Tuesday, fresh off a series of interviews where he is expressed his satisfaction with the job and said he plans to run for re-election in 2017, Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray delivered his State of the City address, the third time the Capitol Hill-residing city leader has come into the City Council’s chambers to look back at his administration’s accomplishments and set the course for what comes next.
In 2016, Murray’s address centered on a key question for the prosperous city enjoying an economic boom:
“Is a knowledge-based, technology-driven economy going to drive equity in this city, or is it going to drive us apart?”
You can parse through the full-text of the speech and video of the 54 minute address for one set of answers about where we’ve been and for some guidance on what routes Murray would like to see the city take next.
Included in the address was neighborhood resident Al Korpela and an example from Capitol Hill clearly meant to show that Seattle is on the right path. Mayor Murray:
I am working closely with Councilmember Burgess to double the levy in order to build more affordable housing for people like Al Korpela, who has lived on Capitol Hill for decades.
Al was a caregiver, caring for those who were dying of HIV-AIDS. He never made much money, but he was committed to a career in service to others.
When Al retired, he was lucky enough to find a home in an affordable building for seniors in the neighborhood he loves. But shortly after he moved in, the building was put up for sale. He worried a new landlord would renovate the building and raise the rent, pricing him out of his new home.
He and his fellow tenants successfully urged Capitol Hill Housing to use Housing Levy funds to purchase the building. And now, these affordable apartments for
seniors will be preserved for the next 50 years.
Al, thank you for sharing your story with us. Please stand and be recognized
In 2012, Capitol Hill Housing acquired E Olive St.’s Haines building for $3.32 million.
The mayor’s biggest political push of 2016 will be the vote on a new housing levy proposal planned to create a $290 million pool “to preserve and produce affordable housing” as the city moves forward on its goal to create 20,000 affordable units by 2025.
A “community conversation” session designed to “provide information about the Levy, explain the Mayor’s proposal, and offer an opportunity for people to share their thoughts on their priorities for affordable housing investments” is scheduled for Thursday night as part of the Capitol Hill Community Council’s monthly meetings:
- East Seattle: Feb 18, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at 12th Ave Arts (1620 12th Ave), with Capitol Hill Community Council and Capitol Hill Housing