VIDEO: Mayor Bruce Harrell’s first State of the City speech

That’s Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s first State of the City speech, which lasted more than half an hour, presented at the start of this afternoon’s City Council meeting. No major announcements – his lone West Seattle-specific mention was a description of the 23-months-closed West Seattle Bridge as one of the city’s “most pressing priorities.” Recapping his announcement last week that the ongoing concrete-drivers strike may delay its reopening, he offered his City Hall conference room to the two sides if they need a place for talks. Earlier in the speech, he declared that “the status quo is unacceptable” and promised his administration will get “back to the basics.” He spent a major chunk of time on public safety, both embracing alternatives and declaring that the city needs more police on the streets. He said a promotional campaign will launch to encourage new officers to join – “the right number and the right kind” – and that the training academy will have a special Seattle-focused class of 36 in June. The city already has funding to hire 125 officers, he noted, budgeted even before he was elected. Regarding homelessness, he said a Unified Care Team would be created as the latest attempt to align resources, and that the city will simplify the process for members of the public to report issues of concern. On other issues, he voiced concern for struggling small businesses and promised to work with them. (Here’s the full transcript.)

36 Replies to "VIDEO: Mayor Bruce Harrell's first State of the City speech"

  • CarDriver February 15, 2022 (3:56 pm)

    Lots of good talk. Will hope that it’s followed by action that we can see with our own eye’s.

  • k February 15, 2022 (4:13 pm)

    Has he, at any point, acknowledged his twelve years on city council and his role in creating the status quo he is so against, or is he going to spend the next four years pretending he had nothing to do with how the city is run today, and simply enjoying the number of voters who are willing to believe that?

    • Sunshine February 15, 2022 (4:50 pm)

      Good point.

    • Amy February 15, 2022 (5:27 pm)


    • WS Guy February 15, 2022 (5:49 pm)

      Wow that is a great point.

    • Sixbuck February 15, 2022 (6:09 pm)

      Bruce Harrell is a progressive democrat, so…the latter. 

    • The King February 15, 2022 (7:41 pm)

      This is the reason I couldn’t even cast a vote for mayor this year. He stepped away from the council for one year thinking people would forget he was part of the problem for over a decade and then reappears as mayor with his “oh look at all of these problems I need to fix”. Plus he always seems to be posing for the cameras, the guys a straight up narcissist. 

    • CMT February 15, 2022 (7:46 pm)

      It’s a point that has been brought up ad nauseam every time there is a post about Mayor Harrell.  Like there was a better alternative?  I don’t need him to apologize.  If he gets things done that is enough for me,

    • Lucy February 15, 2022 (8:07 pm)


    • East Coast Cynic February 15, 2022 (9:49 pm)

      Nope.  He always struck me as a politician who considered himself above the fray for any problems that were ignored or not properly dealt with by Seattle’s political class.   And he is certainly not a progressive democrat — He opposes upzoning single family housing neighborhoods and won’t do interviews with the Stranger.

      • Canton February 15, 2022 (11:13 pm)

        Maybe he’s learned a few things about the city since his last council position. Alot of people here, give career criminals multiple chances to redeem themselves. Does he not deserve a chance as a non criminal?

        • Brian February 16, 2022 (12:59 pm)

          I’ll take “false equivalencies” for $800, Alex. 

  • V. Mussen February 15, 2022 (4:16 pm)

    I eagerly look forward to a bright new era of absolutely nothing changing.

  • Derek February 15, 2022 (4:25 pm)

    Bruce Harrell: city council lifer. Doing the same thing he’s always done: help developers and business owners before actual poor and poverty people in this city. All talk. 

    • Saul Notgoodman February 16, 2022 (12:05 am)

      Can we be done braying about evil developers already or is this just something like a rain in Seattle? You all keep harping about the need for more housing, the cost of new housing, rentals, etc. but somehow new units are supposed to fall from the sky.
      I am sure all of these anti-developers go to their jobs fully expecting to be paid, but those evil developers are only in it for money, not the love of the game or something.
      Listen, if you want to build “affordable” housing at no profit, go to the bank, get a $5 million loan, buy rundown houses, and replace them with new ones, then explain to the bank why you can’t pay them back. Good luck with your benevolent non-profit venture.
      Oh, and btw, there are usually reasons why people are poor and homeless while manual labor pays over $30/hr in Seattle.

    • West Seattleite February 16, 2022 (12:59 am)

      Who do you think pays for all of the entitlement programs……Businesses and Developers! Do you want to pay higher taxes to help the “actual poor and poverty people?” We can just all be taxed to where we are all actually poor and poverty people. Small businesses are some of the most taxed there is. Entitlement programs stay afloat because of all the taxes that businesses burden. Until you have owned and run a business, you have zero idea of how much it costs to be in business! I believe everyone should have to do that to have an appreciation to receiving a paycheck and not be burdened with the crazy taxes and insurance!

      • Derek February 16, 2022 (10:06 am)

        Businesses don’t pay for those things. The labor that businesses rely on create those things. The same laborers getting pushed out of the CD and downtown and Capitol Hill.  For the record, I do own a business.

    • Question Authority February 16, 2022 (5:24 am)

      Development brings in tax revenue, “poor and poverty people” need that funding if they cannot go out and seek more thru personal effort and commitment.  The Government isn’t just there for handholding and handouts, it has a City to run.

  • Also a James February 15, 2022 (6:35 pm)

    If there are to be more police then make sure they live in the communities they are here “to serve and to protect.” Give the police more training; a cosmetologist spends more time in training than police. Build better systems to evaluate mental health for the police and have them partner with public health professionals. If a police officer is found guilty of wrongful death, take away their pension. And end qualified immunity.The mayor needs to address poverty if we’re to address crime in Seattle. His “solutions” don’t address the cause, only the symptoms.

    • Ivan Weiss February 16, 2022 (8:15 am)

      Maybe it’s just me. But I have a real problem with telling people where they must or must not live as a condition of employment, as long as they are physically able to show up for work when their shift begins.

      • anonyme February 16, 2022 (1:00 pm)

        Yeah, that does seem weird – especially when it’s so expensive for most people to live in Seattle.

  • JB February 15, 2022 (7:00 pm)

    Can we please give him a break, he’s been in office 6 weeks.  and is trying to clean up a mess that was 4 years in the making, if not longer.  Yes we need to see results, and soon, but I don’t believe he can do it all himself, especially with the low functioning City Council.  I’m hoping for results!

  • Ed February 15, 2022 (7:06 pm)

    What happened to Seattle 

  • Derek February 15, 2022 (7:21 pm)

    Harrell created this mess as the poster above said. This is why I voted Lorena. I wish it were her instead. Need real progressives running the show and not fake ones.

    • Wseattleite February 16, 2022 (9:03 am)

      The more you berate the Mayor, the worse you make your candidate look seeing as an apparent failure soundly beat your even more failure.  Let’s drop the old rhetoric, and work together to make this a better place to live.  I am getting tired of the obstructionists.  We can do better.

    • February 16, 2022 (2:23 pm)

      Per an article in Crosscut, as city council members, over four years and thousands of votes, Lorena Gonzalez and Bruce Harrell only had opposing votes on seven issues, two of which were of significance–the head tax and a new homeless authority.

  • anonyme February 16, 2022 (7:32 am)

    I’m not necessarily a big Harrell fan, but the timing suggests to me that the council really went into a psycho spiral after Harrell left.  I also think it’s a little early to judge his performance as mayor.  It will be interesting to see what happens in regard to citizens being able to report “areas of concern”.  Currently, there is no action taken at all.  One example is the Bay 6 Metro stop in the Junction, which has been sealed off with tarps and shopping carts for ‘private use’.  Feces all over the sidewalk.  Metro has completely ignored requests for cleanup.

  • Jort February 16, 2022 (7:35 am)

    I look forward to Bruce Harrell being the first mayor in the United States to actually “solve” the homelessness problem! His steadfast dedication to maintaining “single family” homes is clearly a sign that he knows exactly what to do! Oh, I know! Ask Tim Burgess what to do! That guy has the right answer for everything. Seattle is not dying anymore because I say so! YAAAAAYYYY!!!!

  • KCrest February 16, 2022 (8:58 am)

    Thank you for posting the video, WSB. I wasn’t going to watch the video, but the comments on this post made me want to hear from the mayor in his own words. I didn’t vote for Harrell, but I appreciate what he’s saying. He addressed safety, the pandemic, racism, homelessness, justice, challenges facing small businesses… many of the things we all care about. It’s easy to be discouraged and cynical, but there’s room for hope. 

  • skeeter February 16, 2022 (12:52 pm)

    Is there any medium or large city in the U.S. that had a substantial homeless problem and was able to “solve” the problem through some combination of new legislation, law enforcement, housing services, mental health services etc?  I’m not trying to be a wise guy.  I honestly don’t know.  It seems to me like an unsolvable problem.    

  • Lisa February 16, 2022 (3:40 pm)

    Why do people feel the need to make sarcastic comments on Here to get their point across? It’s really just rude.

    • Andros February 17, 2022 (2:37 am)

      Because they can do it anonymously. Sit them down face to face and they would fold like a house of cards. 

      • Don Brubeck February 17, 2022 (3:47 pm)

        Excellent point, Andros.  Why are people afraid to use their real name when they comment?  And is that related to the erosion of democracy and the rise of populism? How about you? Why do you post anonymously?

      • Derek February 17, 2022 (8:52 pm)

        Not true. I’ll say all this to your face. Down to meet anyone on here to discuss politics. Even if I have some harsh reality opinions!

    • anonyme February 18, 2022 (6:38 am)

      It’s true that people are more likely to be harsh or sarcastic when commenting anonymously.  It’s also true that there are a lot of psychos out there who would stalk, or even harm, those who disagree with them.  There are a lot of unstable people out there.

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