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First-Grader Contacts SPU on Behalf of School: “Hello Sidewalk Fixers”

Mushi, a first-grade student, recently wrote to the City of Seattle about an item that he knew needed some love and attention. It was a water utility vault lid in front of his school that had become a slipping hazard for students when it rained.

Mushi’s request made its way to the desk of Oscar Del Pozo, Water Transmission and Distribution Manager at Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). After reading Mushi’s letter (see below), it didn’t take long for Oscar and his crew to act – and make the necessary repairs to eliminate the safety issue.

For Oscar and his crew, it was their job – and putting the community at the center of their work is what they do every day. But Mushi and his classmates were so impressed by the customer service they received from SPU that they invited Oscar to their school for a recognition event.

“It was quite remarkable that a first grader saw an issue, and wanted to see if it could be addressed,” said Oscar, reflecting on Mushi’s thoughtfulness and actions.  

“I was excited to be invited to the school to recognize Mushi who got the ball rolling. I also wanted to let his classmates know that they, too, are all capable of and encouraged to make a positive change for their school and in their community.”

Oscar showed up at the school with a gift bag full of SPU logo items for the kids. It was a big deal for the students, and the school leadership was very thankful and enjoyed having SPU at their class presentation.  

We, at SPU, loved it, too. It’s one of many examples of where SPU staff live out our mission: Fostering healthy people, environment, and economy by partnering with our community to equitably manage water and waste resources for today and for future generations.

Thank you, Mushi. We loved hearing from you.

Mushi’s Letter to the City of Seattle:

Hello Sidewalk Fixers,
My name is Mushi, and I am in the first grade. I need your help with something at our school. There’s a part of the sidewalk cover plate right in front of (our school) that’s really old and gets super slippery when it rains. It’s scary because I don’t want to fall down and get hurt. See attached pictures. Me and my friends walk on this sidewalk every day. When it’s wet, it’s like trying to walk on a slide or ice skating! It’s so slippery that we all have to be extra careful not to slip and tumble. Can you please come and fix our sidewalk? I think it would help a lot if it wasn’t so slippery, so nobody gets hurt. My teacher says being safe is really important, and having a good sidewalk is part of being safe. Thank you for listening to me and for helping make (our school) a safer place. I hope you can come fix the sidewalk soon!
Your friend,
Mushi, A First Grader.