This afternoon, Mayor Murray presented his Proposed 2017-2018 Budget to the Seattle City Council. A section of this budget will focus on a new direction for Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON).
As you know, the Mayor issued an Executive Order in July that mandated the City of Seattle to approach outreach and engagement in a more equitable manner. It directed this department to lead and work with all City departments on their outreach and engagement practices that reaffirm the City’s commitment to inclusive participation.
This direction is reflected in our mission – to strengthen Seattle by engaging all communities. We do this every day by fostering community partnerships, cultivating emerging leadership, and facilitating community inclusiveness.
In the Mayor’s Proposed 2017-2018 Budget, you will find legislation that addresses these outreach and engagement principles and outlines a new citywide framework for community engagement. This will be the roadmap as we continue to develop a suite of tools with broader access points.
Below are the highlights to DON’s budget that reflect this work:
- Two staff members will continue their work in outreach and engagement oversight and city-wide coordination.
- Two positions will focus on improving the City’s outreach and engagement to neighborhoods during impactful construction projects.
- Two positions will provide additional capacity to the POEL (Public Outreach and Engagement Liaison) program with a focus on low-income transit options.
- One position will broaden the participatory budgeting approach to new audiences.
Additional capacity and investments:
- One part-time position will be dedicated to Historic Preservation process improvements.
- One Accounting Technician position will serve the Department of Education and Early Learning.
- One position will be dedicated to Grants and Contracts.
- $185,000 dedicated to outreach efforts for the Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda, including funds to review the city’s historic preservation program review process.
These are just some of the highlights reflected within the Proposed 2017-2018 Budget. Over the next two months, Seattle City Council will be reviewing and deliberating the proposed budget. To learn more about how you can provide your input, visit seattle.gov/council/.
We have an incredible opportunity before us to rethink and reimagine how we interact with one another. It’s not just about how the City talks with communities, but it’s about how communities can talk with and learn from one another. In the coming week, you can learn more about the legislation, the timeline, and the expected deliverables at our website.
Outreach and engagement is the core of what we do. Equity, transparency and “meeting people where they are” are our guiding principles. We hope you’ll join us as we continue to transform the way our City reaches out, listens to, and works with communities.
Kathy Nyland, Director