2016 Proposed Budget Highlights

Kathy NylandDear Friends and Colleagues:

Mayor Ed Murray delivered his 2016 Proposed Budget to the City Council today, and I am pleased to inform you of a few items related to Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s current programs and services.

First, the most notable change to our budget is the increase. Yes, I said increase. Our budget increases by $1.5M. And we are taking capacity building to a whole new level with four additional staff.

Additional Capacity:

  • 1 FTE dedicated to outreach and engagement for HALA.
  • 1 FTE dedicated to leadership development in the community.
  • 1 FTE to staff the Seattle Youth Commission and be point for Participatory Budgeting.
  • Plus we’ll have increased capacity for our accounting team as well as program support for PACE, and the Find It Fix It walks.

Second, our budget reflects an increase of $500,000 that is earmarked for Participatory Budgeting, a new program housed in DON, which is a democratic process through which Seattle youth and young adults will decide how to spend part of the City budget.

Lastly, the Mayor’s budget includes funding for a Mobile Service Center. Though not technically in our budget (it’s in FAS’), it is something that has and will continue to have DON’s fingerprints on it! We were asked to do outreach and engagement differently, and this vehicle will allow the city to bring information and services directly to the community.

Please let the Councilmembers know that you support these budget changes by emailing the Council by using the Council website linked below or attending one of the two Council budget hearings scheduled for the following dates:

  • October 6, 2015 @ 5:30pm, Seattle City Hall in Council Chamber; and
  • October 20, 2015 @ 5:30pm, Seattle City Hall in Council Chambers.


Many thanks to you for your continued support of and involvement with our programs and services, and to Mayor Murray for including these proposals as part of his 2016 Proposed Budget.

Thank you.

Kathy Nyland, Director

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods


Mayor Murray, Seattle City Council Approve $1.5 Million in Matching Funds to Support Neighborhood-initiated Projects

Beacon Food ForestMayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council today approved more than $1.5 million in matching funds to support neighborhood projects across the City. Nineteen community organizations will receive awards from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund program for a variety of projects involving physical improvements, events, and cultural activities.

“The Neighborhood Matching Fund creates opportunities for neighbors to turn their creative ideas and energy into innovative projects,” said Mayor Murray. “The City’s meaningful investments help build community and provide incredible returns for our neighborhoods that everyone can enjoy.”

Funded through the Large Projects Fund, the awards range from $43,785 to $100,000, and the awardees have pledged to match the city’s $1,505,515 contribution with in-kind resources and donations valued at $2,961,190. Projects range from the construction of a neighborhood center at Pike Place Market to a cultural event series in Delridge.

“Neighborhood volunteers truly make a difference,” said Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee. “Countless volunteer hours go into each of these projects, and I’m impressed by the desire, dedication, and tenacity of community members to see these projects to completion.”

Every application to the Large Projects Fund goes through an extensive evaluation process by two teams: the Citywide Review Team (CRT), a group representing each of the 13 neighborhood districts, plus four at-large community members; and the District Council Review Teams, comprised of members from the District Councils. These volunteers review the applications, interview applicants, and make the recommendations for funding.

“In every neighborhood, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has made an impact – from Georgetown’s Hat n’ Boots to Wallingford’s Meridian Park Playground,” said Kathy Nyland, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “Over the past 27 years, more than 5000 community projects have been completed with help from the Neighborhood Matching Fund.”

There are two other funds in the Neighborhood Matching Fund program, the Small Sparks Fund (awards up to $1000) and Small and Simple Projects Fund (awards up to $25,000). To learn more about the Fund, visit www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/neighborhood-matching-fund.

2015 Large Projects Fund Awardees

North Region (north of Ship Canal)

$100,000 to the Broadview Community Playground Improvement Project to renovate the school playground and play areas to benefit the school, Bitter Lake Community Center, and the surrounding neighborhoods. (Community match: $112,760)

$100,000 to Viewlands Elementary PTSA to construct a new play structure, track, and site, and renovate the field and painted sport courts to revitalize this gathering place with purposeful and accessible areas. (Community match: $183,904)

$88,887 to Friends of Yesler Swamp to complete the restoration of Yesler Swamp and construct 300 additional feet of the remaining section of an environmentally-designed, ADA-accessible boardwalk. (Community match: $90,160)

$25,000 to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association to convert a cut-through street into a safe pedestrian- and bike-friendly zone that bridges the gap between the I-5 Park and Ride and the Sound Transit station. (Community match: $106,655)

$99,414 to University Heights Center to renovate the community performance hall to include egress improvements, ADA accessibility, creation of a foyer, installation of stage lighting and audio-visual equipment, and other aesthetic improvements. (Community match: $99,414)

$99,000 to John Stanford Playground Improvement Committee to improve the school grounds into a more accessible, safe, and welcoming public space. Project includes replacing concrete fixtures and play equipment and the addition of accessible ramps and pathways. (Community match: $108,150)

South Region

$100,000 to the Mount Baker Community Club to improve the clubhouse’s energy efficiency and safety by replacing the roof, removing or repairing the damaged brick chimneys, and installing an energy-efficient gas-fired boiler. (Community match: $152,689)

$100,000 to Seattle Tilth to activate the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands by adding a children’s learning garden, rain gardens, and educational signage; equipping the community farm stand, kitchen, and greenhouses; and hosting a community-led celebration. (Community match: $111,464)

$100,000 to Rainier Valley Corps to implement a leadership and capacity-building program where emerging leaders of color will be recruited, trained, and placed in full-time work at communities-of-color-led nonprofits in Rainier Valley.        (Community match: $568,800)

$100,000 to Friends of Seward Park to build a new torii in Seward Park to replace the one that stood for 50 years and served as a community icon and gathering place. (Community match: $199,977)

West Seattle

$69,975 to the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association to produce 12 events in 2016 that will connect diverse community partners and build stronger relationships between organizations, groups, and individuals in the greater Delridge neighborhood. (Community match: $47,760)

Central Region

$50,000 to the Melrose Promenade to implement a series of community-supported road safety and placemaking measures to include pedestrian lighting, distinctive paving, crosswalks, signage, and art. (Community match: $145,793)

$43,785 to Friends of Jackson Street Mural Project to commission the painting and installation of a mural depicting significant historical labor events in the multicultural context of the Chinatown/International District and the Central Area. (Community match: $90,288)

$100,000 to the Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park Committee to construct Phase 2 of Jimi Hendrix Park designated “Are You Experienced?” to include additional pathways, lawn mow curbs, and vine plantings. Project entails demolition, earthwork, hardscape, and planting and irrigation. (Community match: $189,169)

$49,454 to the Central Area Senior Center to conduct a feasibility study to identify and prioritize options for future redevelopment of the center. Consultant will do surveying, architecture, parking and traffic analysis, engineering, and community engagement. (Community match: $103,200)

$100,000 to the Hirabayashi Place Legacy of Justice Committee to complete and install community-led project located on and around Hirabayashi Place to provide historical and cultural identity of Nihonmachi, Seattle’s historic Japantown, by honoring civil rights leader Gordon Hirabayashi. (Community match: $289,625)

$80,000 to the Pike Place Market Foundation to support the planning, design, and construction of a new Pike Place Market Neighborhood Center, a 1,950 square foot welcoming, accessible venue to serve as a downtown community gathering and activity place. (Community match: $171,300)

$50,000 to Lake Union Neighbors to proceed from 30% design completion to final construction documents for the East Howe Steps Plaza project which will provide a plaza and pedestrian connection from Capitol Hill to Lake Union. (Community match: $62,582)

$50,000 to the Plymouth Housing Group to construct a rain garden on the hill climb of the 710 Cherry Street property with benches and spaces for pedestrians, along with education panels on stormwater runoff, native plants, and green infrastructure. (Community match: $127,500)

Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Fund Available to Support “Shop Small” Activities

Shop Small FlyerIs your neighborhood business group, chamber of commerce, or business district planning an activity for Small Business Saturday? If so, your group may qualify for support from Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Fund program. Its Small Sparks Fund provides matching dollars of up to $1000 for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement.

Small Business Saturday and Shop Small are efforts to promote shopping and dining at small independent businesses in neighborhood business districts during the holiday season. This year’s Small Business Saturday is November 28, and the Shop Small campaign lasts through the holiday season.

The Small Sparks Fund has resources to support efforts to promote your business district. Activities could include events, entertainment, or marketing to neighborhoods during the winter season, but the ideas are endless. The application is online at seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/webapplication.htm.

The deadline to apply for Small Business Saturday is October 16; and for other events, the deadline is at least six weeks before your activity. To learn more call 206-733-9916 or visit our website at seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallsparks.htm.


Join the Office of Housing for a Community Meeting on the Seattle Housing Levy

Housing Levy GraphicSeattle is getting more and more expensive for many households. One of the most effective tools we have to increase affordable housing options is the Seattle Housing Levy, a local property tax that voters have supported for over 30 years. The Levy is expiring at the end of 2016, and the Seattle Office of Housing would like to hear from you what your priorities and needs are as we consider a new affordable housing levy.

Please join Mayor Murray and the Office of Housing on Monday September 21st from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Seattle City Hall to learn about the 2009 Seattle Housing Levy and share your input on its future. At the community meeting, there will be a brief presentation followed by programmatic stations where you can talk to City staff about the Housing Levy programs and share your thoughts.

We want to hear from you! If you are unable to make it to this meeting, please feel free to reach out to the Office of Housing at housing@seattle.gov to share your thoughts. For more information on the Seattle Housing Levy, visit www.seattle.gov/housing/levy.



DON and SDOT Announce Community Crosswalks Program

Community CrosswalksToday Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) jointly announced the Community Crosswalks program, a new way for residents to secure neighborhood oriented crosswalks.

“This is about celebrating and enhancing community identities,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “The iconic rainbow crosswalks on Capitol Hill started a broader conversation on how we can incorporate neighborhood character in the built environment across Seattle. I’m excited to see more history, culture, and community on display for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Spurred by the popularity of Capitol Hill’s rainbow crosswalks, which were installed in June, residents can now use the existing Neighborhood Matching Fund to request such crosswalks. This will allow unique crosswalks to be approved and installed through an established process, ensuring that they are safe, reflective of community values and can be maintained.

“Community oriented crosswalks are great ways to represent a neighborhood,” said Kathy Nyland, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “This new crosswalk program will allow interested community members to showcase their neighborhood’s unique culture and history or just liven up an intersection with a colorful design.”

To be eligible for an installation by SDOT, applicants will need to adhere to City guidelines for crosswalk locations and designs. Crosswalks must be sited where vehicles already stop for a traffic signal or stop sign, the design should consist only of horizontal or vertical bars, and the pavement underneath must be in good condition.  

“We are pleased that other Seattle neighborhoods are being inspired by Capitol Hill’s rainbow crosswalks,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “Through this joint SDOT/DON effort, we can transform other crossing points into tangible signs of community pride.”

Crosswalks typically cost about $25 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the design and installation, and can be expected to last approximately 3-5 years based on the amount of vehicular traffic at the location. More information about the program can be found here:  http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/community-crosswalks. Crosswalks installed or modified outside of this process will be reviewed by SDOT and removed/repainted if determined to be unsafe.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund provides matching dollars for neighborhood improvement, organizing, or projects that are developed and implemented by community members. More information about the longstanding program can be found here:  http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/neighborhood-matching-fund.


Landmarks Preservation Board to Consider Nomination of the Franklin Apartments for Landmark Status

Franklin Apartments credit the Johnson PartnershipSeattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the Franklin Apartments (2302 Fourth Avenue) on Wednesday, October 21 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 October 20 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 is available for public review at the Central Library (1000 4th Avenue) and at the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods office in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700 (206-684-0228). It is also posted on the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website, seattle.gov/neighborhoods/preservation/landmarks.htm, under the heading of “Current Nominations.”


P-Patch Program participates in Seattle Disaster Relief Trials this Weekend

(article by Julie Bryan, P-Patch Community Garden Coordinator)

P-Patch Emergency ProgramThe 2015 Seattle Disaster Relief Trails will take place Saturday, September 12, from 11am to 3pm.  This is  a fun, emergency preparedness event which mobilizes bicyclists to carry emergency supplies to and from community and communication Hubs throughout the Central District, Madison Park, Beacon Hill, and Rainier Valley.  Beacon Food Forest, Judkins and Sunrise P-Patch community gardens are part of this fun event.

Check it out! https://seattledrt.wordpress.com/

This year, the Seattle DRT will be held in partnership with the inaugural Seattle Summer Parkways, Seattle Emergency Hubs and the Seattle Auxiliary Communication Service (ACS).

You can participate by being a spectator or cyclist, and visiting the P-Patch gardens and educational sessions they are offering to cyclists and spectators.

Other P-Patches in the Rainier Valley that host Community Emergency Hubs are Angel Morgan, Hillman City, John C. Little, Lucky, 29, Power Garden, Youth and Family Garden, Rockery, Thistle, Judkins, Beacon Food Forest, Maa nyei lai ndeic( My Mothers Garden), Sunrise and Dakota . You can find them all at http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/p-patch-community-gardening.

What Comes to Mind When You Think of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods?

Kathy Nyland

When this department was founded nearly 30 years ago, much of the programming was centered on “community building.” If you look at our current lines of business, community building would still be an appropriate descriptor, but that would also describe so many programs throughout all of the departments in the city. Community building, while a focus within DON, is not exclusive to DON. So what does that mean for us? This is a question that has occupied my thoughts for the last two months.

In my first few months on the job, I have attended neighborhood meetings, community councils, dedications, town halls, retreats, and coffee dates. I’ve asked many people the following: What comes to mind when you think of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods? Some of the responses have made me laugh, some have made me think, and some have felt like a sucker punch. Responses include:

Jim Diers
The future
The 1990s
Heart of the city

So, I ask you this. What comes to mind when YOU think of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods?

Kathy Nyland
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Director

(please share your thoughts in the Comments section)

Seattle/King County Clinic Coming to Key Arena Oct. 22-25

Health Clinic Seattle CenterThe community is coming together to produce the Seattle/King County Clinic Oct. 22 – 25 in KeyArena at Seattle Center. This giant health clinic offers a full range of free dental, vision and medical care to underserved and vulnerable populations in the region. The effort, involving months of preparation and thousands of volunteers, transforms KeyArena into the largest clinic of its kind in Washington State. As many as 4,000 patients are served by over 1,600 healthcare professionals and general support volunteers, providing more than $2.5 million in healthcare services. Learn more: seattlecenter.org/skcclinic


City Fruit hosts Orchard & Harvest Tour

Orchard & Harvest TourOn Sunday, October 4, visit Seattle’s historic orchards throughout the city. Each orchard is planning special activities, including cider pressings, historical tours, and more! Your self-guided tour will take you throughout Seattle’s neighborhoods to a hidden orchard, a former homestead, and other beautiful community sites. Several of our P-Patch community gardens will be participating as well.

For ticket information visit, City Fruit’s website.