Downtown Seattle Association Endorses Prop. 1

Seattle business leaders stress the need for transit investments and street maintenance to keep local economy moving

SEATTLE – The Downtown Seattle Association this week announced their endorsement of Seattle Prop. 1.

“Each day, more people commute to their jobs in Downtown Seattle on transit than any other way, and that number is growing,” said Kate Joncas, President and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association. “To keep Seattle moving and Downtown competitive, now is the time to make investments that will make our buses faster and our roads safer. Improving our transportation system is crucial to the health of Downtown Seattle and the entire city’s economy. Prop. 1 is our opportunity to make getting around Seattle and downtown easier, faster and safer.”

Designed by a citizen panel, Prop. 1 would implement at $60 annual license fee in Seattle for 10 years to fund these critical transportation investments. Half of the funds raised by Prop. 1 would be dedicated to transit ($100 million over 10 years), helping buses in Seattle move up to 20 percent faster and more reliably. If passed, the measure would also invest $59 million into repaving, repairing and maintaining Seattle’s streets over a 10 year period, doubling the amount of street repairs Seattle would be able to makeannually.

In total, Prop. 1 would raise $204 million over 10 years to pay for faster transit, road maintenance, and pedestrian and family-friendly bicycle infrastructure.

“Getting people to work quickly and conveniently is good for our economy and good for our businesses,” said Craig Benjamin, Co-Chair of Streets for All Seattle. “Prop. 1 will help thousands of people get to their jobs faster, and the DSA’s endorsement speaks to the business community’s commitment to investing in the efficiency of our buses and the safety of our roads.”

The Downtown Seattle Association is a non-profit member-based organization dedicated to ensuring Downtown’s health and vibrancy through advocacy, economic development and marketing, as well as a variety of commuter and neighborhood cleaning, hospitality and safety services. Their endorsement comes as the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and Martin LutherKing County Labor Council have also recently endorsed, building on the growing and diverse coalition of organizations, businesses and individuals supporting Prop. 1.

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www.streetsforallseattle.org

Paid for by Streets for All

PO Box 599

Seattle, WA  98111

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In May, each family at my son’s school picked a week to volunteer at the school’s garden during summer break.  We selected late July and I put it on my calendar with a bit of apprehension.  I’ve never been much of a gardener and I worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it or really have the time to invest.

The school garden's greenhouse.

Our week came and my husband, son and I walked the quarter-mile trek to the school.  As we rounded the corner of the building, we saw a sea of green just off the parking lot.  I found a map in the greenhouse that described which veggies were planted in which rows.  There were gloves for weeding and watering cans.  After a quick inspection of the garden, we got to work.

The school garden.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the cost of eating healthy.  My family of three lives off of a single income and we try to stick with a pretty minimal food budget.  Yet we want to eat real food – organic produce and dairy products, quality meats, minimally processed foods.  I’d like to eat the full spectrum of veggies and fruits in the grocery store’s aisles, but my budget means I usually select the bag of broccoli, some organic lettuce, and apples and call that good.

This week is different.  The garden is full of a variety of lettuces.  There are radishes, leeks, chives, kale, chard, and potatoes.  There are budding blueberries, strawberries, rhubarb, and raspberries.  There is so much to harvest right now that we have eaten meals from our garden harvests for the past few days – at no cost.  We made vegetable soup, eggs with chives, an apple/rhubarb pie, fresh raspberry whipped cream, and salad.  I’ve added raspberries to my morning yogurt.  I’ve been eating raspberries to my heart’s content and there is still a bowl in my fridge with at least $5 worth of berries, had I purchased them from the store.

My son showing off our bags of produce. He actually ate that chive, too!

In addition to our luxurious dining habits of the past week, I’ve also enjoyed the time we spend at the garden.  It is a different type of family activity for us.  As we pick raspberries together and pull weeds, we can connect in a way that isn’t as easy when we’re at home with distractions and interruptions.  Life seems to slow down while we’re at the garden.

Community gardens, like our school’s patch, offer significant benefits.  Neighbors can come together and grow their own food – spurring social interaction and saving money while encouraging healthy eating and providing for urban green space.  This website provides a wealth of information on community gardens.  As I had hoped, my picky-eater six-year-old son has taken to picking actual vegetables out of the garden and putting them in his mouth.  It’s shocking and exciting for me.  He has tried more veggies this week than during the past few years.  And he even likes some of them!

Belltown P-Patch in Seattle, WA (photo by Flickr user studio-d via Creative Commons license)

Seattle has had its P-Patch program since 1973.  Currently, P-Patches cover twenty-three acres throughout the city.  According to a 2007 survey, over half of gardeners in Seattle’s P-Patches are low-income and over three-quarters do not have access to gardening space at their residence.  The waiting lists for P-Patches, especially in dense neighborhoods, can be as long as three years.

In my quest to feed my family on our limited budget with a diet of healthy and hopefully local and organic foods, I am convinced that neighborhood gardens are an important part of the solution.

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Are you planning or thinking about a Greenway in your neighborhood? Meet with Neighborhood Greenway organizers from across Seattle (Ballard, Beacon, Wallingford, University, NE) at a dinner potluck meet-up Wed, 9/14 6:30-8:30pm. Mosaic Den 4401 2nd Ave NE in Wallingford (behind Dick’s on 45th)   http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=159675627448629

Speakers: Frederica Merrell of Beacon BIKES presents tips on organizing and success stories for community organizing. Seattle City Council Member Sally Bagshaw reflects on political organizing.


Hold the Date!: We just found out yesterday that Greg Raisman & Mark Lear (the “dynamic duo” behind Portland’s Neighborhood Greenways program) will make a public presentation, while they’re in town for an SDOT visit. Thursday 9/22 @ 7:00 PM at Savery Hall Room 264 on the University of Washington campus. RSVP at: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=105586422882727

If you’re interested in plugging into the Neighborhood Greenways network, you can join the google group at  http://groups.google.com/group/seattle-greenways-organizers

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Labor Day Weekend, September 3-5, 2011
11am – 8pm @ Center Square (between the EMP and the Space Needle)

Schedule

• All weekend, Johnnie Olivan of Rejuiced Bikes is offering rides on his Bike-Carts
• Julia Field of Undriving.org will be issuing Undriving Licenses™ all weekend
• The LIV/DIY craft table designed by Cheryl dos Remedios will be open all weekend
• Peter Reiquam’s Walk and Roll will be on display with artist demos from 1:00 -5:00 on Saturday and 2:00-6:00 on Sunday
• meadow starts with p (MSWP) will provide impromptu demos of the mythical bicycle on Monday
• aLIVe short films are being screened at SIFF Cinema onSunday from 1:00-1:45

aLIVe@Bumbershoot is hosted by Great City and sponsored by 4Culture and One Reel. All activities are FREE thanks our sponsors and crew of fabulous volunteers!

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