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Share The Cities
August 2022 Newsletter

Seattle Comp Plan Comment Generator

What are we working on?

A while back, Seattle For Everyone posted their recommendations for how to fix Seattle's Design Review. Share The Cities will be coming out with a statement soon asking the city to get rid of Design Review entirely. Stay tuned! 

A few Affordable Talaris volunteers created an amazing tool for Seattle Comprehensive Plan comments. (See below for all the info!) Join us on Monday, August 8 to learn more how to share your density daydreams. Ballard-Interbay Industrial Lands & Upgrade King County groups have been mostly dormant, but advocates for better holistic approaches to WA State's industrial lands and municipal broadband champions are still needed. If you want to start up your own effort for public broadband, or create a community-led project to focus on Seattle's Industrial Lands feel free to reach out to chat, we can share with you all the work we have done on these topics.

Coalition Work
The Stay Housed Stay Healthy Coalition is winning tenant protections all across King County. Join Transit Riders Union to get involved in this work. Check out this article from Katie Wilson about rent increases in affordable housing units.

Many of our volunteers have given 110% to House Our Neighbors & I-135. Right now there's only a few days left, and thousands of more signatures are needed. Please follow HON to get connected to the effort for Seattle Social Housing today!

Puget Sound Sage is leading work to learn about budgets in cities across King County as part of their effort towards equitable development. Learn more about the King County EDI! If your organization works to build housing or represents communities that want to engage in community development, please attend the budget learning meetings happening this summer and read their Disaster Gentrification report.

Action for Equity! 
Redistricting Justice wants you to send in comments now about Seattle's new city council districts. Seven of the nine councilmembers are up for reelection next year. Check out the map proposal as reported in The Seattle Times.

Support #WeekWithoutDriving

Thanks to the Disability Mobility Initiative who launched the Week Without Driving challenge last fall to help elected leaders and other key transportation decision-makers understand what it's like to navigate our communities without being able to drive.

This year #WeekWithoutDriving received an official proclamation from Governor Inslee and will be taking place September 19 - 25. We need your help to invite your elected representatives to join #WeekWithoutDriving. 

Check out this video with elected leaders who participated to reflect on what they learned in a video, including this quote from King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay who said:

It’s really important that all of us, especially elected officials, experience the consequences of our policy decisions. What is it like to get from point A to point B, using the public transit that we have currently funded? What is it like for people who are low income? What is it like for people with disabilities? What is it like for people who are from other marginalized groups? We need to understand that, and we need to make better policy decisions based on that firsthand experience.” - Girmay Zahilay

Please take a minute to send this invite to members of the Washington State legislature to encourage them to participate in this year's Week Without Driving.

Text in the sky says 12 plexes plus rooftop farms, two buildings together one is 4 stories, one is 3 stories, Plants are on the top of the roof, trees around it, plants in the ground. Illustration by Francesca Oaksford

Rezone Seattle? 

Some Share The Cities Community Education volunteers wanted to have even more people engage in Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan before the August 22 deadline for the scoping phase. The scoping phase isn’t the final outcome for the major comp. plan updates, it’s just the upper and lower boundaries of what we study. In just one week, they created this comment generating tool!

Don't miss the “additional resources” section, a great a pop up with critical links. Our next meeting for our working group is August 8 at 7 pm

12plexes + Rooftop Farms
Illustration by Francesca Oaksford

Please take two minutes to create an account in the City of Seattle's engagement hub to upvote Real Change's Seattle Comprehensive Plan comment in the engagement hub.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of comments our volunteers have upvoted: 
Finally -- This very popular Twitter thread from one of our volunteers, Dr. Shirley Leung, about density and sewer capacity is just fantastic and very relevant as we discuss how our cities in Washington State grow during the comprehensive planning process.

Alternative 6 Comment Generator

WA State News & Advocacy

Here are a few of the news and advocacy organizations we follow that help determine and shape our priorities. 

Must Read Report from Front and Centered 

Exposing False Solutions: How Washington's Cap and Trade Program Gives Industrial Polluters a Free Pass

Check out their Exposing False Solutions webpage where you can read the full report, download a one-page summary, and watch a video recording of their virtual briefing. You can also read media coverage about this report from KUOW and Real Change News

Donate to Front and Centered today.

Thanks to our Volunteers! 
  • Share The Cities Action Fund 
    • Lobbying elected officials at every level of government.
    • Creating advocacy documents that help people take action.
    • Blasting out critical Action Alerts that mobilize hundreds of people. 
    • A 501c4 nonprofit with a board of directors.
  • Share The Cities Community Education  
    • Leading workshops that are based in deep transformative change.
    • Hosting lunch & learn events to fit into people's busy lives. 
    • Guest speaker to community groups about land use policies.
    • Community engagement that meets people where they are and makes learning fun. 
    • This newsletter! 
    • A 501c3 project with fiscal sponsor Angels for Angels. 

A message from our Founder

Hi! It's Laura Loe. I founded Share The Cities hoping to turn a hobby into a nonprofit.

My passion and core skills are in civic matchmaking: connecting people and organizations to each other to form stronger coalitions.

Being a part-time Executive Director and managing fundraising decisions -  like which grants to apply for (it is like a nonprofit Hunger Games out there!) --- or trying to find time to throw big fundraisers (we are still in a pandemic),...  and all the rest that comes with being an Executive Director ... it just isn't going very well. Funds across many urbanist-leaning organizations are quite scarce. Ironic, since people think developers are throwing money at organizations who work on rezones (nope!). 

I'm proud that I went outside of my comfort zone to be in this Executive Director role, but I have to admit it isn't fun. I'm more comfortable knocking on doors, talking to neighbors, online communications, authentic community organizing, and teaching people how to connect to gate-kept & wonky land use policies.  

I appreciate very deeply everyone who put their trust in this organization through donating their time, money and energy that has led to some really fantastic work. Yay us! 

I'll be discussing next steps in transparent conversation in the Slack group, with the volunteers in our working groups, as well as with our Action Fund Board of Directors and our Community Education Advisory Board members and the Community Education fiscal sponsor. I'll update all of you here when I know what next steps look like.  

Thanks for coming along for the journey this far. 

- LL 

ps. Some recent news appearances: 

Crosscut: How Seattle is planning for a quarter million more residents: The Comprehensive Plan will shape the next 20 years of growth in the city. Here's what you need to know by Josh Cohen on July 28, 2022

KUOW: Spokane's embrace of missing middle housing sets up competition with Seattle by Joshua McNichols on July 29, 2022
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