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Durkan delivers Seattle State of the City address

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan delivered her first State of the City address, pushing affordability.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan delivers her first State of the City address on February 20, 2018.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan focused on affordability in her first State of the City address Tuesday.

"Our first priority must be to build a more affordable Seattle," Durkan said in her address at Rainier Beach High School.

Durkan acknowledged it would be a work in progress to fix affordability and that lasting progress could take years. She called Seattle's homeless and affordability crisis "the moral challenge of our time."

"We cannot build a city for the future if it begins with the presumption that so many people have to stay poor," Durkan said.

The mayor pushed three goals that would indicate change: building more low-income and middle class housing, providing more short-term housing options, and creating economic opportunity for all.

Durkan also announced ORCA Opportunity, which is a plan of offer all Seattle Public Schools high school students and Seattle Promise scholars free year-round ORCA transit passes. King County Metro and the Seattle Department of Transportation will fund the program in its first year.

Currently, high school students who live more than two miles from their school get a free ORCA pass.

Durkan encouraged Seattle residents to participate in the search for a new police chief. She announced an online survey designed to gather community input and feedback during the nationwide search process.

Related: Seattle Mayor Durkan announces NHL season ticket sales

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