Free Legal Services and Information for Immigrants on Friday, January 20

The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs is organizing an event called Seattle United for Immigrants and Refugees, a day of service for immigrants and refugees on January 20th. This is one of several ways that the City of Seattle is responding to the fear and uncertainty felt by many of our immigrant and refugee communities.

This day of services will include naturalization assistance, Know Your Rights trainings, free legal consultations with immigration attorneys, assistance with family safety planning and preparing for family separation, as well as information about City of Seattle services and programs.

 

Seattle United for Immigrants and Refugees
FREE legal services and information
January 20, 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
McCaw Hall at Seattle Center (321 Mercer St)

Please join us in spreading the word about this opportunity. For more information or to sign up to volunteer, visit the New Citizen Campaign or call the help line at (206) 386-9090.

 

Get help applying for citizenship.

Check-in from 12-3pm

 

Plan for your family’s safety.

Identical Know Your Rights Training Sessions at 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm

  • Learn about what to do if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents stop you or come to your door.
  • Take steps to protect your children and family.
  • Learn about your rights as an immigrant, regardless of your status.

 

Get legal help.

Check-in from: 3-6pm

  • Talk to Immigration attorneys about your options.
  • Fill out forms needed to protect your family: power of attorney, temporary guardianship, and other forms.
  • Get your Mexican passport or citizenship through Mexican Consulate document services.
  • Bring any immigration documents and court documents if you have them.

 

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Seattle’s Neighbor Day Celebration Invites You to Indulge in Random Acts of Kindness

Join us for Seattle’s 23rd Annual Neighbor Day on February 11 and help us kick off 2017 with a celebration of kindness and community!

After a challenging 2016 that stirred up divisiveness and bitter debate both nationally and locally, we all need to remind ourselves that our greatest strength comes from one another. When we come together as communities and neighbors to share an experience, to express gratitude, to learn from one another, to support one another in times of need, to get to know each other – this is when we make the truest progress as a society.

To honor that, we invite you to participate in our annual Neighbor Day celebration, a special day set aside to reach out to neighbors, make new friends, and express thanks to those who help make your neighborhood a great place to live.

We encourage all Seattle residents to celebrate this day by indulging in random acts of kindness. Residents, businesses, or community groups are all invited to participate however they like. The main goal is simply to reach out and connect with your neighbors through generosity.

Neighbor Day will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to participate! Below you will find a list of ideas and resources that can help you plan your Neighbor Day event or activity:

  • Do something nice for a neighbor: take them to coffee, clean up their yard, bake them some cookies, invite them for a walk.
  • Organize a neighborhood potluck, open house, or work party. It can be as big or simple as you want.
  • Need more ideas? We have an extensive list to help you.
  • Want to know how your local business or community group can participate? Here are some ideas!
  • If your event is open to the public, you can post it to our online events calendar.
  • Use our flyer to post around your neighborhood or work area to remind people of the day.
  • Share a “great neighbor” story or tell us how you are celebrating by tagging us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and using #NeighborDay.

For more information on Neighbor Day, please visit our website at http://www.seattle.gov/neighborday.

If you have any questions or want to bounce ideas off someone, contact Neighbor Day coordinator Sam Read at sam.read@seattle.gov.

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Learn How to Become an Effective Community Leader and Engage with Your Local Government

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Are you looking for ways to get involved and make your voice heard? Then, register for the winter quarter of our People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE).

PACE is a civic leadership development program dedicated to cultivating the next wave of community leaders. The program builds a pipeline of new leaders in the community through a series of courses and seminars – with classes teaching hands-on skills ranging from community engagement to navigating City government. The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is now accepting applications for PACE’s winter quarter, which begins January 28 and runs through March 4.

During the five-week program, 25-30 emerging community leaders (18 years and up) will get an introduction to the structure and fundamentals of City government, with a strong focus on how communities and local government can work together. Participants of PACE get a chance to build relationships with key City staff, City Councilmembers, and expert community facilitators.

Winter classes will be held on five Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Yesler Community Center. Topics include: Accessing City Government, City Budget 101, Land Use in Seattle, Community Organizing, Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement, Public Speaking, Skillful Engagement in Conflict, and more.

Tuition for the five-week program is $100. Tuition assistance is available to those who qualify. The application and details for the winter session are here or you can visit seattle.gov/PACE. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 9 by 5:00 p.m.

Given the popularity of the program, PACE is offered three times a year: winter, spring, and fall. The Spring quarter will begin in late April of 2017. For more information, visit our webpage and for questions, email PACE@seattle.gov.

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.”

Join Us for Community Conversations on Affordable Housing

In order to get feedback on proposed zoning changes and other citywide efforts, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is collaborating with a handful of city departments to host some fun community gatherings over the next few months.

We heard from many of you that City Scoop was a great model for engaging in and sharing information, so we are injecting some food and fun into this next round of meetups as well! We’ll be highlighting maps that show draft neighborhood affordable housing proposals. Read more about those here.

Starting December 3rd, we have five events planned at spaces around the city and we’d love to see you there.

December 3, 10am-12pm
NW Neighborhoods at Bitter Lake Community Center

December 7, 5:30-7:30pm
SW Neighborhoods at Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery

December 13, 6-8pm
NE Neighborhoods at Ravenna Community Center

January 10, 6-8pm
Central Neighborhoods at Optimism Brewing

January 21, 10am-12pm
SE Neighborhoods at The Royal Room

Click on the above links for more details about each event.

We hope to see you there!