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Councilmember Morales’ Additions to Seattle Rescue Plan Prioritize Neighborhood Business Districts, Equitable Economic Recovery, Youth Employment

— Councilmember Tammy J. Morales, (District 2, South Seattle and the C/ID) and her Council colleagues unanimously passed the $128 million Seattle Rescue Plan, with amendments sponsored by Morales that prioritize an equitable economic recovery strategy. 

Morales authored an amendment that earmarks the $22 million for economic recovery toward grants for neighborhoods, business and nonprofits organizations that suffered financial hardship due to the pandemic; investments in commercial affordability; technical assistance for businesses; and support for arts and cultural organizations. 

“Even before the pandemic, we heard clearly from our communities that many of our residents had unequal access to opportunity and economic stability. Our neighbors need good jobs, not low-wage jobs and to develop skills that will remain economically relevant. Small businesses needed access to capital and business accelerator support, and our families wanted access to wealth building strategies. These federal dollars are a once-in-a-lifetime chance to address the inequities in our economy. My amendments ensure these federal relief dollars build community assets and wealth, by focusing on neighborhood business districts and amenities that will create a more equitable economy for all,” Morales said.

Morales’ amendment outlined the $22 million in economic recovery spending in the following ways:

Graphic showing how $22 million will be spent for an equitable recovery. Says $7.5 million in grants for businesses and non-profits. $2 million for commercial affordability. $2 million for technical assistance for businesses. $5.5 million for neighborhood recovery grants. $2 million for downtown organizations. And $3 million for creative sector.

Morales said she crafted the legislation after listening to feedback from small businesses, arts organizations, and nonprofits. She thanked her Council colleagues, who worked with her office on the amendment, and for their collective outreach and community engagement.

Additionally, Morales authored an amendment that added $1 million to the Port of Seattle’s Opportunity Youth Initiative program. The program provides workforce development and paid internships for youth from BIPOC communities between the ages of 16-24, a group that has been economically impacted greatly by COVID-19.

Graphic. Says $1 million for youth employment opportunities through the Port of Seattle's Opportunity Youth Initiative program.

“We know that many of our young people balance the roles of being a student, a caretaker for elders and siblings, and even a financial provider. Our region’s economic recovery must include investing in our youth’s future career pathways, without college being a pre-requisite or even a barrier to accessing living wage jobs. Thank you Port Commissioner Bowman for your partnership in this investment,” Morales said.

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