Councilmember Johnson Remarks from Seattle City Council Inauguration
SEATTLE – Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle) delivered the following remarks at the Seattle City Council inauguration ceremony on January 4, 2016:
“Councilmembers, distinguished guests, friends, and family – I am honored to stand before you as District 4’s first representative and humbled by the trust you’ve placed in my passion for the city of Seattle.
“I want to send a heartfelt message of gratitude to everyone who helped me get here and provided guidance along the way, most importantly my wife Katie and our girls, whose collective patience and support knows no bounds.
“I ran for office not only to make the process of civic engagement more efficient and enjoyable for my constituents, but to be a voice at the table, helping to steer this city at a crucial juncture in our collective history.
“As the fastest growing major city in the country, the problems to solve and the hurdles to overcome are many as we work to keep pace with those who currently call Seattle their home and those who want to call Seattle their home. The time for making two year decisions has passed, and we must commit ourselves, as leaders of this city, to planning for 2065, not 2018.
“Recent initiatives such as our HALA recommendations and the Move Seattle levy lay an exceptional foundation for this type of long term planning, and I recognize the responsibility we as leaders of this city share is to balance that strategic visioning with hard and fast implementation.
“When I think of the Seattle I want my daughters to enjoy 50 years from now, it inspires my guiding vision and subsequently, the types of decisions I will make over the course of my term.
“I envision a transportation system that is efficient, affordable, safe and interconnected. I envision a decreased dependence on vehicles and the celebration of carbon neutrality in the not too distant future.
“I envision our neighborhoods and urban villages alike as communities where all have the opportunity to live, work, and play – regardless of socio-economic status. Where better planning, design and architectural innovation ensure new development improves quality of life and enhances the character of all our neighborhoods.
“And I envision an education system of the highest caliber, resulting from meaningful dialogue between the city and our school district to coordinate our growth strategies. I envision a system that provides not only a seat for every child in the classroom, but also access to a holistic education, one including the arts, that prepares our students for any path they choose to pursue.
“This vision comes with a responsibility to express opinions, propose solutions, to be bold – and a little bit wonky. My wonkiness ultimately stems from my passion for the role that cities play in our national, cultural landscape. In my opinion, the best cities thrive when focused on the quality of life of each and every one if its’ residents, and the efficiency of its infrastructure. Cities work optimally when both the private and the public sectors come together in the spirit of collaboration. Cities don’t necessarily succeed by having the most money in their coffer, but by finding creative solutions that make an impact. And cities have the opportunity to provide leading innovations in the absence of action at the state and federal level.
“Seattle is an incredible city built to inspire and engage – and recent examples including December’s vote allowing ride-share drivers to unionize, and our response to homelessness make me very proud to play a part in this city’s future.
“Today marks a milestone in Seattle’s history as we commence a council term characterized by district representation. So to conclude, and to recognize this occasion, I’d like to give each of my fellow council members this mug from the University of Washington. Let it represent how honored I am to represent District 4 and to work alongside you all to make Seattle a more livable, equitable, and enjoyable city. Thank you.”
# # #
Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21, HD Channels 321 Comcast, 721 Wave and on the City Council’s website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook.