Southwest District Council 131 results

Southwest District Council goes green for May meeting

This month’s Southwest District Council meeting had an environmental theme. Two guests spotlighted that. First, Craig Kenworthy, executive director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency:

In our photo, Kenworthy was showing a test strip that indicated air dirty enough for a burn ban. He gave the SWDC a primer about the most common particulates in our area – mostly fine particles that come from engine combustion – diesel and gas, cars, rail, or ships. (Added – here’s his slide deck):

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Southwest District Council catches up with Sound Transit light-rail planning, West Seattle Junction Association

April 6, 2018 1:51 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With one month until your next major feedback opportunity for West Seattle light rail, this week’s Southwest District Council meeting brought a chance for some to catch up on where the process is so far. Sound Transit reps were the spotlight guests, along with Lora Swift from the West Seattle Junction Association.

First:

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: This was something of a primer to catch up those who haven’t been following it much since the process of determining a “preferred alignment” for the West Seattle and Ballard extensions revved up three months ago.

Stephen Mak from Sound Transit first recapped the backstory that we’ve already covered here many times, including what’s currently the “representative alignment” – aka, the draft route – elevated stations at SODO, Delridge, Avalon, and The Junction, with a new light-rail-only bridge over the Duwamish River.

By this time next year, the Sound Transit board hopes to have a “preferred alignment” approved. Next feedback step, the first round of “neighborhood forums,” with one in West Seattle 10 am-12:30 pm May 5th (as announced last month). Before then, the Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) has two meetings, April 17th and 24th – and that’s when the official report on the public “early scoping” feedback from February-March will be made public, Mak said in response to a question from Deb Barker, one of two West Seattle community representatives on the SAG. He recapped the “early themes” described at last month’s SAG meeting, including suggested alternate routing, with some tunneling – all five of them are shown here:

Mak stressed, as briefers had at the SAG meeting, that these are not in any way final options – just an early look at some themes emerging.

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Parking changes and needle cleanup @ Southwest District Council

March 9, 2018 2:09 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The city’s proposed changes in parking rules continue to make their way through the City Council, with another briefing in the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee this week.

Hours later, the Southwest District Council heard from, and talked with, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections staffers who wrote the proposal.

We’ve covered the proposal previously, dating back to its introduction in November by then-Mayor Tim Burgess. It had been in the works for a while, dating back to the Ed Murray administration – we mentioned before a city HALA-and-other-initiatives open house in January that parking was on the table too. SDCI’s Gordon Clowers and Mike Podowski told the SWDC at its regular March meeting on Wednesday night that it’s the first time in many years the city has addressed parking in the zoning code.

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WEDNESDAY: City rep to brief Southwest District Council on proposed parking changes

Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, a landlord or a developer, a car user or a bicycle rider, The city’s “neighborhood parking” changes will probably affect you. They continue making their way through the City Council, after more than two months. Tomorrow night, the Southwest District Council will get a briefing from a city rep, and everyone is invited to bring questions, whatever your housing status or interest in the issue. The full bill is here. Wednesday night’s SWDC agenda also includes School Board president Leslie Harris, who represents our area on the board, and a Seattle Public Utilities rep talking about graffiti, illegal dumping, and needle disposal. SWDC looks forward to seeing everyone upstairs at the Senior Center/Sisson Building in The Junction starting at 6:30 pm Wednesday.

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Hot topics from Councilmember Herbold; what you don’t know about the Senior Center; logistics, updates, more…

(L-R, Councilmember Lisa Herbold, SWDC co-chairs Tamsen Spengler & Amanda Sawyer, secretary Roxane Rusch; Gunner Scott of HPAC, Mat McBride of Delridge NDC, Lora Swift of WSJA)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

New year, new information – many community updates filled last night’s first 2018 meeting of the Southwest District Council, representatives of groups and organizations around western West Seattle.

The meeting was the first under SWDC’s new leadership, co-chairs Tamsen Spengler (of the Morgan Community Association) and Amanda Sawyer (Junction Neighborhood Organization), with secretary Roxane Rusch (Admiral Neighborhood Association).

The spotlighted guest was City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, now midway through her four-year term representing District 1 (West Seattle and South Park).

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WEDNESDAY: Your city councilmember @ Southwest District Council

December 28, 2017 9:00 am
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

We’re now less than a week away from the first local community meeting of the new year, the Southwest District Council‘s meeting next Wednesday (January 3rd) at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction (4217 SW Oregon). Besides discussing 2017 accomplishments and 2018 goals, SWDC is scheduled to hear from and talk with District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. Got a question or comment for her? She’s expected at 7 pm, half an hour into the 6:30 pm meeting, at which everyone’s welcome.

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Change at the top; Dakota Homestead update; West Seattle crime’s ups and downs; more

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When then-Mayor Ed Murray announced plans last year to create a Community Involvement Commission, it accompanied word that the city would cut formal ties with neighborhood-district councils.

Most of those councils have continued their work anyway. And one of the two in West Seattle – the Southwest District Council – invited a commission member to its December meeting.

Her guest appearance was just part of a full agenda at the meeting this past Wednesday night – no holiday-season slowdown here. One of several big topics was the SWDC’s leadership change:

(From left, new SWDC secretary Roxane Rusch, new co-chair Tamsen Spengler, outgoing co-chair David Whiting, outgoing secretary Vicki Schmitz Block)

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Southwest District Council: New leadership; Fauntleroy rezone proposal; Sound Transit light-rail meeting…

November 1, 2017 7:28 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

From tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, just wrapped up at the Sisson Building/Senior Center:

FAUNTLEROY REZONE A ‘MONSTER’? Mike Dey and Bruce Butterfield from the Fauntleroy Community Association board told the SWDC they’re working to find out more about the proposed rezone at 9250 45th SW (first reported on WSB earlier this week) to facilitate a 5-story, 32-residential-unit project. They noted how the Endolyne Triangle, where the building is located, had transportation/traffic improvements recently – including the change of Brace Point to one-way on the south side. They are trying to set up a meeting with the property owners “to see if we can find out more detail about what they are proposing,” said Dey.

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@ Southwest District Council: Citywide campaign to raise $ for ‘aging’ Seattle Parks facilities

By Marika Lee
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The main presentation at last night’s Southwest District Council meeting was by a visitor from the other side of the city, circulating a petition to support funding for aging Seattle Parks facilities citywide.

“It is a modest increase in property taxes but we feel with the money that is going to be generated over the next three years, if used properly, will provide some tangible benefits,” said Tim Motzer, who spoke to SWDC about the petition sponsored by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance.

The petition is urging the Board of Commissioners of the Seattle Park District – in other words, the Seattle City Council – to maintain the current park district assessment rate of 27.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for the remaining three years of the Park District’s six-year spending plan. That would increase tax collections in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

“We can generate about $26 million and that revenue along with other sources from the city would allow us to fully fund the eight community centers,” said Motzer, a retired Parks worker.

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SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: City Councilmember @ centerstage; Westside Neighbors’ Network ‘village’ update; more

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Got something you wish your City Council representative would help with? You should have been at tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, SWDC’s first one in two months (like many community/neighborhood groups, SWDC leaves August off the meeting calendar). The centerpiece of the meeting was a multi-issue update from, and Q&A with, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – taxes, transportation, and more.

COUNCILMEMBER SPOTLIGHT: SWDC invited City Councilmember Lisa Herbold to come speak to, and hear from, SWDC. She addressed some issues she’d been asked about before the meeting – for example, she said SDOT acknowledged it should have done some neighborhood outreach before its late-night work to convert 59th/Admiral to an all-way stop (as they told us for this followup). She added that SDOT said this was a community-requested project, with support from Alki Elementary‘s principal and PTSA, and they will be monitoring the “functionality of the intersection” for six months – pedestrian counts, collisions, compliance among other things. Tony Fragada, who represents the Alki Community Council on the SWDC, said his group had agreed that something needed to be done to slow traffic there.

Next update: She said the city’s planning to continue using the new Your Voice, Your Choice participatory-budgeting process for upcoming funding processes, as it did for the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund. But, she reminded, the city has an executive change coming up – a new mayor – and her priorities (whichever woman is elected mayor) will come into play.

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Q&A WITH YOUR COUNCILMEMBER: Lisa Herbold @ Southwest District Council tomorrow

September 5, 2017 9:04 am
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Before we get to what’s up for the rest of today, an early alert for Wednesday night: The Southwest District Council agenda has just arrived, and it includes Q&A with our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. The City Council gets back to work today after its two-week summer recess, so maybe you have questions about action it’s taken, is about to take … or something you think needs attention. SWDC meets at 6:30 pm Wednesday at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction (4217 SW Oregon), all welcome; the full agenda has just been added to our calendar listing.

@ Southwest District Council: Rechannelization reconsideration? Plus, port trucks, motorcycle noise, more…

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A show-stopper-of-sorts statement from SDOT was part of last night’s Southwest District Council meeting:

SWDC co-chair David Whiting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association led the meeting, which featured multiple meaty topics despite the day-after-holiday scheduling.

First:

AVALON PAVING PROJECT: Dan Anderson and project manager Luke Peters of SDOT came to speak to the group about the repaving and rechannelization project, one month after Avalon entrepreneur John Bennett brought merchants’ concerns to the SWDC, which agreed to support them (WSB coverage here).

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TOMORROW: Southwest District Council IS meeting

July 4, 2017 12:54 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Many community groups skip midsummer meetings. Not the Southwest District Council, which invites you to its July meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) night, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building:

6:30 P.M. Welcome and Introductions ​​
• Review and approval of previous meetings minutes and summary
• Brief Announcements
• Amendments and overview of the Meeting Agenda

6:40 P.M. Port of Seattle – current activities
• Mick Shultz

7:10 P.M. West Seattle Noise Survey Results
• Jesse Robbins

7:30 P.M. SW Avalon Paving Project
• Dan Andersen, SDOT

7:45 P.M. Southwest District Council Business
• CNC Update
• Announcements
• Other business ​

8:00 P.M. Adjourn Meeting

The Sisson Building is at 4217 SW Oregon.

@ Southwest District Council: Aligning for Avalon alternative

(Displays from recent Avalon project “open house,” starting with the current proposed alternatives for lane reconfiguration)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With two days left to answer the SDOT survey about rechannelizing SW Avalon Way when it’s repaved in ~2019, local merchants and bicycling advocates are backing an alternative route for new bike lanes
– one that’s not currently part of SDOT’s proposals.

That was the major agenda item at last night’s Southwest District Council meeting.

AVALON RECHANNELIZATION: John Bennett and Angela Cough from the Luna Park Merchants Association first recapped the back story – as reported here two weeks ago – of being surprised to find out that what was announced as repaving was also going to include rechannelization.

SDOT contacted merchants to ask for a meeting at which they learned “they’re redesigning the whole street .. their plan was to take away a big chunk of parking on (the east side of) Avalon Way, which merchants rely on for customers.” Five years earlier, they had lost parking in the morning (for the 6-10 am bus lane). Now, 25 to 28 parking spots further south would be lost permanently. Cough, who owns Shack Coffee, explained that they’re also concerned about losing the center turn lane, which area businesses need for everything from deliveries to tows (Alki Auto Repair). The center turn lane also assists pedestrians, Cough pointed out, since there is no crosswalk in the area (the city removed one by her shop, then Java Bean, 10 years ago), and the rechannelization/repaving project so far doesn’t include one. And it’s used by Seattle Fire vehicles and other emergency personnel when there are incidents. Read More

@ Southwest District Council: Project previews, plus crime trends

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One final community meeting to recap from this past week – here’s what happened as the Southwest District Council discussed three transportation-related projects – including issues such as Fauntleroy Boulevard construction vs. Sound Transit 3 planning – and received a crime-trends update.

NEIGHBORHOOD STREET FUND PROJECTS: SDOT outreach lead Natalie Graves said she was there to “take feedback” as the project leads weren’t available. West Seattle’s projects were two of 12 chosen for funding in this round of the every-three-years Neighborhood Street Fund proposal/selection/construction process.

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TONIGHT: 3 transportation projects @ Southwest District Council

April 5, 2017 1:20 am
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 |   Southwest District Council | Transportation | West Seattle news

Three city-funded transportation projects are on the agenda for the Southwest District Council tonight (6:30 pm, Senior Center/Sisson Building, 4217 SW Oregon). Natalie Graves from SDOT will update SWDC on the two Neighborhood Street Fund projects that have been in circulation for community feedback, the Harbor/Spokane/Avalon/Manning Intersection Improvements and Chief Sealth IHS Walkway Improvements. Former SWDC co-chair Sharonn Meeks is also scheduled to talk with the council about the Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard project; she has been involved with advocating for it for many years and spoke at both of the recent walking tours. SWDC is co-chaired by David Whiting from the Admiral Neighborhood Association and Eric Iwamoto from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council and its meetings are open to all.

CANCELED: No Southwest District Council meeting next Wednesday

February 24, 2017 5:22 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Just announced: The Southwest District Council executive committee has canceled next Wednesday’s monthly SWDC meeting so that interested members and would-be attendees can go to two other meetings set for that night, both already previewed here: The Fauntleroy Way Neighborhood and Business Association, talking about the Fauntleroy Boulevard project, and the Westwood-Highland Park HALA-rezoning-response meeting. That means the next SWDC meeting is April 5th.

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Alive and well and independent

January 5, 2017 11:10 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Toplines from the first Southwest District Council meeting of the new post-city-support era, last night @ the Senior Center/Sisson Building:

DISTRICT COUNCILS CARRY ON: Co-chair David Whiting (from the Admiral Neighborhood Association) opened by noting that this was the first SWDC meeting without city funding for a meeting space (the $500/year was cut as part of the mayoral decree that neighborhood district councils would no longer have official city ties). He wanted to be sure it was clear that the mayoral decree did NOT dissolve the council, which, like its counterparts around the city, is going forward independently. And, he said, after talking with reps from some of the other district councils, SWDC is doing so with what seems like even more energy and determination than some others. As part of the mayor’s decision to sever ties, a Department of Neighborhoods coordinator is no longer assigned to assist the group; SWDC member Cindi Barker (who represents the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs) asked that the coordinator who used to have that role, Kerry Wade, receive a formal invitation to attend anyway, along with her boss, DoN director Kathy Nyland.

POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith provided a crime-stats briefing. The precinct made more arrests in December than the previous two months – package-theft suspects among them, since that’s such a prevalent crime during the holiday season, and some car-prowl suspects too. Morgan Junction remains the current West Seattle hotspot for car prowls, Lt. Smith said, likely because emphasis patrols in The Junction and Westwood areas resulted in thieves moving elsewhere. He added that the precinct is working with the City Attorney’s Office to step up the focus on frequent offenders with regard to car prowls (which by themselves are misdemeanors, which is why the City Attorney handles them). He also said SPD and Parks had been involved in a campsite cleanup in the Longfellow Creek area where some residents had been linked to car and package thefts.

The Southwest District Council continues to meet on first Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon). All welcome.

@ Southwest District Council: Request for rezoning-plan extension

The Southwest District Council is asking the city for an extra half-year to deal with the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) rezoning plans.

That’s part of what happened when the SWDC met Tuesday night – postponed from last week, when the city scheduled its rezoning-and-more “open house” (WSB coverage here) on the district council’s longstanding regular meeting night.

Here’s the text of the resolution passed by SWDC members:

The Southwest District Council requests a six-month extension to the HALA proposal, prior to the (Environmental Impact Statement) submittal, to accommodate necessary outreach, assimilation, and planning so that alternative draft zoning proposals can be developed, and in order to have design charrettes take place for the following urban villages: West Seattle Junction, Admiral Junction, and Morgan Junction.

As we’ve been reporting since October, four West Seattle “urban villages” are among the areas of the city where upzoning is planned as part of what the mayor calls Mandatory Housing Affordability – giving builders/developers additional capacity, while requiring them to build a percentage of their projects as “affordable” units, or else pay into a fund that will pay for it to be built somewhere else in the city.

One of those UVs, Westwood-Highland Park, has already had a “design charrette” organized by the city to talk about and look at specifics of its plan, but the city is currently not planning similar events for the three UVs mentioned in the SWDC resolution. And the overall concern is that most current residents potentially affected by this still don’t know about it, as there’s been no direct, clear messaging from the city about the proposed zoning changes.

Also at Tuesday’s SWDC meeting, three items that you might call operational.

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SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: New December date

December 5, 2016 7:36 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Along with the venue concerns about the city-organized multi-topic, multi-department “open house” this Wednesday, a date conflict also had been pointed out weeks ago – the date the city chose (Wednesday, December 7th) was also the Southwest District Council‘s regular meeting night. SWDC has now decided to change its meeting date rather than try to rush through the expanded open house and have an abbreviated meeting of its own:

In light of the added venue and now an expanded agenda for the December 7th Southwest Open House for Affordable Housing Neighborhood maps and Fauntleroy Boulevard project, the executive committee of the Southwest District Council (SWDC) has decided to postpone our December meeting, which was scheduled for the same evening.

Despite our longstanding schedule of the first Wednesday of the month, we have little choice but to urge West Seattle residents to attend the December 7th open house. For this month SWDC will instead meet on Tuesday, December 13th at 6:30 pm at our regular venue at the Sisson Building/Senior Center (California/Oregon). The agenda will include election of new officers for 2017, proposed by-law changes and the proposed plans for rezoning. Further details on the agenda will be announced on the West Seattle Blog.

David Whiting and Eric Iwamoto,
Southwest District Council

Metro likely going ahead with removing 2 Junction shelters, Southwest District Council told

From last night’s Southwest District Council meeting:

A Metro planner told the SWDC that they’re likely to go ahead with removing two bus shelters in The Junction as part of a “problem-solving plan” to deter loitering.

img_0268
(WSB photo, October 27th)

While Metro is taking comments for two more weeks, so far few have come in, and more are in support than against, planner Dale Cummings said at the meeting. Read More

@ Southwest District Council: Unanimous vote to carry on; Park District briefing; street-project proposals…

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If Mayor Murray expects that cutting city support – $500/year and some staff time – to Neighborhood District Councils will cause them to fold, West Seattle’s district councils will be proving him wrong.

The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council has already displayed defiance by hosting the first citywide gathering of DC reps to follow the mayor’s announcement that he wanted to cut off the councils and find different means of “engaging” citizens. And last night, the Southwest District Council formalized its intention to continue on, with or without city support. Here’s how things unfolded at the SWDC’s September meeting at the Sisson Building/Senior Center:

DISTRICT COUNCILS’ FUTURE: SWDC co-chair David Whiting from the Admiral Neighborhood Association led this discussion, on behalf of the SWDC executive committee (in which he is joined by co-chair Eric Iwamoto from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council and Vicki Schmitz-Block from the Fauntleroy Community Association). He says the SW District Council executive committee wants to continue on, regardless of whether the mayor’s plan to cut off official city support goes forward. A vote was subsequently taken – and everyone present agreed with that plan. (Besides the aforementioned executive-committee members, other reps at the SWDC meeting were from Alki, Genesee-Schmitz, Morgan, and the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs.)

First point of discussion, how to make up the $500/year that the city has provided as financial support, all of which had been covering the cost of renting a room at the Senior Center for 11 meetings a year. Participating groups will be asked to chip in. Deb Barker from Morgan Community Association suggested lower-cost meeting space could be found, too. Whiting also had attended a recent City Neighborhood Council meeting and said other groups’ reps were in varying degrees of frustration and anger, but also most of them “want … to continue forward in some capacity.”

Also mentioned: The Seattle Neighborhood Coalition‘s “mini-summit” on the same topic coming up this Saturday, with participation from around the city invited – details here.

As for the city’s efforts to figure out where to go with future community engagement, the ongoing city survey was mentioned too – if you haven’t taken it yet, go here.

Also at last night’s meeting: Read More

OPEN LETTER: Delridge Neighborhoods District Council’s invitation to city councilmembers

Seven weeks have passed since the mayor’s abrupt announcement that the city would lurch away from the longstanding District Council system and look for new ways of “engagement.” As part of that, the Department of Neighborhoods has been running an online survey (with promotion including paid ads here on WSB and other places). The District Councils, including the two in West Seattle, are in the meantime about to resume their meetings after the traditional August break. And Delridge Neighborhoods District Council chair Mat McBride, who turned the group’s last meeting into a rally of sorts with reps from DCs around the city, has just issued an invitation in this open letter to City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Lorena González, Tim Burgess, and Rob Johnson, which we’re publishing with permission:

Esteemed City Council members (representing D1, At-Large, and Neighborhoods Committee),

I am requesting your presence at the September meeting of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting on Wednesday, September 21. The DNDC is very interested in having a conversation with you regarding community, engagement, and the future of the District Council system within DoN (we’ll also be ranking NSF grants that evening, in case you wanted to observe a DC in action).

District Coordinator Kerry Wade will follow up with an agenda, including specific time and location once it’s finalized. Your RSVP is appreciated.

In Community,

Mat McBride
Chair, Delridge Neighborhoods District Council

PS, in case you haven’t been following DoN’s Engage Seattle poll, it’s a good read. All responses and comments (predominantly by white middle-aged homeowners, which I suppose raises some ironic existential questions) are published. Recommended reading, and if you haven’t taken the poll, I suggest doing so.

Quite a few comments have been made in support of the District Council System (side note – good on you for making all responses transparent, even those that highlight flaws in this latest proposed revision of DoN). And they’re right to do so, the District Council System (DoN’s, not City Council’s) is vital.

Democracy has to be public. Not solely, and there’s a lot of good suggestions about how to enhance the process and increase engagement. But it’s the District Councils, through a relationship officially observed by the City, that provide this function. It is vital to have public discussion with City representatives and elected officials. It is vital to challenge assumptions. It is vital to provide a forum in which the public can champion or object to issues, initiatives, or proposals within a specific geography. Because at the end of the day, it comes down to people doing things. Not taking a poll, not reading a newsletter, not submitting a comment to a blog, but actual honest-to-goodness engagement. Communities are made of people that come together and unite over a common goal. Where technology can enhance and assist this process, it absolutely should. But without an established network and designated place for that to manifest, it’s meaningless. Community is local, friends, and you have to make local work.

So, how to accomplish this? The best solution is also the easiest – restore the DoN District Coordinator staff to pre-2008 levels.

When the cuts first came, and again when they continued, community leaders predicted the exact circumstance we find ourselves in today – the fraying of the social network to the extent that it struggles to provide its most basic functions. The District Coordinators served as the glue within each District, themselves clusters of communities. It’s a big job, and staffed appropriately, it works great – an individual with a comprehensive knowledge of the individuals and organizations operating within the District is able to coordinate and direct active and emerging civic engagement to promote or fulfill the goal of serving the community. The act of networking people is the single most successful way to disseminate information – we have never been able to improve on talking to each other (not that we should). Humans can consume a huge amount of data, and most of it is not registered as important. This is especially true of communication by local government to citizens. If you want your message communicated, you need peer-level discussions within the community. Since most City correspondence is dry and boring (on the surface, anyway), you need citizens who will consume it regardless, translate salient points as necessary to make it accessible, and explain why it’s important to care about. And then, you really need them to talk about it.

Good news! You’ve had that model in place for the last 28 years. By most assessments, it’s past the “Proof of Concept” phase. Success is built upon the enhancement and improvement of existing infrastructure. The dismantling of an established and proven institution, which is to be replaced by an untested concept, is – well, it’s a singularly terrible idea. Restore the District Councils, and commit to enhancing them through all the excellent suggestions for improvement that I’ve read from other respondents to this survey.

If you haven’t taken the survey yet – here’s the link. (And after you answer it – as mentioned above, the results so far can be seen here.)

As for the upcoming District Council meetings – everyone, as always, is invited. The Southwest District Council is expecting Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre at 6:30 pm Wednesday, September 7th, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction (California/Oregon).

The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council mentioned above will be on Wednesday, September 21st – as Mat McBride wrote, time and location to be finalized, and we’ll publish an update when that happens.

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