Equitable Development Coalition Report
Community-Supported Equitable Development in Southeast Seattle
February 2015 - On October 9, 2014, approximately fifty people from six multi-cultural coalitions, two foundations and four business associations along with eight city staff from five departments were convened to share equitable development plans and accomplishments, deepen collaborative relationships and explore opportunities to coordinate ongoing efforts after the federal funding for the federal Community Cornerstones project ended in mid-2015.
Community Cornerstones stakeholders sought to assess the project’s impact through 1) a survey of coalitions and business associations and 2) a convening of these same groups. The University of Washington presented the most current population and income data available about Southeast Seattle to be used by attending coalitions as they pursue their missions, serve residents and seek funding. Participants then gave feedback to the survey results and additional input on the survey questions.
Several overarching themes emerged:
- Growth must be place-based and culturally relevant.
- Cultural anchors and community-supported economic development must be prioritized.
- Government planners must comprehend the vision of the community so that growth and programs are designed to accomplish the community’s goals.
- Community leaders need to be part of decision-making processes.
- Multi-racial, multi-cultural equitable development coalitions have emerged and are currently working directly with the city as a resource. These community organizations must be adequately resourced to take ownership of their vision and actively participate in shaping development.
- Community organizations expressed a desire for regional cohesion, and that organizations be adequately networked, working across cultures and sectors to become more effective, powerful and farsighted. Only then will meaningful change stem the displacement of our residents and grow significant economic opportunity in the Rainier Valley.