Start volunteering your time for urbanism: The Urbanist will hold its first (of what hopefully becomes regular) volunteer orientation. We’ll walk through what the organization does and all the different roles available. If you’re into politics, writing, education, or even paperwork, we have a place for you. Join us to learn more.

Demand the highest quality for West Seattle to Ballard light rail: We’ve secured funding but now we have to fight complacency. The decisions we make today will determine the quality of this billion dollar investment. Make sure you get your comments in by Wednesday to demand grade-separated rail and walkable station placements. We’ve covered some of the issues being debated through the scoping process.

Join SLUG to talk about mobility around the Key Arena development: South Lake Union is a rapidly changing neighborhood and the South Lake Union Greenways (SLUG) wants to ensure those changes accommodate people walking and biking. The Key Arena renovation poses both a challenge and an opportunity. We’ve covered this topic before. Join SLUG to discuss opportunities on Wednesday, March 8th.

Show your support publicly for MHA in Districts 5 and 6: The city is continuing its engagement effort to get feedback on the proposed zoning changes to implement Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA). There will be an open house on Wednesday, February 28th at Whitman Middle School in Northwest Seattle. You can read our coverage of these changes here, here, and here, as well as the Capitol Hill Renter’s Initiative comments here. The gist of it is that you need to tell the city you want bigger, more expansive rezones that will produce more affordable housing. Otherwise the homeowners that are suing to stop change may block this plan.

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  1. I have been an urbanist since the courses I took in college, studying Chicago’s inner city neighborhoods and then living in one. I applaud your activism and training other activists. Please answer two questions about your 100% support for MHA upzones:
    1) How does upzoning a single-family parcel to Redicential Small Lot, dividing it in two and building three $700k townhouses in the back create more housing affordable to anyone making 1/2 or 1/4 of the Area Median Income, now $95,000?
    2) Where is the plan for large, extended and immigrant families–anyone who needs 3+ bedrooms–in the MHA upzones, when developers are not building any 3 BR rentals, and the only affordable housing for these families is in older, single-family neighborhoods such as South Park and Othello? Why include them in the one-size-fits-all upzones?
    3) Bonus question–we share so much in our goals and values for our city, aren’t there issues like these we could come together on, if the MHA were more nuanced? Are you interested in more dialog, coffee, perhaps a panel discussion?

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