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By City Councilmember Nick Licata.
With assistance from my Legislative Assistant Newell Aldrich on this issue.
Urban Politics (UP) blends my insights and information on current public policy developments and personal experiences with the intent of helping citizens shape Seattle’s future.
- Swearing In Speech & State Film Office
- Second Term Swearing In Speech
- Closing The State Film Office
- Second Term Swearing In Speech
It’s been said that the best political speech is a short one. So I’m going to give it a try.
First of all, I want to thank all of those who voted for me, and I’m grateful that there were a lot. I also want to thank all those citizens who took the time to vote, because it was the responsible thing to do and makes keeps our democracy alive.
Second, I begin my new term with a resolution to not promise more than I can deliver and to deliver what I promise.
We all have to recognize, that there are limits on what any government can do, whether it’s city hall or Congress. But those limits should not be determined by just a few but rather they should be determined by the many through an open exchange of information and ideas.
Government’s role should be to facilitate that exchange, not to hinder it.
Third, City Hall should recognize that to sustain a vibrant, healthy community all citizens should be encouraged to question government, no matter how irritating it is to us.
Without citizens taking the time to let us know how we are doing our job, we would be flying blind. And that is no way to run a democracy.
And citizens should also recognize that when acting within the public arena they must ask themselves how their actions and their plans are impacting others.
This applies to individuals as well as groups.
It applies to those who drive SUV’s as well as those who march in the streets.
It applies to the boards of our corporate and non-profit institutions as well as to neighborhood, community and activist groups.
We all share the same planet, we all breath the same air, we all drink the same water and ultimately we all share the same fate.
If we can to listen to each other and learn from each other, while we are on this earth, then those who follow us will inherit a better city and a more humane world.
I look forward to listening and learning from you during my next term, in order to create a better future for all of us. Thank you.
Closing The State Film Office
The Washington State Legislature is looking at a billion dollar budget cut due to the slump in our economy. National figures show our state has the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
There will have to be cuts in many important and needed services. In assessing which programs and departments to scale back, the Governor and the State Legislators should refrain from killing off programs that actually stimulate our economy and create jobs. In other words if a program actually produces more revenue than it requires then it should be retained.
This principal applies to our 3-person State Film and Video Office, which will be eliminated effective June 30, 2002. To quote Seattle Post Intelligencer columnist John Levesque, “Washington already has one of the lowest film-office budgets in the country, about $375,000. Last year, production spending in Washington brought in $55 million.”
For example, last year Stephen King and ABC had chosen Seattle to film the TV series “Rose Red” and as a result 430 local craftspeople were employed just to build sets in the old Navy hangars at Sand Point. In addition another 575 extras helped play Seattle townspeople and members on the “Rose Red” set.
For that reason on Christmas Eve, I mailed a letter to Governor Locke urging him to keep the office open. I told him that here in Seattle we value the work of our own film promotion office because even during an economic downturn it manages to return to the local economy and City coffers much more than the City pays out for its modest annual budget. And the films and videos that feature Seattle often attract tourism dollars, new businesses, and other economic opportunities to our city.
I understand very well that our state is experiencing serious financial strains. I also understand how regrettable it is when leaders make decisions that later are revealed to have been penny wise and pound-foolish.
The State House and Senate can restore all or part of the budget after it reconvenes on January 14 and before it adjourns in mid-March, 2002.
If you have an opinion on the proposed elimination of this office contact your State representative and our Governor. The following web address can be used to locate and contact one’s elected representatives.
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