The Mayor’s Office received the letter, and Mayor Bruce Harrell looks forward to meeting with this group of stakeholders in the coming weeks.
As Seattle’s first mayor of Asian descent, Mayor Harrell recognizes the historic nature and unique character of the Chinatown-International District and the neighbors and small businesses that call it home, including his own family who operated a flourishing flower shop before being incarcerated for their Japanese ancestry during World War II. From Day One he has prioritized efforts to improve safety and ensure this treasured neighborhood is vibrant and welcoming.
Deputy Mayor Greg Wong holds regular meetings with a wide array of leaders in the CID, using their feedback to inform operational and investment strategies that support this neighborhood. That includes making the neighborhood a focus of our Unified Care Team—which has worked to reduce homelessness, clean trash and keep sidewalks accessible to all, resulting in significant improvements since the mayor took office in 2022. These efforts also include enhanced graffiti abatement with a focus on supporting small businesses who receive unwanted tagging.
Understanding that Chinatowns across the United States are facing similar issues and even the threat of disappearing, Mayor Harrell is taking immediate and long-term steps to preserve the CID and ensure a thriving next chapter. Mayor Harrell explicitly included the CID in his Downtown Activation Plan, aiming to drive residents and visitors to the neighborhood as a core part of Downtown. As a member of the Sound Transit Board, the mayor has led efforts to prevent the risk of construction causing irreparable harm to the neighborhood as the WSBLE expansion process continues. And he has continued to support the work of the CID Vision Group, which is developing community-driven strategies to ensure the long-term viability of the CID.
We will continue to drive safety improvements in the CID by hiring more police that represent Seattle’s diverse communities, responding to the crisis of fentanyl, and launching a new public safety department, along with ongoing efforts to shelter people experiencing homelessness, reduce tents on sidewalks, and help people access services and a path to recovery.