Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made a visit to Olympia Wednesday where he was honored with a resolution congratulating the team on its success last season.
But football was not the only topic of conversation.
Carroll made appearances on the House and the Senate floors and met with Governor Jay Inslee as part of a campaign to raise support for “A Better Seattle,” a community outreach program aimed at curbing youth violence.
Carroll created a similar version of the program while coaching at the University of Southern California.
“I was driving in on a Monday morning on Notre Dame week and I heard a report on the radio where four kids got killed in the streets over the weekend,” Carroll said in a speech to the Senate. “In related incidents, 3 more kids were killed from what had happened over the weekend. And then by Thursday, 11 kids had been killed in retaliations.”
After spending time talking to kids on the streets, Carroll said he realized they had no hope for a better existence.
“Our job became helping people sculpt and change a vision of hope to give them a chance and a plan to get out,” Carroll said.
The program has been up and running in Seattle since September of 2011, but Carroll thinks they have taken it as far as they can on their own.
“We’re here today to say we need your help,” Carroll said. “We need to get to the next level because private funding won’t get it done. We need state support, and we’re going to need federal support as well.”
“He’s not looking for a bunch from us,” said GOP House Leader Richard DeBolt later when asked about Carroll’s visit. “I think he really has the best interest of bringing Washington together. To have someone who is willing to champion that is fantastic.