Retain Accessible Neighborhood Councils
LCC wrote a letter urging Seattle City Council to amend Resolution 31718 and Council Bill 118834, which would defund and decertify the 13 district councils and the City Neighborhood Council as official City advisory bodies.
LCC has a long history of working effectively and constructively with public officials and our major institutions on important public policy and budget issues. Neighborhood and district councils all hold open, accessible public meetings in evening hours, with everyone welcome to attend and participate in person or with email or phone calls to representatives. The city should not abandon this valuable resource.
The goals of the proposed resolution and council bill can be accomplished without abandoning the minor funding provided to staffing for district councils and the City Neighborhood Council. LCC supports expanding outreach and community engagement, but this should not be accomplished by stifling the voices of Seattle’s neighborhoods. We urge the Council to develop a mechanism whereby the district councils can work effectively with the proposed Community Involvement Commission. There should be room for everyone at the table. Appointed councils limit access and do not provide the a ccountability of locally elected community councils.
Last month, Mayor Ed Murray dissolved formal ties between the city and the 13 neighborhood District Councils, which play a role in connecting local government with residents for the last three decades.
The Neighborhood Councils' umbrella group, the City Neighborhood Council, was also disbanded, and the Mayor and set forth a new plan, the Community Involvement Commission, to replace the District Council system.
Here is a Seattle Times article with detailed information.