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By City Councilmember Nick Licata.
Urban Politics (UP) blends my insights and information on current public policy developments and personal experiences with the intent of helping citizens shape Seattle’s future.
Neighborhood Advisory Gathering
On Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to noon, I will be convening the first of a tri-yearly Neighborhoods Advisory Gathering. The first one will be held at the Garfield Community Center (2323 East Cherry), so please mark your calendars.
Yvonne Sanchez, Mayor Nickel’s appointee to be the next Director of DON will also be present to talk with those in attendance. Other City Councilmembers on the NAC plan on attending as their schedule permits.
The intention is to keep the format informal and open. However, the first half of the event will be focused on the Department of Neighborhood’s 2001 Neighborhood Service Centers Survey results. This was a survey that was mailed to 90 community leaders and returned by 48 of them. They were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the Neighborhood Service Center Coordinators.
I primarily see this event as providing an opportunity to meet with community leaders in an open format to discuss issues that citizens would like to see my Neighborhood, Arts and Civil Rights (NAC) committee address.
The City Council has had standing committees dealing with city planning for years now, yet the first such committee to include the word “neighborhoods” in its title was in 1996. Since then the “Neighborhoods Committee” has acted as the legislative arm of the neighborhood planning process. The neighborhood plans have now been adopted and implementation of these plans will be an important element of this committee’s work. However, the work of the committee will not be limited to neighborhood planning.
One of my first involvements in Seattle politics was to help convene a Community Convention in June of 1975. In the time since I have had the opportunity to participate in a number of community gatherings. And most have resulted in stronger community groups by allowing them to learn more about how public policy is made and providing an opportunity to help shape those policies. I would like to continue that tradition with these gatherings.
In chairing my new Committee, a key goal of mine is to involve neighborhoods in all aspects of City government. What issues are most important to you? What would you most like to see City government do in the next year or two? There are limits to what any government can do, whether it’s City Hall or Congress. Those limits should not be determined by the few but instead should be determined by many voices and interests engaged in an open exchange of information and ideas. I want to kick off my term as the NAC Chair with this vision as my focus.
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