Mayor Murray remarks on Seattle voters approving the Housing Levy

Remarks as Prepared | August, 2 2016

“Tonight we celebrate Seattle as a City of hope.
We often hear or read that this is a city hopelessly divided…
…divided between homeowners and renters…
…between those who are economically secure and those who are struggling…
…between our communities of color and our white communities…
….and divided geographically and ideologically.

But that is not the Seattle that voted today and it is not the Seattle I know.
This is not a city divided. The city that voted today is united in the belief that if we face our challenges together, we can build a future that is equitable and livable.

We proved that by passing the largest affordable housing levy in Seattle’s history . . .putting in place a key piece of our Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.

Because of Seattle voters coming together we will produce more than 2,000 affordable homes for more than 2,000 low-income families. And because of Seattle voters coming together we will offer rental assistance that ensures
that almost 5,000 additional families will not fall into homeless.

We succeeded because renters and home owners, low income housing advocates and developers, labor and business came together in the New Seattle Way of collaboration to build a more equitable city.

This is a city challenged by the growing problem of homelessness. We are leaning forward, listening to each other, and together finding innovative solutions. Because we believe this nation has the wealth and ingenuity to solve homelessness.

This is a city that came together to address inequities of race in our public education system by investing in pre-k.

This is a city that came together to create a more livable city by approving major investments in transit, parks and transportation.

This is a city that led the nation in fighting income inequality by becoming the first major city or state in the nation to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

This is not a city divided by ideology but a city united in finding practical solutions to difficult and complex challenges.

Challenges such as growth, the environment, economic inequality, open space, transportation, policing and above all race.

This is a city that has proven five times in the past two years we are a hopeful city, working together to define our future.

As I said in my Inaugural Address quoting John F. Kennedy, ‘All of this will not be finished in our first hundred days nor in the first thousand days, nor the lifetime of this administration or even perhaps in the lifetime of this planet, but let us begin.’

Tonight showed that we are up for the challenge of building a more equitable city.

And I have only just begun.”