Seattle Department of Neighborhoods: Coming to an Event Near You!

One of the best parts of our job is getting out in the community and talking to people – living up to our promise of meeting people where they are. In fact, we’ve been spending our summer doing just that.

We are currently in the middle of our GET ENGAGED summer tour! [Cue the pyrotechnics!]

You may have seen us recently at Night Out events, Rainier BAAMFest, Live in D5, or Umoja Fest. But, we’ve got a lot more upcoming stops on our tour.

Below is a sampling of the events we’ll be attending in the coming weeks. If you plan on being there, just look for our table or our nifty new t-shirts and come say hi!

Whether you want to connect more with your neighborhood, learn more about City services, or just tell us what you think about a particular City project, we are here to listen and to help.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

South Lake Union Block Party
August 11

Rainier Valley Heritage Festival
August 12

World Dance Party
August 17

Filipino Community Services – Career and Community Resource Fair
August 19

Duwamish River Festival
August 26

Celebrate Little Saigon
August 27

CID Night Market
September 9

Sustainable Ballard Festival
September 9

South Park Fiestas Patrias
September 16

Wedgwood Picnic
September 16

 

Can’t make it to any of these events but still want to connect with us? Our Community Engagement Coordinators are holding neighborhood office hours this summer. Or, just reach out to them directly:

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Community Engagement Coordinators announce neighborhood office hours

Do you want to learn more about City services? Do you need help navigating who to talk with in the City? Do you have an idea to share with us? Our Community Engagement Coordinators are ready to help. Karen, Thomas, and Yun are holding neighborhood office hours this summer at the following locations. Stop by and say HI:

Central Seattle – Karen Ko

  • Central Area: Promenade Red Apple Market – 2301 S Jackson on Tuesdays, 7/18 – 8/29 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Queen Anne: Queen Anne Farmer’s Market – beginning in August on the following Thursdays:  8/3, 8/10, and 8/17 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., and 8/24 from 3:00 – 4:30 .pm.

North Seattle – Thomas Whittemore

  • Ballard: Ballard Customer Service Center – 5604 22nd Ave NW on Wednesdays, 7/19, 8/2, 8/16, and 8/30 from 1 – 5 p.m.
  • Lake City: Kaffeeklatsch – 12513 Lake City Way NE , Suite H on Thursdays, 7/13, 7/27, 8/10, and 8/24 from 1 – 3 p.m. and the Lake City Future First table in the Farmers’ Market – 12546 28th Ave NE on Thursdays, 7/13, 7/27, 8/10, and 8/24 from 3 – 5 p.m.

South and West Seattle – Yun Pitre

  • Othello: Southeast Neighborhood Service Center – 3815 S Othello St on July 13 and August 2 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • West Seattle: Southwest Neighborhood Service Center – 2801 SW Thistle St on July 27 and August 9 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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Announcing Our New Community Engagement Coordinators

(l to r) Thomas Whittemore, Karen Ko, Christa Dumpys

Seattle is a city known for its neighborhoods. We have a long history of outreach and engagement through a system of recognition and support for neighborhood and business associations. This history is valuable. It is part of who we were and who we are.

Our Neighborhood District Coordinators, a key pillar of our outreach and engagement efforts, have played an instrumental role in that history. But as our city and its people continue to grow and change, our outreach and engagement strategies need to change with them. This means looking at what we do, how we do it, and being open to doing things differently.

For the last eight months, we have been working closely with our Neighborhood District Coordinators to do just that. We have refreshed their roles and job descriptions to better capture the important work they do and ensure that we are moving toward more equitable and inclusive outreach and engagement practices.

With that said, we are happy to announce our Community Engagement Coordinators. While their titles have changed, the exemplary service that you are accustomed to will remain the same. Our Coordinators are now housed with the rest of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, but they will still be out in the communities, meeting with neighbors, assisting with groups, and serving as liaisons. They will still be accessible by their same phone numbers and emails. They are still your connection, providing the essential link to government, and responding to your questions and concerns. And yes, they will still be engaging the community just as their title says.

Your designated Community Engagement Coordinator and their contact information is listed below:

North Sector (Council Districts 4, 5, 6)
Laurie Ames, Laurie.Ames@seattle.gov or 206.684.0320

Central Sector (Council Districts 3,7)
Karen Ko, Karen.Ko@seattle.gov or 206.233.3732

South Sector (Council Districts 1,2)
Yun Pitre, Yun.Pitre@seattle.gov or 206.386.1924

Citywide
Capacity Building Support
Thomas Whittemore, Thomas.Whittemore@seattle.gov or 206.684.4096

This is a long time coming, but we are excited about these improvements. This will allow us to be more responsive and better serve the needs of the neighborhoods and communities throughout Seattle.

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Mayor Murray Signs 2017-2018 Budget: Exciting Changes for Department of Neighborhoods

Message from Kathy Nyland, Director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods:

Yesterday Mayor Murray signed the 2017-18 City Budget that was adopted November 21, 2016 by Seattle City Council. The budget includes several additions and changes to the work of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON), and I’m pleased to share them with you.

The department’s work has become much more important in the last year; and we see this work continuing and expanding as more issues come our way. We know everyone has a voice, and it is our job to hear them. The Mayor reminded us about the need for DON and the City Council has confirmed it.

When Mayor Murray issued the Executive Order in July mandating the City to approach outreach and engagement in a more equitable manner, it set the stage for this department to lead the City’s outreach and engagement practices. And through the Mayor’s Proposed Budget, he introduced legislation that outlined a new citywide framework for community engagement and redefined the role of DON in this work. This new legislation, Resolution 31718 and Council Bill 118834, does the following:

  • Advances a citywide approach to outreach and engagement that prioritizes equity and recognizes barriers to participation.
  • Demonstrates the City’s commitment to implementing equitable and inclusive community involvement strategies across all City Departments.
  • Directs City departments to develop well designed, responsive, and culturally relevant public involvement plans.
  • Creates a Community Involvement Commission to advise on City plans, policies, strategies, and community grant funding processes and make recommendations that advance equitable public engagement and civic participation.
  • Redefines the purpose of DON and the functions of the Director.


It is now up to DON to lead this work.
Going forward, you can depend on us to:

  • Focus on more access and more opportunity. We will broaden our reach and work with many groups knowing that no one speaks for all.
  • Implement a broad range of new initiatives and tools to encourage greater and more diverse participation. Read our workplan to learn more.
  • Work with city departments to ensure their outreach and engagement work is equitable and transparent through consultation and collaboration.

 

How are we going to do this? Here are DON’s budget highlights that will support this work:

POSITIONS

  • Two staff members to continue their work in outreach and engagement oversight and city-wide coordination.
  • Two positions to focus on improving the City’s outreach and engagement to neighborhoods during impactful construction projects.
  • Two positions to provide additional capacity to the POEL (Public Outreach and Engagement Liaison) program with a focus on low-income transit options.
  • One position to broaden the participatory budgeting approach to new audiences.
  • One position to analyze the outcomes of DON’s programs and identify strategies and opportunities for improvements.
  • One part-time position dedicated to Historic Preservation process improvements.
  • One position dedicated to administer grants and contracts.
  • One Accounting Technician position to serve the Department of Education and Early Learning.


FUNDING

  • Funds to develop resources and tools to support all community organizations. These would include workshops, online trainings, and a one-stop shop for resources.
  • Funds to develop a fellowship program to support community-based organizations that provide leadership development opportunities and capacity-building.
  • Funds to develop and implement community satisfaction surveys to gain residents’ opinions on city services and priorities for improvement.
  • Funds to support outreach efforts for the Housing Affordability Livability Agenda, including funds to review the city’s historic preservation program review process.

 

 

Several of you had questions about our Neighborhood District Coordinators. We continue working with them and their labor representatives to evolve their job descriptions to meet our new goals. Please know that there will be staff designated to assist community groups, both community-based and geography-based.

The DON staff is excited to implement this work. It gives us and the City an opportunity to rethink and reimagine how we interact with one another. Over the coming months, you will be introduced to the many tools, processes, and initiatives that DON will be leading, supporting, and implementing. Make sure to visit our Engage Seattle webpage to learn more.

Outreach and engagement is the core of what we do. Equity, transparency and “meeting people where they are” are our guiding principles. Our work is about fostering community partnerships, cultivating emerging leadership, and facilitating community inclusiveness. We are a department known for many programs; but we are about people, first and foremost. We are thankful that this adopted budget supports the good work we do and our mission of “strengthening Seattle by engaging all communities.”

Director Nyland Discusses Proposed Department of Neighborhoods 2017-2018 Budget

This afternoon, Mayor Murray presented his Proposed 2017-2018 Budget to the Seattle City Council. A section of this budget will focus on a new direction for Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON).

As you know, the Mayor issued an Executive Order in July that mandated the City of Seattle to approach outreach and engagement in a more equitable manner. It directed this department to lead and work with all City departments on their outreach and engagement practices that reaffirm the City’s commitment to inclusive participation.

This direction is reflected in our mission – to strengthen Seattle by engaging all communities. We do this every day by fostering community partnerships, cultivating emerging leadership, and facilitating community inclusiveness.

In the Mayor’s Proposed 2017-2018 Budget, you will find legislation that addresses these outreach and engagement principles and outlines a new citywide framework for community engagement. This will be the roadmap as we continue to develop a suite of tools with broader access points.

Below are the highlights to DON’s budget that reflect this work:

  • Two staff members will continue their work in outreach and engagement oversight and city-wide coordination.
  • Two positions will focus on improving the City’s outreach and engagement to neighborhoods during impactful construction projects.
  • Two positions will provide additional capacity to the POEL (Public Outreach and Engagement Liaison) program with a focus on low-income transit options.
  • One position will broaden the participatory budgeting approach to new audiences.

Additional capacity and investments:

  • One part-time position will be dedicated to Historic Preservation process improvements.
  • One Accounting Technician position will serve the Department of Education and Early Learning.
  • One position will be dedicated to Grants and Contracts.
  • $185,000 dedicated to outreach efforts for the Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda, including funds to review the city’s historic preservation program review process.

 

These are just some of the highlights reflected within the Proposed 2017-2018 Budget. Over the next two months, Seattle City Council will be reviewing and deliberating the proposed budget. To learn more about how you can provide your input, visit seattle.gov/council/.

We have an incredible opportunity before us to rethink and reimagine how we interact with one another. It’s not just about how the City talks with communities, but it’s about how communities can talk with and learn from one another. In the coming week, you can learn more about the legislation, the timeline, and the expected deliverables at our website.

Outreach and engagement is the core of what we do. Equity, transparency and “meeting people where they are” are our guiding principles. We hope you’ll join us as we continue to transform the way our City reaches out, listens to, and works with communities.

 

Sincerely,
Kathy Nyland, Director