Four years ago, I promised that I would be a mayor who would answer to no one but you, our residents. I told you that, if I became mayor, we would start working together to make sure our city reflected our values. I told you that we would work to make safer, more pedestrian-friendly streets. I told you that we would partner with our schools to advance the interests of our youth. I told you that I wasn’t a career bureaucrat and that my administration wouldn’t be business as usual.
I can proudly say today, that as I run for re-election, we have made good on those promises. As we talk about the successes of the last four years, I pledge to you to make the next four years just as valuable. The work of improving our city and ensuring that policy benefits all the people of Tukwila is not always exciting, but it’s the kind of work that needs doing and that I can get done.
Four years ago, I promised that I would work for you. Over the past four years, we have done exactly that, and there’s no reason to stop!
- Allan Ekberg, Mayor of Tukwila
Working for Our Community
The most important part of Tukwila isn’t the mall, or the office parks, or the factories we have—the most important part of our city is our community.
Allan has worked hard on many efforts to develop new resources for our community, including:
- Allan is a founding board member of the Sullivan Center– the building that now houses Kona Kai, a small non-profit that not only serves delicious coffee, but helps residents pursue job training and skill development, and provides a community gathering place
- Under Allan’s tenure, Tukwila Village broke ground and has completed several key phases. Tukwila Village will one day be a key meeting point for residents new and old
- During Allan’s tenure the new Tukwila Library was opened
- Allan oversaw the process of planning and development for the Hotel Interurban building, the tallest tower between Seattle and Tacoma—a place that will soon become a centerpiece of our community and a great meeting place
- Allan, a dog owner himself, listened to community input and pushed for dog parks in several of the city’s parks – new community assets that are valued by all animal lovers
Working for Our Roads
Our roads aren’t just empty spaces that cars drive over. They are active spaces where we drive to work, where we wait for buses, where we walk our dogs, and where our children walk to school. Safety on our roads is not just safety for our cars – its safety for our kids, our neighbors, and our families. That is why Allan has worked to make our roads safe.
Over the last four years, Allan has implemented traffic calming and road safety policies, including:
- Allan pushed for speed cushions on 160th to deal with severe speeding problems
- Allan chose to place new flashing pedestrian lights by Showalter Middle School
- Last year, Allan oversaw as Tukwila renovated 42nd Avenue S, with new sidewalks and a reduced, safer slope, and now 53rd Ave S is underway
- Allan also pushed for speed monitoring signs to be placed in various Tukwila neighborhoods, both to deter speeding and gather critical statistics on traffic patterns
- Allan had installed lane markings, cross-walk and signage along 46th Ave S for a safer walk to school
- Allan ordered the trimming of trees near Showalter Middle School, so street lights could actually light the way for students
Working for Our Youth
Allan knows that the Tukwila of tomorrow lies in the opportunities for our youth today. That is why he has worked more closely than ever with the Tukwila School District, labor, and local and regional companies to help make a brighter future for our Tukwila kids.
Over the last four years, Allan has worked hard to develop opportunities for our youth, including:
- Labor Apprenticeship Catalogue, a resource for High School students, to introduce them to opportunities to work in different critical industries
- Allan is a board member of Still Water – Families in Transition, helping to lead (and volunteering with) the Snack Pack Program that helps feed our youth
- Allan volunteered with Southcenter Rotary -Stuff the Backpack for Kids, literally packing 2,000 backpacks for youth who don’t have them. (After packing, Allan helped hand them out, alongside cooked hot dogs)
- Allan worked with D.A.R.E. Program—Allan had the honor of presenting certificates to help empower our kids
- Allan worked extensively to make sure the School District’s Facilities Bond could be passed by Tukwila voters – new facilities will mean safer students, more resources, and better learning
- As the Internet becomes more and more critical for business and learning, Allan worked to implement a program to provide free internet service on the Boulevard and Military Road S for our Tukwila students
Working for Economic Development
Our city is a powerhouse of economic activity. We have many advantages, not least of which is our talented and hard-working residents. But we still need to work to secure our place as a regional center of industry and talent.
Over the past four years, Allan has worked hard to maintain our advantages and to develop new opportunities for Tukwila’s economy:
- Allan has attended meetings of the Tukwila International Boulevard Action Committee to help in the support of Tukwila International Boulevard
- Allan worked as a board member of the Cascade Water Alliance to manage and develop our city’s access to clean and healthy water
- Spearheaded the maintenance of the Duwamish foot bridge, placing bollards, repairing damage, with dreams of one day repainting the bridge
- Oversaw the planning and construction of the pedestrian bridge over the Duwamish, connecting residents and workers with the Sounder and providing a new amenity and attraction for residents and visitors alike
- Allan spearheaded the federal recognition of four different opportunity zones in Tukwila – a program that will provide tax incentives and economic opportunities for our residents and businesses
- Allan shepherded the city as Tukwila received a $5 million grant from the United States Department of Transportation’s FASTLANE program to support its efforts to extend Strander Boulevard, a project that will one day relieve congestion on 405
Working for Safety
Crime prevention and personal safety are top issues for all our residents. We need to have a safe city if we are to have an economically vibrant, inclusive, and beautiful city. That is why Allan promised four years ago to prioritize safety.
Over the past four years, Allan has undertaken many efforts to make Tukwila safer, including:
- Allan, as a board member for the SCORE jail, worked to ensure the jail’s financial stability after Federal Way withdrew from the board and withdrew their contribution to the jail’s budget
- As a board member for Valley Communications 911, Allan has helped oversee 911 operations for our region’s residents
- Allan ordered glass shield protectors along the Finance Department counter to ensure work staff safety
- Allan spearheaded the effort for the Public Safety Plan—overwhelmingly approved by Tukwila’s voters—that will provide for new police and court facilities, fire stations, and other safety apparatuses.
Working for Inclusion
Tukwila is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and as residents, we are proud of that diversity. In our city government and with our city policies, it is important to pursue policies of inclusion, so that all our residents are represented.
Over the past four years, Allan has enacted many policies and participated in several programs to make Tukwila more inclusive, including:
- Allan has hired and led the most diverse city administration in Tukwila history
- Allan participated in discussions with the IRC Refugee Resettlement and at fundraising auctions, helping to support immigrants and refugees
- Allan attended Foster High School Refugee Support Days to show solidarity with our youth
- Allan attended a training from our law enforcement, teaching how to interact positively with newly-arrived immigrants and refugees
- Allan enforced city-wide equity training so that all city staff know how best to work with our diverse resident population
- Allan participates each year in support of the Thriving Elements initiative which is a woman focused mentoring program at Foster High School. Thriving Elements’ mentoring curriculum bring students a leadership program that works to build the whole woman leader in STEM while working to elevate these girls beyond what they could imagine.
- Because of his experience leading a diverse city and city staff, Allan spoke at the University of Phoenix Diversity & Inclusion Seminar
- Allan has also spoken at every KD Hall Foundation’s ‘Women on the Rise Conferences’ as a supporter who will continue to advance workforce opportunities for women and young girls
- Allan is an inaugural member of the Inclusion and Compassionate Cities Program at the 2019 conference
Last fall, I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at a US Naturalization Ceremony. When I looked out at the crowd, I saw a diverse set of individuals, 24 of which served in our country’s military. My parents were both immigrants, and to welcome a group of new immigrants as they took their first steps as American citizens was a powerful and unforgettable experience.
- Allan Ekberg, Mayor of Tukwila
Working for Affordable Housing
Our region has been in the midst of an affordable housing crisis as more and more people realize the value of moving to the Puget Sound. In Tukwila, we have seen fast-rising rents that have pushed out even long-term residents and burdened many others. Allan knows that housing is the cornerstone of any person’s life, and we need to ensure that our residents can live affordably.
Over the past four years, Allan has supported many projects to make housing more affordable for Tukwila residents, including:
- Allan became a founding mayor in the Homeless and Housing South End Coalition, an organization aimed at fighting homelessness
- Allan supported the effort by Bellwether Housing to create more affordably-priced housing in Tukwila
- Allan supported the Homestead Housing project to bring affordable townhomes to Tukwila
- Allan supported the efforts by King County to make more affordable housing available in Tukwila, including near critical transit options
- Allan, working with the City Council, supported zoning changes to allow Accessory Dwelling Units in single-family residential neighborhoods—the least intrusive and disruptive of many affordable housing options
Working to Connect Tukwila
Tukwila is a growing city with a lot to offer the world. We have special experience as a diverse community, as an economically vibrant community, and as a small city with a big regional role. The more connections we can bring to Tukwila, the more opportunity we, as a city and as residents, can have set before us. That is why Allan has worked hard to build regional, national, and even international ties.
There are many programs that Allan has participated in, including:
- The US Conference of Mayors, a national organization connecting mayors with other leaders from around the country to encourage bring new ideas and propagate best practices
- Allan was a part of and supported a State Department Exchange Program (YSEALI), which brought professionals from Asia to learn about city governance in the US – all paid for by the State Department
- Allan supported Highline College in the teacher shadow program, where future teachers came to the city to learn about governance, with the hope that one day students whose teachers participated will gain a better grasp of the practical implications of their civics class
- Allan is an Executive Board member of the Puget Sound Regional Council to ensure a bright future for the region through planning for growth, transportation and economic development