Mayor Ed Murray: “We can celebrate our successes while recommitting ourselves to push for equality everywhere.”


Mayor Ed Murray released the following statement about Pride.

This year is the 40th Anniversary of Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans Pride in Seattle. Seattle hosted our first pride just one year after the first pride in New York City. It was a march designed to recognize the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which amplified a burgeoning movement to stop attacks on LGBT people from police, governments, the press, and more. At that time police regularly raided known gay bars to arrest patrons, and then the press would publish photos of those who were arrested, exposing the victims of the harassment to job loss, the loss of family, and physical attacks.

Now, 40 years later, I am proud of how far my community has come. There was a time in my life I never would have imagined that we could get married or have a gay mayor. Thanks to years of work with our friends in the labor movement, faith communities, the environmental movement, business leaders, the Democratic Party – and yes even some from the Republican Party – gays and lesbians are now allowed to marry in Washington State. In fact, on June 30th the remaining domestic partnerships between non-senior citizen couples will convert to marriages.  Washington has some of the strongest workplace protections in the country. Our youth are safer in school because of anti-bullying legislation. Gay and lesbian men and women can serve openly in the military. Hospitals which accept federal funding can no longer prevent loved ones of gays and lesbians from being at their side during times of crisis. And there is so much more.

Yes, we have a lot to celebrate this year. As we celebrate, I ask that you also think about how you can continue to help move equality forward. In more than 20 states there are no laws to protect LGBT people from being fired for being who they are. In 76 countries it is a crime to be gay or lesbian and in 10 the punishment is life in prison or death. In Seattle LGBT people still experience violence and hate because of who they are or who they love. LGBT immigrants fleeing persecution at home may arrive to communities in Seattle who are not as accepting as they could be. Homeless youth still suffer on our streets. The trans community is still not allowed to serve in the military and they face some of the toughest economic conditions of any population in the country.

We can celebrate our successes while recommitting ourselves to push for equality everywhere. As we enjoy the privileges of our city and state, let’s reach back and bring others along.  Inequality in all its forms is one of our greatest challenges, but I know that together we will achieve a tomorrow where no one will live in fear because of who they are or who they love.

The mayor proclaimed June Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Trans Pride month and helped raise the Pride flag at City Hall with his husband earlier this month.

Seattle Office of Housing announces $22 million in funding

Today, Mayor Murray announced the availability of over $22 million in funding for affordable housing in Seattle. Part of the annual Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) from the Office of Housing, this money will be loaned to housing developers to build apartments affordable to our city’s low-income residents.

“This funding is part of the City’s continuing commitment to support the development of affordable housing so that families of all incomes can call Seattle home,” stated Murray. “The people of Seattle have made affordable housing a priority since the first housing bond was passed in 1981 and I am committed to continuing this good work to support housing affordability.”

Over the last 30 years, the Office of Housing has invested more than $400 million in the creation and preservation of nearly 12,000 units of affordable housing. These apartments retain their affordability for at least 50 years.

“The investment from the Office of Housing is a vital part of our funding mix,” said Marty Kooistra, director of the Housing Development Consortium. “Affordable housing developers are able to leverage this local funding at a three-to-one ratio with public and private investments.”

Last year, the City awarded $27 million to seven affordable housing projects, preserving 122 apartments and building 310 new units. Priority projects include those that provide housing for homeless adults, families and youth; seniors and people with disabilities; and low-wage working families.

“The Office of Housing strategically invests these public funds across the city to provide opportunities for low-income families and individuals not just for the next few years, but for decades,” stated Steve Walker, Director of the Seattle Office of Housing. “We work with our partners to ensure these buildings are sustainable and built to last.”

Applications for the 2014 NOFA are due on September 12. Awards will be announced in November 2014 after a competitive process managed by the Office of Housing.

Mayor Murray’s public safety address

Mayor Ed Murray addressed the Seattle City Council this afternoon on public safety and partnering for safer neighborhoods.

Watch the Seattle Channel footage:

For more information visit the Mayor’s website and Summer of Safety Initiative website.

Mayor announces 2014 Mayor’s Arts Awards recipients

Mayor Murray is proud to announce the recipients of the 2014 Mayor’s Arts Awards. The honorees include two individuals and four organizations, and represent categories ranging from promoting arts as a means of social change to artistic excellence. The Seattle Arts Commission recommended the recipients from a pool of more than 650 public nominations, a new record. The Mayor’s Arts Awards recognize the contributions of artists, creative industries and cultural organizations who contribute to Seattle’s reputation as a hub of creativity and innovation.

“This year’s Mayor’s Arts Awards winners represent the best in Seattle: they are talented, multi-disciplinary, passionate, visionary and diverse,” said Mayor Murray. “These people and organizations embody Seattle’s vibrancy and spirit of innovation.”

The 2014 honorees are:

  • Cultural Ambassador: Alan Chong Lau
  • City of Creativity: MOHAI & Leonard Garfield
  • Social Justice: Path with Art
  • Cultural Investment: Snoqualmie Indian Tribe
  • Raising the Bar: Stephen Stubbs
  • Future Focus: TeenTix

The recipients will be honored at the Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony, on Friday, Aug. 29 at 4 p.m. at Seattle Center at the Fisher Stage, which is outdoor and open to the public. Presented in partnership with Bumbershoot, the awards ceremony is part of the official opening of Bumbershoot 2014 and a day of free activities that includes a public preview of the festival’s visual arts exhibits beginning at 3 p.m. in the Fisher Pavilion and the Fountain Lawn Pavilion. The Mayor’s Arts Awards are presented in partnership with media sponsor City Arts and event sponsors The Boeing Company and Chihuly Garden and Glass.

For more information about the Mayor’s Arts Awards, including past recipients, visit

2014 Mayor’s Arts Award recipients

Alan Chong Lau – Cultural Ambassador Award

Alan Chong Lau is a poet, painter, editor and sometimes curator and coordinator of arts events. As a poet, his work is represented by publications in numerous anthologies as well as individual titles such as “Songs For Jadina” which won a Before Columbus Award and “Blues and Greens – A Produce Worker’s Journal.” As a visual artist he has shown in Seattle since the early 1980s represented by Francine Seders Gallery until her recent retirement. He is also the Arts Editor for the International Examiner, a Seattle-based Asian American community newspaper. He believes that the arts play a vital role in society and through his various occupations facilitates culture throughout Seattle. He is a freelance coordinator and curator around town, creating “pop-up” arts events and shows in venues as diverse as Wing Luke Asian Museum, Kobo at Higo’s, Elliott Bay Book Company and the M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery.

MOHAI & Leonard Garfield – City of Creativity Award

MOHAI has grown to become the largest private heritage organization in Washington State and attracts more than 200,000 visitors annually. MOHAI is dedicated to enriching lives through preserving, sharing and teaching the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region and the nation. The museum engages communities through interactive exhibits, online resources, and award-winning public and youth education programs. Executive director Leonard Garfield directs all activities at the museum, working with the Board of Trustees, MOHAI staff and the community to ensure MOHAI achieves its mission. Mr. Garfield holds a M.A. degree in American Culture from the University of Michigan and has more than 25 years’ experience managing regional cultural organizations, including 15 years as executive director at MOHAI and six years as executive director of the King County Office of Cultural Resources (now 4Culture). In February 2014, Garfield was one of Seattle Business Magazine’s Executive Excellence Award recipients.

Path with Art – Social Justice Award

Path with Art transforms the lives of adults in recovery from homelessness, addiction and other trauma by providing opportunities for in-depth arts engagement and positive community connection. Since 2007, Path with Art has helped students find their voice through the power of artistic expression. Today, the organization partners with 28 social service partners such as Plymouth Housing Group, Recovery Café, and Harborview Medical Center to offer 30 eight-week studio art classes taught by professional teaching artists across 18 disciplines. Through its Access Art program, Path with Art collaborates with leading arts organizations, to connect participants to arts and cultural events throughout the city. Quarterly art exhibitions and showcases invite the broader community to engage with students through their art and individual stories, fostering a dialogue about the issues surrounding homelessness and recovery, and seeing individuals beyond the lens of statistics.

Snoqualmie Indian Tribe – Cultural Investment Award

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Known as the People of the Moon, Snoqualmie Tribal members were signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliot of 1855. The Tribe owns and operates the Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie, WA. To date, the Tribe has donated over $4 million dollars to non-profit organizations located in Washington State. Over fifty arts and culture organizations including the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle International Film Festival, the Genius Awards, Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, EMP, Vera Project, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Longhouse Media have received donations from the Snoqualmie Tribe. The Tribe seeks to support these and other exemplary arts organizations in the Puget Sound area and collaborate with them to expand open access programming that allows underserved communities the opportunity to enjoy these regional treasures.

Stephen Stubbs – Raising the Bar Award

After a thirty-year career in Europe, Stephen Stubbs returned to his native Seattle in 2006 as one of the world’s most respected lutenists, conductors, and baroque opera specialists. Previously, he was based in Bremen, Germany, as Professor at the Hochschule für Künste and director of Tragicomedia, which toured worldwide and recorded numerous CDs. Stubbs is the permanent artistic co-director of the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF). With his colleague Paul O’Dette, Stephen directs all BEMF operas and recordings, three of which were nominated for Grammy awards. In 2007 Stephen founded Pacific MusicWorks in Seattle, reflecting his lifelong interest in early music and contemporary performance. Other recent appearances include Gluck’s Orfeo in Bilbao, Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte in Hawaii, and Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony. His discography includes well over 100 CDs. In 2013, Stephen was appointed Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music.

TeenTix – Future Focus Award

Since 2004, TeenTix has been the central office of a community-wide effort to engage young people in civic life through the arts. The organization believes that arts institutions have a crucial role to play in building better futures for the youth in our community, and as such, they provide teens with tools to become empowered arts audiences, critics, leaders, and influencers. With a consortium of 54 regional arts-presenting organizations, TeenTix has facilitated the sale of over 45,000 $5 arts tickets to teens over the past decade. Members of the TeenTix Press Corps have written over 400 arts reviews for the TeenTix Blog, the region’s best source of teen-centric arts coverage. Graduates of their arts leadership training program, The New Guard, have gone on to take up positions in arts, culture, and civic organizations both locally and nationally. Their vision of a healthy community includes diverse civic leaders who value, support and participate in a thriving arts community.