Jim Diers - Neighborhoods need city’s support, not a mayoral panel

Jim Diers, former Director of the Department of Neighborhoods, shared his comments regarding Mayor Murray's recent action to form a Commission, which dissolves the City's support to and formal connections with the City Neighborhood Council, (CNC) and Neighborhood District Councils whose members are self-elected and not appointed by elected officials. "Building vibrant and engaged neighborhood-based communities that can work together to solve problems won’t happen by simply adding another mayoral commission and using social media." Jim goes on to say, "I’m passionate about community — people who identify with and support one another. While there is a role for government and not-for-profit organizations, there is no substitute for inclusive communities when it comes to caring for one another and the environment, preventing crime, promoting health and happiness, creating great places, advancing social justice and strengthening democracy. The best place to build inclusive community is at the neighborhood level. Seattle’s neighborhoods provide the key ingredients that make community possible — a common identity, small scale, gathering places and opportunities for collective action. True, there are other valuable types of community that are defined by shared interest or identity, but neighborhoods are the only type of community with the potential to encompass all of the other identities (e.g. class, age, race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, politics) and interests (e.g. business, environment, social justice, public safety, education). Everyone lives in a neighborhood. Building inclusive community isn’t easy. People tend to associate with others who are like themselves. There are dozens of formal and informal associations in every neighborhood organized around culture, youth, seniors, sports, schools, crime prevention, faith, art, environment, hobbies and so much more. No one association can fully represent a neighborhood." Read full article here: http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/neighborhoods-need-citys-support-not...