SEATTLE — Bruce Harrell was sworn in as mayor of Seattle on Jan. 4.
Harrell, a former City Council president, is the city’s first elected mayor of Asian descent. He served on the council from 2007 to 2020, and in 2017 served as mayor for five days after Ed Murray resigned.
Harrell’s Japanese American mother was incarcerated with her family during World War II and his African American father grew up in the South during the Jim Crow era. Harrell himself grew up in a redlined neighborhood.
He posted the following statement on social media:
“Starting today, we will lead this city obsessed with excellence and kindness, with inclusion and hope, with balance and optimism. We will reject and resolve attitudes of fear, pessimism, or cynicism. We will rise.
“As your mayor, I will lead by example, making no excuses and implementing ideas that work; by being bold enough to innovate and take risks and humble enough to embrace ideas put forth by others.
“We are here on Day One to change the narrative of our city. Under my administration, Seattle will be thriving. We will end talk of a ‘dying’ city. We will be a city of renewed optimism, that treats all with dignity, and appreciates the richness and diverse voices of our communities.
“If there is one thing I believe in without pause, if there is one idea that I want left as my legacy, it will be that WE ARE ONE SEATTLE. #OneSeattle invites dialogue and learning, collaboration and cooperation, innovation and thoughtful change.
“Seattle is a unique and truly great city, but One Seattle doesn’t mean ‘Seattle is number one.’ It is measured by the examples we set, and how we lift ourselves and others. In #OneSeattle, we replace fear with love. We are stronger, together.
“Thank you, Seattle. Let’s get started!”