Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, alongside members of the education community, announced their proposal to expand access to high-quality early learning throughout Seattle. The Action Plan calls for a four-year property tax levy that would raise $14.5 million each year (about $3.63 per month from the average Seattle homeowner) to fund a pilot program over the next four years. The program would be voluntary for providers and participants, and would build toward serving 2,000 children by 2018.
“High quality preschool is proven to be a game-changer that prepares our children for success in school and in life. Preschool will boost not only the children but also our city with a stronger workforce and safer neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Burgess. “The evidence already shows us what to do; we just need to muster the will to do it.”
The mayor appointed Kathleen O’Toole as Seattle Chief of Police. Seattle City Council will now conduct a confirmation process and consider public feedback at each committee hearing. A vote on confirmation is expected by the end of June.
Councilmember Bruce Harrell said that he expects the new Chief of Police to “1) embrace and implement new technologies like body cameras to enhance police accountability and public safety; 2) implement a new Business Intelligence System that will function as a police performance management tool and early intervention system, with centralized software tools for data-driven policing to reduce crime and predict where crime is likely to occur; 3) review and assess the Department’s management, organizational structure, and resource deployment; and 4) communicate and engage with minority communities and ensure the diversity of Seattle’s neighborhoods are well represented in the department.”
Tentative details of council meeting are available at http://www.seattle.gov/news/newsdetail_council.asp?ID=14396.
Click it or ticket. Pay attention to the road or ticket, too. May 19 through June 1, extra patrols will be added to King County on the lookout for unbuckled and distracted drivers.
During the distracted driving campaign that happened last month, 836 cell phone and texting violations were written. High visibility enforcement has proven to change behaviors; prior to the seat belt law that took effect in 2002, seat belt violations initially increased, and then seat belt use rate increased. The hope is that the increased patrols with have a similar effect on things like cell phone use. These and all extra patrols are part of Washington’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Target Zero, which aims to end traffic deaths and serious injuries within the state by 2030. More information is available at www.targetzero.com.