TRANSIT AND TRANSPORTATION
Enhancing and preserving our local transit and transportation options is a matter of economic and environmental necessity, not merely of convenience. Seattle needs rapid, efficient transit options connecting our neighborhoods, and a coherent transportation system connecting us with the growing density in our region’s inner-ring suburbs.
As Mayor, Ed will:
- Create the Move Seattle Strategy; a prioritized comprehensive transportation strategy for Seattle that integrates and prioritizes our bike, pedestrian, transit and freight plans; staying true to the goals of each plan while recognizing transportation must work as a system linked to land use. Ed’s strategy will prioritize our investments and match priorities to funding opportunities so we don’t just plan work but actually secure funding, deliver projects and improve our transportation system.
- Lead the charge to bring Sound Transit 3 to the ballot by 2016 by rebuilding relationships and leveraging his connections to turn the unfulfilled, go-it-alone light rail promises from the current mayor into a successful partnership to expand rail and connect more neighborhoods in Seattle. Ed is the only candidate who has the track record of success, relationships and leadership needed to secure the new revenue authority from the state to get this done.
- Use his strong relationship with King County Executive Constantine, Governor Inslee, the legislature and regional leaders to secure additional funding options to preserve and expand the Metro transit system in Seattle. Ed will partner with King County to make RapidRide rapid, better connect our neighborhoods and make speed and reliability improvements so our buses are faster and arrive when we expect them to.
- Reduce the growing $1.8 billion safety and maintenance backlog by renewing the transportation levy to pave more streets, better maintain our bridges, build the bicycle and pedestrian improvements we need and want and deliver more neighborhood projects suggested and prioritized by neighbors, while not diverting the base transportation budget to other uses.
Access to quality education is critical for our children’s success, and is among the most effective ways to address economic inequality and social injustice.
As Mayor, Ed will:
- Take advantage of the bully pulpit of the Mayor’s Office, and existing City resources, including both the Families and Education Levy and Seattle General Fund, to influence educational improvements that will result in Seattle Public Schools becoming an urban model for the nation. Ed will begin by convening Seattle Public Schools, parents, educators, researchers and other stakeholders to identify best practices that will result in significant improvements in academic performance and graduation rates, especially for low income children and children of color. Ed will make identifying resources for education a priority.
- Expand access to early childhood education for 4 year olds so that all children enter kindergarten ready to learn. This is essential to addressing the persistent and troubling achievement gap between students in North and South Seattle schools.
- Assist our public schools in dealing with increased enrollment and the concurrent expansion of their facilities. Ed will streamline the city permitting and construction processes for critically needed school construction projects.
- Increase the access and exposure of school age children to arts and culture. Ed will ensure that the existing resources of Seattle Parks and Recreation Community Centers, Seattle Public Libraries, and the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture are leveraged and coordinated with community resources to maximize access and exposure of school age children to music, drama, fine arts and dance education and appreciation.
- Work to expand opportunities for advanced career and technological education for those students who may choose a technical career.
The Seattle Police Department (SPD) is currently subject to a consent decree from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), due to the use of excessive force and concerns about racially biased policing. These circumstances, as well as the current mayor’s resistance to accepting and immediately acting upon the DOJ’s findings, reflect failures of leadership at the top. Correcting these problems, reforming the culture of the SPD, and restoring public trust will require not only a new chief but a new mayor, with both committed to making public safety and police reform a top priority.
As Mayor, Ed will:
- Conduct a national search to identify the best possible candidates and appoint a police chief with a track record of implementing reforms, experienced in the best practices of urban law enforcement, and with the respect of our line officers.
- Implement the Department of Justice Policy Accountability Plan in a new cooperative and collaborative environment.
- Supplement existing training for new police officers with a focus on best practices policing in a diverse, urban environment. Currently new Seattle officers receive six months of training at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center in Burien. While this offers an excellent grounding in the basics of policing, Ed will propose supplementing that instruction with additional training focusing on the unique challenges of policing in an urban and diverse city such as Seattle.
- Put more effort into the recruitment and hiring of police officers who live in the city and understand its culture. Our police department should be as diverse as the citizens it protects.
- Provide the necessary resources to expand the effectiveness of our police, firefighters, EMTs and other first responders. As we all know, there is a lot of development occurring in parts of Seattle and in some cases that is straining the ability of our public safety personnel to act effectively. As just one example, currently the closest fire station to South Lake Union is Station #2 in Belltown. With the planned growth in South Lake Union, we need to expand service to that neighborhood with another station. Being proactive as the city grows and providing our fire department with the resources it needs to continue to provide rapid response times and positive public safety outcomes should be a priority for City Hall.
JOB GROWTH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Seattle, like Washington State and the country, was hit hard by the recent recession. We are still recovering. Things are still tough for the unemployed, for young graduates and for working families. No single strategy will suffice for local job growth. We need a broad and collaborative approach to increasing the economic vitality or our city.
As Mayor, Ed will:
- Work to improve the local business climate, attract new employers, and streamline red tape to make it easier for small businesses to flourish here.
- Make strengthening and protecting the working and middle class a priority of his administration. Ed is committed to ensuring that Seattle does not become a city where only the very wealthy and the very poor live.
- Ensure that local workers have access to the training they need to be competitive on the job market. Ed and his administration will partner with our community colleges and universities to expand career training and with technological education programs that target growing industry sectors.
- Focus on policies and investments that strengthen our economy and boost job creation. For example, Ed will work with Seattle’s legislative delegation and Olympia to secure funding for the expansion of local and regional transit, and substantial investment in rebuilding our aging infrastructure. He will leverage his strong relationships in Olympia and with private business interests to launch a precision engineering and manufacturing initiative in SoDo.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND GROWTH
There is no one size fits all approach to dealing with growth. Our city is growing and people need to live somewhere. It will be the job of the next mayor to accommodate that growth in ways that minimize disruption and negative impacts. Our goal must be to create compact, walkable, bikeable, transit-supported, green neighborhoods where Seattle residents can continue to enjoy a high quality of life and a positive urban living experience.
As Mayor, Ed will:
- Develop a long-term plan to put density where we have the infrastructure and transit to support it in order to protect the unique character of our neighborhoods and keep what we love about Seattle while we grow
- Focus new growth on areas, like South Lake Union, where we can and should increase density. By doing that we will reduce development pressure on single-family residential neighborhoods.
- Support the responsible development of micro-housing. While not for everyone, micro-housing is another important option for younger residents, singles, and lower-income residents of the city. This needs to be done in a manner that does not allow developers to game loopholes in the current zoning codes, and that will require a consistency of regulatory interpretations across all city departments.
Global climate change is an existential crisis. We need sustainable policies that significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and reduce polluted runoff from our roads.
As Mayor, Ed will:
- Support policies that maximize transit and transportation options, including moving forward with a Sound Transit 3 light rail expansion measure in 2013 that includes a significant Seattle component, stabilizing funding for Metro bus service, and begin addressing the growing safety and maintenance backlog on our bridges and roads. Ed will manage growth to ensure that we create compact energy efficient neighborhoods in Seattle that are designed to safely accommodate pedestrians and cyclists.
- Within 60 days of taking office convene a panel of experts to work with the City’s Office of Sustainability and Environment to conduct a top to bottom sustainability audit of Seattle City government. The panel will report back in six months with a set of recommendations. Ed will work with the Council to implement those environmental improvements. This idea is based on a similar effort that was implemented by the Mayor of Salt Lake City, where it produced significant sustainability gains.
- Appoint a team of city staff and environmental leaders to seek out the best practices that are being developed and implemented in other innovative cities around the world and work to adapt their insights into our urban environment here in the Pacific Northwest.
- Support the establishment of a Metropolitan Park District (MPD) using existing authority in state law. A MPD will provide new revenue dedicated solely to parks and recreation that cannot be directed to other purposes. The needs of the Seattle park system are urgent and competition for levy funds are great. A Park District is the best strategy to provide dedicated, reliable, and ongoing funding for our park system; we need to stop relying on special levies.
Meeting the basic needs of the most vulnerable in our community and investing in strategies that lift people (especially children and youth) out of poverty must be one of the City’s highest priorities. We will partner with other public and private funders, community providers, and clients to focus on prevention, proven interventions, and better evaluation.
As Mayor, Ed will:
- Select a new Director of the Human Services Department who reflects Seattle’s culture and diversity with an emphasis on partnership, collaboration, and respect within the Department and for all stakeholders.
- Lead on the implementation of a Family Justice Center (FJC) with a mission of co-locating multi-disciplinary teams of professionals (police, judges, prosecutors, civil legal service providers, and community partners) under one roof to provide coordinated and comprehensive services for victims of family violence.
- Join ongoing efforts to reduce youth and young adult homelessness. Ed will instruct City staff to join funding partners United Way, Raikes Foundation, Medina Foundation and community provides YouthCare and Friends of Youth by aligning funding and sharing data and evaluation.
- Prepare all City Departments for the doubling of the elderly population. Ed will direct all City departments to include the growth in the senior population in their planning activities. He will evaluate our transportation system, recreation, and human service programs to ensure that their services and programs are responsive to the needs of an aging population.