2014 Inauguration Speech

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Hello and thank you all for being here today. I want to thank my wife, friends and family for being here today and for supporting me in this career path as a public servant. I also want to thank all of the people who supported my campaign for re-election to Seattle City Council.

I love this job and am thrilled and honored to serve a second term, albeit a shortened one. I look forward to working with the new mayor and my Council colleagues new and old on progressive, pragmatic policies that continue to make Seattle a model for environmental sustainability and economic vitality for all.

When Seattle leads on sustainability and climate change, we are showing the rest of the state, country and world what can be done. So we need to be bold and aggressive in our implementation of Seattle’s Climate Action Plan. We need to find sustainable, long-term solutions to our transportation funding crisis so we can develop the kind of public transportation system a city like Seattle deserves. And we need to continue innovating in areas like district energy systems and green stormwater infrastructure; testing what is possible in areas like Yesler Terrace and South Lake Union. We must do everything we can to ensure this planet is good shape for our kids.

In addition to leading on sustainability, I will continue to push for an economy in Seattle that works for everyone. We know that Seattle is no longer affordable for many working families, and while the City cannot fix all of the challenges we face, there is much we CAN do. We can raise the minimum wage to ensure that all families have a chance live in the city they work in. We can work to increase the supply of workforce housing, so families are not priced out of affording rent in the city. And we can work to ensure that when City dollars are being spent on City projects, we are hiring people from our community and keeping those local jobs and dollars here in Seattle.

Taking the oath of office, administered by my two sons, Elliott & Wyatt.

Taking the oath of office, administered by my two sons, Elliott & Wyatt.

And finally, I will continue working to make City government more open and accessible to great diversity of people we have here in Seattle. That means furthering the work of the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative to bring about greater racial equity and to close the opportunity gaps in education and employment. It also means continuing to work toward a fair and accessible elections system so that leaders from all communities, regardless of access to resources, have the opportunity to take this oath of office and lead our city.

In closing, I am so excited for the opportunity to serve the people of this great city for another term. Together, we can continue to build a city that works for our people and our planet.