Seattle mayor: Seniors are getting 'locked out' of tech economy

Seattle mayor: Seniors are getting 'locked out' of tech economy
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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) warned at a panel hosted by The Hill on Tuesday that senior citizens are getting "locked out" of the growing tech economy in the city, emphasizing the need to include them in the sector. 

"We reflect the changing times in America," Durkan told moderator Steve Clemons at The Hill's "Mayors Matter" event, sponsored by AARP, referring to Seattle. 

"History will say we are living in a time more transformational than the industrial revolution," she continued. "And as that economy has shifted, so many people have been left behind."


Durkan cited the massive influx of tech jobs coming to Seattle, adding that a number of groups, including seniors, have been left out of the growing tech economy. 

"The bridges to that economy have been shut, so we really have to be looking at how do we make Seattle more affordable for more people? How do we make sure that there's true economic opportunity both for our youth coming up, but also for our seniors and whatever their second and third acts are," Durkan said. 

Seattle ranked as one of the five metro areas dominating in growth within the technology sector, according to the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. 

Seniors are also projected to make up nearly 20 percent of the population in Seattle's King County by 2040, according to Census data. 

Durkan said that in addition to not locking seniors out of the growing tech economy, cities need to make more of a concerted effort to cater to the senior community when it comes to issues like housing and transportation. 

"If you look at all of the challenges a city faces today, housing and transportation are the biggest and those really affect our senior community," Durkan said.

"We want a city where mobility is easy, people can walk to where they need to get, we have housing that is affordable near the places they want to live, and that they're in and around multiple generations."