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February 10, 2017

City of Seattle – Racial + Social Equity Engagement Volunteers

The City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is embarking on two mobility studies in the Georgetown neighborhood and the Judkins Park light rail station area. SDOT is making a concerted effort to engage racially, ethnically, and socially diverse residents and business community members who have often been underrepresented in traditional planning processes. The studies will propose, analyze, and develop concepts for neighborhood access improvements (i.e., safe and comfortable walking paths and bicycle facilities). Of particular interest is ensuring that proposed mobility projects will benefit local communities and not be seen as gentrification/displacement projects that only benefit newcomers.

To help with this effort, we are seeking 6 to 20 volunteers, depending on people’s availability.

What would the volunteers do?
– Survey locals at groceries, bus stops, businesses, or other points of interest in the two neighborhoods
– Potentially be paired with a local high school student during the surveys; act as a mentor (to build a younger generation of people who actively take part in public affairs and potentially consider urban planning for their career)
– Potentially flyer for upcoming community meetings

What would volunteers get out of this?
– Build skills by participating in survey design, testing, training, and processing
– See how public engagement efforts are used in the planning process and feel ownership over the project by participating in a charrette
– Connect with City and consultant planners
– Gain experience in planning for racial and social equity
– The consultant team will work to make sure that this is a useful augmentation to coursework.

What is the time commitment?
– Depends on the number of volunteers, but we expect about 130 hours total of surveying time split amongst the volunteers and survey locations
– Surveys will likely take place on weekends and evenings, but this depends on your availability and the peak hours at the intercept points

What is the time frame?
– Mid-February through early March or over spring break and early spring quarter, depending on student availability

If you are interested, please email rachelm@makersarch.com by Sunday, February 12. Once we have a group of volunteers, we can hone timing and strategy.