By Aaron Allen, The Seattle Medium
On Tuesday, Bruce Harrell was sworn in as the new Mayor of Seattle during a ceremony held in the Norm B. Rice room of City Hall. Surrounded by family, cabinet members, city council members and the press, Harrell laid out his vision for a united Seattle.
“Starting today we will lead our city with an obsession, with excellence and kindness,” says Harrell. “With inclusion and hope, we will balance optimism and we will reject these attitudes of fear. We will rise together as a city and start this journey together.”
The mayor’s plans and vision are to re-establish the city’s culture, the city’s arts and nightlife. In order to revive the city’s public spaces, Harrell’s administration will look to uplift and promote small businesses, and to encourage citizens have empathy towards the unhoused and the homeless.
“We will invigorate our public spaces, elevate our small businesses, that’s how we will restore our city’s culture, arts and nightlife,” says Harrell. “We will be intolerant not of those who are unhoused, but the conditions that cause them to be unhoused.”
Harrell’s vision also includes healthcare for all with the goal of becoming the healthiest city in the nation. Harrell’s administration is going to lead the city through this pandemic taking the lessons learned to help improve health care for everyone.
In addition, Harrell plans to increase public safety by committing to a culture of change, gun violence prevention, and to reshape and redefine policing by listening to communities and restoring trust.
The administration plans to restore the city’s parks and public spaces, combat climate change, and restore underserved neighborhoods through his Office of Sustainability and Environment. He also is looking to support education through mentorship programs, enhancing public schools and providing affordable childcare.
Harrell thanked his transition team, city council for coming together to make the transition as smooth as possible. He also thanked the Durkan administration for the work that they have done over her tenure as mayor.
“We all have a role to play,” says Harrell. “I want to thank members of the city council and members of our transitions team. I have had so many conversations with members of the council and the community we are all excited to work together. Our transition committee has done incredible work providing insight and ideas for us to implement in our administration.”
With a diverse group of key members of his administration, including three women of color serving as deputy mayors, Harrell is very optimistic about the direction he wants to take the city.
“Under our administration Seattle will be thriving,” proclaims Harrell. “Let me repeat that, Seattle will be thriving. No more talk of this dying narrative. We will be a city renewed with optimism, a city that treats all people with dignity and appreciates the richness and diversity of our voices and perspectives of all our communities.”
Unity is the key to Harrell’s speech. One Seattle. Not Seattle being number one but Seattle being unified to building a better Seattle for all.
“If there is one thing I want to leave as my legacy as Mayor of Seattle, is that we are one Seattle,” says Harrell. “We invite dialogue and learning collaboration thoughtful exchange. We will unite our city around a one Seattle vision and when we confront inequities, race and economic opportunity and environmental injustice and housing affordability and equity, we build a one Seattle.”