October 25, 5:27 PM click here to comment > 0
The Reader – Important update on budget priorities
From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2012
The Seattle City Council is making decisions in the near future about some important budget investments in protecting public safety, giving young people opportunities to have a better future, and making it more convenient for people to pay to park. If you support these investments, take a moment to let the City Council know about it – email them at email@example.com or use this link to contact Councilmembers individually. Below is some more information about some of our proposals.
Investing in youth violence prevention
Mayor McGinn’s proposed budget includes funding to allow 450 more youth to participate in the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative starting next year. That helps reduce the waiting list for a program that has done much to keep our communities safe and give our youth a chance to succeed in life.
This initiative has been a proven success in improving the lives of Seattle’s most vulnerable young people. Since the program began there have been no youth homicides under the age of 18. Referrals to Juvenile Court for violent crimes are dropping more rapidly for youth in the neighborhoods served by the Initiative than in the rest of the city. One graduate spoke last month about how much this program meant to him – you can watch his comments here.
The City Council is considering a delay in adding these additional spots in the program. But we believe the need exists for these spots today.
Paying for parking by cell phone
We’re always looking for ways to make it more convenient for people to pay for parking in Seattle. In recent years we’ve installed new parking meters that accept credit and debit cards. We’ve also installed an e-park system downtown that displays to drivers the number of open spaces at major parking garages. And while parking rates have gone up in four of our busiest neighborhoods, we reduced rates in eleven neighborhoods, using a data-driven process designed to balance rates and availability of parking spaces.
Some cities, like San Francisco and Vancouver, have also rolled out programs to help make parking more convenient by allowing people to pay for their parking by cell phone. They’ve had success with this system, and we’ve been working to bring it to Seattle. Users can buy parking time with their phones and get an alert on their phone when their purchased time is running out. That allows them to add time, up to the legal limit on that block, by using their phone instead of having to leave a restaurant or a store or a theater to feed the meter. The Seattle Department of Transportation and their vendor are ready to roll pay by cell out to the public early next year.
Locating gunshots when they occur
Mayor McGinn has proposed funding for an automatic gunshot locator system, at a cost of $950,000 over two years for installation and operation. The City will install up to 52 mobile gunshot locator units near hot spots, with each having a minimum 600-foot radius range and each having the ability to stream video. They can be moved in response to special events or changing crime patterns. These units can determine if a gunshot has occurred within 4/10ths of a second, pinpoint the location to within a 50-foot radius and determine the caliber of weapon that was fired with a 90 percent accuracy rate.
Community Center Hours
The proposed budget includes $276,000 to add hours at Ballard, Delridge, Miller, Northgate, South Park, Van Asselt, and Yesler Community Centers. Each center is proposed to be open for 10 additional hours after school and late at night in order to serve young people. These seven centers were chosen by a data-driven analysis that included crime statistics and existing partnerships with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.
But it appears that the added hours at Northgate and Ballard Community Centers are being targeted by the City Council for possible elimination. In addition, hours added in 2012 at the Chinatown/ID and Magnolia Community Centers are being considered for cuts, reducing the total open hours at these Community Centers from 35 per week to 25.
First-time WA voters can register until October 29
Did you know that first-time Washington voters have until Monday, October 29 to register to vote? People who are new to Washington, young voters and new citizens are eligible for this opportunity.
Mayor McGinn and Immigrant & Refugee Affairs Director Leno Rose-Avila taped Public Service Announcements in English and Spanish, respectively. You can watch them by clicking below.
Visit kingcounty.gov/elections/registration.aspx or call (206) 296-VOTE (8683) for more information. Please help us spread the word by passing this information on to your friends and neighbors.
And remember to vote by November 6th.
Upcoming events (for more see http://seattle.gov/mayor/Engage/access.htm):
Oct 25 – 5:30 p.m. – City Council Budget Public Hearing, Council Chambers (600 4th Ave)
Oct 29 – 7:00 p.m. – Safe Communities public meeting: South Precinct, South Shore K-8 (4800 S Henderson St)
Nov 7, 5:30 p.m. – Seattle Bicycle Master Plan Public Meeting, Bertha Knight Landes Room, City Hall (600 4th Ave)
Nov 9, 7:00 p.m. – Safe Communities public meeting: East Precinct, Miller Community Center (330 19th Ave E)
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Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill