Mayor Angela Birney speaks at Redmond’s State of the City address on March 31. Courtesy of YouTube.

Mayor Angela Birney speaks at Redmond’s State of the City address on March 31. Courtesy of YouTube.

Redmond’s 2022 State of the City address looks toward the future

“We have opportunities before us that don’t come around often,” said Mayor Angela Birney.

On March 31, Mayor Angela Birney presented her third State of the City address for Redmond, where she talked about accomplishments over the past year and looking forward to the future of the city.

“I’m going to go a little retro here or maybe a bit obscure. Does anyone remember ‘A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?’” said Mayor Birney.

Birney mentioned how in the TV series large glowing letters with the words “Don’t Panic” would pop up as the main character made his way through uncertain and unpredictable moments.

“That flashing image came to mind many times over the last two years as the pandemic and other unusual events took place,” said Birney.

Birney brought up several accomplishments the city has made during these uncertain times, such as completing light rail permitting; saving $3.2 million in taxpayer dollars by refinancing bonds; facilitating vaccine clinics throughout the community, which helped Redmond achieve one of the highest vaccination rates in the county; using Federal CARES Act funding for rental and small business assistanc; and the Redmond Police Department having adopted the Police Lexipol policy and procedures to hold officers to the highest standards.

“As I begin my third year in office, while continuing to keep everyone safe and healthy, I remain focused on my vision of Redmond as a connected community that enhances livability, sustains the environment, and that places Redmond as a leader locally, regionally, and nationally,” said Birney.

Birney described how the past several years has highlighted the importance of connectedness, which is why Redmond is making investments for the community to have parks, trails, facilities, and event opportunities.

Over the past year, Redmond has celebrated the reopening of two facilities. To create a clean place for children to swim and celebrate birthdays, $9 million was invested in the Redmond Pool, ensuring its lifespan for another 40 to 50 years.

Additionally, the Westside Park has been reopened and offers the first playground to open since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan was adopted in 2019, which creates an inclusive environment for children with all abilities.

Two more upcoming projects consist of the Redmond Central Connector, which will connect Redmond to Kirkland and Woodinville, and a new Redmond Senior and Community Center, which will be completed on the City Hall campus in late 2023.

“The Redmond Senior and Community Center will be a place where all ages can gather and recreate,” said Birney.

The upcoming facility will have dedicated spaces for seniors, a multipurpose community room, active recreation areas including gym space with a group exercise studio, an elevated walking and jogging track, weightlifting and cardio areas, and classroom spaces for art, music, and games.

Birney relayed how the city is working on increasing housing options by removing barriers to affordable housing, and increasing variety through policies, zoning updates, direct funding, inclusionary zoning, and multi-family tax exemptions.

“This past year, with extensive community input, we finalized the city’s first Housing Action Plan, which provides the direction for future housing policy, planning, and regulatory amendments moving us toward improved housing diversity, quantity, and affordability,” said Birney.

The mayor also shared her support for King County’s Health Through Housing program, which is a regional approach to provide housing and services for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

“There is so much we can do within the city to be forward-looking and be that city of the future,” said Birney. “Our most important partner is you.”

Birney described how the city needs every community member to get involved or participate when there are opportunities to provide feedback, such as with Let’s Connect Redmond, Redmond Safety Funding Plan, the PARCC Plan, and Redmond 2050.

“Redmond is a very special place to us all,” said Mayor Birney. “We have opportunities before us that don’t come around often.”

To watch Redmond’s 2022 State of the City address, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgzDzt_SBgk


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