Take a break from the keyboard and come talk about West Seattle’s “growing pains” face to face with people from around the peninsula. Whatever time you can spare to be part of this Saturday’s annual Gathering of Neighbors, that’s what it’s all about. This update includes the full lineup of topics and panel participants:
This coming Saturday, March 12th, at 9:00 am at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, VieWS (Visualizing Increased Engagement West Seattle) and the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association will present the 2016 edition of the Gathering of Neighbors. This gathering of West Seattleites will focus on the theme of “Growing Pains” and the challenges facing West Seattle as we see rapid growth in populations, jobs, and housing and the benefits and drawbacks that growth brings to our neighborhoods. What “pains” might that growth bring; what can we do to ease the “pain”?
This year’s event will feature opportunities to learn about the recommendations by the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Living Agenda (HALA) Committee, plans to renew and double the Housing Levy, what increased density might mean for our peninsula, what a Sound Transit 3 package might look like for your vote in November, and the recent declaration of a Homeless State of Emergency by Mayor Ed Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine.
Hear from invited experts about what is happening with housing, zoning, community centers, parking, transportation, and much, much more and how all this change is both creating new opportunities for us and our loved ones while also stirring up fears of increased inequality, ongoing historical inequities, and permanent damage to the character of our neighborhoods.
As always, we will also offer breakout sessions where you can learn more about how you can get be part of shaping the impact all of these changes will have on our community and meet local leaders and organizations already involved in these issues. The heart of this event is “showing up.” When you show up to help move your community a little further along, you make a difference.
The morning’s agenda will be packed:
· 9:00 am – Social/Refreshments provided by Nucor and a proud West Seattle small business
· 9:30 am – Open House & Informational Tables: What are the Challenges Facing West Seattle?
· 10:30 am – Welcoming Ceremonies
· 10:45 am – Expert Panel: What is Being Done About Growth in West Seattle?
Moderated by Brian Callanan, Seattle Channel
*Michelle Chen, Senior Project Manager, Housing Affordability Livability Agenda
*Lorena Gonzalez, Seattle City Councilmember, At-Large
*Susan Melrose, Executive Director, West Seattle Junction Association
*Roger Valdez, Director, Smart Growth Seattle -invited
*Sharon Lee, Low Income Housing Institute -invited
· 11:40 am – Breakout Sessions: How Do I Get Involved in Shaping Our Community?
*North Delridge Action Plan update – David Goldberg (OPCD) & ACT Team members
*ST3 Planning – West Seattle Transportation Coalition + Rob Johnson, Seattle City Councilmember, District 4
*Land Use/Urban Village Growth – Cindi Barker and Deb Barker
*West Seattle Chamber conversation about business development
· 12:30 pm – Facilitated Discussion: Are We In a Homelessness State of Emergency?
Moderated by: Lisa Herbold, Seattle City Councilmember, District 1
*Michael Maddux, community advocate, and current Chair of the King County Young Democrats
*Hanna Brooks Olsen, founding editor of Seattlish; her work on the subject has appeared in the Atlantic and Salon.
*Mercedes Elizalde, Policy & Engagement Strategist for Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez, District 5
· 1:00 pm – Wrap-Up
Youngstown is at 4408 Delridge Way SW.