Statement on Burgess proposal on firearms and ammunition tax

Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement after Councilmember Tim Burgess unveiled his proposal for a tax on firearms and ammunition sales to fund gun violence prevention efforts:

“Every year in Seattle gun violence devastates hundreds of lives – both the victims of murders, assaults and suicides, as well as the family members struggling to make sense of the devastation. While high-profile incidents attract national attention from time to time, tragedies unfold in our community far too often. Our community will not stand by as our youth, particularly youth of color, continue to pay the highest price for inaction on gun violence at the national and state level.

“I want to thank Councilmember Burgess for his leadership. This proposal provides critical funding for gun violence research and prevention. We will have more resources to support youth education and other efforts that we know help prevent guns violence in our streets. For too long, we have had insufficient research and data on gun violence in Seattle to help guide our response.

“We know the people of Seattle demand action on this issue, not more talk. Last year at the ballot box, voters approved greater accountability in background checks for gun sales. This proposal builds on that momentum by funding more tools to reduce the devastating impacts that guns have on our community.”

City selects first classrooms for Seattle Preschool Program

Today Mayor Ed Murray announced the providers and locations for the first classrooms of the new Seattle Preschool Program. Beginning in September, the program will serve about 230 students in neighborhoods across the city.

Four providers will offer full-day, high-quality preschool for three- and four-year-olds in 12 classrooms:

  • Causey’s Early Learning Center, with classrooms in the Central District and Beacon Hill.
  • Community Day School Association in Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Delridge and Leschi.
  • Sound Childcare Solutions with classrooms Downtown and in Mt. Baker.
  • Creative Kids in Greenwood.

“Seattle is teaming with quality educators to provide these children with a great start to classroom learning,” said Mayor Murray. “Quality early childhood education will have a lasting impact on these kids, leading to success in school and in life.”

In one study of Chicago students, children who attended a quality preschool program were 29 percent more likely to graduate from high school than their peers who did not.

“We have a strong group of high-quality preschool providers,” said Council President Tim Burgess. “This is a great start. Full day, affordable, high-quality preschool will become a reality for hundreds of Seattle families this September, then thousands more in the coming years. This is an investment to make certain Seattle children have a fair and strong start. It will change lives.”

All Seattle Preschool Program classrooms will be staffed by well-qualified teachers with access to continuing professional development. The student to teacher ratio will be no more than 10 to 1. All providers are licensed by the State of Washington and rated three or higher by the State’s Early Achievers program.

Sites were selected based the preschool’s proximity to low-performing public schools, its track record serving diverse communities, and plans to actively engage families in their students’ success.

Seattle Public Schools continues to experience an opportunity gap for lower-income kids and children of color.  Nearly 90 percent of Caucasian 3rd graders are meeting math and reading standards in this city, compared to approximately half of African-American students. About one-quarter of African American and Latino students do not graduate on time, compared to 8 percent of Caucasian students.

“Our kids come from all different environments, but they can all learn by doing, so we use a curriculum that engages both a child’s mind and their hands,” said Ruth Brown of Causey’s Learning Center. “I strongly believe in professional development, and this program will encourage continued skill-building for our teachers. We are very excited to be in this first group of providers.”

All Seattle Preschool Program classes will meet six hours a day throughout the 180-day academic year. All classrooms will use approved age-appropriate curriculum geared for hands-on learning.

Families seeking an application for a student to participate in the Seattle Preschool Program can find it online HERE, or contact the Department of Education and Early Learning at preschool@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-3942.

Tuition is based on family income and is free for families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty rate, currently $70,000 for a family of four. The highest-earning families will pay $10,173 for the 180-day school year.

The average rate for unsubsidized center-based preschool programs in Seattle is $1,228 per month.

In December, the Department of Education and Early Learning will accept applications from additional providers to join the program. For the 2016-2017 school year, an additional 25 classrooms will serve another 500 children. In its fourth year, the program will serve 2000 children across Seattle.

Last November, Seattle voters approved $58 million over 4 years to launch the program.

Joint statement on proposed police accountability and civilian oversight legislation

Today Mayor Ed Murray, the Community Police Commission, the Chief of Police, the OPA Director and the OPA Auditor, with input from the City Attorney’s Office, announced that they have reached an agreement on joint police accountability reform legislation to be transmitted to Council. The joint legislative proposal represents the shared vision of the City of Seattle.

CPC Co-Chair Reverend Harriett Walden stated: “Credit is due to the years of community activism to demand Constitutional policing for the people of Seattle. This legislation is a direct response to the community’s call for meaningful and sustained police reform.”

Mayor Murray stated: “Improving our police accountability and civilian oversight system is one of the critical pieces of my goal to make the Seattle Police Department the national model for urban policing. I want to thank the CPC, Chief O’Toole, Pierce Murphy and City Attorney Holmes for their hard work to bring this to fruition. I now plan to consult with the Department of Justice, Federal Monitor and police labor unions to ensure that our joint proposal is fully aligned with the consent decree.”

“We will submit our legislative proposal to Council for consideration at the City Council’s Public Safety Committee hearing on July 15,” said CPC Executive Director Fé Lopez.

The legislation will:

• Make the CPC the permanent, independent civilian oversight body over the police accountability system.
• Consolidate case review of OPA investigations under the OPA Auditor and incorporate other functions of the OPA Review Board into the CPC.
• Strengthen the role and independence of OPA.
• Implement additional mechanisms that support transparency and accountability.

Cooling shelter locations announced ahead of heat wave

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for Seattle and surrounding areas from Friday afternoon through late Saturday night. The City of Seattle is providing information and public spaces that may be used by residents to stay cool in the high temperatures.

Stay hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water. Have a beverage with you at all times, and sip or drink frequently. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually de-hydrate your body.

Protect your pets

Pets are especially vulnerable in high heat and the Seattle Animal Shelter recommends the following:

  • Never leave your animal chained or penned up directly in sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat, such as a dog house, porch or shady tree, and always provide cool water.
  • If you leave animals indoors, open screened windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and if possible, leave them in a cool location.
  • Never leave dogs or cats unattended in a closed, locked car. Animals do not perspire like humans; they cool themselves by panting and seats in vehicles get hot under animals’ feet and prevent them from perspiring through their paws.
  • If you must travel with your pet, carry water. If a trip requires you leave your pet in the car at any point, think about saving that for another day. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Exercise is fine when taken in moderation, but obesity, old age, underlying disease and previous bouts of heat stroke can predispose an animal to the condition.
  • For birds, take caution and place the bird’s cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

Libraries

The following Seattle Public Library locations are equipped with air conditioning, and serve as cooling centers when the area experiences extreme heat. Please call the individual location before you go for open hours and to verify that the air conditioning is working.

  • Central Library (1000 4th Ave) – 206-386-4636
  • Ballard (5614 22nd Ave NW) – 206-684-4089
  • Beacon Hill (2821 Beacon Ave S) – 206-684-4711
  • Broadview (12755 Greenwood Ave N) – 206-684-7519
  • Capitol Hill (425 Harvard Ave E) – 206-684-4715
  • Delridge (5423 Delridge Way SW) – 206-733-9125
  • Douglass-Truth (2300 E Yesler Way) – 206-684-4704
  • Greenwood (8016 Greenwood Ave N) – 206-684-4086
  • High Point (3411 SW Raymond St) – 206-684-7454
  • International District / Chinatown (713 8th Ave S) – 206-386-1300
  • Lake City (12501 28th Ave NE) – 206-684-7518
  • Madrona-Sally Goldmark (1134 33rd Ave) – 206-684-4705
  • Magnolia (2801 34th Ave W) – 206-386-4225
  • NewHolly (7058 32nd Ave S) – 206-386-1905
  • Northgate (10548 5th Ave NE) – 206-386-1980
  • Rainier Beach (9125 Rainier Ave S) – 206-386-1906
  • South Park (8604 8th Ave S) – 206-615-1688
  • Wallingford (1501 N 45th St) – 206-684-4088

Seattle Center (View the campus map PDF at http://www.seattlecenter.com/downloads/sc_map_color_gates.pdf) – 206-684-7200

  • Seattle Center Armory (Open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • International Fountain
  • Fountain of Creation (Dupen Fountain)

Senior Centers

The following senior centers have air conditioning or are relatively cool and are open to the public:

  • Greenwood Senior Center (525 N. 8th Street)
  • International Drop-In Center (7301 Beacon Ave S.)
  • Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank (85 Pike St, #200)
  • Ballard NW Senior Center (5429 32nd Ave NW)
  • Southeast Seattle Senior Center (4655 South Holly St)
  • The Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St)
  • South Park Senior Center (8201 10th Ave S)
  • Wallingford Community Senior Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Suite 140)
  • The Central (500 30th Ave S)
  • Asian Counseling and Referral Service Senior Center (3639 Martin Luther King Way S.)
  • Sunshine Garden Chinese Senior Community Center (611 S. Lane St.) housed in the Chinese Information and Service Center.

Pools and Water Areas

Four-day-a-week Wading Pools (both are open noon to 6:45 p.m.):

  • Hiawatha Community Center, 2700 California Ave. SW, Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat
  • Delridge Community Center, 4501 Delridge Way SW, Mon/Tues/Sat/Sun

Three-day-a-week Wading Pools (all are open from noon to 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted):

  • Bitter Lake, 13035 Linden Ave. N, Wed/Thu/Fri
  • Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave., noon to 6:45 p.m., Fri/Sat/Sun
  • Dahl Playfield, 7700 25th Ave. NE, Tues/Wed/Thurs
  • East Queen Anne, 160 Howe St., Sun/Mon/Tue
  • E.C. Hughes, 2805 SW Holden St., Wed/Thu/Fri
  • Soundview, 1590 NW 90th St., Sat/Sun/Mon
  • South Park, 8319 8th Ave. S, Mon/Tue/Wed
  • Wallingford, 4219Wallingford Ave. N, Wed/Thu/Fri

Daily Wading Pools (all are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted):

  • Green Lake, N 73rd and E Green Lake Dr. N
  • Lincoln Park, 8600 Fauntleroy Ave. SW
  • Magnuson, eastern end of NE 65th St., noon to 6:30 p.m.
  • Van Asselt, 2820 S Myrtle St.
  • Volunteer Park, 1400 E Galer St.

Daily Water Spray Parks (all are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted):

  • Ballard Commons, 5701 22nd Ave. NW
  • Beacon Mountain at Jefferson Park, 3901 Beacon Ave. S
  • John C. Little, 6961 37th Ave. S
  • Lower Judkins, 2150 S Norman St.
  • Georgetown Playfield, 750 S Homer St.
  • Highland Park, 1100 SW Cloverdale
  • Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N
  • Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E
  • Northacres Park, 12800 1st Ave. NE
  • Pratt Park, 1800 S Main St.

Lifeguarded Beaches  (noon to 7 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays)

  • Matthews, 9300 51st Ave. NE
  • Madison, 1900 43rd Ave. E
  • Baker, 2301 Lake Washington Blvd. S
  • Seward, 5902 Lake Washington Blvd. S
  • West Green Lake, 7312 W Green Lake Dr.
  • East Green Lake, 7201 E Green Lake Dr. N
  • Magnuson, park entrance at NE 65th and Sand Point Way NE
  • Madrona, 853 Lake Washington Blvd.
  • Pritchard Beach, 8400 55th S

Outdoor Pools

  • “Pop” Mounger Pool, 2535 32nd W, daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., call 206-684-4708 for public swim times
  • Colman Pool, 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW, daily, noon to 7 p.m., call 206-684-7494 for public swim times

Additional resources

Mayor Murray’s first annual Pride Reception

Yesterday Mayor Murray hosted the first annual Pride Reception at City Hall, bringing together local members of the LGBT community to celebrate the start of Seattle’s Pride Week.

At the reception, the Mayor presented the first ever Pride Award to Charlie Brydon, an LGBT leader who helped bring gay rights to the forefront of Seattle and Washington politics.  The Mayor also proclaimed June 25th, 2015 as Charlie Brydon Day in Seattle.

Brydon persuaded then Mayor Wes Uhlman to commemorate Seattle’s first Gay Pride Week in 1977, a tradition that will continue this Sunday. He also established the Dorian Group, which sought to end housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and in 1978 Brydon rallied activists to join Citizens to Retain Fair Employment, which organized fundraising and educational activities to push back at national efforts to roll-back employment protections. Brydon’s work with Hands Off Washington successfully fought discriminatory state ballot initiatives, established chapters across the state, and laid the foundation for future LGBT political organizations, initiatives, campaigns and public officials.