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Mayor Harrell Signs Legislation Renewing and Expanding the Metropolitan Improvement District, Advancing Downtown Activation Plan

New legislation renews MID for ten years, expands service boundaries south to the stadium district, and increases investments toward cleaning services, downtown ambassadors, security, and more.

Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell signed into law a renewed and expanded Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), advancing a core component of his Downtown Activation Plan. The mayor was joined by Councilmembers Andrew Lewis and Sara Nelson, the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED), and small business, civic, and community leaders to celebrate the legislation unanimously passed (7-0) by the Seattle City Council. 

The expanded MID will support cleaning and beautification initiatives, safety and hospitality services, art installations, events and activations, research and economic development, transportation and commuting services, and security. Established in 1999, the MID is one of 11 Business Improvement Areas (BIA) in Seattle and is managed by the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA). The MID offers a range of services across downtown neighborhoods, including Belltown, the Denny Regrade, the Retail Core, Pioneer Square, the Waterfront, West Edge, and, as a result of Mayor Harrell’s legislation, extended service boundaries including part of the stadium area. 

“The Metropolitan Improvement District and our partners at the Downtown Seattle Association are absolutely essential to ensuring downtown is a welcoming, friendly, safe, and activated destination for residents and visitors,” said Mayor Harrell. “When something works, we embrace it, we recommit to it, and we expand it – and that’s what this effort is about and why it’s a key element of our Downtown Activation Plan. The expanded MID will support workers and small businesses, uplift vibrant events and dynamic activities for all ages, create a clean and beautified urban setting, and showcase what makes this neighborhood special – reconfirming that our downtown is a place for everyone.” 

In addition to expanding service boundaries, the new legislation increases cleaning services, funds greater investments for unarmed security and downtown ambassador salaries, and maintains critical existing services. To fund services downtown, the MID will collect $18 million in ratepayer assessments. 

In the last year, the MID’s programs and 135 full-time ambassadors:  

  • Collected more than 1.2 million gallons of trash from downtown sidewalks, curb lines and alleys 
  • Removed more than 37,000 graffiti tags and stickers from public and private property 
  • Helped nearly 29,000 people with directions 
  • Conducted more than 6,800 welfare checks on unsheltered individuals 
  • Welcomed more than 421,000 visitors to Occidental Square and Westlake Parks 

“MID services are possible because of the investment of downtown property owners who have increased their investment in cleaning, security and beautification services through this renewal,” said DSA President & CEO Jon Scholes. “Thank you to Mayor Harrell and the City Council for recognizing the importance of these services and for their leadership to reauthorize them. MID programs are essential to downtown’s continued revitalization.  We’ve got great momentum to build upon and Seattle’s best days are ahead of us.” 

The City of Seattle supports vibrant and thriving neighborhoods through the establishment of BIAs. BIAs are collaborative partnerships between local businesses and the City, dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality, safety, and aesthetics of commercial districts. Funded through assessments on property owners within a designated district, BIAs drive local economic growth and foster a sense of community in Seattle. As the BIA serving downtown neighborhoods, services provided through the MID bolster key objectives of the Mayor’s Downtown Activation Plan to ensure downtown is a welcoming, safe, and activated place for residents, visitors and workers. You can read more about the Downtown Activation Plan here


Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson – Position 9 Citywide 

“I would like to thank and give credit to the ratepayers and MID Ambassadors who help make downtown a better place for everyone. When they packed chambers during the Council process, my colleagues and I heard loud and clear the value MID brings to our city. Whether it’s keeping our downtown streets clean or lit up during the holidays, guiding tourists, or even providing Narcan to prevent overdoses, we should all be thrilled to have the MID Ambassadors downtown for another ten years.” 

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis, Seattle City Council – District 7 Pioneer Square to Magnolia   

“There is no Seattle recovery without Downtown recovery, and the Metropolitan Improvement District is a critical resource to keep our Downtown strong. With increased resources, the MID will help keep our dynamic downtown neighborhoods clean, safe, and activated. The MID’s boundaries are expanding, and services are increasing to help us ensure downtown is a great place to live, work and play.  This historic renewal will benefit Seattleites all across the city.” 

Markham McIntyre, Director of the Office of Economic Development 

“Renewal of the Metropolitan Improvement District reflects the city’s commitment to addressing the current needs of downtown and building the future for our urban core. I’m excited to continue partnering with DSA to attract more people downtown and to advance our downtown activation plan goals.” 

Avery Barnes, Founder, TASWIRA and Seattle Restored participant  

“I believe that the MID’s renewal and the continued implementation of the Downtown Activation Plan will further support the success of businesses like mine. In renewing the MID, we invest in a vibrant and thriving downtown community. The MID’s commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming downtown for all is evident in their approach to supporting local businesses and their compassionate outreach to our homeless neighbors.” 

Cherie Truncer, MID Clean Team Assistant Supervisor 

“Before I started working for the MID, my day-to-day struggle was very real. I was feeling the effects of the post-pandemic crisis. As I was accepted into this new position as a Clean Team ambassador, I found myself helping shape the future of Seattle and its development…just knowing that our strong team of employees are out every day of the week, all year round, providing a clean and vibrant urban core reassures us of the positive impact we have on this community.”