Ed Murray is running for mayor. A state senator from the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Murray held gauzy, vague positions leading up to the primary election, dwelling on incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn's purportedly "divisive" politics. Today, with the November election approaching, Murray delivered a speech on his "vision for the future of Seattle."
The Stranger endorsed McGinn—we're totally in the tank and we can't be trusted and we've been doing bong hits nonstop and riding fixies since McGinn was elected four years ago—and we endorsed McGinn again because (besides being a bunch of stoned, mustachioed hipsters) we appreciated his substantive policy proposals and were turned off by Murray's negative campaigning.
But we want to let Murray make his case here on Slog. We are also sitting in an SECB meeting right now with port commissioners and don't have time to read the whole speech. So, I posted the full text of Murray's vision speech in its entirely below the jump.
What do you think of Murray's vision, gang?
My fellow Seattleites, we are fortunate to live in a vibrant, dynamic, 21st century city.
Ours is a city of incredible diversity: of languages (nearly 100 are spoken in Seattle’s schools) of ideas, of backgrounds and neighborhoods – and we are a leading light in the state and in the nation for equality for all.
We are a city of tremendous innovation and promise – with established, worldwide leaders in aerospace and software.
We are a city of visionaries – forging new pathways for hope in philanthropy, and breaking new ground in disease treatment and prevention.
And, we are a city that never loses sight of the needs of the most vulnerable among us.
We live in a city with a progressive spirit – a spirit that is built around the idea that “We’re better off together” rather than “we should play the politics of division.” The people of Seattle have always worked best by working together.
Seattle’s progressive spirit can be seen in our entrepreneurs, who cluster together to create intellectual affinities – and economic prosperity – that they could never achieve by themselves.
It’s a spirit seen in our workers and our rich labor tradition, where workers in solidarity with a union can achieve a measure of economic security that they could not achieve on their own.
The spirit of our city is one that brings us together, binds us together and moves us forward together. We have much to be proud of.
I am a proud son of Seattle—spending my childhood in the Alki neighborhood, the son of Irish Catholics. My parents were inspired by John Kennedy. I was drawn to public service by the civic reformers a generation later, with the great aim of social justice – togetherness – firmly in my sights.
As a young man I recognized my own differences, and in that time I wasn’t sure if there was a role for a gay man to contribute to the city and region he loved. Were it not for strong progressive mentors—LGBT pioneer Cal Anderson, former council member Martha Choe, my colleagues in the legislature, and of course the communities I have worked for and represented in Seattle—I would not be here today seeking your vote to lead this great city.
I am running for Mayor because I love Seattle and because I believe in the progressive spirit that has made Seattle a shining example for the region, the state and the world.
If you believe, as I do, that it’s the progressive spirit of its people that has made Seattle a great and dynamic city, then you probably also believe, as I do, that it’s where our progressive spirit has faded that some of our city’s greatest challenges are to be found.
When our sense of togetherness fractures and some among us do not see themselves reflected in visions of Seattle’s prosperous future, our dropout rates increase, threats to our safety begin to wear at our quality of life, and even our roads and bridges – the physical manifestation of the togetherness of a city – begin to fall apart.
Whether it’s in public safety or education or transportation, my passionate drive to strengthen our sense of togetherness – to reinvigorate our great progressive spirit – is the reason I am running for mayor.
I’ll have more to say about my platform for each of these issues in a moment.
But I also believe that a stronger sense of togetherness shouldn’t just be the aim of our policy – it should also be the way we practice our politics. It shouldn’t just be what City Hall is working toward, but how City Hall is doing its work.
Building togetherness is the only way I know how to do politics. And as far as I can tell, it’s the only way to get results. I have a two-decade-long track record of removing the barriers that so often keep diverse stakeholder communities from working together and, as a result, needlessly stand in the way of progress.
Whether it’s negotiating budgets that brought in billions of dollars for human services and affordable housing, for transit and transportation, and for our schools and universities, whether it’s passing clean-air legislation, anti-bullying and anti-discrimination protections for gays and lesbians, and marriage equality, I’ve long understood that while lecturing, finger-pointing and scapegoating are all great ways to land a quote in the paper or on the evening news , they are no help at all in actually getting things done.
My coalition-building style has earned me an “outstanding” rating from the Municipal League, the endorsement of a majority of the Seattle City Council, of unions and small businesses alike… support like the sole endorsement of Planned Parenthood, of both the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and SEIU locals 775 and 1199, of police officers and firefighters and bus drivers and many others. I’m eager to put this style to work as your mayor to make real progress on our city’s most critical issues.
So how do we go about doing it?
First, let’s talk public safety. Nothing – nothing — is more important than protecting the safety and security of our citizens. And Seattle’s economic future is jeopardized if we are perceived to be an unsafe place to live, work, invest or visit for a night on the town.
If we can’t face it, we can’t fix it. The truth is, Seattle has a crime problem – and only a renewed focus and real prioritization on public safety will turn this problem around.
Our businesses and communities in Seattle deserve nothing less than a safe city, where police officers and firefighters get the training, resources and leadership they need to successfully carry out their responsibilities.
Our families—no matter where you live or what you look like— deserve equal protection and accountability. We simply cannot allow public safety to have a different meaning across different communities and within different neighborhoods. It is around issues of public safety that our commitment to togetherness is most needed – because it is around issues of public safety that our sense of togetherness is most fragile.
As mayor, I will accelerate implementation of the Department of Justice accountability plan to make sure that we address issues of use of force and concerns about racially biased policing. I will select a new Chief of Police that has an unwavering commitment to reform, a track record of implementing cultural change and ensuring accountability. And I will ensure that we promote a better togetherness between our police officers and communities, to build trust and relationships throughout the year and not just when we deal with crises.
We can strengthen the sense of safety and togetherness for victims of Domestic violence and their families by restoring the Office of Domestic Violence, building a family justice center to streamline services and care.
We can and must work together with the county and other cities in the region to identify and help those who need mental health and substance abuse treatment. Providing these services before a crime is committed – rather than incarceration afterwards – is one of the most sensible, successful and cost-effective ways we can strengthen the safety and security of our homes, streets and sidewalks.
Second, let’s talk transportation.
I have spent decades working to improve public transportation and the connectedness of our neighborhoods and others cities in our region. I’ve protected transit in the face of attacks. I’ve brought billions of dollars to Metro. I’ve authorized light rail construction.
These resources will continue to play a critical role in our transportation infrastructure, and, as mayor, I will ensure that they are managed efficiency and effectively.
And even more vitally, I will – finally – develop and implement a Move Seattle transportation strategy that integrates bike, pedestrian, transit and freight plans. If our transportation plans don’t work together, our ability as a city to work together is seriously hampered.
Instead of ongoing, exhausting, unproductive wars between the various modes of transportation, let’s make sure that people have choices about transportation by create linkages among the modes. That includes making sure we have affordable and expanded bus service throughout the city, an expanded light rail and street car system, and better streets and bridges.
Third, let’s talk about education. The strength of Seattle’s future really depends on our ability to ensure that it’s a place that provides hope and opportunity for all – and this starts with education.
As mayor, I will make education at every level the foundation of the city’s work. We need to move from being an educated city to becoming an education city. As Mayor, I will use every possible tool in my toolbox to make sure that our education system is delivering the education and skills that our kids need and our economy demands. I’ll work with the council on bold ideas like universal pre-school and use the Road Map Project’s “Cradle to Career” indicators and milestones to push for better leadership and resources for education.
We can no longer close our eyes to the sad fact that we are failing too many kids—this is not an achievement gap, because these kids have it in them to succeed. It is an opportunity gap, because we have not done what we need to do to lift kids up and give them what they need. We as a city cannot move forward economically while leaving so many of our own kids behind – that kind of tension can only hold for so long before something snaps.
Once again, our sense of togetherness must inform the questions we ask and the solutions we propose.
As Mayor, I’ll push more resources for dual-language programs that have proven to be effective and respect the diverse language abilities of Seattle’s kids. I’ll bring stakeholders together to make sure that teachers have the training and certification they need to work with the diversity of languages and cultures that are in our schools. And even as we’re making sure that more kids are graduating and are college or career-ready, I’m also going to make sure that if they do graduate, they have jobs right here in Seattle.
We’ll also work with public and private sector partners to train workers and provide career ladders to take workers out of low-wage work. We’ll move to adopt a $15 wage standard but we’ll do it in a way that does not hurt small businesses. We’ll make sure to keep Seattle a place that is good for business but we’ll also make sure that those businesses become partners in making sure developments also help create living wage jobs and better neighborhoods. And we’ll work to reverse the recent trends that make Seattle unaffordable for too many people, especially people of color and low-income people. We need more affordable housing that accommodates people of all ages, incomes and family sizes, as well as transit oriented developments.
We must encourage and support Seattle’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, the spirit that is creating a vibrant 21st century economy. We must welcome successful, creative businesses like Amazon that are creating wealth and opportunity for thousands of Seattle residents. We must revitalize our legacy industries like our maritime and trade sectors. And we must make sure that the benefits of our vibrant and growing economy are shared by all.
It’s time to wrap this speech up, and I want to do so at the same place that I began it.
There’s no question that Seattle is a vibrant, dynamic, 21st century city — and there’s also no question that it’s a city with some real challenges ahead. If we’re to meet these challenges, our mayor must be ready to embrace opportunity, foster collaboration, provide leadership, and reinvigorate our progressive spirit.
It means working together to get real and positive results, bringing communities together to leave no one behind, and never forgetting our obligation to those in need.
I believe Seattle can and should remain the kind of special place where working class kids can pursue their dreams, overcome barriers, and give back to the city they love. In fact, I think ensuring that Seattle remains this kind of place is the key to its perpetual rejuvenation and to fulfilling its ongoing promise of a prosperous future.
That’s why I’m running for Mayor – and that’s why I ask for your support. Like you, I want to rejuvenate today and ignite a better tomorrow for all our kids and all our families. I hope you’ll join me. Because by working together – and only by working together – I believe we can achieve it.