SEATTLE—The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce welcomed Mayor Ed Murray’s biennial budget proposal, which provides a strong starting point for this year’s budget deliberations. Chamber President and CEO Maud Daudon emphasized several key pieces that align with the Seattle Metro Chamber’s priorities.
She noted, “The Mayor’s proposal continues funding the Office of Labor Standards through the general fund, an approach that the Chamber has consistently recommended. Implementing the city’s labor laws—an important function that we support—is a general fund responsibility. This core duty does not warrant new taxes on business.”
Another important area supported by the Mayor’s budget is gender equity. Daudon pointed to the City of Seattle’s continued support for 100% Talent, an employer-led gender equity initiative that the Chamber launched with Women’s Funding Alliance in 2015. She said, “As a founding member, the City of Seattle’s leadership and support for this proactive initiative continues to make a significant impact. The City’s investment has contributed to doubling 100% Talent’s membership in just the last eight months. We thank Mayor Murray and the Office for Civil Rights for their ongoing commitment to this program.”
Mayor Murray’s budget also adds resources in areas important to a compassionate approach to public safety in Seattle. It identifies a number of investments in line with the “Pathways Home” plan to address homelessness, including a homeless navigation center. Daudon said, “Homelessness is a crisis in our city. We need to ensure the immediate health and safety of the homeless, other residents, customers, and visitors as we deliberate about reforming our system of services so that our city has no unsheltered people. This navigation center, modeled on the San Francisco Navigation Center Pilot Program, would provide a low-barrier, one-stop service for individuals without shelter to receive the customized support they need to move from the streets back into permanent homes.”
Moreover, Mayor Murray’s budget adds police officers, invests in the City of Seattle’s 911 call center, and maintains new information technology initiatives—all of which help increase capacity for the Seattle Police Department to respond to public safety issues. Daudon said, “The Seattle Metro Chamber has long advocated for a larger, well-trained police force that incorporates community policing principles. The additional resources Mayor Murray has proposed for 2017 and 2018 put Seattle in a better position to deliver on the vision that he and Chief Kathleen O’Toole have laid out: a police force that is accountable and committed to building trust with each and every community in our city."
About The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
The Seattle Metropolitan (Seattle Metro) Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most diverse network of influential business leaders in the Puget Sound region. Founded in 1882 by local business leaders, the Chamber today is an independent organization of 2,200 businesses representing a regional workforce of approximately 700,000 people. For more information, visit www.seattlechamber.com.