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Get to know the Community Involvement Commission w/ Emily Kim

Are you interested in helping the City of Seattle deliver more equitable outreach and engagement? We are seeking community members to serve on the Community Involvement Commission (CIC). The CIC is dedicated to holding the City accountable for increasing participation and engagement – especially among underrepresented and underserved communities. Apply today!

Want to know more about it? We recently checked in with former commissioner Emily Kim to get her thoughts on the CIC and what it looks like to serve.

Emily Kim is the co-founder of The Pastry Project, a social enterprise and community space providing free baking and pastry training to individuals with barriers to education and employment in the industry. She served on the Community Involvement Commission from 2017-2021.

What inspired you to serve on the Community Involvement Commission?

I was inspired to serve on the Community Involvement Commission because of my work in equitable outreach and engagement and wanting to be a part of including more voices in City decision-making, as well as making City processes more equitable in general. I wanted to come together with community members to share ideas and perspectives around how the city could engage our many communities to ensure that as many voices were heard as possible, especially from communities that are underserved, overlooked or traditionally less engaged in government.

What do you feel like the Community Involvement Commission has brought to the City?

The Community Involvement Commission really took on the charge of equity and equitable engagement. In every project we took on, we questioned how it could be more accessible and more equitable overall. I feel like we made some good starts on analyzing and making recommendations on outreach practices and things like grantmaking processes.

What are you most proud of from your time working on the commission?

I am really proud of helping to push, and ultimately make, certain traditionally volunteer-only positions be paid in order to ensure that not just those with the privilege to volunteer time without pay were able to participate and share their knowledge and skill. I am super proud of the events both big and small that we were able to host as a Commission. Bringing together various departments, City leaders, and residents to talk about current issues and how to remove barriers to processes was really powerful and helpful.

What does being a commissioner look like? What do you do?

Being a commissioner means that you meet at least monthly with other people that are passionate about the same issues as you, who want to uplift voices in the community and build a better city for everyone. Our Commission made engagement recommendations highlighting how a process could be more equitable and more inclusive of marginalized voices. We took on projects like Neighborhood Matching Fund grants and made recommendations on how the process to apply and receive grants could be more equitable. There is so much more the Commission can and will do, and I’m excited for its future!

Why should someone apply to join the commission?

Someone should apply to join the Commission if they are a champion of equity and if they are passionate about community involvement and really thinking about ways departments and officials can reimagine engagement and communication. All kinds of skill sets from all different sectors of work and community, creating a diversity of experience and perspective, are what makes this Commission great!

To learn more about the Community Involvement Commission, visit our website.  

Those interested in being considered should complete the online application by Monday, June 14 at 5 p.m. If you cannot submit the application online, contact Laura Jenkins at (206) 437-3735 and an application will be mailed to you.