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COVID –19 Updates: No Vaccine Appointment Needed; South Park Plaza Redesign Survey; Immigrant Relief Fund Applications Open Until May 15; Apply for a Federal Restaurant Revitalization Award; Rental Assistance for Landlords; Public Hearing on Federal ARPA Funds; SPU Strategic Business Plan; Alki Point Stay Healthy Street; Reconnect West Seattle Quarterly Report

COVID –19 Updates: No Vaccine Appointment Needed; Vaccination Progress; Free Transportation for Vaccines

No Appointment Needed:  It’s easier than ever to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  Now you can just walk up – no appointment needed – at the West Seattle, Rainier Beach, or Lumen Field vaccination sites runs by the City.  The address and hours of operation at these three City vaccination sites are as follows:

  • West Seattle Vaccination Hub: 2801 SW Thistle St., Seattle, WA 98126; Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Lumen Field Event Center: 330 S Royal Brougham Way, Seattle, WA 98134; Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
  • Rainier Beach Vaccination Hub: 8702 Seward Park Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118; Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

If you prefer to schedule ahead of time, just click here to book an appointment at the City’s four vaccination sites, including in West Seattle.  Both first and second doses are available – even if you got your first shot somewhere else.

Safeway, CVS, and Albertsons pharmacies announced this week that they will provide vaccination without appointments as well.  If you’d like to be vaccinated at another District 1 location, it might be worth asking if they will provide walk-in vaccination.  Find locations and links to more information at the map below.

Vaccine Progress:  As of April 30, an estimated 68 percent of Seattle residents had begun the vaccination process, and 41 percent are fully vaccinated.  Citywide, 97% of people who get their initial vaccine dose return for their second dose!  District 1 residents are keeping pace, with between 96-97% of residents completing their vaccinations.  Thanks, everyone!

Free Transportation to Vaccine Clinics: For those who are low-income, a senior, have a disability, or are a veteran, there are several free and low-cost transportation options to vaccine clinics. Just call Hopelink’s Vaccine Helpline at 425-943-6706 (press 5 for language assistance) or visit the Find a Ride website.

South Park Plaza Redesign Survey

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) invites the community to participate in the future of South Park Plaza site by reviewing the schematic design and taking this short survey.

To participate in planning and incorporating cultural elements in the design, take the survey and sign up for a focus group. For more information about the project please visit here.   For additional questions or if you need an interpreter or accommodations please contact Jay Rood at Jay.rood@seattle.gov.

Immigrant Relief Fund Applications Open Until May 15

If you’re an immigrant experiencing hard times because of COVID-19, and you aren’t eligible for federal financial relief or unemployment insurance, this fund is for you.  Apply for the Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund and receive a $1,000 one-time direct payment.  Apply by May 15!

Si usted es inmigrante y está atravesando un momento difícil causado por el Coronavirus, y no puede recibir los fondos federales de asistencia financiera o seguro por desempleo por su estado migratorio, este fondo es para usted.  Presente una solicitud al Fondo de Asistencia debido al Coronavirus para Inmigrantes de Washington, y podría recibir un pago único y directo de $1,000 por persona que califique.  ¡Presenta tu aplicación antes del 15 de mayo!

  • Applications are available in Spanish, English, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean here.
  • Interpreters are available in many languages to help you over the phone at 1-844-724-3737 (open every day, 6AM-9PM).
  • You can get help applying from these organizations in many languages.
  • Learn more at immigrantreliefwa.org

Apply for a Federal Restaurant Revitalization Award

The United States Small Business Administration is opening up applications to eligible businesses for up to $5 million in funding per location, not to exceed $10 million total, from the Restaurant Revitilization Fund (RRF).  The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) encourages all eligible applicants to submit applications as soon as the portal opens.

RRF applications must be submitted in English or Spanish. For more information, visit sba.gov/restaurants or this SBA announcement.  Para obtener información en español, visite sba.gov/restaurantes.

OED will also provide technical assistance including accounting consultation for microbusinesses. Email OED at oed@seattle.gov or call 206-684-8090 for more information. Bilingual assistance is available in Amharic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Thai, Tigrinya and Vietnamese.

Rental Assistance for Landlords

Landlords with at least five tenants behind on rent can now enroll in King County’s Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program.  With $145 million in funding from the Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), this program will help landlords and tenants in King County who are struggling with overdue rent.  Landlords can learn more and enroll here.

If you are a tenant who needs help paying rent, sign up to receive notifications from the County.  The tenant program is scheduled to open for applications on May 17th.

Public Hearing on Federal ARPA Funds

On May 4th, I joined my colleagues on the Finance & Housing Committee for a public hearing on the best use of $119 million City expects to relieve in the first round of funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  I appreciate the many individuals who took the time to sign up and advocate for the best way to provide relief and support with these funds.

Sarah Cody Roth of District 1’s own Westside Baby, and Ella McRae of Seattle Housing Authority, provided powerful testimony about the increasing need for diapers that is forcing new parents into agonizing choices between their child staying in wet diapers or paying for food – and pointed out that federal income supports for low income families can’t be used to purchase diapers.  Ella said a Housing Authority resident told her: “We need diapers more than we need food.”

Members of the public also advocated for resources for survivors of gender-based violence, for people struggling to survive unsheltered, for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic, and to invest in Black communities.  Thank you to everyone who participated.

Council will discuss specific spending proposals for ARPA dollars at the May 18th Finance & Housing committee meeting.  You can sign up to receive the agenda here.

SPU Strategic Business Plan

At Wednesday’s Transportation and Utility Committee meeting we voted to support the new Seattle Public Utility (SPU) Strategic Business Plan (SBP). The SBP is a six-year outlook and guiding document for the utility.  It is adjusted every three years to reflect the most accurate information about projects and costs and the utility rates needed to support those project costs. The process begins with a nine member, all volunteer Customer Review Panel (CRP). They are appointed to act as the voice of the utility rate paying customers during the planning and development stages of the SBP.

This update to the SBP was discussed twice in committee last month, and is now headed to Full Council on Monday, May 10.

The proposed rate path in this SBP is a full precent lower than the previously adopted plan. The increase of 4.2% includes inflation which is anticipated at 2.6%; however, there are increasing operational and capital expenses such as labor and healthcare costs for SPU workers, and increasing prices for concrete and lumber respectively. Additionally, there are contractual obligations with King County for sewage treatment. These costs are rising quickly as well and contribute to the overall 4.2% projected increase over the next six years.

I would encourage you, if you are interested in more detail, to see the presentations from SPU, the CRP, and our own Central Staff.

Alki Point Stay Healthy Street

Many constituents have reached out to me regarding the Alki Point Keep it Moving Street.  I want to share more broadly the work that has been done.

“Keep it Moving Streets” are streets selected to increase outdoor exercise opportunities for people to bike and walk in the road for areas with limited open space options, low car ownership, and routes connecting people to essential services and food take out. Local traffic is still allowed on the streets.

The vast majority of people contacting me are very interested in making the Alki Keep it Moving Street a permanent “Stay Healthy Street” which would result in roads being closed to through traffic. Neighbors have surveyed users of the Keep it Moving Street over the last few months. You can see some of their results in the graph below.

Additionally, released as part of the SDOT Stay Healthy Streets Online Survey most people used the Alki Point Keep it Moving Street than any other.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is considering five possible outcomes for Alki Point:

  1. Return to previous street operation
  2. Convert to a neighborhood greenway, changes would include:
    1. Stop signs at intersecting streets will be added where they currently operate as neighborhood yield intersections (64th Ave SW, Point Pl SW, 64th Pl SW, 64th Ave SW)
    2. Additional traffic calming so that spacing of speed humps and raised crosswalks is approximately every 300 feet. Approximately 3-4 speed humps or speed cushions would be added.
    3. Connectivity to the citywide bicycle network would be enhanced through the addition of sharrow pavement markings and wayfinding signs.
  3. Upgrade to a permanent Stay Healthy Street, changes would include:
    1. All of the neighborhood greenway enhancements listed above
    2. Street Closed and Stay Healthy Street signs at every intersection with durable materials
  4. Upgrade neighborhood greenway with additional space for walking adjacent to beachside curb.
    1. All of the neighborhood greenway enhancements listed above
    2. Removal of parking and delineation (tuff curb and post) of additional space for walking adjacent to the existing sidewalk adjacent to the beach
    3. Increased space for walking would be adjacent to park beach only, not continuous where buildings are between roadway and beach.
  5. Convert street to operate as one-way northbound for vehicles, providing shared walking and biking space adjacent to beachside sidewalk
    1. Delineation of a continuous shared walking and biking space adjacent to the existing beachside curb (8’ to 15’ wide)
    2. Continuous shared walking and biking space would connect from the existing Alki Trail to the end of the Alki Point Keep Moving Street.
    3. Adjustment of the roadway to operate as one way northbound for vehicles, preserving parking primarily adjacent to east/south curbs.

SDOT Director Zimbabwe has agreed to maintain the Keep it Moving Street designation for Alki Point until the community engagement process concludes and there is a final determination regarding a permanent configuration. This commitment was further renewed by Director Zimbabwe in a recent email where he confirmed that “Alki Point Keep Moving Street will be maintained over the summer.”

Reconnect West Seattle Quarterly Report

SDOT recently released the a Reconnect WS quarterly update report for the first quarter of 2021. Reconnect West Seattle projects are designed to ameliorate the closure of the West Seattle Bridge. The report includes updates on recent work completed, upcoming work, how SDOT is tracking goals, and a status report on each of the 64 identified projects (the “Home Zones” in Highland Park, South Park and Georgetown are listed as one project each, though they all include  numerous implementation projects).

Here’s SDOT’s blog post update; here’s a link to the report.

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