R, 47th).  See the Washington State Legislature page for more details at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6027&year=2015#videos

City’s Office of Film + Music (OFM)

The Seattle Office of Film + Music is part of Seattle’s economic development agenda. Its charge is to make Seattle a great place to make a living making film and music. OFM is a streamlined resource for all of your film and music needs, and manages Seattle’s City of Music and Commercialize Seattle initiatives. It offers creative tax incentives and professional business development opportunities, making this vibrant city the perfect background for film or music production.

Seattle welcomes national planning experts to Rainier Beach

ULI-logoThe Urban Land Institute, a leading not-for-profit in responsible land-use planning and thriving communities, is bringing a panel of national experts to Seattle to review and comment on plans for transit oriented development and job growth in Rainier Beach.

ULI selected Mayor Ed Murray and the mayors of Boston, Omaha and Pittsburgh to participate in the Rose Center for Public Leadership, an opportunity to draw on best practices, peer networks and other resources to spur sustainable development. Each selected city identifies a land-use challenge as a study area for the entire group.

From March 16-19, Seattle will host these guests for conversations about our community’s aspirations and plans for development in Rainier Beach. Participants will tour the neighborhood and talk to residents and stakeholders.

“We are honored to have been selected to participate in this prestigious program,” said Murray. “We have already invested in a new library, community center and light rail station in Rainier Beach. We want to encourage additional private sector investment that benefits the people of the neighborhood and creates jobs that pay a livable wage. We look forward to new insights from these outside experts as we implement our development strategy for the neighborhood.”

On the last day of their visit, the panel will present their reflections, conclusions and homework to Mayor Murray, city staff and community stakeholders.

City to seize Sisley property to create new park in Roosevelt

Roosevelt Park announcement

Mayor Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes today announced a plan to seize two derelict properties near Roosevelt High School for public auction after the property owners, Hugh and Martha Sisley, failed to pay judgments, interest and penalties in excess of $3.3 million related to code violations on their rental properties in the neighborhood.

“Today we are announcing our plan to take what has been nothing short of a black eye on this neighborhood and turn it into something that the entire community can enjoy,” said Murray. “This blight has had a very real impact on property values and the success of local businesses.”

“I am proud of the tremendous interdepartmental cooperation that produced the innovative solution we present here today,” said Holmes. “We are already employing this approach to decaying, crime-breeding properties elsewhere in the Central District, West Seattle, and even with commercial targets Downtown.”

Neighbors and local businesses have complained for years about the properties and the criminal activity they have attracted. Over many years, the city has cited the property owner for numerous violations. The owner has failed to make required improvements.

Should the judgments, interest and penalties related to the violations remain unpaid, the city will seek to have the properties seized by the King County Sheriff and sold at auction. Murray intends to transmit an ordinance to the City Council next week that allows the city to purchase the two properties at 1322 and 1318 NE 65th St.

The city intends to bid on the properties at auction, using a credit bid based on the $3.3 million owed the city by the Sisleys, in order to build a new city park for the neighborhood.

If the supplemental proceedings that allows the city to collect more than $2 million in penalties have not concluded prior to the auction, the city will use a $1 King County Conservation Futures grant, in addition to credit based on the judgments and interest owed the city.

Roosevelt has long wanted more park space to help accommodate the increase in residents coming to the neighborhood. A new light rail station and more dense housing will increase the demand for more open space.

Mayor, Council call for review of Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet permits at Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5

Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council announced today that Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) will review, investigate and determine whether the plans at Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 to host Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling fleet are allowed under the current Shoreline Substantial Development Permit granted to Terminal 5.

Reports indicate that Shell Oil would moor vessels that are returning from drilling in the Artic. In the past, Shell’s drilling fleet has needed extensive repairs, maintenance and conversions after returning from a season of drilling. These activities may substantially change Terminal 5’s use and require new, different permits than the one currently granted by DPD which could require additional environmental review if the Port wishes to move forward with the lease.

“Any project of this apparent significance to our industrial lands must go through the appropriate review. It’s important that the public and surrounding businesses are informed of all the possible impacts of this lease – both economic and environmental – and that these impacts are sufficiently disclosed and evaluated,” Murray said. “This is why I’m directing DPD to conduct a thorough review of the Terminal 5 proposal and determine if the anticipated activities at the terminal involving the Shell drilling fleet require new permits before it can proceed.”

“I have grave concerns about Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling fleet coming to Puget Sound in a damaged state, discharging oil and other toxic pollutants along our shorelines during transport and repair, jeopardizing the local ecosystem and undoing decades of work to clean up the Sound,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “Shell’s track record with the Noble Discoverer in the Arctic includes eight felony offenses relating to environmental and maritime crimes, such as discharging oil-contaminated water directly overboard, which is simply unacceptable.”

“For years the Port and the City have worked together to develop rational solutions and develop alternative treatment technologies to reduce pollution in the Duwamish and Elliott Bay,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “While the immediate value of a lease to repair Arctic drilling equipment may appear to be high, we believe this agreement is shortsighted and ignores the long-term costs to our economy and environment.”

The current permit, called a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit, designated Terminal 5 as a “cargo terminal” – usually meaning goods are stored and ultimately transferred from this terminal to other carriers or locations. But if the Artic drilling fleet is actually being moored and repaired at Terminal 5, there could be significant and adverse impacts on the surrounding environment. As part of DPD’s investigation and fact-finding, the Department will begin working with the Port of Seattle to clarify all of the activities anticipated at Terminal 5, including, but not limited to, the types of vessels to be moored and the maintenance and repairs to be conducted.