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.

Landmarks Preservation Board to Consider Nomination of the Former South Transfer Station

Former South Transfer Station

Photo courtesy of Beth Dodrill Consulting

Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the former South Transfer Station (8100 2nd Ave S) on Wednesday, July 6 at 3:30pm in Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, Floor L2, Room L2-80 (Boards and Commissions Room).

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following mailing address by July 5 at 3pm:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

A copy of the Landmark Nomination is available for public review at the South Park Branch Library (8604 8th Ave S) and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ office in Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor (206-684-0228). It is also posted on the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website, under the heading of Current Nominations.

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.

South Park Shows UP: Show what you know about South Park!

Please join us for family friendly fun and FREE pizza & tacos on Wednesday, May 27 from 7-9 pm at the South Park Neighborhood Center 8201 10th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108.

Candidates for Seattle City Council District 1 will answer questions to show what they know about the South Park neighborhood and how they plan to represent us. Volunteers will help you register to vote and/or check your address to make sure your registration is current. The entire event is free, open to all, and will be translated into both Spanish and English.

This event is made possible by a Small Sparks award from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, support from the Greater Duwamish District Council and hard work from many South Park volunteers.

https://www.facebook.com/events/826194567434460/

 

South Park Arts presents Art Under $100 Saturday, December 1

 South Park Arts invites you to attend Art Under $100 on Saturday, December 1st, in the South Park Community Center at 8319 8th Avenue South in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood.

Shop for original, edgy art not typically seen at holiday sales: painting, sculpture, neon, jewelry, clothing, photography, glass, letterpress, and more.  Sip wine, feast on appetizers, and actually enjoy holiday shopping!  Every half hour, lucky raffle winners get their pick of art donated by participating artists. Proceeds benefit the South Park Teen Program and South Park Arts, an organization dedicated to supporting, representing, and promoting art and artists in South Park. Even the youngsters will be entertained with creative crafts provided by The Makery.  Click here for more information.

Marra Farm Fall Festival September 22

 FREE community event with tasty food, live music, and fun games for the whole family

~ Make apple cider on our old-timey cider press 
~ Paint pumpkins, carve zucchini, and meet our famed “tromboncino” squash
~ Take on your friends in a gunny rack race
~ Enjoy grilled veggies, salmon, and other treats – bring something to throw on the grill or a potluck dish
~ Tour the farm and learn about Lettuce Link’s work to grow & share good food with all

Marra Farm is located at 9026 4th Ave S in the South Park neighborhood of southwest Seattle. Parking is available on the street in front of the farm, as well as off Director Street between 5th and 7th Ave S. Marra Farm is accessible by buses 60, 131, 132, and 134. Facebook users, RSVP to the event here. For more info, contact Amelia at amelias@solid-ground.org

South Park Bridge Ground Breaking Celebration, Thursday, May 5

After months of preparation, King County will host the groundbreaking for the new South Park Bridge at 1:30 p.m. , Thursday, May 5 with comments from Governor Chris Gregoire, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Mayor Mike McGinn. Part of the ceremony will include a special 26-foot long South Park Bridge-shaped piñata made by local community members.

In addition, South Park Arts (SPARTS) and the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) will host the first South Park Cinco de Mayo Community Festival in the afternoon and early evening.  Activities will include crafts for children, a piñata, music, art and a fire performance.  Come down and enjoy the festivities and Catch the Culture!

For more information, click here

Seattle Channel features: How Do You Get to South Park?

Last summer, when the South Park Bridge was closed and dismantled due to old age, residents and business owners in the neighborhood feared the worst for their beloved community. Now, several months later, see how their resilient spirit is keeping businesses open and community spirit alive and well.  Check out these videos from the Seattle Channel.

On this special CityStream, we celebrate South Park! Learn about the many different businesses in the area; from wineries to restaurants to industry. With the bridge out, many people ask: “How do you get to South Park?”  It’s easy to access, but see how some residents are getting creative when it comes to their commutes.

Watch now:  http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=3071111

Also this week on the special South Park CityStream, learn how one man isn’t waiting for the government to step in and clean up the Duwamish River. And, there’s always room for more volunteers when it comes to protecting the polluted waterway; find out how you can help. Plus learn about the new River City Skate Park and what the South Park Community Center has to offer everyone – not just South Park residents. Find out about more fun events from the South Park neighborhood with host Penny LeGate in this special South Park CityStream. Tune in, Thursday March 17 at 7:00 p.m. on the SEATTLE CHANNEL, Cable 21 or watch it online at www.seattlechannel.org.

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