Welcome to the first week of 2023! As we get to the point where we can’t say Happy New Year any more (or use it as an excuse to push an email to next week) let’s take a look at the upcoming events for advocacy, meetups, and volunteering for the MLK Day of Service.
The Urbanist Meetups and Book Club
We are having two great online meetups this month. Tiffani McCoy will be around to talk about Initiative 135, Seattle’s social housing ballot measure, on January 10 at 6:30pm. And on January 17 at 6pm author Alexandra Lange will follow up her appearance on The Urbanist Podcast by joining the book club and talking about how much better we all looked at the mall. There is still time to pick up her book Meet Me by the Fountain.
Light Rail and Comprehensive Plan Meetings
Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development will host the fifth and final One Seattle Plan Community Meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. This session will be at the Meadowbrook Community Center, so it’s the chance for Lake City, Maple Leaf, and the rest of Northeast Seattle to get their requests in for abundant housing and livable, walkable communities. Show up and tell the city it needs to get serious about updating the Comprehensive Plan to have any hope of addressing climate and affordability.
Similarly, Sound Transit will be hosting a workshop for the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions at Seattle Pacific University on January 11, 2023 at 6:30pm. Through this design process, we have learned about the limits superyachts put on bridges and proposals to reduce stations along these routes. None of these are particularly good. But one thing is always clear: Sound Transit must prioritize rider experience.
Eastside Urbanism Weekly Meetup
Join city loving friends and colleagues on the Eastside every Thursday for conversations at the Crossroads Market Place in Bellevue. Grab some food at one of the many eateries in the international food court, and talk housing, commutes, and stuff that’s working around town. The next meet-up starts at 6pm on January 12, and everyone will congregate at the interior tables near QFC. Signups and more information are available at the Meetup event site. Family friendly and accessible by transit.
MLK Day Volunteer Signups
Many organizations are setting up service days to recognize the birthday and federal holiday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are signups and information sites for events happening around the region on Monday, January 16.
- United Way of King County extensive list of MLK Day of Service volunteer opportunities covering the whole weekend
- Assist Bellevue’s MLK Day park restoration at Wilburton Hill Park
- City Year of Seattle/King County will be working at Highland Park Elementary School
- Green City Partnership will host MLK Day restoration events at Magnuson Park, Mt. Baker Park, and Kingfisher Natural Area on Thornton Creek.
- Help Metro Parks Tacoma remove Scotch broom and other invasive species at Point Defiance Park
- Join YMCA of Snohomish County has volunteer opportunities at several locations as well as an inspirational breakfast on Monday morning
Opening of the Washington State Legislature
Finally, the Washington State Legislature will begin its 2023 session on January 9, 2023. And with it returns remote testimony and tracking important bills from the comfort of your computer screen! It’s going to be a long session at 105 days because of the biennial budget. That just means more time to get in touch about the things you care about.
Whether it’s supporting our friends over at Futurewise or boosting missing middle housing reform, your comments and contacts with the legislature actually sway the course of Washington law. Here’s the find your district widget to know your legislators. Call them, even if it’s just to say they’re doing a good job.
Updated January 6, 2023 11:00am to add Eastside Urbanism weekly meetup announcement.
Ray Dubicki is a stay-at-home dad and parent-on-call for taking care of general school and neighborhood tasks around Ballard. This lets him see how urbanism works (or doesn’t) during the hours most people are locked in their office. He is an attorney and urbanist by training, with soup-to-nuts planning experience from code enforcement to university development to writing zoning ordinances. He enjoys using PowerPoint, but only because it’s no longer a weekly obligation.