Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn believes that the key to the city’s future is a “high road” in which the region focuses intently on education, innovation and infrastructure. The remarks came as McGinn touted the addition of 3,270 new jobs at a press conference held today used to highlight the Mayor’s economic development proposals.

McGinn’s remarks on innovation and entrepreneurship were especially interesting, but he also took some heat from reporters who suggested that his efforts weren’t doing enough.

“The City of Seattle and our region is never going to beat the rest of the world by competing in a race to the bottom. We can’t win that in a global economy,” he said. “And there’s another path, which is the high road. And the high road is clear. A high road means we compete on the basis of quality. We compete on the basis of innovation. And we compete on the intelligence and savvy and hard work on the people who are here.”

McGinn’s remarks addressed various aspects of the economy, from the maritime industry to software. And he stressed that innovation goes beyond the city’s strong software sector.

“One of the things when you talk about innovation, and oftentimes we think that innovation must be in ‘new economy’ things. Right? That, oh, innovation is what software companies have to do, but everyone has to innovate,” he said.

McGinn added that he still believes in the dream of entrepreneurship, one of the reasons he is proposing to make it easier for citizens to start new businesses out of their homes.

“I still believe that somebody in a garage here in Seattle can create the next big business that we will all be reading about a decade from now,” he said.

Later during the press conference, Seattle P-I reporter Joel Connelley questioned McGinn on the effectiveness of his “green jobs” program, which the news site noted last week has only created 14 jobs since its introduction.

McGinn, however, took offense to the characterization of the green jobs and energy efficiency program as a failure. And — after getting a bit testy with Connelly — he invoked his inner entrepreneur to explain what was going on.

He said that the program is just three months old, asking for patience before people declare the energy efficiency program as dead.

“This is a new industry we are creating, and it is going to take some time,” he said. “If you give up on a startup in the first three months, you are not going to see the finish line.”

He concluded:

“If we get it right, we are going to be leaders in this and we will start exporting that knowledge in the same way as we export airplanes and software. So, to suggest that the program is a failure because it hasn’t succeeded in the first year of a three-year program … that’s not a good business model, either.”

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Guest

    Best of luck to Mayor McGinn! Where can I apply for one of these new jobs that I assume pay ($2,000,000 / 14) each?

  • Seattle resident

    Worst mayor ever. He’s already totally mishandled $20 million in federal money with nothing to show for it and now he’s levying higher taxes and increasing costs for people and businesses in the downtown core. Our roads are falling apart, our blue collar community is dying, our public facilities and services are getting slashed and costs, for both the consumer and business, are through the roof. All the while he’s busy hiring lobbyists from special interest groups to sweetheart jobs in City Hall (i.e. David Hiller), bleeding residents and commuter for more streetar boondogles and painting $10,000 bike boxes. Small business owners in Pioneer Square are up in arms over the increased parking rates in the neighborhood, now the highest IN THE NATION. The next election cycle can’t come soon enough for Seattle.

  • Anonymous

    I think the problem is the people of Seattle are misinformed by the media. I think most people believe what the news reports. That is the problem. WA has been a democrat state for so long they have forgotten about the Republican point of view all together. I don’t even know of a Republican in WA that gets any media time. 

    Are news channels are the worst. If you get your information from Komo King Kiro they are all democratic reporters. It is impossible to get true unbiased information. You never here from a republican’s mouth. The reporter will talk for them and tell us what we should think.

    MSNBC still talks about Bush politics. Let it go!!!! Instead of talking about Obama being the worst president we have ever had in the US history they still talk about Bush.

    Our local news does the same. They do not talk for the people. They talk for their political motives. They want us to vote democratic for ever and try to brainwash us with their one sided reporting. Please don’t listen to anything about politics from our local news channels. It is one sided unfair and totally bias. What happened to reporting the facts and letting the people make up their own mind. Instead they report their opinions instead of facts. They don’t even report anything from a Republican’s point of view.   

    Tim Iman is awesome but never gets any media time. The media wont give him one second of air time. When he talks we don’t here his voice. The media tells us what he just said so they can manipulate our thinking. We are being brainwashed by our own media.

    Any good Republican will not come to WA. Republicans have no voice here. Look what happened when a Republican won a seat. It went to 3 counts the last one being a hand count in the county the democrat was from. HHMMM Bias one sided hand count. Proof it is corrupt at the highest level in WA.

    Mike Mcshwinn took money from the I-5 expansion project to add more bike lanes. ????Have you tried to go through downtown around 3pm. Why do only 2 lanes go through downtown. We have approved money to change that. He puts the money for bike lanes and bus access. He tries to slow the tunnel down by saying we haven’t studied the environment impact. This shows how stupid this guy really is. The people vote and approve something. He doesn’t listen to us and puts his priorities first. Parking is killing downtown business. What does he do he raises it. He is not done yet I can’t wait to see his next selfish move.

Job Listings on GeekWork