Gathering of Neighbors 2016, themed ‘Growing Pains’: Here’s the lineup

(WSB photo from previous Gathering of Neighbors, November 2014)

Just two weeks until the next edition of the Gathering of Neighbors. After months of mentions at local community meetings, the full lineup/schedule for the March 12th event is out tonight. Here’s the announcement:

On Saturday, March 12th, at 9:00 am at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, VieWS (Visualizing Increased Engagement West Seattle), Southwest Youth & Family Services, and the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association will present the 2016 edition of the Gathering of Neighbors.

Our theme is “Growing Pains” and will focus on 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.

This year’s event will feature opportunities to learn about the recommendations by the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Living Agenda (HALA) Committee, recent updates proposed for the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, plans to renew and double the Housing Levy, 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.

Learn 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 morning’s agenda will be packed:

· 9:00 am – Social/Refreshments

· 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
Featuring a City Staffer, Urbanist, Elected Official, West Seattle Organization Leader, and Homeless Advocate

· 11:40 am – Breakout Sessions: How Do I Get Involved in Shaping Our Community?

Ø North Delridge Action Plan update – David Goldberg (OPCD) & ACT Team members
Ø ST3 Planning – West Seattle Transportation Coalition + Rob Johnson, Seattle City Councilmember, District 4
Ø Land Use/Urban Village Growth – Cindi Barker and Deb Barker
Ø 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

Ø Michael Maddux, 43rd District Democrats and former City Council candidate
Ø Hanna Brooks Olsen, Seattlish writer, Project Manager for Civic Ventures
Ø Mercedes Elizalde, Policy & Engagement Strategist for City Councilmember Debora Juarez

Youngstown is at 4408 Delridge Way SW.

8 Replies to "Gathering of Neighbors 2016, themed 'Growing Pains': Here's the lineup"

  • Noelle February 25, 2016 (8:43 pm)

    Best of luck helping West Seattle find its way while keeping its essentric little town authenticity. Its an important balance to strike!  I have moved away because our beautiful neighborhood on the peninsula has become much too urban for me. Always love Alki on summer afternoons. 

  • Free speech February 25, 2016 (9:27 pm)

    Not far behind you, sad , change is not progress and the change in west Seattle is pathetic

  • K February 25, 2016 (11:04 pm)

    Excited for the changes coming our way. People are moving here from out of the area and I love it–adding some different backgrounds is great and makes the region seem more open, even after a decade in WS and as a PNW native.  Hoping the region’s leaders can step up their game and properly plan for a more busy and dense city. 

  • Jim February 26, 2016 (5:10 am)

    I like the ways in which West Seattle, particularly Admiral/Junction, is becoming more urban. It is becoming one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle.

  • heather February 26, 2016 (7:14 am)

    Agreed Jim.

  • Junction guy February 29, 2016 (8:55 am)

    Population is going to increase no matter what. The challenge is how to plan for the future and manage it effectively. I too like the changes to the Alaska Junction, etc. It makes sense to concentrate some density near shopping, nightlife and transportation. Let’s do it smart and right. Remember project “Forward Thrust” where king county voters turned down TONS of federal money to build a regional light rail like 45 years ago? A big reason being that if we had good transportation more people would move here. They still moved here and we don’t have the train!

  • Joe Szilagyi February 29, 2016 (10:03 am)

    I hope I can make it this year. I also hope it’s made clear to attendees just how dramatically limited to legally impossible it is for the city — or it’s residents — to limit, mitigate, slow, or stop migration to our city of new residents. It’s a popular and unfortunate fiction that many people seem to believe: “The city could stop this if it wanted to.” No, we can’t. 

  • Denise March 12, 2016 (10:02 am)

    Growth will happen because some people make a lot of money from it. Seattle could have shared some of the growth with Tacoma or Everett, but that would mean less profits for the few at the top. So instead, they tell us we cannot stop growth, and if we complain, they try to shame us with name-calling: NIMBY, elitist, racist. The Growth Management Act was supposed to ensure growth would not overwhelm the infrastructure. But the profit motive is too strong. We never had such horrible problems with traffic and homelessness until this too-fast growth was foisted upon us. And now they tell us we need more growth to solve those problems. 

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