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Neighbor,

If you’ve read past editions of my newsletter or if you’ve ever met me in person you know I’m a big proponent of responsibly managing Seattle’s transition (some would say growing pains) into the large, modern city it’s becoming. I believe in unique, vibrant neighborhoods where everyone has nearby access to basic services and amenities. And I believe in using public space – streets, parks, water – to make our city more accessible, livable and inclusive. That’s why I’m excited to discuss work we’ve done to re-envision Ballard Avenue with a more human-centric lens of public space as a model for what we can do city-wide.

Unfortunately, I must also discuss my frustrations with the Mayor’s departments for not spending the dollars we allocated in last year's budget to build shelter and housing capacity for our unsheltered neighbors. I'll send out a special edition newsletter entirely focused on addressing homelessness soon to dig deeper into the details.

I also share rental assistance resources for tenants and small landlords, the Ballard Locks Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery event, and speaking of public spaces, good news: Ballard Pool is re-opening soon!

We are expecting to receive the Mayor's proposed 2022 budget on September 27th and hope to have a final budget ready by November 22nd. Your input is an essential part of the budget process. In my next newsletter, I’ll walk you through the budget creation process and how to stay engaged with me during this critical period.

--Dan

Re-envisioning Ballard Avenue with a Design Charrette

I recently hosted a broad group of community members to come together and explore how to redesign Ballard Avenue. We have seen a great deal of acceptance and excitement for the street café program and the changes to Ballard Avenue that occurred during the pandemic. The design charette informed three outcomes of the day:

  1. Improving the interim design and rules of the Ballard Avenue street café
  2. Starting the discussion on how to permanently include street cafes on Ballard Avenue, and
  3. Providing SDOT meaningful input as they create city-wide street café policy.

A design charrette is a short, intensive workshop where people with different backgrounds and areas of expertise quickly collaborate and sketch designs to explore and share a broad diversity of ideas. I’m a big fan of design charrettes- I’ve previously seen them transform a project from a complex problem to a successful, buildable plan, like the Thomas Street project to prioritize pedestrian and bicycle connectivity.

The next steps from this meeting are:

  1. Implement interim changes to increase safety, and improve flow of goods and people
  2. Develop interim guidelines to be used between now and any permanent changes to Ballard Avenue
  3. Continue the conversation on permanent changes to Ballard Avenue
  4. Coordinate with SDOT to keep Ballard Avenue and City-wide street café work aligned

At this time, our primary focus is on how to improve and create the plan for the interim use of Ballard Avenue until a permanent change is agreed upon and funded. The long-term design and street changes will have many more opportunities for input. I’ll continue to keep you updated as we progress on the pathway to street café permanency here in Ballard and Seattle.

Rental Assistance for Tenants and Small Landlords in the Seattle Rescue Plan 2

As part of the Seattle Rescue Plan 2, we councilmembers allocated $28.7 million of federal funds to provide rental assistance, other housing related costs including internet services, and homelessness prevention services for low-income households. As the delta variant shows, there is no doubt that the effects and impacts of COVID-19 on our community will extend beyond October 3rd when the federal eviction moratorium is currently scheduled to end. This leaves many of our neighbors and friends vulnerable to losing their housing. Please see the following resources if you or anyone you know is at risk of being displaced.

United Way of King County - Applications for rental assistance are now open, please visit United Way of King County by clicking here. Small housing providers in Seattle are also eligible for assistance if you own 4 or less units- to get additional information on assistance please fill UWKCs inquiry form.

King County Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program - Resources are available for paying past, current, and future rent so apply today by clicking here. If language assistance is needed please contact 206-477-1331.

Frustrating Delays Getting Money out the Door to Address Homelessness

Last year, the Council appropriated an unprecedented amount of funding to help our unsheltered neighbors move into safer places and towards a permanent home, including $44 million to stand up new shelter and housing capacity. I fully recognize 906+ beds/units of new shelter isn’t enough to house the roughly 3,800 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Seattle on any given night. Yet I hope you’ll agree theses funds were an important step to address the pressing needs of our city.

We are facing frustrating delays getting these dollars out the door to make a real difference on the ground. Only 510 units of the planned 906+ are currently operational nine months after the Mayor signed the 2021 budget into law. If you have wondered why you haven't felt a real change in addressing homelessness around the city, this may be part of the reason.

I join others in Council stressing the urgency in getting these shelter and housing units operational as soon as possible. The Covid-19 delta variant, wildfire smoke, and excessive heat make it even more dangerous for people living unsheltered this summer. Shelter and housing both supports people in crisis and allows everyone to use public space as it was originally designed.

Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery Now Open

Discover Your Northwest and the Army Corps of Engineers were pleased to officially reopen the Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery at the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks Monday, August 16th. Renovations took about five years and they are thrilled with the results and very grateful for all the donors, foundations, and the State of Washington for helping them get the major construction done. 
 
There is now much-improved lighting, flooring, and better acoustics, as well as comfortable public seating for education programs and fish watching. There is also a wonderful new video wall and two touch screen kiosks, and even more coming up with new exhibits to tell the story of salmon and the Pacific Northwest! 

Don't Miss It: Ballard Pool Re-opening

Good news- Seattle Parks and Recreation will be ramping up public services and programming at recreation facilities across Seattle for the fall. On October 18th, the Ballard Pool will re-open for lap swim, aquatic fitness, and limited aquatic exercise classes. Swim lessons and some aquatic classes are still on hold as Seattle Parks & Rec monitors the Delta variant in our region.

Subscribe to My Newsletter

If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, I encourage you to sign-up for my newsletter! Every two weeks I send out a newsletter about the happenings in our district, updates from City Hall, and progress reports on the work we are doing to make life better for all of us in Seattle.

To stay up to date, sign up for my newsletter here!

District Office Hours

Every week I meet with D6 residents to hear about issues impacting you daily. I love talking directly to D6ers, it is often the best part of my week. Council recess is taking place in August, so the next available D6 resident meetings are in September. If you would like to meet with me, please fill out this form. To protect public health, these meetings are currently held over the phone or video. 

Videos on My Website

Every Monday morning, I update the City Council on issues in District 6 and the work my office is doing that week. These updates are a helpful way to follow along with our work. I also post these videos weekly on my website and social media. You can view the latest updates and past videos on my website here.
If you need assistance, please reach out to my office:
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