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A Few Confessions…

Sometimes you fail.  Other times you fail publicly.  This blog is a representation of the latter.  Obviously you would hope for some successes in there as well, which fortunately I’ve experienced a few of those in 2016, which have probably contributed somewhat to the failures here on Our North Seattle.

I started this blog about a year ago with the intention of involving myself more in the North Seattle/District 5 community.  What happened was absolutely unexpected, and was both exhilarating and stressful at the same time.  This blog got a lot more attention than I thought.  And I became overloaded.  Quickly.

Part of the reason for this was that I’m also employed full time.  Really more than full time – I work for a startup in downtown Seattle, and that #startuplife can get crazy.  Fortunately we’ve been somewhat successful over 2016, which has only increased my stress level because there’s more responsibility.  I’m writing this coming off of another promotion announcement, which is, again, great, but also takes more time.

Another piece was my addiction to travel.  I started going a new place every month, and this took me away from the city that I love and my involvement in our area.  It’s the classic “wanting to have it all,” that was getting in the way of actually having it all. Or as one of my favorite characters in TV puts it “Don’t half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.”

Enter my friend Tyler.  Tyler and I have known each other for many years, and was the first person that I profiled as a business owner in North Seattle.  He’s great – he has an amazing wife and a beautiful baby who’s growing so fast.  He’s also investing more and more time in the development of Seattle – he’s started working on a podcast called Rise Seattle.  Tyler sat me down (and bought me lunch) to talk about Our North Seattle.  He and I share the same vision – having a place for news, community highlights, advocacy, and overall communication around North Seattle, which is lacking in that area.  So I invited him to join me.

Beginning Mid-March, Tyler and I have committed to contributing about once per week to the blog, which means that we will have about two posts per week.  We’ll be talking about local business, community events, and some news.  We’ll try to have one long-form piece per month detailing a business, or a person, or even an issue, within North Seattle.

We’re also looking for more help.  To make this a true community blog, we want to have a community.  First, we would love to have someone who’s passionate about quick daily news articles and social media to join the team.  If you are interested in taking this on, email me with a few writing samples and we can talk about what it would look like (currently we’re all volunteer).  And, if you have a passion for also writing weekly in a specific area of interest, we would love to hear from you!

Throughout 2017, we want to grow this community and our reach so that you have a voice in North Seattle politics, business, and life.  Tell your friends, sign up for our email list, and follow us on Social Media.  Thanks for bearing with us as we relaunch, and I am excited to see what this year holds in store for us.

Thanks for your continued readership!

Nate

One Week In: What I’ve Learned

My Buddy, Denali

My Buddy, Denali

Here I am, one week in to starting Our North Seattle officially, and I’ve already learned a lot.  So don’t mind me as I settle in next to my little buddy here to reflect on some of the things I’ve learned about North Seattle as a community.

North Seattle Community Members Care
Nothing has been more clear than the fact that North Seattleites care a great deal about their community.  Within hours of kicking off my first post, I was inundated with messages and emails from caring neighbors who wanted to meet up to talk about their love for this neighborhood.

Local Businesses Still Struggle
Yes, our economy is booming.  However, I still see local small businesses struggling, especially here in North Seattle.  My hope is that as we continue this blog, I can help be a voice for local businesses.  I have some thoughts on how to connect more community members with local businesses, but please let me know if you have any thoughts yourself! Small business is so important to our community and I hope to encourage this as much as possible.

North Seattle Gets the Short Shrift
Yes, we all know that we lack sidewalks.  However, because of how we were annexed to the rest of the city, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that we are unable to centralize, organize, and represent our views.  As we were added onto the city, considerations were not given to optimizing community.  Since then, the city has largely been able to ignore our area because of our lack of representation on City Council and City boards.

North Seattle has the Most Potential
Take all of the above and put them together – we have the biggest room to grow as a neighborhood or collection of neighborhoods.  I think with the people that are here – these people who care so much, with a couple of pushes, we can become one of the leading areas of Seattle

What else should I learn in the next few weeks?  How do you think we can help our community grow together? I welcome your thoughts – and thanks for joining me!

Welcome to North Seattle

It all started with a conversation. A digital conversation, that is. Who knew that nextdoor.com was the hotbed of local discussion, but it is Seattle – and in this tech-centered city, it only seems right. The conversation was about suspicious activity right around the corner from my house, and it brought up a gaping hole in the North Seattle community – effective police presence.

I started to think more as I got up the next morning, put on my shoes, walked down the pothole-filled alley and onto the street – because there’s no sidewalk – to Lake City Way where I would take a crowded bus downtown to work.  My thoughts led me to look up more information about these seemingly normal services that were just lacking from the North Seattle that I have come to love.

North Seattle was annexed from unincorporated King County in the mid 20th century through several different acquisitions.  It was largely communities that didn’t have a strong central presence and just needed a local government to represent them.  But, as is typical of annexations like North Seattle’s, it wasn’t quite what it was cracked up to be.  Sidewalks were ignored. Representation on the City Council was nonexistent. Services were low.  It was largely a bedroom community for people who wanted to live cheaper but still live close enough to downtown Seattle.

But this doesn’t define the North Seattle that I know. Neighbors watch out for each other.  They engage in spirited debate. People go out to places like Elliott Bay, Cloud City Coffee, Roosevelt Ale House, Naked City Brewery, Diva Espresso, Thornton Place, and more.  They commune with friends for Seahawks games.  Or maybe I’m just describing my life…

But there’s something about the North Seattle community. Though we lack centralized organization, fair representation on boards and committees, and adequate services like Ballard or Queen Anne have, this is an amazing community.

So walk with me down the small gravel patch on the side of the road as I meet business owners, community leaders, and update you on the happenings of North Seattle.  And maybe, just maybe, through our community here, we can show the rest of Seattle what they’re missing.