Reminder: List Your Community Organization on DON’s Community Connector

Do you work with or lead a community organization? Add your group to the Department of Neighborhoods’ (DON’s) Community Connector to promote your organization and reach new people in your community.

Background

DON recently launched the Community Connector, their new online portal where you can easily learn about and connect with community-based groups throughout the City. Whether you have a specific interest or just want to connect with your neighborhood, you can easily find an organization that fits your needs. Read our article about Community Connector for more information.

The Community Connector is part of the new Community Resource Hub. Learn more about the Community Resource Hub.

List Your Organization

If you would like to have your group listed in the Community Connector, follow these steps:

  1. Follow this link to the Community Connector portal.
  2. Search to make sure your group is not already in the Community Connector by entering a keyword or group name in the search box.
  3. Click on the blue “Add Your Group” button.
  4. Input your organization’s information into the simple online form. This information includes group name, meeting location, mission, social media links, etc.
  5. Submit the form by clicking the blue Submit button at the bottom of the page. The information you submit will be reviewed by DON staff for content and relevance. If something needs to be updated before your group is added to the database, DON will contact you with questions.

 

Spread the word to other community-based groups that you think may benefit from being listed on the Community Connector.

Seattle City (spot)Light: Alfred Love

Alfred Love has been at City Light for three years, but just celebrated 20 years of service with the City of Seattle. He began his career in the Parks and Recreation department and is now the Credit and Collections Supervisor in the utility’s Customer Care division. “People hear the word ‘collections’ and think negatively, but that’s not the case for us as the customer is the one making contact,” Alfred explained. “We deal with closed accounts, move dates, unreceived bills and finalize open transactions.”

A longtime resident of the Northwest, Alfred grew up in Rainier Beach. He lives in Kent, but is still active in the Rainier Beach community. Alfred and his fiancée, Ashanti, have five children and one grandson. In this week’s (spot)Light, Alfred talks about his volunteer work in the community and why he enjoys customer interface.

Alfred with his team

“I used to go to the Rainier Beach Community Center when I was a kid. I was always there to play basketball. Eventually, I started coaching which led to a position working in the after-school program. I was in high school at the time, so it was a part-time position, but eventually I applied for a full-time position as a recreation attendant. I’ve always enjoyed positions that were customer facing.”

“I’m still very much involved with the Rainier Beach Community Center. I’m the head coach of two basketball teams and the founder of the Seattle Youth Recreation Foundation (SYRF), which is a non-profit organization for the youth. I created the organization to help the kids at the community center have a better team experience. We take the kids to an annual travel basketball tournament and other monthly outings. It gives them the experience of being on a team without having a certain level of skill or finances to support the endeavor. It’s a recreational team. I’ve been running SYRF for nine years. It’s a wonderful experience. I’m also a minister at Spiritual Blessings Christian Church which also keeps me going.”

“I’ve been coaching basketball for 30 years. I’m now coaching kids of kids I use to coach! I’m still running plays from my early years of coaching and my previous players, who are now parents, are recognizing those plays! It’s funny how it comes back full circle. But the play still works, so why not?! I’m a basketball guy; a community guy. I just love to do what I do and keep it going.”

“My desire to serve and help others ties into my role here at City Light. I like coming up with process improvements and looking at things from different perspectives. It helps to serve our mission of customer service. We don’t want our customers to go to collections. That’s not our goal. Our goal is to prevent them from getting there. There are different programs we implement to help streamline the process. I’m always looking at ways to update that process and make sure that things are in a constant state of improvement. Like I said, I’ve always enjoyed positions with customer interaction.”

List Your Community Organization on DON’s Community Connector

Do you work with or lead a community organization? Add your group to the Department of Neighborhoods’ (DON’s) Community Connector to promote your organization and reach new people in your community.

Background

DON recently launched the Community Connector, their new online portal where you can easily learn about and connect with community-based groups throughout the City. Whether you have a specific interest or just want to connect with your neighborhood, you can easily find an organization that fits your needs. Read our article about Community Connector for more information.

The Community Connector is part of the new Community Resource Hub. Learn more about the Community Resource Hub.

List Your Organization

If you would like to have your group listed in the Community Connector, follow these steps:

  1. Follow this link to the Community Connector portal.
  2. Search to make sure your group is not already in the Community Connector by entering a keyword or group name in the search box.
  3. Click on the blue “Add Your Group” button.
  4. Input your organization’s information into the simple online form. This information includes group name, meeting location, mission, social media links, etc.
  5. Submit the form by clicking the blue Submit button at the bottom of the page.
    The information you submit will be reviewed by DON staff for content and relevance. If something needs to be updated before your group is added to the database, DON will contact you with questions.

 

Spread the word to other community-based groups that you think may benefit from being listed on the Community Connector.

Seattle City (spot)Light: Nikitta Vinson

Nikitta Vinson has been with the City of Seattle for twelve years, including her current role as a program intake representative for the Utility Discount Program. “I speak with customers and conduct interviews to see if they meet the program’s eligibility requirements,” Nikitta explained. “We also do community outreach and meet people at different events which is a benefit because it’s often a comfortable environment where people are in their element. There’s also that face-to-face interaction you just don’t have over the phone.”

Nikitta lives near Madrona with her two teenage children—her son Cipher and her daughter Nia. Some of her favorite activities include rollerblading by Alki Beach, walking along Lake Washington and cooking. “I love to make lasagna and my friends and family love to eat it,” she joked. In this week’s (spot)Light, Nikitta talks about the power of food and the importance of building a sense of community.

Nikitta (middle) with her children

“I was born in Seattle, but moved to Eatonville when I was young. Once I graduated from high school, I returned to the city life…it brought me back! I describe Seattle as a great salad bowl. To me, ‘melting pot’ means that once it’s melted, everything is gelled together. With a salad bowl, everything stays the same. Once it’s tossed, it remains integrated which means there’s diversity. And that’s what I was looking for.”

“My parents instilled a love of cooking in me and it’s something I’ve shared with others. Before coming to City Light, I was a teen development leader (later changed to recreation leader) at Parks and Rec. I thought it was important to include cooking as part of the programming—to get the teens in the kitchen working together. Some kids took a little longer to warm up to the idea, but once they got in there, heard the music playing and saw the process, they were engaged. They weren’t focused on trivial matters because everyone was contributing to something that we were all going to consume. So, their thoughts were ‘Yes, I want this to be good’ or ‘Yes, I’m learning a new technique.’ It allowed them to build a sense of community and, with that, more and more kids started to come in and wanted to be involved.”

“Growing up, we had a fish fry every Friday. That’s how our family stayed connected. Even though my dad worked, he made sure we had one. Friends and family would stop by on Fridays because they knew there’d be a fish fry. As a young kid, I didn’t realize the history that went behind that, but it was a tradition—that every Friday there was a meal that brought us together.”

“Now, I have my sense of community by volunteering at Northwest Tap Connection which provides kids with wonderful training in the south end of Seattle–a place that has a negative association. But there is some amazing stuff taking place at that studio. It’s important to me to be there. To be an advocate for the kids and to teach them that they have a voice and that their voice matters. It’s also teaching them how to use that voice through art. To help them understand that they can promote change through an art form, through creativity, through dance.”

Show Will Go on for Fremont Solstice Parade

The future looks bright for the Fremont Solstice Parade thanks to a new partnership between the Fremont Arts Council and Seattle City Light. A permit for use of a City Light property has been signed by the Fremont Arts Council to store materials for the community-based arts parade, which was in danger of shutting down, as their lease could not be renewed at their current storage location due to construction.

In June 2017, Seattle City Light learned through the City of Seattle’s Finance and Administrative Services that the Fremont Arts Council was urgently looking for a new site to store float trailers and parade materials. The Environment, Land and Licensing Unit identified a City Light-owned property that was about to become vacant and contacted the Fremont Arts Council.

“As an important part of the history and fabric of our City, I am pleased we were able to work with the Fremont Solstice Parade to find a great space that allows us to preserve the parade,” said Mayor Murray.

“The Arts Council brings a huge amount of social and cultural good to the City of Seattle. We have an amazing legacy of community art and have accumulated supplies over time that allow us to put on the Fremont Solstice Parade, but those things need to be stored. A month ago we got to a point where we realized we might have to destroy our floats. We were squarely looking the end of this parade in the face,” said Peter Toms, co-founder of the Fremont Solstice Parade. “City Light contacted us and wanted to help. The new site is literally on the staging area for the parade. It’s fantastic. It couldn’t be any better.”

The approximately 4,000 square foot open-air site is located at 3616 3rd Avenue NW in Fremont. To assist in a timely transition from their current location, the Fremont Arts Council is signing a month-to-month permit for use effective Aug. 1 with the intent to pursue a long-term contract.

“This is a great example of partnership that will keep a beloved tradition alive,” Seattle City Light General Manager and CEO Larry Weis said. “I applaud our employees, the community leaders and volunteers involved in this agreement for coming together to ensure the Fremont Solstice Parade will go on. I’m particularly thankful to Real Estate Manager Maureen Barnes and Senior Real Property Agent Greg Aramaki for their leadership in securing the space and permit for parade.”

“The Fremont Solstice Parade is one of the most popular parades in Seattle,” Kate Becker, Director of the Office of Film + Music + Special Events said. “Thousands turnout every year to celebrate the summer, display their creative spirit, and embody Seattle’s whimsical nature. I am delighted the tradition will continue.”

“We are so grateful for the support from City Light. We intend to use the space to continue to enliven Seattle through celebration arts! Next year is our 30th Annual Fremont Solstice Parade. Thanks to their creative thinking and quick action, we will continue with our human-powered spectacle of colorful and quirky delights!” said Fremont Arts Council President Susan Harper.