One of the ways to assess a State of the City address is to note the dogs that didn’t bark, the omissions from the long list of goals and programs.
Here are some I noted:
- Affordability. There was a brief mention of affordable housing, but not tough steps such as lowering taxes, reducing regulations, tamping down home prices, rent control.
- Neighborhoods. The Mayor has named an admired public figure, lawyer Greg Wong, to head and revitalize Seattle neighborhoods and a moribund department. No specifics. Urban Villages approach still valid?
- Arts and Culture. A battered sector thanks to the pandemic and funding problems; who are his key leaders? Library’s new leader?
- Metro buses. In deep trouble, and regional approaches generally (except a shout-out to regional homelessness authority).
- Zoning. Where Harrell ran against densifying single-family zoning, no mention.
- Parks. Reopening them, seeking a new director were mentioned.
- Downtown revival. Mostly about crime and homelessness and equity, but no exciting new attractions, aside from waterfront park.