Mayor Murray launches Summer of Opportunity and Safety


Today, Mayor Ed Murray launched the Summer of Opportunity and Safety, a City-led effort to expand summer programming for youth through grant-funded programs, Seattle Parks Department activities and youth jobs. These programs help connect youth to opportunities across the city, focusing attention on positive activity that itself is a strong violence prevention measure. A key piece of this effort is the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $145,000 fund to support community agencies and groups which provide positive youth development activities. Additionally, the City is unveiling a new portal,, where those looking for summer activities can find places to apply or drop-in programs throughout the summer.

“Our young people are the future of our city and we must invest in their growth and safety year-round,” said Mayor Murray. “Programs focused on engaging and supporting youth can propel them to future opportunities, including jobs. This summer, we are doubling down on that commitment to our youth by helping them access a positive environment that will help them thrive, which is the best way to prevent youth violence.”

Community organizations and businesses are encouraged to apply for a summer opportunity grant, with awards ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. The application deadline is Tuesday, June 20 at 5 p.m. Visit the Youth Opportunity Fund website for details. A list of programs funded in 2016 can be found here.

This fund is part of the Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Initiative which is focused on ensuring that all youth in Seattle have access to the opportunities and resources needed to allow them to thrive and successfully become an adult. Mayor Murray also created the Youth Opportunity Cabinet to better coordinate youth programming across City departments as part of his commitment to improving education, employment, safety, health and positive connections for Seattle youth, particularly youth of color.

The new Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Initiative website provides links to enriching summer programs across City Departments that are available during the summer. These efforts include but are not limited to:

The City has added 200 new summer learning slots to increase access to summer learning opportunities for at-risk youth. These positions help close the achievement gap and help more Seattle youth graduate from Seattle Public School on-time and attain post-secondary credentials.

Youth Employment:
Expanding access to summer employment for youth by placing 3,500 jobs through the Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Initiative. This initiative focuses on getting more Seattle youth engaged in meaningful employment opportunities to prepare them for academic success and career development.

Community Safety:
Nearly doubling the City’s Youth Opportunity Fund to $145,000 to support community organizations and groups that work to ensure Seattle youth are safe and free of negative involvement in the criminal justice system.

Positive Connections:
Launching a mentoring pilot this summer using $300,000 in new funding authorized by Mayor Murray to close mentoring gaps. Through the mentoring pilot, the City will recruit more Black adult men to serve as mentors for young Black men.

Health and Recreation:
Providing expanded health and recreation programs for low-income youth of color including a new partnership with Seattle Sounders FC’s RAVE Foundation to provide free soccer camps for underserved communities.

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Report Shows Results of Mayor’s Summer of Safety Initiative

Seattle City Light has been an active participant in Mayor Ed Murray’s Summer of Safety Initiative – a coordinated approach to public safety that is mobilizing City of Seattle resources to improve our built environment, activate our streets, and provide jobs for our community’s young adults.  

A key component of this effort was a series of Community Safety Walks to engage residents and help identify safety issues present in the built environment of Seattle’s neighborhoods.

In response to the Mayor’s Summer Safety Initiative, City Light redirected its 2014 LED Street Light Conversion program to major arterials in east and south Seattle. The work was completed on September 25th with a total of 1533 street lights converted to LED in those areas.

Other results include:

  • Installing a tension cable for added stability to a downed utility pole at 22nd Avenue S and S Jackson Street.
  • Upgraded LED light bulbs near Dearborn Park Elementary School.
  • Upgrading lights to LED along arterials, including Rainiers Avenue S, Martin Luther King Jr. Way S, and Renton Avenue S
  • Street lights converted to LED on S King Street from 5th Avenue S to 12th Avenue S
  • Light pole and light added near 6th Avenue S & S Main Street

Full results of the initiative with videos and photos can be seen here.

You can report street light problems with us:

Or by phone: 206.684.7056

Murray proposes 2015-16 budget

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today presented to the City Council his proposed budget for 2015-16 that brings more transparency, more innovation, better organization and better performance to City government.

Murray outlined several major reform proposals, beginning with key reforms to the City’s budgeting process itself.

“We will move toward a performance-based budgeting system and begin paying for outcomes,” said Murray in his budget address to Council. “This will lead to streamlining of services, better use of resources and greater performance from our departments. And, perhaps most importantly, it will drive better service for the people of Seattle.”

Murray’s additional proposed reforms to the City’s budgeting process include:

  • moving City departments to a standard accounting system;
  • conducting a zero-based budgeting exercise for a least two City departments for a better accounting of baseline expenditures;
  • launching an interactive, online “Open Budget” tool on the model of the City of Boston’s tool for greater transparency in City spending;
  • developing performance metrics for all City departments for more efficiency and accountability;
  • launching an online dashboard to track department performance and provide greater transparency and accountability; and
  • establishing an advisory committee on the model of the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council to provide greater transparency and better performance.

“We will use data – not tradition – to drive how our government functions,” Murray said.

Murray also proposed what he said will be ‘a major restructuring of how we as a City plan for our future.’

“We will look across departments to establish new best practices of coordinated planning,” said Murray, “so that as we plan, we plan together, and when we build new housing, we are also planning new jobs, parks and transportation to support them.”

And, Murray said he has tasked Human Services Director John Okamoto to conduct an audit of the City’s nearly $35 million annual investment in homeless services and to compare City spending against national best practices.

“On any given night, there are at least 2,300 unsheltered individuals on our city streets – and very likely there are more,” said Murray. “It is time for us to learn if a better budgeting approach here in City Hall will create better outcomes for individuals living right now on the streets of this city.”

In his address to Council, Murray restated his priorities of a safe, affordable, vibrant and interconnected city for all. Highlights of Murray’s 2015-16 budget by priority area are available by clicking here.

Murray also said his budget shows how cities can be ‘an incubator of change’ and ‘a laboratory of democracy’ by funding ‘bold policy experimentation,’ including:

“These budget commitments demonstrate a City government flexible enough to reorganize around our priorities and support new policy that reflects the evolving needs of our communities,” Murray said.

As the centerpiece of his agenda for a more affordable city, Murray said that he would announce with Council the members, structure and timeframe for action of his Affordable Housing Advisory Committee on September 23 at 10:30 a.m. on the Seventh Floor of City Hall.

City Council will begin the hearings on the budget proposal on October 2nd.

To learn more about Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed 2015-16 budget please visit here.

Neighbors invited to Capitol Hill ‘Find It, Fix It’ Community Walk

Mayor Murray’s ‘Find It, Fix It’ Community Walk, focused on several crime hotspots, makes its way to Seattle’s Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Sept. 17. This is the eighth walk hosted by the mayor in neighborhoods around the city.

At the events, community residents, police, and city officials walk together to identify physical disorder and solve it. As a result of these walks, Seattle City Light, the Seattle Department of Transportation, the Department of Planning and Development, and Seattle Public Utilities have worked – and continue to work – to make improvements in Seattle’s neighborhoods. Watch videos, view photos and read actions taken as a result of these walks at:

Capitol Hill Find It, Fix It Community Walk:
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
E. Olive St. and 11th Ave.
Meet at Cal Anderson Park Shelterhouse (Map)

6:30 – 6:45 p.m.

Short program featuring Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Chief of Police Kathleen O’Toole and department representatives.

6:45 – 8:00 p.m.

Walk commences along the following route:

  • East on E. Olive St.
  • South on 12th Ave.
  • West on E. Pike St.
  • North on Broadway
  • East on E. Howell St.

8:00 p.m.

Walk concludes and department representatives are available for follow-up questions.

For more information on Murray’s public safety strategy for Seattle, visit

KPLU: ‘Find It, Fix It’ walks urge South Seattle residents to point out problems

Today, KPLU featured Mayor Murray’s Find It, Fix It Community Walks that have been held in South Seattle throughout the summer.

“Imagine being able to turn to the person walking next to you and say, ‘Could you fix that streetlight?’ That’s been the experience for people in south Seattle who’ve taken part this summer in what Mayor Ed Murray calls ‘Find It, Fix It’ walks.”

Listen to the full piece here or on

The City’s next Find It, Fix It walk will be held tomorrow at 7 p.m. beginning at Rainier Beach Community Center.