Dear Neighbor,

I hope you are enjoying the official start to summer. I wanted to focus this monthly update highlighting some new investments we are making in District 2. The collective community effort to build the Southeast Seattle Economic Opportunity Center continues. You may recall my successful effort last fall to add $1.9 million to fund pre-development costs for the Economic Opportunity Center. The location of the site has been finalized and it will be located at the southwest corner of Othello and MLK Jr Way S. The Center will allow District 2 residents and others to access opportunities for higher education, good paying jobs, and support to start and keep a business. The Center will also provide an integrated shared space for cultural organizations and workforce housing to help stabilize communities at risk of displacement.

Another significant project in District 2, where work is steadily progressing between city and community, is around the Mt. Baker Town Center. The vision is to improve the open space and pedestrian connections near the Mount Baker light rail station. I was successful in tripling the funding for the Accessible Mount Baker project last year.

Additional investments/developments highlighted in this email update are: ReachNow car-sharing service expanding to District 2; tracking investments from the Move Seattle levy in District 2; preschool classroom investments in District 2; Next Generation Intelligent Transportation System; Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth; and the Georgetown recycling facility.

Also, please join me at my next District 2 office hours on Thursday, July 7, 3:00 – 5:00 pm at the Rainier Beach Library (9125 Rainier Ave S.). If you would like to reserve one-on-one time, please email

ReachNow Car-Sharing Service Expanding to District 2

Two months ago in April, the car-sharing service called ReachNow selected Seattle to be its launch city. Demand for car-sharing services is growing rapidly in Seattle. Car-sharing services like ReachNow and Car2Go are important components in our multi-modal transportation infrastructure especially in our shared-economy and prevalence of app-based services. Unfortunately, at launch, service was not provided in District 2. On April 20, 2016, I sent a letter sharing my concerns with ReachNow regarding the exclusion of District 2 and met with their board. This week, ReachNow announced they will extend service to the Mt. Baker, Columbia City, and the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

District 2 Move Seattle Levy Transportation Investments

As part of the Move Seattle levy approved by voters in November 2015, the Council required SDOT to be more transparent and publish more data regarding performance and investments. I wanted to highlight some key metrics for District 2 and will provide these stats on a quarterly basis. This type of reporting and accountability will move the needle in terms of responsiveness and investments for District 2. I often hear from residents in District 2 that the City is not doing enough to upgrade and maintain the transportation infrastructure in our district. I believe analyzing these performance metrics on a quarterly basis will hold the City more accountable in ensuring that investments in District 2 are fully maintained.

  • The City seeks to repair 80% of reported potholes within three business days. District 2 received 465 work orders and had a 93% response rate. I examined the numbers compared to the other 6 districts and the average for the six other districts was 96.83%. On the low end was 95% for District 1 and District 4; on the high end was 99% for District 6 and District 7. District 2 received the most work orders for pothole repair, totaling 465. I am working with SDOT to determine why the percentage is lower than the city’s average so we can improve this 3-day response percentage for District 2.
  • 700 feet of sidewalk constructed/repaired and 0.01 miles of road repaved/repaired. Over the 9 years of the levy, 100 new blocks of sidewalks will be built and 225 blocks of damaged sidewalks will be repaired. Seattle has over 2,100 miles of sidewalks and pathways covering approximately 75% of the blocks in the City so that leaves roughly 850 miles of streets without sidewalks.
  • Earlier this year, many of our residents in District 2 contacted our office regarding the Neighborhood Street Fund Large Project Program. Residents or a group of neighbors can submit projects to improve the transportation infrastructure located on SDOT streets and sidewalks that are between $100,000 and $1 million to design and construct. The deadline was on April 17 and five projects will be selected by each of the 13 Neighborhood District Councils. To ensure objectivity and fairness, Councilmembers do not participate in the selection process. Between September and October, the Move Seattle Levy Oversight committee will evaluate and make final funding recommendations to the Mayor and City Council for the next budget. SDOT will begin construction in 2018 for projects selected this year.
  • Please see the graphic detailing the large capital projects underway in District 2 right now:

Seattle Preschool Program – Classroom Investments in District 2

During last month’s e-newsletter update, I highlighted passage of Council Bill 118679 through my committee. The legislation made a number of changes to the Seattle Preschool Program to help recruit higher quality providers. The Seattle Preschool Program is critical to the long-range goals of District 2 in terms of early and healthy brain development of our children. Last week, the Department of Education and Early learning distributed approximately $1,000,000 through the Seattle Preschool Provider Facilities Fund Program. The funding will assist providers with capital improvements that will help build and improve early learning facilities. Three projects will be funded and located in central and south Seattle. The $673,415 in levy funds will go to the Refugee Women’s Alliance, Causey’s Learning Center, and Sound Child Care Solutions-Hoa Mai. The projects will add over 70 new preschools slots (approximately 3.5 Seattle Preschool Program classrooms) and enhance the infrastructure of two existing facilities.

Next Generation Intelligent Transportation System at Rainier and South College St.

Another critical transportation investment we are making in District 2 is the future installation of a dynamic messaging sign that will be installed at the corner of Rainier Avenue South and South College Street. These real-time Dynamic Message Signs send out information relating to traffic incidents, bridge closures, travel times, congestion, and lane closures. The City has approximately 24 of these Dynamic Message Signs throughout the city and District 2 will now have one installed in one of our major corridors.

Georgetown Recycling Facility Update

I am glad to inform you that significant action has been taken regarding the problematic recycling facility in Georgetown. For now, it is shut down. The facility was issued a series of city violations and did not have the proper permits to operate. Our office received a number of complaints regarding the dust from the site. While there is a possibility the facility may reopen once the structure is repaired and the permit issues are addressed, I have asked our Department of Construction and Inspections to closely monitor this facility to ensure the air quality issues impacting this area are addressed even before they can proceed.

Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth

During the budget process last year, I was the main sponsor for a budget add to fund the “Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth” program. The program started in 2012 with a federal grant lasting three years. I added an additional $106,500 to the base budget of $250,000 in order to fully fund and evaluate the project’s community-led, non-arrest strategies. I believe it was critical to continue to build momentum. The goal of the project is to identify and address the underlying, place-based causes of youth victimization, and improve relations between youth, police, and the community. Please view this Seattle Channel video ( describing the early positive outcomes. Violent crime in Rainier Beach is down 32%, but we still need to do so much more. When we invest the City’s budget into programs that use a data-driven approach on “what works” in crime prevention, we see positive outcomes. This is encouraging news!

Take care and have a safe Fourth of July weekend.

Bruce A. Harrell
President, Seattle City Council - District 2
Chair: Education, Equity, & Governance Committee
206-684-8804 | Office: 206-684-8804 | PO Box 34025 Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Copyright © 2016 Seattle City Council, All rights reserved.

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