Excerpts of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s Second State of the City Address

Excerpts of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s Second State of the City Address

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Mayor Jenny A. Durkan/Pride Flag Raising/June 1, 2018
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan/Pride Flag Raising/June 1, 2018

As prepared for delivery on February 19. 2019:

  • “Everywhere I go, people ask how they can help, what they can do to make their community better. In the last six weeks, we’ve seen and lived that. We faced the longest major highway closure our region has ever seen. We asked people to step up, and people responded. They got out of their cars and onto transit, bikes, walking, water taxis. They worked from home. For three weeks. And it made a big difference. Then we faced the snowiest month in Seattle in over fifty years. So we stuck together. We checked on our neighbors. We shoveled our neighbor’s sidewalks. Together with our partners in the community and at the County, we stood up emergency shelters and brought many hundreds of people living outside and unsheltered…So from the Seattle Squeeze to the Big Freeze — it was challenging. But Seattle rose to the occasion.  So let’s not make that a ‘moment.’ Let’s keep doing those things that made us better.”
  • “We have always invented the future. And that’s what I want to discuss today: How together we can build a city of the future. We have a generational opportunity to intentionally choose what kind of city we want to be 50 years from now. Because today, Seattle is at a turning point. Seattle is quite literally under construction. And now is that moment in time that we can build the city we want. We must remember that real progress advances our common humanity. And our social compact is strongest when built upon our mutual dreams and aspirations — when we all strive towards a shared vision of what is possible. And from listening to Seattle, I believe we have that shared vision.”
  • “This year, our City will rethink and double down on our efforts to build and create more affordable housing for all families in Settle. We will pass the Mandatory Housing Affordability and continue to improve it to ensure that our fastest-growing neighborhoods can be vibrant, livable places for the next generation. We will continue to be creative and leverage our tens of millions of dollars in new affordable housing investments, including by moving forward on redeveloping Fort Lawton to create housing opportunities for low income seniors, veterans and families. Working with nonprofits, businesses, community leaders, and philanthropy, we will push to create more housing for middle-income Seattleites. Because too many of our workers – including our city employees, our nurses, our teachers, firefighters, and police officers – are getting priced out of this great city. We will do more to address displacement and gentrification.”
  • “Our city of the future must also be one where people have access to opportunity and jobs. We should all be proud of what we’ve done over the last year together to make those connections possible. On my first day in office in 2017, we created the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program to expand the one-year South Seattle pilot program to two free years at to all Seattle colleges…The next great innovation on climate change, curing diseases or empowering community could be sitting in one of our Promise classrooms. And for any student watching, you have until Friday to apply for Seattle Promise! In March, I will be sending our plan to execute on the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise levy to fully realize Seattle Promise, expand high quality preschool to 1,700 kids, close the opportunity gap for our K-12 students. On Thursday, in partnership with Seattle Colleges, we will also announce the availability of a new Seattle Promise Equity Scholarship. Because tuition is not the only barrier to college, this program allows many income-eligible 13th year and 14th year Promise Scholars in our Seattle Colleges to receive resources for things like books, child care, and food.”
  • “Transit must be reliable and affordable – because we need transit to meet our climate goals and because it makes people’s lives better. It’s what lets them get to school, training, and jobs. And it helps manage congestion all across our City….We’ll do more to open up access to transit some of our most vulnerable neighbors. Building on the success of the ORCA Opportunity program for students, I can tell you this summer, we will launch a new program with Seattle Housing Authority and King County Metro to give more than 1,500 low-income residents an unlimited, year-round ORCA card.”
  • “We can put all these ideas – big and small – into action to help people. That’s what building a city of the future is about…Think about a city where all that is possible. That’s where we are headed. That’s where we must go. Councilmembers, I hope you can help take us there.  I don’t pretend for a moment that it is going to be easy. But I know in my bones it is the right thing to do.”

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