Listening and Investing in Community-Based Public Safety Priorities

It’s so true: The best way to listen and to know what is happening in Seattle is to get out of City Hall.

Since I’ve become mayor, I’ve had the chance to do 23 different neighborhood tours, in every corner of our city.

Last week, I met with amazing young people in South Park who are part of the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps to learn more about how the City can help them build a better future for themselves and their loved ones.

As I told them, we will keep listening, keep coming back, and keep investing in them and safer communities.

This week, I joined leaders from the Seattle Police Department and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins on a neighborhood tour of Ballard, where we talked to residents and small business owners about their needs and priorities.

And today, I’m touring West Seattle with small business owners and other community leaders.

When I’m out in community, I always ask the same question: What else can the City do to support you?

One thing I heard time and time again was a call for an increased emphasis on public safety. And I heard over and over that our community-based emphasis patrols have really made a difference.

That’s why my 2020 Proposed Budget includes investments to continue our community-based emphasis patrols in 2020. We know that this program is having a positive impact.

True public safety means that everyone, regardless of their background or history, can have access to lasting opportunity. That’s why we need to look at public safety solutions holistically, and not let ourselves work in siloes.

My budget plan does just that. In addition to investments to ensure we can continue to build the best community-based police department in the country, we are elevating programs that help communities navigate the criminal legal system at every level. That includes restorative justice initiatives that focus on young people impacted by the criminal legal system. And we’re also investing in new programs that focus on our hardest to serve communities who often cycle through our criminal legal system.

We need a balanced, holistic set of solutions to advance public safety.

As a growing city, we must be a place that takes care of people who are in crisis and need help, and addresses real public safety issues.

Finally, I want to say thank you to all the community members who’ve taken the time to talk with me on neighborhood tours, walks, and roundtables across Seattle. I’m so grateful.

As always, please continue to write me at Jenny.Durkan@seattle.gov, reach out via Twitter and Facebook, and stay up-to-date on the work we’re doing for the people of Seattle on my blog.

Sincerely,

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