This week has been a whirlwind—and it’s only Thursday! Here are a few reflections on the progress we made this week on issues important to District 7 and our entire City.
Our New Mayor: “What’s happening at City Hall?” Oh my. It’s true we’ve had three Mayors in a week and the transition has been frankly challenging. Big thanks to all who have sent notes of encouragement, and special thanks to Council President Bruce Harrell who decided to stay on the Council for the next two years. We need his steady hand and vision. And, I am confident our City is in competent hands with Mayor Tim Burgess, my friend and colleague for over ten years. He will serve us until the Mayoral election is certified on November 28.
Uptown Upzones: On Tuesday in the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee (PLUZ), my colleagues and I voted unanimously to pass the Uptown Rezone recommendations (Council Bill 119055) and a Companion Resolution (Resolution 31772) identifying future City actions and a work program for Uptown and Seattle Center. This vote is the culmination of over four years of community discussion and analysis to develop the Uptown’s Framework for the Future. This legislation takes important strides in realizing the vision established in the Uptown Urban Design Framework, including increased building capacity, urban design guidelines, and infrastructure investments to create a vibrant, inclusive, and affordable Uptown.
My goal throughout this process has been to build on recommendations from our community. As the Uptown Urban Design Framework concluded, we want to showcase and promote the richness of Uptown’s artistic and cultural character, and build affordable housing in Uptown at the same time. I believe the legislation will do just that.
As recommended, allowable heights will be increased to 85’ in the Heart of Uptown. The proposed 125’ is dead. This adoption to 85’ will allow for better designs and more residential units near the future Seattle Center Light Rail Station. It will also provide support for the Art and Cultural Overlay District as well as development of more affordable housing in Uptown right now.
I want to recognize Debi Frausto and Rick Hooper for their tireless work and efforts in Uptown, stretching back to the early days of the Uptown Alliance and the neighborhood council. The businesses and residents of Uptown are lucky to have Debi and Rick’s voices at work for all of us. I also want to thank members of the Ward Street Alliance and other community members who came to our public meeting, and dedicated their ideas, skills and time.
The Budget Begins: This week marks the beginning of Budget Season. Wednesday, we held our first budget background briefings on the Seattle Department of Transit (SDOT), Seattle Human Services Department (HSD), and the Seattle Police Department (SPD). As prescribed by city rules, Mayor Burgess will present the Executive Budget this Monday.
International Day of Peace – Thursday, September 21. For the past month, I have supported Seattle Rotary to organize a rally to recognize September 21, 2017 as International Day of Peace. The United Nations has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people.
The Council and Mayor recognized September 21 as the International Day of Peace, and applauded Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins and Cathy Gibson (Seattle Rotary 4) for their dedication and effort in bringing forth recognition of this day.
The public observance of the Day of Peace at City Hall begins on the 4th Avenue side of City Hall in the plaza at 11:50 AM. We will join in a world-wide moment of silence at 12:00 noon music, with speakers and declarations of peace. Please join us; all are welcome! This event is intended as a show of support for tolerance, acceptance, inclusion and peace in our City and Region.
I feel immensely grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with you and serve District 7 and this City.