Find Posts By Topic

Community Engagement Coordinators Center Trust Building, Elevate Community Voices in Local Government

For local government to effectively serve the community, trust is essential. At the Department of Neighborhoods, we know that community trust in government isn’t inherent, nor should it be. Trust is something that should be earned by walking the talk, acknowledging a role in historical injustices, and actively working to amend those past harms.   

Our Community Engagement Coordinators (CEC) work to build that trust. They build strong relationships with and between residents and community organizations, connect community to local government, bring vital services and information to neighborhoods, and help elevate the wants and concerns of community members throughout the city.  

“The Community Engagement Coordinators are like a bridge to community,” says Alvin Edwards, CEC serving Southeast Seattle. “A lot of community members may not know how to reach the City or they may not have the connections. We play that really important piece of connecting community members to the City and to the resources of the City.” 

Each of the four members of the CEC team serves a different geographic region of Seattle and connects with community in a variety of ways. Whether it is attending community meetings, bringing information and resources to neighborhood events, or building relationships with community organizations, the CECs are here to make sure the community’s voice is heard and considered during the City’s decision-making processes.  

“A lot of the other positions that may do community outreach within the City are tied to either specific projects or specific departments,” said Central Seattle CEC, Laura Jenkins. “Our Community Engagement Coordinators are very aware of a broad variety of what’s going on in the City. I may not always have the answer, but I can connect them [community members] with someone who does.”  

Establishing partnerships with community organizations is an important part of the CEC’s job. By working with people who are already known and trusted within communities, they can reach smaller communities and those who have historically been marginalized and underserved by City government.  

As we work toward a more unified vision of our city, the CECs provide an invaluable resource to community members in Seattle. By truly engaging, listening, and putting the needs of residents at the forefront of their work, the CECs are helping to advance equity, elevate community voices, and set the foundation for building One Seattle.    

Learn more about our Community Engagement Coordinators at: