Often, readers tell us WSB has helped them learn something they didn’t know about our community, what’s happening around WS, or the services available. We have to say, it’s been educational for us too. Only after 15 years in WS are we beginning to learn about the full scope of what’s out there. The West Seattle Community Safety Partnership is one of many groups that just weren’t on our radar, for whatever reason. But it should have been on ours, and allow us to be so bold as to say it should be on yours. Long ago, the WSCSP was known as the “anti-crime council” — but its scope goes beyond crime. As demonstrated at Tuesday night’s meeting, the group is there to gather and share information about how to pro-actively protect yourself and your family and improve your neighborhood. Its officers are volunteers, but the group is assisted by a regular allotment of time provided by the Seattle Neighborhood Group for one of its staffers, Lois Grammon-Simpson (SNGi photo of Lois at right), who lives in WS. The room all but gasped Tuesday night when Lois revealed that SNG might stop providing the group with her services, as has already happened for a similar group in Southeast Seattle. But it’s not too late to change the course …
The challenge, Lois explained to the group, is that SNGi — which is a nonprofit organization — needs to see results on its investment of staff time. Those results require an investment from the community as well. Listening to the explanation, it struck us as a
principle similar to the “matching funds” offered by entities such as the city — groups can get X, but they also have to show they are investing their own time and money. The West Seattle Community Safety Partnership, like many groups, has only a small core of regulars who make things happen — and it’s in desperate need of some new blood. In particular, WSCSP needs regular attendees to run for offices such as President and Vice President, currently held by longtime volunteers who are ready to share the responsibility. The group wouldn’t disband if paid staff services were pulled, but those services help support its mission with research, resources, information, and other things we probably have no clue about. Lois says the SNGi executive director has the final say, and will be watching closely to see what happens. First thing you can do — go to the WSCSP’s next meeting, 7 pm October 16th at the Southwest Precinct, and see if you think the added services are worth fighting for.
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