Harrell to Council: Your Path to Win-Win

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Harrell has a difficult tightrope to walk here. He wants to assert his momentum and mandate without being perceived as a bully; he also doesn’t want to concede so much to the Council that he weakens his own power to negotiate. Elected officials are adept at selectively quoting; in their public responses we can be sure that the Councilmembers will choose to highlight Harrell’s concessions to their agendas without mention of what he asked for in return.

Harrell: Leaning on Campaign Themes

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While the new mayor could be accused of not delivering many specifics, his speech did offer glimpses into what may be ahead for the city.

Setting the Tone: The “And” Speech

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He signaled the message from last November’s election, that the “status quo is unacceptable,” that going back to basics is where good governance begins.

The Harrell Administration: Can you Feel the Love?

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Harrell told the voters he would lead with love, and this speech demonstrated that he's dead serious about that. The question yet to be answered is whether that's going to be enough. 

Optimism, Collaboration. A Good Place to Start

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His speech outlined his vision: "One Seattle," and named many priorities and goals. As an opening salvo, it's useful for him to broadcast that...

An Emphasis on Homelessness and Public Safety

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Most notably, after two years of variations on “defund the police” pushed by activists and most on the council, Harrell reassured Seattleites that the city would “enforce criminal laws” including “organized retail theft” while “wholly committed to avoiding the mistakes of the past.”

Yay Team! (I Have A Cliche for That)

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We saw a cautious guy, talking in the language of government, carefully wafting incense at the city’s interest groups, making fuzzy promises. He missed the moment, for the city is hurting, the town is impatient, and the new Mayor is promising only to be deliberate.

Inclusive to a Fault and Signifying Little

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One of the useful leadership and planning tools that I stumbled upon over the years was the concept of “the vital few.” What are the vital few things that an organization, business or institution must do and do well if it is going to accomplish its mission and thrive?

Failure to Howl (The Issues left Unspoken)

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One of the ways to assess a State of the City address is to note the dogs that didn't bark.