It took two decades of community planning to guide the affordable housing and community space-rich “transit oriented development” set to open above Capitol Hill Station in 2020. Proponents hope a new community-driven plan will play out faster to grow the neighborhood’s Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and — ultimately — create a pedestrian-and cyclist-first “superblock” in the middle of the neighborhood.
The start of this new “Public Life” plan began this summer in Copenhagen and will, officials hope, take a small, $150,000 step forward this fall as the Seattle City Council puts its touches on the city’s next fiscal budget. The discussion will begin Friday in council chambers.
“It’s about focusing on the EcoDistrict to make it more pedestrian friendly and a model for sustainability,” citywide representative Lorena González tells CHS about her proposal to add funding for a “Public Life Study” of Capitol Hill and the longterm hopes for the plan to shape the neighborhood: Continue reading →
Join renowned author, mythologist and storyteller Michael Meade for a day-long workshop of myths of renewal, tales of transformation, and a call to find unity in this time of conflict and confusion.
This workshop will draw upon the redeeming function of myth as a vessel of imagination and regeneration that can open new ways to envision life and new paths of initiation to follow whether at a younger or older stage of life.
It is our collective fate to live in a time of climate crisis and eco-disasters that call for fundamental changes in our relationship to the living earth. The change from an isolating world view to one that realigns with the heart of nature involves not simply a shift of attention, but acts of true imagination and heartfelt service. We are in the midst of a collective rite of passage that requires that we not simply change, but truly transform our way of being in the world.
Hard facts must be faced and scientific data must be accepted and utilized. However, if we reduce the world to what we can measure and count, we lose all that is immeasurable and transformative about life. A true transformation moves the heart as well as the mind and carries us beyond our current understanding of both ourselves and the living world around us.
Awakening at the level of the heart and soul becomes necessary to change the collective attitudes about the earth; acting upon what moves our hearts can connect us to the heart of nature. The heart’s purpose appears as both deeply personal and world involving, as both unique vision and world connecting.
In terms of mythic imagination, the seeds of renewal can be found precisely within the conditions of chaos, disorder and disintegration. Awakening the soul leads to acts of truth and courage, but also practices of devotion and sacred service. The awakened soul becomes the source of vision and creative agency that can inspire a collective renewal at both the level of survival and of transformation.
Myths of restoration of the Earth and renewal of life that help us see the world with different eyes
Working with the genius loci or spirit of place
Aligning our inner genius and character with service in the world
Finding a “dharma path” that helps us live amidst chaos and can help restore the life force of the world
Using healing rituals that can deepen our sense of community and create reservoirs of hope
“The agony of the earth calls for each of us to defeat the growing alienation and isolation of life in order to become more human and be more present. The issue is not the pretension of “saving the planet,” but rather finding deeper ways of serving the earth.” — Michael Meade
Join renowned author, mythologist and storyteller Michael Meade for an evening of myths of renewal, tales of transformation, and a call to find unity in this time of conflict and confusion.
As the chaos in the world increases, most ideas of the future become fatalistic. Yet, the situation only seems “hopeless” when viewed from the narrow logic of a collapsing world view. Old ways of seeing the world are blocking more vital paths of imagination, vision and healing.
The point is not simply evolution or progress, rather there needs to be a collective rite of passage that transforms our world view. Transformation is required to move us from despair and overwhelm to awakening and imagination. We are either on the way to transformation or on the road to greater tragedy.
The agony of the earth calls for each of us to defeat the growing alienation and isolation of life in order to become more human and be more present. The issue is not the pretension of “saving the planet,” but rather finding deeper ways of serving the earth.
This world, despite all its troubles, remains a place of ongoing creation. Yet, creation can only work through the souls of those alive at a given time. What we learn from mythic stories and imagination is how our human nature can make us part of the ground of being and the vital pulse of the living world.
“Climate change and eco-degradation can become the context in which the core values of humanity become redeemed rather than lost.” – Michael Meade
To rise above Capitol Hill, the Bullitt Center, the world’s first super-green “living” office building, faced a nearly unbelievable fight. Owners of a neighboring building used the State’s Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to fight against the structure’s vital solar array and, even more audaciously, tried to force the net zero waste building to provide more parking. They lost — but not before lengthy, costly delays.
There is another story.
Redeveloping Magnolia’s Fort Lawton was first floated in 2005 and the possibility remained a tension point in the community for over a decade as the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to move forward on a major affordable housing project at the old Army Reserve Center site earlier this year.
Slowed by lawsuits and the Great Recession more than a decade ago, the project was met with opposition from some saying that green space needed to be preserved over housing and others talking about the effects of bringing low-income housing to the affluent neighborhood.
Magnolia activist Elizabeth Campbell and others were first able to halt the project in 2009 with a legal challenge against the City of Seattle claiming there were several technical violations of the law in the plan. Both the King County Superior Court and the state Court of Appeals took Campbell’s side.
When the city came back with a similar plan two years ago, Campbell and the Discovery Park Community Alliance were back to sue once again.
“This is the way to tackle the City. You need a lawyer and a litigation plan – you need to go guerrilla,” Campbell told the Magnolia Voice in 2017. “To me it’s like a war. You use the tools you have available. This city knows they can ignore the people because no one will come after them legally. I’m for taking a hard stand with the city.”
While the Fort Lawton redevelopment is finally moving forward, its saga is one of many examples cited by advocates of a new measure moving through the Seattle City Council to reform the use of SEPA in Seattle that aims to minimize these sorts of long and winding appeals that delay what they see as much-needed development.
UPDATE 4:55 PM: The council has approved the legislation 8-0.
“When our collective house is on fire, having a reasonable timeline for when someone contests our right to build affordable and climate-friendly housing is really a problem,” said Alice Lockhart of 350 Seattle, a climate-justice organization. Continue reading →
District 3 representative Kshama Sawant is bringing a resolution to the full City Council in support of students participating in Friday’s Seattle Climate Strike at Cal Anderson.
The resolution to be presented and voted on Monday afternoon will show “support of the youth-led September 20, 2019 Global Climate Strike” and urge “Seattle Public Schools to support its students’ right to assemble and participate in the Global Climate Strike.” It will also affirm that city employees “may request unpaid leave for a day of conscience,” according to the council summary of the planned resolution. Continue reading →
The Seattle City Council will begin the process Friday for firing up a possible ban on natural gas in new construction — but don’t worry, chef, your gas ranges will probably be safe for now.
The legislation would prohibit natural gas hookups in new homes and apartment buildings starting in 2020. Council member Mike O’Brien will take up the proposal Friday afternoon in his sustainability committee session. Continue reading →
To break the the mayor’s veto of the Seattle City Council’s Sweetened Beverage Tax revenue plan, citywide council member Lorena González had to make an international phone call in the middle of the night to cast her decisive vote Monday afternoon Seattle time.
Turns out, González is abroad this week studying “sustainable, urban strategies” thanks to the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict.
The council member is part of a huge delegation, according to Capitol Hill Housing which started the EcoDistrict effort in 2013 with funding from The Bullitt Foundation to increase sustainability efforts in the neighborhood. Continue reading →
The tax on sugary beverages was originally earmarked for creating new programs related to “healthy food and beverage access, birth-to-three services and kindergarten readiness, a public awareness campaign about sugary drinks, support for people actively living with obesity and diabetes, community-based programs to support good nutrition and physical activity and evaluation support for those programs.” With Monday’s veto-killing vote, the council’s plan for new programs can again try to move forward.
Meanwhile, Monday’s full City Council action also included approval of Seattle’s Green New Deal resolution. Durkan’s response to the approval was much friendlier than the sugary beverage tax situation. In a statement, the mayor applauded the vote and said she was “committed to expediting climate action” by issuing an Executive Order directing City departments to “evaluate how they can accelerate their action items under the City’s Climate Action Plan, and how Seattle can best meet the goals of the Green New Deal.” The final resolution can be found here.
Monday afternoon’s last full City Council before the body’s summer break will include a vote on a resolution setting the terms of Seattle’s “Green New Deal.”
The Seattle resolution (PDF), part of a nationwide movement to address climate change and the continued reliance on fossil fuel, encourages a catch-all roster of Green initiatives including: “Building efficiency, Transportation , Housing affordability, Renewable energy, Climate, preparedness and emergency management,” and “Job training.”
The resolution will only set the stage for future legislation but it is being embraced by City Council members including Kshama Sawant. “Avoiding climate catastrophe will take a rapid shift away from fossil fuels,” a Sawant campaign statement on the Green New Deal reads. “We will need to bring the big U.S. energy corporations into democratic public ownership and retool them for clean energy.”