Duwamish Valley Program Annual Update 2021

End-of-Year Progress Report

View of Mt. Rainier and Duwamish river from South Park Bridge

Overcoming Challenges & Building Opportunities Together

It is no secret the last couple of years have been extremely challenging. But, due to the incredible grit, perseverance, and community leadership, we have overcome many challenges and built opportunities — togetherIn this update we describe some the Duwamish Valley Program’s highlights from 2021.

Throughout the years, the South Park and Georgetown communities have identified priorities and developed plans in collaboration with volunteers, universities, non-profits, philanthropic entities, and government agencies, many of which are led by communities of color and low-income communities and thus ensure that racial and social justice are front and center. None of these efforts would be successful without the many community members who contributed countless hours of volunteer time and labor to improve their neighborhoods and help deliver projects and programs. To all of you, THANK YOU! 

Since 2016, the City of Seattle’s Duwamish Valley Program and Duwamish Valley Action Team (DAT) have worked to create positive change in the Duwamish Valley and build a more just and equitable city. Despite encountering many obstacles and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DAT continued to work collaboratively to break silos, use an intersectional approach, and build partnerships with community, other agencies, and philanthropic organizations to deliver on the actions included in the Duwamish Valley Action Plan.

We would like to share some highlights from 2021

2022 Duwamish Valley Package of Investments

The City’s 2022 budget included one of the largest packages of investments since the release of the Action Plan in 2018 (approximately $9 million). These investments will expand youth leadership and capacity building, fund essential improvements to community gathering spaces, improve mobility and access to greenspace and the Duwamish River, improve air and environmental quality, and support local businesses and workforce development. Many of these were supported by and will be aligned with Seattle’s Green New Deal.

COVID-19 Relief & Response

The Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) supported 12 women- and BIPOC-owned small businesses in Georgetown and South Park with technical assistance and/or four rounds of protective supplies and gear. Additionally, in partnership with community-based organizations, we supported more than 100 South Park and Georgetown families and individuals with rental assistance, utility payments, emergency grocery vouchers, and healthcare costs. 

Reconnect West Seattle

The unexpected closure of the West Seattle Bridge dramatically impacted the Duwamish Valley communities. In 2021, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Department of Neighborhoods (DON) worked with South Park and Georgetown community members to identify, design, and implement traffic calming and pedestrian safety projects to mitigate for the bridge closure. Among other things, together we planted 100 street trees each in South Park and Georgetown; established Home Zones in both neighborhoods; built a new sidewalk and finished the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center interim crossing signal to provide safer access to those visiting the Longhouse and people walking and biking on the Duwamish Trail; and many other things.  

Duwamish Valley Resilience District

OSE, the Office of Planning & Community Development (OPCD), and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), launched, paused, and re-launched our efforts to establish a Resilience District in the Duwamish Valley. While delayed, we made progress last year, including hiring Equitable Future to lead community engagement efforts and Environmental Works as the landscape architecture firm to support the design and implementation of two pilot projects (i.e., Unity Electric site planning in South Park and improvements to 8th Ave. S in Georgetown). In the next few weeks, we will begin broad community engagement. Stay tuned for more information.   

And there’s even more!

In 2022 and 2023, many of these projects will go from planning and design to construction, so you will be seeing on-the-ground improvements.  

We look forward to continuing working with you to advance environmental justice, equitable development, and climate and community resilience in the Duwamish Valley. 

Thanks for your ongoing support!

Seven Priority Areas

Healthy Environment

Healthy Environment

Goals include increased health of and amount of tree canopy cover and other green infrastructure, improved outdoor and indoor air quality, decreased incidence of asthma, and increased access to affordable, healthy, and culturally-acceptable foods in the Duwamish Valley.

Parks & Open Space

Parks & Open Space

Goals include maximizing existing parks and open spaces, improving access to the Duwamish River, addressing open space disparities, and ensuring Duwamish Valley residents - particularly communities of color, immigrants, refugees, Native peoples, and people with low incomes and disabilities can enjoy high-quality places to recreate and access nature.

Community Capacity

Community Capacity

Goals include centering the experiences of Duwamish Valley residents and their increased ability - particularly BIPOC, low-income, and other marginalized communities - to meaningfully influence the design of and participate in decision-making processes regarding City policies, programs, and services for the Duwamish Valley.

Mobility & Transportation

Mobility & Transportation

Goals include increased development of non-vehicular mobility options to achieve a safe, connected, and accessible Duwamish Valley, including safe walking and biking connections and  improvements to freight mobility and transportation access that do not conflict with the residential community.

Economic Opportunity

Economic Opportunity & Jobs

Goals include increased health of and amount of tree canopy cover and other green infrastructure, improved outdoor and indoor air quality, decreased incidence of asthma, and increased access to affordable, healthy, and culturally-acceptable foods in the Duwamish Valley.

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

Goals include increased access to low-income and affordable housing that do not promote improvements that ultimately displace current residents, ongoing support of the Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition, and promotion of affordable commercial spaces, equitable development, and anti-displacement.

Public Safety

Public Safety

Goals include increased investments to promote safety measures while also proactively recognizing and mitigating the institutional and systemic issues related to over-policing of communities of color, low-income communities via the use of excessive force and racial profiling.

Sustainability and Environment

Jessyn Farrell, Director
Address: 700 5th Avenue, #1868, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA, 98124-4729
Phone: (206) 256-5158

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