Councilmember Nelson celebrates passage of the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID) renewal 

Arial view of downtown Seattle

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved legislation today, sponsored by Councilmember Sara Nelson (Position 9 — Citywide), to renew and expand the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID).

“Seattle’s future depends on downtown and the MID is critical to ensuring that downtown — the economic engine of our region — is safe, clean, and welcoming,” said Councilmember Nelson, Chair of Economic Development. “Without the MID, there’d be no free summer concerts, no lights in the trees during the holidays, and so many other services and programs that help our businesses thrive and make downtown such a vibrant place to live, work, and visit.” 

The MID is a business improvement area that has served much of Seattle’s downtown area since 1999. Managed by the Downtown Seattle Association, the MID funds the downtown ambassadors who can be found every day cleaning up downtown and making sure people are safe. It also provides funding for:  

  • Marketing and promotion of downtown 
  • Private security 
  • Public realm art installations 
  • Multiple family-friendly events 
  • Research and economic development 
  • Transportation and commuting services 

Here’s some stats on the MID’s accomplishments over the past decade.  

Without approval from Council, funding for these programs would have gone away this year. However, with today’s action, funding for the MID will be guaranteed for another decade and its work and boundaries will be expanded. That will include, among other things, increased cleaning services, investments in security, and investments in downtown ambassador wages.