Tag Archives: elections

CHCC Election 2013

Below are short statements from the candidates for the election on 6/20. A PDF is available here: 2013 elections. See more at the Capitol Hill Times and Capitol Hill Seattle blog.

George Bakan, Current President

Running for President

For 26 years George Bakan has been the Editor-in-Chief for Seattle Gay News. He has been overseeing the operation of the SGN weekly newspaper since 1983. George was born in Seattle, raised in rural Bellevue and in the 1960s he moved with his family to Eastern Washington. George returned to Seattle in the early 1980s to become a gay activist. Some of the highlights of his almost 30-years of gay community activism are organizing the Seattle AIDS Action Committee in 1983, which later became Mobilization Against AIDS. During the early days of the AIDS epidemic George and the Seattle AIDS Action Committee organized an annual candle light vigil at SCCC at Pine and Broadway on Capitol Hill. During his early days as an activist he co-chaired the 1984 Freedom Day Committee, now known as Seattle Out and Proud. George was the regional co-chair for the 1987 and 1993 National Marches on Washington, DC. During both organizing efforts Bakan led the Northwest sponsored push for bi and transsexual inclusion at the national events. He was on the Hands Off Washington (HOW) Executive Committee and was for a time Vice Chair for Hands Off Washington. HOW worked statewide on LGBT political issues from 1992 to 1996. Thought of retirement does not suit George. The LGBT veteran activist continues his daily oversight at the SGN and looks towards future projects, including health issues for old gay guys and setting up training and leadership workshops for young LGBT activists and a tree planting project in Seattle parks to honor people who have died of AIDS.

________________________

John Akamatsu, Current Vice President

Running for Vice President

I am a Seattle native, who grew up on Capitol Hill, and attended St Joes. Currently, I operate a small architecture firm that specializes in residential and commercial projects. I also run from my home a business that supplies treats and toys for small companion herbivores such as bunnies, chinchillas, and guinea pigs.

Over the past 45 years, I have watched the ebb and flow of Capitol Hill as it has gone through its many manifestations. But the next few years will bring unprecedented changes to Capitol Hill. The new light rail system will offer for the first time RAPID transit to Capitol Hill, bringing thousands of riders to the area each day. Changes in zoning will allow greater density, meaning not only more residents but more commercial interests. The recent attempt by City Council members to introduce the Regulatory Reform package’s changes to Capitol Hill and other neighborhoods without careful, considered input from the largest neighborhood under the City council’s wing underscored the differences between Capitol Hill and the other neighborhoods. It showed how those changes and improvements that might be good for Columbia City or the University District could have detrimental consequences for the residents, present and future. We see similar trends with the microhousing issue.

It is not that the Hill ranks above the other neighborhoods or seeks special status, but with its proximity to the downtown area, two universities, major hospitals, and to I-5, 520, and I-90, Capitol Hill will become the major neighborhood player of the entire region. Changes are coming, but we must keep the neighborhood safe, interestingly vibrant, walkable, and yet adaptive to new possible developments, uses, and citizens.

We need advocacy and meaningful engagement with our civic leaders and those other forces that shape our neighborhood, including neighbors, developers, pro-density groups and historic preservationsists. It must be civil engagement, free of the speculation, paranoia, and slander that have begun to litter our community forums the past months.

________________________

Erie Jones, Current Secretary

Running for Secretary

Hello Capitol Hill residents and neighbors

I throw in my hat to run and serve again as secretary for the Capitol Hill Community Council.

I have lived (and worked) on the Hill for 35 years. There’s no place I’d rather be.

I am a former, long time Seattle School teacher (25 years) and currently teach music at Dusty Strings in Fremont. I have rented on the Hill and am currently a home owner.

It has been a fast moving and eventful past year. Many “hot button” issues have come up. I believe we can be proud of the way we, as a community, have dealt with some difficult issues – especially around growth and change.

We are all going to have some disagreements, appropriately so. It is important we continue to engage with each other in respectful and informed ways.  My intention is to help to promote this.

Capitol Hill is already on a path towards significantly increased density.

It is important to remember that density is in itself not a goal, it is one strategy among many to achieve goals.: those goals being affordable housing, quality of life, community, safety, and enjoyment of life.  Over the past years I have been very happy to see the number of families, gay and straight, with young kids increase and thrive. We need to keep the essential uniqueness of our neighborhood for future generations.

One main goal I have is to continue to build membership and attendance: especially in areas which strengthen our community bonds and solidarity. Our recent Arts Forum (thank you Jeffrey and Michele) was one good example of such an effort. Lets have much more of this type of activity!

I look forward to again working with George, Jeffrey, John, and our new members.

Let’s help keep Capitol Hill, as it grows, one of the best urban neighborhoods in the country – for all of us.

Thank you

________________________

Melissa Blankenship

Running for Treasurer

Melissa has called San Francisco, Nashville and Florida home in the past but is happily settled on First Hill these days. She currently serves as the Public Disclosure Officer and Office Manager for Capitol Hill Housing as well as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and COO.  Her interests include music and the arts and she is passionately food focused. Melissa grew up on Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor and she obtained her BA in Mass Communication from Menlo College in Atherton, CA.  She has a background in technology and business operations and spent a great deal of time in the music and entertainment industry.  She has served on the Boards of American Women in Radio and Television’s San Francisco Chapter, The Nashville Advertising Federation and The Brown Dog Foundation, and served the State of Tennessee as a Gubernatorial Appointee to the Motor Vehicle Commission.

Melissa volunteers with Community Kitchens Northwest and is currently a member of the Washington State Public Records Officers organization.  Melissa is looking forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens of Capitol Hill to improve the neighborhood, take the time to work collaboratively with community stakeholders and provide leadership and sound financial management to the Capitol Hill Community Council.

________________________

Jeffrey Cook, Current Member at Large

Running for Member at Large

Dear members of the Capitol Hill Community Council~
With this letter I respectfully submit my bid for candidacy in the office of Member-At-Large. Long-standing travel plans with my husband to visit his senior relatives in the “old country” of Norway prevent me from attending the June meeting to present myself in person. I believe I have only missed one other meeting during my term.

For the past 12 months I have been working as a member-at-large with the community council and enjoyed connections I have made while doing this job, as well as its challenges. As a resident of Capitol Hill for 14 years (and frequent visitor prior to that) I have built my life here and hope to continue living here for many years to come. I have witnessed the various changes in our neighborhood in recent years and I have worked within the council, with neighborhood groups, and at the city council level to affect fair standards of construction development which impact the quality of all our lives. I have been the co-chair on the microhousing committee, which regularly reports to the mem-bership regarding recent happenings on that front. I am spearheaded an “Arts Forum” in May, with the goal of connecting of our artists working in the neighborhood today with policy makers and informing residents about arts opportunities on Capitol Hill. In 2013 I will continue working to support the arts and to petition the city for fair development standards on and around Capitol Hill which affect our daily lives.

I remain active with my Lutheran church, I am a working artist in the theatrical industry, I am president of my condo association, and I regularly take advantage of all the dining, nightlife, and cultural happenings that make up the fabric of our neighborhood.

Thank you for trusting me with your vote as Member-At-Large. I would look forward to another year of building on the strengths of this community and the work that the Council has done so far.  Sincerely, Jeffrey Cook

________________________

Eric Butler

Running for Member at Large

Hello!

I’ve lived on Capitol Hill for just over six years, and am excited to run for an At Large position on the Capitol Hill Community Council.

I became interested in neighborhood issues while advocating for public transit, where I quickly learned the importance of building walkable communities for transit to be successful. I love living on Capitol Hill because it is a great community with many bars, restaurants, shops, and parks within short walking distance. I’m excited for the opportunity to give back and champion ways to make our neighborhood even better.

Planning begins soon for two major projects in the core of the neighborhood: development above our future subway station and the streetcar extension to Volunteer Park. These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to build great public amenities, and I’m excited to help make sure the community has a strong voice.

I’m also passionate about improving the neighborhood for people walking and cycling, and hope to work with the community to promote park expansions, safe separated bicycle paths, parklets, and greenways.

I look forward to meeting and working with you!

________________________

Alyssa Penner 

Running for Member at Large

Graduating this week with a Masters in Social Work, and working as an academic advisor at the University of Washington, Alyssa Penner hopes to join the ranks of at-large officers to bring a different perspective to the CHCC.

“As a young adult, I have noticed some of the ways that the neighborhood is changing, and becoming less affordable and accessible for young adults,” Penner told The Capitol Hill Times. The main thing that attracts me to Capitol Hill is the socio-economic diversity, and overall diversity in the types of people who live on the Hill. I’m passionate about ensuring that the Hill is accessible and welcoming to everyone.”

Penner, an AmeriCorps member, moved into Seattle and Capitol Hill in 2010 and quickly got involved volunteering with Capitol Hill Housing.

Since many of the current officers and meeting attendees are homeowners, business owners, long-time residents or more financially established, Penner in interested in representing the younger, renting people on the Hill.

“I’ve watched as my peers have been pushed out of the neighborhood because of skyrocketing rents and new, ‘high-end’ apartments geared toward higher income brackets,” Penner said. “I also believe in safety, but not at the expense of disproportionately targeting people of color, LGBTQ folk, or low-income Seattleites. That’s not the Capitol Hill I know and love – a neighborhood that is welcoming to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.”

July 2012 General Meeting Minutes

Capitol Hill Community Council
July 2012 General Meeting Minutes

Call to Order and Introductions
Mike Kent called the meeting to order at 6:10pm. He thanked everyone for turning out on such a beautiful evening. Almost 80 people were present!

Community Announcements
Referendum 74 – George Bakan made a motion to have CHCC officially support/endorse the campaign to keep marriage equality in Washington State that is being coordinated by Washington United for Marriage. The motion was quickly seconded. The motion passed unanimously. For further info, please visit http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/.

New Business:
The primary agenda item for tonight’s general meeting is officer elections for the July 2012 – July 2013 term. Outgoing President Norma Jean Straw and outgoing Vice President Mike Kent invited candidates to each give a brief statement. Candidate bios submitted to CHCC are included with the minutes as Addendum 1. To answer any questions/comments, candidates then mingled with attendees for about 15 minutes. Ballots were then passed out and voting commenced. Norma Jean Straw and Karen Ko from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods counted ballots. 77 ballots were cast.

CHCC is pleased to announce the July 2012 – July 2013 officers:
President – George Bakan
Vice President – John Akamatsu
Treasurer – Dr. Ruben Krishnananthan
Secretary – Erie Jones
At Large – Jeffrey Cook, Michelle Gomes, Lisa Kothari

Committee Reports
Capitol Hill Champion – Catherine Hillenbrand gave a brief background of the Champion’s work. Sound Transit is currently planning on briefing the Champion about the latest developments sometime during September. The Champion is confident things are moving forward fine – it’s just a long process. Trying to determine the best way to finance the project’s low income housing component is a continuing challenge. Follow this link for information on the TOD Urban Design Framework to date: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/CapHillStationArea/Overview/default.asp. To contact Catherine with questions and/or add your name to the Champion’s listserv, please email hhh@zipcon.net.

12th Avenue Safety Project – Mike Kent gave a brief background of the project. The final report from SvR Design has been finalized and should be available via CHCC’s website in a few days. Until it is made available on the website, please feel free to contact CHCC at chcc.officers@gmail.com to request a copy. As a result of the project, two new crosswalks will be installed at the 12th/Howell intersection and a new crosswalk and curb bulb will be installed at the 12th/Harrison intersection. These improvements are just the beginning. The final report discusses further improvements that can be made on 12th Avenue. A community member had a question about the potential use of pedestrian flags. Mike replied that using flags is one of the many options discussed in the report. Another community member was curious how much crosswalks cost. Mike mentioned that they were about $1,000 each and that Stop signs are virtually impossible to get. Another community member wanted to reiterate that many construction projects are in progress and planned for the full length of 12th Avenue and encourages the council to continue advocating for safety on 12th Avenue. Mike was thanked for all his hard work leading this project.

Old Business:
Melrose Promenade – Mike Kent gave a brief background of the project which was started by him about two years ago with the formation of an advisory committee to explore a range of improvements along the full length of Melrose Avenue from the Pike/Pine corridor to Roy Street and beyond, including the bike trail. Quoting from the project flyer, “the Melrose Promenade project aims to transform the entire Melrose corridor into a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly street.” The project received a $20,000 matching grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods which will be used to fund further planning and small-scale improvements. The project has already cleaned up the entire guardrail area running from Denny to Roy. The next phase of the project will focus on the portion of Melrose south of Denny to Pike/Pine. Long term, team members would like to widen and/or extend sidewalks; add trees, benches, and lighting; improve Melrose Park; and have also contemplated the merits of installing a 4-5’ ‘screen’ along the western part of Melrose Avenue to create a visual barrier between the streetscape and I-5 below. The Melrose Promenade advisory committee meets the second Wednesday of each month at 6pm at the Capitol Hill library. For further info, visit www.facebook.com/melrosepromenade or email melrosepromenade@gmail.com.

Mike then proposed a resolution in support of the Melrose Promenade project. The text of the resolution is included with the minutes as Addendum 2. A community member in attendance moved to accept the resolution. Another community member seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the resolution passed unanimously.

Announcements:
Norma Jean Straw – encouraged the new slate of officers to consider doing some fundraising during the next year.

Catherine Hillenbrand – asked the new slate of officers to appoint two new members to the Capitol Hill Champion.

Michael Archambault – recently became Vice Chair of the East District Council. He will report back to CHCC periodically.

Karen Ko – Asked CHCC to appoint Michael Archambault as CHCC’s official representative to the East District Council. Community members asked Karen to give a brief history of the district councils. For further info about the City Neighborhood Council structure, follow this link: http://www.cityofseattle.net/neighborhoodcouncil/. Michael asked CHCC to hold off on appointing him because he wants to do some more research about what this entails. Discussion ensued about the effectiveness of the East District neighborhood council and how improvements could be made.

Eric Sanders – The next CHCC general meeting is scheduled for the third Thursday of September (the 20th) from 6 to 8pm at the Cal Anderson Shelter House.

Adjournment:
Norma Jean Straw adjourned the meeting at 7:47pm.

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ADDENDUM 1

Capitol Hill Community Council, 2012-2013 Officer Candidates

President
George Bakan: For 26 years George Bakan has been the Editor-in-Chief for Seattle Gay News. He has been overseeing the operation of the SGN weekly newspaper since 1983. George was born in Seattle, raised in rural Bellevue and in the 1960s he moved with his family to Eastern Washington. George returned to Seattle in the early 1980s to become a gay activist. Some of the highlights of his almost 30-years of gay community activism are organizing the Seattle AIDS Action Committee in 1983, which later became Mobilization Against AIDS. During the early days of the AIDS epidemic George and the Seattle AIDS Action Committee organized an annual candle light vigil at SCCC at Pine and Broadway on Capitol Hill. During his early days as an activist he co-chaired the 1984 Freedom Day Committee, now known as Seattle Out and Proud. George was the regional co-chair for the 1987 and 1993 National Marches on Washington, DC. During both organizing efforts Bakan led the Northwest sponsored push for bi and transsexual inclusion at the national events. He was on the Hands Off Washington (HOW) Executive Committee and was for a time Vice Chair for Hands Off Washington. HOW worked statewide on LGBT political issues from 1992 to 1996. Thought of retirement does not suit George. The LGBT veteran activist continues his daily oversight at the SGN and looks towards future projects, including health issues for old gay guys and setting up training and leadership workshops for young LGBT activists and a tree planting project in Seattle parks to honor people who’ve died of AIDS.

Vice President
John Akamatsu: I am a Seattle native, who grew up on Capitol Hill, and attended St Joes. (I remember the Volunteer Park Cafe when it was a Volunteer Park Groceries that we nicknamed Grouchos after the sour old man who ran the store.) While pursuing degrees in Fine Art and English Lit at the UW, I moved back to Capitol Hill, before attending architecture graduate school in Los Angeles. Since returning to Seattle, I have worked at two acclaimed architecture firms, and most importantly, put down my own roots, and built myself a house on Capitol Hill behind Group Health. Currently, I operate a small architecture firm that specializes in residential and commercial projects. I also run from my home a business that supplies treats and toys for small companion herbivores such as bunnies, chinchillas, and guinea pigs. I served as a Vice-President of Education of Seattle Opera’s Bravo Board, helping to grow it to the largest under-40 arts group in the nation. I also served with other social and academic non-profits in the Seattle, Sydney, and Los Angeles areas. Over the past 45 years, I have watched the ebb and flow of Capitol Hill as it has gone through its many manifestations. But the next few years will bring unprecedented changes to Capitol Hill. The new light rail system will offer for the first time RAPID transit to Capitol Hill, bringing thousands of riders to the area each day. Changes in zoning will allow greater density, meaning not only more residents but more commercial interests. The recent attempt by City Council members to introduce the Regulatory Reform package’s changes to Capitol Hill and other neighborhoods without careful, considered input from the largest neighborhood under the City council’s wing underscored the differences between Capitol Hill and the other neighborhoods. It showed how those changes and improvements that might be good for Columbia City or the University District could have detrimental consequences for the residents, present and future. For this reason, I would like to create a greater presence for the area that champions Capitol Hill, so that we are not treated as our smaller, undeveloped or under populated peers. To meet those changes, we need unprecedented advocacy and meaningful engagement with our civic leaders and those other forces that shape our neighborhood. It is not that the Hill ranks above the other neighborhoods or seeks special status, but with its proximity to the downtown area, two universities, major hospitals, and to I-5, 520, and I-90, Capitol Hill will become the major neighborhood player of the entire region. As Alice B Toklas wrote: “What is sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander but is not necessarily sauce for the chicken, the duck, the turkey or the guinea hen.” Changes are coming, but we must keep the neighborhood safe, interestingly vibrant, walkable, and yet adaptive to new possible developments, uses, and citizens.

Treasurer
Dr. Ruben Krishnananthan: I moved to Seattle from Australia in 2005. My wife and I were attracted to Capitol Hill because of its diverse, eclectic, inner city feel. The walkability and proximity to downtown, as well as the parks, restaurants and independent cinemas all served to keep us in the neighbourhood from our first days in Seattle until now. Capitol Hill is a wonderful neighbourhood that reminds me in many ways of the inner city in many other countries, especially now that light rail and a streetcar are being added. This neighbourhood is in the process of change, partially due to proposed zoning alterations put forward by the Seattle City Council. My goal for the coming year would be to aid City Hall in its attempts to increase urban density, without damaging the character of Capitol Hill. I have lived in many places, including Melbourne, Australia, repeatedly voted one of the 10 most livable cities in the world. I have also visited rapidly growing cities such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and travelled through every inhabited continent. In so doing, I have witnessed the efforts governments have made to evolve for the future; their triumphs and errors. I bring a global perspective to the Capitol Hill Community Council on the benefits and potential pitfalls of increasing population density, in the face of Global Warming and rising fuel prices. My educational background is in Medicine, with a Medical Degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. I am a Diagnostic Radiologist and Nuclear Physician, Board certified in the U.S. in both specialties; I am also a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists. Currently I am in private practice, but I maintain a visiting faculty position as Assistant Professor at the University of Washington. I am also Medical Director of Radiology at Harrison Hospital. As a physician, communication is essential when looking to deliver appropriate care to patients. I am used to listening to a wide variety of people and looking for solutions. Hence, I look forward to representing the diverse interests of the ever changing faces of our great neighbourhood.

Secretary
Erie Jones: My name is Erie Jones and I am submitting my name for Secretary of the Capitol Hill Community Council. I have lived, and also worked on the hill for 35 years and counting. In my view it is one of the best urban neighborhoods in the country. Simply stated, I would like to contribute to keeping it one of the best. This would include maintaining our diversity and tolerance for all, promoting affordable living, keeping local businesses healthy, creatively managing growth and development, preserving our cultural and architectural heritage, and especially maintaining our neighborhood feeling of mutual support. I have taught in Seattle Public Schools for 23 years, including at Lowell Elementary where I helped get the grants for our accessible playscape. I helped plan and build the Thomas Street P-Patch and am active in our neighborhood block watch. I have also helped, financially and through “work parties” set up small businesses on the hill. I am a musician and currently teach music at Dusty Strings in Fremont.

At-Large Officers (in alpha order)
Nathan Barnes: My name is Nathan Barnes and I’ve lived on Capitol Hill since 2003. In 2004, we bought our first home, a condominium at the Garden Court on 16th Avenue, where we still live today. I am a recent graduate of the University of Washington School of Law where I focused on studying state and local government legal issues. Ideally, my background and training will be helpful to the Capitol Hill Community Council. Over the last nine years, we’ve seen a lot of changes in our neighborhood and I would like to be a more active participant in that evolution. And now with law school behind me, the time feels right to start giving back to my community. My hope is that through the Capitol Hill Community Council, I can do my part to support this little section of Seattle that has given me so much. Thank you for your consideration.

Jeffrey Cook: Jeffrey has lived on Capitol Hill for almost 15 years, first as a renter and now as an owner of a 1980 condo unit with his partner, Erik. He attends Central Lutheran Church by Cal Anderson Park and works in Seattle’s lively theatre arts, fine arts, and music community. Jeffrey is a life-long resident of Washington State and after witnessing many changes to the neighborhood he loves and calls home he is ready to take on a more active role in shaping its exciting future. His main goals for Capitol Hill include creating a strong community filled with neighborly connections, having clean and safe streets to shop in and enjoy, and preserving the areas independent businesses and treasured buildings while welcoming new construction that matches the current personality of “The Hill”. Jeffrey is active in his church, his work, and his building with various committees, officer roles, and community events. He has a BA from WSU, Pullman (his home town!), and an MFA in Theatre Arts from UO, Eugene, Oregon.

Seth Geiser: I am a 28 year-old urban designer and a Capitol Hill resident of 4 years. I earned Master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Design and in Public Administration at UW, with a focus on human-scale design and policy. I worked for Seattle DPD for 3+ years. Recently, I’ve been playing with streets as part of the Renegade Planners Collective. Capitol Hill is my home. Now living at Pike and Broadway, it’s hard to imagine being elsewhere. Life here is the tops, a diverse congregation of mini-neighborhoods, each with character and feel, which add to a delightful whole. But, the secret is out, folks. People outside of Capitol Hill have noticed what we have here and they’re coming to share a part of it. So we have a choice: We can reactively deal with new development proposals and try to stem change as it comes at us, or we can find ways to proactively collaborate while our neighborhood grows and adapts. In pursuit of the latter option, I’d be thrilled to serve as an at-large officer and continue the good work of the CHCC.

Michele Gomes: I arrived in Seattle in 1995 from Rhode Island. I’ve been living on Capitol Hill for 14 years and I love my neighborhood. I rent an apartment at The Dublin and own a Video Production company with an office on 12th and Pike. The parks, cafes, music and healing art venues, diversity of restaurants and people make this an incredible place to live. I consider the Hill to be a big community garden and it inspires me every day as I walk around taking in all its beauty. As a community member I am committed to assuring that the character of Capitol Hill will not be damaged and the environment remains safe and beautiful. It is my intention to represent the interests of renters, pedestrians, and local small business owners.

Lisa Kothari: I have lived in Seattle for the past seven years and during that time have resided in Capitol Hill. Our first residence was in the Mullholland Apartments building and three years ago we purchased our first home on 10th Avenue East directly across from the new light rail station. Throughout my tenure on Capitol Hill, I have embraced our community frequenting the shops, restaurants, and getting to know the local merchants. I stroll Cal Anderson Park 4-5 times a day with my Scotty observing the neighborhood and how it’s continually changing on an almost-daily basis. As a citizen committed to our neighborhood, I am excited to serve on the Community Council to hear the concerns of my neighbors and represent those interests to our local government along with preserving and sustaining our unique community for all – residents and visitors alike. On a personal note, I am a writer who has written both for the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and the Seattle PI.

Colin Scott: Harvard & Denny, Capitol Hill resident since 10/2003. Please consider me for the Capitol Hill Community Council. I’m originally from rural Ohio where I studied Anthropology at The College of Wooster. I’m a pedestrian commuter, recreational biker, and bustin’-out-of-town driver that parks on our streets (Zone 21). I don’t ride Metro with weekly regularity, though I do use both it and light rail. Design of mixed use structures should incorporate smaller commercial spaces (rather than fewer & larger) rain displacing awnings, and publicly accessible areas or benches. I’m a regular user of our city’s parks with those in our neighborhood my most frequented. I’d like to see a bocce or petanque court on the hill. I’ve worked a guerrilla garden here for several years. I believe that a healthy business environment benefits us all despite my practice of gravitating towards free and cheap activities. I would like to explore what can be done to encourage new businesses beyond those in the restaurant and bar industries. New development in our area should aim for timeless utilitarianism…whatever that means. I have ideas and opinions but am not dogmatic with them. Let me help carve a better hill for all of our futures here. Thank you.

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ADDENDUM 2

Resolution to support Melrose Promenade project

The Capitol Hill Community Council has voted to fully support the Melrose Promenade proposal, which would transform Capitol Hill’s Melrose Avenue and neighboring publicly-owned land into a dynamic public open space and green street.

WHEREAS, the Melrose Promenade project would advance citywide efforts to make Seattle more sustainable, placing an emphasis on expanding and improving our pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, the Melrose Promenade project would improve connectivity between residential neighborhoods and Downtown Seattle; and

WHEREAS, the Melrose Promenade project would make Melrose Avenue safer and less prone to criminal activity due to better lighting, more people, and “eyes on the street”; and

WHEREAS, the Melrose Promenade project would create a new public open space that would offer visitors to the city and to Capitol Hill sweeping views of the Seattle skyline, the iconic Space Needle, and the Olympic Mountains; and

WHEREAS, the Melrose Promenade project would offer nearby residents a one-of-a-kind, easily accessible public amenity, a place to stroll or to enjoy a book, a gathering spot that would serve as the “front porch” to Capitol Hill; and

WHEREAS, the Melrose Promenade proposal is consistent with several citywide and neighborhood-focused planning efforts, including:

– the Comprehensive Plan, which includes a section on the Capitol Hill Neighborhood Plan, which recommends creating opportunities for new parks on publicly-owned land and enhancing existing public spaces; and

– the Bicycle Master Plan, which recommends that the Melrose Promenade corridor be a signed bicycle route connecting Lakeview Boulevard and SR-520 to the north with Pike and Pine Streets to the south; additionally, Melrose Avenue is included as part of the city’s Urban Trails and Bikeways system; and

– the Pedestrian Master Plan, in which portions of Melrose Ave are rated as “Tier 1” and “high priority” areas in need of improvement.

THEREFORE, be it resolved that, pursuant to a majority vote of the members present at its July 19, 2012 general membership meeting, the Capitol Hill Community Council recommends that the Melrose Promenade project be a top priority for funding made available to transportation, parks and open space, green storm water infrastructure, and neighborhood planning initiatives.

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Announcing the Capitol Hill Community Council 2012-2013 Officer Candidates

Greetings Neighbors – We have a full and exciting slate of officer candidates for the upcoming July 2012 – July 2013 term. Elections will be held at our Annual Meeting scheduled for the third Thursday of July (July 19) from 6 to 8pm at the Cal Anderson Shelter House. Each candidate will give a brief statement. Written statements from each candidate are below.

Any member of the Capitol Hill Community Council is eligible to vote. Members include everyone who lives, works, volunteers or owns a business within Capitol Hill. According to our bylaws, the boundaries of Capitol Hill are I-5 to the West (just east of downtown Seattle), 520 to the North, E. Pike and E. Madison streets to the South, and 23rd and 24th Avenues East to the East.

Hope to see you there!
Cheers,
Your CHCC Officers

CANDIDATE STATEMENTS

President

George Bakan: For 26 years George Bakan has been the Editor-in-Chief for Seattle Gay News. He has been overseeing the operation of the SGN weekly newspaper since 1983. George was born in Seattle, raised in rural Bellevue and in the 1960s he moved with his family to Eastern Washington. George returned to Seattle in the early 1980s to become a gay activist. Some of the highlights of his almost 30-years of gay community activism are organizing the Seattle AIDS Action Committee in 1983, which later became Mobilization Against AIDS. During the early days of the AIDS epidemic George and the Seattle AIDS Action Committee organized an annual candle light vigil at SCCC at Pine and Broadway on Capitol Hill. During his early days as an activist he co-chaired the 1984 Freedom Day Committee, now known as Seattle Out and Proud. George was the regional co-chair for the 1987 and 1993 National Marches on Washington, DC. During both organizing efforts Bakan led the Northwest sponsored push for bi and transsexual inclusion at the national events. He was on the Hands Off Washington (HOW) Executive Committee and was for a time Vice Chair for Hands Off Washington. HOW worked statewide on LGBT political issues from 1992 to 1996. Thought of retirement does not suit George. The LGBT veteran activist continues his daily oversight at the SGN and looks towards future projects, including health issues for old gay guys and setting up training and leadership workshops for young LGBT activists and a tree planting project in Seattle parks to honor people who’ve died of AIDS.

Vice President

John Akamatsu: I am a Seattle native, who grew up on Capitol Hill, and attended St Joes. (I remember the Volunteer Park Cafe when it was a Volunteer Park Groceries that we nicknamed Grouchos after the sour old man who ran the store.) While pursuing degrees in Fine Art and English Lit at the UW, I moved back to Capitol Hill, before attending architecture graduate school in Los Angeles. Since returning to Seattle, I have worked at two acclaimed architecture firms, and most importantly, put down my own roots, and built myself a house on Capitol Hill behind Group Health. Currently, I operate a small architecture firm that specializes in residential and commercial projects. I also run from my home a business that supplies treats and toys for small companion herbivores such as bunnies, chinchillas, and guinea pigs. I served as a Vice-President of Education of Seattle Opera’s Bravo Board, helping to grow it to the largest under-40 arts group in the nation. I also served with other social and academic non-profits in the Seattle, Sydney, and Los Angeles areas. Over the past 45 years, I have watched the ebb and flow of Capitol Hill as it has gone through its many manifestations. But the next few years will bring unprecedented changes to Capitol Hill. The new light rail system will offer for the first time RAPID transit to Capitol Hill, bringing thousands of riders to the area each day. Changes in zoning will allow greater density, meaning not only more residents but more commercial interests. The recent attempt by City Council members to introduce the Regulatory Reform package’s changes to Capitol Hill and other neighborhoods without careful, considered input from the largest neighborhood under the City council’s wing underscored the differences between Capitol Hill and the other neighborhoods. It showed how those changes and improvements that might be good for Columbia City or the University District could have detrimental consequences for the residents, present and future. For this reason, I would like to create a greater presence for the area that champions Capitol Hill, so that we are not treated as our smaller, undeveloped or under populated peers. To meet those changes, we need unprecedented advocacy and meaningful engagement with our civic leaders and those other forces that shape our neighborhood. It is not that the Hill ranks above the other neighborhoods or seeks special status, but with its proximity to the downtown area, two universities, major hospitals, and to I-5, 520, and I-90, Capitol Hill will become the major neighborhood player of the entire region. As Alice B Toklas wrote: “What is sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander but is not necessarily sauce for the chicken, the duck, the turkey or the guinea hen.” Changes are coming, but we must keep the neighborhood safe, interestingly vibrant, walkable, and yet adaptive to new possible developments, uses, and citizens.

Treasurer

Dr. Ruben Krishnananthan: I moved to Seattle from Australia in 2005. My wife and I were attracted to Capitol Hill because of its diverse, eclectic, inner city feel. The walkability and proximity to downtown, as well as the parks, restaurants and independent cinemas all served to keep us in the neighbourhood from our first days in Seattle until now. Capitol Hill is a wonderful neighbourhood that reminds me in many ways of the inner city in many other countries, especially now that light rail and a streetcar are being added. This neighbourhood is in the process of change, partially due to proposed zoning alterations put forward by the Seattle City Council. My goal for the coming year would be to aid City Hall in its attempts to increase urban density, without damaging the character of Capitol Hill. I have lived in many places, including Melbourne, Australia, repeatedly voted one of the 10 most livable cities in the world. I have also visited rapidly growing cities such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and travelled through every inhabited continent. In so doing, I have witnessed the efforts governments have made to evolve for the future; their triumphs and errors. I bring a global perspective to the Capitol Hill Community Council on the benefits and potential pitfalls of increasing population density, in the face of Global Warming and rising fuel prices. My educational background is in Medicine, with a Medical Degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. I am a Diagnostic Radiologist and Nuclear Physician, Board certified in the U.S. in both specialties; I am also a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists. Currently I am in private practice, but I maintain a visiting faculty position as Assistant Professor at the University of Washington. I am also Medical Director of Radiology at Harrison Hospital. As a physician, communication is essential when looking to deliver appropriate care to patients. I am used to listening to a wide variety of people and looking for solutions. Hence, I look forward to representing the diverse interests of the ever changing faces of our great neighbourhood.

Secretary

Erie Jones: My name is Erie Jones and I am submitting my name for Secretary of the Capitol Hill Community Council. I have lived, and also worked on the hill for 35 years and counting. In my view it is one of the best urban neighborhoods in the country. Simply stated, I would like to contribute to keeping it one of the best. This would include maintaining our diversity and tolerance for all, promoting affordable living, keeping local businesses healthy, creatively managing growth and development, preserving our cultural and architectural heritage, and especially maintaining our neighborhood feeling of mutual support. I have taught in Seattle Public Schools for 23 years, including at Lowell Elementary where I helped get the grants for our accessible playscape. I helped plan and build the Thomas Street P-Patch and am active in our neighborhood block watch. I have also helped, financially and through “work parties” set up small businesses on the hill. I am a musician and currently teach music at Dusty Strings in Fremont.

At-Large Officers (in alpha order)

Nathan Barnes: My name is Nathan Barnes and I’ve lived on Capitol Hill since 2003. In 2004, we bought our first home, a condominium at the Garden Court on 16th Avenue, where we still live today. I am a recent graduate of the University of Washington School of Law where I focused on studying state and local government legal issues. Ideally, my background and training will be helpful to the Capitol Hill Community Council. Over the last nine years, we’ve seen a lot of changes in our neighborhood and I would like to be a more active participant in that evolution. And now with law school behind me, the time feels right to start giving back to my community. My hope is that through the Capitol Hill Community Council, I can do my part to support this little section of Seattle that has given me so much. Thank you for your consideration.

Jeffrey Cook: Jeffrey has lived on Capitol Hill for almost 15 years, first as a renter and now as an owner of a 1980 condo unit with his partner, Erik. He attends Central Lutheran Church by Cal Anderson Park and works in Seattle’s lively theatre arts, fine arts, and music community. Jeffrey is a life-long resident of Washington State and after witnessing many changes to the neighborhood he loves and calls home he is ready to take on a more active role in shaping its exciting future. His main goals for Capitol Hill include creating a strong community filled with neighborly connections, having clean and safe streets to shop in and enjoy, and preserving the areas independent businesses and treasured buildings while welcoming new construction that matches the current personality of “The Hill”. Jeffrey is active in his church, his work, and his building with various committees, officer roles, and community events. He has a BA from WSU, Pullman (his home town!), and an MFA in Theatre Arts from UO, Eugene, Oregon.

Seth Geiser: I am a 28 year-old urban designer and a Capitol Hill resident of 4 years. I earned Master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Design and in Public Administration at UW, with a focus on human-scale design and policy. I worked for Seattle DPD for 3+ years. Recently, I’ve been playing with streets as part of the Renegade Planners Collective. Capitol Hill is my home. Now living at Pike and Broadway, it’s hard to imagine being elsewhere. Life here is the tops, a diverse congregation of mini-neighborhoods, each with character and feel, which add to a delightful whole. But, the secret is out, folks. People outside of Capitol Hill have noticed what we have here and they’re coming to share a part of it. So we have a choice: We can reactively deal with new development proposals and try to stem change as it comes at us, or we can find ways to proactively collaborate while our neighborhood grows and adapts. In pursuit of the latter option, I’d be thrilled to serve as an at-large officer and continue the good work of the CHCC.

Michele Gomes: I arrived in Seattle in 1995 from Rhode Island. I’ve been living on Capitol Hill for 14 years and I love my neighborhood. I rent an apartment at The Dublin and own a Video Production company with an office on 12th and Pike. The parks, cafes, music and healing art venues, diversity of restaurants and people make this an incredible place to live. I consider the Hill to be a big community garden and it inspires me every day as I walk around taking in all its beauty. As a community member I am committed to assuring that the character of Capitol Hill will not be damaged and the environment remains safe and beautiful. It is my intention to represent the interests of renters, pedestrians, and local small business owners.

Lisa Kothari: I have lived in Seattle for the past seven years and during that time have resided in Capitol Hill. Our first residence was in the Mullholland Apartments building and three years ago we purchased our first home on 10th Avenue East directly across from the new light rail station. Throughout my tenure on Capitol Hill, I have embraced our community frequenting the shops, restaurants, and getting to know the local merchants. I stroll Cal Anderson Park 4-5 times a day with my Scotty observing the neighborhood and how it’s continually changing on an almost-daily basis. As a citizen committed to our neighborhood, I am excited to serve on the Community Council to hear the concerns of my neighbors and represent those interests to our local government along with preserving and sustaining our unique community for all – residents and visitors alike. On a personal note, I am a writer who has written both for the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and the Seattle PI.

Colin Scott: Harvard & Denny, Capitol Hill resident since 10/2003. Please consider me for the Capitol Hill Community Council. I’m originally from rural Ohio where I studied Anthropology at The College of Wooster. I’m a pedestrian commuter, recreational biker, and bustin’-out-of-town driver that parks on our streets (Zone 21). I don’t ride Metro with weekly regularity, though I do use both it and light rail. Design of mixed use structures should incorporate smaller commercial spaces (rather than fewer & larger) rain displacing awnings, and publicly accessible areas or benches. I’m a regular user of our city’s parks with those in our neighborhood my most frequented. I’d like to see a bocce or petanque court on the hill. I’ve worked a guerrilla garden here for several years. I believe that a healthy business environment benefits us all despite my practice of gravitating towards free and cheap activities. I would like to explore what can be done to encourage new businesses beyond those in the restaurant and bar industries. New development in our area should aim for timeless utilitarianism…whatever that means. I have ideas and opinions but am not dogmatic with them. Let me help carve a better hill for all of our futures here. Thank you.

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Capitol Hill Community Council 2010 Election

The 2009-2010 Capitol Hill Community Council term is almost over and our annual election is nearly upon us. We have the start of a great slate of candidates:

President- Norma Straw
Vice President- Mike Kent
Secretary-Josephine Wong
Treasurer–none at present
At-Large (3 positions)- Zef Wager, Jennifer Power

But as you can see, all races are uncontested and there are even some spots left to fill. If you think you have the experience, the passion, and most of all, the free time to serve as an officer on the Capitol Hill Community Council, there is still time to send in a candidate’s statement and throw your hat in the ring.

If you’re interested in running, please send all inquiries and/or statements of candidacy (name, position you’re running for, reason for running, applicable experience) to chcc.officer@gmail.com. We will be accepting nominations until Thursday, June 10th – after that point you may run as a write-in candidate but you will not be featured on the ballot.

Per our bylaws, anyone who lives, works, volunteers, and/or owns a business or property on Capitol Hill may vote in the Council elections or run for an officer position.  You are all our neighbors and our constituency, and we hope to see you at our 2010 elections!

Candidate Meet & Greet
Wednesday, June 9th
7 – 9pm
Cafe Metropolitain
1701 E Olive Way
Come and meet the candidates for this year’s Capitol Hill Community Council Officer Election!

Annual Officer Elections
Thursday, June 17th
7-9pm
Cal Anderson Shelterhouse in Cal Anderson Park
Come and vote for next year’s officers! Or, better yet, run for a position on the Capitol Hill Community Council.