Great City is proud to have participated in Seattle mayor elect Mike McGinn’s “Open Source Transition”. To refresh your memory, the transition team asked a group of “community ambassadors” to solicit input from the public on three questions:

1. How do we build the strongest possible team to achieve the policy objectives and values set forth?

2. How do we build public trust in the new administration?

3. What do you view as the incoming administration and the city’s greatest challenge — what should we do first out of the gate?

We received 165 responses to the transition teams questions, which we have synthesized into an executive summary. If you would like to read what we heard, GC-McGinnTransitin.

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We are excited to invite you to become an inaugural member of Great City.

What is Great City?

Over the past 4 years, Great City has risen from a small, scrappy non-profit to one of the leading proponents for urban sustainability in Seattle (but we’re still scrappy!). At our core, we believe that livable, equitable, and economically vibrant urban areas are the key to preserving our region’s open space and meeting our environmental goals. To do this we have:

  • Helped pass legislation such as the Complete Streets Ordinance and the recent cottage housing proposal;
  • Successfully placed and passed a renewed Parks Levy on the ballot in 2008; and
  • Provided technical assistance to over 20 neighborhood groups looking to start improvement projects in their communities.

Add to that numerous brown bags, testimony on a wide range of legislation, and our Land Use White Paper and you have the beginnings of a Great City. But we can’t do any of this without you.

Why Membership

By joining Great City, you send a clear message to your friends and our local decision makers that you want Seattle to be a model of social, economic and environmental sustainability. But membership also means that you are joining a group of like-minded citizens who are exhausted by tired battles and instead want to take positive steps forward to ensure Seattle’s future today.

What’s In It For Me?

There are 5 levels of membership. All members will be invited to special, “members only” events throughout the year. A good example is our recent pre-talk reception with David Owen at Town Hall.

Members at the $100 level will be able to choose from a Great City shopping tote or Great City “YIMBY” t-shirt. At the $250 level, you will receive two of either (or one of both). Monthly installments are available.

To spice things up, Great City’s Executive Director, Joshua Curtis, has issued a challenge to Cascade Land Conservancy’s President, Gene Duvernoy.

The Challenge

As Great City has continued to evolve and succeed, we’ve realized there is one thing we don’t have: a leader with a legendary mustache. As many of you know, Great City owes much to the Cascade Land Conservancy. The Conservancy helped us as we got started as our fiscal sponsor and currently they are an important partner in our work. Gene Duvernoy, President of this fine organization, has been a tireless advocate for regional conservation and community building for the past 30 years. He’s brilliant, strategic and an inspired speaker. He also has perhaps the most robust mustache in Seattle’s environmental community.

So in keeping with our “scrappy” image, Joshua Curtis has challenged Gene to a 3 month mustache competition. While Great City recognizes that this is an uphill battle, we feel our Executive Director has a fighting chance to grow something that approaches the legendary Duvernoy brush. Says Joshua, “Gene’s mustache has been an inspiration to us all. But I think I can take him.” Bold words, or sheer delusion? Join Great City and you will have a chance to vote for the winner and will be invited to an event in late-February to celebrate him.

The Defendant: Gene Duvernoy
The Defender: Gene Duvernoy
The Challenger: Joshua Curtis
The Challenger: Joshua Curtis

Great City and Cascade Land Conservancy

Great City has always had a close relationship with Cascade Land Conservancy. In 2005, Michael McGinn took his idea for Great City to the Conservancy, which agreed to take the group on as a program of The Cascade Agenda. This 100-year vision and immediate action plan recognizes that to protect our rural and working landscapes we must make our cities great places. Cascade Land Conservancy welcomed Great City as a natural partner to help make Seattle a great place to live, work and raise our families. While Great City now is its own 501(c)(3) non-profit, we continue to work and partner with the Conservancy.

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Especially when one considers that Atlanta’s rail system (MARTA) was initially slated to go to Seattle.

via The Overhead Wire who in turn got it from @ttpolitic

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Monday Morning News

Good morning, Great City friends. Due to Thanksgiving, Great City is holding its next brownbag this Thursday, November 19. Please join us. Also, stay tuned for a membership drive announcement later this week!

Urban Design Framework for South Lake Union

Thursday, November 19th
12:00 – 1:30 pm
GGLO Space at the Steps
1301 First Ave, Level A

Enter through door located about ¼ of the way down the Harbor Steps

For the past 10 years the City of Seattle, community leaders and property owners have worked together to implement a bold but flexible vision for South Lake Union – transforming it into a center for new life sciences research while enhancing its existing residential and business community, all anchored by Seattle’s new streetcar line. These partnerships have created 9,000 new jobs and 2,000 new housing units since South Lake Union was designated an Urban Center in 2004, while at the same time expanding small business and expanding affordable housing in the neighborhood.

Looking ahead, the City and the community are now developing an Urban Design Framework for South Lake Union – with the goal of establishing a shared vision and implementation strategy to guide the next wave of South Lake Union’s growth. The Urban Design Framework aims to define the key place?making and urban design strategies that will ensure South Lake Union emerges as a livable, dynamic neighborhood – building on the vision in its 2007 Neighborhood Plan, while at the same time seizing new opportunities presented by two-way Mercer, the North Portal project and a rethinking of traffic patterns north of Denny Way.

After months of intensive work, key recommendations have taken shape. Join Marshall Foster and Jim Holmes from the City’s Department of Planning and Development for an overview of the process, key recommendations and ongoing challenges of creating an Urban Design Framework for South Lake Union.

Mike McGinn’s Open Source Transition

Great City’s Executive Director, members of the Great City board and other civic leaders were invited by Mayor-Elect, and founding Great City Executive Director, Mike McGinn to provide some transition advice. We were asked to serve as ambassadors by reaching out to our networks and seeking advice for the incoming administration. Mike himself explains the intent here: http://www.youtube.com/user/McGinnTransition.

As some of the best thinkers on urbanism, land use and sustainability in the city, we wanted to invite all of Great City’s friends to participate. Click on this link and fill in the form: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDVMRWJfbnF3VThQYmVOWnFxcVBkaVE6MA.

The transition team has asked that we have comments to them by Monday, November 23. In order to meet that goal, we ask that you have comments to us by Sunday, November 22 at 6pm. We’ll then synthesize and compile those comments and provide them to the transition team.

This is your first opportunity to help shape the incoming administration. We look forward to sharing what you have to say with the transition team. Let’s push them to build the Great City we all know is possible.

Congratulations Are In Order

Great City would like to formally congratulate Mike McGinn (our founding Executive Director) and Mike O’Brien (founding Board and Executive Committee member) on their new jobs. Great City owes much to each of these visionary leaders and looks forward to working with the new administration and City Council in the years to come.

Great City would also like to issue special congratulations to the organizers of the Housing Levy, No on 1033, and Approve Referendum 71. As we stated in our Great City voters guide, progressive leadership is enabled when we give the government the tools to achieve our common goals of making Seattle a more livable, economically vibrant, and equitable city.

New Emails

As a household item, Great City has switched servers and we have new emails: Joshua Curtis can now be reached at Joshua@GreatCity.org and Paul Chasan can be reached at Paul@GreatCity.org.

Join Great City

To become a member of Great City, click here to see member levels and methods of payment. We appreciate your support!

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sunbeams

Hello Great City friends,

Members of the Great City board and other civic leaders were invited by Mayor-Elect, and former Great City Executive Director, Mike McGinn to provide some transition advice. We were asked to serve as ambassadors by reaching out to our networks and seeking advice for the incoming administration. Mike himself explains the intent here.

As some of the best thinkers on urbanism, land use and sustainability in the city, we wanted to invite all of Great City’s friends to participate. Click on this link and fill in the form. The transition team has asked that we have comments to them by Monday, November 23. In order to meet that goal, we ask that you have comments to us by Sunday, November 22 at 6pm. We’ll then synthesize and compile those comments and provide them to the transition team.

This is your first opportunity to help shape the incoming administration. We look forward to sharing what you have to say with the transition team. Let’s push them to build the Great City we all know is possible.

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Creating a New Bicycle Culture

BikesCopenhagen

Continuing along with our recent theme of Copenhagen sustainability envy, we are posting another report written by our friends at International Sustainable Solutions (www.i-sustain.com), a local non-profit that strives educate urban professionals and decision makers about the best sustainability practices happening around the globe.

I-Sustain has loaned some reports documenting some best practices from their recent sustainability tours that took place in, Copenhagen. This report on the city’s bike infrastructure looks at what sorts of policies and programs Copenhagen has undertaken to achieve its phenomenal bicycle culture. Currently, 32% of the city’s workers commute to work by bike .

Here is a link to the report Creating a Bicycle Culture pdf-icon (small PDF).

Note: Copenhagen bikes photo from the Vancouver Sun