Capitol Hill Community Council meeting to focus on voter registration

The Capitol Hill Community Council is back in action after a summer break and Thursday night the group is meeting to talk about elections and getting out the vote.

“In recent midterms, 4 to 10 eligible voters cast ballots. Nonvoters talk of apathy, disgust, barriers, and other reasons,” organizers write. “But those who don’t vote, and their interests, can be ignored by candidates.”

Thursday night’s agenda also includes a presentation on the Public Direct Current (DC) Fast Charging Electric Vehicle pilot program from Seattle City Light and representatives from Central Seattle Greenways and the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict talking about Pike/Pine bike improvements and the upcoming community design workshop.

The Capitol Hill Community Council will meet Thursday night, September 20th from 6 to 7 PM in the 12th Ave Arts Pike/Pine room.

Under new leadership, Capitol Hill Community Council aims to build on its unusually progressive legacy

Natalie Curtis, seated, at last year’s Capitol Hill Community Council open house at Vermillion

An anomalously diverse body as far as Seattle’s community groups go, it is also a time of transition for the Capitol Hill Community Council: As it prepares for its annual winter open house where it gathers face to face community input on what the organization’s priorities should be for the new year, council president Zachary Dewolf will hand over the reigns to the current vice president Natalie Curtis.

“I’m really excited to see Natalie Curtis lead this really critical volunteer-led community organization,” Dewolf told CHS.

Dewolf, who has been with the council since early 2013, won a decisive victory in his bid for the Position 5 seat on the Seattle School Board and is leaving the council to focus on his new duties.

Curtis, a 32-year-old Texas transplant who has served on the council’s board in various capacities over the last four years and is currently completing a master’s in nonprofit leadership and public administration at Seattle University, says she wants to increase community involvement and build on the various progressive causes and initiatives that the the organization has championed in recent years.

Capitol Hill Community Council December Open House

“I want to focus on ways to really get the pulse of the community,” Curtis said. “I’m hoping to get the community more engaged and more on board in 2018.”

Among the issues that Curtis wants to prioritize are activating the public spaces surrounding the eventual new housing developments at the Capitol Hill light rail station (such as bringing the farmers market to the development on a regular basis), working with the Seattle City Council on improving the City’s policies towards un-sanctioned homeless encampments, increasing opportunities for community members to volunteer in the neighborhood, and establishing a supervised consumption site in Capitol Hill.

“Safe consumption sites are really at the top, top top of my radar,” Curtis said. “I really want to get those going.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Council | The neighbor in all of us

coming and going
Buildings don’t create a neighborhood, the neighbors do.

Creating a neighborhood requires us to work together in pursuit of shared community. The type of community that is distinct, welcoming, accessible, caring, and neighborly and only realized through the unique and diverse people who make it up.

Lately, I’ve thought about what community will mean if the HALA recommendations become official policy. It was after the Mayor announced the “Grand Bargain,” two weeks ago, that I came across a Sightline Institute blog post by Alan Durning, titled, HALA and the $100,000 Question. What struck me were the comments, as those comments and concerns are being raised in discussions of the proposal devised by the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.

One blog commenter, lamented, “I live in Roosevelt/Ravenna so I know about density and welcome it. But…if you throw “rowhouses” up, you will change the neighborhoods. The backbone of this city is our neighborhoods (no matter what developers or downtown interests think). Radically change those neighborhoods and you will not know Capitol Hill from Wallingford.”

And while I recognize that generic rowhouses may transform the lived environment of a neighborhood by limiting potential for expression or distinctiveness of housing, the buildings or houses do not create a neighborhood. Continue reading