Since the Central Area Block Party September 2014, the project team has been updating the 23rd Ave Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson) and Urban Design Framework based on community feedback. At the meantime, the 23rd Ave ACT, now called the 23rd Ave Action Community Team has evolved into a strong stewardship to implement the Action Plan.
The ACT was formed in early 2013, in the project planning phase, to work in partnership with the City and the community to hold the Central Area vision. The ACT helps balance the different interests of the community with the goal of developing a shared vision and Action Plan. The ACT has taken critical roles to:
- Advise City staff on key elements of the 23rd Ave Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson) project
- Review stakeholder input to ensure a balance of community interests
- Engage the wider community through targeted outreach to their interests groups
Starting late 2013, the ACT became the leading entity for implementing the Action Plan and oversees the action teams. Action teams are hands-on work groups/implementation bodies consisting of diverse community members. The action teams work with the community and the City to take on projects that create lasting change. ACT has successfully recruited over 110 action team members to turn passion into action.
Starting mid-2014, ACT defined its own needs and gaps, and recruited new members after broad outreach and solicited application from local organizations, community groups, stakeholders, business and property owners, local leaders, and activists. Currently, the ACT consists of 19 local leaders representing diverse ethnic background and interests, including economic development, built environment, youth, art and culture etc. Over half of the ACT members are African American.
In early March 2015, ACT had its annual retreat, where it discussed and decided its future. A Race and Social Justice training was conducted and the ACT identified issues and needs for the future of the ACT and Central Area. ACT also developed its mission statement and charter and guiding principles to strengthen its organizational structure and capacity. The mission statement was defined as below:
“The 23rd Avenue Action Community Team (ACT) is a diverse group of Members working together to support the legacy, betterment, and livability of the Central Area of Seattle.”
As a result of the retreat, the ACT has strong ownership of the Action Plan. ACT is determined and committed to be the group to hold the diverse voices of the Central Area and implement the Action Plan. It has truly evolved into a strong stewardship for the 23rd Ave Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson) and the Central Area.
The ACT has been doing a lot of great work with the action teams and the community to implement some priorities of the Action Plan. For example, the ACT was awarded Neighborhood Park and Street Fund in 2013 and 2014 and Only In Seattle grants in 2014 and 2015, a total of over $200,000 funding. The Business Action Team is currently pursuing a technology matching fund award to develop a community website and business directory for the Central Area.
To learn more about the 23rd Ave ACT and the 23rd Ave Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson), visit our project web page.