Followup to last night’s 1st report on the West Seattle workshop for Mayor McGinn‘s “Youth and Families Initiative“: The gathering was hosted by Denny International Middle School, whose music director Marcus Pimpleton led his Seattle All-City Band in a rousing warmup for the event. An estimated 300 people – which would be the largest crowd at any of these meetings so far – heard the mayor explain his inspiration and hopes for the initiative:
As happened at other gatherings, participants broke into small groups to discuss questions, particularly “What would you like to see in five years – what should Seattle look like then?” The “achievement gap” was mentioned frequently; though Seattle is considered one of the most-educated cities in America, several speakers said, our schools seem to have a tough time keeping up. Another frequent mention: More data-gathering is needed to find out which programs work and which don’t. And there were calls for helping figure out how kids who are falling behind can get a boost to catch up. Next steps: The fifth and final kickoff workshop is next Monday night at Garfield Community Center; right after that, it’s a month of Community Caucuses. The city’s not setting the times and places for these – they’re asking who wants to host them; find out more here. And a Youth Summit is planned at City Hall on April 8th; RSVP here.