September 10 – Neighborhoods Mini-Summit

Last month’s panel discussion, The Future of Neighborhood and District Councils, was in response to Mayor Murray’s executive order dissolving the City’s support for Neighborhood District Councils. It was moderated by Nick Licata, and can be seen here.

The panel discussed the history and intent of the District Council system and neighborhood engagement, and they dispelled many of the falsehoods being perpetuated by the Murray administration and provided correctives to them.

There was much discussion about next steps and what should be done.  There is already community action on pulling together a citywide neighborhoods summit (the SNC arranged one years ago with over 350 attendees to discuss how to get the City to implement the newly adopted neighborhood plans).

Hence the theme for this month’s meeting – a mini-summit on what to do next:

  • what are the core issues for your neighborhood and District, and which of these are shared across districts or unique
  • what can the City be doing better to empower neighborhoods and facilitate communication with the various and diverse neighborhood interests
  • how can neighborhoods broaden citywide communication and response to the City
  • what should District City Council members be doing to improve communication with their constituents
  • what can neighborhoods do to counter the developer-funded HALA and 2035 propaganda from astro-turf organizations like Seattle for Everyone and the tightly controlled conversation in the HALA Focus Groups
  • what should a citywide neighborhoods summit look like
  • what can individuals and groups do to make their communities better

We want to hear from neighbors in each of the seven City Council Districts.

As usual, you are encouraged to sit wherever you like for breakfast. We will ask you to chat with your table-mates about the questions above.  Please take notes about what you hear and jot down your own ideas.

After breakfast, we will ask you to shift to marked geographic tables 1-7.  Each of the 7 groups will talk about the issues they see within their neighborhood, District and what they’ve heard from others throughout the city.

In the last hour, we will compare notes, and give feedback on the ideas which seem the most compelling — as a “to do” list for community organizers, City Council and the Executive.  We will make note of the proposed action items, and prepare a report from this meeting for you to share with your own neighborhood.

Please join us on Saturday, September 10th  at 9:00am for for this important discussion  Bring your neighbors and help spread the word about this program.  We look forward to hearing from you.

More information can be found here.

June 11 – Who speaks for the neighborhoods?

Former Mayor Mike McGinn ponders “who speaks for Seattle’s neighborhoods” in a recent Crosscut op-ed.  This month we will hear from a panel of neighborhood activists who represent organizations that feel they speak with a “neighborhood” voice:

  • Catherine Weatbrook – Co-chair of the City Neighborhood Council and past chair of the Ballard District Council
  • Ruedi Risler – President of the University Park Community Club, a neighborhood council that does not allow renters to be members
  • Zachary Pullin – President of the Capitol Hill Community Council, a neighborhood  council that tries to engage renters in the organization
  • Deborah Jaquith – Chair of the newly formed Crown Hill Urban Village Committee for Smart Growth

Read more about the issue here…

May 14 – Council member Lisa Herbold

May 14th we will be joined by Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold.
The long time council staffer turned freshman council member will talk about preserving affordable housing stock, displacement and HALA affordability, quashing the arena deal, Pronto bikes, and many other issues.

April 9 – Can Seattle beat its Heroin Addiction problem?

Could safe injection sites in Seattle’s neighborhoods be a way to help counterbalance the more negative impacts of our heroin epidemic? Will the newly assign Heroin and Prescription Opiate Taskforce help identify solutions to the problem, and, more importantly, can the City and the County fully fund the services and solutions identified by the Taskforce that are necessary to help meet the needs of these vulnerable people?

Please join us on April 9 as our panel discusses the issue.  We will be joined by Brad Finegood, Assistant Director of King County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Division and co-chair of the King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s Heroin and Prescription Opiate Taskforce; Tim Durkan, who has closely observed the homeless and addict community in Seattle (and currently has a photography show on the issue); and Shiloh Murphy, founder and Executive Director of the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, and member of the Taskforce.

More on the issue here.


March 12 Meeting – Roger and Us

To many neighborhood activists, Roger Valdez is an iconoclast.   I suspect Roger would be pleased with that designation.  In the on-going battles over the future of Seattle and how it will grow, Roger continues to march to his own beat.

There is no doubt that he is a controversial figure in Seattle.   The Director of Smart Growth Seattle is a paid lobbyist for a segment the development industry, and his views are often at odds with both City Hall and residents in relation to how Seattle with grow.

The SNC is pleased to have Roger Valdez joining us on Saturday, March 12 at 9am for what should be a lively and wide ranging conversation about Seattle’s housing future, the density we should embrace, bathroom sinks, and how the City may not be doing everything it can to keep the city affordable.

Continue reading

February 13 Meeting – Will HALA deliver housing affordability or only result in further gentrification?

To look closer at the possible negative displacement and gentrification impacts of the HALA recommendations, and explore how “the market” will produce so many deeply affordable units, we will have a panel discussion of HALA and the 2035 Equity Analysis.  We are pleased to be joined by Geoffrey Wendlandt (tentative) from the Seattle’s Department of Planning and Community Development, Prof. Henry McGee from Seattle University (whose did the seminal analysis of changes to Seattle’s Central District), activist and organizer Amir Islam (United Hood Movement), and a member of the HALA committee (TBD).

This will be an important conversation about what lays ahead in 2016 for the city and our neighborhoods, and what you need to know to assess impacts of HALA on your neighborhood.

Please join us on Saturday, February 13 at 9am for what should prove to be a informative and lively discussion.

More background information on the topic of HALA and gentrification can be found here.

January 9 Meeting – Engaging with City Planning Efforts

Engaging with City Planning Efforts:  a Conversation with the City Neighborhood Council’s Neighborhood Planning and Land Use Committee
(or: What’s happening to Seattle and how do I get involved?!?!)

Keeping update-to-date and engaged in a timely manner with City planning and legislative actions is a challenge.

This month’s SNC meeting will be an open discussion of the various city planning initiatives (focusing on HALA and Seattle 2035), their schedules, and what various actions are underway (or are needed) to respond to these.  Our discussion will be led by the Co-chairs of the City Neighborhood Council’s Neighborhood Planning and Land Use Committee, Cindi Barker and Irene Wall.  This committee meets monthly, has participants from around the city, and reviews and comments on land use and code changes and city planning efforts.    Cindi was a member of the HALA Committee, and Irene has been active in neighborhood planning, zoning and land use issues for nearly two decades as a citizen activist.

This will be an important conversation about what lays ahead in 2016 for the city and our neighborhoods, and what you need to know to be an effective participant in the City’s on-going efforts to address our rapid growth.

Please join us on Saturday, January 9 at 9am for what should prove to be a informative and lively discussion.

(more background on the meeting here)