FRIDAY: White Center Promise at Greenbridge Plaza

August 22nd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on FRIDAY: White Center Promise at Greenbridge Plaza

Summer’s ending, school starts soon, and a traditional celebration of both is coming up this week: White Center Community Development Association presents the annual White Center Promise celebration at Greenbridge Plaza, 10 am-2 pm Friday (August 27th). The plan is for “music, dancing, food, raffles, and many more activities.” As is the recommendation from health authorities regarding crowded outdoor activities, you’re asked to wear a face covering.

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SURVEY: What does the White Center community need?

August 4th, 2021 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on SURVEY: What does the White Center community need?

A chance for you to have a say:

The White Center Community Development Association is working with the North Highline community to review and prioritize the community’s input on needs and interests in the North Highline subarea. Please consider taking this survey developed by the WCCDA.

The information gathered will help King County Local Services complete a subarea plan and community needs list for North Highline. Learn more about these two initiatives

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HEAT WAVE: King County and WCCDA opening Top Hat cooling center with individual rooms

June 25th, 2021 Tracy Posted in King County, Weather, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news 4 Comments »

We’re now under an Excessive Heat Warning through Monday. Just received this announcement about the site once set up (but never used) for pandemic quarantine/isolation:

With high temperatures expected to soar past 100 degrees through the early part of next week, the county will make 20 air-conditioned units available from 4 p.m., Saturday to 10 a.m., Wednesday. Overnight stays will be available.

The White Center Cooling Center is located at 206 SW 112th St., in the Top Hat neighborhood.

Those who are interested should call 206-572-5557.

The center will offer a way for residents—including those experiencing homelessness—to escape the heat. The center will welcome overnight stays as well as an air-conditioned area with water and refreshments for shorter visits.

Those who stay overnight will be able to enter and leave the facility from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The doors will be locked outside of those hours, with some exceptions for late arrivals.

Service and emotional support animals are welcome. Masks and social distancing guidelines will be followed per Washington State and King County requirements.

Teams from King County and the White Center Community Development Association will staff the site, and private security will be on-site day and night.

This effort is a partnership between DCHS, Local Services, FMD and the White Center Community Development Association.

At this time, the White Center Cooling Center will be the only such facility offered in unincorporated King County. You can find other cooling centers on the King County Emergency Management blog.

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GRATITUDE: White Center Refresh/Spring Clean volunteer cleanup results, by the numbers

May 31st, 2021 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news 3 Comments »

Thanks to Mark Ufkes for sending the photos and report:

White Center Community Development Association (White Center CDA) Executive Director Sili Savusa wants to thank everyone for helping with the 2021 White Center Refresh/Spring Clean during the past two weekends. Our community of volunteers commented over and over again to our organizing staff how much they love being part of White Center and are proud to live here. This year’s White Center Refresh/Spring Clean resulted in:

-65 volunteers signed up, contributing over 200 hours of community service to White Center.
-15 projects were completed, including the restoration of our White Center Community Bulletin Board on 16th and 98th.
-21 buildings had graffiti cleaned or removed.

-All five White Center Welcome signs were restored, cleaned-up or had flowers added.
-Volunteers used 15 gallons of paint to cover graffiti.
-Volunteer artists restored the West Seattle Lions mural and the large mural at Rosticeria y Cocina El Paisano from graffiti damage.
-Five business or property owners, including El Paisano, thanked our crews by donating excellent meals and water to our site volunteers.
-Over 25 large lawn bags of clean green and/or trash were removed from White Center.
-Eight future Eagle Scouts helped out.
-Dozens of cars honked as they passed our sites to thank our crews for improving White Center.

The White Center CDA reminds businesses, property owners, and residents that the best way to help White Center reduce graffiti is to:

-Keep your building clean and neat. It will be less likely to be vandalized in the future.
-Cover graffiti quickly when it shows up and replace any broken windows or other damage. This will reduce future graffiti vandalism.
-Paint murals on your building. Graffiti is less likely at sites that have existing public art on building walls already.
-Monitor your business or building with video cameras to document graffiti vandalism.

Thanks everyone again for helping make our effort a success. White Center gets better every year, thanks to all of you.

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From timeline to trees: See newest details of White Center HUB project, and what happens next

May 26th, 2021 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on From timeline to trees: See newest details of White Center HUB project, and what happens next

(Rendering by SKL Architects – community-center side of the HUB)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

What’s up with the White Center HUB affordable-housing/community-center project long planned for 8th/108th?

That was answered in an online meeting tonight, facilitated by Aaron Garcia of the White Center Community Development Association, which is leading the project. He began by explaining the inspiration of the project – housing affordability, as well as ‘we’ve heard time and time again we need a place where we can be a community … This project embodies what the community’s been asking for, for years.”

The project’s roots go back about five years. and the 10821 8th SW project – HUB for Hope, Unity, Belonging – has a mission and vision:

A challenge is that the site currently holds White Center Food Bank and a shelter. WCFB was originally a partner but chose not to continue participating and that is why it is seeking a new home. As for the Mary’s Place shelter, the affordable housing in the HUB project will hopefully help address the root cause of homelessness, Garcia said. They are vowing to support the “original owners of the land,” the Duwamish Tribe, too.

The HUB will be WCCDA’s new home, with a commercial kitchen, a child-care center, a hall, and more. Southwest Youth and Family Services, currently headquartered in West Seattle, is a partner; its executive director Steve Daschle spoke about the services SWYFS provides, including education and counseling, resources for immigrants and refugees, New Futures afterschool programming/family support at 5 housing complexes, Becoming a Man groups, a new project in Highline Public Schools, and more. “This is very exciting for us,” Daschle said of the HUB project.

Another partner, the YES Foundation of White Center, whose co-founder Pat Thompson also spoke. This year they’re presenting summer sports camps for ages 6-14, something they’ve done annually (except for last year because of the pandemic); they also present a program for Pacific Islander youth called Our Future Matters, as well as Comida for Central American youth “from all over the Highline school district.” YES Foundation in particular has a partnership with Cascade Middle School that involves a recording studio, and Thompson said one will be built at the HUB for program and wider community use. She called the HUB “a dream come true.”

FEEST Seattle will be a partner too; its executive director Jaimée Marsh explained the food justice and health equity missions of the program, which works with four high schools in the Seattle and Highline districts. Cooking and gathering for dinners is a hallmark of FEEST programming, but it’s expanded into advocacy. The space will enable them not only to host dinners but also to gather for organizing advocacy.

And HealthPoint will provide medical services. HealthPoint’s Eric Dunn said the organization is a network of clinics plus school-based health centers (including one at Evergreen High School). Their clinics offer medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and more, including naturopathic care.

They’re hoping to have pop-up shop space for local entrepreneurs and a makers’ space at the HUB too.

Next, the housing component of the project: Mason Cavell of Community Roots Housing, which developed Unity Village too, led that presentation. It would have 76 units of affordable housing, from 1 through 4 bedrooms – 14 one-bedrooms, 32 two-bedrooms, 26 three-bedrooms, and 4 four-bedrooms. “We’re trying very hard to offer the deepest levels of affordability” – including units that will be priced from 30% area mean income to 60% area mean income. Solar panels, low-flow water fixtures, and other efficiency features are planned.

Gladys Ly-Au Young from SKL Architects, the project manager, spoke next. She showed the site conditions.

She noted that the site has many big trees. They held some community design sessions about a year ago. That led to a “radial scheme” they’re working with now.

It’s centered on a big madrone tree. They envision a covered “community porch” that could be the site of activities. Here’s the site plan:

She also showed the floor plan for the community center, which would be entered on the second floor, with some larger spaces like classrooms on the first floor, more private spaces like offices on the third floor. It would face onto the park as does the TAF Bethaday Community Space elsewhere in WC. The apartment buildings are shaped in hopes of saving some of the “significant trees” on the site, she said.

Also from SKL, John Kennedy, who said an arborist identified 68 significant trees on site, 5 of which were in poor health and recommended for removal. There is no wetland on the site, he said, but there’s one nearby, a Type 3 wetland, which requires an 80-foot buffer.

Regarding parking, consultant Marni Heffron explained that the strategy will involve sharing parking because the complex’s needs will be in non-overlapping dayparts. It is proposed for 87 parking spaces in all. Larger meetings/events would be recommended for evenings/weekends when staff parking needs would be low. Heffron’s firm also did a traffic analysis and said the project would generate “a pretty modest number of trips compared to what (the nearby roads can) accommodate.” No further intersection improvements would be needed, her study showed. They’ve submitted the studies to King County for review.

TIMELINE/WHAT’S NEXT: Design will be finalized this year. They envision a year and a half of construction, so late 2023 is the current opening projection, if they break ground in spring 2022 as hoped. Getting full funding is an emphasis before then – they have several commitments putting them “over halfway there,” said Garcia, for the HUB building, a 24,000 sf building that’s estimated at $18 million. The housing project is estimated at $30 million. (The housing project was seeking [updated] one recent round of public funding but didn’t make the cut on first try.) They might need bridge funding to get there, but they’re hopeful, Garcia said. A fundraising campaign is under way now. And if you have comments and/or letters of support, HUB@wccda.org is where to send them.

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What’s up with the White Center HUB? Find out next week

May 18th, 2021 Tracy Posted in White Center, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on What’s up with the White Center HUB? Find out next week

(Rendering by SKL Architects)

Wondering what’s up for the White Center HUB project proposed for 8th/108th? Your next chance for an update is next week, in an online meeting. Here’s the announcement from Aaron Garcia at White Center Community Development Association:

On May 26, White Center residents and community members can participate in a zoom webinar hosted by White Center Community Development Association, Southwest Youth & Family Services, Community Roots Housing, YES Foundation of White Center, and HealthPoint, to review updates on the HUB project. The HUB will be located on the site of a former public health center.

WHO: White Center community members, residents and business owners

WHAT: The “White Center Community HUB and Homes Open House”

WHEN: Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | 05:30 PM

WHERE: Participants can register for the webinar link on www.wccda.org/hub

WHY: Participants can learn about the project through our timelines, pictures and can contribute feedback to its development.

The original proposal for the HUB included housing, but that was not funded by the state Housing Finance Commission, so Community Roots Housing said the housing and non-housing parts of the project might end up being developed at different times.

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YOU CAN HELP! Multiple volunteering possibilities for White Center Refresh

May 17th, 2021 Tracy Posted in How to Help, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! Multiple volunteering possibilities for White Center Refresh

Lots of options for this year’s White Center Refresh! The invitation was sent by Mark Ufkes:

We need “I Love White Center” Volunteers!

White Center “Refresh” Spring Clean 2021

White Center Needs Volunteers for two 2-day sessions :

Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22
Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29
Volunteers who want to earn a “I Love White Center” T-shirt must sign-up and help complete one of the 15 projects listed below. The free T-shirt supply is limited so sign-up soon.

You can sign-up by sending a message by e-mail or text to volunteer Project Coordinator Mark Ufkes (email; markufkes@comcast.net or Text; 206-595-7124).

In your sign-up email or text, include your name, your shirt size, and the number of the project you want to volunteer for and show up at the location at the listed day and time. The Project Coordinator will promptly confirm your project assignment.

Once you arrive at the location on the day and time listed below, our crews will have all the gear you will need to complete the project and help you make White Center more beautiful.

We cannot be responsible for your children at these clean-up events. Please bring work gloves and rakes if your project includes yard work. All paint, brushes, rollers, etc. will be provided.

If you are a White Center business owner, we encourage you to clean up the area in front of your business while our volunteers do the larger White Center projects. Consider adding hanging flower baskets in front of your business, clean your front windows and nicely cover over or remove nearby graffiti. Our goal is to help you transform White Center during this two-week period.

White Center Projects include;

Friday, May 21

White Center Welcome Sign (4th SW and SW 108th) Mow and rake area, plant flowers under the sign. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Friday, May 21; 2 pm)
White Center Welcome Sign (Delridge and 18th SW) Mow and rake area, plant flowers under the sign. 3 volunteers, 2 hour (Friday, May 21, 4 pm)
Back Alley (SW 96th and Delridge SW) Paint over graffiti, match previously used brown and white paint to make the walls look nice. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Friday, May 21, 3 pm)

Saturday, May 22

Touch-Up Murals on both sides of street (107th at 16th SW) Touch-up existing murals on both sides of 107th, paint new murals, mow median strips. 10 volunteers, 3-4 hours (Saturday, May 22; 9 am)
White Center Plaza Building (98th and 15th SW) Paint over graffiti, paint walls to make them look nice. 6 volunteers, 3 hours (Saturday, May 22; 10 am)
White Center Bus Stop (100th and 15th SW) Paint over graffiti. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 22, 10 am)
Alley between 15th and 16th SW (Behind Proliteriat Pizza); Paint over graffiti. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 22, 11 am)

Friday, May 28

White Center Community Events Board (100th and 16th SW) Clean the Events Board display, paint the display. 3 volunteers, 2 hours (Friday, May 28, 2 pm)
Lions Mural Building (Roxbury and 17th SW) Touch up painting on murals, paint over graffiti. 5 volunteers, 2 hours (Friday, May 28, 3 pm)

Saturday, May 29

White Center Welcome Sign (Roxbury and 20th SW) Clean sign, plant flowers below sign, and rake and clean the hillside around the sign. 6 people, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 9 am)
9800 Block of 16th SW (Northmart and Starbucks area) Paint over graffiti, clean and sweep the area, pick up trash. 10 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 9 am)
White Center Welcome Sign (10th SW and Roxbury) Mow and weed eat along the sidewalks between 9th to 11th, touch up mural, paint upper guard rail white. Park at the 10th dead end. 10 volunteers, 3 hours, (Saturday, May 29th, 10 am)
Saars Market Evergreen High School Art Class Mural; Touch-up the painted areas next to mural, make wall and area look nice. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 10 am)
100th Block of 16th (south of Autozone); Paint graffiti on walls, rust red; make the walls look nice. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 11 am)
White Center Eagles on 15th, paint graffiti, clean up area. 4 volunteers, 2 hours (Saturday, May 29, 11 am)

White Center Refresh Spring Clean 2021 is organized by the White Center Community Development Association (White Center CDA) and the all-volunteer Eagle Scout White Center Improvement Club.

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County government’s annual check-in, plus Hub project preview: What happened @ 2020 North Highline Town Hall

October 18th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news 1 Comment »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Usually, the county’s annual Town Hall for unincorporated North Highline fills the community room at Seola Gardens with people.

This pandemic year, that’s still out of the question, so instead, county department heads, managers, and other reps – plus one “partner” agency rep with new info about a future major project – filled a screen Thursday night. Otherwise – the format was much the same, minus pre- and post-presentations mingling.

Department of Local Services director John Taylor emceed. County Councilmember Joe McDermott joined “from my basement office in West Seattle.”

First up: Councilmember McDermott noted that after seven months (original WCN report here), the controversial county-owned quarantine/isolation site in Top Hat had yet to host anyone, but the county’s continuing to keep it ready and available. What about the site’s future? He thinks it can serve “an important role” in the area but insists “the county doesn’t have a plan” – he cited ideas he says he’s heard, from housing to open space. He promises that the county will work with the community in deciding the site’s future.

McDermott also spoke about the budget, on which the County Council is working right now. A highlight: $1.8 million in marijuana-tax revenue is planned to be diverted to Local Services, $450,000 of it for participatory budgeting, the rest for “an urban unincorporated King County investment pool.” And he noted the county has had “four supplemental budgets” to deal with COVID response.

He fielded a question about the scooter-sharing program launched two months ago, noting it’s a 1-year pilot project. The program, with scooters from two companies, started in mid-August. Any extension would be up to the County Council. “I’m optimistic about the experiment and hearing from White Center about their experiences.”

McDermott also was asked about the status of the proposed fireworks ban. “The legislation I introduced to ban them in unincorporated King County would mirror most cities … a year ago on 4th of July, we had a tragic death of a North Highline resident because of fireworks,” and that’s why he worked on a ban. It’s been delayed by everyone working remotely – he hopes to get the ban enacted before year’s end, he said, but since it can’t go into effect until a year after passage (that’s a state mandate), even if he does, the ban wouldn’t cover next 4th of July.

Another question: What about a space for the LGBTQ+ community in White Center? McDermott said that’s a great addition to the community needs list and also something that could be discussed in the context of the Sub-Area Plan. (Explained later in the meeting, here’s what the needs list is about:)

The North Highline Subarea Plan is expected to go to the council late next year and be adopted in 2022, McDermott said.

Elections director Julie Wise made the next presentation, saying they’re challenging voters to break 90 percent turnout – you should get your ballot no later than Monday. She said they’re confident the ballots will get to everyone within the 5-day post-mailing window. Ballot drop boxes are open – 73 of them around the coumty, each weighing half a ton – the local drop box is outside White Center Library. “We will have staff emptying those drop boxes every single day.” Before your ballot arrives, get ready by reading the voter pamphlet (all the candidate and measure info is online too). If you’re going to return your ballot via a drop box, please do it BEFORE Election Day, Wise implored. Any questions? You can call 206-296-VOTE. “Vote early, vote early, vote early,” she implored.

Next: Assessor John Wilson explained ways people can reach his office:

He said they’ve received 9,000 applications for tax exemptions this year and they have a backlog – if you are waiting and need a deferral for the second-half property tax payment, to January 31st, apply by next Monday (October 19th).

Regarding property values, COVID has not had a significant effect on residential values; they’re still watching to see how the West Seattle Bridge closure will affect area values. Values have gone down a bit in “near-in” areas like downtown, West Seattle, White Center, 1 to 5 percent, as a “market correction” more than anything.

Eligibility for the senior tax reduction has been expanded:

Now – a very different picture from residential – the Assessor’s Office wants to hear about impacts on commercial property:

Then, on to law enforcement. From the King County Sheriff’s Office Southwest Precinct, Major Jeffrey Flohr presented. He went through several topics, some of which he discussed at the previous week’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting (WCN coverage here), plus some general crime prevention/reduction notes:

he gave some light on what happened at 17th and 107th earlier in the day – see our separate report here. He had high praise for White Center Deputy Bill Kennamer, calling him a “rock star” and saying he’s safe from budget cuts. He said two deputies are usually working in the WC area, but they also back up the Skyway area, and vice versa, so a big problem in either area can have up to four deputies on it. Peter Truong continues working as a community deputy.

Maj. Flohr also mentioned that online reporting is back (for non-emergencies) and is available in more than 10 languages.

The camera test program will be “out of this precinct” and it’ll likely start in November/December, as he detailed at the NHUAC meeting.

A question answered by Major Flohr: Noise from modified vehicles – said the attendee, “it’s not a victimless crime … my family and others pay the price for the decision not to address this crime.” The attendee wonders what’s being done about it. Maj. Flohr said deputies are encouraged to go after that kind of violation when they see, or hear about it.

Another question: What funding will replace the marijuana-tax money that’s being moved? Nothing – but, he said, it won’t affect the patroling availability in WC. Councilmember McDermott said the pandemic recession is causing cuts in various county departments but this isn’t an additional cut – service levels will be maintained.

Also: What do you do when you think you hear gunshots? Call 911. That will help them triangulate where it might have happened. DON’T call the non-emergency line – that won’t.

Aaron Garcia of the White Center Community Development Association provided an update too, mostly focused on “The Hub,” the project long in the works at 8th/108th, where the White Center Food Bank and Mary’s Place shelter are now. (Here’s his full slide deck.) Of the agency overall, Garcia explained, “We wear many hats .. I like to explain the CDA as four buckets of support … family development …economic development … community building … youth leadership development (like) White Center to White House …” Since the pandemic began, they’ve distributed more than half a million dollars to community members. He showed a rendering of the project at 8th/108th:

He said a Native architect is leading the project. Garcia also showed the principles guiding the project, dubbed the White Center Hub, and its environmental context:

“We have to be sure we’re being good environmental stewards of the land,” he said, ensuring that they preserve trees on the site, for example, and ‘actually centering everything around that Madrone tree in the middle,” with a recognition of the “seven generations” Indigenous concept. “We’re trying to … ensure this will be one of the first Net Zero affordable-housing projects.” Another preview:

WCCDA, Southwest Youth and Family Services, the YES Foundation, Be:Seattle will all be partnering at “The Hub.”

Back to county staff:

Susie Levy provided a COVID-19 response update. Nearest testing sites: Tukwila and West Seattle (Southwest Athletic Complex). Rates are rising across the county, 92 of 100,000 recently, almost four times the rate they’re hoping for, and the North Highline rate is about 200 per 100.000. She discussed the racial inequities of how COVID-19 affects areas. “We’re committed to implementing a racially equitable response to this crisis.” Levy also touted the King County health services available in the area.

Next, Dwight Dively provided a budget primer, since the County Council is in the thick of budget review right now.

One key point – outside assistance for COVID relief currently ends at year’s end, and if more doesn’t come through, that’s going to put an end to many things. While the pandemic has meant a decline in demand for some things like transit, there’s been increased demand for other things, like health services. He also spotlighted the anti-racism focus of the budget. If you have budget input, get it to Councilmember McDermott!

First question after Dively’s presentation: What’s up with the West Seattle Bridge and its impacts on White Center? McDermott fielded that. He mentioned that the City of Seattle’s been focusing its mitigation efforts on its own area but he’d be glad to surface concerns – get him details.

Second: White Center needs more sidewalks.How can walking be made safer? Dively said that’s the kind of thing that the money earmarked for “capital investment in the unincorporated area” could be used for. McDermott mentioned various transportation-funding challenges.

So “why is the county intent on increasing density in North Highline” if it can’t cover the needs? Taylor said the county’s Growth Management Act didn’t contemplate urban unincorporated areas and ways to equitably share tax revenue to cover their needs. Taylor also noted that a new roads director has just been hired and one of her attributes is a “deep knowledge” of funding, as they work on ways to get needs covered.

Roads Division: Lydia Reynolds-Jones mentioned the 8th/102nd roundabout, road signs helping people understand how to use it:

She also had some stats – WC has 3 percent of the unincorporated area’s total road mileage.

They’re also working on an ADA plan for the entire county. There’ll be a public comment period for the draft plan starting in December. And she showed a list of projects under way now, plus some miscellaneous stats:

Attendee question: Are sandbags available? Yes, Renton’s the closest site – more info here.

From the permitting division, Jim Chen explained everything can be done online.

Department of Community and Human ServicesMark Ellerbrook – the county’s second largest department “by budget” – had more to say about the quarantine/isolation facilities – if you need to isolate or quarantine and can’t safely do it at home, call!

If you need rent assistance, here’s the program for you:

And he noted the two Anti-Displacement Workshops coming up for North Highline and Skyway-West Hill, October 17th (this Saturday) and November 7th – find out about them here.

Question for him – besides a workshop, what strategies are they pursuing to fight displacement? Discussing strategies like Community Land Trusts and inclusionary zoning – where a project has to include a certain amount of affordable housing 0 are strategies that’ll be discussed at the workshop, he replied.

He also was asked during the meeting: What about the fair-housing assessment? It’s not ready yet, he said.

Then came an emergency preparedness presentation by Michelle Chatterton. She recommended hazardready.org, signing up for Alert King County as well as flood alerts. To sign up for Alert KC, text ALERTKC to 99411:

DNRP deputy director Mo McBroom reviewed environmental efforts.

She also talked about Parks projects – the 5-acre site we featured earlier this year; improvements for the White Center Natural Area (a pathway) and at Steve Cox Memorial Park, basketball-court improvements plus isntallation of two Portland Loos, Plus, she said there’ll be a “Spooky Town Hall” event at Steve Cox on October 24th. And she had some resource links:

Taylor concluded with a fervent wish that the Town Hall will be back to an in-person event next year.

P.S. See all the county slides from the meeting here.

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WHITE CENTER SUMMIT: You’re invited on Saturday

December 4th, 2019 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER SUMMIT: You’re invited on Saturday

The White Center Community Development Association invites you to the annual White Center Summit this Saturday:

The White Center Summit is on December 7th, 2019, 9:00 am-1:30 pm at Evergreen High School.

The Summit will center issues of displacement and housing in our White Center community. Community members are invited to gather to receive updates about efforts around housing issues, share their experience around housing issues and/or successes, connect with different resources in the community, and define system changing solutions together as a community. This is also an opportunity to discard of your hazardous waste such as any sort of batteries, oils, and glues as there will be a WasteMobile truck present. There will also be breakfast, lunch, interpreters, child care, and raffle prizes provided at this event!

Evergreen HS is at 830 SW 116th.

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$200,000 grant for White Center Community Development Association

November 12th, 2019 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on $200,000 grant for White Center Community Development Association

From the WCN inbox: Though Bank of America closed its White Center branch earlier this year, it hasn’t completely disengaged from the community. Today B of A sent this announcement that it’s given the WCCDA a $200,000 grant:

White Center Community Development Association (CDA) and OneAmerica have been named as the 2019 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for Seattle. The nonprofits were selected for their work in the Seattle area to address issues fundamental to economic mobility, specifically the CDA’s efforts to promote a vibrant neighborhood and high quality of life for residents in White Center and OneAmerica’s work advancing the fundamental principles of democracy by building power within immigrant communities.

As an awardee, each organization receives a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader at the organization, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. Over the past 15 years, Bank of America has invested $240 million in 49 communities through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,000 nonprofits and helping more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills.

“The tremendous growth our region has enjoyed has not benefitted communities equally. Rising real estate and staffing costs are impacting many small business owners in the region, and many of our immigrant neighbors and communities of color continue to face barriers to stable employment and economic mobility that is the American dream,” said Kerri Schroeder, Seattle market president, Bank of America. “Non-profits like OneAmerica and White Center CDA are on the front lines addressing issues of equity, economics and education that are critical to removing those barriers. We’re proud that the Neighborhood Builders program not only provides funding, but also helps develop emerging nonprofit executives who are taking transformative and successful approaches in advancing equity and inclusion in our community.”

This year, Bank of America recognizes White Center CDA for its efforts to promote a vibrant neighborhood and high quality of life for residents in White Center through the development of authentic leadership opportunities, small business support and preservation, and community-led neighborhood initiatives that help address basic needs across this diverse community.

“Bank of America’s investment helps us build our support for small businesses owned by immigrants, women and people of color and to eliminate the achievement and opportunity gap for children of color,” said Sili Savusa, White Center CDA executive director. “Bank of America shares our vision of a community in which people of all incomes and backgrounds can share in the opportunity and prosperity of our region. Through this support, we are excited to continue building and expanding a vibrant, economically diverse community.

Our other recipient, OneAmerica, advances the fundamental principles of democracy by building power within immigrant communities in collaboration with key allies, bringing forward the voices of those most marginalized in society due to immigration status, language ability, race, ethnicity, income, gender and religious identity.

“Displacement due to rising land values and rent is one of the most pressing issues facing immigrant and refugee business owners in our region,” said Rich Stolz, OneAmerica executive director. “At the same time, under-represented communities are working to shape a workforce development system that better meets the needs of individuals facing barriers to employment and opportunity, like language access, transferring foreign credentials, and building marketable skills in a rapidly changing economy. OneAmerica will use these funds to invest in our staff and expand our capacity to develop a series of policy briefs on strategies to strengthen state and regional workforce development systems and to ensure that those most impacted by these issues are shaping solutions grounded in their aspirations and experience.”

Since 2004, through its Neighborhood Builders program, Bank of America has partnered with 30 nonprofits in Seattle, investing $6 million to provide financial education and economic mobility opportunities within the Seattle area. The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardees. Examples of the leadership training topics include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling. Neighborhood Builders is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities, builds cross-sector partnerships, and promotes socioeconomic progress as part of its approach to responsible growth.

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White Center Community Development Association plans first Community Pop-Up Market

November 10th, 2019 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news 1 Comment »

Announced by WCCDA:

The White Center Community Development Association would like to invite you to our first Community Pop-Up Market on Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 1 PM-5 PM at 9630 16th Ave SW.

The theme of the market is “Resisting Displacement.” Local artists, makers, and chefs will be showcasing and selling the products that they create with community. All proceeds will go to the local vendors.

White Center has always been an innovative, creative, and culturally rich community and this pop-up market intends to celebrate that richness in our community in order to resist the displacement that is happening.

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5 DAYS AWAY: White Center Community Development Association gala

September 15th, 2019 Tracy Posted in How to Help, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on 5 DAYS AWAY: White Center Community Development Association gala

Spend next Friday night at the White Center Community Development Association‘s annual gala! From the WCCDA website:

“FORWARD TOGETHER”

Keynote Speaker:

This year, we are honored to have Senator Joe Nguyen speaking at our Gala. He was born in White Center, raised in Burien and currently lives in West Seattle. His experiences growing up in an immigrant community as the son of Vietnamese refugees and being raised by a single mother informs much of his service today. Sen. Nguyen is not afraid to have the difficult conversations needed in our community. It will be a treat to listen to him on this night. Make sure you get your tickets!

There will be plenty of food, beer and wine, a photo booth and great raffles packages.

We have 3 Raffles Packages

“WHAT’S GOOD WHITE CENTER” White Center Experience
“WHAT’S UP SEATTLE?” Seattle Events
“GET OUT” Travel Tickets for 2 (two)

Venue:

Metropolist
2931 1st Ave S

6 pm September 20th – get your ticket(s) here.

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FRIDAY: Back-to-school celebration presented by White Center Community Development Association

August 9th, 2019 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on FRIDAY: Back-to-school celebration presented by White Center Community Development Association

2-6 pm today, Greenbridge Plaza is the place to be if there’s a student in your household. The White Center Community Development Association‘s annual back-to-school celebration will offer free food, entertainment, activities, and raffles.

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Community design workshop next Saturday for new ‘hub’ at 8th/108th

December 1st, 2018 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on Community design workshop next Saturday for new ‘hub’ at 8th/108th

From the White Center Community Development Association:

The White Center CDA Invites You!
White Center Community HUB
Community Design Workshop

Saturday December 8, 2018, 9 am-12 pm
Evergreen High School Cafeteria

The Public is Invited!
Food and interpretation services will be provided

White Center Community Development Association, Southwest Youth & Family Services, Capitol Hill Housing, and King County are coming together to build a community-driven and designed campus with community services and affordable housing at the former Public Health Center at 8th Avenue SW & SW 108th Street. The HUB will provide welcoming and much-needed spaces for community to connect, celebrating the value of White Center’s diversity through cultural art, music, traditions, ceremonies, events, and community-wide activities.

family resource center
alternative education classrooms
workforce training
small business incubation
youth development
early learning opportunities
integrated behavioral and physical health services
community garden
affordable housing

Come learn about this project and share your ideas to ensure the HUB reflects the diverse community in White Center!

Questions? Aaron@wccda.org or 206-694-1028

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SATURDAY: White Center Summit 2018

November 7th, 2018 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: White Center Summit 2018

Thanks to Aaron Garcia from the White Center Community Development Association for the heads-up. If you’re not already planning on going to Saturday’s annual White Center Summit – you’re invited!

White Center Summit is happening this Saturday, November 10th:

9 am – Check-in/Breakfast
10 am – start time

Evergreen High School
830 SW 116th

Come learn about issues affecting White Center – like housing, health, economic development – and learn about community building and how our communities of opportunity partners are coming together to support White Center families- and discuss your priorities with local officials and neighbors. What do you love about White Center? What would you like to see improve? This event is FREE, and interpretation, child care, and breakfast & lunch is provided.

Due to the generosity of a private donor, two participants will be randomly selected to receive $100.

Here’s where to go to RSVP.

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Signed up yet for White Center Refresh 2018?

June 4th, 2018 Tracy Posted in How to Help, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on Signed up yet for White Center Refresh 2018?

Signed up yet for the White Center Community Development Association‘s big event? Less than three weeks to go!

Formerly the Spring Clean, The Refresh is now a two-day neighborhood cleaning and restoration event on Friday, June 22nd, and Saturday, June 23rd. For 14 years, this has been one of the CDA’s signature events. Previous projects have included garbage pickup in the business core of White Center, painting new and touching up existing murals, building garden boxes, and sprucing up the parks through partnership with King County Parks.

The CDA has decided to extend this community event to two days for more intensive projects such as the White Center Food Bank’s remodel to a grocery store layout, and partnering with Habitat for Humanity to do landscaping work. We will be capping at 100 participants for this event. This is a great opportunity for lovers of the White Center Community to come together and refresh out neighborhood! For more information and to register for this hands=on community event, go to the CDA’s website, or contact Theari@wccda.org. Registration is open now!

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VIDEO: 250 superheroes run and walk in White Center 5K 2018

March 24th, 2018 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center Food Bank, White Center news Comments Off on VIDEO: 250 superheroes run and walk in White Center 5K 2018

10:42 AM: Those are some of the ~250 people (and a few dogs!) who hit the road for this morning’s White Center 5K. The run/walk, which started and finished at White Center Heights Park, again carried a “superhero” theme – and everyone who participated was a superhero by raising money for the White Center Community Development Association, White Center Food Bank, and YES Foundation of White Center. We’ll be adding photos shortly!

ADDED 12:22 PM: As promised:

(WCN photos by Patrick Sand)

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SATURDAY: White Center Community Summit 2017

November 1st, 2017 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: White Center Community Summit 2017

Signed up yet? The White Center Community Development Association presents this year’s WC Community Summit on Saturday, 9 am-3 pm at Evergreen High School. Free child care, food, raffle. Just sign up – which you can do by going here. This year’s topics include displacement, the 2017 WC Community Survey, affordable housing, knowing your rights, and immigration.

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WHITE CENTER SUMMIT 2017: ‘Now we can help’

January 30th, 2017 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news 1 Comment »

Story and photos by Cliff Cawthon
Reporting for White Center Now

On Saturday, more than 200 people gathered at this year’s White Center Summit, organized by the White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA) at the Evergreen Campus.

In contrast to the tumult resulting from actions taken in “the other Washington” just before the weekend, the summit gathered a diverse cross-section of the community to create networks between neighbors and organizations and to discuss solutions.

The summit kicked off with exhibitions from a variety of service organizations, community foundations, and nonprofit organizations. “The challenge of White Center being unincorporated Seattle and not having a local government structure [can be] to support some of the services and local activities,” said Sili Savusa, WCCDA executive director. The community summit was organized in order to harness the power of the community, as Savusa expressed that [White Center residents] “feel that there’s still strength here by the people who live here.”

Residents highlighted concerns around education, health, economic development, neighborhood safety, and affordable housing. There was a thoroughfare of organizations offering different services and promoting advocacy for components of the community.

Two of the organizations tabling at the event were the YES Foundation of White Center and H.E.L.P., represented by Pat Thompson and Rayonna Tobin, respectively. The YES Foundation is focused on serving children and youth and connecting them with programs on leadership and post-secondary education. The latter organization supports families of incarcerated people, whether it comes to counseling and emotional support or making up for the loss of income and stability in the home.

After some mingling, breakout groups were formed to seek innovative solutions for community concerns identified by participants, including: Youth; Affordable Housing; Neighborhood Safety; Economic Development; Education and Health Strategies.

Participants in the breakout sessions took away either contacts or information to help develop the neighborhood. During the economic development session, Hugo Garcia, a risk-management officer with Craft3, a Community Development Financial Institution, discussed how his organization helps “fill the gap” where other banks fail to support small businesses, nonprofit programs and projects, etc.

The gap that the lifelong White Center resident referred to was the aversion that banks and other traditional financial institutions have toward supporting some of White Center’s small entrepreneurs of color, immigrants, and women.

During the affordable-housing breakout session, facilitated by Marie Pino, a neighborhood-outreach coordinator with the WCCDA, residents addressed the increasingly stark challenge of finding affordable housing in White Center due to development.

“The things that we have [found] on our map today are new commercial developments … that people don’t recognize, and we’ve seen some changes in ethnic communities,” said Giulia Pasciuto, a policy researcher with Puget Sound Sage.

The research conducted by Puget Sound Sage and Futurewise shows that these new developments have raised rents and introduced new market-rate apartments. Traditionally low-cost housing has become more inaccessible as “housing prices are increasing just north of the White Center border in Seattle. The home-ownership price in White Center has increased substantially in the last few years.” In Pasciuto’s opinion, a mixture of strategies – similar to comprehensive efforts within Seattle city limits – is necessary.

For Savusa, the housing and economic-development data that community partners have gathered is essential. “Our role is to find those resources and bring them into the community and find commitments to [work on] what [is] important here to the families,” as Savusa described the CDA’s role in building the community’s assets. For Savusa and the CDA, “what gets in the way are a lot of policies [that] get put into place” that don’t reflect the nuances of White Center’s diversity.

After the workshops, I found the opportunity to speak with Joyce Yee of the League of Education Voters. She was tabling at the event and is currently hoping to not just advocate for more funding for schools, but for how it is used in K-12 education: “Our main message is that it should be an equity question about how do we drive more funding to schools and students who need more, [such as] English as a second language and special-needs students, and those in special assistance programs.”

Educators and education advocates who had ties with the community made up a significant percentage of the attendees. Tonya Powers, director of Baccalaureate Programs and Workforce at Highline College, explained that Highline offers services to residents of White Center and that its student population is expanding due to rising housing costs in Seattle leading more people relocating to South King County, including locations like White Center.

As the event came to a close, Hodan Bulale, the CDA’s Family Success Partner of the event, spoke a bit with me about the post-summit work. She spearheaded outreach to many community partners and stakeholders, as well as personal connections – since many CDA employees were born and/ or raised in White Center: “We got to have a conversation about things that really matter … really important things that impact [us] on a daily basis. I like how they were a part of this conversation. We understand, we can relate and now we can help.”

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TODAY: 2017 White Center Summit

January 28th, 2017 Tracy Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news 2 Comments »

Just a reminder – 8 am to 3 pm today at the Evergreen campus, you’re invited to this year’s White Center Summit. Full details are in this preview published earlier this month.

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