June 14, 2:38 PM click here to comment > 0
From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
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FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013
Read and Rise
Mayor McGinn announced a new program that will help students in our community reach the goal of literacy by third grade. The program, Read and Rise, will offer training workshops designed to help parents better support their students as they learn to read. The program will also provide reading materials and training curricula for parents to take home.
“We know from research that students who are not reading at grade level by the third grade are much more likely to drop out of school,” said Mayor McGinn. “This new program will help give parents the skills they need to support their kids as they reach this critical milestone.”
Read and Rise workshops will be conducted in partnership with schools and community-based organizations; identifying those schools and organizations will be a competitive process scheduled to be completed in July. The program will focus on communities and schools with a high proportion of children who are low-income and who may not have the language, cognitive and early literacy skills necessary for kindergarten readiness and third grade reading success.
More locations for School Zone Speed Cameras
This week, Mayor McGinn announced five new locations for future school zone speed cameras across Seattle. The existing school zone cameras have led to a combined 16 percent reduction in citations for speeding across the four schools.
“The public has been clear that we need to do more to protect children as they travel to and from school,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “The data shows that the existing cameras are helping improve safety near schools by reducing travel speed and cameras should be installed at additional schools.”
“Increasing safety in our school zone and beyond continues to be a high priority for me and for our school community,” said Sherri Kokx, principal of Nathan Eckstein Middle School, a potential location for future school zone traffic cameras. “School zone cameras are one more tool that can help increase safety.”
Mayor McGinn to reappoint police oversight auditor
Mayor McGinn is reappointing retired Judge Anne Levinson to a second term as the Civilian Auditor for the Office of Professional Accountability, to help oversee investigations of allegations of police misconduct. The OPA Auditor is an outside consultant with legal expertise who provides oversight to help ensure that all complaints of possible misconduct are appropriately addressed and all investigations that are conducted are objective and thorough. The OPA Auditor also makes recommendations to the Mayor, Council, City Attorney and the Police Department for systemic reforms and suggests ways to improve performance through changes to policies, procedures and training.
First appointed in July 2010, Levinson has issued several reports highlighting, among other things, needed changes in supervision, training, stops, de-escalation of minor incidents, interacting with those with mental illness and with juveniles, use of force, and in-car video, as well as improvements to the internal investigations system.
“Judge Levinson’s oversight and recommendations have highlighted the significance of a strong police accountability system,” said Mayor McGinn. “Her work has been particularly helpful as we have implemented a range of important reforms that will address some long-standing community concerns. I am very appreciative of her willingness to continue to serve in this important position.”
“As the Mayor said when he first asked me to serve in this role, he knows I will raise whatever issues need to be addressed that will help rebuild trust and mutual respect between the community and the Police Department as well as improve the ability of officers to successfully address whatever challenges they may face day-to-day,” Levinson said. “The complexity and long-standing nature of some of these issues mean that they won’t be solved overnight, but a lot of good work is well underway.”
“Judge Levinson has been a superb OPA Auditor with excellent recommendations for the betterment of OPA investigations and procedures. Working alongside Pierce Murphy, she will help improve the relations between Seattle’s diverse communities and OPA,” said court-appointed police monitor Merrick Bobb.
Winter shelter beds extended through summer
Mayor McGinn formally announced that shelter locations providing beds for 115 individuals slated to close on June 15 will remain open through the summer, offering a safe place for men and women needing overnight emergency shelter.
“I am pleased that we will be able to offer shelter for people who need a safe, clean place to stay for the night,” said Mayor McGinn. “We remain committed to finding long-term solutions to help people find the housing and services they need to end the cycle of homelessness.”
Earlier this year, the shelters were extended through June 15, 2013 with funding approved by the Seattle City Council.
“I am extremely glad to see the City of Seattle continue these core survival services” said Alison Eisinger, Director of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. “Men and women have been sleeping safely in these 115 shelter beds every night since the doors opened last fall. Being homeless outside is an emergency situation in any season, and keeping the shelters open makes every kind of sense.”
June 18, 9:30 a.m. – Freight Advisory Board, Seattle City Hall (600 4th Ave)
June 19, 4:00 p.m. – Seattle Public Utilities Water System Advisory Committee, Seattle Municipal Tower 5965 (700 5th Ave)
June 19, 6:00 p.m. – Greater Duwamish District Council, Georgetown City Hall (6202 13th Ave S)
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Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill