On Monday, November 19th my council colleagues and I held our final vote to pass the 2019-2020 City Budget. This was my third budget process, and after an incredibly busy eight weeks, I believe that this package of investments is a direct reflection of community priorities and our city values and I want to highlight a few projects for which I am particularly proud to have sponsored or supported.
To support safe and healthy communities:
- I was proud to add $25,123 to make sure additional food bank locations can provide food for thousands more families through delivery service models and to support Councilmember Juarez in identifying significant increased investment for our city’s food banks;
- I am thrilled to have found $79,000 to bring REACH mental health outreach workers to U District and Ballard;
- I sponsored the additional investment of $100,000 to ensure the capital needs of a Community Health Engagement Location (CHEL) are fully funded;
- I added $10,000 for the installation of suicide prevention hotline signage throughout the city;
- I supported the compromise brought forward by Councilmember Mosqueda to give much needed raises to our front line human service workers without slowing the expansion of our Navigation Team;
- And I was happy to support the expansion of our successful Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program to more areas of the city.
To improve bike and pedestrian safety through a multimodal approach:
- I sponsored an addition of $500,000 to the Your Voice, Your Choice program budget to increase the number of community-led street safety projects that can be built in the next funding cycle;
- I supported a proviso to the adaptive signaling program to ensure that we are improving the safety and efficiency of our streets for all users;
- I added $50,000 to help fund a 3rd Avenue mobility study;
- And I supported investments in the creation of a home zone pilot program to help calm traffic in our neighborhoods.
To ensure our city takes a smart, strategic approach to growth:
- I sponsored the addition of one staff member to the team at Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI) who protect our city’s trees;
- I restored the funding for five staff positions at SDCI to reduce permit review and response times;
- And I supported a new project at the Office of Planning and Community Development to review racial equity in our land use policies.
To support livable neighborhoods:
- I restored $140,000 to fund adequate staffing hours at Magnuson Park Community Center to provide engaging programming for the kids and adults who currently live and play in the park, as well as the hundreds more who will call the park home when Mercy Magnuson Place opens in summer of 2019;
- I accelerated the conversion of Field 12 in Magnuson Park to 2021 from 2023 in order to see more programmable field space in Northeast Seattle to support active Seattleites of all ages;
- And as our summers get hotter and our city gets more expensive, I was important to me to find funds to ensure all 22 of our city’s wading pools are open on a rotating schedule. While we were able to secure $150,000 for 2020, we will look for amendments to the next quarterly supplemental budget to ensure all wading pools are open in the summer of 2019 as well.
I want to thank D4 residents who called, emailed, testified, or stopped by our office to communicate your feedback. Thanks to your engagement, I believe that the investments in this budget reflect the priorities of our community and uphold the values of this city. Overall, I am proud that the Council’s collective additions celebrate a commitment to equity and access, support infrastructure for our growing community, improve pedestrian and bike safety, and meaningfully invest in the next generation.