Sally is a believer in bringing people together to solve problems and that is exactly what she does. She invites people with different viewpoints to the table, asks questions, gets answers, and finds solutions.   In her first terms in office, Sally has many accomplishments to show who she is and how she operates.


Sally led the effort to address a $267 million backlog in major maintenance needs, and create a stable, dedicated funding source for our community centers, parks, playgrounds, ballfields and open space in every neighborhood.  Success!  This is a game-changer for our parks and resources, preserving them in good condition and building more for our children and grandchildren’s needs.

Transportation –  Reduce Congestion

One of Sally’s primary objectives for Seattle is to reduce congestion.  She was legal counsel to Metro for over a decade, and the University of Washington before that,  and brings a comprehensive approach to our regional transportation needs.  She advocates for a comprehensive network, providing safe and dedicated spaces for freight, cars, buses, pedestrians, and bicycles.  She has worked for smart and adequately-funded transit options for much of her professional life.

Public Safety

Sally believes public safety is a broad concept.  This includes a continuum of thoughtful actions from police, prosecutors, courts, human services providers, mental health workers neighborhood leaders watching out for one another.  She believe that police must do their job both professionally and compassionately.  Sally created Clean, Safe and Civil Seattle — a program designed to make Downtown and every neighborhood safer.  Much more to come in 2015.


She champions our  quality of life by supporting strong neighborhoods and active residents.  She has assured and advocated for additional funding for the Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) program providing resources for community-driven projects.

Believing that the Department of Neighborhoods is a treasured resource in our city, Sally has supported new energy within the department. In 2012, Department of Neighborhoods launched the People’s Academy of Community Engagement (PACE), a pilot program aimed at emerging leaders throughout the city.  PACE has been deemed resounding successes. And, thanks to Sally’s support,our P-Patch Programs continue to multiple in every neighborhood.

Neighborhood Greenways

She learned about Neighborhood Greenways in 2011 in Portland.  Since then, she has been the voice for All Ages and Abilities connections to make safe space for pedestrians and bicycles across our city, connecting all of us to places we want to go like schools, community centers, libraries, and our neighborhood business districts.  Thanks to Sally’s leadership All Ages and Abilities is a mantra in our new Bicycle Masterplan.

Financial Responsibility

Sally insists upon safeguarding our public resources. For her primary committees the past five years — Parks and Seattle Public Utilities, she had required strategic plans from each. These plans will hold the City accountable, while giving taxpayers reasonable assurance that state laws, regulations and department policies and procedures are followed.

  • Under her leadership, Department of Parks and Recreation undertook a year-long review to explore alternative management models of operation for the community center system. Not only was a new model identified, but $1.2M in savings was found. It wasn’t enough to just keep the doors open to our Centers, but Sally pushed for open doors and actively used centers.
  • Community Center analysis
  • As part of our new Seattle Park District, Sally has required and provided funding to assure regular audits — both internal and external — are conducted so we know our money is being spent wisely.
  • As chair of the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhood Committee, Sally worked closely with the leadership in SPU and the appointed expert local advisory committee. Sally shepherded this strategic plan through the Council to provide a road map for SPU’s lines of businesses — solid waste, drainage and waste water, and drinking water–through the year 2020.
Human Services and Housing
  • Sally believes that every person in our city deserves to have decent housing.  She has worked hard to reach an agreement with landlords and tenants to assure safe and healthy housing for all renters.
  • She has seen her dream of a Crisis Solutions Center become reality to care for those with mental illness and addictions who cannot care for themselves.
  • She is leading the Council effort to assure our Downtown is clean, safe and welcoming for everyone through a program called the Center City Initiative.
  • She is working with the faith-based community, non-profits, the City and other governments to identify facilities for use as emergency housing for those who need our support.
Underrepresented and Outreach
  • She actively supports the Public Outreach and Engagement Liaison program (POEL) being administered through the Department of Neighborhoods. The people involved in this POEL program are making government more accessible. Sally firmly believes that the more people who are knowledgeable and involved in the process upfront, the better the buy-in and outcome. Sally encourages more departments to use POEL in their outreach efforts, and secured funding for it in the 2014 budget.
  • POEL program

A Rational Approach to Solving Income Inequality

Sally knows that the answers to our national income inequality problems lie in solving the underlying issues step by step.   It does no good to create further division between people or neighborhoods or believe this deep seated issue will be solved from the outside.  We have started by helping children get a good start in life with healthy parents who have access to education and well-paying jobs, and universal pre-school for our 3-4 year olds. We will do more for families by adding affordable housing across our city. We have just successfully funded more transit and we are helping those with very low incomes get financial help with their electrical and water utility bills. As a city we are supporting policies that help hard working employees get fairly paid, and hard working local businesses get faster permits and economic development help.  We are all in this together and Sally is committed to making Seattle a community where we all can live, work, and raise our families.

Back to Basics

No matter which community Sally visits, chances are she will hear about three things, the three “P”s: public safety, parking and potholes. It doesn’t matter where she is or who she is visiting, it is almost inevitable these topics will be raised.  This is why Sally is always looking for ways to leverage funds and regional resources. We all want to travel safely on our streets no matter whether we are driving our cars or riding a bus, walking, biking, or moving freight. Everyone wants to feel safe in our communities. It’s true in every neighborhood, which is why Sally has been an advocate to get more officers on the street, more affordable, walkable housing in every neighborhood, more buses and bikes on our streets and fewer holes in our streets!

If you would like to read more of Sally has written, click here.