Seattle Wants to Make Participation Easier: Tell Us How

Engage SeattleThe City of Seattle is shifting our approach to outreach and engagement. We need your ideas on how the City can keep you better informed about City projects, events, opportunities, and issues. Tell us how you want to participate, and what we can do to make it easier:

  • Use our online conversation tool where you can weigh in alongside your neighbors and share ideas. Here’s how to use it:
    • Click on the site.
    • Go to Log In (upper right-hand corner) where you’ll be asked to create a simple account.
    • View each question, click on a statement, and drag the slider to show your opinion and add a comment.
  • Take our two-minute survey. It’s fast and easy.
  • Provide feedback via social media using #EngageSeattle or find us on Twitter (@SeaNeighborhood) or Facebook (SeattleNeighborhoods).
  • Email us at NewDON@seattle.gov.
  • Find us at community events and festivals in August and September to talk with us in-person. A list of events is on our website.

Help bring more voices to the table. Let’s make our outreach and engagement work for everyone!

Neighborhood Matching Fund Invests $417,000 in 23 Neighborhood Projects

Dragonfly Street MuralMayor Ed Murray announced an investment of $417,227 in matching funds to support 23 neighborhood-initiated projects across the city. The awards, distributed from our Neighborhood Matching Fund, will support a wide variety of projects from community celebrations to multi-media training for youth.

“For 28 years the Neighborhood Matching Fund has helped to support the efforts of community members to make improvements to their communities and neighborhoods,” said Murray. “These projects have included playground improvements, creation of community sidewalks, and construction of parklets for all to enjoy. These efforts are successful because they are driven by community members building connections and engaging with each other to make their projects happen.”

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 2016 June awards range from $5,100 to $25,000, and the organizations pledge to match the City of Seattle’s $417,227 investment with $550,072 of locally raised money, donated materials, and volunteer labor.

“These efforts are successful because they are driven by community members building connections and engaging with each other to make their projects happen.”

In addition to the Small and Simple Projects Fund, the Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) has two other programs: the Large Projects Fund which provides matching funds of up to $100,000, and the Small Sparks Fund which provides funds of up to $1,000. Over its 28-year history, more than 5,000 projects have been funded with the help of NMF, and its investment in neighborhoods can be seen across the city. For more information about all of the funds visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/.

The Small and Simple Projects Fund has one more opportunity to apply this September. To learn more visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallandsimple.htm.

 

June 2016 Small and Simple Projects Fund Awards

Citywide

  • $24,990 to Blanket Fort Films to empower filmmakers from underrepresented communities by providing free access to video equipment and training. (Community match: $35,400)
  • $5,100 to Sisters of South Seattle for an event to get K-12 students excited about going back to school with food, games, school supplies, along with information on time management and after-school activities. (Community match: $5,100)
  • $13,906 to Seattle Architecture Foundation for a series of events that share the impact of community coalitions shaping Seattle through community-based design projects. Attendees will exchange strategies and resources for implementing projects to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. (Community match: $8,244)

District 1

  • $25,000 to Friends of Highland Park Elementary School to create construction drawings based on its conceptual site plan, in addition to continuing outreach efforts to ensure spaces created are inviting to the many cultures in its community. (Community match: $13,600)
  • $5,000 to Circulo de Mamas Seattle for a project to educate and reach out to the Latino community through civic engagement activities. (Community match: $31,000)
  • $4,000 to Fauntleroy Watershed Council & Fauntleroy Community Association for landscape design concept drawings for a small green space/pocket park to present to potential donors. (Community match: $2,250)
  • $13,345 to Camp Long Mountain Fest Steering Committee to organize Mountain Fest 2016 on Sept. 10, a day of free access to activities including rock climbing and other opportunities for environmental learning. (Community match: $13,555)

District 2

  • $17,000 to Breast Cancer Awareness Steering Committee for a free family-friendly event on Oct. 22-23 to raise awareness of the importance of early detection in the fight against breast cancer. (Community match: $21,850)
  • $25,000 to Beacon Hill International School Playground Steering Committee for a community-led project to replace the outdated and unsafe playground structure that was recently removed from the play area. (Community match: $85,825)
  • $17,575 to Mount Baker Business District Association to produce a business district festival with tactical urbanism installations to promote the Mount Baker Hub business district and develop a sense of community and place around the Mount Baker Light Rail Station. (Community match: $20,040)
  • $25,000 to Alleycat Acres to transform an SDOT Right of Way into a community space providing neighbors a safe, clean environment to walk, gather, and grow food. The Wetmore Community Garden will increase food security through education and volunteerism, encouraging community members to grow their own food. (Community match: $32,585)
  • $16,300 to Friends of Rainier Beach Streatery at Jude’s to construct a streatery with a bicycle and edible garden theme to serve as a point of pride and identification for the neighborhood and serve as a hub for youth-focused community events. (Community match: $16,325)
  • $25,000 to Project Orca Playground to install play equipment, native plantings, interpretive signage and other improvements to the outdoor play area and rain garden at the Orca K-8 public school. (Community match: $26,000)
  • $12,000 to Saturday Studio to design and build a parklet for the Hillman City Collaboratory which will  be a community space that tells and helps form the ongoing story of Hillman City. (Community match: $12,000)

District 3

  • $24,413 to Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park Committee to produce a day-long celebration to showcase the grand opening of Jim Hendrix Park to include speakers, a concert, food trucks and activities for children. (Community match: $28,733)
  • $24,000 for Tasveer to organize the 3rd South Asian International Documentary Festival next February 11-12. It will bring people together to engage with the cultural, artistic and activist work of the South Asian region and people. (Community match: $37,700)
  • $20,000 to Multimedia Resources Training Institute to create a one-hour documentary, 30 photo portraits, and other multimedia projects produced by youth interns and focused on the Central Area. (Community match: $12,640)
  • $25,000 to Madrona School PTSA for design and construction documents for an engaging play structure that will allow the grounds to be open to the public outside of school hours. The redesign will improve transitions and redo the landscaping. (Community match: $17,800)
  • $25,000 to Volunteer Park Trust to create preliminary schematic design for a new performance stage as part of the Volunteer Park Amphitheater Project. (Community match: $15,325)

District 4

  • $23,190 to Eastlake P-Patch Community Garden to replace the deteriorating garden infrastructure and to widen paths. Work will be done by community volunteers under the guidance of professional construction management volunteers. Improvements will be vetted via meetings, email, phone, and posting of information and surveys. (Community match: $23,970)

District 5

  • $15,408 to Team of N. 137th Street Residents to identify possible solutions to increase pedestrian safety and traffic calming on N. 137th Street between Greenwood and Linden Avenues. The project will build and strengthen community bonds by creating opportunities to meet neighbors and work together for a common goal. (Community match: $7,725)

District 7

  • $6,000 to Interbay P-Patch Community Gardeners to work with neighbors to replace the roofing on the tool and food bank structures. These enhancements will give the garden an aesthetically consistent and secure look from the street. (Community match: $5,180)
  • $25,000 to Downtown Seattle Association to improve the crosswalks at the intersection of 7th Avenue and Westlake Avenue as part of SDOT’s Community Crosswalk program. Community-driven design and collaboration will be essential to the project. (Community match: $77,225)

Join Us for FREE Ice Cream at CityScoop

CityScoopJoin 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 13. You’ll find us on Rainier Avenue S. between Hudson and Brandon Streets just south of the Rainier Valley Heritage Festival and on the route of Summer Parkways 2016, the fun family biking event and party. Translators will be on hand to assist visitors as well.

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

  • Discussion on the best ways for the city to engage with you
  • New and creative uses for neighborhood streets
  • 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 Big Day of Play at Rainier Community Center presented by Seattle Parks and Recreation.

CityScoop will also be at Summer Parkways 2016 in Ballard on August 27 and in West Seattle on September 25. Learn more at www.seattle.gov/cityscoop.

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

Learn How to Get Funds for Your Neighborhood Project

Small & Simple Projects FundOur Neighborhood Matching Fund program is hosting workshops for community groups interested in learning about the city’s popular Small and Simple Projects Fund. The Small and Simple Projects Fund provides matching awards of up to $25,000 to neighborhood groups for community-building projects such as cultural festivals, facility improvements, public art, and youth activities. These workshops will provide opportunities for you to:

  • Get an overview of our Small and Simple Projects Fund.
  • Find out how to get up to $25,000 for your community project.
  • Learn how to create a successful application.

 

WORKSHOP DATES & TIMES

  • August 4; 6 – 8pm at Montlake Community Center, 1618 East Calhoun St.
  • August 9; 6 – 8pm at El Centro De La Raza, 2524 16th Avenue S.
  • August 18; 6 – 8pm at Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

To RSVP, call 206-233-0093 or go online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H2PWPFY.

 

To learn more about the Fund, visit our website. The deadline for applications is Monday, September 12 at 5pm. All applicants must register in advance in the City of Seattle Webgrants system prior to completing an application.

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.

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Seeks Facilitators for Civic Leadership Development Program

People's Academy for Community EngagementSeattle Department of Neighborhoods is seeking experienced facilitators to lead sessions for its leadership development program People’s Academy for Community Engagement, also known as PACE.

The presenters need to be experienced educators, trainers, or facilitators with a high degree of knowledge and experience in one or more of the following topics:

  • Approaches to Leadership: Community & Government
  • Government 101: Structure and Budget
  • Community Organizing
  • Inclusive Outreach & Public Engagement
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Public Speaking
  • Sustaining Involvement: Self-Care and Mentoring
  • Land Use and Zoning

The facilitators will present for one hour to PACE students at the Fall (September – November), Winter (January-February), and/or Spring (March – July) Cohorts. The facilitator will also need to attend an orientation at Seattle City Hall. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) can be found here and the deadline for submittal is Friday, August 12 for the Fall Cohort, but will continue taking RFQs for the cohorts next winter and spring. For more information contact PACE@seattle.gov.

PACE is a civic leadership development program dedicated to teaching hands-on engagement and empowerment skills to emerging leaders in a multicultural environment. The class is designed for 25-30 emerging leaders who are newly engaged in the community and want to acquire additional skills to be more effective in civic leadership. To learn more about PACE visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/peoples-academy-for-community-engagement.

City of Seattle Now Accepting Applications for Seattle Youth Commission

Seattle Youth CommissionThe City of Seattle is now accepting applications for the Seattle Youth Commission (SYC), a commission of 15 Seattle residents ages 13-19 that address issues of importance to youth. Appointed by the Mayor and Seattle City Council, youth serving on this commission get a unique opportunity to work with elected officials, city staff, community leaders, and young people citywide to make positive changes in their communities through policy, organizing, and events. The deadline to apply is Friday, August 5 at 5:00 p.m.

Youth serving on the commission will be required to attend a half-day retreat on Saturday, September 24, bi-monthly SYC meetings, and additional committee commitments.  The commission meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at Seattle City Hall from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Commissioners will serve a two-year term beginning in September 2016 and ending June 2018.

In addition to representing youth across the city, commissioners receive hands-on experience in the public sector and learn how to cultivate the youth voice in city policy.

“Participating in the Seattle Youth Council was integral to my secondary education. It sparked a fire in me for community engagement and continues to impact my career aspirations.” – Lily Clifton, SYC member (2008-2010)

To apply, visit www.seattle.gov/seattle-youth-commission or print and complete this application and mail to:

Jenny Frankl
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

Completed paper applications can also be turned in at the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods office in Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue) on the 4th floor.

For questions, contact jenny.frankl@seattle.gov or call 206-233-2044.

Neighbors Invited to Roxhill/Westwood Find It, Fix It Community Walk

Find It, Fix It Community WalkPlease join Mayor Murray and city leaders on Monday, July 25 in the Roxhill/Westwood neighborhood for our third Find It, Fix It Community Walk. These walks provide a unique opportunity for community members to identify neighborhood needs and discuss challenges directly with City leadership.

 

Roxhill/Westwood Find It, Fix It Community Walk
Monday, July 25, 2016
Sign-in and refreshments provided by Starbucks from 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Program and walk from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Meet at the Longfellow Creek P-Patch at SW Thistle St & 25th Ave SW

Schedule
6:00 p.m. – 6:30p.m.

  • Sign-in and refreshments at the Longfellow Creek P-Patch

6:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

  • Welcome remarks from Mayor Ed Murray

6:45 p.m. – 7:55 p.m.

7:55pm – 8:00 p.m.

  • Walk concludes at Roxhill Park
  • 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 Roxhill/Westwood Community Project Grant Application is available in seven languages at www.seattle.gov/finditfixit until Wednesday, August 3. If you have an idea for a project in Roxhill/Westwood, please apply today!

Participants can also 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, please contact Laura Jenkins at 206.233.5166 or laura.jenkins@seattle.gov or visit www.seattle.gov/finditfixit.

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.

New Community Engagement Plan will Bring More Diverse Neighborhood Voices Before the City

Mayor Ed Murray has signed an executive order to bring greater equity to the City’s outdated system for promoting public engagement among residents of Seattle’s neighborhoods.

“Our city has changed dramatically since our District Councils system was created three decades ago, and we have seen them over time become less and less representative not only of their neighborhoods but of Seattle itself,” said Murray. “For immigrants and refugees, low-income residents, communities of color, renters, single parents, youth, people experiencing homelessness, LGBTQ, and more, the system today has become a barrier for many to become involved in the City’s decision-making process. Now is the time to recreate our outreach and engagement process to become more accessible and inclusive, and to account for the ways that people communicate and connect in the 21st century.”

The District Council system, established in 1987, includes thirteen area-based councils whose membership includes local residents representing their neighborhood’s community council, business associations, and nonprofit organizations. In 2009, the City Auditor issued a strongly-worded report advocating for a reset of the District Council system, due in part to the low-level of diverse representation on the district councils.

In 2013, a demographic snapshot of District Council attendees showed that they tend to be 40 years of age or older, Caucasian, with the vast majority owning their homes. At least six District Councils had no reported people of color attending, and only three District Councils reported any African American attendees.

Murray’s executive order directs City departments to begin developing robust community engagement plans, and takes steps toward dissolving the City’s ties to each of the thirteen district councils. The district councils may still exist, but Department of Neighborhoods’ resources that previously supported the district councils will be redirected to support all City departments in these efforts. Throughout the month of August, the Department of Neighborhoods will conduct civic engagement focus groups. By September 26, the department will also draft legislation for a new citywide community engagement framework and strategic plan, including a new Seattle Community Involvement Commission to be established by January 2017. The Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle IT are also directed to submit a digital engagement plan by March 1, 2017 to broaden public accessibility.

“How we reach out to residents to bring them into the governing process reflects the City’s fundamental commitment to equity and to democracy,” said Murray. “We’re constantly looking to bring down barriers, to open up more opportunities, and to reflect the face of our diverse and growing city. I know that community members have committed untold hours serving on the district councils over the years: this change is about distributing opportunity for community input, not taking it away.”

To learn more about the Mayor’s executive order, go to our Advancing Equitable Outreach and Engagement webpage.