MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Mayor Harrell renews Downtown Seattle ambassador program

May 18, 2023, 10:04 AM | Updated: 11:28 am

seattle downtown ambassador...

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to renew the Metropolitan Improvement District for another 10 years with plans to expand the territory of the yellow vest-wearing ambassadors. (Photo from Seattle Department of Transportation)

(Photo from Seattle Department of Transportation)

As the city of Seattle works to revitalize its downtown neighborhood, Mayor Bruce Harrell signed new legislation for renewing and expanding the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), including the Downtown Ambassador Program.

In early May, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to renew the Metropolitan Improvement District for another 10 years with plans to expand the territory of the yellow vest-wearing ambassadors.

Seattle mayor announces downtown revitalization plan to combat fentanyl

With the new contract, the MID will be expanded further south, with new areas of Pioneer Square near the stadiums serviced. Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson said the new contract will increase the budget from around $15 million to $18 million annually.

MID is run by the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), a non-profit funded by downtown businesses and property owners which looks to improve the area for those living, working, or visiting the area.

“MID services are possible because of the investment of downtown property owners,” said DSA President and CEO Jon Scholes. “Thank you to Mayor Harrell and the City Council for recognizing the importance of these services and the strong support for their reauthorization within the downtown community. MID programs are essential to downtown’s continued revitalization.”

MID sends the 130 ambassadors out into the city to give directions, clean up trash, and sometimes even save lives. Some ambassadors even carry Narcan to reverse opioid overdoses. Ambassadors administered the medication 14 times just last week.

The program offers jobs to people with criminal records who might otherwise have trouble finding jobs. The Downtown Ambassadors program has been in place since 1999.

Kruse: Abandoned downtown ‘revealed the worst of the city’

“Before I started working for MID, my day-to-day struggle was very real. I was feeling the effects of the post-pandemic crisis. What I witnessed joining our company was quite intriguing,” Cherie Truncer, a MID ambassador, said. “As I was accepted into this new position as a Clean Team ambassador, I found myself helping shape the future of Seattle and its development … just knowing that our strong team of employees are out every day of the week, all year round, providing a clean and vibrant urban core reassures us of the positive impact we have on this community.”

Since 2013, the MID has collected 10 million gallons of trash, disposed of 115,000 incidents of human or animal waste, collected 94,000 syringes, conducted 73,000 welfare checks for those living unsheltered, and provided directions to tourists and visitors 859,000 times.

The MID will collect $18 million in rate-payer assessments as Mayor Harrell’s plan to revitalize downtown continues.

The next 10-year term begins July 1 and extends to June 2033.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Firefighters responded after a person called 911 to report smoke coming from an Edmonds home...

Julia Dallas

Man dies after Edmonds home catches fire

Firefighters responded after a person called 911 to report smoke coming from an Edmonds home and sounds of a baby crying inside.

4 hours ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

20 hours ago

Image: A Bellingham Police Department vehicle is seen on a city street in 2015....

Julia Dallas

Bellingham sixth grader allegedly punched by man in racist attack

A Bellingham 6th-grader was allegedly attacked by a man who was spewing racist comments during a school field trip on Wednesday.

21 hours ago

Photo: Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to ...

Julia Dallas

Seattle school to say goodbye to cell phones in the fall

Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to lock up their cell phones during school hours.

1 day ago

Image: A dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is displayed at the Neighborcare Health cli...

Sam Campbell and Steve Coogan

Measles case reported at West Seattle clinic; know the symptoms

A child, now confirmed to have measles, went to the Franciscan Health Urgent Care clinic in West Seattle, officials said in a release Friday.

1 day ago

Image: The Supreme Court building can be seen from a distance on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Washin...

Associated Press

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on bump stocks, gun accessory

The Supreme Court has struck down a ban on bump stocks, an accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.

1 day ago

Mayor Harrell renews Downtown Seattle ambassador program