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.

Join Mayor Murray for this Year’s Find It, Fix It Community Walks

find it fix it logoToday Mayor Ed Murray announced the schedule for his 2016 Find It, Fix It Community Walks to occur in seven neighborhoods this summer and fall. Now in its third year, the walks bring together City officials, business owners, and community members to address each neighborhood’s needs.

“These walks provide a unique opportunity for community members to identify neighborhood needs and discuss challenges directly with City leaders,” said Mayor Murray. “Together we invest in a spirit of engagement and community volunteerism. Find It, Fix It Community Walks are one way the City can support neighbors committed to improving their own communities. I look forward to working with community members this year to make these walks a success.”

This year’s Find It Fix It walks will be held in:

  • Aurora/Licton Springs – May 31
  • Belltown – Late June
  • Roxhill – July
  • Judkins Park – August
  • Crown Hill – September
  • Georgetown – October
  • Wallingford – Mid-November

Each walk will follow a route determined by community members on Community Walk Action Teams convened by the Department of Neighborhoods. Specific dates and locations will be announced two weeks prior to each walk.

If you are interested in becoming part of a Community Walk Action Team to help plan a walk in one of the seven neighborhoods, contact the Find It, Fix It Program Coordinator, Hilary Nichols, at hilary.nichols@seattle.gov, (206) 386.1907.

The City will continue to offer Community Project Grants for every walk, which provide up to $5,000 to support community-led revitalization and beautification projects. In 2015, 166 community volunteers, with assistance from City staff, completed 18 projects around the city. Projects included painting a mural on a public staircase in South Park, constructing a community kiosk in Cascade, and planting flowers in Hillman City.

Mayor Murray spearheaded the Find It, Fix It Community Walks in 2014 in partnership with Cities of Service, a national nonprofit that works with cities to provide support and training to encourage civic volunteerism.

Whether your neighborhood is part of this year’s walks or not, community members can report safety needs or city maintenance issues anytime with 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.

Landmarks Preservation Board to consider nomination of Lincoln High School for Landmark Status

Lincoln High SchoolSeattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of Lincoln High School in Wallingford (4400 Interlake Ave N) on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 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 January 5 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 Wallingford Branch Library (1501 N 45th Street, 684-4088) 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.”

 

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.

Neighbor Appreciation Day Activities in Wallingford

The Wallingford Chamber, Wallingford Community Senior Center, Family Works, Wallingford Center and the Department of Neighborhoods invite you to participate in Neighbor Appreciation Day on Sat. Feb. 9th from 11AM – 2PM with activities at Wallingford Center and other businesses throughout the neighborhood.

Community organization representatives will be staffing a table at Wallingford Center where Wallingford residents can complete Neighbor Appreciation Cards — write a thank-you note to your neighbors, tell a story about something great a neighbor has done for you or just write the name of a neighbor you really appreciate! 

The cards neighbors complete for each other will be shared on Wallyhood.org and will be part of a larger graphic about Neighbor Appreciation Day.

As a Business, you can participate by offering your customers the opportunity to complete Neighbor Appreciation Cards in your business location. Contact Marjorie Goldfarb or Kathleen Cromp for more information on how you can participate.

 

 

Today’s hours for Neighborhood Service Centers

Here is a list of Neighborhood Service Centers that serve as Payment and Information Service sites and today’s hours of operation due to weather conditions:

Lake City: Open – 9:00-5:00
Closed for lunch 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Ballard: Open – 9:00-5:00
Open for lunch

University: Closed

Central: Open – 9:00-5:00
Closed for lunch 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Southeast: Open – 9:00 – 5:00
Closed for lunch 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Delridge: Open until 3:30 p.m.

West Seattle: Closed

Neighborhood Service Centers are open today

Below are the  Neighborhood Service Centers’ hours of operation for today, Monday, Nov. 22.  All centers are open, however, most NSCs will be closing for lunch with the exception of two locations.
Lake City:
9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Closed for lunch 1:00-2:00

Ballard:
9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Closed for lunch 1:00-2:00

University:
10:00 am-6:00 pm
Closed for lunch 2:00-3:00

Central:
9:30 am – 7:00 pm
Open for lunch

Southeast:
9:00 am-5:00 pm
Open for lunch

West Seattle:
9:00 am-5:00 pm
Closed  for lunch 1:00-2:00 pm

Delridge:
10:00 am-6:00 pm
Closed for lunch 2:00-3:00 pm

Friends of McDonald School, Neighborhood Matching Fund award recipient group, to hold public workshops

Friends of McDonald School is a volunteer organization that raises money for community space improvements on the McDonald Elementary School grounds at 54th St. and Latona Avenue in north Wallingford. In 2008 the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) Program awarded the group $15,000, which, combined with $9000 in community donations, paid for a very popular new play structure, and for refurbishing several old seating structures.   In addition, neighbors donated several thousand dollars to install a new basketball hoop, now on the west side of the school. 

In 2009 the group was awarded another grant ($13,000 from the King Co. Youth Sports Facilities Program and $15,000 from the NMF) and has collected an additional $9,000 in donations from local residents and their employers. At open community workshops this winter attendees decided to devote the approximately $37,000 in funds available in 2010 to preparing a site for and installing one or more new play structure(s).  The main new play structure will be located in the northeast corner of the east play field. 

The third of three open community workshops will take place on April 27 from 7-9 pm at Green Lake Elementary School. Participants will select specific play structure or structures to purchase and install.  The workshop is free to the public and will include refreshments.

If all goes as planned, Friends of McDonald will hold two culminating events open to the public:

▪                June 26-27 installation & cleanup, with the help of community volunteers

▪                July 17 celebration of improvements

For more information, visit the FOM website: http://friendsofmcdonaldschool.blogspot.com/

To get involved, contact McDonaldSchool@gmail.com or call 206-525-1566.