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As I shared with you last week, I believe we have a responsibility to listen and to promote the vitality and safety of our neighborhoods and communities.

That’s why we’ve begun deploying additional resources and taking additional steps to improve public safety and address community maintenance needs in seven neighborhoods. The Seattle Police Department (SPD) is continuing its pre-summer emphasis programs and focused operations – including more officers on bikes and on foot. Following our neighborhood walks, the City is also working to act on the feedback we received on priority issues – from addressing debris from illegal dumping to replacing streetlights.

Our emphasis patrols are not reducing regular SPD and City of Seattle operations, including police patrols, criminal investigations, gun violence prevention efforts, and operations to combat gang violence throughout Seattle. For example, the City is continuing its work to prevent and respond to shots fired and gun violence in areas like the Central District and Rainier Beach.

From investing in our youth safety programs to making infrastructure improvements to increasing access to innovative business development, we are working in every neighborhood across the City. This week, that listening – and action – continued.

On Tuesday, I joined with hundreds of community members from across the City at a forum on public safety:

We also continued acting to deter and combat crime in our neighborhoods. This week, multiple Seattle Police Department (SPD) investigations culminated with ten arrests that have disrupted drug rings in Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District and led to the seizure of guns, stolen property, over $20,000 cash, and many different illegal drugs. Detectives from SPD’s Major Crimes Task Force worked together with Anti-Crime Team officers, bicycle patrol officers, SWAT and K9 to address concerns in these communities. These investigations are ongoing, and we will continue our important work to protect the community.

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,  

Mayor Jenny Durkan  

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Mayor Durkan Holds Swearing in for Mariko Lockhart, Director of the Office of Civil Rights, and Nominates Bobby Humes to be the Director of the Department of Human Resources

This week, Mayor Durkan held a swearing in for Mariko Lockhart, the new Director of the Office for Civil Rights.

“Mariko has built a career around promoting equity and will continue to do this for the people of Seattle,” said Mayor Durkan. “Under her leadership, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights has made critical contributions to ensuring civil rights and advancing race and social justice in our work at the City.”

Mayor Durkan has also nominated Bobby Humes, who was the Interim Director of the Seattle Human Resource Department, to be the permanent Director. He has extensive experience as a public servant, including as the former Director of Human Resources at the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

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Mayor Durkan Presents the Mayor’s Film Award to CB Shamah at SIFF Opening Night

This week, Mayor Durkan joined hundreds of Seattle film fans at the Seattle International Film Festival Opening Night to present the Mayor’s Film Award. Each year, the Mayor presents the Mayor’s Film Award to one individual who has made significant contributions to Seattle’s film industry.

This year’s winner is CB Shamah. CB is an Emmy-nominated producer and director best known for the music documentary, “Welcome to Doe Bay,” as well as SJ Chiro’s Lane 1974, the science fiction short film Haskell, and 25 local music video productions as part of the web series Destination Unknown. He has contributed to the Seattle film and music landscape for years on many levels, from being a member of the Community Advisory Board level to executive producing many local film projects. 

CB’s work also helps to advance equity in the fight for social justice. As a film financier, he supports local filmmakers so they can tell diverse stories and bring their visions to life. 

Learn more about the Seattle International Film Festival here.

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Are You Seattle’s Safest Driver?

Find out by participating in an 8-week Seattle’s Safest Driver competition, running now through July 7. Compete for prizes, engage in friendly competition, and help make Seattle’s streets safer for everyone.

In partnership with PEMCO Insurance and Cambridge Mobile Telematics, the City of Seattle is excited to kick off Seattle’s Safest Driver 2.0, an app-based safe driving competition. An initial contest in 2017/2018 engaged thousands and changed behavior for the better, with substantial reductions in speeding and phone distraction, so we’re back with bigger prizes and an aim to get even more participants.  

Seattle’s Safest Driver is part of the City’s Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. With your help, we can get to zero and make Seattle’s streets even safer.

Learn more at www.seattle.gov/safestdriver and on the SDOT blog

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Weekend Read: New Legislation to Combat Displacement & Gentrification

This week, Mayor Durkan announced legislation to combat displacement and help our communities live and work in their neighborhoods. The policy is called “Community Preference,” and it would allow housing developers to give priority access to a portion of housing unit to people who work in a neighborhood, or who used to live in a neighborhood and were displaced.

“Far too many of our neighbors have been forced out of Seattle and communities of color have been displaced at shocking rates,” said Mayor Durkan. “We must use every tool available to protect our marginalized communities from the negative impacts of gentrification and displacement. By working with community, we can develop innovative ways to keep families rooted in the neighborhoods that they have called home for decades.”

Curbed Seattle covered the City's work to combat displacement and gentrification, particularly in communities of color:

“On Thursday, the Seattle Office of Housing (SOH) presented some draft changes to its funding policies—which governs how Seattle spends its affordable housing dollars. Among those changes: working in a “community preference” policy, which generally means prioritizing members of a surrounding neighborhood for spots in affordable housing developments. The idea is communities actually benefit from affordable housing sprouting up in their neighborhoods.”

Read the whole thing here in Curbed Seattle.

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