Friday, August 22, 2008

THE RAINIER VALLEY POST: New Southeast Neighborhood District Council to hold first public meeting; 9/9

THE RAINIER VALLEY POST: New Southeast Neighborhood District Council to hold first public meeting; 9/9

The first public meeting of the new Southeast Neighborhood District Council (SENDC) is scheduled for Tues., Sept. 9, at 7 pm at the Mt. Baker Community Club.

From the SENDC founding bylaws:
The SENDC will provide a forum to disseminate information and to encourage discussion and consideration of concerns and opportunities among residents, community councils and business associations, and will help foster ways to take action to address those shared concerns and opportunities. The SENDC will facilitate public discussion of any issues affecting SE Seattle that are brought forth by any SE Seattle resident, business owner, or member council/association.
The SENDC includes the area bounded on the north by the I-90/Sam Smith Park, on the south by the City Limits, on the east by Lake Washington and on the west by I-5.

Membership is open to representatives of all Community Councils and neighborhood’s business organizations within the District who wish to participate. Other representatives may be added at the discretion of the District Council, which seeks to reflect the geographic, racial, cultural and economic characteristics of the district.

According to its founding bylaws:
The founding members shall be the community councils and business associations active in April 1988 when the SENDC was formed. Founding member associations include Columbia City Business Association, Genesee Merchants Association, Lakewood/Seward Park Community Club, Mount Baker Community Club, Rainier Beach Community Club, Rainier Beach Merchants Association, Rainier Chamber of Commerce, and the now-defunct Rainier View Community Club and Rainier Vista Community Council.
Also according to the bylaws, the SENDC will work to:
  1. Increase citizen awareness of City actions by providing timely and accurate information about developments that may affect their neighborhoods in languages that are representative of the community and in such a manner that residents without email access receive necessary communications.
  2. Influence City plans, regulations and projects to suit the character of individual neighborhoods, including policies and implementation of land use code. Encourage citizen participation in the City budget process, including initiation of budget proposals.
  3. Strengthen and coordinate responses of City Departments to neighborhood problems.
  4. Help neighborhoods to: identify common problems (e.g. need for public facilities, street improvements, policy protection, code enforcement); formulate possible solutions; recommend appropriate and/or needed actions to get results.
  5. Support neighborhood councils and associations with planning projects that reflect the needs of the community. Assist in procuring or developing the necessary resources to complete those projects.
  6. Develop recommendations for City neighborhood priorities, including budget review and comment plus budget initiatives.
  7. Carefully and responsibly recommend zoning (in compliance with Neighborhood Plans) to preserve the special character and qualities of individual neighborhoods.
  8. Steward for the development, update and implementation of community and resident created SE Seattle Neighborhood Plans, and for initiatives and issues that benefit SE Seattle. Updates to Neighborhood Plans must be communicated to the broader neighborhood affected by the Plans and must be made available in the multiple languages most frequently spoken within those neighborhoods.
  9. Provide a forum to discuss issues affecting SE Seattle. Issues may be raised by any SE Seattle resident, business or SE Seattle organization, whether a member council/association or not. Issues, even those considered controversial, will be given time on the agenda of a regular SENDC meeting. Issues will be resolved if possible. If necessary, additional meetings will be held.
  10. Encourage coalitions of SE organizations to proactively develop and act on solutions to issues in SE Seattle. Foster cooperation among diverse interests within and among neighborhoods and districts.
  11. Encourage and promote activities that include the participation of diverse cultural and ethnic groups in SE Seattle.

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