A Find It Fix It Win!

June 27th, 2016

On May 31st I joined Mayor Murray and numerous members of the city staff and community members for a community Find It Fix It walk around Aurora-Licton Spring Urban Village. During that walk I met a community member named Nathan. He expressed concern about illegal activity in neighborhood parks. I encouraged him to put his concerns in writing following the walk so that my staff and the Department of Parks and Recreation could follow up on the issues he was concerned about.

I am proud to say that this community dialogue has resulted in several short-term and long-term deliverables to increase the safety, accessibility and enjoyment of Licton Springs and Mineral Springs parks.

Thank you to the active community members who care about their parks and thank you to the Department of Parks and Recreation for your dedication. This is exactly the kind of result we were hoping to see come out of the Find It Fix It community walks, this is just the first a many small steps forward.

Excerpt from an email from the Department of Parks and Recreation to the community

We [Parks and Recreation] are immediately:

  • Increasing staff visits to these parks from three per day to four visits per day. This will enable Parks and Recreation staff to collect garbage, litter and needles more frequently.
  • Clearing some of the brush and trimming some shrubs and trees to open site lines and reduce hiding areas. The landscaping work will follow Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) guidelines.
  • Removing and repairing a broken bench at Licton Springs.
  • Opening the restrooms later in the day when the play area is active and closing it earlier in the evening, when residential activity falls off. (It is now opened at 6:30 and closed at 10:00 pm)
  • Increasing lighting by adding flood lights on the outside of the comfort station.

We are committed to completing this work by July, with the exception of the lighting which may take a bit longer.

For the longer term, we will be:

  • Replacing the playground equipment, expected to be completed by year-end.
  • Working with our volunteer office to get more neighbors involved in work parties, and our park activation staff to promote activating the parks.
  • Attending the neighborhood council meeting at North Seattle Community College to discuss the work that has been done, and the work yet to be completed in both parks, and how the community and Parks and Recreation can continue working together.  

 

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NE 130th Street Station FULLY funded in ST3!

May 26th, 2016

Councilmember Juarez Hails Improved ST3 Proposal

Amended Package to Include Full Funding for NE 130th St. Station

SEATTLE – Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) issued the following statement after the completion of today’s Sound Transit Board meeting, during which time City of Seattle representatives presented an amendment to the Sound Transit 3 package which will fully fund the NE 130th Street station on the Lynnwood LINK rail line.

“A stop at NE 130th Street will be a regional asset, bringing more riders into the tri-county light rail system. Today’s amendment is due in large part to successful advocacy by North Seattleites, who are committed to the prospect of light rail service for generations to come” said Juarez.

“Our call for access to light rail was heard loud and clear. A stop at NE 130th -if approved- will mean neighborhoods including Cedar Park, Lake City, Pinehurst, Haller Lake, and Bitter Lake will have access to a light rail station, translating into increased ridership across the entire system. In a city and region beset with daunting congestion, a Sound Transit 3 measure with a NE 130th Street Station represents a giant step forward.

2008324070“This amendment also made possible thanks to leadership from Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Rob Johnson, Councilmember Mike O’Brien and the unanimous support of the Seattle City Council.”

The amendment will be considered as part of a revised ST3 proposal scheduled for a vote by the 18 member regional Sound Transit Board on June 2, 2016.  The actions at this meeting will be related to the final adoption of the system plan, which is scheduled for the June 23, 2016 Board Meeting.

 

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Seattle Proposed Housing Levy

May 10th, 2016

I am pleased to announce that today after 7 committee meetings the Seattle City Council took action unanimously passing the proposed Seattle Housing Levy. This proposal will now appear on the August ballot for voters to consider.

In 2009, the voters of Seattle passed a Housing levy to set aside property taxes to pay for affordable housing. That program brought us about 2,184 new homes, provided rental assistance and homeless prevention services to 2,442 households, and helped 187 households purchase their first homes. The program exceeded nearly all its goals, specifically producing 25% more new affordable homes than we thought possible, making the program a great success in its ability to stretch every dollar to the fullest potential.

The new proposed Housing Levy proposal seeks to create 2,150 new homes, provide services to prevent homelessness to 4,700 households and help an additional 380 households purchase their first homes.

I was proud to vote for this proposal and an accompanying resolution. Working with my colleagues I added language to the resolution directing the Office of Housing to ensure geographical diversity in the projects the levy funds. District 5 is a growing community. The neighborhoods of Northgate, Lake City and Bitter Lake will continue to grow and we must ensure we have affordable housing as part of that new development as well as services for homelessness prevention and homeownership. The new proposed Housing Levy would also, for the first time, include foreclosure prevention services. As a critical part of ensuring that we end homelessness we need to be sure that people are able to stay in their homes.

Throughout the council review process I advocated for a ways to keep people in their homes. The best way to end homelessness is to stop it from happening. I have heard from several elders in our community who are concerned that they won’t be able to stay in their homes with the continuing rise in property taxes while they are trying to live on fixed incomes. There are opportunities for tax exemption and deferment if you are a senior with a low income, a disability or widow/widower of a deceased veteran.

I wanted to have programs like these integrated in the work of the Housing Levy. As a result several city departments have identified ways that they can improve education and access to these programs. They have committed to better training and resource management; including finding more places to link to the information on their websites and pass along the information to those who are interested. We want to make sure that we are not only supporting those most in need but that we are also not pushing our neighbors over the edge. Everyone deserves a home.

I want to see our communities prosper together.

I appreciate the opportunity to share this update with you. For more information on property tax exemptions and referrals please go here: http://dor.wa.gov/content/findtaxesandrates/propertytax/incentiveprograms.aspx

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UPDATE! 130th Street Station Call to Action

April 27th, 2016

I will be at the Sound Transit Board meeting to provide comments.

I am your elected official but I am also a resident of D5 in the Pinehurst Neighborhood. I will be attending the Sound Transit Board meeting to provide public comment tomorrow and I want you to join me!

Please arrive at Union Station (at 401 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104) at 1:30pm to sign up and testify with me. I will be joined by 46th District Representative Jessyn Farrell.

If you can’t attend, but you want your voice voice to be heard please send in your survey and write a letter to Sound Transit. The deadline is Friday April 29th. See our recent blog post for instructions and a template letter to get your message in!

If we are going to get the 130th Street Station we need to work together!

See you tomorrow!

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If we are going to get the 130th Street Station, we need to work together!

April 26th, 2016

If we are going to see some an amendment to the Draft ST3 Plan we need you to write in and tell the Sound Transit leadership that we need a commitment to build the 130th Street Station!

I am not sitting around hoping there will be a change, I am out here pushing every button and looking for all the possible ways to get North Seattle what it needs. I met with Sound Transit Board Members, Sound Transit Director Peter Rogoff, other Seattle City Councilmembers, King County Councilmembers, our Legislative delegation in the 46th District, the Federal Transportation Administration WA liaison and even Senator Patty Murray’s Office. We have been meeting with community groups representing Haller Lake, Lake City, Pinehurst and Broadview. We have met with advocacy groups like Transportation Choices Coalition. We have discussed the need for a station at a 130th with major employers like the University of Washington, North Seattle College, Northwest Hospital, Northgate Mall and Thornton Place. I recently wrote an Op-ed that was published in the Seattle Times. And through all these meetings I have learned that what is really going to change the course of the ST3 draft plans depends on the demands of the community. They need to hear from us, and we need to be loud.

I want to thank the North District Council, Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, Olympic Hill Neighborhood Council, Pinehurst Community Council, 46th State Legislative delegation and all the individual neighbors that have sent in their survey and are sending in letters to Sound Transit.

Please consider attending the next Sound Transit Board meeting on April 28th at 1:30pm to testify in person about the importance of Sound Transit making a commitment to build the 130th Street Station. The meeting will be held at the Union Station building at 401 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104.

We need to keep the pressure on. The public’s opinion really does matter, I need your voice! Fill out your survey and send in a letter of your own to: soundtransit3@soundtransit.org, EmailTheBoard@soundtransit.org and cc: me at debora.juarez@seattle.gov 

Write in as an individual, as a representative of your community council, as a business representative, as a person who uses public transit or as a person wants to! Feel free to use our sample letter below, and thank you for advocating with me!

Response Letter from the community to Sound Transit

To Sound Transit:
We need a commitment to build the NE 130th Street Station. North Seattle is a growing community, one which already lacks adequate transit service. We appreciate that the Sound Transit draft plan has included the recognition that the 130th Street Station could serve thousands of people. However, the current “provisional” designation for the 130th Street Station, with zero dedicated funding and no timeline, is unacceptable. We need a commitment to build. The ST3 draft is only half done. To get this draft ready for the ballot we need the 130th Street Station funded, as well as a timeline for station completion.
Not only will this station serve the immediate surrounding communities, like Pinehurst and Haller Lake, it will also act as the focal point of a powerful East-West connection, working in concert with buses to provide light rail service to Bitter Lake and Lake City, the fastest growing Urban Villages in North Seattle. North Seattle’s solution to light rail should not be to walk or drive to Shoreline’s station. The 130th Street Station is a common sense move for the Sound Transit Board as it requires no extra track and no new tunnel; we just need a platform for a stop. This is the most cost-effective possible addition in the entire ST3 proposal. We are calling on the Sound Transit Board to make a commitment to build the NE 130th Street Station.
Other key issues to mention:
  • Station Spacing – Best practice for high capacity rail lines in other cities have stations averaging every 0.4 mile. North of the ship canal we will be looking at an average of 2 mile spacing getting as high as 2.5 miles between the Northgate and 145th stations. This is unacceptable.
  • Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative – Bitter Lake Hub Urban Village and Lake City Hub Urban Village are the fastest growing urban villages in North Seattle while remaining some of the most affordable places to live in Seattle. High numbers of low-income families and seniors live in these communities. They also represent the areas with the highest concentration of neighbors who are English language learners in North Seattle
  • 130th is an ideal place to build out better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. In fact, some of that work has already started along this corridor. This station could prove to be the most accessible via bike above both Northgate and 145th street stations.
  • Car ownership is below the city wide average in these areas. This is a transit dependent community
  • Based on Seattle’s 2035 Growth Analysis, the Bitter Lake Hub Urban Village has new growth capacity of over 10,000 residential units and nearly 20,000 jobs. Lake City Hub Urban Village has new growth capacity of 4,000 residential units and 5,000 jobs. These growth numbers will only be attainable and successful with access to reliable transit like light rail. These estimations don’t even touch the untapped capacity that could be attained with a transit oriented development (TOD) plan directly around the station area. With our current housing crisis can we really say no to this kind of growth potential?
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How to Set up a meeting with Councilmember Juarez on District Office Days

March 28th, 2016

I want to meet with you!

Every day my office receives requests for meetings at my district office, and believe me I want to get to them all. We have created a District Office Meeting Request Form to expedite requests. This form will help us get people on the calendar quickly and save you time. Just fill out the form, tell us who you are, what you want to discuss and when you are available. Our District Director, Sabrina, will get in touch with you to put you on the schedule! Please allow for up to one week to have your meeting confirmed.

Due to the quantity of requests we receive and my desire to give each constituent the time they need, we are not able to accommodate drop-in meetings at this time. You will need to be scheduled to guarantee a meeting. If you are unable to complete the form, please call my office at 206-684-8805 for assistance.

Find the form below. Thank you and we will see you soon!

 

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Sound Transit 3 – Draft Plan

March 24th, 2016

District 5 is a transit-dependent community experiencing exponential growth. Sound Transit 3 represents a major shift in the way people will move around our region for the next century. We need a light rail station at NE 130th Street to address future housing and job growth around our readily available mass transit system.

Our station would service the critical east-west corridor including Pinehurst, Lake City, Bitter Lake, and Haller Lake via frequent and reliable busses. With the approval of ST3 and the NE 130th Street Station, we would begin the process of engaging the community in 2008324070concurrent planning for a brand-new, walkable, and transit-rich urban village, right in the heart of District 5.

The draft Sound Transit 3 proposal designates the potential boon of a NE 130th Street Station as a “provisional” project. This means that no funding is currently included in the package, and that the Sound Transit board would need to secure funding to make this station a reality. This is unacceptable.

I will be a fierce advocate for funding the NE 130th station in Sound Transit 3. I would like to invite every community member who supports our vision to join us in making their voices heard at April’s public comment sessions and by submitting statements of support to Sound Transit starting 3/29.

Finally, I thank Mayor Murray and Councilmember Johnson for their work on the Sound Transit board and their support of the NE 130th station. I look forward to continuing the fight for our transit future with these dedicated leaders.

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Happy International Women’s Day

March 8th, 2016

To all those that fight for the rights of women and girls throughout the city, state, nation and the world, I was pleased to sponsor a Seattle City Council proclamation declaring March 8, 2016 International Women’s Day.

I would like to give a special thank you to the Seattle Women’s Commission for partnering with my office to write the Seattle International Women’s Day Proclamation. Thanks to their work, and the support of my colleagues, Seattle joined other cities, counties and countries across the world that are also celebrating International Women’s Day today.IMG_20160307_141807

On this day we remember both the accomplishments and the fights still left to win. We are seeing women outpace men in attaining college degrees, but continue to be under-represented in leadership positions both in the private and public sectors. We are seeing unprecedented numbers of women running for elected office, however we continue to see women occupying far less than 50% of the seats at all levels government (with Seattle as one of the exceptions governing with a new female majority). We are seeing more and more women with access to healthcare, but we are still fighting for fair and untethered access to the whole range of reproductive care. We are seeing more women accomplishing their goals and being role models for younger generations, but we continue to see violence against women including street harassment and work place harassment which continues to be a daily occurrence for so many women. We are far from the conditions our ancestors fought, but we still have work to do for the next generations.

March 8th signifies the shared history, struggle and accomplishments of women all across the globe. While we are all very different and have very different experiences, we are all women. Thank you again for joining me today in celebration of International Women’s Day.

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District Office Grand Opening – Moving Along Strong

February 29th, 2016

The City Hall Scoop

  • Committee work plan – City Council will soon be passing the official work plans for all our committees. These work plans will form the outline of what we will accomplish in our committees over the coming year. I chair the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee, and we have a lot of good things lined up in our plan, including:
    • Creating a Community Center Strategic Plan
    • Modifying our Off-Leash Dog Area City Plan
    • Oversight of Libraries and Seattle Center specific projects (including Key Arena)
    • Waterfront design, compliance, and inter-governmental agreements (not including the tunnel or seawall projects)
  • This month the City’s Office of Planning and Community Development announced Lake City will be the launching ground for their new integrated approach to city planning. Mayor Murray and I were joined by community members who have long been fighting for coordinated planning and investments, as well as several directors of city departments. The announcement comes with a commitment from city departments to do the hard work of coordinating their efforts, as well as announcements for new projects and programming to help improve the Lake City core. Anticipated investments include: 20 new blocks of sidewalks, a new affordable housing development for families making minimum wage, a new Lake City preschool center, a new park at 33rd Ave and 125th, public safety improvements, Thornton Creek restoration, and more!

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KIRO 7 Coverage

  • 2016 Housing Levy – The Housing Levy discussion is just starting to take off. Last renewed by voters in 2009, the Housing Levy was last passed in 2009 and has been the cornerstone of Seattle’s strategy to provide more affordable housing. The 2009 Housing Levy is coming to a close at the end of 2016 and Mayor Murray is proposing to renew the levy to help address our homelessness crisis Soon, the Council will be voting on whether to place the Mayor’s proposal on the ballot for consideration by the voters.. We will be having a series of community meetings and council discussion about the proposal. My staff attended a meeting in Lake City on Saturday February 20th to hear from neighbors what they are thinking about the renewal of the levy. My colleagues and I will be having a series of meetings to discuss the levy; the first meeting will be at 10:30am on March 14th following the council briefing. Additionally, we will hold a Public Hearing on April 4th starting at 5:30pm at City Hall. You can also send us an email with your thoughts on the housing levy and complete this survey from the Office of Housing: 2016 Seattle Housing Levy Proposal Feedback Survey

 

The District 5 Scoop

  • District Tour – We went on our first District Tour this month, and I’m very proud to say we had a terrific time engaging with community members and receiving constructive feedback on what our district needs from City Hall. We met with representatives from Northhaven –a very-well run senior living community, North Helpline –one of our premier service providers providing food and emergency services to thousands of people, and Mary’s Place –one of the newest service providers in District 5 which provides shelter and support for families experiencing homelessness. We learned about the great work people are doing and the lasting impacts they are making to improve our communities. We also had a reception at the Shanty Tavern where neighbors joined together for good conversation and community building. Thank you to all who came out! Keep in mind this is just the first tour in a series. If you have ideas for future tour stops please feel free to send them to our District Director Sabrina Bolieu at Sabrina.Bolieu@seattle.gov

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  • Office Grand Opening – The big day has come and you are invited! We are having the Grand Opening for our District 5 office at North Seattle College on Friday, March 4th from 4pm-7pm. Our regular office hours will be Fridays from 10 am -3 pm, at North Seattle College Room #1451. We hope you will stop by for our Grand Opening, o when we open for visitors starting March 11th. We will have opportunities for constituents to sign up for meetings during those office hours. Please RSVP to let us know you are coming!

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Off and Running

February 3rd, 2016

The City Hall scoop

  • First Committee meeting on January 21st – I am so proud to be the chair of the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries, and Waterfront committee. This month, we had Parks Superintendent Jesus Aguirre come and present the department’s 2015 accomplishments and give us a preview of their 2016 work plan. There are a lot of exciting things coming down the pipe this year. We will be seeing comprehensive plans for staff and programming at our community centers, new policies regarding off-leash areas for dogs, and new parks being developed. I am excited to announce there are 14 sites the city plans to re-develop into new park space. Construction will begin on five of these sites this year and one of the first five is in District 5’s Lake City neighborhood at NE 125th St and 33rd Ave NE.
  • In addition to my City committee assignments I am also one of two Seattle representatives on the King County Regional Policy Committee (RPC). On January 13th, members were presented with an update on trends in disproportionality in the juvenile justice system and we discussed ways to improve outcomes for kids.  At the next meeting, the RPC will be confirming its 2016 work plan which will likely include review of the implementation plan for the Best Starts for Kids Levy, regional planning for housing and homelessness, and regional economic development plans.

The District 5 scoop

  • Challenge Grant – This month we heard about an exciting new opportunity in which I would really like to see our District 5 neighbors and community organizations have a chance to participate. Do you know of a Seattle public park or recreation facility that needs some major improvements ($2 million or more)? Can you think of some potential partners in the community who would be willing to match the dollars this grant invests? Does the project benefit an underserved community and provide a significant improvement for this community? Then you should consider this opportunity!
    • Proposals due March 31 – don’t delay if you have a great idea for how to improve your local park!
    • Learn more about the Major Projects Challenge Grant here
    • Learn more about the Municipal Park District here
    • Please feel free to contact our office if you are having any trouble with the application process

I was really excited to attend some great events this month, from incredibly emotional events celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  and the One Night Count to informative and energetic events with the North Seattle Chamber at Elliot Bay Brewery and a Community Conversation with Lake City Future First. We are getting out and about and can’t wait to open our district office (more information coming soon!).

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