Mayor Murray … Nominees


 February

Mayor Murray nominates Catherine Lester as Director of HSD

Catherine Lester

Mayor Murray today nominated Catherine Lester as Director of the Seattle Human Services Department.

Lester, who has a long career working in human and social services is currently HSD’s Deputy Director, and will take over for John Okamoto, who Mayor Murray appointed as acting director in 2014.

“Catherine is a committed leader and innovative thinker, and we are lucky to have her,” Murray said. “Her leadership will be effective in getting our resources to the people who need them most in our community – those who are homeless, youth looking for summer jobs and survivors of domestic violence.”

“I am excited to serve as the leader of the Human Services Department.  I am humbled by the commitment and passion demonstrated day in and day out by both the staff in this department, and the network of local service providers,” Lester said.

“The question is not whether or not we can afford to invest in our most vulnerable neighbors and communities; it is whether we can afford not to.  I look forward to continuing to partner with staff and providers to make sure that everyone in Seattle can enjoy the quality of life we all desire,” she said.

“Catherine is the perfect choice to lead this Department. She has been the architect and driver of the Department’s efforts to be results and data-driven – getting the most out of our public investments focused on disparities,” said acting director John Okamoto.

“Catherine understands and knows our robust network of service providers.   She is nationally recognized for her work, and she has the confidence of the employees of the Department.  I am very pleased to hand over leadership to her,” Okamoto said.

Okamoto will remain at HSD as a special projects consultant, assisting with the transition and providing strategic guidance over several projects, including the homeless investment analysis.

Lester previously served as Acting Director of HSD from 2013-2014 during the transition between the Mayoral administrations, and was also Deputy Director of HSD between 2011-2013. Prior to coming to Seattle, she was Director of Cuyahoga Tapestry System of Care at Cuyahoga County’s Office of Health and Human Services in Ohio. Through her leadership in this role, child welfare recidivism improved and a new Continuous Quality Improvement process was implemented to maximize performance-based contracting for the county. Lester has a Master’s of Science degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Ryerson University. She is also a 2013-2014 Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Families Fellow, a nationally-recognized leadership development program focused on systemic changes to improve the lives of children and families in the United States.

HSD’s mission is to provide assistance to some of the most vulnerable individuals living in the city so that children, youth, and families can thrive. HSD will invest nearly $37 million this year on services and programs to help prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless as well as to help people who are homeless find stability and permanent housing. This year’s One Night Count saw a 21% increase of unsheltered homeless people in Seattle compared to last year, and under Lester’s leadership, Mayor Murray has set expectations for HSD to focus on data-driven and outcomes-based efforts to better align the city’s homelessness investments with innovative principles such as housing first and rapid re-housing strategies.

“As Seattle continues its generous investment in our community, it is important that our dollars produce outcomes for the clients of our many government, religious and non-profit programs,” Murray said.

The Seattle Human Services Department is one of the largest contributors to Seattle’s safety net, and provides $99 million in funding through 522 contracts to nearly 200 agencies that support Seattle’s most vulnerable residents each year.

HSD has an annual budget of $129 million and 320 full-time employees. Catherine will start effective Feb. 18, and her salary will be $151,000 per year.

– See more at: http://murray.seattle.gov/page/3/#sthash.BynPF3h5.dpuf

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Harold Scoggins nominated as Seattle Fire Chief

Scoggins

Today, Mayor Murray nominated Harold Scoggins as the next Chief of the Seattle Fire Department.

“As Seattle grows rapidly over the next 20 years, our fire service must continue to evolve to serve the city’s public safety needs,” said Murray. “Our department saves lives every day and our Medic One program remains a national leader in paramedic training for our fire fighters. Chief Scoggins has an outstanding track record and brings the right kind of experience to Seattle.”

Scoggins comes to the Seattle Fire Department from Glendale, CA. He joined the Glendale Fire Department 25 years ago as a fire fighter and rose through the ranks, serving at every level of the department. He was named chief in Glendale in 2008.

“I am honored to serve as the Fire Chief for the City of Seattle,” said Scoggins. “I look forward to working with the men and women of Seattle Fire Department to set its course for the future. My family and I are also very excited about the community and all it has to offer.”

The department currently has 80 vacancies. The mayor is directing Chief Scoggins to intensify recruitment of a diverse workforce of fire fighters, as well as ensure proper succession planning at lieutenant, captain and senior leadership positions in the department.

The Seattle Fire Department’s percentage of women fire fighters is 8.4 percent, which exceeds the national average of 3.4 percent, and the mayor is urging continued focus on the recruitment of qualified women.

“I look forward to working with Chief Scoggins, who will lead the best group of firefighters in the country – protecting us daily and providing emergency care that keeps us all safe,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “One critical aspect for the new Chief will be to complete implementation of the five-year strategic plan completed in 2012, setting goals for developing leadership abilities of Fire Department employees at all levels, helping employees develop and improve, health and safety, ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce, fostering community outreach and partnerships, and maintaining equipment and technology critical to the department.”

The Seattle Fire Department has more than 1,100 employees and an annual budget of $178 million. Fire fighters at 33 stations serve 640,000 residents and respond to more than 88,000 alarms each year.

Today, more than 80 percent of fire emergency responses are medical in nature, a trend that is expected to grow. In January, the department added a new aid unit downtown with 10 additional firefighters. The mayor is expecting further recommendations regarding the department’s structure from the new chief.

Scoggins served for five years as a fire fighter in the U.S. Air Force before joining the Glendale Fire Department in 1989. He was promoted to Fire Engineer in 1996, Fire Captain in 1998 and Battalion Chief in 2003. In that position, he was responsible for recruitment, hiring and training of the department’s fire fighters. In 2007, he was appointed Deputy Fire Chief, before being named Chief of the Glendale Fire Department a year later.

Scoggins is a past-president of the Los Angeles Area Fire Chief’s Association. He taught Fire Science as an adjunct professor at Mt. San Antonio College and El Camino College. He has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations, and is an active community volunteer.

Scoggins earned his associate’s degree in Fire Technology from Glendale Community College in 1994, a B.S. in Fire Administration from California State University Los Angeles in 1996 and a Master of Public Administration from California State University Long Beach in 2007.

Scoggins replaces Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean, who retired at the end of 2014 after a decade at the helm. Interim Chief Michael Walsh, who first joined the department in 1971, stepped in to fill the role for the first part of 2015.

“I certainly welcome Chief Scoggins as the new chief of the Fire Department,” said Interim Fire Chief Michael Walsh. “We pledge our full support to ensure a smooth transition.”

“We are looking forward to working with our new fire chief,” said Kenny Stuart, President of Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27. “Seattle fire fighters need strong, high-quality leadership to meet the increasing challenges in today’s modern fire service, including increased call volume, a growing city, significant training demands and the constant threat of cancer and heart attacks for fire fighters.”

Chief Scoggins’ first day at the department will be April 1. He will be paid an annual salary of $205,000.

- See more at: http://murray.seattle.gov/page/2/#sthash.NdtyyAgA.dpuf

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Mayor Murray issues statement on U.S. District Court immigration injunction

Mayor Murray issued the following statement today after a U.S. District Court judge issued an injunction on President Obama’s immigration executive orders:

“Like many, I am disappointed by yesterday’s decision by the Texas district court and am confident that as it goes through the appeals process, the President’s policy will be, in the end, upheld. I believe that President Obama acted within the scope of his executive powers when he proposed expanding protections for the millions of immigrants who are here working and building a better life for their families. This is the right thing to do. It will keep families together, allow young immigrants like DREAMERS to get a college education and grow our economy. This is the right thing to do for our nation, and Seattle.”

Earlier this month, Mayor Murray joined 33 other mayors in signing onto an amicus brief in the case of Texas vs. United States. The Mayors come from cities that account for approximately 28.2 million people, including 7.5 million immigrants. Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole also signed a similar amicus brief with chiefs of police and sheriffs from 27 other cities and counties across the country.

Late last year, Mayor Murray joined Rep. Adam Smith and immigrant rights advocates at a rally outside the Federal Building, on the eve of Obama’s executive action, to demand further steps toward immigration reform.  Mayor Murray also participated in an Immigration Summit convened by Mayor Bill de Blasio, which brought together more than 20 Mayors to New York City to discuss local strategies for immigrant integration. In late December, he spoke to several hundred participants of a community education event about administrative relief organized by leading immigrant rights organizations.

- See more at: http://murray.seattle.gov/page/3/#sthash.BynPF3h5.dpuf

FREEDOM RIDERS : A Stanley Nelson Film : American Experience – Repost


  Get Inspired

The World Premiere: In 2010 at Sundance Film Festival, US

 A Documentary Competition

Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) returns to the Sundance Film Festival with his latest documentary FREEDOM RIDERS, the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way.

FREEDOM RIDERS features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand.

“I got up one morning in May and I said to my folks at home, I won’t be back today because I’m a Freedom Rider. It was like a wave or a wind that you didn’t know where it was coming from or where it was going, but you knew you were supposed to be there.” — Pauline Knight-Ofuso, Freedom Rider

Despite two earlier Supreme Court decisions that mandated the desegregation of interstate travel facilities, black Americans in 1961 continued to endure hostility and racism while traveling through the South. The newly inaugurated Kennedy administration, embroiled in the Cold War and worried about the nuclear threat, did little to address domestic Civil Rights.

“It became clear that the Civil Rights leaders had to do something desperate, something dramatic to get Kennedy’s attention. That was the idea behind the Freedom Rides—to dare the federal government to do what it was supposed to do, and see if their constitutional rights would be protected by the Kennedy administration,” explains Raymond Arsenault, author of Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, on which the film is partially based.

Organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the self-proclaimed “Freedom Riders” came from all strata of American society—black and white, young and old, male and female, Northern and Southern. They embarked on the Rides knowing the danger but firmly committed to the ideals of non-violent protest, aware that their actions could provoke a savage response but willing to put their lives on the line for the cause of justice.

Each time the Freedom Rides met violence and the campaign seemed doomed, new ways were found to sustain and even expand the movement. After Klansmen in Alabama set fire to the original Freedom Ride bus, student activists from Nashville organized a ride of their own. “We were past fear. If we were going to die, we were gonna die, but we can’t stop,” recalls Rider Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland. “If one person falls, others take their place.”

Later, Mississippi officials locked up more than 300 Riders in the notorious Parchman State Penitentiary. Rather than weaken the Riders’ resolve, the move only strengthened their determination. None of the obstacles placed in their path would weaken their commitment.

The Riders’ journey was front-page news and the world was watching. After nearly five months of fighting, the federal government capitulated. On September 22, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued its order to end the segregation in bus and rail stations that had been in place for generations. “This was the first unambiguous victory in the long history of the Civil Rights Movement. It finally said, ‘We can do this.’ And it raised expectations across the board for greater victories in the future,” says Arsenault.

“The people that took a seat on these buses, that went to jail in Jackson, that went to Parchman, they were never the same. We had moments there to learn, to teach each other the way of nonviolence, the way of love, the way of peace. The Freedom Ride created an unbelievable sense: Yes, we will make it. Yes, we will survive. And that nothing, but nothing, was going to stop this movement,” recalls Congressman John Lewis, one of the original Riders.

Says Stanley Nelson, “The lesson of the Freedom Rides is that great change can come from a few small steps taken by courageous people. And that sometimes to do any great thing, it’s important that we step out alone.”

CREDITS
A Stanley Nelson Film
A Firelight Media Production for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Produced, Written and Directed by
Stanley Nelson

Produced by
Laurens Grant

Edited by
Lewis Erskine, Aljernon Tunsil

Archival Producer
Lewanne Jones

Associate Producer
Stacey HolmanDirector of Photography
Robert Shepard

Composer
Tom Phillips

Music Supervisor
Rena Kosersky

Based in part on the book Freedom Riders by
Raymond Arsenault

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is a production of WGBH Boston.
Senior producer
Sharon Grimberg

Executive producer
Mark Samels

In the Library … Charles Dickens


On This Day: February 7

Charles Dickens
Born: February 7, 1812
Died: June 9, 1870

British novelist Charles Dickens was born February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England. Over the course of his writing career, he wrote the beloved classic novels Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.

On June 9, 1870, Dickens died of a stroke in Kent, England, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

We the People V Politics Party and Profit


mayorsagainstguns

In memory of Sandy Hook … Ask your member of Congress – What will it take?

Another day another School shooting! In Colorado and One year ago today Sandy Hook happened. Our hearts are broken and prayers for all the students teachers and thank the custodian for all he did that saved lives

Now, after the tragic incident yesterday I find out that the rant below and the infographic above have been deemed out dated, which is beyond sad beyond my understanding considering the number of deaths. injuries and life changing experiences from folks who are were and continue to be able to purchase guns. The new reports are that only about 52% of Americans want gun reform … hmmm 52%? look familiar to you? My first thought hey, that was enough to get Barack Obama a second term it should be enough to make the House take this to the floor. Sadly, we have Republican leaders who don’t seem to care or listen to “WeThePeople” anymore and that motto; One person One vote either no longer exist or considered a joke and while no one is trying to take guns away from anyone but maybe those who have mental health issues or violent tendencies. the GOP has used fear mongering allowing the killings and or massacres to continue … Is this the kind of people we want in Congress – what happened to Public Servants

Reports are that at least 90% of our population agrees that it is about time we have some #gunsafety laws. I will say that again … 90% of our population wants safe and sane #gunsafety laws #gunreform

Additionally, most of us lefties are sticking together ,even some members of the NRA are for background checks, but we need a few Republican members of Congress to put people ahead of NRA and that mighty $$ as well as their NRA ratings and until folks do, I am reserving judgment on how republicans have changed or took that autopsy seriously. We all know the NRA is in this to win … for gun manufacturers while lefties are not just in this for emotional reasons but for common sense and a huge slap of reality … the NRA is not too big to fail and the assault weapons ban could have stopped some massacres.

There are approximately 310Million people about 5Million of those are pro-gun folks… so, why can’t we do the reforms needed?

The last incidence where a military style gun was used killed 20babies and 6adults with the impact needed to move forward on reforming what I call gun safety laws. We all know illegal guns on the street kill someone everyday though we must thank Wayne lapierre for going on camera and showing Americans just why … The Time is NOW.

I am against handguns … period. The incidents my family and friends have experienced whether it’s via illegal or police charged behavior have molded my attitude over the years, lest a narrow escape or two of my own. The thought of a teacher having or being forced to keep a handgun in the classroom just does not make sense. I am without a doubt completely against military style weapons because I do not think we civilians need to have them at all and I definitely understand how folks interpret the 2nd Amendment while disagreeing on attaching it to states’ rights. The fact is that the Gifford’s attack and all attacks afterward should have made us all sit up right move into genuine outrage. We need to use the sadness with a determination to at least ban assault weapons, retrofit K-12 School buildings and act rationally about creating registries, better permit process, close the gun show loophole and in my opinion every state should be required to impose a state of the art background check.  While not an expert on the NRA, ALEC or gun safety, I do have a strong opinion and need to share information, newsletters and interesting articles that are meant to start a dialogue. I will admit cringing anytime members of Congress use states’ rights as their solution to what are clearly American issues and scream for Federal intervention. Yes, I posted an article by a Mayor, but I did not say he was speaking up for any citizen or me; it was about what he has experienced as a Mayor.  I give him and the #MayorsAgainstIllegalGuns major respect.

I truly believe that Gun Safety laws impact all Americans, clearly what we have now not only needs to be reformed, but  reflects  our 21st Century living, formed around the notion of common sense solutions like universal background checks.

Mayors for #theAmericanJOBsACT ~~ PASS IT NOW


Phil Gordon, the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona believes the American Jobs Act should be passed,

“We can’t afford to keep waiting. And the politics that are being played
not only in Washington, DC, but across the country are just devastating our
nation, our cities. And it’s important not only to put people back to work but
to train them for the 21st century.”

He is pleading with Congress – Republicans and Democrats – to pass the
American Jobs Act “right away.”

“Arizona has been hit—one of the two or three hardest states—in Phoenix in
particular—with housing, lack of conventions, tourism, lack of jobs,” Gordon
explains.  “It’s time to stop talking about it, it’s time to move forward.
There’s plenty of time for everybody to do politics afterwards. But right now,
in Phoenix, we have a lot of people out of work. We have a lot of children that
are now homeless with their moms and dads that shouldn’t be.”

Kansas City Mayor Sly James Supports the American Jobs Act

The American Job Act will help James answer the one question he says the residents of his Missouri city
ask any time he leaves the office, “’Mayor, where can I get a job? Mayor can you
help me get a job? Mayor can you help my brother or my mother get a job?”’Jobs
are at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Supports the American Jobs Act 

There’s a real sense of urgency right now. A lot of people have been out of
work for a long period of time. Their savings are gone or practically gone. So
they see where they thought they were going to be fitting in the American dream,
and saying, “that may not happen to me anymore right now.” And so there’s this
feeling of hopelessness that we’ve got to address, we can’t wait until the next
election cycle. This is something the American people need today.

America’s Mayors Are in Sync: Congress Must Work on a Bipartisan Basis to put
America Back on Track

Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California says that the residents
of his city are united in their message to him, and to elected officials in
Washington: “Job #1 is to create the jobs they need going into the future.”

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory Supports the American Jobs Act 

Mayor Mark Mallory said that he — and the citizens of his city — are “very
excited” about the possibility of the Jobs Act because the President’s plan will
enable Cincinnati to keep firefighters and police officers on the
job.Mallory specifically refers to the provisions in the Act that provide funds for
infrastructure, and says Cincinnati’s “very large, very old” Brent
Spence Bridge needs to be replaced.

Mayor of Denver: American Jobs Act an “Opportunity for all Elected Officials to
Put Aside Differences”

Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado says there is no more important
initiative that any elected official can be focused on than “trying to get
America back to work, right now.” Hancock believes that “this Job Act is an opportunity for all elected
officials at every level but particularly here in Washington, in Congress and
the White House, to finally put aside our differences and stand again for the
people of America and begin to put them to work.”

Mayor Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore Supports the American Jobs Act 

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says the country needs the American Jobs Act in order to “grow
out of this great recession.”  As an older city, Baltimore has tremendous
infrastructure needs and its mayor believes the $50
billion investment in rebuilding
 that is a core component of the Jobs Act
will make the streets and schools of her city “safer for generations to come.”
Rawlings-Blake also applauds the Jobs Act’s focus on offering relief to small
business owners, who she says are the “backbone” of Baltimore’s economy

Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon says that in his state,


“the American Jobs Act
will translate into almost
9,000 jobs
for vital transportation, school infrastructure projects for idol
construction workers, funding for our schools and incentives for small
businesses to put people back to work.”

Most importantly. says Kitzhaber, the jobs that are
created will be “good middle income family wage jobs,” which will create a
significant economic ripple across the state. “In an economic crisis we need to
be investing in the economy–we need to be investing in job creation and I think
the American Jobs Act is exactly
what we need at the right time and certainly for Oregon and I think for
America.”