Durkan speaks to ‘final chapters’ of COVID crisis in her last State of the City address
Mayor Jenny Durkan delivered her last ever “State of the City” address Monday evening, outlining plans to shepherd Seattle through the final stages of the COVID crisis.
Durkan announced last year that she would not be seeking a second term as mayor in 2021, a decision that added a reflective tone to her fourth and final iteration of the yearly address to the city’s residents.
Over the course of a shorter-than-usual eight-minute speech, she honed in on the pandemic that has ravaged both the city and nation over the last year.
“This past year changed everything for all of us: Masks, testing, isolation,” she outlined. “Losing loved ones. Small business owners fighting every day to survive. Workers facing lost wages and jobs, and unable to pay rent. Parents grappling with lost child care, kids at home, and online learning. And the pandemic disproportionately hit our Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities.”
Durkan also expressed optimism regarding the road ahead, reiterating Seattle’s ambitious goal to be the first U.S. city to vaccinate 70% of its adult population, and get the city’s struggling businesses back open.
“We have a tough road ahead, but there is hope on the horizon,” she said. “… Seattle, we are writing and living the final chapters of this generational challenge.”
The city will look to achieve that goal with the help of a series of high volume mass vaccination sites in Rainier Beach, West Seattle, downtown, North Seattle, and more, and the promise of increased supplies from the federal government “hopefully by spring.”
In order to reach that 70% benchmark combined between Seattle and the rest of the region, 1.25 million King County adults will need to get fully vaccinated. Given that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, that will see the county handing out 2.5 million total shots, 1 million of which will be distributed in Seattle. Those efforts will be spread across hospitals, pharmacies, mass high-volume sites, and mobile pop-up clinics.