DSA Virtual Access Rewind: New Council, New Leadership

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Earlier this month, we continued our spring DSA Virtual Access series, presented by Amazon, with a conversation featuring new Seattle City Council members. Host Feliks Banel led a conversation with District 3 representative Joy Hollingsworth, District 4 representative Maritza Rivera and Position 8 (citywide) representative Tanya Woo.

Feliks set the context for the discussion with a few metrics regarding downtown Seattle and the city overall:

  • DSA’s Downtown Recovery Dashboard notes downtown Seattle’s return of workers has now reached 12 straight months of 50% or higher compared to the same month pre-pandemic. And April’s daily average worker count was more than 87,000 people — the second-highest daily average since the start of the pandemic.
  • Through Q1 2024, incidents of violent crime and property crime downtown have fallen by nearly 15% compared to Q1 2023.
  • Seattle Police response times for Priority 1 calls citywide in Q1 2024 is 10.8 minutes. That’s up from 9.9 minutes in Q1 2023.

Maritza Rivera noted she wants to make sure city workers return to the office. Maritza added she feels strongly about this issue for the functionality of city government and as a means to increase public safety through strength in numbers. Citing downtown as the economic engine of Seattle, she said the city needs to help by getting more boots on the ground.

Joy Hollingsworth also said being at City Hall, as opposed to working remotely, has benefitted the
work of the council. On the issue of public safety, Joy expressed the need for people who break the law to be held accountable. And she emphasized the importance of getting locals back to downtown, and utilizing events or attractions to get a younger crowd to feel enthusiasm about the heart of the city.

Tanya Woo stressed the need to uplift the arts & culture sector and activate our urban parks to bring people together. Tanya also touched on a specific concern of business owners or people trying to start a business in Seattle — the mounting frustration of permits and delays that impact the ability for a business to even start much less thrive.

Watch the Entire Conversation