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$6.5 million slated for Seattle Green New Deal

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The city of Seattle is funding its Green New Deal for the first time.

On Thursday, Mayor Bruce Harrell signed into law $6.5 million worth of investments that will put the 2019 deal into effect.

The signing happened in the South Park neighborhood, which has been dealing with industrial traffic and pollution for decades.

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Councilmember Theresa Mosqueda said much of the money will go to help those most affected by climate change.

"So here we are in a front-line community, standing with front-line workers, who've been on the front line calling for action, and today we follow through with yet another step to address a global crisis by acting locally," Mosqueda said.

About a third of the new funding will go toward new housing. Another third will help middle and low-income households get rid of oil furnaces and switch to cleaner electric heat pumps.

The city also committed to getting all city buildings off of fossil fuels by 2035.

The Mayor's Office says the Green New Deal Opportunity Fund that Harrell signed Thursday will "accelerate the City’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build community resilience to climate change, and increase net zero affordable housing."

“For the past few days Seattle has been blanketed with smoke-filled skies and choking air quality, with areas of the city like here in the Duwamish Valley, where the life expectancy is eight years shorter than the Seattle average, especially hard hit,” Harrell said in a statement. “During times of increasingly severe climate events like these, it’s critical that everyone have access to clean, filtered air and cooling. I am proud to sign today $6.5 million in the Green New Deal Opportunity Fund and look forward to advancing further action in our 2023 proposed budget.”

Among the funds approved this week is $2.4 million to identify "resilience hubs" in the city. Such hubs aim to help communities prepare for and respond to climate change related incidents.

There is also $2 million to build more affordable housing.

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