IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: Future of District Councils 11.2016


2017 BUDGET UPDATE – Budget Chair Burgess’ initial balancing package did not include $6,947 for District Council operating support, nor did it include Councilmember Herbold’s proposed amendment to the Mayor’s Community Involvement Commission to provide a formal role for District Councils in reviewing city grant proposals.

WHAT TO DO:  Secure 2 additional Co-Sponsors to move CM Herbold’s proposals (above) forward BY 5 PM TOMORROW, NOV 4TH.  This will allow them to be presented in the Budget Committee November 9/10. 

REMIND CITY COUNCIL: Much of the city’s future public policy agenda requires deliberate and thoughtful public engagement at a neighborhood level, (Move Seattle Transportation Levy; HALA, Seattle Parks District; Seattle 2035 - Comp Plan Implementation; Sound Transit 3 if passed, current Neighborhood Matching and Neighborhood Park/Street Funds).  In order for these initiatives to succeed, a very localized geographic based outreach to neighborhoods will be required.

FUNDING: - Council will soon be voting on the 3rd quarter supplemental budget, which includes $30,000 (copied below) for District Councils and other community and neighborhood-based organizations. Funding for a wide variety of groups is included in this separate ordinance which has not yet been presented publicly.

3Q BUDGET: 2.10 - Neighborhood District Council Technical Assistance (Department of Neighborhoods, General Fund (00100)) - This item adds $30,000 of appropriation authority to the Community Building BCL in the Department of Neighborhoods (DON). These resources will be used to provide technical assistance for community groups, District Council organizations and other community and neighborhood-based organizations. DON will work with organizations to provide assistance with sustainability and organizational development including, but not limited to, training, facilitation, outreach, recruitment, and communications.

NOVEMBER 20 – Mark your calendars for the upcoming District Council Workshop hosted by the North End District Councils – Overview Here   // More info forthcoming



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:  info@SeattleCNC.org

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.

Subscribe below for the latest news and updates.

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>