Vision 2021: George Freeman For Seattle City Council Position 8
- Sponsorship lighting contests, Aurora bridge, First Ave, Ship Canal, West Seattle, I-90, 520. This will be a continuation and expansion of the bridge lighting project first proposed by former Seattle mayor Paul Schell. Companies will compete to win the sponsorship contest, and a substantial prize will be offered to the winner.
- The Land of Oz project– Seattle is the Emerald City, and as such we must project the enchanted allure of “Oz”. Seattle’s colors are green and blue, which represents the colors of our natural environment as well as our sports teams. We want tax abatements for building owners who set in place lighting designs that enhance and carry forth the “colors of Oz”. In doing this, we promote solar energy and LED lighting to conserve energy. I also propose to institute a “council of Oz” to act as a liaison with the Seattle Center, Seafair parades, the boat parade, and the Pride parades. Our goal is to present a unified city message using the enticement of art, design, and festivity to attract a lucrative tourism market which will bring increased revenue to local businesses and tax rolls. Our goal is to make Seattle the new empire of the West coast.
- Infrastructure – build more direct connections between I-5 and 99 in SODO. Highway 99 must be allowed to grow into a convenient alternative route to I-5, and motorists must be able to easily transfer from one North-South expressway to the other. The SODO district needs better surface routes in order to dilute the increased traffic from sports events. Build a monorail-type connection from downtown to the stadiums. Also a Seatac-esque parking rotunda. If a new arena is to be built in SODO, let’s explore Howard S. Wright’s idea of a floating stadium around/close to the ferry terminal.
- Explore the possibility of Seattle Center doing an EXPO (World’s fair). This would increase tourism and raise the city’s profile. This will be a positive step in developing Seattle as the “Empire of the West coast”.
- Strategize and work with Peter Steinbrueck of Steinbrueck Urban Strategies to incorporate our ideas into his innovative urban design platform.
- Commission art students to design sketches of future Seattle (Steinbrueck’s website has great examples).
George has felt the effects of political influence on multiple occasions throughout his life. From the civil rights marches, the bus burnings, the lynchings, the hangings, and the multiple murders of black and white civil rights workers in the red rebel Klu Klux Klan states. All of those occurrences have been embedded in his motivation and drive to make the world that he lives in a little better. While at WOR (radio in NYC) Freeman appeared on a number of WOR and other New York City television stations and lectured at the playboy resort forums, Rutgers university, the New School in NYC, Columbia, Long Island University, and other community groups. George was a board member for the Fortune Society, and developed relationships with such notables as Democratic representative Bella Abzug, Mark Goodson, Geraldo Rivera, and many bar and restaurant entrepreneurs of the 70’s. His political ambitions manifested again when he moved from New York to Seattle; George studied policy areas which needed improvement, and formulated a vision for the future of the city. On the back of these innovative policy ideas, he decided to make a run for Seattle City Council in 1999.
George dubbed his ideas “Vision 2000”, and his pitch to voters appeared as follows:
“George Freeman has spent over twenty years as an accomplished and productive member of Seattle’s business and design communities. Freeman has visualized, designed, and consulted in the construction of several Seattle restaurant and entertainment establishments. George understands that for Seattle to truly be the Emerald City of the Pacific, neighborhood and infrastructure enhancements must be planned for as we move into the next millennium. George acknowledges that the majority of Seattle residents are renters, and as such, funding to agencies that protect and aid renters must be emphasized. George Freeman opposes infringement on individual liberties and protected rights of all Seattle residents, be they black, gold, red, white; gay or straight; young or old.”
Seek Federal and State funding for:
- Multiple inter-connecting ramps for I-5 and Highway 99.
- A new Marginal Way Skyway for transit, cars and bicycles only, connecting Highway 99 with the new First Avenue bridge.
- Clean up the I-5 “Mercer Mess”.
- City-wide expressways.
- Mandate all city controlled H.O.V. lanes to operational hours: M-F 7-9 a.m. 3-6:30 p.m. Promote a ballot initiative to compel the State to comply with opening H.O.V. lanes set by local municipal governments.
- Dialogue with Burlington Northern and Amtrak to resolve the extreme congestion caused by surface rail lines from Lander Street to the King Street Station during peak traffic times.
- Seek grants and funding for computerization of our library system and access for all Seattle telephone prefixes to the World Wide Web.
- Evening computer training to Seattle residents taught by paid high school computer students.
- Require Rock Shield Guards no more than six inches from the ground. Protective load shield tarps on all loaded trucks.
- Mandated staggered evening hours on all large truck deliveries for business opened after 6 p.m.
- Require all trucks, other than pick-ups or SUV size vehicles, to travel in right lanes except to turn.
- Re-design of high-impact neighborhood shopping areas to provide inter-connecting vehicular access to other business in the same plot.
- Favors a tourist-supported and cash-productive monorail, or a tunnel system, over any pending surface rail transit, due to potential dangerous impacts on street traffic and pedestrians.
- Request Metro to expand downtown daytime free bus zones east to Boren Avenue and north to Mercer Street, thereby bringing relief to impacted downtown parking.
- Health and Human Services
- Elected citizen review board to equally share control with the Mayor in selection of a Police Chief, and the investigation of citizen complaints.
- Salary increases based on performance appraisals. Citizen generated community relations reports required of any officer seeking a merit salary increase.
- Video cameras for patrol vehicles to protect the facts and participants involved in police encounters.
- Off-duty police officers mandated for large public assembly facilities where alcohol is consumed based upon occupancy levels for security purposes. Similar to the successful San Jose, California plan.
- Establish youth and adult homeless support centers in areas south of the King Dome.
- City work projects comprised of able-bodied homeless individuals for park, road, and sanitation improvements.
- Continuous free one-way shuttle service to the homeless center from neighborhoods impacted with homeless difficulties.
- City recognition, involvement, support and/or tax credits for agencies, businesses, and groups aiding in resolving this growing problem.
Environment and City Improvements
- Mandate clean fresh air exchange ratios for indoor assemblies that allow smoking.
- Gasworks park (design plan forthcoming).
- Downtown beautification and enhancement (design plan forthcoming).
- Explore the possibility of a joint venture with investment capital from world-class amusement companies to enhance, manage, and police the amusement area of the Seattle Center.
- Dialogue with Circus Circus Resorts on joint venture possibilities for duplicating their year-round glass enclosed “Adventure Dome” for family use.
- Expedite the development of the proposed African American Museum.
- No further funding of any sports facility without part or full City ownership in any operating sports franchise.
- Reconsideration of King Dome demolition with anticipation of presidential convention and Olympics bid possibilities.
- Ease downtown building height caps in order to instigate needed residential mixed-use construction with additional public low-cost parking.
- Expand downtown core from Denny to Mercer Street.
- Establish a joint committee of equal voices from the Apartment Owners’ Association and the Tenants’ Union to mediate landlord-tenant issues with all city agencies.
- Tenants’ 60-day first right of refusal on purchasing apartment units operating under DCLU authorization.
- Fast-track low interest HUD or bank loans guaranteed by the City of Seattle to allow tenants to exercise purchase options.
- Explore expanding school lunch programs to earlier “brunch” concept to ensure that the nutritional and energy needs of students are met.
- All meritorious suits against city employees, officers, or agents for individual misconduct must be awarded from the defendant’s personal property and finances prior to any city insurance funds being used to satisfy the judgment.
- Limits on elected office terms of service not to exceed eight continuous years.
- Non-violent offenders given community service to maintain and aid in the construction of new neighborhood dog parks.
- Fines for marijuana possession (confiscation and re-classification).
- Revision of discriminatory impound law to on-site confiscation of the license plate for all non-DUI offenders. Vehicle to be towed back to offender’s property and then restraining tire boot applied by Traffic Enforcement