Milkshake goodbye to Dick Spady

March 1st, 2016

Family and friends, all of us, drank a hearty milkshake toast in honor of the late Dick Spady following a recent memorial service at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. Dick, the namesake of Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants died in January at 92, last surviving co-founder of the iconic 62-year-old chain.

The service, warm, touching and at times humorous, said a lot about the man. He was the eternal optimist, a hard-working entrepreneur whose philosophy in business was to keep customers happy, while making money and supporting his employees. He was a man of faith, a staunch Methodist and a passionate apostle for  civic empowerment.

As we learned at the service, Dick served in the Navy during World War II as part of a Seabee Construction Battalion. After the war, he used the GI … Continue Reading »

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Women Win in Seattle’s Budget

December 16th, 2015

womenFor once, women were the big winners in the 2016 Budget. If this were a football game, you could say that women rallied to produce solid gains few would have predicted.

 

While many may have missed most of the plays, I’ll replay the hard-fought wins:

 

  • First, we will plan and build a new daycare center at, or near, City Hall.  The project had the unanimous backing of all nine of the Seattle City Councilmembers.  This program is important since lack of affordable daycare continues to be a barrier to women participating in the workforce.

 

  • A second win for women was the promise by city planners to develop an “infants-at-work” pilot study. This was a suggestion from the Seattle Women’s Commission after … Continue Reading »
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#PurpleThursday

October 22nd, 2015

Today is #PurpleThursday, a day to wear purple to raise awareness around domestic violence. Domestic violence impacts us all – families, friends, co-workers and communities. And, sadly, it is the leading cause of injury to women, although everyone along the gender spectrum too, can be victims.

This #PurpleThursday though, I’d like to also raise awareness about the support available to victims of Domestic Violence as well as workplace violence. Let’s talk about paid leave from work through Seattle’s Safe Time ordinance.

Seattle made national headlines in 2011, when the City Council passed and the then mayor, Mike McGinn, signed into law the Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (PSST for short).

Under the law, Seattle workers who have been employed 180 days now accrue paid time off, based on the … Continue Reading »

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Artists at Play

May 22nd, 2015

photo 2Today I am excited to announce it was the grand opening of Artists at Play. This is a unique, interactive playground that children of all ages can enjoy at the Seattle Center. This playground includes a 35-foot Climb Tower, listening stations, sound swings, a colorful labyrinth and more. By many measures, this playground will prove a great benefit to Seattle. In particular, it will enrich the lives of both parents and their children. Parents will be able to bring their children to a safe and vibrant playground while children will have a creative and imaginative environment to play in. As an avid advocate for parks, I believe parks are essential in the health and happiness of our communities. … Continue Reading »

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Good news – Route 76 will get more runs this fall!

April 9th, 2015

As commuters riding route 76 already know, the buses have experienced chronic over-crowding for months – often times leaving commuters waiting during the peak times.  To help ease overcrowding, voters last year passed a levy to help cover the cost of increased bus service.  Sadly, Metro says that their Service Guidelines report omitted Rt. 76 in the initial round of service increases despite having met all of the criteria required for additional servicbus2e.

This oversight was brought to my attention by astute (and long-suffering) Rt. 76 riders.

When I asked council staff and the Seattle Department of Transportation to look into the matter, they concluded that – based on field observations and on trip ridership data from Metro – … Continue Reading »

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Walking the Burke Gilman Trail

April 1st, 2015

On one of our unseasonably sunny days last week, I walked along the Burke-Gilman with one of the trail’s most avid users – weather guru and bike commuter Cliff Mass. The pavement conditions of the trail need improvement: full of potholes and crisscrossed with bumpy roots, it’s even crumbling along the edges in places. Walking along with us, as we inspected some of the worst hazards, was Seattle Parks’ Kathleen Conner and Seattle Department of Transportation’s Monica Dewald. Burke 1

 “People are getting really hurt on the trail every day,” Mass emphasized, pointing to a break in the pavement that might particularly trip up people who ride bicycles.  Mass is one of many people I’ve heard … Continue Reading »

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Equal Pay Opportunity Act

January 23rd, 2015

OlympiaWomen are working together here and in Olympia so we aren’t paid only 80 cents on the dollar of what men make here in Washington state. I was honored and inspired to stand with Senator Annette Cleveland and Representative Tana Senn, and so many other women legislators yesterday  to support their proposed state-wide Equal Pay Opportunity Act.

Here in Seattle, the wage gap is worse: women earn 73 cents for every dollar men make.  I’ve been working with my Council colleagues and the Mayor to address our wage gap and ensure our region is one where all people can thrive and earn what they are worth.

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A Mighty Force

January 6th, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, the mayors (three of them) and I sat down to a quick lunch and a meeting of the minds, talking about the region’s disheartening gender wage gap.  We all deplore the fact that the Puget Sound region has the widest gender wage gap in the nation. In this region, women on average are paid 27 percent less than their male counterparts.

That percentage is not inconsiderable.  If women workers here were paid the same on average as men, they would be taking home around $16,000 more a year. Gender Mayor Meeting

At the table in the Norman B. Rice conference room were Mayor Claudia Balducci of Bellevue and Mayor Nancy Backus of Auburn. The two chief … Continue Reading »

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2014 in Review

December 31st, 2014

What a whirlwind 2014 was for all of us working at City Hall. And, the Seattle City Council is still ready to take on even more heavy lifting. We passed 256 ordinances: a dizzying number, from a $15 minimum wage to confirming the first woman ever to serve as Seattle’s Police Chief. To cut to the chase, I am proud to have shaped legislation that delivers new equity and better service that a city as progressive as deserves.gender2

I won’t detail all 256 laws, though you can find them at this link, but I will highlight some of the best. My office in particular stayed the course on gender pay equity, working with my colleagues to pass a Gender Pay Equity … Continue Reading »

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WSDOT Update to Council 12-15-14

December 17th, 2014

I’m no engineer. But I am a Seattleite who cares deeply about the city’s waterfront, long fenced off from the city by an aging two-story viaduct that’s due for replacement. And, as a city councilmember vitally interested in the welfare of the city, I am listening these days to engineers who can tell me what’s happening as contractors tunnel beneath our streets.

WF 1For those reasons and others, I was deeply grateful to the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the engineers and officials who came to a Seattle City Council Monday morning to brief the council on issues involving the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project.

In recent days, the Seattle Times and other local media have been reporting on a soil settlement of … Continue Reading »

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