Councilmember Licata left office on January 1, 2016.
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Urban Politics #252: Cultural Overlay Districts & Eco April 2008

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By City Councilmember Nick Licata.
With assistance from my Legislative Assistant Frank Video.

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.



  • ECO APRIL 2008


On Wednesday, April 2nd, in the Bertha Knight Landes Room on the first floor at Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave, I am sponsoring a public forum titled: ‘Make Room for Art: Cultural Overlay Districts for Seattle.’ It will run from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. I will be joined by co-sponsoring Councilmembers Sally Clark, Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, and Tom Rasmussen.

This forum will be a follow-up to the January 16th Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce sponsored discussion I participated in titled “Is There Still Room For Culture & Entertainment On Capitol Hill?”  That event, held at the Capitol Hill Arts Center, drew a large and determined audience of artists, business owners, developers, and residents.

Turnout was high in part because of neighborhood concern over Odd Fellows Hall, a long-time performing arts and entertainment incubator that was recently sold, thereby pricing out the majority of its current arts and culture industry tenants who now have no comparable alternative home.

The focus of this forum will be on whether and how to establish Capitol Hill as the City’s first cultural overlay district. A cultural overlay district is a land-use designation that allows cities to promote and preserve the arts in certain neighborhoods.

Aside from quality of life contributions, artistic and cultural activities generate considerable economic activity. Should the Council offer incentives, such as tax credits, that encourage artistic activities? Should the Council enact controls, such as design guidelines, that help preserve cultural spaces? Councilmembers will hear suggestions from Seattle residents, representatives of arts and entertainment venues and organizations, property owners, developers, and other government officials.

Speakers will include:

  • Lesley Bain, American Institute of Architects and Urban Design
  • Committee
  • Laura Curry, Mithun Architects and Planners
  • Liz Dunn, Dunn & Hobbes and a Capitol Hill Developer
  • Randy Engstrom, Youngstown Arts Center
  • Evan Johnson, Image Film Productions
  • Jim Kelly, 4Culture
  • Michael Killoren, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs
  • Hallie Kuperman, Century Ballroom
  • Matthew Kwatinetz, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the
  • Capitol Hill Arts Center
  • Josh LaBelle, Seattle Theatre Group, Paramount and Moore
  • Theatres
  • Angela Luechtenfeld, Freehold Theatre Lab
  • Richard Muhlebach, Kennedy Wilson Real Estate Services
  • Jim Reinhardsen, Heartland LLC
  • Michael Seiwerath, Northwest Film Forum
  • Brennon Staley, Seattle Department of Planning and Development



This Monday, March 31st from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the launch of Puget Sound Community Change (PSCC) and The Eco April Alignment will take place in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Seattle Poet Populist, Cody Walker, local musicians, and slam poets from Seattle Youth Speaks will provide entertainment and inspiration throughout the night. I will present a joint Mayor-Council proclamation on behalf of the City Seattle in support of Eco April.

The PSCC program aligns human values with market choices by shifting dollars to the common good. PSCC reports that in 120 days, 1,800 consumers have used their PSCC Community Cards more than 7,000 times. The Community Cards generate rebates that benefit non-profits and schools. Over $500,000 has been spent at local businesses generating almost $20,000 in community rebates. The program’s five year goal is to have 350,000 cardholders generating over $5,000,000 a year in donations. Attendees can learn how to participate in the PSCC Card program.

The Eco April Alignment seeks to unite community and honor life through a series of events and activities throughout April in the Seattle area. The intent is to utilize the month of April to deepen people’s commitment to align their values with their actions.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama (his visit here is among one of the many Eco April events) says that ‘Compassion is the radicalism of our time.’ The PSCC program encourages citizens to get involved, discover and attend April’s events, and make connections with aligned organizations and individuals.

There is no admission charge for either event. I hope to see you at both.

Keep in touch…

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