ACTION NEEDED: Seattle Department of Neighborhoods - Community Involvement Principles & Commission

Attached below are the draft resolutionattachment glossary of terms and the ordinance where the Executive proposes to eliminate the current District Council and CNC system by severing formal ties between the City and the neighborhoods.  Additionally, the draft legislation does not detail how neighborhood grants will be prioritized, reviewed, ranked and awarded, which could result in a significant loss of neighborhood voices.  The proposed Involvement Commission would be comprised of 7 City Council appointees by District, 7 Mayoral appointees and 2 members appointed by the Commission. As stated in the Mayor's draft legislation, appointees should be representative of the demographics but it is unclear how this would be accomplished with only one position currently required to be a specific demographic. There are numerous other gaps and concerns in this draft legislation and additional details will follow.  Subscribe below for updates.


Due to significant time constraints, (As posted on the CNC Facebook Page and on this website - the Budget process changed this year...Only one City Councilmember is needed to sponsor changes to the Mayor's proposed budget and the deadline is October 11 for the public to work with City Council).

The CNC strongly urges District Councils and your members to:


Contact your City Council Representative ASAP and tell them you do not support the Mayor's draft Ordinance/Resolution in its current form. Urge your City Council Representative to support updates/edits to the Mayor's drafts to further empower vs dis-empower neighborhoods;

  1. Prior to severing formal city ties with CNC / District Councils, City Council should direct DoN to implement the 2009 Audit Recommendations which are still relevant today;
  2. Tell your Councilmember your District Council is in full support of expanding and improving outreach/engagement;
  3. For years, the CNC / DCs have been requesting the City / DoN to provide more tools/resources to expand outreach/engagement;
  4. It is the responsibility of the City / DoN to ensure equitable delivery of services and products throughout the city, not unpaid volunteers;
  5. What will be different going forward? Relevant to language in the draft ordinance: DoN (along with other City Departments) has not kept pace with Seattle's growing, changing population and has been unsuccessful in the development and deployment of tools to expand outreach / engagement efforts.

Based upon DoN's track record, it is unknown whether the department will be able to execute on a citywide plan to broaden engagement (social media has been identified as a primary method). Overall, DoN has failed to fully execute on prior City Council SLI's over the past several years.

Another major concern: Neighborhood Matching Fund, NPSF, NSF
No mention about prioritizing these funds and what process will be used to review, rank and make award recommendations in the Mayor's draft legislation.

Finally, urge your City Councilmember to work with the CNC/District Councils and CM Lisa Herbold's office to collaborate on amendments to the Mayor's draft legislation. The CNC will keep you informed of progress from these efforts. IF the city is serious about reforming outreach/engagement efforts, a more thoughtful, inclusive process should be utilized with more (not less) voices at the table to jointly develop a plan.

Please also copy the CNC on any written correspondence you may send:

Mailing address for all council members:

        PO Box 34025
        Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Forward this information to your neighbors and let them know it is important to act.

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2017-2018 Budget Process

Reprinted from Councilmember Lisa Herbold's 9/23/16 newsletter.  Read the full newsletter <here>

2017-18 Budget Process

On Monday, September 26 Mayor Murray will release his proposed 2017-2018 city budget, marking the beginning of the Council’s budget process. Budget Committee Chair Burgess has announced a revised process and schedule, which will provide for enhanced public consideration of the Chair’s proposed balancing package during November. Some of the work preceding that will be frontloaded: deadlines for Councilmembers to first submit proposals for publication are earlier; on the other hand, any individual Councilmember can put forward a formal proposal. Previously, three sponsors were needed. Here are key dates an opportunities to get involved:

  • September 26: Mayor Murray releases his proposed budget
  • September 29: Budget Overview
  • October 5: first public hearing, 5:30 p.m.: this is an opportunity to request that Councilmembers sponsor changes (or not make changes) to the Mayor’s proposed budget
  • October 6-10: Department Overviews: this is an opportunity to ask budget-related questions of featured departments; feel free to send me potential questions (Councilmembers can also submit written budget-related questions as well)
  • October 11: deadline for Councilmembers to develop proposals for inclusion in the “Budget Deliberations” written materials: work will need to begin earlier, especially for items that require additional information
  • October 17: deadline for Council proposals to be considered in Chair’s Initial Balancing package to be released on November 2
  • October 17-24: Budget Deliberations: this an opportunity for Councilmembers to propose specific changes to the Mayor’s proposed budget, and request that Council Central Staff raise
  • October 25: second public hearing; this will be an opportunity to speak to Councilmember proposals announced during Budget Deliberations and influence the Chair’s Initial Balancing Package
  • November 2: Chair’s initial balancing package
  • November 4 @ 5 p.m.: deadline for Councilmembers to propose changes to Chair’s initial balancing package (so if you want any changes to Chair’s initial proposal, the 2nd to the 4th will be busy days); three Council sponsors are needed for formal proposals
  • November 9-10: Discussion of Proposed Changes to Chair’s Initial Balancing package
  • November 15-16: Committee Votes on Chair’s Revised Balancing Package; Councilmember amendments must be self-balancing, and require majority vote for consideration
  • November 21: Final Committee Votes; Full Council Vote

Please send me questions or budget suggestions you may have. An earlier blog post has additional information.

Reprinted from Councilmember Lisa Herbold's 9/23/16 newsletter.  Read the full newsletter <here>



LATE BREAKING, MAYOR'S BUDGET TRANSMISSION + REMINDER: Seattle City Neighborhood Council Meeting - September 26th, City Hall, Room 370

Greetings -- the City Neighborhood Council (CNC) meets Monday, September 26th at 6:30 PM -- Agenda to follow.

LATE BREAKING NEWS - Not widely publicized:  DoN to provide SLI briefing at City Council's Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods & Finance Committee Tuesday, September 21 @ 9:30 AM.  Information being provided by DoN is unknown and we realize most of you may not be able to attend.  However, this presents another opportunity to talk about the Mayor's executive order, the development of which excluded long time Seattle volunteers.  A brief overview is attached with a few talking points for your consideration to forward to Committee Members -- email addresses may be found on this page:


Tim Burgess        206-684-8806
Lisa Herbold         206-684-8803
Rob Johnson        206-684-8808
Mike O'Brien        206-684-8800

Neighbors have been questioning the Mayor's roll out of the Executive Order on July 13, cutting formal ties with the City and District Councils/CNC and how such a top down approach was supported and are calling FOR A MORE COLLABORATIVE DISCUSSION WITH DISTRICT COUNCILS, CNC, CITY COUNCIL, DoN AND THE MAYOR'S OFFICE OVER THE NEXT YEAR to work together on this issue.


Executive Order Here:


SEPTEMBER 26 - Mayor Transmits his budget proposal to City Council 


You may already know -- The October 11 deadline for Councilmember requests is earlier than previous years’ late October deadline. However, this year a single Councilmember can bring issues forward during the budget process; in previous years, three Councilmembers needed to sponsor a proposal for it to appear on the agenda.

If Councilmembers identify additional items after the October 11 deadline, they can still discuss those additional items during theOctober 17-19 Budget Committee Deliberations, but they won’t be included in the Central Staff memos. (See link on attached notice...)

 Thank you,

City Neighborhood Council

CNC Letter to City Councilmember Tim Burgess, Chair, Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods & Finance Committee of 8/13/2016

Greetings District Councils and member organizations....please see attached letter sent from the CNC to the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods & Finance Committee, Chaired by Councilmember Burgess.

As a followup to earlier talking points, we suggest each District Council take the following action::

  1. Contact your City Councilmember tomorrow to schedule a meeting to discuss this matter; (CNC Exec Committee members are happy to join you);
  2. Request Burgess' Committee to respond ASAP to the CNC letter and let them know your District Council's  and member additional concerns;
  3. Blast the CNC letter to your members / constituents and urgently request they forward with their comments and concerns -- (invite them to circulate widely and post to ALL Social Media...)
  4. Attend this Wednesdays' City Council, Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods & Finance Committee Meeting to make public comment; (the Neighborhood Matching Fund, Large Projects Fund presentation will occur by DoN at this meeting), which is a perfect time to provide input -- Link to agenda below:


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:

DoN report to Council in response to SLI #18-2- A-1- 2015

Greetings Neighbors....As you know, City Council issued SLI #18-2- A-1- 2015 to the Department of Neighborhoods requesting a plan to reorient programs around the new City Council District structure with a primary focus on the Neighborhood District Coordinator program and a goal for more equitable community engagement. Per the SLI, the plan should include proposals for changes or modifications to the Neighborhood District Coordinators program, including proposals for updated job descriptions, protocols for working with District Councilmembers and improvements to the City’s relationship to the existing District Councils and City Neighborhood Council. DoN's final response to this was submitted July 15, 2016 - see below: DON FINAL Response to SLI 18-2-A-1 (DON programs and Council Districts) (final).pdf Additionally, the second of two reports to Council from DoN describing the analysis of issues identified and recommendations for actions to improve the accessibility and equity of DON grant programs. Note: The first report was submitted by DoN in March and included an overview of the department’s grant programs and programs the department manages including the Neighborhood Parks and Street Fund Per DoN, the second report includes an overview of the major issues identified across grant programs and recommendations and action items that can be applied universally. Program specific items are called out in subsequent sections to address issues that are largely unique to the different programs. Finally, the racial equity toolkit worksheets are attached to the report as they provide additional data and information about key part of this assessment and the RSJI implications of some of the issues identified as well as proposed recommendations. DON FINAL Response to SLI 20-1-A-1 (RSJI Analysis of DON Grant Programs) (final).pdf


The City Neighborhood Council expected significant changes would most likely be forthcoming as a result of City Council's Statement of Legislative Intent #18-2- A-1-2015 issued to DoN last fall. However, CNC members were surprised by the Mayor’s signing of an Executive Order to form a Community Involvement Commission, which if not modified, ends all City connections with the current CNC/District Council structure which has been in place for almost 3 decades. The Mayor's action occurred in advance of DoN's final SLI response, which was due on July 15th and submitted by the Department of Neighborhoods - view here. As many are aware, the CNC/District Council system has been impacted by a reduction of support from the City for several years. As a result, ongoing discussions have occurred at the neighborhood level to identify tools to further leverage our efforts (volunteer time which is provided at no cost to the city) to improve community outreach, education and engagement. An announcement will be made shortly about tools mentioned above which would help improve connections between Seattle neighborhoods and the city. The next CNC meeting is Monday, August 29th, 6:30 PM @ City Hall, Room 370. Topics include: the Mayor's Executive Order severing existing City ties with the CNC/District Council structure and finalize details for a broader community forum to be scheduled within the next few weeks. We look forward to working together to plan for the future of the CNC and District Councils - more updates to follow.