Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess laid out his vision for a 2018 Seattle budget, which leans heavily on issues of social justice.
Burgess was appointed last week, after the resignation of Ed Murray, who stepped aside amidst multiple allegations of child sexual abuse. Burgess made a reference to it all at the start of his Monday speech.
"All of us have been affected by the painful crisis of the last months, especially survivors of sexual assault," said Burgess, who has slotted $500,000 for additional resources for sexual abuse survivors.
He's pitching $612,000 for the Domestic Violence Firearm Prevention Program.
His half hour speech highlighted the need to spend more to deal with the City's homeless emergency, as well as police reform. His 2018 budget calls for additional spending for police and civilian oversight. That's a product of most of his work on the Seattle City Council, where he has served for years, and pitched the original proposal.
It's in this pitch that he made his boldest comments of the day.
"In this context, and at this time, it is important for someone in my position to say clearly: Black Lives Matter," Burgess said. "Black Lives Matter in policing. Black Lives Matter in education. Black Lives Matter in our economic system. We must squarely face our history of racism and injustice, and frankly that’s something I don’t believe our country has truly done. We will know that we have when all people of color have equal opportunity, equal protection under the law, and never doubt their standing as Americans."
Burgess is also pitching money to study a Seattle Retirement Savings Plan for workers whose employers don't provide one. Burgess estimates 40 percent of workers don't have a RSP.
His budget also includes a plan to distribute money from the new soda tax. That includes money for college tuition for high school seniors and expansion of summer learning for students of color.
Many of the line items have been discussed in the Council for months. Burgess was the budget chair before elevating to the Mayor's office.
The budget process will take a little more than two months.
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