Capitol Hill Community Council | Questioning? Meet your neighbors

Capitol Hill Community Council Neighborhood Social: Happy Hour at WitnessThursday, March 17th 4:30 to 6:30 PMWitness, 410 Broadway EEvery other month, the Capitol Hill Community Council has committed to hosting neighborhood social events - similar to our Meet Your Neighbor event last year - where we can create a space for neighbors to meet each other (in real life!), connect and engage with folks about topics that important to you and our neighborhood, hear from unique programs and initiatives, and spend a relaxing couple of hours just being in the community. This month, we're inviting King County Metro to share about "In Motion," which is an effort aimed at reducing drive-alone trips and promoting other travel options like biking, walking, or taking transit. Plus, we have a drawing for a gift certificate to another local, neighborhood restaurant! Sign in and you're entered into the drawing.

Capitol Hill Community Council Neighborhood Social: Happy Hour at Witness
Thursday, March 17th 4:30 to 6:30 PM
Witness, 410 Broadway E
Every other month, the Capitol Hill Community Council has committed to hosting neighborhood social events – similar to our Meet Your Neighbor event last year – where we can create a space for neighbors to meet each other (in real life!), connect and engage with folks about topics that important to you and our neighborhood, hear from unique programs and initiatives, and spend a relaxing couple of hours just being in the community. This month, we’re inviting King County Metro to share about “In Motion,” which is an effort aimed at reducing drive-alone trips and promoting other travel options like biking, walking, or taking transit. Plus, we have a drawing for a gift certificate to another local, neighborhood restaurant! Sign in and you’re entered into the drawing.

Questioning in the pursuit of understanding and progress must be valued. Otherwise, we lose the accountability of ideas and the innovation that moves our communities forward.

I was reminded of this just recently when I met with a friend and mentor from our community. She’s a neighborhood activist who has worked on various issues that have shaped Capitol Hill for the last few decades.

There came a moment when I recognized that we both had questions of the others’ ideas and intentions. Unchecked, our conversation may have unfolded in a direction neither one of us would ever have wanted.

So, I waited for the chance to interject and suggested that, in fact, questioning the way things are, in and of itself, is not detrimental to progress. I believe, it is what actually makes our work of creating shared community, stronger.

Honestly, I get it. Change can be scary. Presidential elections are timely opportunities to drastically change the direction of our country – we’ve seen that the potential change in our president’s ideology, which could drive our country backward under the leadership of someone like Trump, is scary. So questioning candidates’ leadership, their experience, or their policy views is how we make informed decisions about who we want to support.

In community, asking questions and being critical must not be seen as roadblocks to progress. Unfortunately, questioning the ways things are or how they came to be is often dismissed, and, the questioner is miraculously excluded from future conversations.

That’s why our community council has committed to asking, “Why,” and made space for others to ask why, as well.

Our collective work is to create a different world – a shared community. One that challenges the belief that further criminalizing our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness will solve the issue. Instead, we ask, what are other, more compassionate responses to this crisis? That’s why we’ve advocated for an expansion of LEAD to Capitol Hill.

And instead of further criminalizing people struggling with substance use or addiction, we ask, what are alternative responses that will actually help address an increasing heroin epidemic? That’s why we’re advocating for safe consumption sites.

And instead of actively excluding the voices of renters from the critical conversations about affordability and the growth of our city, we ask, how will including additional voices actually provide more value to our community? That’s why we’re committed to elevating their voices and experiences in conversations about housing and affordability.

Without questioning the way things are, we’re limiting our dreams.

Two years ago, when I joined the Capitol Hill Community Council, naturally I had plenty of questions for the current officers. It provided me valuable insight into our council’s history. But, questioning means more than that. I could use a critical lens when making decisions about our programming, what we supported, and how to best leverage our advocacy because I had already done the work of understanding, more deeply, the why and the how.

Our bi-monthly social events are great opportunities to meet neighbors, hear about what’s being done in the neighborhood, connect with different groups, and ask questions in the pursuit of deeper understanding about the issues critical to Capitol Hill.

This month, our community council is excited to partner with Witness Bar for a “Meet Your Neighbors” event on March 17 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. There will be a special whiskey tasting for guests of our event as well as light appetizers. Plus, we’ll hear from folks at King County Metro in preparation for Saturday’s Capitol Hill Link light rail station grand opening!

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3 thoughts on “Capitol Hill Community Council | Questioning? Meet your neighbors

  1. I like the post, but one thing that I’ve always felt about CH is that we are a downtown neighborhood, albeit on that is separated from the core of downtown by a freeway.

    I know when CH was settled, it was as an enclave of the wealthy in what was essentially a subdivision, however, the city grew up around it. Quite a few sing family houses were built, and the neighborhood remained low rise apartments to the west and south, SFH to the north and east. As our city develops, we need to accommodate more people. The redevelopment of SFH to more intensive uses is one of the most contentious issues facing our city. Seattle as a whole still have greater than 60% of land zoned for SFH, and our urban villages were supposed to accommodate our growth over past 20 years or so. That didn’t seem to happen, as SLU accommodated 30 years of growth in 10-15 years, and I believe CH will be an attractive neighborhood for people due to access to the downtown core, SLU and the UW. Trying to accommodate this growth and maintain SFH will be challenging, and I think it’s important for people living in SFH that zoning allows for more intensive development to understand what is allowed. If your neighborhood allows a 4 story apartment building, it seems like NIMBYism when these owners try challenging this type development in their neighborhood.

  2. While it’s all well and good that they have these socials, most of them seem targeted toward a certain demographic that exists on Capitol Hill (now more than ever), and I’m just curious: any of their events particularly family-friendly? Families are part of the community here too. If not CHCC, then what community/neighborhood group would be a good representative for other neighbors here on the Hill beyond CHCC’s target demographic?

    • Hello odd one out:

      Great question, while our first two socials have been geared toward adults, we are working on upcoming socials that are outside-related with some gardening type program/activity as well as organizing/producing this year’s July 4 family BBQ! And we are always open to more ideas – we love hearing our neighbor’s ideas :)