Supporting a Safe & Welcoming Downtown
At DSA, we believe that downtown should be a place where everyone feels welcome, safe and comfortable. However, in a recent DSA survey, public safety was cited nearly twice as often as the next most-mentioned item when businesses were asked what they need to thrive post-pandemic. Respondents pointed to a lack of safety related to untreated mental health conditions and homelessness, especially downtown. To support recovery efforts, we’re adding additional mental health expertise to our Outreach Team. We’re also backing Compassion Seattle, an effort that would require the city to respond to Seattle’s growing homelessness crisis with urgency. The campaign has put forward an amendment to the city’s charter which will be on the November 2021 ballot if enough petition signatures are gathered. In addition to our MID-funded Safety ambassadors, we’ll invest in additional patrols through a contract with the Seattle Police Department.
To help reconnect workers and visitors to downtown, we’re hosting two “Welcome Back Weeks” in July (12-24) and September (4-19). During the first week of each two-week period, stop by one of several tented booths across downtown. We’ll have music, giveaways, refreshments and friendly staff on hand who can answer your questions about what’s open, what’s changed and even information about commuting options.
Ensuring a Clean & Beautiful Downtown
As we prepare to welcome workers and visitors back downtown, DSA, with funding from the Metropolitan Improvement District, is stepping up efforts to ensure a clean and beautiful center city. In the coming months, we’ll be investing more than $650,000 in additional cleaning equipment, including more power trikes and pickup trucks, which allow our team to get to clean-ups more quickly. We’re hiring an additional 12 Clean Team ambassadors, and contracting for additional cleaning services, including pressure-washing and graffiti removal, at key entry points to downtown.
We’ll also continue to bring large-scale outdoor art installations to downtown and transform empty storefronts with art and activities. To support those efforts, we’ve set aside $250,000 of MID funding.
Creating Outdoor Events & Activations
Our recovery strategy will include countless opportunities for workers, residents and visitors to experience and participate in fun and safe events downtown. Have you missed live music? Ready for a picturesque urban hike? Want to try your hand at a themed downtown scavenger hunt? With financial support from MID ratepayers, we’ve planned events and activations for a range of ages and interests all summer long and into the holidays. Summer activations are already underway and new events will be added regularly. Our Downtown Summer Sounds series will be back in July with more concerts, featuring more genres and in more locations across downtown than ever before. So whether you live downtown or are coming back after months away, we invite you to come out and enjoy what only downtown has to offer.
Promoting Downtown through Communications & Marketing
The past year-plus has been a challenging one for downtown. A majority of workers have stayed home, and local visitors have stayed put in their outlying neighborhoods. As we move into recovery and reopening, we will invite locals to reconnect with the center city they love. To come back and explore world-class art in downtown’s amazing museums. Check out the transformation on the waterfront. Do some shopping or enjoy dinner or a drink on a rooftop bar. With financial support from the MID, we’ll launch a major marketing campaign in July 2021, promoting everything going on downtown.