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Dear Neighbor,

In my last two newsletters I have started with highlighting that COVID-19 cases are rising once again in King County. This continues to be the case and we must do more to reduce the spread now. While we are on the brink of a major breakthrough with vaccines, it is critical that we continue to protect ourselves and our community through this final stretch – continue wearing a mask, avoiding crowds and gatherings, and follow all CDC guidelines. The good news is that vaccine supply has increased rapidly in recent weeks, and you can do your part to help end this pandemic by getting a vaccine today

In this newsletter I’ll share my experience touring the mass vaccination site at Lumen Field. Top line: this is an incredible feat with nearly 70,000 vaccines administered so far – and is only possible with the partnership between Director Calvin Goings and his Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) team, Swedish Hospital, and thousands of volunteers. If you want to be a part of this historic effort, sign up to volunteer here

In addition to vaccine news, in this newsletter I will discuss new federal COVID relief funding that is arriving soon, mark the close of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, share my comments at the Blessing of the Fleet, update you on the Ballard Blossom building, and celebrate the reopening of the Ballard Locks. 

Best,

--Dan

Blessing of the Fleet

I was honored to record a video for this year’s Blessing of the Fleet. The Ballard Lutheran Church has been hosting the Blessing of the Fleet for more than nine decades. Blessings of the Fleet have existing for hundreds of years, with the first occurring in the Mediterranean. This tradition marks the start of the high season for our fishing and maritime industries, and the blessing is a chance for our community to pray for safety and a good harvest this year. It also provides an opportunity to honor those who have lost their lives on the seas, including the six crew members of the F/V Destination who we lost in 2017 and the five crew members of the F/V Scandies Rose who we lost on New Year's Eve 2019. 

Our fishermen leave their families for months at a time to provide us all with the seafood we love. Each fishing vessel is a small business that directly and indirectly employs thousands of people in our community. Our “Main Street” has been always been on the water and this is why Ballard has always had a strong economy, even before people wore nice jeans to Ballard Avenue. Let’s all wish our fisherman well as they sail out to the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. God speed and blessings on your journey!

We Have a Vaccine Waiting for You!

On Wednesday I toured the Lumen Field mass-vaccination site alongside Finance and Administrative Services Director Calvin Goings. I saw first-hand the life-saving work being done every day by healthcare professionals, City staff, and volunteers.  

The City has administered nearly 70,000 vaccinations at Lumen Field so far. More than 200 City staff are supporting this work, and volunteers have filled more than 4,200 shifts. 53% of the staff on-site identify as BIPOC, and volunteers and staff are providing support for more than 200 languages. You can help out by signing up to volunteer here

As of this week, appointments are no longer required to receive a vaccine at the City-run sites at Lumen Field, Rainier Beach, or West Seattle. This means that anybody 16 years or older who lives or works in King County can walk-up and receive a vaccination. We are on track to vaccinate 70% of Seattle residents by the end of May – and reaching that goal will take each of us signing up and helping family, friends, and neighbors sign-up and get to their appointments. 

If you prefer to schedule an appointment, you can still do so at the Lumen Field, West Seattle, or Rainier Beach sites here, or at the North Seattle site here

The City is also now offering second doses if you have already received your first dose of Moderna or Pfizer but still need a second. Receiving your second dose is crucial to protecting yourself and our community from COVID-19 so don’t put it off – get your second dose! 

You can learn more about all of the City’s vaccination efforts here

Update on Federal COVID Relief Funds

Last Monday, the Seattle City Council passed an $18 Million COVID-19 Relief Package. This allocates the final remaining funds from the 2020 CARES Act. We will also be receiving an additional $119 million from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) later this spring. City Council will be begin the process of allocating ARPA funds this month. As we discuss how to prioritize these resources, I will be advocating for funding to support our neighborhood small businesses, to stabilize our childcare industry, to address the crisis of homelessness by bringing people inside, and to maintain and improve our transportation system as we recover. 

The Finance and Housing Committee also hosted a public hearing on May 4th to get your input on how we should prioritize this next round of federal funding.

You can track our work over the coming weeks by tuning in to meetings of the Finance and Housing Committee. To stay updated, sign up for Finance and Housing Committee agendas here. I will also share more updates about this funding in the weeks to come.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month. While April has passed, it’s imperative that we work to break the silence and stigma around sexual assault every day of the year. The Seattle City Council passed a proclamation on Monday, April 26th recognizing the over 7,100 King County residents that received help from sexual assault survivor organizations in 2020. We must support survivors and believe people when they take the brave step of coming forward and reporting their stories of sexual assault.

If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual assault, there are resources to help you exercise your rights and find your way to healing. The nonprofit King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) operates a 24-hour Resource Line, at 1-888-99-VOICE, and offers a wealth of resources to help prevent and end sexual violence on its website in both English and Spanish.

Para ayuda en español, llama al 1.425.282.0324 - atención al cliente en el programa Dando Voz - lunes a viernes de 8am a 5pm.

Districting Commission Application

Every ten years, following the census, Seattle adjusts the boundaries of our City Council districts to ensure even representation and reflect changes in the population. The Districting Commission is responsible for this work, including hiring a Districting Master to create a plan, developing a draft proposal, engaging the public, and approving a final plan. The Commission is made up of five members, two appointed by the City Council, two appointed by the Mayor, and one appointed by the other four commissioners.

The City Council is accepting applications to be one of the Council-appointed commissioners from now until May 13th. Apply or learn more about the process here.

Ballard Blossom Building Update

The Ballard Blossom building is filled once again! After nearly two years vacant, the old Ballard Blossom building is now home to three local pop-up businesses, with more to come soon. The first three tenants of the space are Zuri’s Donutz, Nomad Boxing Club, and Ruby Laine Apparel, which was founded during the pandemic by a senior at Ballard High School. 

My staff has toured the new spaces, and we are excited to welcome these new storefronts to our neighborhood. Opportunities like these give small businesses a place to grow and thrive during the pandemic and add to the vibrancy of our neighborhood by creating a more walkable, community-oriented street. Thank you to the Ballard Alliance and everyone involved for making this possible! You can read more on My Ballard

Ballard Locks Reopen

Last week the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers officially reopened the pedestrian bridges at the Ballard Locks following the reopening of the first floor of the visitor’s center. The public restrooms reopened this week as well.  

If you’re using the pedestrian bridges, please walk straight through and continue practicing social distance. COVID-19 rates are still increasing in King County, so let’s all do what we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.  

You can visit the US Army Corps of Engineers website for updated information on their closure schedule.

District Office Hours

Every week I meet with D6 residents to hear about issues impacting you daily. I love talking directly to D6ers, it is often the best part of my week. If you would like to meet with me, please use this form to set up a time. I meet with residents during the day and evening too. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Videos on My Website

Every Monday morning, I update the City Council on issues in District 6 and the work my office is doing that week. These updates are a helpful way to follow along with our work. I also post these videos weekly on my website and social media. You can view the latest updates and past videos on my website here.
If you need assistance, please reach out to my office:
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