Hey Neighbor: Meet Kim Schwarzkopf

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Hey Neighbor! series introduces you to the people behind the scenes working to build, strengthen, and engage the communities of Seattle.

 

West Seattle resident and Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC) participant and volunteer, Kim Schwarzkopf first became involved in participatory budgeting with the Youth Voice, Youth Choice program in 2015. Kim signed on because of her commitment to amplifying youth voices and strengthening their leadership skills. In that first year, Kim worked tirelessly to connect area youth with Youth Voice, Youth Choice. Her engagement with young residents of South Park contributed to the program’s overall success: more than 3,000 area youth aged 11-25 voted from a short-list of 19 for their preferred project and allocated $700,000 in funding to seven projects city-wide.

From there, Kim’s engagement with YVYC has deepened. A member of the 2018 YVYC Steering Committee (the advisory body and working group for the program), she has learned more about Seattle, its residents, and the participatory budget process. “Being part of the steering committee has shown me how much care and consideration goes into the YVYC program,” Kim observed.  After the Seattle City Council allocated an additional $1 million to the YVYC budget in 2018, Kim and her Steering Committee colleagues unanimously decided to use these funds to support projects located in the City of Seattle’s Equity and Environment Initiative Focus Areas.  “We focused on centering equity, inclusive democracy and environmental justice,” Kim said. “With every new cycle, there is the potential to gain more trust and raise awareness of the possibilities to make good things happen within every community.”

Over 1,000 ideas were submitted by residents this year which meant that Kim and the rest of the YVYC Steering Committee and volunteers had their work cut out for them. According to Kim, one of the greatest challenges of the program is the project development phase. As a co-facilitator for a project development meeting in South Park, she found that “there were so many great ideas collected within one neighborhood, it was difficult to prioritize them.”

Your Voice, Your Choice is important because it is a simple way for people to get involved, connect with neighbors, and make a positive impact in their community. – Kim Schwarzkopf

Despite challenges such as this, Kim is energized by the successes of the YVYC program and pointed to the South Park community to illustrate this point. “South Park residents came together to include as many voices as possible. They posted the YVYC survey on at least six different social media sites – two of which are mostly used by Spanish speakers,” she explained. “They also worked to distribute hard copy surveys to local hot spots, like the community center and Concord Elementary, so neighbors without internet access and kids could take part.”

Efforts in communities like South Park have paid off. This year, over 7,200 people voted, and 51 community projects were selected by voters across the city. Participating in YVYC has been, Kim reflected, “an honor and incredibly rewarding to connect with people from all walks of life and learn about their communities and heartfelt projects.”

Kim Schwarzkopf: At-a-glance

What makes your neighborhood special: Longfellow Creek! It is part of our city’s second largest watershed and, thanks to ongoing community care and restoration, we’re seeing salmon again!

Absolute favorite place in Seattle: Alki Beach at sunset! But, I also enjoy being on the water—especially around the Duwamish River.

How do you like to spend your time: I like to be active and spend time with friends and family (walking, paddle boarding, snowboarding, skateboarding, and dance fitness). I also enjoy learning about our environment and local history and taking action to help build a healthier community.

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Vote for your favorite Your Voice, Your Choice park and street improvements

You decide how to spend $3 million of the City’s budget!

From June 16 – July 16 is your chance to vote for your favorite local park and street improvement projects. It’s all part of the City of Seattle’s Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets, a participatory budgeting initiative in which community members democratically decide how to spend a portion of the City’s budget on small park and street improvements. A total of $285,000 is available in each City Council District, and residents can cast their ballots for their top three choices in the district where they live, work, go to school, receive services, or volunteer.

Each council district will have its own ballot. The projects were selected from over 1,000 ideas submitted in January by community members across Seattle. More than 500 community members evaluated and prioritized each idea based on need at the project’s location and community benefit. The projects, which can be viewed at www.seattle.gov/yvyc, range from new pedestrian lighting to basketball court improvements.

Community members ages 11 and up can vote online or at in-person polling stations between June 16 – July 16. Paper ballots are also available at all Seattle Public Library branches. The projects that receive the most votes will be funded by the City and implemented in 2019.

New this year is additional funding for projects in Equity and Environment Initiative (EEI) focus areas. These are geographic areas where communities of color, immigrants, refugees, people with low incomes, Native peoples, and limited-English proficiency individuals tend to live. Because these areas are highly impacted by socio-economic and environmental challenges, the City’s goal is to ensure the people most affected have a voice in finding solutions. Projects will be voted on through district-based ballots, and the top vote-getting projects in EEI Focus Areas citywide will be funded up to $1 million overall.

After ballots are tallied, the winning projects will be announced in August. You can find information and voting instructions at www.seattle.gov/yvyc.

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Latest Updates on Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets

The 2017 Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC) improvement projects, chosen by nearly 8,000 Seattle residents during last year’s Vote, are starting to pop up all over the city! The project pictured above, at 20th Ave NW & Leary Ave NW in Ballard, is already making a big impact on safety in the neighborhood. This project, accomplished in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), added stop signs, curb bulbs and overhead flashing beacons to promote safer crossing at what was once considered a very confusing intersection.

“The design makes it very clear where to stop, has greatly slowed down traffic and has enhanced safety at the crosswalk that was installed when my mother was a resident of the Ballard Landmark Senior Living complex. The Your Voice, Your Choice Program made our neighborhood safer and increased communication within our mixed-use community.” – J.A.K., Ballard resident and 2017 YVYC Vote Champion

Get updates on all 2017 YVYC improvement projects at Seattle Department of Transportation’s YVYC Project Implementation website!

Want to have a say on similar improvements in YOUR neighborhood? Your chance to choose is coming up soon with the 2018 YVYC Vote scheduled for June 16 – July 16! You will be able to vote online or in-person at any Seattle Public Library branch. Check out the potential projects on the ballot and learn more about the voting process on our Vote page.

Interested in spreading the word about your favorite 2018 projects to your neighbors? Sign up to be a Vote Champion and we’ll make sure you get resources like postcards and ballots to share with your communities!

Let your voice be heard as we decide how to spend $3 million on park and street improvements across the city!

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Your Voice, Your Choice: Vote is Coming!

We can’t wait for the Your Voice, Your Choice vote coming up from June 16 to July 16! While we work to get everything ready for YOU to decide how $3 million will be spent on park and street improvements, here are some updates: on how to get involved, the distribution of funding across the city, and the project ideas that will appear on the ballot.

Spread the word about Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC) – become a Vote Champion!

YVYC is all about community decision-making, which means the power is in YOUR hands to decide what park and street improvements will receive funding. To spread the word, we work closely with volunteer “Vote Champions” who encourage their neighbors and fellow community members to get out the vote. As a Vote Champion, you can choose what works best to spread the word, and we’ll make sure you have the resources you need to be successful! Sign up to be a YVYC Vote Champion today!

Additional funding to support communities of color impacted by environmental and socio-economic challenges

With an additional $1 million allocated to YVYC in 2018, our Steering Committee considered a number of options to determine how this funding is distributed, with a focus on centering equity, inclusive democracy and environmental justice. This analysis was done in partnership with the City of Seattle’s Equity and Environment Initiative (EEI), which is shifting the City’s approach so those most affected by environmental challenges and racial-socio economic conditions will lead on designing solutions and directly benefit from City programs and policies. The Steering Committee unanimously decided to designate this $1 million in funding for projects in EEI Focus Areas: geographic areas where communities of color, immigrants, refugees, people with low incomes, Native peoples and limited-English proficiency individuals tend to live. These areas are highly impacted by socio-economic and environmental challenges.

Projects will be voted on through district-based ballots, and the top vote-getting projects in EEI Focus Areas citywide will be funded up to $1 million overall. The original $2 million in YVYC funding will continue to be divided equally among all City Council Districts, with each district receiving approximately $285,000 in funding.

Top priority projects under review by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) in preparation for Vote

The projects below were identified by community members as top priorities during the YVYC Project Development phase. They are undergoing final feasibility review, scoping, and design by SDOT and SPR. Please note that these projects may be modified, changed or removed from consideration before the Vote phase due to SDOT & SPR feasibility determinations.

View a map of these projects.

DISTRICT 1

Project # 18-161: Pedestrian Lighting Improvements at South Seattle College bus stop
Neighborhood: Riverview/Puget Ridge

Project # 18-110: Crossing Improvements on Sylvan Way SW at SW Sylvan Heights Dr.
Neighborhood: High Point (EEI Focus Area)

Project # 17-014: Intersection Improvements at Dallas Ave S, 12th Ave S, and Thistle St
Neighborhood: South Park (EEI Focus Area)

Project # 18-149: Crossing Improvements near Concord Elementary
Neighborhood: South Park (EEI Focus Area)

Project # 17-125: Improvements between 21st Ave SW and 23rd Ave SW at SW Brandon St
Neighborhood: Puget Ridge/North Delridge (EEI Focus Area)

Project # 17-167: Crossing Improvements along Admiral Way SW between 49th & 59th Ave SW
Neighborhood: Alki

Project # 17-174: Crossing Improvements on California Ave SW and SW College St
Neighborhood: North Admiral

Project # 18-167: Improvements on Fauntleroy Way SW & SW Findlay St/SW Brandon St
Neighborhood: Fairmount Park

Project # 17-177: Improvements to basketball courts at Delridge Community Center
Neighborhood: North Delridge

Project # 18-1045: Equipment Refurbishment at Puget Boulevard Commons
Neighborhood: North Delridge

Project # 18-1009: Trash Receptacles at Weather Watch Park
Neighborhood: Alki

Project # 18-1043: Benches in Lincoln Park
Neighborhood: Fauntleroy

Project # 17-006: Improvements at Roxhill Park
Neighborhood: Roxhill/South Delridge (EEI Focus Area)

DISTRICT 2

Project #17-235: Walkway Improvements on 4th Ave S, between E. Marginal Way & Michigan
Neighborhood: Georgetown

Project #18-262: Improvements on Corson Ave S between E Marginal Way S and Airport Way S
Neighborhood: Georgetown

Project #18-231: Crossing Improvements at Lake Washington Blvd S and 45th Ave S
Neighborhood: Lakewood

Project #17-207: Crossing Improvements on Beacon Ave S near the VA Medical Center
Neighborhood: Beacon Hill (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-297: Public Safety Improvements on S Genesee St between Jill Pl S and 29th Ave S
Neighborhood: Rainier Vista (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-240: Pedestrian Lighting in Chinatown/International District
Neighborhood: Chinatown/International District (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-208: Traffic Calming on S. Morgan St. and 33rd Ave. S
Neighborhood: New Holly (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-210: Walkway Improvements on 33rd Ave S between Graham and Holly Drive South
Neighborhood: New Holly (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-207: Crossing Improvements & Traffic Calming at Rainier Ave & S Holly St
Neighborhood: Brighton (EEI Focus Area)

Project #17-260: Crossing Improvements at Seward Park Ave & S. Orcas St
Neighborhood: Lakewood/Seward Park

Project #18-202: Pedestrian Improvements on Rainier Ave from 57th Ave S to Henderson Ave S
Neighborhood: Rainier Beach (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-2024: Lighting Improvements in Oxbow Park
Neighborhood: Georgetown

Project #18-2019: Improvements in Columbia Park
Neighborhood: Columbia City (EEI Focus Area)

Project #17-333: Improvements in Hing Hay Park
Neighborhood: Chinatown/International District (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-2011: Benches in Dr. Jose Rizal Park
Neighborhood: Beacon Hill (EEI Focus Area)

Project #17-322: Improvements to Basketball Courts at Beacon Hill Playfield
Neighborhood: Beacon Hill (EEI Focus Area)

Project #17-344: Trail Improvements in Seward Park
Neighborhood: Seward Park

DISTRICT 3

Project #18-313: Sidewalk Repair on Summit between Madison & Spring
Neighborhood: First Hill

Project #18-314: Pedestrian Improvements at Boren & Seneca St.
Neighborhood: First Hill

Project #18-805: Crossing Improvements on E Aloha St and 14th Ave E
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill

Project #18-818: Signage at Shoreline Street Ends
Neighborhood: Various

Project #17-347: Corner Improvements at 25th Ave S & Plum St
Neighborhood: North Rainier

Project #17-358: Crossing Improvements on 19th & Cherry
Neighborhood: Squire Park

Project #18-360: Crossing Improvements on E Jefferson & 15th/16th Ave
Neighborhood: Squire Park (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-357: Traffic Calming on 29th Avenue between Yesler and Alder
Neighborhood: Leschi

Project #18-363: Traffic Calming at 33rd Avenue and Columbia Street
Neighborhood: Madrona

Project #18-346: Pathway Improvements on Rainier & I-90
Neighborhood: Atlantic (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-3013: Improvements at Lakeview Park
Neighborhood: Denny-Blaine

Project #18-3006: Improvements at Judkins Park
Neighborhood: Judkins Park (EEI Focus Area)

DISTRICT 4

Project #18-412: Crossing Improvements at NE 45th St & 8th Ave NE
Neighborhood: U District

Project #18-449: Improvements at NE 54th St, NE 55th St, Ravenna Ave NE and 22nd Ave NE
Neighborhood: Ravenna

Project #18-418/18-470: Traffic Calming & Crossing Improvements on NE 20th Ave between 65th and Lake City Way
Neighborhood: Ravenna

Project #18-481: Crossing Improvements at NE 77th St and 25 Ave NE
Neighborhood: Wedgwood

Project #18-402: Bike Signal Improvements on Burke Gilman Trail crossing Stone Way N at N 34th St
Neighborhood: Wallingford

Project #18-413: Crossing Improvements at Woodland Park Avenue North and N. 46th/N 45th Streets
Neighborhood: Wallingford

Project #18-451: Crossing Improvements at 15th Avenue NE and NE 55th Street
Neighborhood: Ravenna

Project #18-477: Traffic Calming at 21st Ave NE & NE 77th St
Neighborhood: Ravenna

Project #18-425: Crossing Improvements at 15th Ave NE and NE 85th St
Neighborhood: Maple Leaf

Project #18-4012: Equipment Refurbishment at Terry Pettus Park
Neighborhood: Eastlake

Project #17-464: Improvements at Cowen Park
Neighborhood: Ravenna

DISTRICT 5

Project #17-558: Walkway Improvements on 33rd Ave NE, between 125th & NE 130th
Neighborhood: Lake City (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-580: Traffic Calming and Crossing Improvements on 33rd Ave NE between NE 125 Street and NE 130 Street
Neighborhood: Lake City (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-566: Walkway Improvements on 26th Ave NE and NE 125th St
Neighborhood: Lake City

Project #18-521: Traffic Calming & Crossing Improvements on 32nd Ave NE
Neighborhood: Little Brook (EEI Focus Area)

Project #17-532: Crossing Improvements near Northgate Elementary
Neighborhood: Haller Lake

Project #18-540: Walkway Improvements on NE 104th Way between Lake City Way and 23rd Ave NE
Neighborhood: Victory Heights

Project #18-543: Traffic Calming & Crossing Improvements at NE 105 ST and NE 104th PL
Neighborhood: Meadowbrook

Project #18-586: Traffic Calming on N 143rd St between Greenwood Ave N and Aurora Ave N
Neighborhood: Bitter Lake

Project #18-520: Traffic Calming at 1st Ave NW & N 137th St
Neighborhood: Broadview

Project #18-592: Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Improvements on NE 145th St & 30th Ave NE
Neighborhood: Little Brook (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-5001: Signage Improvements at Licton Springs Park
Neighborhood: Licton Springs

DISTRICT 6

Project #17-687: Improvements on 8th Ave NW, north of 85th St.
Neighborhood: Crown Hill

Project #17-696: Crossing Improvements near NW 97th St & 8th Ave NW
Neighborhood: Crown Hill

Project #17-682: Crossing Improvements at NW 80th St & 13th Ave NW
Neighborhood: Whittier Heights

Project #18-695: Crossing Improvements at 15th Ave NW & NW Market St
Neighborhood: Ballard

Project #18-682: Improvements on 8th and Leary
Neighborhood: Ballard

Project #18-671/18-672/18-675: Crossing Improvements on 39th and Phinney/Linden/Dayton
Neighborhood: Fremont

Project #18-604: Crossing Improvements at Leary & 41st
Neighborhood: Fremont

Project #18-661: Traffic Calming on Ashworth Avenue North between 85th and 80th
Neighborhood: Green Lake

Project #17-675: Crossing Improvements at Linden & N 77th
Neighborhood: Greenwood

Project #18-6003: Improvements at Salmon Bay Park
Neighborhood: Ballard

DISTRICT 7

Project #18-714: Crossing Improvements on Queen Anne Dr. and 4th Ave North
Neighborhood: Queen Anne

Project #18-749: Crossing Improvements & Traffic Calming on 10th Avenue West and Olympic Way West
Neighborhood: Queen Anne

Project #18-749: Curb Ramp at 9th & University Pavement Park
Neighborhood: First Hill

Project #17-338: Crossing Improvements to 2nd Ave Ext S and S Jackson intersection
Neighborhood: Pioneer Square (EEI Focus Area)

Project #18-725: Crossing Improvements on Western Ave & Lenora/Blanchard
Neighborhood: Belltown

Project #17-715: Crossing Improvements at Denny Way & 5th Ave
Neighborhood: Belltown

Project #17-761: Crossing Improvements at 3rd Ave W, near Fulton St.
Neighborhood: Queen Anne

Project #18-717: Pathway Improvements on Jesse Ave W
Neighborhood: Queen Anne

Project #18-7002: Improvements at Cascade Playfield
Neighborhood: Cascade

Project #18-7008: Improvements at Cottages/P-Patch Park
Neighborhood: Belltown

Please reach out at YVYC@seattle.gov if you have any questions or want to get involved!

 

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Your Voice, Your Choice project ideas closer to becoming realities

New crosswalk at E Yesler Way and 17th Ave S.

Spring has sprung, and any Seattleite worth their raincoat knows that means one thing: it’s construction season! Our Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets (YVYC) partners at the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) have been working hard to turn the 33 projects selected by community members in 2017 into reality. SDOT recently launched a new website with design and construction details for YVYC projects and will be providing updates and information on this website as each project progresses. Folks in neighborhoods near project sites may also receive postcards by mail with project details.

Some projects have already been constructed, like a new crosswalk on E Yesler Way at 17th Ave S near the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Summer program students at Langston Hughes were active voters in YVYC 2017 and will now enjoy a safer crossing in their neighborhood: community decision-making in action!

If you have questions regarding project implementation, you can contact the SDOT and SPR teams at 206.316.2549 or YVYC_Projects@seattle.gov.

 

2018 Your Voice, Your Choice

Here at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, we’ve just wrapped up the Project Development phase of the current Your Voice, Your Choice cycle. We had well over 500 community members attend 32 meetings across the city to discuss and evaluate the 1,000+ project ideas received this year. Thanks so much to everyone who came out to meet their neighbors and share their voice – especially the over 60% of participants who had never participated before in YVYC or other City of Seattle programs!

We are tabulating all the project scores to determine which project ideas will move forward to the evaluation, design and scoping phase with SDOT and SPR. Look for an update later this month on these projects, as well as ways to get involved in the Vote phase, which will run from June 16-July 16.

If you have any questions, please email Kraig Cook at kraig.cook@seattle.gov.

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