Dear OPCD Stakeholders:
Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell is releasing his 2023-2024 Proposed Budget. The Mayor’s proposed budget prioritizes our work to build a more equitable and accessible Seattle, with expanded funding for critical planning projects and continuity in our ongoing work to support community investments that reduce displacement pressures on existing residents, neighbors, businesses, and communities.
The following is a summary of OPCD’s key changes in the 2023-2024 Proposed Budget:
- Regional Growth Center Plans: The Mayor is proposing to add $650,000 to launch efforts to update plans for Seattle’s six regional growth centers. The Puget Sound Regional Council is requiring Seattle to write new subarea plans by 2025 for Downtown, Capitol Hill/First Hill, Uptown, South Lake Union, University District, and Northgate. These plans will ensure that these regional centers remain eligible for regional transportation funds and will shape our strategies to support growth with equity and resilience over the long term. The funding in 2023 will keep us on pace to complete the regional growth center plans by the deadline.
- Equitable Development Initiative: The Mayor’s proposed budget increases funding for OPCD’s anti-displacement work, with the EDI program’s grant funding for 2023 totaling $24.3 million. The funds will be used for property acquisition by BIPOC-led community organizations, capacity building for organizations that are leading anti-displacement efforts, and to manage existing contracts with EDI award recipients. The program has been a centerpiece of the City’s strategy to reduce displacement pressures, increase access to economic mobility and opportunity, and enable equitable access to neighborhoods throughout Seattle.
- Station area planning: OPCD continues its collaboration with Sound Transit, SDOT, and project stakeholders on the planning efforts related to ST’s West Seattle Ballard Link Extension project. This expansion of light rail service is the largest public works project in the history of Seattle. The Mayor’s proposed budget includes funding for an additional position to support station area planning and transit-oriented development efforts over the next three years.
- Census Challenge: The 2020 Census resulted in an unexpectedly low population count for Seattle. The Mayor’s proposed budget includes $75,000 to prepare additional evidence of the undercount as we work to rectify this error with the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Mayor’s budget reflects his confidence in our mission and supports our shared values of inclusion, racial equity, and economic opportunity. I look forward to sharing more about our projects in the weeks and months ahead and receiving your feedback to help focus our efforts and improve our outcomes.
Over the next two months, the City Council will review the Mayor’s proposed budget. Public hearings are on October 11, November 8 and November 15. Final adoption of the budget is expected on Tuesday, November 22. More information about details in the budget can be found at www.seattle.gov/budget, and you can also direct any questions to MOS_COMMS@seattle.gov.
OPCD Acting Director