Tide Changing in Seattle as Neighbourhood Council Input nixed by City

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news2-magNext City describes the changes occurring to the thirteen neighbourhood district councils in Seattle. These groups of activist homeowners have “held virtual veto power over nearly every decision on Seattle’s growth and development.” While in the past these homogeneous older and affluent resident councils have “shaped neighbourhoods in their own reflection” they also contributed to building a city that is livable,  although expensive.

Last July the City of Seattle cut their ties with these groups signalling “their intent to seek more input and feedback from lower-income folks, people of colour and renters-who make up 54 per cent of the city”. Instead Seattle’s department of neighbourhoods developed a 16 member “Community Involvement Commission”  which is “charged with helping city departments develop “authentic and thorough” ways to reach “all” city residents, including underrepresented communities such as low-income people, homeless residents and renters. Finally, DON will also oversee and staff…

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