By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The District 1 Community Network gathered online Wednesday to share updates and hear about public safety, environmental advocacy, and transportation issues.
Rather than having the same person run every meeting, D1CN rotates – Cindi Barker from the Emergency Communication Hubs facilitated this meeting.
LEAD: This was a continuation of D1CN’s series of spotlights on community-safety alternatives. Aaron Burkhalter and Sam Wolff were there to talk about this evolving program. The new meaning of the acronym – Let Everyone Advance with Dignity – was explained.
The program began 10 years ago with a focus on arrest diversions, primarily for drug and sex-work offenses. Its biggest change over the years has been the community-referral program – “arrest diversions now count for a small percentage of our total referrals.” Now, anyone can refer someone to LEAD. They’ve also expanded their eligibility criteria over the years. The clientele is primarily, though not exclusively, unhoused people. The program works both with other nonprofits and with clients’ point people in the legal system, as well as with community members – neighborhoods, businesses, etc. It’s a long-term program and it takes time to work with clients, Wolff explained. The housing shortage is one challenge; unaddressed mental-health needs and substance-use disorder are others.
Burkhalter said the program has operated in West Seattle for less than a year and has a fairly low limit for how many people they can help at a time – about 30. Right now they’re “looking to the city for some additional funding” so that the program can grow in West Seattle, as the demand is high. They have just two people dedicated to West Seattle, a screening/outreach coordinator (who is also working in Burien) and a case manager. A second case manager is coming; one case manager can effectively work with about 25-30 people max.
FAUNTLEROY FERRY TERMINAL: Mike Dey and Frank Immel from the Fauntleroy Community Association were there to talk about FCA’s advocacy in, and monitoring of, Washington State Ferries‘ terminal-replacement project. They first offered history, including a 1979 proposal to expand the dock, adding a second slip among other things, which, Dey said, appeared in the state budget without any communication to the community. Residents’ concerns led to a state study and over the years a variety of expressions of local government opposition to expansion of the dock. Here are a few of their slides:
At one point, Dey said, it was suggested that the dock be phased out. Instead, it’s now slated for replacement and possibly expansion.
The increased traffic should be a concern for West Seattle at large, not just Fauntleroy, asserted Dey. He also pointed out that the dock is not on state-owned land – it rents the site from the city. Bottom line for FCA, they support replacing the dock for the safety concerns including earthquake and sea-level rise, but they are not in favor of any possible expansion. They also want WSF to open all three advisory groups on the project to public viewing (right now, only the Community Advisory Group – which has met once so far – is; WSF’s Hadley Rodero was in attendance and said they are “working on a way” for public participation). FCA has written a letter (see it here). After some Q&A, Cindi Barker asked fCA to come up with several talking points that could guide involvement by affected/interested neighbors/organizations, and to provide them later to D1CN.
HERON’S NEST PROJECT: Amanda Lee briefed D1CN about this project on a site off Puget Way, just uphill from the Duwamish River, a bit southwest of the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse. Lee is a West Seattle resident and founding board member of Shared Spaces Foundation, focused on “sustainable education and restorative justice” and taking on the 3 1/2 acre site as its first project, the “old McFarlane site.” The site is for sale by developer Cardiff Investments of Gig Harbor, Lee said, and they’re trying to buy it, instead of seeing it turned into “multi-million-dollar condo units.” The property was part of adjacent Puget Park long ago and then purchased by a family that used it for industrial dumping, among other things. Lee said the group has been leasing the. land since the start of the year with an option to purchase but they only have until year’s end to raise the $1 million they need. They first need a $220,000 down payment. They’ve raised $10,000 so far (some of that via this GoFundMe page for donations).The plan is to buy the land, convert it to community uses, and then “repatriate it” to the Duwamish Tribe. D1CN members offered a variety of outreach suggestions. We already had an appointment set to visit the site this weekend for a closer look, so watch for that report.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Cindi Barker said hub captains citywide plan an exercise – September 25th at Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill is the closest one; they need volunteer actors to help them carry out disaster scenarios (here’s who to contact). She also urged people to get involved with the Seattle Parks strategic plan. … Ella McRae, High Point community builder, said Bike Works is returning to HP for a repair day, focused on youth and low-income riders, noon-4 pm on September 25th; BW will also accept bike and bike-parts donations during their visit. … Michele Witzki from HPAC noted Highland Park Improvement Club‘s final Giant Garage Sale 10 am-3 pm Saturday, September 11th – donated items are welcome that day at fire-damaged HPIC, which is at 1116 SW Holden … The Fauntleroy Fall Festival won’t happen this year … Southwest Seattle Historical Society is planning its auction.
NEXT MEETING: D1CN meets on first Wednesdays, 7 pm, online.