Green Festival Speakers
Mayor Gregory J. Nickels
On January 1, 2002, Nickels became the 51st Mayor of the City of Seattle. He has earned a national reputation for innovative leadership in transportation, public safety, jobs, climate disruption and other challenges facing the City.Under his leadership, City government focused on delivering reliable, highquality basic services, being accountable to the public, and solving problems. This work positioned the City to seize historic opportunities to improve transportation and economic opportunity for all.The Mayor's Priorities:Get Seattle movingKeep our neighborhoods safeCreate jobs and opportunity for allBuild strong families and healthy communitiesWhen he took office, Nickels launched a 100Day Agenda to make immediate progress on transportation, public safety, jobs and community building. His get it done list was designed with one purpose only: to make a difference in the lives of the people of Seattle. He accelerated existing programs, pushed for new commonsense approaches, and took steps to resolve complex issues. Nickels put Seattle City Light on a path to recovery and eventual reduction of rates. He led a coalition to build support for removal of the Viaduct and he pushed an aggressive jobs program that attracted new investment in South Lake Union, Northgate,the University District and the Rainier Valley. A deepening recession created challenges for City finances, but he vowed to not let revenue problems get in the way of making progress on his four priorities.Nickels is a nationallyrecognized advocate for transportation. As mayor, he reorganized the City's Department of Transportation and directed crews to fill reported potholes within 48 hours (684ROAD). He was a key leader in pushing for a light rail system to serve Seattle; that system broke ground in the fall of 2003. He led a coalition to raise public awareness and win state funding for replacement of the deteriorating Alaskan Way Viaduct. He began work to fix the city's Mercer Mess. In 2003 he was named chair of the Transportation and CommunicationsCommittee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where he successfully ledefforts to influence federal transportation funding priorities.On Feb. 16, 2005, the Kyoto Protocol took effect in the 141 countries that ratified it. That day, Nickels challenged mayors across the country to join Seattle in taking local action to reduce global warming pollution. On March 30, 2005, 10 mayors representing more than 3 million Americans joined together to invite cities from across the country to take additional actions to reduce global warming pollution. On June 13, 2005, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously passed the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Cities continue to sign on to the agreement and formalize their commitment. More than 200 mayors representing 41 million Americans have accepted the challenge.