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Statement by Mayor Jenny Durkan on Seattle City Council Select Committee’s Vote to Advance Regional Governance to Full Council

Seattle (December 12, 2019) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued the following statement upon Seattle City Council Select Committee on Homelessness and Housing Affordability advancing the regional governance agreement to full Council: 

“This is a very significant step forward in our efforts to bring more of our neighbors inside and provide effective and comprehensive services. For too many years, Seattle and King County have been working in siloed efforts to address the critical needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Homelessness is a regional crisis impacting every city, and Seattle and King County cannot go at it alone.  Today, we take another step forward towards a truly, unified response creating a new authority to improve the lives of individuals throughout our region. 

“Over the past two years, while working to address this challenge, we’ve deepened partnerships across the county. By working with King County Executive Constantine and our regional partners to stand up One Table, we were able to begin to come together on a shared vision. In May 2018, with the signing of an MOU, the City and County began the detailed and comprehensive work of consolidating our fractured homelessness response system to stand up a new entity – this was a monumental task requiring patience and the willingness of all parties to truly listen.

“After introducing our initial proposal, we continued to talk and listen to our partners, those with lived experience, service providers, elected officials from both the County and City of Seattle, and the Sound Cities Association. Their input has been invaluable, leading to an improved proposal that makes systemic changes. By empowering experts to lead recommendations, we can deliver improved outcomes for our neighbors living outdoors, and the communities across the region who want to see a compassionate response to our homelessness crisis.

“Every step of the way, this City Council has been a partner on this shared vision and has also made this proposal stronger and better. I commend the leadership of Councilmember Bagshaw to continue to advance this proposal while ensuring clarity for our shared principles.”