SPD forecast: More community engagement ahead?
Seattle police chief-designee Kathleen O’Toole told audiences at a Southeast Seattle City Council hearing Wednesday night that one of her goals is “restoring public trust” in the Seattle Police Department. According to Joel Connelly at SeattlePI.com, O’Toole claimed that police are afraid to engage because of public scrutiny and she wants to reverse that trend and make integrating officers into city neighborhoods a leadership focus. If confirmed, she said she'd expect plans for policing each neighborhood to be developed within 30-60 days.
Other top goals for O'Toole, who most recently served as the Boston police commissioner, are getting SPD leadership into neighborhoods more regularly and improving the department's technology. Asked about the impact of employing cops who don't actually live in Seattle, O'Toole assured audiences that she herself would be a city-dweller. "I hope we can find more ways to encourage young police officers and their families to live in the city,” she said. For more on crime in south Seattle, check out Bill Lucia's two-part story. — J.B.
New honcho in local giving
The Seattle Foundation, which gave more than $67 million to local organizations in 2012, announced today that Tony Mestres will take over as President and CEO starting July 1st. Mestres currently serves as a marketing general manager and sales vice president at Microsoft, where he has managed the company's global mobile strategy and Windows product line. He has also served as a partner and board member of Social Venture Partners and president emeritus of the board at Kindering for the last dozen years.
In an interview, Martha Choe, chair of the foundation's board of trustees, called the search for the position "very competitive." Mestres, she said, stood out because of his strong history of collaboration, "his ability to articulate a narrative," his passion and his hands-on experience. His network, which includes both private sector and younger philanthropists, was also a plus.
"Tony brings a legacy and a network that opens new doors to the Seattle Foundation," she said. Asked whether hiring Mestres was part of a larger tactic to attract more donors from the tech sector, Choe explained that tech progessionals "are part of a new generation of philanthropists that we're very interested in engaging."
Those new audiences, she said, think globally and are interested in leveraging technology more in their giving, measuring the impact of their investments and exploring new and different kinds of partnerships. All things that the Seattle Foundation will be considering in its strategy going forward. — B.A.
A DREAM-y day in Washington
Washington state's long-debated DREAM Act goes into effect today, paving the way for thousands of undocumented immigrants to apply for state financial aid. The bill is just one of a bevy of new state laws approved during the last legislative session that take effect today. Others include a new law banning minors from tanning beds, a law that will allow veterans to qualify for in-state tuition without waiting a year, and three anti-human trafficking bills. — M.L.
Inslee's oil spill plan
Gov. Jay Inslee announced a study on Thursday designed to assess the risks of an oil spill along the state's rail. It's all part of his efforts to be prepared for such spills. According to a press release from Inslee, the transport of oil by rail has increased by a factor of 40 since 2008. The state's Department of Ecology, Department of Transportation, Utilities and Transportation Commission and Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division will collaborate on the study; the Department of Ecology is expected to submit findings and recommendations by Oct.1.
“In any discussion about increased movement of crude oil through Washington, the safety of Washingtonians is without question my top concern," Inslee wrote in a statement. "I want to know how much oil will be shipped through my state and how we can be assured the kind of tragedy that happened in Quebec won’t devastate families in our communities. The federal government plays a significant role in regulating these trains, but we as a state can and will do more to make sure we’re protecting our cities and residents.” — J.S.
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