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PACE: People’s Academy for Community Engagement reports on third session

Below is a review of the 3rd class of PACE: People’s Academy for Community Engagement. This seven-month, civic leadership development program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods builds the skills of emerging community leaders in a multicultural and participatory adult learning environment. This program is led by a team of our Neighborhood District Coordinators for 30 selected participants who will complete the program in October.

Did you ever have a question you wanted to ask a government official, but were too afraid to ask?  When trying to advocate for your cause, how do you know what is most effective?  These questions and more were covered by the facilitators of the 3rd PACE session titled “Accessing Government.” The first part of the session was led by former City Councilmember Jim Street, Delridge Neighborhoods District Council Chair Mat McBride, and University of Washington’s Nancy Amidei.  The group learned about the origins of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods; the structure of neighborhood councils from the local, district, and citywide level; and hot tips on how best to advocate for creating change. 




The second half was a panel discussion with government officials from City, County, State, and the Port.  The panel included David Yeaworth, Legislative Aide to Seattle City Council President Sally Clark; BrynDel Swift, Chief of Staff for King County Councilmember Larry Phillips; Dave Upthegrove, Washington State Representative, 33rd Legislative District; and Tom Albro, Seattle Port Commissioner. 

 For the last portion of the session the participants broke into project groups, along with Neighborhood Matching Fund staff Garry Owens and Allynn Ruth, to review their Small Sparks applications.  There are some great ideas out there…from a children’s concert in a park to a voter registration rally to a “Staying Alive”  emergency preparedness project to a “I Wish It Was A….” survey of empty space and possible uses by the community.  We look forward to seeing what wonderful events these groups will be creating and implementing this fall!