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Got 0 bytes response, method=default Response decode error Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell » 2009 » January

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for January, 2009

Jan 30 2009

2009 One Night Count

Published by under Homelessness

The 2009 One Night Count of King County’s homeless took place this morning at 2:00 a.m. While I encourage my staff to get involved in causes that touch their hearts, I was pleased to see that all three chose to volunteer and work with homeless advocates – the experience was a glimpse into the lives of many of our neighbors who are homeless and without shelter.

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Jan 27 2009

The Seattle Mentoring Movement: The next step

January was National Mentoring Month and the Seattle City Council issued a proclamation on January 26, 2009, to that effect. Former Seattle City Councilmember, Tina Podlodowski, President and CEO of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Puget Sound graciously accepted the proclamation. Also, during the weekend of January 31, 2009, I encourage you to join me at the Guiding Lights Weekend 2009 at the Seattle Center’s Pavilion. Guiding Lights is one of the best Seattle-based regional efforts to promote the incredible effects that mentoring has on young adults and our community. I’ve been invited to serve as a speaker at the Guiding Lights Awards Dinner.

I am asking that the City accept a major role in coordinating and promoting a city-wide effort to use mentoring as a strategic tool to increase the effectiveness of its young citizenry. This has not been done before. The purist may demand strict obedience to the City’s charter regarding the provision of essential services such as police, fire and roads. But even the purist cannot refute the business proposition that having more capable and productive young adults is cheaper than arresting, prosecuting, and criminalizing youth, as well as providing legal redress to the unfortunate victims.

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Jan 26 2009

Strategic Policy for City Government Communications

Our recent discussions regarding how the City responded to our ice and snow covered roads have brought to my attention the City’s methods in disseminating critical information to its citizens and whether it is maximizing its use of technology. This is part of my work plan for 2009. Certainly, King County should share this concern. The lack of clarity on how to get bus routes and conditions disseminated effectively reminded me of the incredibly funny skit performed by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, “Who’s on first. What’s on second and I Don’t Know is on third.” Of course Lou Costello would ask, “But who’s on first” and Abbott would reply “Who.”

In all seriousness, the City must pride itself on how well it informs citizens of their responsibilities, rights and safety conditions. For example, each citizen should know it is their responsibility during a period of snow and ice to make sure the sidewalk in front of their home or business is clear. What technology exists that can maximize our ability to do so? The City controls a 911 system and the general numbers (206) 684-3000 and (206) 625-5011. It controls the Seattle Channel 21 on cable and offers live streaming and video-on-demand via www.seattlechannel.org.
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Jan 21 2009

The Inauguration of President Obama

Published by under Featured

On the morning of January 20, 2009, my wife Joanne and I awoke at 4:00 am, in a relative’s home in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. We arrived at the Park and Ride (which is also known as a “Kiss and Ride”) at 5:00 a.m. to get on the one hour rapid transit system known as “Metro.” The other riders were all excited about the events of the day and the only topic of conversation was the inauguration. We made about 10 friends who were sitting around us when they found out Joanne and I were from Seattle. When we arrived around the Capitol, we immediately found a Starbucks close by for our obligatory coffee and oatmeal and then we headed for the Purple section to see patrons who were already in line. The ground control and organization of the lines were incredibly bad or more accurately stated, nonexistent, which required some strategy and confidence to find out how to position myself and Joanne for, what can only be described as a determined posture of entrance. We were literally smashed with Americans on every side of each other but we held hands to avoid separation. When in line, we ran into Deborah Horne from KIRO TV and shared some thoughts with her. We finally got inside the gates and passed security and positioned ourselves with new-found friends to experience a “once in a lifetime” celebration.

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Jan 12 2009

Snow Response

A few weeks ago, our city experienced one of the biggest snowstorms in over a decade, replete with the usual post-storm analysis. The public’s perception of how the City handled the storm can best be described as “frustration on steroids.” As the Mayor graded the City’s response as a “B” and we questioned the vacation schedules of department heads, I kept reminding myself that we, as a City Council, are the policy leaders and community leaders. As such, the issues of “salt” vs. “GEOMELT” or whether the City is in a position to demand better bus service from the County under snow conditions….are issues that we could own. It could have been determined last year that our use of salt, which could end up in our creeks and Puget Sound, was not considered the major detriment to salmon. I have never blamed a teammate for a team loss and won’t start doing that now. Yes, there is plenty of room to blast the Mayor, the County and even the City Council, but that won’t clear the 1,531 lanes of primary and secondary arterials under a pre-determined plan for snow and ice routes. It is cathartic to state that we could have done a better job. As a City Council, our focus should be “What can we do better!”

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