That’s the second “State of the City” speech by Mayor Bruce Harrell, delivered in the noon hour today from Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. He explained the location as important to his vision – a place that, centered on the Space Needle, has always represented “the Seattle of the Future.” The largest but by no means only topic he tackled was downtown, promising a “Downtown Action Plan,” insisting that its “problems are not insurmountable.” But he also vowed that focusing on downtown would not be “at the expense of other neighborhoods.” His lone shoutout to this neighborhood was whene he touched on transportation, saying he was glad to have helped get the West Seattle Bridge repair to completion, and noting that light rail is on the way here. Regarding public safety, he announced that the city’s long-discussed third public-safety department will be the CARE Department – an acronym for Civilian Assisted Response and Engagement. He also mentioned both police hiring and police reform – for the former, increased marketing to find applicants, and for the latter, prioritizing de-escalation. Other public-safety initiatives that got mentions: The hiring of 26 new park rangers and a promised “public health order” next month as part of the downtown plan, relating to drug use, which he said “breaks my heart.” Regarding homelessness, he touted the previously announced regionalization plan for the Unified Care Team that deals with encampments and the forthcoming Housing Levy renewal. And if you want to get involved in helping the city, Harrell noted that the next One Seattle Day of Service will be May 20th.
West Seattle, Washington