COUNCIL SETS 2012 PRIORITIES



City of Seattle Seal

Council President Sally Clark has led us through a priority setting process for 2012, and the Council has identified an ambitious agenda of thirty initiatives, organized in five core priority areas.  We will all have involvement in the entire list in the course of the year.  Each Councilmember will lead on certain issues, usually those within their Committee portfolio, and play a major role in others where we have experience or involvement.  The core issues that I will take the lead on will be:

  • Developing Transit Communities policies that ensure housing and job development is coordinated with transit corridors, and that provide guidance for neighborhood plans.
  • Propose a levy to the voters that ensures Seattle’s library system has sufficient materials, staffing and computers to provide a sustainable level of service.
  • Change zoning in South Lake Union to match the goals and potential of Seattle’s newest urban center.
  • Ensure that Capitol Hill, University District, Rainier Valley, and Roosevelt neighborhoods get great development on former Sound Transit properties.
  • Move forward on the Duwamish River clean-up and related environmental justice actions in South Seattle.

Here is the complete list of priorities:

PRIORITY #1: MAINTAINING SAFE, HEALTHY AND JUST COMMUNITIES

PUBLIC SAFETY AND JUSTICE

Take input from the Department of Justice, community, officers, and local and national experts to move Seattle into the forefront of effective urban policing. Commit to new strategies for police recruitment, training, supervision, and accountability. Monitor body-mounted cameras pilot program for SPD officers. Implement strategies that affirm, value, and strengthen all constituencies.

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

Oversee the implementation and administration of the 2012-2018 Families and Education Levy, the City’s most critical investment in Seattle Public Schools.

Coordinate and advance the objectives of the Great Student Initiative to provide high-speed Internet access to low-income families with children in Seattle Public Schools.

SAFE SHELTER AND HOUSING

Continue to expand affordable housing options and services for people experiencing homelessness, ensure families have shelter options in 2012.

Devise strategies and funding options in the 2013-2014 budget to address unmet needs. Implement the Safe Parking Program pilot in Ballard.

Implement the Rental House Inspection Program to assure renters of safe housing, prevent deterioration of rental housing and provide clear, fair guidelines for property owners.

Spotlight discrimination in housing and develop policies to eliminate this injustice. Promote and advance strategies to educate residents and communities on Seattle’s fair housing and employment regulations.

PRIORITY #2: BUILDING HEALTHY, GREAT PLACES

DOWNTOWN

Establish a unified, clear community-driven vision for the remaking of Seattle’s waterfront. Make sure the proposed plan has the right combination of vision and practicality that will make it possible to fund replacement of the seawall and development of new waterfront elements.

Improve the downtown core through the Third Avenue Initiative. Work with the task force to produce and act on a clear plan to address public safety, transit mobility, retail health and a cleaner, more inviting environment for riders, shoppers and employees.

ENVIRONMENT

Adopt a Climate Action Plan that outlines short and long term policy paths for achieving the City’s goals to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Move forward on the Duwamish River clean-up and related environmental justice actions in South Seattle.

DEVELOPMENT

Adopt legislation making the Yesler Terrace redevelopment a model for sustainable, mixed-income communities, with a net increase in low-income units.

Change zoning in South Lake Union to match the goals and potential of Seattle’s newest urban center.

Develop Transit Communities policies that ensure housing and job development is coordinated with transit corridors, and that provide guidance for neighborhood plans.

Ensure that Capitol Hill, University District, Rainier Valley, and Roosevelt neighborhoods get the great development on former Sound Transit properties.

Break ground on construction of First Hill Streetcar between Pioneer Square, the International District, Little Saigon, First Hill and Capitol Hill. Oversee construction to minimize disruptions to nearby businesses and residences while ensuring start of service in early 2014.

PRIORITY #3: IMPROVING MOBILITY AND CONNECTIONS

EFFECTIVE TRANSIT

Work with King County Metro Transit to lessen impacts from the County’s elimination of the Ride Free Area, procure new Electric Trolley Buses that improve service and attract new riders, ensure that restructured routes improve bus service for Seattle riders, and help Metro secure long-term sustainable funding from Olympia.

CONNECTIONS

Clear the way for better mobility between and through neighborhoods by embedding policies prioritizing neighborhood greenways, cycletracks, crosswalk and sidewalk improvements, traffic calming, paths and trails.

Develop a freight master plan while updating the bicycle master plan and acting on the pedestrian master plan.

PRIORITY #4: MAKING A MORE RESILIENT CITY

RESPONSIBLE TAXATION AND REGULATIONS

Review the City’s tax policies for opportunities to enhance fairness and consistency and to encourage small and large companies to do business in Seattle. Continue efforts to simplify licensing and permitting.

PARTNERSHIP

Reprise Seattle for Washington, dispatching Councilmembers to other parts of Puget Sound and Washington State to look for ways cities can help each other succeed.

Collaborate with the Port of Seattle, the Manufacturing Industrial Council, the Prosperity Partnership, and others to support development of living wage jobs in export, marine, life sciences and other opportunity sectors.

NEIGHBORHOOD LIFE

Develop a set of goals, policies, and a sustainable organizational structure ensuring that the Department of Neighborhoods delivers services that are responsive to communities and supportive of community-initiated projects.

Propose a levy to the voters that ensures Seattle’s library system has sufficient materials, staffing and computers to provide a sustainable level of service.

PRIORITY #5: INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE

CAPITAL INVESTMENT PLANNING

Review prioritization of operations and major projects by Seattle Department of Transportation. Develop recommendations for more efficient operations, making the prioritization of projects more understandable to the public with clear reporting of departmental performance measures.

Adopt a six-year strategic plan and new financial policies for Seattle City Light, including a rate structure that supports conservation, equity and stability. Improve customer service and access to information about energy use, allowing customers to manage energy use and bills.

Initiate long-range strategic capital and operations planning for parks, the Seattle Center and other cultural facilities.

Develop a strategic approach for the City’s major capital needs, including replacement of the seawall, building a new North Police Precinct and construction of the City’s elements of the SR 99 Program.

BUDGET

Develop outcome-based budgeting and improve program evaluation to ensure that taxpayer money is invested effectively.

Maintain basic city services in the face of shrinking revenues.

Integrate financial empowerment tools for low-income individuals and families into the City’s current services like shelters, workforce training and family support.