Equitable Development Initiative

Check out our EDI Stories!

For the past few years we have partnered with Black and youth filmmakers to show the positive impacts our EDI partners have made and continue to do despite changes in the economy, barriers in policy, and threats from the pandemic. Visit our new EDI Stories section and watch our videos to see why EDI is an important and integral part of Seattle.

What's Happening Now?

  • We placed a call out for new 2024 Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) Advisory Board members. For more information, visit our Advisory Board page or read our press release. Stay tuned for the new Advisory Board member announcement.
  • In September 2023 Mayor Bruce Harrell announced $9.5 million in awards to multiple EDI partners to support property ownership among Seattle’s diverse communities in neighborhoods at high risk of displacement. The EDI funding is intended to support community organizations for site acquisition and major capital projects, as well as capacity-building support to organizations that are still developing their plans for permanent homes in Seattle.
  • Mayor Bruce Harrell announced his 2023-2024 proposed mid-biennial budget adjustments, which include increases to funding for the EDI program to over $25 million in 2024.

Our Current Projects (as of August 2023)

AiPACE (Aging in Pace Washington)
At the to be acquired AiPACE senior day center and clinic, low-income, nursing-home-eligible Asian and Pacific Islander elders will receive culturally relevant wraparound services delivered through the evidence-based, nationally recognized Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a nursing-home-alternative health care model that fosters independence and choice for elders to age at home. Visit AiPACE on Facebook.

Arte Noir
Arte Noir, a Black-led, community-based non-profit organization, will purchase 3228 sq feet of retail space at the corner of 23rd & Union within the new Midtown Square development to reinvest in Black art and culture with a permanent gallery space, a new Black culture retail space, and a small recording studio. As an anchor owner in the development, this project will establish generational control and generate equity gains that will be used to expand investment in Black artists and culture makers in the Central District, once the center of Black life in Seattle.Visit Arte Noir on Facebook.

Black and Tan Hall
Finish construction of physical location of Black and Tan Hall in Hillman City that includes a cooperatively-owned restaurant, performing arts venue, and community gathering space. Build internal capacity of organization by hiring management team to develop systems and programs to sustain community-oriented and cooperative business model. Black and Tan Hall on: Facebook and Instagram

Black, Indigenous People of Color Sustainable Tiny Art House Community (BIPOC STAHC)
BIPOC STAHC's vision is to create a model that integrates affordable homeownership for low-income artists in order to prevent and reverse displacement of BIPOC artist within Seattle.

Byrd Barr Place
Byrd Barr Place in the Central Area will renovate the 100+ year old historic Firehouse with inclusive, accessible design to add 1000+ SF of community gathering space. The project will retain the building as a cultural asset for Seattle’s Black community and expand its services, which include energy assistance and home heating, housing assistance and eviction prevention, and food bank and home delivery. Byrd Barr Place on: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Casa Latina
Casa Latina will use capacity building funding to support a capital project feasibility assessment for affordable senior housing and a senior center in the Central District, catered toward the Latino community.

Central Area Youth Association (CAYA)
CAYA's new mixed use community center in the Central Area will accommodate growing programming needs as well as providing affordable homeownership opportunities to mitigate displacement of our community. 

Chief Seattle Club
Chief Seattle Club's ʔálʔal is a mixed-use project in Pioneer Square that will create more than 80 affordable apartment homes in addition to a health clinic, non-profit office space, and a cafe/gallery space. The project will focus on serving the homeless American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) population in Seattle. Chief Seattle Club on: Facebook and Instagram.

Cham Refugees Community
Construction of an upgraded, 12,000 square foot community center at their existing location in southeast Seattle. Development will be sharia-compliant and expand programming for youth, the elderly, and disabled members of the community. Cham Refugees Community on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube

Community-Owned Resource Development
EDI funds will loan up to $1.2 million dollars to black developers at a 1-3% interest rate until the project is completed. The purpose of this fund is to increase access to funding for black developers who often face challenges accessing traditional sources of capital. The idea of creating a loan fund for black developers was born out of a need to address the lack of access to capital faced by black developers.

Central Area Senior Center
In 2020, after years of negotiations with the City, the Central Area Senior Center took ownership of the building where they serve as an African American institution and neighborhood gathering place for everyone in the Central District. They’re using EDI funds to provide long-needed renovations to their property that will expand access to their programs. Visit Central Area Senior Center on Facebook.

Daybreak Star Center
The United Indians of All Tribes Foundation is completing repairs and upgrades to Daybreak Star in Discovery Park to prolong the centers useful life and modernize the facilities. Daybreak Star Center on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube

Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA)
DNDA is currently undergoing a capital campaign and construction project, "Elevate Youngstown," to implement needed building improvements designed to ensure sustained access for people who visit the Youngstown Cultural Art Center for work, school, performances, classes and diverse community programs. The project aims to preserve and restore Youngstown as a building listed in the National Register of Historic Places and a designated City of Seattle Historic Landmark.

Duwamish Longhouse (Duwamish Valley Tribal Services, Duwamish Valley) 
Purchase of property adjacent to the Longhouse to support the continued viability of the cultural space. The current location has significant safety issues that affect the visitors attempting to access the Longhouse. Duwamish Cultural Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Donate: givebigwa.org/Duwamish.

Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition
Build the capacity of the Coalition and the South Park and Georgetown communities. The coalition has developed a 3-prong anti-displacement approach – preserving existing affordable housing; developing new affordable housing; and developing a multi-purpose building that provides community gathering space, childcare and affordable spaces for local non-profits. Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition on Facebook.

Ethiopian Community in Seattle Ethiopian Village
Southeast Seattle Redevelopment of existing community center into a mixed-use project including affordable senior apartments and an expanded community center. Ethiopian Village will serve multiple generations of the Ethiopian community. Ethiopian Community in Seattle on: Facebook and Instagram

Empowering Youth & Family Outreach
Empowering Youth and Family Outreach will be purchasing commercial space in Bellwether Housing's Rose Street II project, providing a permanent home for their programs in Southeast Seattle.

El Centro de la Raza
El Centro de La Raza's new development in Columbia City will have affordable housing units and ground floor childcare.

The Eritrean community In Seattle and Vicinity (ECISV)
ECISV has been an operational agency for the refugees and immigrants of Eritrea and East African descents in Seattle since 1983. ECISV plans to redevelopment their 75 year old community center in the Central District. The vision for new development will be co-developed through membership and broader community engagement. Visit ECISV on Facebook.

Estelita's Library
Estelita’s Library is a social justice community library and bookstore that uplifts and serves marginalized communities. Their mission is to decolonize space and knowledge, expanding their reach in Seattle, especially in Beacon Hill. They plan to acquire a property in Beacon Hill, serving as the library's headquarters while maintaining the Tiny House space in the Central District. The Freedom Cultural Center will be a dynamic, multi-use space fostering culture, community, and knowledge for historically marginalized individuals. Their ultimate goal is to build affordable housing that uplifts the community, staying true to their vision and commitment.

Fathers and Sons Together (FAST)
FAST is building capacity and working on a feasibility study to seek to buy or build a Resource and Outreach Center in order to expand FAST’s Next Generation Level Up program, a BIPOC-centered job readiness program for South Seattle residents ages 14-24. This program promotes economic opportunity through paid job training, providing pathways to living-wage career paths, and building on local cultural assets while enhancing cultural anchors.

Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS)
Construction of FCS' Filipino Community Village Innovation Learning Center and Community Gathering Space, which will house STEAM education for youth and young adults, health and wellness programs for seniors, cultural enrichment programs, and domestic and gender-based violence counseling. The project also includes 95 affordable senior apartment homes. FCS on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

First AME Housing Association (FAME)
FAME will development a 1,875 SF Pre-K facility within the redevelopment of Bryant Manor Apartments in the Central District. This early childhood education center will specifically serve low-income children who reside in and around the project. Up to 40 kids, ages 1-5 will benefit from a unique and culturally appropriate curriculum geared to teaching children of color, children learning English, and children from low-income families in a community-based setting.

Hip Hop Is Green
Hip Hop is Green's Cherry Street Farm & Lab is building a revolution in urban farming. They have installed a hydroponic farm and are building an education lab at the heart of Seattle's Central District. They want to every city across the country, starting in areas with limited access to fresh produce, to have their own Cherry Street Farms. Visit Hip Hop is Green on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

Hope Academy
Established in 2002, Hope Academy in South Delridge (HAS) is the only East African community-based K-8 school accredited by the WA State Board of Education. HAS serves 120 students and more than 400 East African refugee and immigrant families through their programs. EDI funds will help secure ownership of the property. 

House of Mkeka
House of Mkeka is a collective of eight Black family households committed to community organizing and development through a Black, queer, womanist and anti-racist lens. The House of Mkeka Village is envisioned to be a 100% Black owned “pocket neighborhood” designed in cottage style aesthetic located on a potential site in the North end of Seattle, Madison Valley and/or Central District/Africatown.

Khmer Community of Seattle King County (KCSKC)
KCSKC is currently seeking property to establish a Khmer Community Center. The Community Center will be a cultural hub and culturally responsive teaching platform to build trusting relationships, bridge intergenerational gaps, increase economic opportunity for Khmer Youth and young adults through employment and development of entrepreneurial skills. Having been displaced from their home in 2016, KCSKC hopes that the Khmer Community Center will help support SW Seattle and White Center as an epicenter for the Khmer Community. KCSKC on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

Kwanza Prep Academy (KPA)
KPA was founded in 2019 as an early learning, tutoring, and stepped up to address digital inequties during the COVID-19 pandemic, acting as a bridge between immigrant and refugee families and schools. KPA has been working towards a vision for a childcare center in the Rainier Valley to address education equity. The organization purchased a single family home in Rainier Beach with plans to renovate into a childcare center. KPA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Lake City Collective
Lake City Collective uses a community ambassador model to increase the ability for local communities to become self-determining. LCC seeks to establish a location in Seattle’s Little Brook neighborhood that would allow them to expand services and establish partnerships that would preserve existing affordable housing sites in the neighborhood and improve living conditions. Lake City Collective on Facebook

L.E.M.S. Life Enrichment Bookstore
L.E.M.S. Bookstore is the longest standing cultural hub and community gathering space for the African diaspora in the Seattle Metropolitan Area. This project will sustain the community work LEMS has committed to supporting reparative strategies that invest directly in communities of color. LEMS is located on a historical landmark and has been serving the Seattle community for nearly over 30 years and is at a high risk of displacement being in an area of the city that has, is, and is likely to experience more significant displacement pressure for any BIPOC owned businesses. The vision for this project is to prevent commercial and community displacement of LEMS so that an organization with such a strong reputation and history can stay in the neighborhood.

Little Saigon Landmark Project (Friends of Little Saigon, Chinatown-International District) 
A gathering place for the regional Vietnamese community in the Little Saigon business district. It will bring together the district’s cultural, shopping, and culinary aspects in a distinctive physical anchor. The mixed-use Landmark Project will include a cultural center, Southeast Asian grocery, Emerald Night Market, and restaurant. Each component of the development will reflect Vietnamese Americans’ rich culture, history, and future. The project is currently in feasibility and predevelopment. Friends of Little Saigon on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Midtown Center Africatown
Africatown Community Land Trust in the Central Area has partnered with Capitol Hill Housing and the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation to develop Africatown Plaza at Midtown – a seven-story, mixed use building with 5,000-8,000 SF of commercial space and approximately 130 apartments affordable to households earning up to 60% AMI. Africatown Seattle on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube
Multicultural Community Coalition (Southeast Seattle) 
The Multicultural Community Coalition (MCC) will anchor several community organizations serving Seattle’s growing immigrant, refugee and people of color communities by creating a community-owned and operated co-working space and an essential Cultural Innovation Center (CIC). The CIC is envisioned as a vital heritage and cultural arts venue which will house year-round, cultural events and activities as well as serving as a Creative Economy space in which artists, cultural nonprofits, and creative small businesses will produce and distribute cultural goods and services that generate jobs, revenue, and quality of life. 

Muslim Housing Services (MHS)
MHS is a culturally competent organization that provides scatter site transitional and permanent housing for homeless single and two parent families with dependent children, including non-traditional and extended families, and families with underage children. MHS works directly with transitionally homeless families with children, with limited English proficiency, who are refugees and second-generation immigrants presenting multiple barriers to accessing and maintaining stable housing. MHS is working to acquire a permanent office space in the Rainier Beach neighborhood to support their ongoing work to prevent and respond to displacement of their constituency. MHS on Facebook and Instagram.

New Hope Community Development Institute
New Hope Community Development Institute is partnering with LIHI to develop affordable housing with ground floor community space in the Central Area.

North College Longhouse
Support for Chief Seattle Club to develop a longhouse and cultural center in partnership with Bellwether Housing and North Seattle Community College on surplus property owned by Seattle Colleges. 

Nurturing Roots
Funding to support Nurturing Roots in their acquisition of the community garden and the Black Power Epicenter nonprofit space. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Opportunity Center @ Othello Square
Othello Square brings together multiple non-profit partners to pool their strengths in a community-focused campus. The Opportunity Center @ Othello Square includes non-profit offices, classrooms, cultural center, and maker space; 200 affordable and workforce apartments; and a mid-block public plaza for community use.

Queer the Land (Beacon Hill)
Queer the Land seeks to fund the capacity building resources that they need to create a QT2BIPOC-owned and operated cooperative in one of Seattle's historical communities of color to include affordable transitional and semi-permanent housing, co-working space, communal space, and a community garden. Follow Queer the Land on Facebook.

Rainier Valley Midwives (RVM)
RVM works to improve maternal health and birth outcomes for women of color, while also providing economic opportunities for health providers of color in South Seattle. RVM providers, clients, and community stakeholders created a vision for a permanent birth center to anchor their community and in 2021 RVM was able to purchase two adjoining sites in Columbia City that will eventually serve as the birth center. Visit RVM on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Royal Esquire Club
The Royal Esquire Club intends to continue improving their building to enable the continue the historic footprint in the community and provide a safe and modernized the place for the community to gather for meetings, parties, dinner and family & cultural events. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.

Refugee and Immigrant Family Center (RIFC)
RIFC mission is to provide a high quality part-time preschool experience for children ages 3-5 in a warm, nurturing, culturally relevant environment. RIFC prevented their displacement by purchasing their property, enabling the dual-language childcare program to continue to serve families and the community in Delridge. Follow RIFC on the Sound Child Care Solutions Facebook page.

Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda)
SCIDpda is a leading force for the economic health of Seattle’s Chinatown International District, implementing strategies that range from support for individual businesses to marketing the entire neighborhood’s lively retail and cultural environment. They are completing their new housing project at 13th and Fir as part of the overall Yesler Terrace Redevelopment strategy. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

Seattle Indian Services Commission
Feasibility support to assist SISC in scoping out the redevelopment of their current facility to create a mixed-use building with cultural space and affordable housing. 

Somali Health Board
The Somali Community Cultural Innovation Hub came out of the Graham Street Vision process as a response to displacement pressure and a study conducted by the City of Seattle that found that East African communities experience high rates of discriminatory practices when accessing programs and securing safe and healthy housing. The project is partnership between Somali Health Board, Somali Community Services of Seattle and Al Noor Center of Washington. This project will provide a culturally relevant space in Southeast Seattle that serves as a multigenerational health hub, senior housing community, cultural anchor, and community center for the Somali and East African community.

STEM Paths Innovation Network (SPIN)
SPIN plans to build an Innovation Center in Southeast Seattle that will improve access to low or no cost STEM workshops and programs for the community and schools. The Center will train emerging technologists and entrepreneurs; ready young adults for family-wage jobs; engage the imagination of youth from preschool through high school; and offer culturally relevant programming.

Tubman Center for Health & Freedom
The Tubman Center for Health & Freedom is currently slated to open its doors as a community health center in 2025, offering comprehensive Integrative Family Medicine and community programs. Tubman Health is a multifaceted health care system designed specifically to meet the health needs of communities of color and other marginalized groups. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network
The Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network is planning to work on repairs/remodeling of the current and initial staffing for project implementation at House of Constance. House of Constance is a new Black, Indigenous, Trans People of Color focused house in Seattle’s historic LGBTQ neighborhood (Capitol Hill), which will provide rent free housing for 8-10 community members, as well as necessary space for community gathering and organizing.

United Indians of All Tribes Foundation
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation is completing much needed facility repairs and upgrades to the Daybreak Star Center in Discovery Park. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.

Urban Black LLC
Urban Black LCC is developing a project to support its Legacy Program, which seeks to help preserve and grow the wealth of Black families through community-controlled real estate development.

Wa Na Wari 
Sited in a fifth-generation, Black-owned home, Wa Na Wari is an immersive community art project that reclaims Black cultural space and makes a statement about the importance of Black land ownership in gentrified communities. Creating a space for Black artists to gain income from performances and shows and support the cultural enrichment of the Central Area. Wa Na Wari will create an ownership model to convert single-family residences into cultural spaces. Follow Wa Na Wari on Facebook and Instagram.

West African Community Council
WACC partnered with EDI to purchase their community center building, allowing for greatly increased services to their community. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation Africatown
Create a space that supports small businesses, creative entrepreneurs and creating pathways to the knowledge-based economy. WGCCI will address community priorities and create career pathways that support entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development located in the Central Area, which will serve Seattle's historically Black community that has been and continues to face high risk of displacement. The WGCCI will create dedicated spaces for innovation and civic tech events that can draw people in from the street and serve as a tech epicenter near existing cultural and community assets. Africatown Seattle on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (The Wing Luke Museum)
The Wing Luke Museum serves as a cultural anchor and economic driver for the Chinatown-International District community. In 2021, the museum purchased the Homestead Home, the most intact remaining single-family home in the Chinatown-International District (CID), constructed in 1937 despite the Chinese Exclusion Act and discriminatory barriers to single family homes in the CID. The museum will restore and upgrade the Homestead Home in order to operate the space as an immersive cultural and historical experience. The property additionally includes an 8,300 square foot parking lot that The Wing intends to develop into a mixed-use building with affordable apartments and street-level community gathering space. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective
yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective has acquired a parcel of land within Seattle as part of their Land Rematriation project with the plans to create a community-led arts and food programming for Indigenous and broader BIPOC populations. This land would give those with broken relationships to the earth an opportunity to experience food and water sovereignty through sustainable, repetitive contact. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

The Youth Achievement Center (YAC)
The YAC is Africatown Community Land Trust's most recent project that we are developing in coalition with Community Passageways and Creative Justice in South Seattle adjacent to the Columbia City Light Rail station. The YAC will be a mixed use development providing emergency overnight housing, permanent affordable housing, and associated wraparound supportive services for Black and brown youth.

EDI Community Storytelling Projects

We are proud to highlight our EDI partners through community videos created in partnership with local filmmakers. Stay tuned for updates and additional stories that uplift our EDI partners' work in their respective communities and how their positive impacts will benefit future generations. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and watch our EDI playlist.

Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT)
ACLT was formed to acquire, steward and develop land assets that are necessary for the Black/African diaspora community to grow and thrive in place in the Central District and support individuals and organizations in retention and development of land. In this EDI partnership, ACLT has partnered with Capitol Hill Housing and the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation to develop Africatown Plaza at Midtown - a seven-story mixed use building with 5,000-8,000 square feet of commercial space and approximately 130 apartments affordable to households earning up to 60% Area Median Income.

Black-Owned Businesses in the Central District
This profile of three black-owned businesses in the Central District was created in 2022.

Byrd Barr Place
Formerly known as Centerstone of Seattle, Byrd Barr Place in the Central District nurtures an equitable Seattle by providing programs that enable people to live healthier, prosperous lives. They offer support for home heating assistance, housing assistance, healthy food access, and personal finance education to break the cycles of poverty. Byrd Barr Place also supports community engagement and partnerships to better understand the root causes of poverty and displacement in Seattle. The organization is named after Roberta Byrd Barr, a staunch advocate in Seattle Civil Rights movement who fought against school segregation.

Central Area Youth Association (CAYA)
CAYA was formed in the 1950's to organize and promote its youth football programs. In 1964, CAYA extended their services to provide education, recreation, and social development activities. Today, CAYA offers after-school tutoring, job readiness, art programs, and much more. Our EDI partnership will support CAYA's new mixed use community center to accommodate growing programming needs, as well as affordable housing to mitigate displacement of our community.

Cham Refugees Community of Seattle
The Cham Refugees Community of Seattle is a nonprofit organization has provided Islamic educational, social, and cultural relevant services to Cham and other ethnic minorities in South Seattle and South King County for over 30 years. The organization plans to upgrade their existing location in South Seattle into a 12,000 square foot community center. The Development will be sharia-compliant and will expand programming for youth, the elderly, and disabled members of the community. This video project was made to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month 2021, in partnership with AAPI youth filmmakers.

Friends of Little Saigon
Friends of Little Saigon was formed in 2011 to promote, plan, and advocate for their neighborhood, located in the Chinatown-International District. The Little Saigon Landmark Project seeks to address displacement amongst local businesses and development pressures due to rising rents. The facility will be a gathering place that will bring together the district's cultural, shopping, and culinary aspects in a distinctive physical anchor. The mixed-use project will include a cultural center, Southeast Asian grocery, Emerald Night Market, and restaurant. Each component of the development will reflect Vietnamese Americans' rich culture, history, and future. This video project was made to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month 2021, in partnership with AAPI youth filmmakers.

About the Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board provides guidance to the City on the implementation of the EDI to ensure that the program furthers the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative goals. The board implements the accountability goals of the Equitable Development Implementation Plan, develops funding criteria, and creates recommendations for the allocation of the EDI fund.

Meeting Notes and Agendas

2023 Advisory Board Members

Sophia Benalfew is an Ethiopian American born and raised in Ethiopia. She moved to the US in 2013 when she was transferred to the Head Quarters of Oxfam America in Boston. Sophia currently resides in Seattle and works for Ethiopian Community in Seattle (ECS) as the Executive Director. Since she joined ECS in 2019, ECS has grown to support more community members, especially providing critical support to underserved communities in a pandemic.

She believes in community based approach to development. According to her, the secret in designing and implementing sustainable and equitable programs is to recognize the wealth of knowledge in communities served and partner with them. Programs that respond to real needs of communities, implemented in a way that they believe is best and with meaningful feedback loops bring about sustainable changes regardless of their size.  

Before she joined ECS, Sophia worked for Oxfam and CARE in different capacities. While working for Oxfam, Sophia was a lead for a global program named R4 Rural Resilience based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and later on in Boston, Massachusetts. The program, implemented in four countries in Africa, has now become a major component of World Food Program’s Climate Risk Management Approach.

With CARE, Sophia worked as a senior Technical Advisor on Climate Change and Resilience.  As a member of the Climate Change & Resilience Platform, Sophia supported the design and implementation of various programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Sophia is married and a mother of three.  In her spare time she loves to dance and read paper books.

Diana Paredes is a native-born Ecuadorian who has called Seattle home since 2015. Prior to that she lived in Salt Lake City Utah where she spent much of her time working as a community organizer and policy advocate for humane immigration policy. Since moving to Seattle, Diana has worked with local nonprofits in applied research and evaluation focused on equitable development, civic engagement, and leadership development programs for underrepresented communities. Diana has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Washington. In her spare time, Diana loves to go for runs, dancing salsa, and trying her luck at gardening.

Kaleb Germinaro (he/him)is a Black-biracial man born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and has come to Seattle by way of Philadelphia where he went to the University of Pennsylvania to play football. Kaleb is a lover of dogs, plants/animals and photography. He explores healing through geography via spatial learning and identity development as a process of combatting geographic and spatial oppression. At the moment, he interacts with Seattle as a high school football coach, community educator, and member of Estelita's Library while engaging in conversations about land and power with the same focus on community and care.

Quanlin Hu is a community curator passionate about creating equitable and lasting values. Quanlin has over 15 years of professional urban planning & development experience in public, private and non-profit sectors with work ranging from affordable/market rate housing development, community planning, land use/development regulations, and design guidelines. Quanlin is currently a Development Manager with SRM Development and mostly focuses on managing all affordable housing development and building partnerships with community-based originations to maximize project outcomes. Prior to joining SRM, Quanlin was contracted with Mt Baker Housing Association (MBH) as a Development Manager on affordable housing projects that emphasized on Transit Orientated Development (TOD) and brownfield development in Southeast Seattle. Prior to involving in housing development, Quanlin was a Strategic Advisor with the City of Seattle from 2012 to 2019 that devoted her efforts on empowering and supporting historically underserved communities through planning, implementation, community advocacy and partnership building.

Quanlin received her Masters in City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University, and her Bachelors in Urban Planning from Wuhan University, China. She has obtained professional certifications including American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), LEED AP Neighborhood Development, Project Management Professional (PMP), and various certificates in Commercial Real Estate development and finance. Quanlin is currently a board member of Central Area Collaborative whose mission is to support and preserve Black/African American businesses, organizations and culture in Seattle’s Central Area. She has been a guest lecturer for University of Washington “Planning as a Professional” course for the past few years. Outside of work, Quanlin is most passionate about surfing, as a metaphor for life for fearlessly exploring, learning and improving.

Mark R. Jones is co-founder of Community-Owned Resource (Real Estate | Business) Development (CORD) with Curtis Brown developing real estate and business prototypes. Over forty-five years’ experience in leading, developing, and/or implementing effective place-based and virtual learning community development — including businesses, performing arts groups, sports clubs, think tanks, and co-housing developments. ED/Partner of Cooperative Organizations Opportunities Program for five years in the 1970’s — overseeing residential program (multi-generational housing | 5-Buildings), agricultural program, and economic portfolio (Food Cooperative | Music Cooperative). Over 35 years’ experience leadership and organizational development, performance optimization, cultural transformation implementation (diversity-equity-inclusion), and transformative technologies. Over 28 years' full-time professional experience, including 5 years full-time experience serving at a senior executive level — CEO / Executive VP / Corporate VP / CIO / CTO / CTA — in organizations with annual budgets of $100M or greater. Achieved over a billion dollars in cost savings, cost avoidance, and/or revenue generation. Former Chair United Way of King County Project LEAD; former At-Large Member — NAACP Seattle Chapter. Past Chapter Vice-President of Society of Manufacturing Engineers; American Society for Quality Seattle Geographical Community Past Chair of Member Networking and Past Vice Chair in the Human Development and Leadership division.

Jamie Madden brings a lifetime of experience to the work of affordable housing and community development. He grew up in affordable housing, and has worked as a developer, funder, and policy maker. Currently, Jamie is a principal of Madden-Kim Consulting a member of the 77 Stoop Collaborative. Jamie assists non-profit and local government clients in Washington and Massachusetts to resolve complex problems and to realize their development visions while centering both equity and feasibility.

Prior to co-founding the 77 Stoop Collaborative of consultants, Jamie directed Enterprise Community Partners’ Pacific Northwest Market office in Seattle, where he launched the Home & Hope initiative to transform public properties into housing and early learning centers and founded the WA Early Learning Loan Fund to create early learning centers. Jamie relocated to Seattle in 2016 from Boston, where as a real estate project manager at The Community Builders, Inc. he oversaw a variety of development projects including low-income, middle-income, and market-rate housing; new construction, acquisition and preservation; rental, homeownership, and retail. Two of his developments at TCB were recognized by awards from the Urban Land Institute and Novogradac as the best affordable housing developments of their kind, Charlesview Residences and A.O. Flats. Jamie was also responsible for writing and managing major federal grants for TCB including Choice Neighborhoods, Sustainable Communities, and Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Jamie has also worked for several community-based non-profits and served a term on the Massachusetts Board of Education. Jamie earned his Master of City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Swarthmore College in 2006, and the Truman Scholarship in 2005. He lives in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood and walks most places. His 3-year-old daughter loves the walking life as well and since 2020 has refused to attend any more Zoom meetings. 

Lindsay Goes Behind is a member of the urban Native American community in Seattle, comprised of over 300 Indigenous nations and about 90,000 people. Lindsay brings forward her traditional teachings and values in addition to her professional experiences to right the ongoing inequities throughout the city and rampant gentrification and commodification of housing and land access that leaves out LGBTQ2S+, low income, and communities of color in the pursuit of self-determination and prosperity. Lindsay believes the Equitable Development Initiative is a fantastic example of how government can and should work with community groups and members to bring their strategic vision, wisdom, and creativity forward when determining access to resources that are vital to combat the systemic support of land development, which seeks to build and contain wealth within a small sector of the population. Lindsay is proud to be a member of the EDI Advisory Board and aid in this work and provide a perspective that is often not included at tables such as this.

Abdirahman (Abdi) Yusuf has five years of experience working as an advocate and a community organizer for local community-based organizations. Abdi is also an active community member and appreciates the opportunity to give back by lending his advisory skills to a board like the Equitable Development Initiative. Abdi is highly experienced in community advocacy and organizing and education with a focus on low-income, immigrant, and communities of color in nonprofit and public sector settings on issues of education, civic engagement, affordable housing, land use policy, community based participatory planning and racial justice in policy making.

Evelyn Allen believes that being an Advisory Board member is the natural next evolution in her service to her community to insure that tangible resources and policy changes benefit BIPOC communities and their needs. There are specific service models and processes needed to be recognized and honored in addressing the historic trauma the BIPOC communities have lived through. Evelyn believes it is best that leaders from those communities assist our city to make wise and effective policy changes, resource investments, services and housing designs.

Willard Brown is a former director of Housing and Environmental Programs at the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) and continues to support the restoration of the Delridge Wetland as a volunteer and community member. Willard worked for over 30 years as a key employee and served as HOPE VI Property Management Administrator for Redevelopment at Seattle Housing Authority (SHA). Willard worked on the redevelopment of old Holly Park, Rainier Vista and High Point communities. Willard retired from SHA in 2010.

Willard has served on the Advisory Council for African American Elders. As a member of the EDI Advisory Board, he continues to fight for investments in infrastructure in all neighborhoods experiencing displacement of cultural, structural and environmental assets. Willard is the first elected Chair of the EDI Advisory Board.

Denise Perez Lally was born into poverty and raised in the West Side neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. At an early age she learned from her grandparents to honor “La Tierra Madre” (mother earth) and to honor our ancestors, a belief she continues to practice today. Ms. Pérez Lally began her career providing direct services to working families, immigrants and refugees, and children in the Latinx, Afro-Latino and African communities in Washington, Colorado and New Mexico. Denise was the first in her extended family to graduate from college as a proud graduate of New Mexico Highlands University. Her continuing education includes training from the People’s Institute, the Center for Creative Leadership, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and Centro de Estudios Lingüísticos y Multiculturales, in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Ms. Pérez Lally’s proudest accomplishments include being a team member to create income eligible-housing and providing supportive housing services to homeless families in Seattle and King County, expanding social services and youth programs for adults while centering racial equity. Denise Pérez Lally currently serves as the CoLEAD Program Director at P.D.A. (Purpose. Dignity. Action.) “My core values have led me to my life’s work of healing our community from generational trauma, oppression and racism, through love, compassion, and spiritual belief.”

Jennell Hicks has served King County residents for the last 23 years. She is an advocate and champion for vulnerable populations in King County. Jennell has a bachelor’s degree from Seattle University in Public Administration and a master’s in Social Work from Seattle University. She is active in the community participating on several boards and has been active in labor contract negotiations at King County on the bargaining team for the last three contracts. Jennell is passionate about equity and social justice and everybody being able to live their best lives in King County. Jennell enjoys working with community and making a difference through direct service and policy work. In her free times she loves being a Gigi to her three grandchildren, singing Karaoke and performing with live bands.

John Rodriguez is originally from the Dominican Republic, his family moved to New York City when he was a teenager, he fell in love with Seattle and has been living in the emerald city for the last five years. He is a full-time LGBTQ+ community advocate and human rights activist. As an advocate for social equity, equality and human rights for the past 15 years, John has served as human rights ambassador for the United Nations in the Caribbean. John has worked as Executive Director for different nonprofits in different countries, he has a professional background in business consulting, nonprofit development, communications, business management, travel industry management, marketing, marketing research and sales.

John has vast experience in board project advisory and consulting, for the last years in Seattle he has been involved with the Dominican Association of Washington State, an organization that he founded here in Seattle and has built a BIPOC network for promoting social justice and equity serving mainly BIPOC and underrepresented communities. He also served as co-chair of the Seattle LGBTQ Commission from 2019 to 2020 and served as Executive Director for the Seattle Chapter of Affirmation LGBTQ Mormons Families and Friends, an organization that supports LGBTQ members and queer ex-members of the LDS religious organization, and also founded the Dominican Chapter for this organization. He currently serves as remote Executive Director for one of the It Gets Better Project’s affiliates in the Dominican Republic and co-chairs an advisory committee for health providers for a local and regional health program serving the King, Snohomish and the Island counties. John has been leading a peer support group focused on spiritual and emotional support and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth in Seattle. John is fully bilingual in English and Spanish.

Equitable Development Monitoring Program

As outlined in the Equitable Development Implementation Plan, the Equitable Development Monitoring Program (EDMP) is an ongoing source of data and analysis to inform City policies, programs, and investments - and to aid work within communities - to reduce race-based disparities, advance equity, and combat displacement. The program includes:

  • Community Indicators Report: Based on concerns and priorities expressed by community members. Topics include housing affordability, neighborhood livability, transportation, and education and economic opportunity.

The EDMP also includes information on Neighborhood Change so that the indicators can be viewed alongside historical context and recent shifts in racial and ethnic demographics.

EDI Implementation Materials

The Equitable Development Initiative builds on the Equitable Development Implementation Plan and Financial Investment Strategy that were adopted by City Council in 2016 as part of our Comprehensive Plan – Seattle 2035. An interim advisory board helps determine criteria and priorities for Equitable Development funding.

Other documents related to Equitable Development and Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, which is the City’s commitment to eliminate racial disparities and achieve racial equity in Seattle.

  • Executive Order 2015-04: Directing the creation of a new executive office to coordinate planning and implementation to build thriving and equitable communities
  • Executive Order 2014-02: Affirms the City of Seattle’s commitment to the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), and expands RSJI’s work to include measurable outcomes, greater accountability, and community-wide efforts to achieve racial equity in our community.
  • Race and Social Justice in the 2017 Budget Provides an overview of the major citywide initiatives underway and specific projects and programs that will help create a more equitable city.

Equitable Development Zoning

On March 23, 2023, the Office of Planning and Community published a Determination of Non-significance (DNS) for a proposed suite of Land Use Code amendments intended to address regulatory barriers facing equitable development projects.

What is Equitable Development?

Equitable development means public and private investments, programs, and policies in neighborhoods that take into account past history and current conditions to meet the needs of marginalized populations and to reduce disparities so that quality of life outcomes such as access to quality education, living wage employment, healthy environment, affordable housing and transportation, are equitably distributed for the people currently living and working here, as well as for new people moving in.

The City's Equitable Development Framework involves integrating people and place to create strong communities and people as well as great places with equitable access. It also involves the following six equity drivers: 

  • Advance economic mobility and opportunity 
  • Prevent residential, commercial, and cultural displacement
  • Build on local cultural assets
  • Promote transportation mobility and connectivity
  • Develop healthy and safe neighborhoods 
  • Enable equitable access to all neighborhoods

Additional Background

Seattle has grown rapidly in recent years, but the benefits and burdens of growth have not been shared among our communities. Disparities persist in income, unemployment rates, homeownership and even life expectancy. Our plan for growth moving forward, Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, envisions Seattle as a diverse city where all people can achieve their full potential regardless of race or means.

  • The EDI addresses displacement and the unequal distribution of opportunities to sustain a diverse Seattle. The EDI fosters community leadership and supports organizations to promote equitable access to housing, jobs, education, parks, cultural expression, healthy food and other community needs and amenities.
  • Council approved an interfund transfer loan of $16 million to be used on EDI projects in advance of the completion of the Civic Square transaction.
  • In late 2016, directors and staff from multiple departments began working together to create the EDI program, including the EDI fund, and coordinate interdepartmental efforts to prevent displacement and advance mobility.
  • EDI Subcabinet Directors recommended the City invest $6.5 million in the four neighborhoods where the proposed place-based projects are located (Chinatown-International District, the Central District, Othello and Rainier Beach) for capacity building, pre-development, and capital investments. The initial investment would be based on project funding criteria that are being developed.
  • EDI Subcabinet Directors approved the release of an additional $5.5 million for up to seven additional projects through an open application process starting at the end of 2017.

Planning and Community Development

Rico Quirindongo, Director
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 94788, Seattle, WA, 98124-7088
Phone: (206) 386-1010

The Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) develops policies and plans for an equitable and sustainable future. We partner with neighborhoods, businesses, agencies and others to bring about positive change and coordinate investments for our Seattle communities.