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Annual Report Highlights Unprecedented Challenges Facing Seattle

Seattle (December 4, 2020) – Three years ago, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan was sworn in as the 56th mayor of Seattle, and first woman mayor to lead the City in nearly a century. As Mayor Durkan marks three years since taking office, the Office of the Mayor has released its third annual report outlining updates on key community priorities like essential services, homelessness, housing, and transportation and COVID-19 relief.

“This time last year, our city was booming, vibrant, and focused on the future. Everything seemed possible. But 2020 had other plans This has been a brutal year for everyone in Seattle. A pandemic with no federal leadership is having devastating impact on the lives and health of our communities and families. It also led to skyrocketing unemployment and closure of so many of Seattle’s small businesses. The City has also seen unforeseen challenges like the accelerated cracking of the West Seattle Bridge, the collapse of a pier and days of wildfire smoke at dangerous levels. We also are in the midst of a civil rights and racial reckoning, which requires each one of us to commit to dismantling the systems of inequity that have had generational negative impacts on Black communities. In the midst of one of the most challenging moments in our city’s history, our 12,000 City of Seattle employees have focused on delivering essential services amidst a pandemic and advanced our shared priorities. Working together, we will get through this unimaginably challenging time for our city,” said Mayor Durkan.

The new report, “Three Years of Action,” highlights the City of Seattle’s work to deliver on basic City services, meet the historic challenges of 2020, and implement new policies that advance affordability, equity, safety, and mobility.

Key accomplishments from the last three years include:

  • Robust COVID-19 response to deliver free citywide testing, grocery voucher and food assistance, assistance to immigrant and refugees, expanded shelter and hygiene resources, support for small businesses and artists, relief for utilities, and Stay Health Streets;
  • Delivering two years of free college through the Seattle Promise program, which marked record enrollment this Fall;
  • $100 Million in investments in BIPOC communities in 2021;
  • $345 million in City investments, which were leveraged to $1.7 Billion for 4,500 new affordable homes
  • 77% Increase in enhanced shelter with further increases in 2021;
  • Transfer of City Owned Properties to the Black-led community organizations;
  • Expanding the nationally-recognized Seattle Preschool Program;
  • 14,000 students with a free ORCA card through the ORCA Opportunity program;
  • Navigating the historic challenges of the beginning of the Seattle Squeeze and the February 2019 snowstorms;
  • Creating and launching Health One to address non-emergency calls;
  • Relaunching and expanding the Seattle Police Department’s Community Service Officer program; and
  • New rights and wages for workers including domestic workers and rideshare drivers.

Over the last three years, Mayor Durkan has also participated in 127 roundtables and town halls; 29 neighborhood walks and tours; and 370 community events.

You can explore the full report here.