Ballard Commons Park; COVID-19 Updates; Success Stories


As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic I would like to update you on emerging issues, updates on addressing the pandemic, how we can support each other and our small businesses, and how I can help you.

At the bottom of this newsletter are success stories of how my office is assisting the community, and how residents are supporting each other. If you need to brighten your day with some good news – skip to the end of this newsletter.

Our office continues to assist District 6 small businesses stay afloat, helping residents navigate housing and food resources, and addressing individuals’ concerns – from parking enforcement to what to expect in the coming days and weeks.

If you need help navigating these resources, please reach out to my office:

I remain humbled and honored to represent you. Please continue to contact our office if you need help navigating COVID-19 relief resources.

Ballard Commons Park

When I was elected, I knew as a lifelong Ballard resident that one of the first issues I needed to tackle was the situation in and around Ballard Commons Park. In my first two months in office I began the work to address this situation behind the scenes, and then COVID-19 hit. I continue monitoring Ballard Commons in-person and I opened my district office at the Customer Service Center (next to the library) to increase my presence in the area.

When it comes to solving this issue or any community problem, we have to understand the history, who has the authority address it, and who is responsible for implementing solutions. For instance, City Councilmembers do not have direct control of City Departments, as they report directly to the Mayor. During times of stated civil emergency the City Council has an even further limited role in the issuance of directives, as the Mayor is empowered to respond dynamically to the emerging crisis. It is my job to communicate with you, our residents of District 6, about what I know and how the City is responding.

I am not waiting for others to act because our community is in crisis and this is an urgent issue. I called a meeting of all departments with jurisdiction in this area including: Seattle King County Public Health, Human Services Department, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Police Department, Seattle Public Libraries, Seattle Public Utilities, Finance and Administrative Services, and the Mayor’s Office. It is important to note that Mayor Durkan and I have spoken about Ballard Commons Park, she agrees that this situation needs to be addressed, and thus far City Departments have been responsive. Still, my efforts will only be as successful as what is directed by the Mayor, what City Departments implement, and how we support our community partners in creating solutions. Overall, we need to do more, and we need to work faster.

These are the updates from King County Public Health I have received:

The City’s initial response to these Hepatitis-A cases include:

  • The most important strategy for addressing Hepatitis A is vaccination, and as part of a 2-year Hep A vaccination effort, Public Health mobilized several clinics in the Ballard area in March and are continuing weekly clinics and outreach three times per week
  • Public Health- Seattle King County Environmental Health team has connected with Seattle Parks & Recreation to confirm best practice sanitation procedures of the Portland Loo at the Seattle Commons
  • Human Services Department and the Navigation Team are conducting outreach with hygiene kits three times per week
  • Seattle Public Utilities increased proactive cleaning to four times per week and servicing the garbage can in front of the library five times per week
  • Seattle Police Department’s Community Police Teams, Anti-Crime Teams, and Bike Patrols are supplementing patrols
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation reopened the Portland Loo with cleaning three times daily and picking up litter three times per week
  • The City is providing a handwashing station and portable toilets at Ballard Commons Park

Until we stand up appropriate shelter options, we need to manage what is currently an unmanaged encampment. This requires the city increasing:

  • Security for housed and unhoused neighbors
  • Access to restrooms and handwashing
  • Access to drinking water and food
  • Sanitation and cleaning
  • Pathways to appropriate shelter space
  • Pathways to stable housing

I will continue to update you with the information I have about the City’s response to these Hepatitis-A cases.

The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing and magnifying the gaps in our social services. Councilmember Lewis called a Select Committee on Homelessness Strategies and Investments to highlight these issues and you can watch the Committee presentations here.

We must act urgently, and you can count on me to continue addressing social service gaps and interventions in problematic behavior.

I will continue to post any updates I have regarding my work at Ballard Commons with my blog. Please check there for the most recent information.



Last Thursday, Governor Inslee extended the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order until May 4th.

I am happy to say that we have been doing a great job adhering to the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and we need to stay vigilant to ensure that we can keep our community as healthy as possible. Let’s keep it up!

  • The order requires people stay home unless they are involved in an essential activity like shopping for groceries, going to a doctor’s appointment, or working at an essential business.
  • Going outside, walking your dog, going for a run, biking and working in your garden are all still allowed, as long as social distancing of at least six feet is practiced when with someone who doesn’t live in the same household as you.
  • Essential activities also include caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household or residence, or driving a family member, friend or pet somewhere for an essential health or safety activity.

DO NOT CALL 911 to report a Stay Home, Stay Healthy violation. Please use these resources:

Metro – Temporary Reduction in Hours

Due to COVID-19 and the reduction of ridership, King County Metro made some changes to how we use transit. Until further notice, Metro has suspended fare payments, require back door entry unless the rider has mobility challenges, and began reducing hours starting on March 23rd. On April 6th, Metro began following a revised schedule . Please visit their page here to check route changes that may effect you. 

Social Distancing

Remember, behave as if you are contagious because you may not know if you’ve contracted the virus for two weeks.

Please use the resources below for current information on how to keep you and your family safe and healthy:

Supporting our Small Businesses

Businesses Still Open and Delivering Food

Many restaurants are still open and need your business. The City of Seatte has a #SupportSeattleSmallBiz map where you can enter your location and find open restaurants available for delivery or take-out. If you are a business owner that would like to be added to the map, please email:

There are also neighborhood websites that you can visit to support small business. The Fremont Chamber of Commerce has a site for small business in Fremont.

The Ballard Alliance also created this amazing page so that we can all continue to shop local! This is an on-line marketplace of Ballard businesses and is an easy way to support our neighborhood businesses from the convinience of home. Check out:

If you have additional resources to support small business, please email me at

Help for Workers

The Unemployment Law Project is a useful resource to provide help in the COVID crisis. The Unemployment Law Project provides low-cost representation and free advice and counsel to people in Washington State who have been denied unemployment benefits or whose award of benefits is being challenged. Go to or call 206-441-9178 for more information.

Services for Aged Neighbors

Have aging or disability issues? Call Community Living Connections (toll-free) at 1-844-348-5464. Community Living Connections is Seattle/King County’s info and support services center for aged adults, adults with disabilities and their caregivers.They can provide you with objective and confidential information about community resources and service options.

Resources for Immigrants and Non-English speakers

These times are difficult for all of us and it is vitally important that we take care of everyone in our community. One America, the largest immigrant and refugee advocacy organization in Washington State has compiled a list of resources in Washington State. Many of the resources are in multiple languages and include resources at every level of government as well as for well-being and anti-racism assistance.

Volunteer Opportunity

United Way of King County has compiled safe ways to volunteer during this crisis. Check out current opportunities in Seattle here.


Helping D6 Residents

I have received many calls and emails from constituents requesting help during this trying time and I am pleased to be able to share one of our success stories!

Two weeks ago, Carl, a District 6 resident, called to report that two vehicles had been wrongfully towed and impounded.

Carl explained that he is 75, disabled, and was doing his best to stay healthy during the recent COVID-19 outbreak. He was trying to balance his health with the City of Seattle’s parking rules that require that vehicles be moved at least every 72 hours.  He said, “I do not want to die,” and that he also didn’t want to have his vehicle towed, so he was going to comply despite the directive to for high-risk residents to stay inside. Carl figured since he already had to go outside to move his vehicle, he would also help his neighbor, Sandy, who is 70 and also disabled, move hers too.

Despite Carl’s best efforts, the Police Department parking enforcement applied “Notice to Impound” stickers on both vehicles, which identified the date they were to be impounded as March 9th at 10:10 am. Carl explained that when he went outside to comply with the impound notice on March 9th around 9:30am. He realized that Sandy’s vehicle had already been towed and that his car was getting hitched to the tow truck. He protested saying that he still had time to comply, and he was correct.

Lena, a staffer in my office, helped Carl relay these facts to parking enforcement where they agreed that Carl’s vehicle was wrongfully impounded and made sure that his car was returned to the spot where it was taken.

To date, Sandy’s vehicle has not been returned because the plates are expired, making it illegally parked. The vehicle was scheduled to be auctioned on April 4th, but thanks to Lena, we were able to convince the Seattle Municipal Court not to pursue that route and secured more time for Sandy to come into compliance. Lena and I are committed to getting Sandy’s car returned in the near future.

Throughout this experience there were members of our City family that helped us accomplish this work. Thank you, Seattle Police Officer A. Ridlon, who displayed tremendous kindness, understanding, and concern for Carl and Sandy’s well-being. Every City employee we worked with on this matter acknowledged the situation was unfortunate and worked hard and fast to resolve the issue. All were concerned about keeping Carl and Sandy safe while maintaining the integrity of the City’s Parking Enforcement Codes.

Things to remembe

The Mayor has suspended most parking enforcement at this time including: 72-hr parking, paid parking, booting, and temporary restaurant loading zones. However, other parking rules still apply. More information about parking rules can be found here.

If your vehicle is impounded call the SPD non-emergency line at (206) 625-5011. They will locate the vehicle and help you through the process to have it returned. If your vehicle was improperly impounded call the Customer Service Bureau (CSB) directly at 206-684-2489 (684-CITY).  CSB will investigate, and if wrongdoing is discovered they can work with the Municipal Courts to get your vehicle back.

If you ever need assistance navigating our City’s departments, rules, or regulations, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office – we are here to help you!

Helping Small Businesses

Peter Nguyen in my office has been working on a daily basis to guide small businesses and non-profits to helpful information and resources during this period of crisis. One of the businesses we assisted is a local fitness studio which had contacted their property management regarding rent relief. When the landlord responded that it did not believe commercial rents fall under the state/federal moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent, we provided the tenant with a direct link to the City of Seattle Civil Emergency Order Moratorium on Small Business Tenant Evictions and follow-up guidance on how to navigate the situation. The City of Seattle Alternative Dispute Resolution Program can be a helpful resource for mediating potential conflicts such as this.

We also worked with a responsible and socially-conscious Fremont restaurant owner who is trying to assist his employees, some of whom are immigrants, to access unemployment and other relief programs by referring them to both the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and pro bono legal counsel.

In addition, my office was able to research information for a non-profit in Ballard regarding what form of relief grant they could anticipate receiving from the City’s Art Stabilization Fund in order to help them engage in budget and contingency planning for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Ballard Sprouts

The Ballard Sprouts program is the perfect example of our district’s resilience. The Ballard Sprouts program starts seeds and grows plants for gardeners who grow food for food banks. Volunteers have been working alone (or together if a couple) six feet apart transplanting seedlings into pots. Thanks to their hard work, starts will be ready to distribute in early April to Seattle gardeners growing for the Food Banks. What an amazing way to help our neighbors while staying safe and taking advantage of the outdoors! For more information visit Sustainable Ballard’s website.

1,000 Gallons of Hand Sanitizer Delivered by Fremont Mischief!

Fremont Mischief Distillery has distributed their 1,000th gallon of hand sanitizer with another 1,000 to be delivered this week. “It is so nice to know that you are helping people out every day, but in these tough times it feels even better,” says Mischief.

If you are still in need we have personal sizes available in our Tasting Room, open Wednesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

For larger quantities please order online here.

Office Hours

My commitment to hosting district office hours every week continues! We have had all our appointments filled each week and with the current public health situation, I am hosting telephone district office hours.

If you would like to speak 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.