Seattle Mayor Ed Murray delivered his State of the City address at Idris Mosque in North Seattle instead of at City Hall. In a statement when the speech was announced, Murray’s office said it was a sign he was “standing with Seattle’s Muslim community in their house of worship as we fight state-sanctioned discrimination by the Trump Administration.”
Mayor Ed Murray spoke about leading the nation, as a “progressive modern Sanctuary City,” an example for others to follow.
Ostensibly this city policy speech was also an event for Murray’s 2017 reelection campaign. That a demagogue like Murray could actually win with this destructive platform speaks volumes about the intellectual bankruptcy of the Seattle voter.
True to form, the liberals have taken a once beautiful city and turn it into a mess.
Seattle has heroin drug zones. This, coupled with being a sanctuary city, has turned Seattle into a city of crime and trash. Thousands of people addicted to drugs have crowded into many public areas, setting up tents and absolutely trashing the neighborhoods. When I say trash, I mean piles and piles of trash, everywhere. No urinals set up. No dumpsters set up to collect trash.
Home of the Seattle Seahawks. Lovely, isn’t it?
IN STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS, MAYOR PROMISES NEW TAX FOR HOMELESSNESS, THREATENS TO SUE TRUMP
In the final State of the City address of his first term, Mayor Ed Murray today painted himself and the City of Seattle as a foil to President Donald Trump.
“The posture and politics of the new president should not cause us to despair that progress is not possible,” Murray said at Idris Mosque in North Seattle, where he delivered the speech (read it here). “Cities in general—and this city in particular—can be the solution.”
Murray said his administration plans to request from Trump’s administration more specific details on their plans for sanctuary cities and recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If they don’t get answers on those issues in a “timely manner,” they’ll sue. (After the speech, a spokesperson could not say exactly what will be considered a “timely manner.”)
In the speech, Murray also proposed two significant new city taxes: a $55 million-a-year property tax levy to help fund services for the thousands of people who sleep outside and in homeless shelters in Seattle and a $16 million-a-year tax on soda distributors to fund educational and health programs for students of color.
Murray called that funding “but a down payment toward our goal of closing racial disparities in education outcomes, which will require future investments.”
Murray wants the homelessness levy to appear on the August ballot. An advisory group including city council members, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, and the Downtown Emergency Services Center’s Dan Malone will come up with the specifics of the levy. In a statement to The Stranger, Hanauer called the city’s homelessness crisis “dangerous both for the homeless and for the rest of the citizens in our city.”
“Nothing less than bold action will ameliorate or city’s homelessness problem and the time is now to do that,” Hanauer said.
Others, meanwhile, are working on an effort to get some form of a local income tax to fund social services, either through city council action or through a measure on this fall’s ballot. The Transit Riders Union is leading a coalition to “Trump-proof Seattle” with a local tax on unearned income. (State law and case law limits Washington cities’ ability to tax income; supporters think taxing investments could be their way around that.) Murray did not mention the possibility of taxing high earners today.
On housing affordability, Murray drew parallels between fighting against the Trump administration’s policies and upzoning parts of the city to allow for more density and new housing. “We cannot be a city where people protest the exclusionary agenda coming from Washington D.C., while at the same time keeping a zoning code in place that does not allow us to build the affordable housing we need,” Murray said.
In a city fighting parochialism and high housing costs, it’s a good message. (Thanks, Josh Feit.) It’s also a message Murray could have used back in the summer of 2015, when he abandoned a proposal to allow more housing in Seattle’s sacrosanct single family zones.
Watch the full speech here:
Article posted with permission from Pamela Geller.