Capitol Hill Community Post | Advancing Equitable Outreach and Engagement

From Kathy Nyland, Director of City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
unnamed (26)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 ofSeattle.
  • 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 managementof 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 we’d like to hear how WE can help you. Share your ideas with us:

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

Capitol Hill Community Post | DON Response from Neighborhood Villain

Central-AreaI should take this opportunity talk about it for those of you who don’t know about our Central Area District Council. The Mayor made some broad accusations about the Citywide Council membership implying that they are all white middle aged homeowners that are not adequately representing diverse community values. The Department of Neighborhoods report from last week is an indictment of their own department including their failure to make the grant process more accessible and failure to support the District Councils. The Mayor cited a few parts of a DON report from 2009. That report was not made available to District Council and in fact was not acted on by DON in anyway until it was just dusted off last month so the Mayor could pick a couple examples related to District Council. It was in fact another scathing indictment of DON.

Our Central Area Neighborhood District Council is comprised of all the Neighborhood Community Councils in the entire Central Area for which their combined regular monthly meetings are probably attended by over 200 individuals from throughout the area. At these meetings they usually work on hyper local issues like fixing a sidewalk in front of a blind person’s house, fixing a park bench, planning a barbeque for the neighborhood in a park, local PTA issues, etc. They also work with or against the City’s programs that are impacting their exact neighborhood, could be zoning, busstop locations, street repairs, opposing or proposing parklets, etc. These Community Councils choose a representative to attend our Central Area Neighborhood District Council meetings. These representatives are not all white and in fact not all homeowners. Our Central Area District Council also has voting representatives from organizations whose focus is broader than a specific neighborhood such as the NW African American Museum, Union Street Business Organization, African American Veterans, Central Area Cultural Arts, and Central District Chamber of Commerce. The different member organizations reach out to and meet with their individual members in whatever way works for their members. Squire Park meets on Saturday Mornings as example. Some have print newsletters that go to the entire neighborhood. Some have email, Facebook or webpages.

District Councils each have a city budget of about $40 a month and are not allowed to raise money, are not allowed to apply for grants, and have no access to City infrastructure. The $1.2mil that the city pays the 9 coordinators is for their entire full time salary…each of the 13 District Councils only get a coordinator for about 3 hours a month. You can imagine my dismay when the Mayor directed the City’s IT department to work with his yet-to-be named groups and that the fact that he lambasted the District Councils for not being able to do much with its $40 a month. Community Councils however have no official tie to the City and can raise money from their neighbors for whatever projects or events they want or outreach they want.

District Council does not give out grant money. About 3 times a year they just accept a pile of grant applications from the City that are from the Central Area and pare them down to the number or dollar value that the City wants to fund in the Area. The City then decides if they are going to fund the ones that we put forward. Usually the grants go to sidewalks or fixing some other SDOT or Parks Dept failure. We do get art related grants. We recently moved forward a grant proposal by a group that wanted to refurbish the People’s Wall at 20th and Spruce. We moved that grant in front of one that requested a crosswalk by a private school. The City rejected the People’s Wall grant and they continue to throw roadblocks at the group that subsequently raised separate funds to do it.

Whether or not you agree with the outreach or accessibility of the meetings, I think the above is a good representation of the way the system currently works. The outrage that you may have heard about isn’t from the City taking away the $40 a month budget or 3hrs a month of time from DON but it was the way he vilified all the member organizations of all the District Councils (approximately 200 organizations that also include foodbanks and public health orgs). Or people like from Madrona Community Council who spent TWO years getting the City to replace trees tearing up a sidewalk in front of a blind persons house.
Thank you for your time.

Dan Sanchez
Chair, Central Area Neighborhood District Council

Capitol Hill Community Post | Send Local Decathlete to the Olympics with Optimism

Jeremy-Taiwo-OneFormer UW decathlete, Jeremy Taiwo, is headed to the Olympics after winning silver in the Olympic Trials. Born in Renton, Jeremy is proudly representing Washington in Rio. Jeremy is asking his local community for help, he has a gofundme page to raise money to pay for all the expenses of going to the Olympics, “my transport, physio, chiropractor, supplements, poles, new shoes, and training costs”. Optimism Brewing Co. is throwing Jeremy and the local community a party; the brewery has promised to donate all of their proceeds during this event to his fund. Head to Optimism on Thursday, 7/28 from 7-9pm to meet Jeremy, enjoy a beer and wish him good luck at the Olympics.

Optimism is located on Broadway and Union. As their name suggests, the brewery believes in the power of hard work and Optimism- what’s more optimistic than dedicating decades to a dream of going to the Olympics!

Capitol Hill Community Post | Lost Orange Tabby Cat – Vicinity of 14th and E Denny Way

13726833_10206475979793514_4634388306447611259_nInhabitants of Capitol Hill, please be on the lookout for Oscar. He’s been gone since late Saturday/Sunday, which isn’t typical for him. Missing from 14th Ave and E Denny Way. He’s ventured over to the Safeway on 14th and John before so he may be hanging out in around there, too.
He’s 4 years old, orange with a white on his face/chin/belly and paws. He’s also tall, long legged and skinny. He has the quietest meow I’ve ever heard.
Oscar’s extremely friendly with people, it’s not unlike him to walk in to any open door and hang out for a bit.
Please contact Marci at or 206-678-7900 if any info.

Capitol Hill Community Post | #CHBP2016 Panel Series

blockpartylogoupdate2From Capitol Hill Block Party, Porter Novelli, and the Seattle Office of Film + Music + Special Events Present: #CHBP2016 Panel Series 

Panel #1: “Pay Attention to My Band!… Please?”
Seattle boasts hundreds and hundreds of great music artists, all of them vying for attention from local press, bookers, and other influencers. Long known for its role in helping emerging local artists on their way to national acclaim – from Fleet Foxes to Macklemore to Odesza – we’ve assembled a panel of experts to help Seattle musicians learn strategies to increase their chances of breaking through the clutter and getting noticed.

Panel #2: “How to Make a Living as a Musician in Seattle”
Competing forces are working against Seattle residents trying to make a living at music. There’s the increasingly complex music industry, where retail revenues are falling and digital music services are struggling to develop viable payment models… and the changing face of Seattle, where growth is leading to a higher cost of living. This panel, moderated by Kate Becker, Director of the Seattle Office of Film + Music + Special Events, seeks to answer the question “How, then, does one make a living as a musician in Seattle?” Kate will be joined by several local musicians who’ve figured out how to make a career in music… on their own terms.

Capitol Hill Community Post | 100 Women Who Care meet at Capital Cider for donation night

croppedpicOur fund raising event on June 8th at Capitol Cider was our biggest event. We raised $3,800 for West Seattle Food Bank – Backpack Program. Read about the backpack program on our website.

Here’s the scope about our giving circle …

As a member of 100 Women Who Care you get to nominate your favorite charities and then we gathering to vote on a charity to donate (online voting is an option). What makes this special is by having 100 women and each contributing $100, our donation is $10,000 and it takes only 5 minutes!

We’ve doubled in size since we started but are still trying to reach our goal of 100 women. We only meet 3 times a year. Our next gathering is in October.

Read about the success stories of the Central Oregon women’s giving circle on our website under news.

Come join us by registering online at

Happy summer!


Capitol Hill Community Post | Windermere Capitol Hill Stands Together with Seattle’s LGBT Community

FullSizeRenderWindermere Capitol Hill owner Pat Grimm is proud to announce the community-focused real estate company recently participated in the Seattle Pride Parade with its own “Over the Rainbow” float. “We take pride in the diversity and vibrancy of this community,” said Grimm. “We celebrate that. We promote it. We live it. Being a part of our community means the world to us, especially on a day like this and after what happened in Orlando.”

The theme of the 2016 Seattle Pride Parade was the “Future of Pride,” and served to honor all who continue the fight for equality, which particularly resonated with the brokers at Windermere Capitol Hill. Seattle Pride is the Northwest’s largest LGBT parade, and commemorates three nights of civil unrest known as the Stonewall Riots. These riots occurred in 1969 in response to official harassment by the New York City Police and are considered the birth of the movement for equal rights and liberation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“A big part of Seattle Pride is promoting equal rights for all,” said Grimm. “There is too much hate in the world today, which is all based in fear. We should never miss the opportunity to stand up in support with the courage to embrace diversity, tolerance, and love.”

Seattle Pride is also a day of celebration, and features a flotilla of floats that are both visually stunning and thought-provoking, such as the one created by Windermere Capitol Hill. Its “No Place Like Home”-themed float included a house on top of a 16-foot, 300-pound replica of Mariah Carey’s legs, complete with ruby slippers, which was purchased by Windermere managing broker Philip Heier for $555. The limbs were created for the Celebrity Legs of a Goddess contest, sponsored by Gillette Venus, with the proceeds benefitting underprivileged kids.IMG_2199IMG_2175

Capitol Hill Community Post | Oldest Mariners/Seahawks Die Hard Fan Turns 103 on Friday

unnamed (6)From John Yeager, Aegis Living

Margaret Hardin is a die-hard Seattle sports fan who’s turning 103 Friday. She may well be the oldest Seattle die-hard sports fan. For her birthday, her granddaughters are taking her to the Mariners – Houston game where her name will appear on the scoreboard in the 2nd inning. She lives at an assisted living community on Capitol Hill (Aegis on Madison) when she follows the M’s, the Hawks and every other local team. They tell me she’s enormously happy with the M’s win and equally mad when they lose. Friday, they’re having a birthday party for her during the day at her assisted living community and then … the game.

Capitol Hill Community Post | HomeStreet Bank Urges Capitol Hill Residents to Join Seattle’s Largest Diaper Drive

13415615_10154296244884540_8619367724896066648_oFrom WestSide Baby

Through July 2016 Capitol Hill’s branch of HomeStreet Bank is partnering with local nonprofitWestSide Baby to host Seattle’s largest diaper drive. Local residents are urged to donate a package of diapers at the HomeStreet Bank Capitol Hill branch to benefit local babies in need.

Continuing throughout July, the 16th Annual Stuff the Bus diaper drive’s goal is to gather more than 300,000 diapers for children in need in Western King County. The public is urged to join in to support the cause by donating packages of diapers at drives across the city. The Capitol Hill branch of HomeStreet Bank is at 700 Broadway E Unit D, Seattle, WA 98102.

WestSide Baby’s Executive Director Nancy Woodland says: “We are delighted that HomeStreet Bank is once again lending its dollars and resources to help kids in our community. There are more than 10,000 children under the age of three living in poverty in King County. These children will need 22 million diapers per year. Unfortunately, many families are forced to choose between buying diapers and paying bills, as diapers are not covered by any government aid programs, including food stamps.”

“WestSide Baby has a significant impact on the community, and we are pleased to support the work they do,” said HomeStreet Bank CEO and President Mark K. Mason. “We focus our charitable contributions on organizations that address housing and basic needs, and WestSide Baby provides the most basic of needs for the youngest in our communities. We are excited to host the Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive.”

More information is available at:

Capitol Hill Community Post | Capitol Hill in Motion update

From King County Metro

Metro willing to give you prizes to stop driving alone on Capitol Hill

SocialGraphic_Ink_WebSince Mid-May, over 1,142 people who live, work, and go to school on Capitol Hill have joined the program & pledged to reduce their drive-alone trips! Another 173 people who are car-free have shared their stories.

People on the hill can still sign up for the program (through August 7th) and receive a free ORCA card good for two weeks of unlimited travel. Plus, participants who log their weekly progress will be entered into drawings for gift cards to local businesses, including Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Dick’s Drive-In, and Molly Moon’s plus the grand prize drawing for a Fitbit Alta.

King County Metro’s In Motion program has arrived in the Capitol Hill area – featuring a free ORCA card and prize drawings for people who pledge to drive less.

By taking part in the program, residents can find more ways to give their car a break and explore healthier transportation options available in their neighborhood by taking the bus, walking, bicycling, carpooling and more. Take a pledge by Aug. 7 to drive less and get an ORCA card good for two weeks of unlimited travel.

Participants who register online and log their weekly progress will be entered in the bi-weekly drawings for gift cards to local businesses. Those who sign up and log their trips will also receive entry into the grand prize drawing for a Fitbit Alta.

The program follows the recent extension of Sound Transit Link light rail service to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. Link now connects Capitol Hill with downtown Seattle or UW in four minutesand provides additional connections to SODO, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley and Sea-Tac Airport. Trains come every six to 10 minutes for much of the day. Capitol Hill also has frequent, all-day transit service available on the First Hill Streetcar and Metro Routes 8, 10, 11, 12, 48 and 49. A video series shows the ways riders can make Link connections, and an interactive map is among special online tools to help riders get started.

Along with these transportation options, residents can also try out car sharing with Zipcar (the application fee is waived for participating In Motion members), or bike sharing with Pronto Cycle Share.

Over the past 12 years, In Motion has reached nearly 23,000 people and has helped 36 King County neighborhoods reduce over 3.2 million miles of drive alone trips. Since 2004, In Motion has provided communities with tools and information on how they can expand their travel options. Those already living a car-free lifestyle can still participate by signing up for the car-free program. With In Motion, Capitol Hillresidents can now do less driving and more living, all while earning great rewards.

To learn more about In Motion or to sign up, visit or call 206-477-2005. Residents can sign up until Aug. 7 to receive a free ORCA card good for two weeks of unlimited rides.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Local Seniors Need Your Help!

larry-peterson-bettye-5-11-brightness-correctedGetting to the doctor’s office can seem daunting for many local seniors. Poor vision or medical conditions prevent them from driving; limited mobility makes it impossible to take the bus; taxis come with prohibitive costs; and loved ones have full-time jobs that render them unavailable to help. Yet, since 1975, Sound Generations Volunteer Transportation has served as a trustworthy resource for older adults throughout King County. With our force of kind and reliable volunteers, the program provides the missing link between seniors and their necessary medical care.

But the value of Volunteer Transportation extends far beyond the rides themselves. A volunteer driver serves as a friendly escort– a companion– someone to talk to along the way. Volunteers turn previously stressful ordeals into pleasant, meaningful experiences.

More volunteer drivers are needed throughout King County, and especially in the Seattle area. We are currently unable to serve all seniors in need of transportation; each week we must turn away 10-20 seniors because there are just not enough volunteers to help.

That’s why we need you! This FLEXIBLE volunteer opportunity allows you to provide a personalized touch in driving seniors “door to door”– from their home to appointments. You choose the days, times and areas you wish to drive and we work around your schedule.

You can help more seniors get “on the road” to improved health and peace of mind! If you have a reliable vehicle, a clean driving record, and some weekday availability, this is the role for you. Contact Kailan at (206) 748-7588 or 1-800-282-5815, email, or visit to find out more. Apply online at:
Many stories about the program can be found on the program’s blog: Discover why rides change lives!Volunteer-Drivers-Make-a-Difference

Capitol Hill Community Post | Beautiful preschool moment

senior preschoolThis bucolic photo was taken by Teacher Elizabeth in Volunteer Park as the Capitol Hill Co-op Preschool’s 4-5 year old class was enjoying time in the park during class! It’s just a glimpse of how magical this preschool experience has been for these kids who have now graduated and ready for kindergarten!

Capitol Hill Co-op Preschool is situated just west of Volunteer Park and has classes for kids ranging from just barely 1 year old up to pre-K 4 & 5 year olds. It’s a play based co-op with amazing teachers, along with parent educators through Seattle Central who help you learn to be the great parents you want to be! If you know of any children/families who want to have a similar wonderful experience, please contact us! Contact info is found at or