Proposed 2023 budget furthers Seattle’s commitment to community-led environmental and climate justice action
By Jessyn Farrell, Director Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment
Dear Friends and Partners,
On Tuesday, September 27, Mayor Bruce Harrell released his 2023-24 Proposed Budget. This budget reflects Mayor Harrell’s continued commitment to bold action on the priorities of our communities – investing to address urgent needs as we build One Seattle.
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 2023-24 proposed budget reflects Seattle’s commitment to responding to the climate crises through the framework of the One Seattle Climate Justice Agenda, which focuses on 1) Building an Equitable Clean Energy Economy, 2) Ensuring a Just Transition Away from Fossil Fuels, and 3) Building Healthy, Climate Resilient Communities. The One Seattle Climate Justice Agenda seeks to build on what we know works and to scale up investments to achieve a healthy, sustainable city for every resident.
In total, nearly 90 percent of proposed budget additions directly benefit and support community, such as incentives for electrification, training for clean energy jobs, investments in an equitable, sustainable local food system, and grants for community-identified priorities.
The 2023 Proposed Budget significantly expands OSE’s work aligned with the Seattle Green New Deal programming funded with payroll expense tax dollars and complements the recently enacted 2022 Green New Deal Opportunity Fund, which allocates $6.5M in Green New Deal investments.
I am delighted to share a summary of OSE’s key changes in the 2023 Proposed Budget:
Building an Equitable Clean Energy Economy
The proposed 2023 budget continues key Duwamish Valley economic development investments and adds funding for clean energy scholarships and workforce development capacity to connect climate policies to the needs of an inclusive and equitable and low carbon economy. Key investment include:
- $200,000 to continue Duwamish Valley Business Support
- $1 million to continue Clean Energy Pre-Apprenticeship Scholarships
Ensuring a Just Transition Away from Fossil Fuels
The proposed 2023 budget furthers Seattle’s commitment to community-led environmental and climate justice action. It targets climate pollution in buildings by expanding rebates to convert homes from oil-to-electric heat, creating new programs and support to help buildings owners transition to 100% clean buildings, and adding capital investments to decarbonize City-owned buildings, such as community centers and libraries. Key investments include:
- $800,000 to support rebates for oil home heating conversions
- $2.8 million to provide staffing and resource support for the Building Emission Performance Standards Staffing and Implementation
- $1 million for rebates for heavy-duty electric vehicles
Building Healthy, Climate Resilient Communities
The proposed 2023 budget deepens investments in communities most impacted by the climate impacts we are already seeing. Many of these investments will increase community capacity and advance Seattle’s Green New Deal, by focusing on an equitable transition away from fossil fuels while investing in jobs. Key investments include:
- $150,000 for a Tree Canopy Equity and Resilience Plan
- $300,000 in continued Funding to Green Industrial Properties in Equity Focus Areas
- $550,000 to expand the Environmental Justice Fund, creating an ongoing fund of $750,000 moving forward.
NEXT STEPS AND COMMUNICATION ABOUT BUDGET
Over the next two months, the City Council will review the Mayor’s Proposed Budget. Public hearings are on October 11 and November 7. 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.