Mayor Murray statement on potential elimination of DACA

Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement in response to reports President Trump is planning to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“Behaving like a flip reality TV show host who boosts ratings by dismissing people isn’t presidential, particularly when you’re threatening the real lives of hundreds and thousands of young people. Protecting immigrants and defending DACA is not only a moral issue, it is also an economic one. And our city has a vibrant economy because of the important contributions of all immigrants, including Dreamers and other undocumented individuals.

 “DACA recipients contribute 15.3 percent of their wages to taxes, which fund Social Security and Medicare. DACA recipients own homes and start new businesses, which contribute to the success of our economy and our communities.

“We need comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship, but because of Congress’ failure to act, programs like DACA are critical in supporting people who grew up in our country. Seattle is a Welcoming City and we’ve already taken legal action against the president over his threats related to immigration policy. We will continue to stand with our friends and neighbors and ensure they know we want them to always call Seattle home.”

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Mayor Murray statement on Confederate monument in Lake View Cemetery

Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement:

 “We must remove statues and flags that represent this country’s abhorrent history of slavery and oppression based on the color of people’s skin. It is the right thing to do. During this troubling time when neo-Nazis and white power groups are escalating their racist activity, Seattle needs to join with cities and towns across the country who are sending a strong message by taking these archaic symbols down.

 “The monument to Confederate soldiers in the Lake View Cemetery is located on private property. My office has called the cemetery operator to express our concerns regarding the monument. As we continue our ongoing proactive work to be an inclusive and welcoming community, we must also join the fight against the mainstreaming of hateful and despicable far-right political ideology.”


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Mayor Murray nominates two to Community Police Commission

Mayor Ed Murray nominated Colleen Echohawk and Emma Catague to serve on the Community Police Commission (CPC), the City’s panel of community members and stakeholders monitoring reform and accountability of the Seattle Police Department.

 “The Community Police Commission has and will continue to play a vital role in the oversight of the Seattle Police Department,” said Mayor Murray. “We now have landmark police accountability legislation that establishes unprecedented, independent civilian oversight and a permanent community seat at the table. We must ensure constitutional policing is a reality for all residents. Colleen and Emma are proven community leaders that will carry on this mission and help continue to improve the relationship between communities of color and the police.” 

 Colleen Echohawk is the executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, an enrolled member of the Kithehaki Band of the Pawnee Nation and a member of the Upper Ahtna Athabascan people of Mentasta Lake. She serves on the boards of several local organizations, including KUOW, All Home, Metropolitan Improvement District and the Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre. Echohawk’s career has focused on meeting the needs of homeless and low-income urban Native people living in Seattle.

 “I am honored to serve on the Community Police Commission,” said Echohawk. “I deeply believe in the goodness of our City and hope to assist in moving the conversation and policies forward in a good way; remembering our commitment to lead with a race and equity lens. I have had the privilege of working with the Seattle Police Department to solve safety issues in Pioneer Square and am excited to continue this partnership as a member of the Community Police Commission.”

 Emma Catague co-founded the Asian Pacific Islander Women and Family Safety Center (now known as API Chaya) and is the former executive director of the International District Housing Alliance (now part of InterImCDA). Catague currently works for the Filipino Community of Seattle. During her career, she has worked closely with the Seattle Police Department to diversify hiring of personnel to better reflect the Asian Pacific Islander communities in Seattle. Catague is long-time advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

 “I am excited to be a part of the Community Police Commission,” said Catague. “I look forward to representing the diverse voices of American Pacific Islanders and play a role in helping the Seattle Police Department understand the needs of the community.”

 Beginning in March of 2013, the CPC has been providing community input into the effort to reform the Seattle Police Department under the Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. The CPC continues to make recommendations to improve the department’s accountability system to better support constitutional policing and promote public confidence. In May of this year, City Council passed Mayor Murray’s police accountability legislation, which is now pending before the U.S. District Court overseeing the Consent Decree. The legislation includes a provision making the CPC a permanent body.


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Mayor Murray signs Executive Order requiring body cameras on patrol officers

Today, Mayor Ed Murray, working with City Attorney Pete Holmes, signed an Executive Order requiring all Seattle Police patrol officers to wear body-worn video cameras (body cameras). The order requires the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to equip West Precinct bike patrol officers with cameras by July 22 and all West Precinct officers by September 30, putting the department on track to fully implement a program that has undergone multiple pilot programs. All other officers will get body cameras on a monthly precinct by precinct basis. Mayor Murray is directing prompt implementation of the program to ensure no further significant uses of force by police officers go undocumented by a video record.

“Body cameras improve behavior and de-escalation on both sides of the camera,” said Mayor Murray. “We have taken far too long to fully implement the body camera program due to legislative gridlock—it is past time to move forward. This order will get cameras on officers on the street, so we know what happens during interactions with the public. This level of accountability is good for both officers and the public, and will help build trust in a time where the community, particularly the African American community, is hurting.”

“Body-worn cameras are known to be an effective police accountability tool,” said City Attorney Holmes. “They will not only improve community trust of our police department, they will also provide a measure of protection for our officers as well. This action today by Mayor Murray will help to ensure that SPD deploys the cameras as soon as possible while continuing to bargain with our police unions in good faith.”

Mayor Murray first proposed funding for body cameras in his 2016 budget, months after the City was awarded a $600,000 federal grant. The City then began a stakeholder and community engagement process as part of a 2016 pilot. A March 2016 survey conducted by the Community Police Commission and SPD, as a part of its 2016 body-worn camera pilot program, found that 86 percent of community members would want officers to be wearing body cameras when they responded to a call for service. Additionally, a study commissioned by the Federal Monitor overseeing the City’s compliance with the federally mandated Consent Decree, found that 92 percent of Seattleites want to see body cameras on officers.

Major cities such as Oakland, Denver, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Detroit, and localities like Spokane currently have cameras on officers. Today’s announcement adds Seattle to that list and helps move the City closer to achieving the principles behind police reform: increased accountability and improved relationships with the community.

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Mayor Murray’s remarks from Liberty Bank Groundbreaking

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Liberty Bank Groundbreaking

June 19, 2017

Today was supposed to be a day of celebration for Seattle’s African American community.

On Juneteenth, we were scheduled to be here in the heart of Seattle’s historic Black neighborhood breaking ground on the future Liberty Bank Building, an inspiring community driven project that includes $12.2 million in City dollars to turn Seattle’s economic success into a model for inclusion rather than gentrification.

And while all of that is true, we are here today, grieving. Again.

Grieving over yet another devastating encounter between an African American family and the police.

Grieving over yet another death in the African American community.

Seattle’s Black community is hurting. Seattle’s Black community is angry.

This is a painful part of our city’s history — the hurt and the anger that the Black community has endured for decades. For too long.

All of America is grieving. Sunday’s shooting follows the painful Philando Castille verdict in Minnesota

But your deep sense of injustice and your deep dissatisfaction have led to action.

Your activism and collaboration with the City led to the landmark and historic police accountability legislation I signed last month.

That legislation gives civilians an unprecedented, independent oversight role of investigations into police conduct.

Of course, that does not bring Charleena Lyles back.

Like all of us, her family is now plagued with questions about this shooting, from technical policing questions to philosophical and moral questions.

Sadly, African American families may now be questioning whether they should even call the police during emergencies. An unacceptable, but real dilemma that undermines just governance. And points to the ultimate question that continues to define all these tragedies: This city is asking itself what factor race played in the death of Charleena Lyles.

That is not meant as a judgment, but as the reality of the type of questions we must be asking.

Under this new era of accountability, yesterday’s police shooting will be thoroughly investigated.

The pressing questions about how and why this happened will be answered. Must be answered.

Must be answered for her family and her children.

Must be answered for all who are grappling with this tragedy, particularly for the African American community.

You are grieving today, and I am committed to an exhaustive investigation of this shooting.

We are committed to the well-being, the civil rights, and the success Seattle’s African American community.

That’s why we are here today at the site of the Liberty Bank Building, the future home of a development that will include more than 100 units of affordable housing.

I want to congratulate all the partners who made this project happen.

Today, we are not simply breaking ground on another Seattle construction project.

We are breaking ground on a project that “gets it.” We are breaking ground on Seattle’s steadfast commitment to equity.

The First Bank Building is named after the first Black-owned bank West of the Mississippi, which opened its doors on this spot in the heart of the Black community in 1968.

We will build 115 units of affordable housing here.

While the city’s economy is booming, I have simultaneously been concerned that too many are being priced out of the city they love. Nowhere is this more acute than in the Central Area.

But an uncompromising tenet of this city is that growth must be accompanied by inclusion.

That’s a lofty goal. Fortunately, our Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda puts teeth into it: We are now mandating that developers contribute to affordable housing every time they build.

This unprecedented policy couples economic growth with housing affordability.

In the case of Liberty Bank, funded in part by City housing levy dollars from the Office of Housing, this fight for inclusion explicitly and proudly recognizes the Central Area’s unique history.

And that means recognizing its legacy businesses, religious institutions, organizations, and longtime residents.

The agreement for this new development makes a high-priority commitment to secure long-term African American ownership for the building, and that the bottom floor commercial space will support and develop African-American businesses.

But policy alone cannot guarantee success stories like today’s.

Guaranteeing and achieving inclusion also takes perseverance and partnerships. In fact, there’s no way to be inclusive without forming partnerships.

I applaud Centerstone, Black Community Impact Alliance, Africatown, and Capitol Hill Housing for your perseverance on behalf of this community, and for establishing a partnership that not only prioritized affordability, but also prioritized this City’s values.

Your partnership demonstrated that a community can shape the way it grows and changes — can shape how Seattle grows and changes.

I’d also like to also thank my Office of Economic Development for their role to support the growth and development of black-owned businesses in the Central Area, and for identifying black-owned contracting firms.

This historic partnership may be a first, but it cannot be the last. And it will not be the last. Mark my words, you have established a new standard. Call it the equity standard.

I now turn it over to Chris Persons, Executive Director of Capitol Hill Housing, to continue to mark this very special day.

Thank you.



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