Reminder of two opportunities this week to get involved in Greenwood:
- Tuesday 3/28 (Tomorrow), 7pm at the Couth Buzzard:
Discuss potential interest in joining the Greenwood Community Council board before elections in April
- Wednesday 3/29, 7pm at the Couth Buzzard:
Attend the initial meeting of the GCC Engagement and Outreach volunteers to help increase community and participation in Greenwood
I want to add a personal note about why I’ve been involved in the community council off and on over the last few years. I have long believed that being involved in one’s neighborhood is a good thing in itself, because it builds community. But as I’ve become more concerned about politics getting more polarized (yes, even here in Seattle!) and people self-selecting the information they’re exposed to, I’ve become more convinced than ever that face-to-face community engagement can help find middle ground win-win solutions, and promote understanding between people who have different backgrounds and values. When we talk about diversity, the first step is to listen, and understand that neighborhoods are where diverse interests come together and need to be reflected.
In Greenwood we’ve had a positive effect on development. Ten years ago GCC worked with businesses and the city to develop a town center plan for Greenwood that has promoted a positive vision for development that would be consistent with preserving the things we all like about living and working here. Now we are seeing a sudden surge in development, and many of the developers have come to the community council to discuss their development proposals early in the design process.
For transportation we have seen some progress, including some new sidewalks on Greenwood last year. But we have a long way to go to complete the sidewalk system even along arterials and in the urban villages. With new schools and light rail stations opening, pedestrian and bicycle pathways need to be made safe or available at all. And of course getting around in a bus or car is getting more difficult every day. Every neighborhood needs to speak up to be heard downtown, not just for transportation, but for parks, playfields, community centers, drainage, libraries.
And there is also a lot to be done for safety and health issues – from responding to neighbors in need, to preparing for disasters and earthquakes. GCC has been active previously in these areas, but need new interest to get these efforts restarted and to partner with other community organizations. There is a growing interest and need to focus community and city resources on Aurora Avenue, where new encampments and shelters are planned.
Finally Seattle has challenged all of us to help voices be heard who are not always part of city debate. The community council can play an important role bringing decision-makers to Greenwood to meet with neighbors directly, to educate on how the city works and how to be most effective, and to reach out to constituencies in Greenwood who are not prone to or able to go to evening meetings.
These are the things we’re involved in as volunteers. We hope you’ll consider joining in.
Rob Fellows, President
Greenwood Community Council