Today I am excited – more than I ever have been – about the future of Seattle. This is the city that we all love. The opportunity to continue serving my city belongs in the realm of dreams come true.
I have a vision for this city – a grand one that soon will be freed from a crumbling Viaduct that fenced us from the world’s sweetest deep-water harbor. I see a city that finally will be framed by a wonderful nine-acre parkland, an exciting whirlwind of activity, a skein of green pathways and trails. A waterfront for all of us, not just for cars, buses and trucks.
It is this amazing remake that I longed for even before my first election night eight years ago, a chance at last to unite the city with its promise of greatness.
For, at last, Seattle is beginning to emerge from the depths of a cruel four-year-long recession. I’m proud to have served as the council’s Budget chair throughout the lean years, uncomfortable with the choices that had to be made, but grateful to my colleagues for their help in keeping the city’s core services strong.
In the next two years, I will be serving the city as chair of my dream committee, one that I plan to call LUC – I think of it as Good LUK. I will be overseeing Library, Utilities and Seattle Center. Being given an opportunity to oversee these Seattle institutions is a dazzling prospect. The Library is truly Seattle’s proudest accomplishment, a handsome central library with 26 community branches and, even with the constraints of a lean budget, able to serve more of its citizens, circulate more books, fill more requests than ever before in history. It’s impossible to imagine an establishment more beloved.
No less a dream assignment is to be able to work with Seattle Public Utilities, one of THE most important of the city’s services. Provision of drinkable water, the working of the all-important drainage and waste systems and development of exciting, innovative approaches to reach our goal of zero waste are what will define Seattle as the progressive city that we all want it to be.
Finally, my committee also will have the honor of overseeing the Seattle Center, the 74-acre legacy from Seattle’s 1962 World’s Fair. No one loves this cultural and recreational asset as much as I always have. As we embark on “The Next 50,” plans for the park’s future, I will focus on making it what Center Superintendent Robert Nellams has called “Seattle’s living room.”
Indeed, it is the place where all people, all families, all cultures and all visitors are welcome and treated as equals. It houses some of the city’s most prized cultural resources, as well as an arena that can offer entertainment, sports excitement and musical pleasure. It is here that people come to cheer sports championships, to grieve for mutual loss and to welcome new citizens.
The Center is just that – the Center – and will continue to center our world.
So, friends and family, colleagues and advocates, dear employees and constituents, and all of you who have invested in these experienced bones to help realize Seattle’s potential: know I am deeply grateful for your renewing my contract to serve the best place of any place. Know that I will never take a moment off from the job you have let me keep and know that no one will serve you prouder than I will.
Thank you and let the work begin.