Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell dropped a surprise Friday when he announced that one of the key initiatives in his very short tenure in the mayor’s office will be ensuring that the city makes a bid for Amazon’s second North American headquarters.
Now, we have a better sense for what that pitch will look like.
The city has released the text of the executive order, which creates an interdepartmental Business Retention Taskforce to come up with a coordinated response to Amazon’s request for proposals. The group will have representatives from the Office of Economic Development, Seattle Department of Transportation, Office of Labor Standards, Department of Education, Office of Housing, and others.
Amazon is actively accepting proposals from all over the continent for the Seattle e-commerce giant’s second headquarters, which will be “fully equal” to its existing Seattle headquarters. The facility could consist of up to 8 million square feet of space and accommodate 50,000 employees.
“If there are to be an additional 50,000 jobs from warehouse workers to software engineers, they should be for our residents,” Harrell said in a press conference Friday. “You saw the response from over 100 cities across the country. We need to do everything we can possibly to make sure that we have the kind of environment that would be conducive to that kind of economic health and growth.”
The executive order was a bold move from Harrell, who left his seat on the Seattle City Council to take over after former Mayor Ed Murray resigned last week.
During Friday’s press conference, Harrell announced he would not hold onto the seat until a new mayor is elected in November. Another member of the Seattle City Council is expected to take over as mayor as early as today.
Continue reading for Harrell’s executive order, titled, “Reaffirming and Strengthening Seattle’s Business Retention Strategies.”