TechStars' Andy Sack: If I Were Mayor
Seattle mayor. It's a tough job, dogged by police reforms, a stretched budget and no end of public safety crises. And while there's mayoral criticism everywhere you look, it's not likely you'll come across much that's constructive. We'd like to change that. Over the next few months, Crosscut will be linking up with leaders across Seattle to ask them what they would do if they were elected mayor.
First up, TechStars Managing Director Andy Sack. He's a successful entrepreneur in his own right and a major figure in Seattle's startup community, working with young entrepreneurs to create businesses that thrive. What would he do with the key to City Hall?
1. More after-school computer science programs starting in middle school to get kids interested in the field. Some Microsoft engineers are already volunteering time to teach computer science courses at Seattle public schools, but the scale of this program should be expanded. Get the kids involved early — before high school; especially kids who are coming from low-income families. Provide an after-school program 2-3 times a week that not only teaches coding, but the culture behind it. Use this to prep them for high school and college computer science programs.
2. Invest in the viaduct and build a strong bar/nightlife community around the waterfront. We want to attract more people to Seattle and building up the waterfront is a huge attraction for outsiders. We need to do a better job of building it up and taking advantage of that beautiful area of Seattle.
3. Clean up the University District's crime. Make it a safe place for students again and add restrictions about what type of housing is allowed in the U-District.