Advancing Equitable Outreach and Engagement

Message from Kathy Nyland, Director

Mayor Murray recently issued an Executive Order directing the city to approach outreach and engagement in an equitable manner. Putting an equity lens on our approaches is bold and, yes, brave. It shows a commitment to practices that address accessibility and equity.


What does this mean?

  • We often hear that meetings can feel like we are “checking a box.” The Mayor’s action means we can create processes that are more relationship-based and build authentic partnerships.
  • It means that we can create plans that are culturally sensitive, which includes an emphasis on translated materials.
  • It means we broaden access points, identify obstacles and turn them into opportunities.


What else does this mean?

  • It means we have an opportunity to recreate, re-envision and reconcile many lingering issues, including defining the difference between neighborhoods and communities, providing clarity about roles, and creating a system of engagement that builds partnerships with, and between, communities throughout the city of Seattle.
  • It means that we will be working to expand choices and opportunities for community members throughout this city, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of those who face barriers to participation.
  • It means that we’ll work with city offices and departments on community involvement to ensure that they are effective and efficient through the wise use and management of all resources, including the community’s time.
  • And it means we will expand the toolbox and make some investments in digital engagement.

 

Seattle is a unique city, and we are fortunate to have so many valuable partners currently at the proverbial table. Those partners play an important role and that role will continue. While we are appreciative of the countless hours our volunteers spend making our city better, we recognize and acknowledge there are barriers to participation. There are communities who cannot be at the table, while there are some communities who don’t even know there is a table. This is where the Department of Neighborhoods comes in.

This is not a power grab. It is a power share. At the heart of this Executive Order is a commitment to advance the effective deployment of equitable and inclusive community engagement strategies across all city departments. This is about making information and opportunities for participation more accessible to communities throughout the city.

 

“This is not about silencing voices. It’s the exact opposite. It’s about bringing more people into the conversations or at least creating opportunities for people to participate so they can be heard.”

 
Face-to-face meetings are incredibly important and those are not going away. But not every person can attend a community meeting, and the ability to do so should not determine who gets to participate and who gets to be heard.

We’d love to hear what tools YOU need to be successful and how WE can help you. Share your ideas with us:

  • Send an email to NewDON@seattle.gov.
  • Share your comments below.
  • Contact us at 206-684-0464 or mail us at P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649.
  • Join and follow the conversation online using #AdvancingEquitySEA at:

Facebook – @SeattleNeighborhoods
Twitter – @SeaNeighborhood

This is about making things easier and less exhaustive. This is about connecting communities to government and to one another. This is about moving forward.

Kathy Nyland, Director
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

People’s Academy for Community Engagement Now Accepting Applications

People's Academy for Community EngagementSeattle Department of Neighborhoods is accepting applications to the People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE), our civic leadership development program for the next wave of community leaders. The fall session begins September 27 and runs through December 6.

During the 10-week program, 25-30 emerging leaders (18 years and up) will learn hands-on strategies for community building, accessing government, and inclusive engagement from experts in the field. PACE has a strong focus on Seattle’s community and neighborhood organizations and the city’s governmental structure and processes.

Fall sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Miller Community Center. Topics include: Approaches to Leadership, Government 101, Community Organizing, Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement, Meeting Facilitation, Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, and Sustaining Involvement.

Tuition for the 10-week program is $100. Tuition assistance is available. To apply, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/peoples-academy-for-community-engagement/pace-application. The application deadline is Friday, August 12 at 5:00 p.m.

Given the popularity of the program, PACE will be offered three times a year: winter, spring and fall. The winter session will begin in January of 2017. For more information, visit our webpage and for questions, email PACE@seattle.gov.

Art Brightens Up Windows of Historic Lincoln Reservoir Gate House

Installation of art at the Lincoln Reservoir Gate House

Installation of art at the Lincoln Reservoir Gate House

Washington Middle School students at work on the project

Washington Middle School students at work on the project

The historic Lincoln Reservoir Gate House at Cal Anderson Park just got a lot more colorful. Fourteen original temporary artworks created by nine Washington Middle School students now grace the windows of the gate house and feature images inspired by the four seasons.

The project, titled Seasons All Around, is a collaboration between the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Out of School Time program at Washington Middle School, Seattle Public Utilities, and our own Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program. Students worked with teaching artist Nate Herth over 15 weeks to design and create the 14 original paintings, which reflect on the park and the vibrancy of Seattle. The classes took place at Washington Middle School and the students, representing the many races and ethnicities of Seattle, drew upon their varied prior experience with art, color, and Seattle’s neighborhoods to create this public art installation.

Our Historic Preservation program was involved in this project as the Lincoln Reservoir and adjoining Bobby Morris Playfield were designated as a Seattle Landmark in November 1998. The reservoir, built after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, was put to use in 1901. In 2000 the reservoir was taken out of service and replaced by underground tanks, but the gate house remains. The park reopened in 2005 with four additional acres of useable open space.


This Sunday, May 22 from 11 a.m. to noon you can join the students, teaching artist Nate Herth, and City departments as we host an opening celebration of the temporary artworks.

Deadline Approaches for Matching Funds to Support your Neighborhood Project

Othello+Intl+music+nwlrSeptember 2 workshop for interested applicants
Application deadline is October 5

If your group needs funds to do a neighborhood project, our Neighborhood Matching Fund may be able to help. However, you’ll need to be quick because the application deadline for the Small and Simple Projects Fund is Monday, October 5 at 5:00 p.m. This fund provides awards of up to $25,000 to for community-building projects that are matched by community contributions.

To learn about the Small and Simple Projects Fund, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallandsimple.htm. This is the last opportunity in 2015 to apply to this fund.

The final workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at University Heights Community Center (Room 209), 5031 University Way NE. The workshop provides an overview of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, the qualities of a good project, and the application process and requirements. To RSVP, go online at surveymonkey.com/r/ZHM36BJ or call  206-233-0093. The workshop is open to all.

Our Neighborhood Matching Fund staff is available to advise groups on ways to develop successful applications and projects. You are strongly encouraged to call 206.233.0093 or email NMFund@seattle.gov to discuss your project idea with one of our project managers.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) Program awards matching funds for projects initiated, planned, and implemented by community members. Its goal is to build stronger and healthier neighborhoods through community involvement and engagement. Every award is matched by a neighborhood’s contribution of volunteer labor, donated materials, in-kind professional services, or cash.

Capitol Hill Community Council Open House December 18

Capitol Hill Community Council Open House Come meet your neighbors and plan for future neighorhood projects!

The Capitol Hill Community Council will host a winter open house on Thursday, December 18, 6:30pm – 9:00pm, at the Cal Anderson Park Shelter House as a community-building, meet-your-neighbors, and information-gathering event on community needs and desires. The identified priorities will help the Capitol Hill Community Council apply for a Small & Simple grant or other funding opportunity.  This project was funded in part with a $1,000 Small Sparks award.

Landmarks Preservation Board to Consider The Sterling Apartments for Landmark Nomination

The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of The Sterling Apartments (323 Bellevue Avenue East) at its meeting on Wednesday, August 20 at 3:30 p.m. in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor, Room 4060.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following address by August 19 at 3:00 p.m.:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649 (mailing address)

A copy of the landmark nomination will be available for public review at the Capitol Hill Branch Library, 425 Harvard Ave E (206-684-4715), and at the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods office at the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700 (206-684-0228). It is also posted on the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website, www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/preservation/landmarks.htm under the heading of “Current Nominations.”

 

Landmarks Preservation Board to Consider Landmark Nomination for Stoddard Terrace Apartments/Aloha Terrace Apartments in Capitol Hill Neighborhood

The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the Stoddard Terrace Apartments/Aloha Terrace Apartments (902 East Aloha Street) on Wednesday, June 18 at 3:30 p.m. in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor, Room 4060.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following address by 3:00 p.m. on June 17:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649 (mailing address)

A copy of the Landmark Nomination will be available for public review at the Capitol Hill Branch Library, 425 Harvard Ave E (206-684-4715) and at the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods office at Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700 (phone: 206-684-0228). The nomination is also posted on the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website, seattle.gov/neighborhoods/preservation/landmarks.htm, under the heading of “Current Nominations.”

Landmarks Preservation Board to consider nomination for the Great Western Motors Building

The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider landmark nomination for the Great Western Motors Building at 1158 Broadway (aka 905 E. Union). The meeting will be on Wednesday, September 4 at 3:30 p.m. in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor in Room 4060.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board by 5:00 p.m. on September 3 at the following address:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods
P.O. Box 94649
Seattle WA, 98124-4649 

A copy of the nomination is available for review at the Capitol Hill Branch Library, 425 Harvard Ave E (684-4715); and at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods office in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700 (206-684-0228). The nomination is posted on Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website at www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/preservation/landmarks.htm  under the heading of “Current Nominations.”

The Landmarks Preservation Board is coordinated by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program. The Historic Preservation Program handles the identification and protection of more than 400 historic structures, site, objects, and vessels, as well as eight historic districts throughout Seattle. For more information, contact 206-684-0464.