Mayor Murray Announces $501,415 in Matching Fund Awards for Community-Based Projects

Tavseer's 11th Yoni Ki Baat

Yoni Ki Baat from Tasveer’s 11th Aaina: South Asian Women’s Focus Festival (2015 NMF funded project)

Mayor Ed Murray announced an investment of $501,415 in matching funds to support 24 neighborhood-initiated projects across the City. The awards are part of the City’s Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF), which provides more than $3 million each year to local organizations.

The awards are part of the Small and Simple Projects Fund, one of three funds offered by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. It provides cash awards of up to $25,000 in matching funds to community organizations committed to fostering and building a better community. The organizations that have recently received grants pledge to match the City of Seattle’s $501,415 investment with $537,295 of locally raised money, donated materials, and volunteer labor.

“Since 1988, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has supported thousands of projects driven by neighborhoods across the city. All of us benefit from the creativity and dedication of community volunteers who make their ideas a reality with the help of the Fund.” – Mayor Ed Murray

For 28 years, more than 5,000 projects have been funded in partnership with the NMF Program, and its investment in neighborhoods can be seen across the city. For more information about NMF, visit In early December, the website will provide information on the 2017 funding opportunities and deadlines.




  • $25,000 to Friends of the Ballard Civic Orchestra to organize a free classical concert series and workshops reflecting the theme of building community through music. The series will celebrate Latino and Hispanic cultural heritage. (Community match: $18,360)
  • $25,000 to World Kulturz dba Native Kulturz Group to organize a series of dance workshops and performances that interweave the Contra, Metis jig, Native Powwow and Coastal dance communities. (Community match: $26,450)
  • $25,000 to The Art of Alzheimer’s to organize a series of arts-focused activities and workshops to raise awareness and reduce stigmas about people and families living with dementia. (Community match: $37,620)
  • $25,000 to Casa Latina to engage the community in a series of conversations to help determine how Casa Latina can best continue to serve Latino immigrants. (Community match: $17,790)
  • $14,000 to La Sala to create a community engagement and social change art project about women as commodity in our culture. The project will have free hands on workshops, five public community engagement art events, and a gallery exhibition opening in April 2017. (Community match: $15,340)
  • $20,000 to International Women’s Day – 2017 to host a free event to celebrate International Women’s Day. Through story-telling, facilitated conversations, collaborative art, and dance, participants will know they are part of a caring and vibrant community of women. (Community match: $12,345)
  • $25,000 to Columbia City Theater Group to produce a play, film festival, graphic-novel adaptation, and accompanying resources for and with youth. These activities will engage youth in social justice through storytelling and the exploration of race, socioeconomics, education, and the arts. (Community match: $43,575)
  • $25,000 Sundiata African American Cultural Association to hold a free, two-day festival next February to celebrate Black History month. The family-friendly event will have food, vendors, art, and music, as well as presentations on the contributions of African Americans in the United States. (Community match: $31,640)
  • $25,000 to Amigos De Seattle to organize a series of family-oriented workshops about Guatemalan culture, history, and peoples. They will feature folkloric performances and cultural exchange to unite the Guatemalan community as well as people interested in experiencing Guatemalan cultural expression. (Community match: $15,900)


District 1

  • $25,000 to South Park Area Redevelopment Committee (SPARC) to prepare construction documents and permits for Duwamish Waterway Park improvements. SPARC will continue to work with the consultant to facilitate a community engagement and design process. (Community match: $25,995)
  • $4,000 to Fauntleroy Centennial Committee to host a free community event, A Century of Serving the Community, at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. Activities include a display of archives, erection of a new flagpole, and a mini carnival. (Community match: $3,000)
  • $25,000 to Van Lang to host a six-month series of free language workshops open to youth and adults for both Vietnamese and English as a second language. In addition to language instruction, there will be cross cultural opportunities to learn about Vietnamese culture. (Community match: $37,280)
  • $25,000 to Delridge Grocery Cooperative to develop the planning and feasibility of opening and sustaining a grocery coop in Delridge. It will also study the viability of the business plan. (Community match: $16,170)


District 2

  • $14,500 to Hillman City P-Patch to reclaim the accessible gravel paths and develop an accessible gardening area. It includes an update to the 2010 visioning plan and the initiation of a monthly series of events designed to engage the gardeners, neighbors, and partner organizations. (Community match: $14,245)
  • $24,415 to Somali Family Safety Task Force to host workshops to enhance bonding between Somali teens and their mothers to strengthen relationships and foster community building in a supportive environment. Attendees will participate in workshops designed to explore relationships, facilitate communication, skill building, and peer mentoring. (Community match: $18,910)
  • $13,000 to Beacon Hill Hub to develop outreach and community planning to get input to guide final programming and design of the Beacon Hill Hub building. Four charrettes will obtain input on a multiservice venue to be a unique presence for people of color in South Beacon Hill. (Community match: $43,235)


District 3

  • $25,000 to Friends of Safe Access: Street to Park to create a conceptual plan for a safe and accessible west entry to Mt. Baker Park. A design firm will work with the community in preparing conceptual drawings for the replacement of the steep path that currently exists. (Community match: $12,500)
  • $25,000 to First Hill Improvement Association to continue the work of leading the community through final design and construction documentation for improvements to First Hill Park. This phase will build off of the approved Phase 1 concept plan. (Community match: $15,350)
  • $15,000 to Seattle Poetry Slam to host an all-ages, three-day celebration of LGBTQ arts and community. The Queer Resurgence on Capitol Hill Poetry Festival will include panel discussions, workshops, and a poetry slam competition. (Community match: $7,200)


District 4

  • $7,000 to U District Advocates to activate a heavily-used alley located at 1414 NE 42nd St to make it safer, cleaner, and more inviting for a diverse community of neighbors and visitors. (Community match: $7,220)
  • $25,000 to Sanctuary Art Center to build community through the transformation of the utility boxes in the University District from ordinary obstructions into community assets that contribute to both placemaking and wayfinding. (Community match: $24,480)


District 5

  • $14,500 to 45th Ave NE Neighborhood Safety Taskforce to lead a visioning process with the community. The project will solicit input from neighborhood stakeholders about how best to address traffic and pedestrian safety concerns on 45th Ave NE, a major pedestrian and bike route serving three schools. (Community match: $8,000)


District 6

  • $25,000 to BF Day PTSA to replace aging circa-1989 school playground equipment with a new play area geared towards preschoolers and younger elementary students (K-2 grades) and neighborhood children. (Community match: $52,950)


District 7

  • $25,000 to Freeway Park Association to engage the community in a conversation about how connectivity, visibility, and public safety at Freeway Park can be improved. Three meetings will be held for area residents and park stakeholders that will result in conceptual design recommendations for future use. (Community match: $31,740)

Tell the City What You Think at Our New One-Stop Shop for Public Input Opportunities

Add Your VoiceFor the past 3 months, we’ve been reaching out to Seattle residents through our Engage Seattle survey and campaign to get feedback on how the City can more effectively and equitably manage our outreach and engagement efforts.

During this process, we’ve heard one thing loud and clear: people want City information to be more centralized and more easily accessible.

We hear you and we are already taking steps to make this a reality!

For us, one of the most important first steps was to make it easier for residents to track and respond to public input requests from the City. The City of Seattle seeks public input in a variety of ways: through public meetings, surveys, direct outreach, online conversations, and more. What was clear is that we needed to create an online hub where we could bundle and house all of these active feedback opportunities.

This past August we did just that. We launched our Add Your Voice webpage, which serves as a one-stop shop for City of Seattle projects and topics currently open to public input. There you will find input opportunities organized by topic with clear timelines and links for more information.

We invite you to visit the site, explore the available opportunities for public feedback, and Add Your Voice!

We will continue to fine tune and improve this site as we move forward with our equitable outreach and engagement strategies. If you have ideas for improvement, please let us know by adding a comment to this post.

Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Find It, Fix It Community Walk POSTPONED Due to Weather

Due to the severe weather forecast for this coming Saturday, and out of an abundance of caution, the Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Find It, Fix It Community Walk originally scheduled for October 15, 12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. has been postponed.

This decision was driven by public safety concerns and the need for City staff to be available for potential emergency response efforts.

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods will update the public when a new date for the walk has been determined.

For more information on the Find It, Fix It Community Walks program, contact Lemmis Stephens at 206.386.1907 or or visit

Neighbors Invited to Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Find It, Fix It Community Walk

Find It, Fix It Community WalkMayor Murray’s Find It, Fix It Community Walks provide a unique opportunity for community members to identify neighborhood needs and discuss challenges directly with City leaders. The sixth walk this year will be held in the Crown Hill and Whittier Heights neighborhoods on Saturday, October 15th.


Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Find It, Fix It Community Walk
Saturday, October 15th
Sign-in and refreshments provided by Starbucks from 12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Walk from 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Meet at Baker Park: 8347 14th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117



12:45 p.m. – 1:15p.m.

  • Sign-in and refreshments at Baker Park
  • The Mobile Customer Service Center will be on site at Baker Park to provide services and information prior to the walk.

1:15p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

  • Welcome remarks from Mayor Ed Murray

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

  • Walk will follow this route (map):
  • North on Mary Ave NW
  • North on 13th Ave NW
  • Southwest on Holman Rd NW
  • West on NW 90th St
  • South on 17th Ave NW
  • East on NW 85th St

2:30pm – 2:45 p.m.

  • Walk concludes at NW 85th St and 15th Ave NW
  • Department representatives and City staff available for follow-up questions


In partnership with Cities of Service, the City will offer up to $5,000 in grants for community-led projects to each 2016 Find It, Fix It Walk neighborhood. The Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Community Project Grant Application will be available in seven languages at from Friday, October 21 to Monday, November 7. If you have an idea for a project in Crown Hill or Whittier Heights, please apply!

Participants can use the Find It, Fix It mobile app on the walk. This smartphone app offers mobile users one more way to report selected issues to the City. Make sure to download the app before the walk.

For more information on the Find It, Fix It Community Walks program, contact Lemmis Stephens at 206.386.1907 or or visit

Changing the City’s Approach to Outreach and Engagement

Message from Kathy Nyland, Director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods:

Engage SeattleOn Monday, September 26, Mayor Murray presented his 2017-2018 Proposed Budget to the Seattle City Council. His proposal includes legislation that addresses equitable outreach and engagement and outlines a new citywide framework for community involvement to be led by the Department of Neighborhoods (DON).

The proposed legislation:

  • Advances a citywide approach to outreach and engagement that prioritizes equity and recognizes barriers to participation;
  • Demonstrates the City’s commitment to implementing equitable and inclusive community involvement strategies across all City Departments;
  • Directs City departments to develop well designed, responsive, and culturally relevant public involvement plans; and
  • Creates a Community Involvement Commission to advise on City plans, policies, strategies, and community grant funding processes and make recommendations that advance equitable public engagement and civic participation.

This legislation is now available on our Engage Seattle webpage or by clicking the links below:

Impact on community groups:

Many of you have asked what the legislation means for the future of the District Council system.  Let me be clear:  the legislation does not dissolve or disband District Councils or any other community groups. It doesn’t replace face-to-face meetings or prohibit participation by any person or group – to the contrary, it helps create more opportunities for dynamic community engagement. As Seattle continues to grow and change, the City must continually revisit and expand its public engagement efforts to encourage broad participation across all demographic groups.

Work Plan:

In addition to the legislation, DON has also identified and developed a strategy for implementing a suite of initiatives and tools designed to make it easier for individuals and community groups to participate in the civic life of our city.  This work plan was crafted in partnership with other City departments and informed by responses to DON’s ongoing Engage Seattle survey effort.

Since launching Engage Seattle in August 2016, DON has collected over 3,500 responses and discussed the effort with community members at more than 30 local events.  If you haven’t already, I encourage you to make your voice heard by filling out the survey.

Going forward, you can depend on DON to:

  • Focus on more access and more opportunity. We will broaden our reach and work with many groups, knowing that no one speaks for all. Everyone has a voice, and it is our job to listen.
  • Implement a broad range of new initiatives and tools to encourage greater and more diverse participation.
  • Work with city departments to ensure their outreach and engagement work is equitable and transparent through consultation, collaboration, and tools to assist in their work.


We hope you will join us as we continue this important conversation.

Mayor Murray Presents Proposed 2017-18 Budget – Director Nyland Discusses the Changes to Department of Neighborhoods

Kathy NylandThis 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

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


City of Seattle Seeks Contractors for Outreach Work to Underrepresented Communities

Public Outreach and Engagement LiaisonSeattle Department of Neighborhoods is seeking individuals to do part-time outreach work to underrepresented communities in Seattle’s neighborhoods. Known as Public Outreach and Engagement Liaisons (POELs), these contractors must be connected to their respective cultures, fluent in the languages, and bi-cultural and bi-lingual. The languages we are presently seeking include Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean and Khmer.

The main tasks of a POEL are to provide:

  • Quality translations.
  • Fair and equitable facilitation (in native language) to culturally specific community groups.
  • Simultaneous interpretation.
  • Feedback and expertise on cultural concerns and barriers.
  • Planning and execution of community workshops and events that parallel larger City-hosted meetings.

POELs are compensated independent contractors. The applicants must have extensive experience organizing and facilitating community meetings and must be fluent and able to interpret and translate in at least one other language. The positions are generally flexible with any type of schedule and include either daytime or evening hours as well as some weekends.

If interested, please send a resume or a short biography by October 14, plus two references to or:

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
POEL Program
P.O. Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124

For more information about the POEL program, please visit our website.

Crown Hill/Whittier Heights Neighbors Invited to Help Plan Find It, Fix It Community Walk

Find It, Fix It Community WalkThe Crown Hill and Whittier Heights neighborhoods are invited to help plan the Crown Hill/Whittier Heights Find It, Fix It Community Walk, the sixth of seven Mayor-led walks happening this year. Find It, Fix It Community Walks bring together City officials, business owners, and community members to address neighborhood needs.

The Crown Hill/Whittier Heights walk will be held on Saturday, October 15 from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. and will follow a route determined by community members serving on its Community Walk Action Team. If you are interested in serving on this team, contact Find It, Fix It Program Coordinator Lemmis Stephens at or 206.386.1907.

In addition, Crown Hill/Whittier Heights community members are invited to apply for up to $5,000 to complete community projects that improve the safety or appearance of their neighborhood. To apply for a Crown Hill/Whittier Heights Community Project Grant, community members can find the application at beginning Friday, October 21 through Monday, November 7.

Lastly, community members don’t have to wait for the walk to report safety needs or city maintenance issues. They can use the Find It, Fix It mobile app. Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store and iPhone users can download it from the App Store.

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Seeks Public Outreach and Engagement Liaisons

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is seeking a Farsi speaking Public Outreach and Engagement Liaison (POEL) and a Sikh POEL. POELs are independent contractors with the City of Seattle. They must be connected to their respective culture and bilingual. The main tasks of a POEL are to provide:

  • Quality translations.
  • Fair and equitable facilitation (in native language) to culturally specific community groups.
  • Simultaneous interpretation.
  • Feedback and expertise on cultural concerns and barriers.
  • Planning and execution of community workshops and events that parallel larger City-hosted meetings.

POELs are compensated at $50/hr. The positions are generally flexible with any type of schedule and include either daytime or evening hours as well as some weekends. Applicants must have extensive experience organizing and facilitating community meetings, and must be fluent and able to interpret and translate in at least one other language.

Interested parties should send a resume or brief bio and two references to DON_LIAISON@SEATTLE.GOV.

Learn more about our Public Outreach and Engagement Liaisons on our website.

Join us for FREE ice cream at CityScoop in Ballard

CityScoopCityScoop is coming to Ballard: August 27, 1-3pm!

Join the City of Seattle for CityScoop, a fun way to share your ideas with City staff while enjoying free ice cream. The City has important topics on which we need your input, so we invite you to relax in our tents, provide us your feedback, and enjoy a free treat courtesy of Full Tilt Ice Cream.

CityScoop will be open from 1 – 3pm on Saturday, August 27. You’ll find us on Ballard Avenue between NW Vernon Place and 22nd Ave NW at Summer Parkways 2016, the fun family biking event and party.

A few of the topics shared under our big tent will include:

  • Discussion on the best ways for the city to engage with you
  • Uses for neighborhood streets that are new and creative ways
  • Information on the city’s plan for walking safely in neighborhoods
  • Next steps in affordable housing
  • Sharing transportation investments happening around your neighborhood
  • Information on discounted bus passes and car sharing for low-income residents

After visiting CityScoop, make sure to stop by Sustainable Ballard Festival at Ballard Commons Park.

CityScoop will also be at Summer Parkways 2016 in West Seattle on September 25. Learn more at CityScoop is a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.