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North Seattle Councilwoman Goes on District 5 Tour: Friday

Attention District 5 Residents – which is pretty much North Seattle through and through: our Councilwoman, Debora Juarez will be going on a ‘tour’ of District 5 this Friday, February 19th.

During this time, she will be visiting various places throughout the North Seattle Area.  Below are the list of places and times that she will be there.

  • 10am – 11:30am Northaven, Senior Living With A Heart (11045 8th Avenue NE)
  • 1:30pm – 2:30pm North Helpline (12736 33rd Ave NE)
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm Mary’s Place (1155 N. 130th St.)
  • 4:30pm – 6:30pm The Shanty Tavern Reception (9002 Lake City Way NE)

They are asking people to RSVP to this event, please email her Legislative Assistant at Sabrina.Bolieu@seattle.gov to notify her that you are coming.  You also should separately (this does not count as an RSVP) respond “yes” to the Facebook Event.

Does anyone plan on being at one of these events?  I would love to hear more about some of them, and I plan on being at the Shanty Tavern Reception myself.

See you there!

Workshops for City’s Large Projects Fund

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is hosting some upcoming workshops regarding the Large Projects Fund.  This is a great way for us here in North Seattle to be involved in Seattle’s growth an development, and also to receive some money for development in our community.

From the Large Projects Fund Website:

The Large Projects Fund (LPF) provides awards up to $100,000 to support community members in building community relationships around a project. Large Projects Fund activities may be physical projects as well as less tangible but equally significant educational, cultural, and relationship-strengthening activities. All projects must demonstrate its capacity to build a stronger and healthier community, and must:

  • Provide a public benefit and be free and open to all members of the public.
  • Emphasize self-help, with project ideas initiated, planned and implemented by the neighbors and community members who will themselves be impacted by the project.
  • Demonstrate community match.
  • Occur within the Seattle city limits.

The Workshop for North Seattle is at the Bitter Lake Community Center, and it will be Thursday, March 24.  If you’re thinking about going, shoot us here at Our North Seattle an email and we’d love to write about some of the projects coming from the North Seattle Community!

Mayor Murray Releases Lake City Urban Design Framework Today

Today, Mayor Ed Murray and District 5 Councilwoman Debora Juarez released a new Urban Design Framework for the Lake City corridor.  There is already one in existence for Northgate, so this doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

However, this is a welcome change for people living in the Lake City community.  This corridor renewal has long been fought for by some active community members (some of whom I have already had the chance to digitally meet since launching this blog).

The following is directly from the City of Seattle’s site on the new Urban Design Framework, specifically regarding key outcomes:

Strengthen Community Partnerships

  • New integrated approach to community development
  • Coordinated community outreach
  • Only in Seattle grant for Lake City Future First (LCFF)
  • LCFF business district support
  • LCFF design and planning committee
  • Green Seattle Partnership

Build a Healthy Community

  • 33rd Ave NE park design
  • Virgil Flaim skatepark
  • Thornton Creek restoration
  • Little Brook Park public restroom open all year
  • Improve connections to Meadowbrook Community Center
  • New recreation programming
  • Access to healthy food
  • Fred Meyer Community Garden
  • Natural Drainage Systems
  • NE 130th Street beach access

Enhance Community Safety

  • Intersection improvements around the Lake City Civic Core
  • Sidewalk installation
  • LCW Traffic Safety Corridor project
  • Public safety

Building for the Future

  • Workforce Housing for Families
  • Lake City preschool
  • Human services
  • New development standards
  • 28th Ave NE festival street plan

This is a huge step forward for our community and a big congratulations is in order for the people who have fought for this tirelessly for years.

Read the full press release here.

Burglaries/Property Theft in North Seattle

Neighbors – I am hearing more and more reports of forced entry burglaries in the North Seattle community. I want to thank those who have spoken up about the burglaries that are happening because while these are terrible events, the more they are shared, the more we can be aware.

SPD has a great map that shows all of the recent police reports filed in the city.  Check North Seattle, and you’ll see the usual amount of green squares (this is property theft and damage), but what seems to be a growing amount of burglaries, specifically nonresidential.

Theft in North Seattle

Please keep aware of this map, report any suspicious activity, and report anything that happens to your property to the Seattle Police, even if they don’t respond directly, this helps them with gathering data on our community, and may increase police presence.

Thanks, neighbors, and stay safe out there.

Ballots due TODAY!

Time to vote! This is just a reminder that your ballots are due TODAY! If you would like to see your vote guide, you can look it up here.  On this ballot should be two ballot measures, both for currently expiring property tax levies supporting schools.

Make your voice heard on this beautiful sunny Seattle day.  Make sure North Seattle is a big voting block.  Vote!

Also, if you can’t get to a mailbox, a reminder that there’s a drop box in Magnuson park today.

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!

This Week’s Highlights: Feb 7-Feb 13

Welcome to our second edition of This Week’s Highlights for North Seattle!

This will be a list that we’ll start aggregating, but we can only be as good as our sources.  If you’d like to submit something to our highlights list, email us at highlights@ournorthseattle.com.  Not all will make it in, but we’ll try to make sure we have a solid list.

Mail in Your Ballots!
They’re due this week!  You can turn them in at Magnuson park, which will be at a van parked in one of the parking lots.  Check the link to see exactly where it will be – Link with Map

Monday, Feb 8 6:30-8:30pm @ Naked City Brewery – Map :: Link

Roosevelt Ale House Trivia – Roosevelt Ale House
Every Wednesday at 8pm @ Roosevelt Ale House Map :: Link

Family Nature Class
Thursday, Feb 4 9:30am @ Arboretum – $18 – Map :: Link

Why is this list so short? Because we need your help! Email us at highlights@ournorthseattle.com with cool event highlights that benefit our community and we’ll try to include them in our next week’s highlight post.

Drop off Your Ballots: This week at Magnuson Park

Neighbors – it’s that time of year again; time to vote.  On this ballot: two expiring property tax levies for Seattle Public Schools.  Regardless of your views on this, it is extremely important that we all vote on issues like this.

Obviously, you can vote by mail; which is probably the typical way for submitting your vote this year, but there will also be a drop-off van available in Magnuson Park this Saturday, next Monday and Tuesday.

Here’s a screenshot with a map of where the van will be:

Other locations include:

  • Ballard Library
  • Shoreline – Aurora Shopping Center
  • UW Campus
  • King County Admin Building

There’s also a few more on the Eastside and South County, all of which can be found here.

Happy Voting!

HALA Town Hall on Thursday UPDATED: With Correct Phone Number

When it comes to affordable housing, North Seattle seems to leave something to be desired.  However, we want to balance the amount of new housing being built with the existing housing and families that are here.

Mayor Murray has declared a State of Emergency when it comes to homelessness in Seattle.  While affordable housing does not equate to homelessness, housing as a whole is a big part of the homeless issue.  And, as we increase supply of housing at all levels of need will benefit.

One of the ways that we can help is with the Housing Affordability and Living Agenda – also known as HALA.  Fortunately, Mayor Murray wants to talk with a large portion of our Seattle residents about what’s going on with HALA.  Therefore, he is hosting a town hall over the phone on HALA.

There have been two town hall meetings already, but one more remains, here are the details:

Thursday, February 4, 2016, 6 – 7pm
Call in at: (855)-756-7520   Ext.31028#

Thanks to open communication with our Seattle Mayor’s office, I’ve heard about this event.  Also, if you’re interested on serving on a HALA Focus group – here’s an application.  Please apply if you’re interested in serving the rest of the North Seattle Community!

Also, if you’re able to make the call, let me know.  Unfortunately I will be busy, but would love to know what happened.

Hopefully we can provide housing for everyone in Seattle, because this will benefit all of us!

Here’s How Bad the Sidewalk Problem is in North Seattle

It’s well known – Sidewalks in North Seattle leave something to be desired.  When I walk to the bus in the morning from my house, I walk 3 blocks.  Only 1 of those blocks has a sidewalk on it, and I’m one of the lucky ones.  The rest of the time, I’m dodging cars on the side of the road.

But how bad is the problem? It’s pretty bad.  Here’s a file (Source: City of Seattle/SDOT) that really shows you just how bad this is.  Take a look at this diagram and you’ll see that North Seattle as a whole is the most shortchanged of all neighborhoods in Seattle.

And the issue is widespread in North Seattle.  All the way from the Sound to Lake Washington, we see Tier 1 sidewalks across the North Seattle region.

Yet, in reports, such as this one, or this one from the City of Seattle don’t mention any of the North Seattle neighborhoods once.  This means that in strategic plans produced by SDOT, they have essentially de-prioritized all of North Seattle.  No matter that we are a center of families and commuters to downtown, we just don’t end up getting a piece of the pie on sidewalks.

How to fix this? As a friend of mine once told me when I was dealing with what seemed to be an insurmountable problem: keep asking the hard questions.  Write to City Council. Talk about this issue.  Tell your friends.

North Seattle is underserved – and it’s clear from the lack of sidewalks.  Some of this is history, some of this is representation.  But none of this means that we can’t move forward with the rest of Seattle.