February 19, 3:48 PM click here to comment > 2
State of the City speech focuses on recovering local economy, plans for the future
Mayor McGinn today delivered his 2013 State of the City address in Seattle City Council Chambers. He detailed indicators of a recovering local economy, building great neighborhoods, new efforts to improve early learning in Seattle, a plan to update the Neighborhood Policing Plan and work to build out Seattle’s rail transit network. He also announced that Gigabit Squared has expanded its initial plans to build next generation high-speed broadband to now include West Seattle and Ballard, bringing the total number of demonstration projects to 14.
The mayor detailed new efforts to expand his administration’s support for early learning in Seattle. The City currently provides support for early learning in 23 sites across the city. This fall, the City Office for Education will launch an Early Learning Academy to provide high quality, evidence-based early learning training for preschool providers in Seattle. This initiative will improve school readiness outcomes for young children and serve as an important element of the City’s pre-kindergarten through third grade focus. The Mayor’s Office will work to link high quality preschool to K-3 education, to bring all children to reading at grade level in third grade – a critical milestone for success.
The mayor renewed his request to the City Council to move forward on expanding planning for high capacity transit on Eastlake, connecting Downtown to the University of Washington. The study is supported by major employers on this route who would like to see that study start in 2013. This corridor could carry as many as 25,000 riders per day, and it’s a corridor that Sound Transit’s light rail project won’t serve. Completing the study sooner supports Seattle competing for federal grants to finance the construction of a new rail line.
Additional transportation efforts covered in the mayor’s speech included requesting for funding a study for a new multi-modal crossing of the Ship Canal, new partnerships with Sound Transit to accelerate planning a rail line from Downtown to Ballard via Fremont and planning for the Center City connector line.
McGinn also updated the public on his administration’s public/private partnership with the University of Washington and Gigabit Squared to bring next generation high-speed broadband infrastructure to Seattle. Gigabit Squared has now added central Ballard and the West Seattle junction to their demonstration project, bringing the total of demonstration projects to 14 neighborhoods. More than 3,300 people have signed up with an interest in using Gigabit Squared services, along with more than 130 businesses and numerous apartment buildings. Gigabit Squared has also secured the funding they need to begin detailed engineering.
Watch the speech:
Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance