2015 has been a busy year for Lake City Future First. This year we formalized our board of directors, adopted our strategic plan, secured grant funding for a garden design project and community website, held five community conversations, conducted our 2nd annual “World of Tastes in the Heart of Lake City” program, structured our work plan and hired our first full time director.
Save the Date! – Our first LCFF “Community Conversation” will be held on January 27th from 6-8 PM at the Lake City Community Center.
Thank you to Diane Haugen at the center for the use of the space. There will be many components to this event including the presence of several service providers working in Lake City. We will also be introducing the forming Lake City Arts and Culture group that are working to connect all of the wonderful things current and potential in our community surrounding food, culture, dance, music and visual arts. You will have the opportunity to weigh in on the final design for the Fred Meyer Garden project. We will have food and entertainment. It will be a great way to beat the winter doldrums by coming out to learn more about your community and find ways that you can take part on a variety of levels.
Fred Meyer Garden Project Update – The Friends of the Fred Meyer Garden Project (FOFMGP) advisory group hired Monica Sweet to help with outreach and funding efforts and also chose to go with Lake City’s own Integrated Site Design to create the concepts that will have another round of outreach in January. Both positions were posted through various outlets and we couldn’t be more pleased to be working with individuals and businesses right here in our community. LCFF and the FOFMGP will launch a robust outreach effort in January to determine the final elements of the garden project. Be on the look-out for in person surveys in the community as well as an online survey. The plan is to apply for funding in early February to begin work on the space in the spring.
New and Improved Website – LCFF applied for and received a neighborhood matching fund grant for a website face lift in 2016. We are currently looking to finalize and begin work with designers and community members on making this a meaningful resource for information and connectivity in Lake City. The site will be used to promote businesses, coordinate and broadcast volunteer efforts, educate people on planning efforts and as a venue for people across the broad Lake City community to share their experiences here in our neighborhood.
Police Engagement – LCFF has been working with partners from the North Precinct and our local police team to hold small group conversations with SPD representatives. We have focused this relationship building with local businesses and under-represented populations. The work is part of LCFF’s efforts to launch a formalized “clean and safe” program. It is important for people to understand the current state of our police force, the importance of making 911 calls, learning strategies for dealing with nuisance behaviors and making connections with our local officers. Lake City Neighborhood Alliance will be looking to host North Precinct staff at our February meeting.
Public Outreach Engagement Liaisons – In 2015 we also partnered with the Department of Neighborhoods and the Office of Economic Development on their Public Outreach Engagement Liaison (POEL) program. Lake City had the fabulous opportunity to hire the majority of our POEL’s through the strong relationship we have with the North Seattle Family Resource Center. Often the POEL’s are hired city wide, but our ability to hire within the community provided a connectivity and cohesion that we may not have achieved otherwise. Through LCFF funding the POEL’s conducted a business survey process along the Lake City Way corridor to immigrant and minority owned businesses to help identify needs and issues. We also employed the POEL’s for our September 15th Community Conversation that was geared toward hearing from under-represented populations in Lake City. The event was fantastic with many new people showing up to engage that we had not had the opportunity to meet with before. Follow up is needed to keep our diverse Lake City engaged and this is will be a major component of our work going forward.
125th Street Mini Park – Most would recognize that the 125th and Lake City Way Mini Park has had a challenging history. Suffering from cleanliness issues, proximity to high volume traffic and perception issues regarding safety, the park needs some concerted effort to help everyone to think differently about the potential for the space. As part of our LCFF strategic plan we will be looking to activate the space through various means and encouraging the community to take part. Through our outreach efforts we have heard from the broad community that the space is an important one for a myriad of reasons. The park is a central plaza within our civic core, an area where people wait for busses and make transit connections and is viewed by thousands of commuters each day. With a good bit of effort and creativity the space has potential to be an asset for the community. It will take a broad effort to be consistent enough with the space to make a difference. Ideas have ranged from food trucks operating in the space, a summer concert series, dance performances, information kiosks and art installations. Have an idea? Make sure to come to the community conversation to share it on January 27th 2016.
We want to thank all of you who participated in your community this last year. LCFF is looking forward to another strong year with more opportunities to partner for positive change and work toward a common vision for Lake City.
Chris Leverson – Director