Thanks to those who came to, and supported, the Central Area Block Party held on Sept 27, 2014. It was a huge step for moving the 23rd Ave Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson) forward! The purposes of the Block Party were to:
- Seek community feedback on the Action Plan, urban design framework (UDF), and rezones
- Introduce the 23rd Ave Advisory Core Team (ACT)
- Build community energy and ownership in implementing the Action Plan
- Strengthen community unity and engagement
- Provide updates on the SDOT’s 23rd corridor improvement and greenways projects
About 1,000-1,500 participants from the Central Area and other areas came together to enjoy amazing music, performances, local food and restaurants, and arts. They also came to meet their neighbors, ACT members, and local organizations, and to learn about, and provide feedback on, the plan recommendations. Many participants mentioned that they haven’t seen such a diverse, inclusive, and engaging community event in the Central Area for decades, and they would love to see this become an annual event.
The Block Party implemented some of the community’s great ideas captured during the Action Plan planning process. For example, it:
- Provided a great community gathering opportunity where everyone felt welcomed and comfortable
- Marketed and promoted local businesses, artists, and organizations, and provided them an opportunity to meet and network with each other
- Engaged a broader community in the planning process
As a result, it energized more community members to be part of the Action Teams to implement the Action Plan.
Many participants were very curious about the Action Plan, UDF and rezones, and provided us with a great amount of valuable feedback. Top issues we heard are: affordable housing, especially for the very low income households; affordable commercial spaces for local businesses; preserving the African American heritage; and the impact of displacement/gentrification. We have compiled all the comments we received from the Block Party. We are evaluating and considering these comments, and updating the Action Plan, Urban Design Framework, and rezone legislation.
To learn more about what the 23rd Ave Action Plan, visit our project page here www.seattle.gov/dpd/cityplanning/completeprojectslist/unionjackson/