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Statement by Seattle Councilmember Alex Pedersen on the leadership change at Seattle’s Department of Transportation

SEATTLE – Councilmember Alex Pedersen (District 4—Northeast Seattle), Chair of the Council’s Transportation & Utilities Committee, issued the following statement regarding Mayor-Elect Harrell’s announcement of the leadership change coming to Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT):

“Sam Zimbabwe is that rare leader who not only has it all, but also gives it his all. Sam Zimbabwe is a strategic visionary as well as a problem-solver. He’s a compassionate, tireless, and effective manager who kept organized a 1,000-person department that invests $700 million a year on over 6,000 miles of roads and sidewalks in our State’s largest city. He can zoom up to a high-level to articulate a compelling vision of increased mobility and decarbonization and then zoom down to inform you which block recently received curb cuts. Thanks to Sam Zimbabwe as the head of Seattle’s Department of Transportation, hundreds of thousands of people can travel safer, more efficiently, and in more environmentally friendly ways.

“After he enjoys a well-deserved break from the daily deluge of transportation challenges large and small, I believe any other jurisdiction in the world would benefit greatly from Sam’s leadership at the helm of their organization just as our City of Seattle has for several years. It has been a humbling honor to work with Sam Zimbabwe and I wish him the very best in what I’m certain will continue to be an impressive and impactful career.

“I look forward to working with Mayor-Elect Harrell’s appointment for interim Director of SDOT, Kristen Simpson, and I look forward to a thorough confirmation process for a permanent director of SDOT consistent with City Council Resolution 31868.”


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