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Deputy Mayor, Councilmember joined national leaders to discuss community empowerment

Mayor Mike McGinn
Councilmember Mike O’Brien

Deputy Mayor, Councilmember joined national leaders to discuss community empowerment
Representatives hailed from seven states across the nation at Community Engagement Leadership Institute in Los Angeles

SEATTLE – Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith and Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien recently traveled to Los Angeles with Nora Liu (Department of Planning and Development), Vu Lee (Vietnamese Friendship Association), David Keyes (Department of Information Technology), and Glenn Harris (Office of Civil Rights) for the launch of the Community Engagement Leadership Institute and the culmination of the 20th Annual Empowerment Congress Summit.

“It was amazing to be surrounded by so many dedicated citizen activists working to improve the quality of civic engagement in their communities. I am inspired by the work we did and in Seattle I hope to expand opportunities for our people to engage more deeply with me and my colleagues in local government,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien.

“It was an honor to have our City acknowledged by the Kellogg Foundation and Community Partners as one of the national leaders in community engagement. The Seattle team spent a powerful week meeting with community representatives in L.A. as well as officials from other cities working on civic engagement. I think we made strides in identifying new strategies that will help people in Seattle achieve deeper levels of engagement with each other,” said Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith.

The three-day Community Engagement Leadership Institute brought together teams comprised of elected leaders, civic and business leaders from around the country. In addition to Seattle’s delegation, teams also came from Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and Wisconsin. Participants attended workshops dedicated to hands-on learning methods and creating action plans for civic engagement projects in their home cities.

The Institute is designed to help participants develop strategies to improve community engagement and public policy outcomes by using the practices, techniques, tools and lessons learned by the Empowerment Congress.  Founded in 1992, the Empowerment Congress is a dynamic partnership among neighborhood groups, residents, nonprofit organizations, businesses, religious institutions, and community leaders and the Congress is now serving over 2.5 million residents in the Los Angeles County 2nd Supervisorial District. 

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