We’d like to thank Washington State Poet Laureate, Kathleen Flenniken, who wrote this wonderful poem titled “Views of Seattle” for yesterday’s Inauguration of Mayor Murray. The work beautifully illustrates all of the things we truly love about Seattle, as well as the serious struggles we face as a growing city with increasing density, including issues of affordability and transit challenges. It’s a powerful reminder of the work we need to do in the Murray administration to move this city forward and the reasons we do that work.
We’ll have much more to share about today’s Inaugural events in the next day or so, but here are some highlights from an incredible day. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to a packed City Hall to be a part of this historic day for our city. With all of the support he’s received from you, the Mayor is more energized than ever to work as hard as he can for you, Seattle!
SEATTLE – Edward B. Murray was inaugurated as Seattle’s 53rd Mayor at Seattle City Hall today. Murray, Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, was accompanied at the ceremony by his husband, Michael Shiosaki. Murray was sworn in by Gary Locke who is a former state legislator, King County Executive, Governor of Washington, U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Ambassador to China.
In his speech, given to a capacity crowd, Murray outlined what his focus will be in office, including innovation and inclusiveness.
“I see government not as a place for political posturing, but a place for pragmatism. A forum not of ideology but of innovation where we draw strength from our diversity, not play to our deepest divisions,” said Murray. “Our moral test as a community and as a city government will be our willingness and our ability to address – and to overcome – that which fragments us.”
The celebration was open to the public. The venue was filled to capacity. Many attendees listened to the ceremony via speakers mounted outside of city hall.
Murray, who is tasked with naming a new chief of police in Seattle, has made the city’s safety a priority.
“I pledge to make Seattle’s Police Department a model of urban policing for the rest of the nation,” said Murray. “Crime and violence are public health issues as much as they are legal issues. In the end, public safety is not merely the domain of the Police and Fire Departments. Rather, it is a job for all of us.”
Murray was sworn in on a bible written in Galic that dates from 1850 and rosary beads that his grandmother brought with her from Ireland in 1905. Mayor Murray is the third openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, and the first U.S. mayor in a same-sex marriage.
Mayor Murray will end the day at The Inauguration Celebration at the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby at Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. This event is a come as you are celebration for the people. The Inauguration Celebration is open to the public.
Mayor Murray hopes you will join him, virtually or in person, as he is sworn in as Seattle’s new mayor on January 6th. For the Mayor and his staff, Inauguration Day is an all-day affair that includes community service, visiting an exhibit that explores issues of race and cultural perceptions, and attending afternoon Mass. The day will end with a public celebration in the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby at Benaroya Hall. The afternoon ceremony and the evening celebration are both open to the public. We hope to see many of you there! For those who cannot attend, we will be broadcasting the Inauguration Ceremony at 3:30 p.m. right here on this blog.
Inauguration Day Schedule:
- Mayor to serve breakfast at Mary’s Place, a day shelter for homeless women and their children
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
- Mayor’s office staff and Department Directors to explore Pacific Science Center’s RACE Exhibit
9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
- Mayor to attend Mass at Chapel of St. Ignatius
12:30 PM – 1:30 p.m.
- Inauguration Ceremony
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
City Hall, Lobby level
Open to the public
- Inauguration Celebration featuring the Experience the City of Music project
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby at Benaroya Hall
Open to the public
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.
Earlier today, Mayor Murray signed the first Executive Order of his new administration. As a result of the Order, the City’s Director of Budget and Director of Personnel will start working right away to raise the minimum wage of all City of Seattle Employees to $15 an hour.
If you missed today’s announcement, you can view it in full here:
We’re busily preparing for Monday’s Inauguration and will have more information for you soon regarding the day’s events, but here’s a story we wanted to share that was published a few days back from the Seattle Times’ Lynn Thompson that illustrates why Monday’s events are “a big deal.”
“With both capturing national attention for their pledges to work toward a $15 minimum wage in 2014, the venue has been shifted from City Council chambers, which seats about 180 people, to the lobby of City Hall, which can seat about 800.
The city staff is planning for overflow space for up to 1,200 more on an overhead walkway, in the council chambers, in an adjacent meeting room and on an outdoor plaza and steps.
The City Council has been fielding media inquiries from national and international news outlets including CNN, Fox News, The Guardian of London, The New York Times, The Times of India and Al-Jazeera International.”
Mayor Murray announced today that he will sign an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all City of Seattle employees. The Mayor stressed that “there is no single solution” that will solve the City’s affordability issues and that he intends to also closely examine Seattle’s affordable housing shortage, barriers to education, and the gender pay gap.
The Mayor looks forward to working in conjunction with the City Council and his recently created Income Inequality Advisory Committee to further examine how a citywide $15 minimum wage might affect non-profit and for-profit business sectors.
When the full video of this morning’s announcement is uploaded, we will make that available here.
Mayor Murray will hold a press conference this morning to discuss next steps to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all Seattle City employees. You can watch the live event here starting at 9:30 a.m.: