COUNCIL SETS PRIORITIES FOR 2011



On Monday, January 10, the Council announced our priorities for 2011, and reported on our accomplishments for 2010.  The Council priorities are the issues that we will put major attention into during the year.  They do not include all of the issues we will work on, but the ones that we jointly see as of critical importance and that will require significant effort and engagement.

I develop the priorities by creating a draft list and then asking Councilmembers to comment, rank, and suggest other ideas.  The process is pretty straightforward – most of the ones selected are not a surprise, although a few new ideas emerge as the discussions proceed.

I have a separate post on the accomplishments in 2010, and we have a document on our website that summarizes them.  We made progress towards all of our goals, and can identify new ones in several areas. 

For 2011 we again came up with 17 priorities, the same number as 2010 (in 2009 we had 15), roughly two per Councilmember.  Here is the list, organized into three categories:

Build a livable city for our future

ECONOMIC RECOVERY   Advance strategies to foster economic development and promote new jobs, including considering a ‘one-stop’ permitting system, ensuring that regulations are data-driven and goal oriented, expanding workforce training, and developing new marketing tools for businesses.

DEVELOPMENT   Adopt legislation making Yesler Terrace replacement a model for sustainable mixed income communities, retaining and seeking to increase low-income housing units.  Change zoning and land use rules in the South Downtown Neighborhoods and transit communities to promote more housing, smarter design, business success, housing affordability, and neighborhood sustainability.

PARTNERSHIP   Continue to implement the Council’s Seattle for Washington strategy to strengthen Seattle’s relationships on the regional and state level.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP   Develop specific milestones and steps for Seattle’s carbon neutral goal, update the Climate Action Plan, and add “vehicle miles travelled” reduction targets to the Comprehensive Plan.  Continue implementing the Zero Waste Strategy.  Begin adapting to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

LIBRARIES   Work with Seattle Public Library on a proposed voter approved levy to expand library services, strengthen partnerships with Seattle Schools and to help relieve pressure on the General Fund.

Foster safe, just and healthy communities for all

SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION   Renew the Families and Education Levy in partnership with Seattle Schools.  Foster a community-wide belief that every child in every school neighborhood can excel and graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college or obtain a career credential of their choice.

PUBLIC SAFETY   Ensure effective neighborhood policing and efficient use of police resources by supporting innovative community safety strategies, adopting the “Gold Standard” for batterer intervention services, and supporting a comprehensive response plan for juvenile sex trafficking.

REINVENTING NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES   Develop a new operations model for Community Centers.  Restructure the Neighborhood District Coordinator system and associated civic engagement efforts.

RACE, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND OPEN GOVERNMENT   Promote race and social equity in city government work.  Implement strategies to support education and job readiness, equal access to technology, and other community-based approaches.  Implement new technology measures for increased citizen access through the public engagement portal and constituent relations management system.

LOCAL FOOD ACTION INITIATIVE   Emphasize rural-urban connections and economic development through encouraging local food production and food-related businesses.  Work with community partners to develop opportunities for increasing healthy food production, distribution, and marketing.

HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE    Implement the Housing Levy to encourage long term affordability and support housing for the disabled and homeless communities.  Support emergency, transitional, and permanent housing for survivors of domestic violence.

Invest public resources fairly and effectively

BUDGET   Adopt a sustainable 2012 budget that invests in public safety and human services.  Expand partnerships with the City’s unions and employees to deliver services to the public in cost effective ways while respecting the skills and commitment of the City’s work force.  Work on potential changes to the retirement system, better management of health care costs, and increase efficiency of personnel functions.  Develop strategies to fund parks operation and maintenance.

CLEAN ENERGY   Adopt a long-range strategic plan and new financial policies for Seattle City Light to keep focused on conservation and renewable resources for our future while ensuring financial stability and equitable rates.  Continue exploring a smart grid and broadband services.

SR 99 REPLACEMENT PROJECT   Consider legislation approving agreements with the State to advance the project on schedule while fully protecting Seattle’s interests.  Work to secure increased transit funding, protection for portal neighborhoods, and the foundation for the new waterfront.  Place a funding plan for the seawall and waterfront on the ballot.

SR 520   Continue to advance Seattle’s interests in protecting the Arboretum and our neighborhoods, securing a full funding plan, increasing transit funding and access, and moving the project forward.

CAPITAL INVESTMENT PLAN   Determine options for funding Seattle’s transportation system in conjunction with Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee III, and expand transportation choices and sustainable funding sources for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans.  Develop a strategic approach for major capital projects, including the Seawall, the North Precinct, the City’s elements of the SR 99 Replacement program, and initiating strategic capital planning for Parks and the Seattle Center.

TRANSIT   Work with the County and State to Identify funding resources to support fairly allocated bus service connecting Seattle neighborhoods and linking Seattle to job centers in other parts of King County.  Support the construction of the First Hill Streetcar, progress on Sound Transit lines, and continuation and expansion of electric trolley buses.

You can find our 2011 Priorities on our website.