2011 was the last of my four years as Council President. In 2012, I will Chair the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee, while Councilmember Sally Clark will become President for 2012-2013.
As President, my goals have been:
- To build a strong and assertive Council that works to create a more just and sustainable Seattle.
- To ensure that all Councilmembers have the tools and opportunities they need in order to succeed, individually and collectively.
- To be open and transparent, to communicate with the people of Seattle and with each other, to deliberate and to express different points of view openly and honestly, and to make decisions that exercise our best judgment to keep the City on course for a better future.
- To set and achieve common goals for the Council and to develop strategies for working together, resolving conflicts, and reaching consensus where possible.
I’m proud of my success in meeting those goals as President. I also worked on many substantive issues during the last year, and here are my top ten achievements for 2011:
- Worked to restore Seattle’s economy by leading Council adoption of an Economic Development policy and implementation of the recommended policy initiatives, including formalizing the OED Business Advocacy Team, securing Department cooperation in Permit Consolidation Work (leading to a pilot project in 2012), and getting legislation approved to create an Economic Development Commission.
- Led the Council in working to replace SR 520, including securing an agreement with the State to implement City recommendations for mitigation and design improvements and negotiating a Mayor-Council agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding with the State.
- Secured Council adoption of legislation formally approving the goal of making Seattle Carbon Neutral by 2050, along with a work plan to achieve that.
- As a member of the Sound Transit Board, served on negotiating team with Bellevue, leading to approval for East Link route; assisted Sound Transit in securing a TIGER 3 grant for South Link; advanced work on University Link and North Link, including Transit Oriented Development in station areas.
- Led the Council through continued work on the SR 99 Tunnel/Waterfront; our successful work was recognized by the voters in the August 16 vote to endorse the tunnel project.
- Implemented the Seattle for Washington and Regional Outreach projects, leading to significant legislative/regional achievements and greatly improved relationships with regional and state leaders; with the support of the Association of Washington Cities, I was elected to the Board of the National League of Cities.
- Advanced earthquake preparedness through Council review and work plan development, and secured funding to begin a recovery plan for Seattle and to develop a regulations/incentive program to retrofit unreinforced masonry buildings.
- Worked with Council, Library, and Executive to create Library Levy process for 2012.
- Sponsored legislation to approve an interlocal agreement with King County to advance the reconstruction of the South Park Bridge, and began process to annex South Park sliver and Bridge.
- Continued progress on the Local Food Action Initiative, including launching the Seattle Farm Bill Principles and securing their adoption by the Council and the National League of Cities; ensuring that healthy eating is supported in the Families and Education Levy as an important element in ensuring student success; winning approval for restoration of P-Patch staff and Lettuce Link funding in the 2012 budget process; working with the Board of Health to adopt healthy food guidelines for vending machines, and incorporate those standards in Parks vending machine contracts; developing a business directory of urban agriculture-related businesses in Seattle, assisting in creating an urban agriculture business association, and working to meeting the needs of emerging businesses; working with immigrants, refugees, and the Seattle Housing Authority to operate a community supported agriculture farm and farm stands at two public housing sites; identifying opportunities to expand economic activity, marketing, and jobs in the local food economy; securing Council passage of a resolution to develop a Transfer of Development Rights program to protect farmland in King County that provides produce for Seattle’s farmers markets; adding policies addressing food production, access, distribution, and consumption to the Comprehensive Plan and Transportation Strategic Plan; advancing development of a new P-Patch Strategic Plan, to address demand for community gardens and plan for P-Patch role in urban agriculture, and securing 13 new community gardens under the 2008 Parks Levy; Chairing the Regional Food Policy Council and securing funding for the Council; securing adoption by the Growth Management Planning Council of Healthy Communities Guidelines as part of the Countywide Planning Policies.