Mayor Durkan Named as Chair of the United States Conference of Mayors Automation and Future of Work Task Force

Seattle (January 22, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan was appointed to serve as Chair of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Automation and Future of Work Task Force. Under Mayor Durkan’s leadership, the Task Force will focus on developing innovative, progressive policies that center around youth opportunity and workers while addressing the changes caused by new technology and the gig economy.

“We are living in the most disruptive era since the Industrial Revolution. Long-term jobs are giving way to gig work, and real wages have barely budged for working people,” said Mayor Durkan. “In Seattle we’re working to address this by implementing policies, like Fare Share and Opportunity Promise, that protect workers and ensure we’re developing a pipeline of local talent. I look forward to working with my fellow mayors on this Task Force to find new, innovative ways to fight for the rights and dignities of our workers in this rapidly changing economy.”

Mayor Durkan held her first meeting as Chair of the Automation and Future of Work Task Force today, January 22, and hosted a discussion with Dr. Elizabeth Reynolds, Co-Chair of the MIT Work of the Future Task Force; Alastair Fitzpayne, Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative at the Aspen Institute; and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The panelists discussed how cities are addressing automation and working to expand the social safety net for workers in the midst of the transformational gig economy.

“I am confident that Mayor Durkan’s strong leadership and expertise will help guide the Conference’s conversations about the critical impact automation and the gig economy are having on our cities,” said Bryan K. Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills (MI) and President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “The work she is doing in Seattle to create a workforce that is ready for the future is exemplary. We look forward to working with her to ensure that the tech-fueled growth we are experiencing in cities benefits all of our citizens.”

Mayor Durkan will Chair the USCM Automation and Future of Work Task Force alongside three Vice Chairs: Mayor McKinley Price of Newport News, VA; Mayor Denny Doyle of Beaverton, OR; and Mayor Neil O’Leary of Waterbury, CT.