Progressive Ways

Protecting Democracy With Knowledge


This Week in Seattle | Mar 31, 2017

March 31, 2017

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Message from the Mayor

This week, Seattle filed a lawsuit against President Trump’s unconstitutional executive order that threatens so-called “sanctuary cities.” This is a war on cities and Seattle will not be bullied into abandoning our values of inclusiveness.

The Trump administration’s fear mongering about immigrants is out of sync with facts and out of sync with Seattle’s values. This executive order is about bigotry, not safety. Communities become unsafe when you marginalize people and drive them away from city services, make them fearful of the police, and push them underground.

Seattle will continue to champion civil rights, and we will use all available legal means to defend those rights.


Mayor Edward B. Murray


City sues over ‘sanctuary cities’ executive order

This week, the City of Seattle, under the direction of Mayor Ed Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes, filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s “sanctuary cities” executive order (No. 13768, 82 Fed. Reg. 8799). The order threatens to strip federal funding from cities that refuse to assist the federal government in immigration enforcement and was reiterated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week. Seattle, a welcoming city where City employees do not inquire about immigration status and where all services are available to every resident, will argue the order is unconstitutional and that the City has not violated federal law. The ambiguity of the executive order also leaves the City unable to accurately plan its upcoming budget.

The lawsuit, filed in the Western District of Washington, makes two main arguments:

• The order is unconstitutional and ambiguous, and creates budgetary uncertainty by threatening federal funding. It violates the 10th amendment by attempting to force local entities to enforce federal immigration law, and violates the Spending Clause by attempting to coerce local action through the denial of federal funds.

• The City of Seattle and our welcoming city policies do not violate federal law. The executive order calls for localities to cooperate with the federal government and share information. City employees are directed to cooperate with, not hinder, federal actions; however, City employees are prohibited from inquiring into immigration status. The City does not prohibit information sharing, but instead limits the collection of information.

Learn more about the lawsuit and the executive order here.


Mayor signs Performance Seattle executive order

Mayor Murray signed an executive order this week directing City of Seattle departments to expand their use of data and analytics in everyday management and strategic decision making. The announcement is part of Mayor Murray’s ongoing effort to make Seattle’s government more efficient and data-driven to better serve the residents of Seattle. In 2016, Mayor Murray created the Performance Seattle team to increase accountability in carrying out day-to-day City business and to give City departments the tools and information to become more efficient, effective and accountable. This executive order directs the Performance Seattle team to work with City department leadership to ensure performance and accountability measures are integrated into new policies, funding measures and priority issues facing the City.

This week, Mayor Murray also participated in Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities 2017 Summit, which brought together leading city policymakers from across the country to discuss, share, and explore best practices that increase the performance and effectiveness of local governments. Seattle was recognized at the summit for its recent work to reshape human services contracts to better focus on performance. Mayor Ed Murray debuted a Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities film in New York City featuring the City of Seattle’s first effort in a decade to re-bid all homeless service contracts to better ensure providers meet performance goals and have a proven, data-driven record of placing people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing.

Learn more at


SPU and Performance Seattle team up to improve illegal dumping response

This week, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) released a video highlighting their work with Performance Seattle to improve their response to reports of illegal dumping. SPU demonstrates in their video how they improved timeliness to illegal dumping complaints through better data collection and management. By analyzing data and making management decisions based on these analyses, SPU improved response to illegal dumping complaints from 21 days to 4.5 days. In doing so, SPU improved the efficiency with which they addressed illegal dumping and improved the quality of life for residents and visitors. This is just one of many data-informed performance success stories that showcases how the work of departments positively impacts Seattle residents.


Seattle LGBTQ Commission seeks candidates

The Seattle LGBTQ Commission is seeking applications from interested candidates to fill several vacancies on the Commission. The Commission is a 16-member body that advises the Mayor, City Council, and City of Seattle departments on issues that affect LGBTQ communities throughout Seattle. Full description and application instructions available here.

Find other boards and commissions opportunities here.

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Office of Mayor Edward B. Murray
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600 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104


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