Hello from the White House!

Mayor Murray was at the White House this morning where President Barack Obama greeted the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. The President gave a great speech about the passion of the team and the passion of the 12s. He poked a little fun at Russell Wilson’s new haircut, Brandon Mebane’s celebratory belly dances and Marshawn Lynch’s media strategy.

He also highlighted the giving spirit of the players and the coaching staff, noting their dedication to Seattle community, and he marveled at Seattle’s inherent politeness following the big Super Bowl win, mentioning a group of Seattle post-game revelers who dutifully waited for crosswalk signals to turn before crossing the street.

Keep cheering 12s! They can hear you all the way to D.C.!

Mayor talks with Senior Zoo Walkers about Parks funding and pays a social visit to the penguin exhibit

The Mayor met today with the Senior Zoo Walkers, a group of dedicated older adults spanning in age from 55- to 90-years-old who meet up every Tuesday and Thursday to stretch together, walk the zoo paths, and socialize. They chatted with the Mayor about his proposed Legacy Funding Plan for parks and had questions about his plans to improve downtown safety and bicycle safety on city streets.

Senior Zoo Walkers is a joint program between the Woodland Park Zoo, Group Health Cooperative, and the Seattle Parks and Recreation Sound Steps walking program. It attracts between 40 to 100 walkers every session and has been in place at the zoo since 1990. Many participants have been in the program for a decade or more and are passionate about the zoo and the well-being of its animals.

The Mayor also stopped by the zoo’s Humboldt Penguin exhibit to learn more about the animals, their habitat, and the care they receive. Lead zookeeper John Samaras introduced the Mayor and a few members of his staff to several penguins, including a pushy penguin named Fiona, a funny little waddler named Cortez, and a precious newborn chick that hatched just this week!

Photos from Saturday’s Bell Street Park opening celebration

On Saturday, Mayor Murray cut the ceremonial ribbon at the opening of Bell Street Park, a multi-use public right of way on Bell Street from 1st through 5th Avenues. The celebration included a Lion Dance from Northwest Kung Fu and Fitness, a performance from local band The Royal We, lawn games provided by Target, and lots of local food truck favorites.

The Bell Street Park design converted one traffic lane and reconfigured parking to create a park-like corridor through the heart of Belltown. The four block area was improved with landscaping, better lighting and more open space. The continuous level pavement encourages pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles to share the road.

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy provided $5 million to plan, design and construct Bell Street Park. The artwork, by nationally recognized artist Sheila Klein, was commissioned with Parks and Green Spaces Levy 1% for Art funds.

Photos from today’s naturalization ceremony held at Seattle’s Central Library

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Seattle District Director Anne Arries Corsano administered the Oath of Allegiance to 74 new U.S. citizens today during a special naturalization ceremony held at Seattle Public Library’s Central Library downtown.

The ceremony included a short presentation, a keynote speech from Mayor Murray, and recorded remarks by President Barack Obama. The new U.S. citizens come from 31 countries, including an ordained minister from Congo, an Ethiopian woman joining family members already in the U.S., a Japanese housewife who loves to garden, and a Canadian man who was so eager to become a U.S. citizen that he hand-carried his application to the post office on his first day of eligibility … only to discover it was a holiday.

The Seattle Public Library system has free help for those who seek to become naturalized U.S. citizens. You can find more about becoming a U.S. Citizen by visiting the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.


On his 100th day in office, Mayor Murray pays tribute to Chief Sealth

Today, Mayor Murray marked his 100th day in office with members of the Suquamish Tribe honoring Chief Sealth at his sacred burial site. The City of Seattle was named after the Chief, a highly respected leader of his tribe. You can learn about his incredible role in the history of our region on historylink.org.

We also have an overview of Mayor Murray’s major accomplishments in office during his first 100 days.

Here are a few photos from the Mayor’s visit: