Walking Tour: Green Lake / Community Council Meetings / Office Hours / Testifying in Olympia / Supporting the Ballard P-Patch / Green Lake Community Center and Evans Pool Renovation / Your Voice, Your Choice / Jacob A. Riis at the Nordic Museum

We just wrapped up week eight of my time serving you on the City Council. My team has hit the ground running, attending events and meetings across the district, and preparing to introduce my first legislation.

In these eight weeks we have held 26 in-district constituent meetings, attended 9 community group meetings, met with 24 small businesses, helped 38 residents resolve issues with the City, and spoke with countless community members.

Black History Month

February was Black History Month! It was an honor to take a moment and celebrate the years of public service by our honorees Reverend Harriett Walden, City of Seattle’s own Mary Flowers, and of course our prominent black elected leaders Council President Bruce Harrell and King County Council Member Larry Gossett in council chambers last week. Their tireless work has helped Seattle get to where it is, and I commit to continuing the work of making our institutions reflect and serve all our Seattle residents equally.

In the District

Walking Tour: Green Lake

We regularly walk and talk with business owners and community members in different neighborhoods across the district. So far we have visited Ballard and Phinneywood. Most recently we were in the Green Lake neighborhood. Next we will be in Fremont and Upper Fremont, Phinney Ridge, and Crown Hill.

At Spud’s Fish and Chips, owners Pam and Craig shared the incredible opportunity they have to preserve their legacy business while adding affordable housing to the neighborhood. Spud’s has deep roots in the community and has built strong relationships with their neighbors and regular customers. Their story should be a model for how we can grow gracefully, welcoming new neighbors while still preserving the historic community spaces that make our neighborhoods unique.

Tacos Guaymas has amazing tacos, and should be high on your list the next time you pass by. Victor, who owns the restaurant, talked with me about the challenges he faces as a restaurant owner, including the fact that he has to pay for an annual sidewalk-cafe permit in order to let diners eat outside. Outdoor seating activates his storefront and makes the neighborhood more vibrant for all of us.

Leslie’s largest concern is an intersection outside her business which is not working as intended. A new four-way stop was created, and most drivers do not fully stop – posing a danger to pedestrians and drivers. As well, gaps were left between the street and new curb cuts. This is the type of issue I want to know about because we shouldn’t wait for someone to get hurt to create the needed solutions.

I also spoke with Marty, the manager of Gregg’s Greenlake Cycle. As an avid cyclist, who often bikes to work from the Eastside, Marty expressed that bicycle safety is important to him and to his customers to make sure that they feel comfortable getting around by bike. Marty keeps a framed Greg LeMond jersey in his office, which is a really big deal for cycling fans. LeMond won the 1989 Tour de France by eight seconds before doping was prevalent. Read more about LeMond’s legacy here.

Meeting face-to-face is vital to understanding the issues affecting people and businesses in our district. That’s why it is so important to me to be out talking to my neighbors in every corner of District 6. This is one of the best ways for me to ensure that I am advocating as well as I can for all of our needs.

Our fourth walking tour will be in Fremont this week. If you would like us to visit your business or favorite neighborhood spot, please reach out to Peter in my office at Peter.Nguyen@seattle.gov.

Community Council Meetings

My staff and I have been attending community council meetings throughout the district to hear about the issues directly impacting individual neighborhoods. I attended the Fremont Neighborhood Community Council meeting last Monday, the East Ballard Community Association before that, and heard about issues ranging from the need to strengthen protections for trees, to the desire to build more affordable housing in our neighborhoods. My staff also attended this month’s Ballard District Council meeting.

Office Hours

We host district office hours every week. Recently, we’ve heard from constituents regarding homelessness, public safety, and housing affordability. I will continue to meet you in the District, because you shouldn’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. We will also periodically host office hours on Saturday.

We will have district office hours on Saturday, March 14th. 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.

Testifying in Olympia

Last Saturday, I testified in support of the Block the Box legislation in Olympia. Blocking the Box violations occur hundreds of times per day in downtown Seattle, causing congestion, hurting transit reliability, and making our streets dangerous for vulnerable road users. This legislation will help us move people through our downtown core by automating enforcement in order to reduce the number of violations by as much as 80%. Watch this video from Rooted in Rights that powerfully illustrates the problem.

I am dedicated to ensuring our transit-only lanes work effectively with enforcement that doesn’t require SPD to use officer hours. You should be able to catch your bus and get where you’re going without getting stuck in traffic. This legislation is critical to making this a reality and I was honored to have the opportunity to testify along with Chief Scoggins of our Fire Department and Captain O’Donnell of our Police Department.

District 6 Issues

Supporting the Ballard P-Patch

The Ballard P-Patch is an important asset in our community, serving as much-needed open-space and as a vital resource in addressing food insecurity in North Seattle. The P-Patch dedicates 1,200 square feet of space to food access efforts, and donates more than 2,500 pounds of food annually to the Ballard Food Bank and Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Hot Meals program.

This week, my office spearheaded a letter in support of the Ballard P-Patch’s application for a Conservation Futures Tax grant to help purchase and preserve their land in Northwest Seattle. The letter was signed by every Councilmember and the Department of Neighborhoods. We coordinated the 36th District legislators also signing and sending a letter in support. We are happy to be supporting such a great cause to ensure this P-Patch keeps its home.

Green Lake Community Center and Evans Pool Renovation

The Green Lake Community Center and Evans Pool is one of the oldest community centers in our city. In order to extend its usable life, the center and pool are scheduled for renovations between May and October 2020. This project will replace the boilers and air handling system, install pool pump improvements, make electrical repairs, level the gym floor, and more. The work is necessary to extend the life of the building another ten years while Seattle Parks and Recreation designs a new facility. The pool and center will remain open until May.

The first outreach meeting for the project is scheduled March 25th at the Green Lake Community Center and will focus on site options for the new center.

More information from the Department of Parks and Recreaction can be found here.

Your Voice, Your Choice

Every year the Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets initiative seeks projects for small-scale park and street improvements. The program is currently collecting ideas for projects to be funded in 2020. Proposals are reviewed by a team of community members who narrow the list to 8-10 projects per district. Community members will vote for their favorite projects during the summer, with the selected projects receiving a share of $2 million in funding.

Last year’s District 6 project winners included traffic calming on Ashworth Avenue North in Green Lake, crossing Improvements at 15th Ave. NW and NW Market St. in Ballard and Crossing Improvements on N39th St. and Phinney Ave. N in Fremont.

Project collection ends March 18th so if you have an project in mind don’t delay getting in an application!

Jacob A. Riis at the Nordic Museum

Through March 15th the Nordic Museum is hosting “How the Other Half Lives,” an exhibit featuring the work of Jacob Riis, a newspaper reporter and social reformer who used photographs to illustrate the plight of impoverished residents of New York. The exhibit includes photographs, handwritten journals, and personal correspondence. The messages Riis’ work conveys are powerful and the call for social justice work that they elicit continues to be relevant today.

Take the time to experience this exhibit for yourself before it’s gone!

Please never hesitate to reach out to me or my team – we are here to serve you.