It has been a very full first month as your District 6 representative. I have spent considerable time throughout the District, attending community meetings, participating in walking tours of Phinneywood and Ballard and going on a ride-along with Seattle Police Department’s North Precinct Officers.
I also began my tenure as one of Seattle’s representatives on the Association of Washington Cities Board of Directors. I will advocate for Seattle and District 6 by building partnerships with cities throughout the State so we can properly tackle some of our most serious problems with our regional partners. Issues such as homelessness, criminal justice, the climate crisis and more are not just Seattle problems, these issues need our collective effort to create real results.
It was a great first month and I look forward to the months ahead tackling important issues for our community. Read on to learn about what’s going on in my committee, District 6, and city wide.
Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee Highlights
Our first meeting of the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will be on February 12th. At this meeting we will receive a report by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections on an update to the Tree Protection Ordinance.
One of my top priorities as your City Councilmember is to strengthen our Tree Protection Ordinance. Trees are a vital part of our urban ecosystem, cooling our city, and cleaning our air. As our neighborhoods grow and change, we must preserve the tree canopy and plant new trees where they are needed. I am looking forward to working with the Mayor and my colleagues on the City Council to address this issue.
In the District
Seattle Police Department Roll Call and Ride-Along
I joined the North Precinct’s Second Watch roll call last Friday and accompanied Officer Sergio Garcia for a full day ride-along throughout District 6. Neighborhood safety is an issue I’ve heard repeatedly from constituents. Everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy community, and I am thankful for all the work our Police Officers do to protect our community.
This was my second ride-along in the last six months and I have found that officers are primarily responding to social service and behavioral health calls. There is a better and higher use of our officer’s time: investigating and following up on criminal behavior. The result from not providing our officers with the resources they need to address social issues, is that the individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis do not receive the prevention, care, or treatment they need. Our neighborhoods need more programs and services like Health One which responds to individuals with low acute behavioral health needs. I will be working with the Mayor and my council colleagues to expand the availability of those services throughout District 6. Ultimately, we need a centralized emergency crisis line similar to “311” for our city to respond to people in crisis with the resources they need.
We host district office hours every week. We heard from constituents regarding tree protections, homelessness, and ways to support local small businesses. I will continue to meet you in the District so you don’t have to go downtown to have your voice heard. We are in the District Office throughout the week and always on Thursdays from 3:30-6:30 p.m.; if you would like to meet with me or staff during this time please sign up online here. Please note: In order to respect constituents’ time, everyone requesting a meeting during office hours will need to schedule ahead of time.
Walking Tour: PhinneyWood
Even having grown up in northwest Seattle, it’s not clear to me where Phinney Ridge ends and Greenwood begins, which is how we get our beloved Phinneywood.
Last Wednesday, I had my second small-business walking tour. We walked and talked in the PhinneyWood neighborhood, visiting with business owners, workers, and community members to discuss the issues impacting them most. We heard about issues of needing more trash cans and patching potholes, how to respond to people in crisis, and how to balance growth with neighborhood character.
No matter how large or small your issue is, please reach out to us to help you get the solutions you need.
Thank you everyone who took time to share their stories and perspectives with me. We live in such an incredible part of the City, and I am thankful to be able to take the time to meet you on your block, in your store, and in your neighborhood. As one community member put it, “the best days are the days I don’t leave PhinneyWood.” Which I think is sentiment we can all appreciate in D6.
It is important to me to be out in the district talking to neighbors and seeing what they are confronting daily to be able to best advocate for their needs. Our next walking tours will be visiting Fremont and Green Lake. If you would like us to visit your business or favorite neighborhood spot, please reach out to Noah in my office at Noah.An@seattle.gov
Ballard Alliance January Luncheon
On January 15, I attended and spoke at the Ballard Alliance Luncheon at Ray’s Boathouse. We started off the discussion with a review of how the local area has developed and transformed over the decades before transitioning to topics of current interest, including land use and neighborhoods, reliable public transportation, affordable housing, a regional approach to homelessness, the Seattle Police Department’s Community Service Officer program launch, and upcoming public works projects such as the SPU mega project, status of the Ballard Bridge, and repairing Market Street. One of my priorities is to support small businesses in Seattle, and it was great to interact with business owners in our community.
Addressing the Climate Crisis
I attended two great environmental events last week. On Monday I met with members of the 43rd district Enviro Caucus, which focused on how the city can respond to the climate crisis today. On Tuesday I joined the “Urgency of Now Seattle Jewish Climate Festival” as part of the Tu bsvat holiday which is similar to the Jewish Arbor day where we discussed how the Jewish community can respond to the climate crisis. I am inspired by the both night’s conversations and will put every piece of legislation through a climate crisis lens. In the following months I will be pushing for bus only lanes which will reduce pollution while streamlining commute times.
You may have also seen my staff at community meetings and events these past few weeks, including attending the Phinney Ridge Community Council, Groundswell NW, and the North Precinct Advisory Council.
District 6 Issues
Neighborhood Street Fund
Northwest Seattle is getting a new crosswalk and pedestrian safety improvements at 15th Ave NW and NW 83rd St thanks to the Neighborhood Street Fund! Design work will begin this year, with construction in 2021. This was one of 15 projects across the city chosen to receive funding. More about the project can be found here.
Want to secure funding for a street improvement in your neighborhood? The next Neighborhood Street Fund application period will open in late 2020 or early 2021. More information can be found here.
Ballard-Interbay Regional Transportation Study
The Seattle Department of Transportation kicked off their public briefings on the Ballard-Interbay Regional Transportation System Study, which will evaluate how to improve mobility through the Ballard-Interbay corridor and identify funding options to replace the Ballard bridge. I was proud to work with former Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, as well as our delegation to the Washington State Legislature, to secure $700,000 in funding for this study. My staff joined the briefing in Ballard on January 28th at the Ballard Branch Library.
A final report is expected in November that will recommend transportation improvements to the Ballard and Interbay neighborhoods, including funding sources to replace the Ballard Bridge. You can learn more about the study, or sign up to receive updates, here.
Nordic Museum Receives 2020 Buildy Award
Congratulations to our National Nordic Museum for receiving a 2020 Buildy Award from the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums! The National Nordic Museum received this award for outstanding design and planning, incorporating neighborhood input from cultural organizations, educational institutions, business owners and local government officials to orient plans for the future. The National Nordic Museum remains the only Museum in the US that collects, preserves, and displays material artifacts from each of the five Nordic countries and incorporates Nordic sensibility into every aspect of design and employs a fjord motif that the Buildy Award Committee noted serves as a clear and concise organizational element and supports the whole storyline of the museum. We are lucky to have such a well-designed and nationally recognized museum in our district.
The Seattle Promise scholarship program application deadline is February 15, 2020.The Seattle Promise brings college education to every Seattle student by offering a scholarship for the first two years of tuition to a Seattle College as well as additional financial support for books, transportation and housing to those in financial need. All Seattle public high school students in the 2020 graduating class are eligible.
Please submit your admissions application to North Seattle College, Seattle Central college, or South Seattle College. Learn more about the Seattle Promise and how to apply here
Fentanyl and Opioid Awareness
On January 30th I joined Mayor Durkan, community members and the parents of Gabe Lilienthal, a Ballard teen who died after unknowingly ingesting a fentanyl laced counterfeit prescription pill in September, to announce the city’s effort to raise awareness regarding fentanyl and counterfeit pills. Opioid addiction is a disease many in our community face. The spread of fentanyl and counterfeit oxycodone pills poses a large threat that we must address with the expansion of substance misuse, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation resources. If this can happen to a ‘straight A’ student, it can happen to anyone and any family. We must turn Gabe’s tragedy into triumph, for his family and our community.
To address the crisis, the City is partnering with community-based organizations to convene a series of 25 Naloxone trainings to distribute 700 Naloxone kits. Naloxone is a drug which can reverse an opioid-related overdose. Ensuring that our community members far and wide have access to and are trained in the usage of Naloxone, will save lives.
International Clash Day
Last week we celebrated International Clash Day! I joined John Richards on KEXP’s Morning Show today to discuss what our City can do to address the climate crisis.
International Clash Day began through the efforts of Seattle’s Community minded, nonprofit radio station KEXP to celebrate the enduring influence of their music and human rights message. Throughout their career, The Clash band members, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon, used the power of music to share messages of peace, unity, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, poverty awareness and freedom of expression.
KEXP has designated this year’s celebration as Clash for Climate, celebrating artists around the world who are confronting the climate crisis as well as highlighting activists, public servants, and organizations who are working toward solutions for our planet’s dire situation.To learn more check out KEXP’s website.
Please never hesitate to reach out to me or my team – we are hear to serve you.