Letter from Gordon: A Look Back at 2018

MarkAndHighFivesOnPPBLSeattle_large Thank you for being a part of our people-powered movement. And what a year it’s been for this boisterous, can-do coalition! Together we have won hard-fought victories and weathered some setbacks over the past year, and I know that we will accomplish even more in 2019 because people like you care, and make change possible by giving your time, energy, and financial support. In 2018, we faced a number of new challenges. The new mayor has scrapped or slowed important biking and transit projects — some of which still hang in limbo. The City Council, having failed to implement a new progressive source of revenue to pay for city priorities, siphoned funding that would have gone to build more sidewalks around schools. Emboldened by an increased pessimism about the role of government as an effective way to solve societal problems, neighbors who value car-parking above all else have actively organized campaigns against bike lanes in three parts of the city. In this era of division and civic pessimism we have found the best way to make change is to build and maintain relationships and bring people together around shared values and priorities. community package hearing april 18 2018 cropped By uniting formerly competing efforts, we were able to win $83 million in walking, biking, parks, and affordable housing investments through the Community Package Coalition.

A group of people surround a man with giant scissors cutting a ribbon in front of a new crosswalk.

By coordinating the advocacy of transportation and environmental groups through the MASS Coalition we have been able to cut through the media noise and bring pressure to bear on the mayor. It’s time for the administration to move beyond words and act on our city’s transportation and climate needs with the urgency this moment calls for.

And of course, by empowering our neighborhood chapters all over Seattle we won a number of walking and biking projects across the city -- such as a pilot for our Home Zone solution to make streets without sidewalks more walkable, the longest neighborhood greenway in Seattle history, and much more (see our current newsletter for more community success stories). While we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish together in 2018, despite the headwinds, we know that 2019 needs to be a year of action so that we can all enjoy a city that is safe, sustainable, equitable, and convenient to walk, bike, or roll in. Thank you for helping us accomplish so much in 2018, and here’s to a bright 2019! Thank you for all you do, -- Gordon GordonHeadshot-seriousGordon Padelford, Executive Director Seattle Neighborhood Greenways