By Jessyn Farrell, Director of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment
Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell is releasing the 2023-2024 Proposed Mid-Biennial Budget Adjustments. This budget reflects Mayor Harrell’s continued commitment to, and investment in, bold actions that address urgent needs of our communities and advance our One Seattle priorities. Mayor Harrell’s proposal continues work initiated in the 2023 Adopted Budget to invest in creating safe, healthy, and thriving communities. This budget continues Seattle’s dedication to community-driven initiatives for climate justice, while also supporting efforts to deliver effective public safety, build affordable housing and address the homelessness crisis, activate our Downtown, and advance opportunity and equity for all. With the investments in this budget proposal, we can work together to advance our shared One Seattle vision and an agenda that will inspire the best in our city and keep us moving forward.
OSE’s 2024 proposed budget reflects Seattle’s commitment to responding to the climate crises through Mayor Harrell’s One Seattle Climate Justice Agenda to achieve a healthy, sustainable city for every resident. For the Office of Sustainability & Environment, key highlights included in the mayor’s proposed budget include:
Building an Equitable Clean Energy Economy
The proposed 2024 budget continues key Duwamish Valley economic development investments, clean energy workforce development investments, and workforce development capacity to connect climate policies to the needs of an inclusive and equitable and low carbon economy. 2024 Highlights include:
- Continued investment in capacity to support partnership and coordinated action to advance clean energy workforce development through apprenticeships and training.
- Continued investment in clean energy training ($1M) to support contractors with inclusive job readiness so workers are ready for clean energy jobs.
- Continued support for youth leadership and green job pathways in the Duwamish Valley ($700K).
Ensuring a Just Transition Away from Fossil Fuels
The proposed 2024 budget affirms Seattle’s commitment to community-led environmental and climate justice action by providing new capacity, technical assistance, and incentives to support residents, businesses, organizations, and workers reduce energy use and carbon pollution. 2024 Highlights include:
- Funding for the Seattle Clean Buildings Accelerator ($4.5M) to help buildings owned- by or serving frontline communities (like community centers, low-income housing facilities, and non-profits) implement capital projects to reduce energy and emissions.
- $530,000 to implement Seattle Building Emissions Performance Standards for reducing emissions from larger commercial and multifamily buildings.
- Continued capacity and incentives ($800K) to help residents leverage rebates to make the transition from dirty oil heat to clean electric heat pumps through Seattle Clean Heat.
- Continued capacity and incentives ($1M) to support the recently launched Seattle Electric Trucks Incentive Pilot.
Building Healthy, Climate Resilient Communities
The proposed 2024 budget prioritizes holistic investments in resilience and environmental justice, prioritizing community-led programs and projects in communities most impacted by climate impacts. 2024 Highlights include:
- New customer service capacity to help residents access Fresh Bucks healthy food benefits in languages they are comfortable speaking and from retailers with culturally diverse fruits and vegetables.
- New capacity in climate and environmental justice grantmaking and continued grantmaking to support community-led solutions to address racial, economic, and environmental injustice ($2M).
- Continued investment in Indigenous sustainability projects that honor Tribal sovereignty and advance Indigenous led approaches to climate action ($2.6M.)
- Completing the Tree Canopy Equity & Resilience Plan, a City-community roadmap to equitably meet Seattle’s canopy goals and increase the climate resilience of the urban forest.
- Continue investing in new tree planting in low canopy industrial neighborhoods at higher risk for extreme heat, pollution, and health disparities ($300K).
- Completing Resilience Hub planning, and launch pilots to support residents in both their everyday lives and during extreme weather and climate emergencies.
NEXT STEPS AND COMMUNICATION
For more information on the proposed budget, read the mayor’s press release here.
Over the next two months, the City Council will review the Mayor’s 2023-2024 Proposed Mid-Biennial Budget Adjustments. Public hearings are on October 18 and November 13. Final adoption of the budget is expected on Tuesday, November 21. Read more about the Mayor’s proposed budget here and you can also direct any questions to MOS_COMMS@seattle.gov.