Seattle, WA – Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (District 2, Chinatown / International District and South Seattle) issued the following statement after the announced leadership changes at the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR):
“Participatory Budgeting is essential to democratizing access to power, resources and making new investments in Black and Brown communities. This endeavor has been skillfully stewarded by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights under the leadership of Mariko Lockhart. I want to personally thank Mariko for her good work, and I’m very excited to know that she will remain in the City family. There is no doubt she will do outstanding work at the Department of Education and Early Learning as a deputy director.”
The Seattle City Council included nearly $30 million in the 2021 budget for Participatory Budgeting. The goal of the participatory budgeting process is to address the immediate needs of community as well as long-term goals of reducing police violence, reducing crime, and creating true community safety.
“I’m looking forward to working with SOCR’s Interim Director, Derrick Wheeler-Smith”, continued Councilmember Morales. “He has done excellent work at the County to reduce and prevent gun violence, and I’m thrilled that he brings that wealth of knowledge, experience, and public health perspective to the City. I’m encouraged that the goals of Participatory Budgeting, namely preventing harm upstream to increase public safety, intersect with Interim Director Wheeler-Smith’s own strengths and expertise.”