City’s new Community Involvement Commission gets to work

Many of you may be wondering what our Community Involvement Commission (CIC) has been up to, so we wanted to provide a quick recap and update.

Progress

The commission was established last year and has been focused on creating best practices for outreach and engagement and developing guidelines and recommendations for how to achieve equitable and inclusive community involvement. They have been meeting since August 2017. In that time, they have:

  • held seven in-person meetings
  • adopted a decision-making process
  • created bylaws
  • elected co-chairs
  • recruited 2 new commissioners
  • laid the foundation for creating a work plan

The commission has also held five internal briefings with representatives from: Seattle Department of Neighborhoods leadership, the Mayor’s external relations and outreach team, Seattle Department of Transportation’s Transportation Equity Program, the Office of Planning & Community Development’s Equitable Development Initiative, and the Your Voice, Your Choice participatory budgeting program.

Impact

Their meeting with the Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC) team highlights a good example of the role the CIC can play in shaping future outcomes. At the September meeting, the YVYC team provided an overview of their program plans for 2018. The commissioners offered feedback and asked some tough questions to help guide the program team in tackling equity concerns. One of their suggestions centered on the YVYC team’s plan to create a Steering Committee to help guide the program on issues of equity and accountability. CIC members pointed out that participation on such a committee would require time and resources that many people from underserved communities do not have. They suggested offering compensation to Steering Committee members in order to address this concern and create more access for communities of color and individuals with lower income.

The YVYC team left that meeting with a lot of ideas and went to work to find ways to incorporate the feedback they received. The final program updates reflected many of the CIC’s suggestions, including the creation of a consultation fee for YVYC Steering Committee members: these members are now being compensated $50/hour in recognition of their time, talent, and commitment to shaping the future outcomes of the program.

This is just a small example of the impact the CIC can have on City projects and programs. But it is these kinds of small steps that can really begin to have a big impact.

Get Involved

As the commission continues to build a foundation and create a comprehensive work plan, they welcome your feedback and input. Here are ways you can get involved:

Contact Danielle Friedman, CIC staff liaison, to request time on their agenda or ask general questions: danielle.friedman@seattle.gov or 206-256-5973.

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