We approached this year’s budget with a strong focus on investing our limited resources wisely and efficiently to meet the immediate needs of our city. The Council also focused on those investments that would continue to build a sustainable city and enhance our ability to measure the effectiveness of our various programs. We are committed to achieving results for you.
Most of the Council’s changes to the Mayor’s proposed budget centered on three important areas—Caring for our most vulnerable neighbors—expanding day shelter services, more food for emergency food programs at our Food Banks, and social workers to visit home-bound seniors. We are also hiring more nurses to empower first-time, low-income mothers living in poverty. By doing, Seattle will proudly become only the third major U.S. city to fully fund the Nurse Family Partnership. And, with a sensible evaluation strategy in hand, we will expand our Youth Violence Prevention Initiative to reach up to 450 additional at-risk young people.
Improving public safety—additional funding to hire more police officers to help keep our neighborhoods safe.
Improving transportation—redirected money to take care of urgent transportation needs—more focus on street and road maintenance and improving transit service.
I am particularly grateful that my colleagues agreed to fully fund the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), an evidence-based early childhood intervention program that leads to better pregnancy outcomes for mother and child, higher education achievement for mother and child, and significantly reduced criminal justice system involvement for mother and child. Early interventions—like the Nurse Family Partnership—pay huge dividends for our city’s future.
Thanks to all of the people of Seattle who called us, sent e-mails, took our on-line budget survey, and shared with me their vision for a better city. Our best days are ahead of us.