On Tuesday, April 19, more than 200 people gathered at the Museum of History & Industry for Mayor Murray’s Livability Night Out to learn more about Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), a multi-pronged strategy for addressing the housing affordability crisis in Seattle.
Mayor Ed Murray and directors of city departments talked about housing affordability and what makes Seattle livable, including education, arts, transportation, civil rights, public spaces, and more. City directors outlined how their departments would contribute to the livability agenda.
Our own Kathy Nyland, director of the Department of Neighborhoods, wrote and presented a poem called The ABCs of HALA in honor of the event. We’ve had several requests for copies of the poem so we’ve included the text at the bottom of this article. And, thanks to our colleagues at The Seattle Channel, you can watch the full evening’s presentation in the video below (Kathy Nyland’s presentation beings at the 17:30 mark).
If you are interested in learning more about HALA or adding your voice to the conversation, attend one of the many Community Focus Groups. Everyone is welcome to attend, listen to conversation, and chime in with public input at appropriate times on the agenda.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on April 19th. It was an inspiring evening!
The ABCs of HALA by Kathy Nyland
This is my ode. And yes, it will rhyme.
But it will be quick and won’t take much time.
H is for HOUSING, the essential need
For all of us no matter color or creed.
It’s true, we must build much more
For all – especially the middle and poor.
We’re looking at much, such as heights and at zones
Conversations we’ll have, ALL with a civil tone.
Make it Affordable, many do say.
So in Seattle more people can stay.
Let’s put a roof over everyone’s head.
20,000 affordable units the Mayor has said.
Tech and the trades; new mixed with old
Onto Seattle’s character, we must hold.
Livability is the L. It’s often given a score
Access to schools, transit, parks and more.
It’s about the capital L, our quality of life
Walking to work and not commuting from Fife.
Live where you work. Work where you live
Live by yourself or perhaps with a relative.
Agenda is HALA’s second A
65 recs to guide our way.
To keep Seattle home it’s what we must do
We love it here, and other people do too.
Let’s not debate growth. Seattle is a city for all.
Let’s not close the door behind us or build a wall.
Please note, I am not here to preach.
DON’s role in this is public outreach.
Events will be planned and to meetings we’ll go.
Questions will be answered and information will flow.
We will listen to what you have to say
And incorporate your comments in a meaningful way.
Seattle is growing and it’s happening now.
We want to grow smart so let’s figure out how.
To create this bold housing policy without hesitation.
We’ll need to build more, reuse, and rely on preservation.
For green space needs how about more trees or a P Patch?
Or maybe you need a fund like our Neighborhood Match?
Department of Neighborhoods is here to assist.
We’re writing down questions and comments; we’re making a list.
We will keep you updated, informed and engaged
With traditional tools and some from the tech age.
Together, we’ll solve the housing crisis, you’ll see.
Because it’s the right thing to do; it’s about equity.