Durkan Digest: Permanently opening neighborhood streets to help families get outside

SEATTLE – We are in a marathon and not a sprint with COVID-19. Until we have a vaccine and treatment, we will continue to be in our fight against the spread of the virus. Responding to this pandemic has changed the way our communities live, work, and play, and it will mean a new normal for some time. For the coming weeks and month to comes, we will need to continue practicing good hygiene, smart physical distancing and limiting our contacts – even as we reopen our businesses and other activities.

Early on in this pandemic, we made critical decisions to limit activities and businesses, and the governor put in place the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. I know it feels like we’ve been working from home and primarily staying put for months. In addition to our 6,400 acres of parks, we recognized the need to give families more access to outdoor spaces in their neighborhoods. Working with the Seattle Department of Transportation, we began opening Stay Healthy Streets in neighborhoods across the city to give neighbors the opportunity to get outside and maintain good social distance without crowding our largest regional parks like Alki and Green Lake.

As we assess how to make the changes that have kept us safe and healthy sustainable for the long term, we must ensure that Seattle is rebuilding better than before. That is why this week, we decided to make at least 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets permanent [https://bit.ly/2WseaOV] and accelerate the construction of bike infrastructure this year.

Stay Healthy Streets are an important option for families in our neighborhoods to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the nice weather. Over the long term, I’m certain that these streets will become treasured assets in our neighborhoods. Not only do they provide an effective option for travel to essential services like grocery stores and small businesses open for pickup, they also provide more room for people to recreate or exercise outdoors safely.

The weather this weekend is beautiful – this is the kind of weather we wait for year-round. I know that on days like these, it is more difficult than ever to not gather with friends and families. But we are still in the middle of this pandemic, with more than 500 new cases in King County over the last week. If you must go outside, please remember to act with our community and health care workers in mind. That means no BBQs, bonfires, parties, or gatherings at parks. We will have social distancing ambassadors out this weekend to encourage people at our city’s parks to keep it moving, and we will be closing many of our largest parks at 8:00 pm this weekend. Please remember that by continuing to practice good social distancing, you are protecting our region’s most vulnerable.

We will get through this – if we work together.

Moratorium on Residential, Nonprofit, and Small-Business Evictions Extended until June 4
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan signed an executive order to extend the moratorium on residential, nonprofit, and small-business evictions in the city of Seattle until June 4, 2020. The extension follows Proclamation 20-19.1 issued by the governor, which extends the statewide ban to June 4, 2020.

The mayor first announced the moratorium on residential evictions on March 14, 2020, to keep Seattle families from losing their homes as a result of impacts from the pandemic. While the moratorium is in place in Seattle, property owners may not issue notices of termination or otherwise initiate an eviction action with the courts unless there is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community. The order also prohibits late fees, and, when paired with Gov. Inslee’s April 16 proclamation, increases to rent and security deposits are prohibited through June 4. Tenants who receive any eviction notice during the moratorium should contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206-684-5700 or go online to submit a complaint


Council Passes Mayor Durkan’s Legislation to Deploy Millions in Federal Resources in Fight Against COVID-19
On Monday, the City Council passed [the mayor’s] legislation to accept and appropriate funds from the recently passed federal CARES Act to directly support the City’s response to COVID-19. Millions in new federal funds will be directed toward food assistance, rent relief, investments in shelter and services for those experiencing homelessness, and additional funding for the Small Business Stabilization Fund.

Specifically, the new federal funds toward these COVID-19 priorities include the following:

” $1.4 million for the Small Business Stabilization Fund

” $5 million for the expansion of food delivery programs for older adults

” $2.8 million for rental assistance programs for households at risk of eviction or homelessness and programs that serve low-income persons diagnosed with HIV/AIDS

City Launches Anti-Bias Campaign Condemning Violence or Harassment Against Asian-Americans
Seattle is experiencing one of the most consequential events in our city’s history: the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community has been resilient and dedicated. We are looking out for one another and working together to flatten the curve and protect our most vulnerable communities and those on the frontlines of this pandemic.

But at stressful times such as this one, fear and anxiety can lead to acts of hate and xenophobia. The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a surge of anti-immigrant sentiment, racism, and xenophobia directed at communities of color and immigrants and refugees in our city. Our community members have reported property damage, vandalism, physical and verbal threats, and other forms of hate. These hateful acts drive us apart when we should be coming together to support one another. We’re in this together, and we have to look out for each other. Watch Mayor Durkan’s video condemning violence or harassment against anyone, including our Asian and Asian-American residents

To Ensure Appropriate Response Times During Bridge Closure, City Announces Additional Medic One Unit and Ladder Truck for West Seattle
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Seattle Fire Chief Harold D. Scoggins today announced that the Seattle Fire Department will dedicate two additional units to serve the residents of West Seattle. A medic unit (Medic 26) staffed with two paramedics will be located at Station 26, and a ladder truck (Ladder 13) staffed with four firefighter-EMTs will be located at Station 37. Beginning in June, these units will be in service for responding to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

West Seattle is currently served by six fire stations that include the following units: a battalion chief, six fire engines, a ladder truck, and a medic unit. The addition of a medic unit will provide two paramedics who have received specialized training for responding to incidents that are classified as Advanced Life Support, such as heart attacks, strokes, major trauma, assaults, and more. Ladder trucks are a vital resource for fire responses, as they carry equipment for conducting search and rescue [and] ventilating structures, and have a ladder pipe that can be used to apply water at a high angle. The new medic unit and ladder truck are coming from the SFD’s reserve apparatus located at the city’s fire garage. The department will continue to have other apparatus on reserve to support scheduled maintenance and for any unforeseen mechanical issues.

Courtesy of Mayor Jenny Durkan

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