As it has for more than 60 years, DSA exists to provide vision and leadership on the critical issues and opportunities facing Seattle’s urban core, including economic competitiveness, transportation and access, and the quality of our public realm. We are focused on ensuring the heart of our city beats strong.
When we began a new fiscal/program year last July, our downtown was the envy of cities across the country, having emerged from the Great Recession as one of the nation’s fastest-growing urban centers. At our annual State of Downtown event in February 2020, we reported record job growth and investment downtown, along with a growing residential and visitor population. We also addressed our challenges as a growing urban center, including regional homelessness, affordability and public safety.
Just a few months later, downtown Seattle, like so many urban centers, is facing the harsh economic impacts of a global pandemic. Office buildings are largely vacated, major hotels are empty and theaters sit eerily quiet.
Shortly after the onset of the pandemic, Seattleites, along with people across the country, took to the streets of downtown to protest the killing of George Floyd and the deep racial injustices that have plagued our nation for centuries. Downtown has always been a place for people to gather, march and collectively lift their voices on myriad issues. Our center city provided that backdrop again as people from around the region came out to speak up. At our recent annual meeting, I acknowledged that DSA needs to do more on issues of racial inequity and inclusion and I pledge to do just that, beginning with our staff and Board of Directors.
I have hope and confidence that we will emerge from this historic time stronger and more united as a community. Seattleites have time and again proven their ability to come together and lead the way. Our path forward — economically and socially — will not be easy. But I commit that we will work with our boards, members, ratepayers, staff and other stakeholders to continue to listen, convene and advocate not just for a strong economic recovery, but for a downtown and city that are inclusive and welcoming for all.
Thank you for your support.
President & CEO