You asked for it, youth of Seattle! And, now, with unprecedented ‘City’ speed, we just rolled out the first of many Youth Voice, Youth Choice projects. To refresh your memory, Safe Routes to Schools was one of the projects that you prioritized via Youth Voice, Youth Choice with YOUR VOTE this past May.
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has just finished construction on one of the three Safe Routes to Schools projects by installing a painted curb bulb at S Henderson St and 53rd Ave S near the Rainier Beach High School. And not just any kind of paint, but a checker board pattern of blue and orange. Go Vikings!
That’s right, Rainier Beach High School students, just in time for your first day of school in September.
As for the other two Safe Routes to Schools projects, installation of speed humps on S Kenyon St/Way near Wing Luke Elementary School and a raised crosswalk at the intersection of 16th Ave SW & SW Myrtle St, these will be built in 2017.
Stay tuned for more details on those projects in the coming months!
Full list of 2016 awarded projects:
Message from Kathy Nyland, Director
Mayor Murray recently issued an Executive Order directing the city to approach outreach and engagement in an equitable manner. Putting an equity lens on our approaches is bold and, yes, brave. It shows a commitment to practices that address accessibility and equity.
What does this mean?
- We often hear that meetings can feel like we are “checking a box.” The Mayor’s action means we can create processes that are more relationship-based and build authentic partnerships.
- It means that we can create plans that are culturally sensitive, which includes an emphasis on translated materials.
- It means we broaden access points, identify obstacles and turn them into opportunities.
What else does this mean?
- It means we have an opportunity to recreate, re-envision and reconcile many lingering issues, including defining the difference between neighborhoods and communities, providing clarity about roles, and creating a system of engagement that builds partnerships with, and between, communities throughout the city of Seattle.
- It means that we will be working to expand choices and opportunities for community members throughout this city, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of those who face barriers to participation.
- It means that we’ll work with city offices and departments on community involvement to ensure that they are effective and efficient through the wise use and management of all resources, including the community’s time.
- And it means we will expand the toolbox and make some investments in digital engagement.
Seattle is a unique city, and we are fortunate to have so many valuable partners currently at the proverbial table. Those partners play an important role and that role will continue. While we are appreciative of the countless hours our volunteers spend making our city better, we recognize and acknowledge there are barriers to participation. There are communities who cannot be at the table, while there are some communities who don’t even know there is a table. This is where the Department of Neighborhoods comes in.
This is not a power grab. It is a power share. At the heart of this Executive Order is a commitment to advance the effective deployment of equitable and inclusive community engagement strategies across all city departments. This is about making information and opportunities for participation more accessible to communities throughout the city.
“This is not about silencing voices. It’s the exact opposite. It’s about bringing more people into the conversations or at least creating opportunities for people to participate so they can be heard.”
Face-to-face meetings are incredibly important and those are not going away. But not every person can attend a community meeting, and the ability to do so should not determine who gets to participate and who gets to be heard.
We’d love to hear what tools YOU need to be successful and how WE can help you. Share your ideas with us:
- Send an email to NewDON@seattle.gov.
- Share your comments below.
- Contact us at 206-684-0464 or mail us at P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649.
- Join and follow the conversation online using #AdvancingEquitySEA at:
Facebook – @SeattleNeighborhoods
Twitter – @SeaNeighborhood
This is about making things easier and less exhaustive. This is about connecting communities to government and to one another. This is about moving forward.
Kathy Nyland, Director
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is accepting applications to the People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE), our civic leadership development program for the next wave of community leaders. The fall session begins September 27 and runs through December 6.
During the 10-week program, 25-30 emerging leaders (18 years and up) will learn hands-on strategies for community building, accessing government, and inclusive engagement from experts in the field. PACE has a strong focus on Seattle’s community and neighborhood organizations and the city’s governmental structure and processes.
Fall sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Miller Community Center. Topics include: Approaches to Leadership, Government 101, Community Organizing, Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement, Meeting Facilitation, Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, and Sustaining Involvement.
Tuition for the 10-week program is $100. Tuition assistance is available. To apply, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/peoples-academy-for-community-engagement/pace-application. The application deadline is Friday, August 12 at 5:00 p.m.
Given the popularity of the program, PACE will be offered three times a year: winter, spring and fall. The winter session will begin in January of 2017. For more information, visit our webpage and for questions, email PACE@seattle.gov.
Located at the corner of Rainier Ave. S. at 51st Ave. S. and Barton Place S. artist Peter Reiquam’s The King and Queen of Rainier Beach is an iconic sculpture inspired by Seattle Police Detective, Denise “Cookie” Bouldin and the chess clubs she has organized throughout the Rainier Beach community for over a decade. The figures stand 120” high and are 96” wide and 48” deep.
The game of chess serves as a metaphor for life’s important decisions and Detective Cookie’s Chess Clubs create an opportunity for community members of all ages to interact through a spirit of friendly competition. Paying homage to the chess club, the sculptures also represent the proud nature of the residents of Rainier Beach. The artworks are on a light-sensitive solar powered LED system, so when it is dark the sculptures are illuminated. The community has been awarded a Department of Neighborhood’s Neighborhood Matching Fund grant to develop a concept for a chess park in the vicinity.
The King and Queen of Rainier Beach is part of SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program, created to ensure that kids can walk to school safely. One of the methods to make walking routes more visible is to install artwork along common routes students take.
About Peter Reiquam
Peter Reiquam earned his MFA in Sculpture from the Yale University School of Art and has been creating site-specific interactive public artworks for 30 years throughout the Puget Sound region as well as in Los Angeles, CA, Albuquerque, NM and Juneau, AK. His works range from sculptural seating to rocket ships and each is a response to the unique character and culture of its location. Using a variety of materials including metals, stone, glass and light, Reiquam strives to create durable, well-crafted and meaningful works that speak to the uniqueness of each one’s site and to do so with a balance of humor, elegance and sophistication.
Funded with Seattle Department of Transportation 1 % for Art funds.
Photo courtesy the Office of Arts & Culture
September 2 workshop for interested applicants
Application deadline is October 5
If your group needs funds to do a neighborhood project, our Neighborhood Matching Fund may be able to help. However, you’ll need to be quick because the application deadline for the Small and Simple Projects Fund is Monday, October 5 at 5:00 p.m. This fund provides awards of up to $25,000 to for community-building projects that are matched by community contributions.
To learn about the Small and Simple Projects Fund, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallandsimple.htm. This is the last opportunity in 2015 to apply to this fund.
The final workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at University Heights Community Center (Room 209), 5031 University Way NE. The workshop provides an overview of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, the qualities of a good project, and the application process and requirements. To RSVP, go online at surveymonkey.com/r/ZHM36BJ or call 206-233-0093. The workshop is open to all.
Our Neighborhood Matching Fund staff is available to advise groups on ways to develop successful applications and projects. You are strongly encouraged to call 206.233.0093 or email NMFund@seattle.gov to discuss your project idea with one of our project managers.
The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) Program awards matching funds for projects initiated, planned, and implemented by community members. Its goal is to build stronger and healthier neighborhoods through community involvement and engagement. Every award is matched by a neighborhood’s contribution of volunteer labor, donated materials, in-kind professional services, or cash.