Mid-Year Program Updates!

Streetscape in Redmond WA, featuring a red floral mural

Wow, we’re already halfway through 2023. Now that we’ve officially reached the summer solstice, we wanted to give some short updates on what Futurewise staff are up to around the state.

East King County

Futurewise’s work in East King County continues full speed ahead with major Comp Plan decisions looming over the next year. There are currently three main areas of focus:

  • Providing staff capacity for policy conversations between diverse organizational stakeholders to build agreement housing affordability policies in Eastside cities. Futurewise supports an approach to housing affordability that balances the urgent need to produce housing to address the regional supply shortage while also using an analysis-supported framework to maximize housing affordable to middle- and low-income households in developments.
  • Mobilizing and building up grassroots supporters and coordinating advocacy in Bellevue as the City contemplates a preferred alternative for their 2044 Comprehensive Plan Update. We believe that public decisions should be informed by the full community, not just those who have traditionally had the privilege to participate in public processes.
  • Reviewing and commenting on the early stages of Comprehensive Plans in Eastside cities, especially regarding housing, transportation, and climate change.

Futurewise Staff Member: Brady Nordstrom, Eastside Program Coordinator

Port Angeles

Over the last several months, the Water Fish and Wildlife Program staff have been busy working to wrap-up the deliverables for the NEP grant funding GreenLink Port Angeles, setting the stage to pursue the daylighting of lower Valley Creek and possibly other Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects.

An in-depth Feasibility Assessment of creek routing options was completed, and the Advisory Committee selected their preference, and after months of research, writing, editing, and formatting, the Draft Valley Creek Master Plan was sent out for review. The Master Plan attempts to tell the complex history of this urban watershed while sharing the vision and potential for restoring salmon habitat, water quality, and fostering community revitalization.

Futurewise Staff Members: Susannah Spock, Water, Fish, and Wildlife Program Manager, and Nicole Harris, Water, Fish, and Wildlife Program Coordinator

Everett

As Sound Transit prepares to extend its light rail network to Everett, Futurewise staff are working closely with communities along the rail line that are at risk of being displaced. The Casino Road neighborhood of Everett is home to one of the highest concentrations of immigrants from Central and South America. The neighborhood is known throughout the region as a shopping destination, a cultural hub, and an affordable place to live. Futurewise is providing technical assistance to Connect Casino Road, one of the neighborhood’s community-serving organizations, as it advocates for a light rail station that will minimize displacement pressure on the local residents and businesses. In June, the Sound Transit Board of Directors voted to study three station alternatives for this neighborhood and to forgo selecting a preferred alternative—two process outcomes that will create a solid foundation for anti-displacement advocacy in the next phase of the project. Sound Transit will now begin preparing an environmental impact statement for release in 2025; the station itself is not expected to open until 2041.

Futurewise Staff Member: Tiernan Martin, Livable Communities Program Manager

Seattle

Along with cities and counties across the Puget Sound region, Seattle is updating its comprehensive plan for the next twenty years of growth. Futurewise, in partnership with the Housing Development Consortium and a diverse group of other organizations, has formed the Complete Communities Coalition in order to amplify our advocacy and organizing power throughout the update process. The coalition plans to build awareness around the comprehensive plan and to push the City to tackle the inter-related challenges of climate change, housing unaffordability, and racial inequity. The City will kick off a round of community engagement this September when it publishes its draft environmental impact statement and asks the public to share their feedback on it. To learn more about the comprehensive plan or to get involved, sign up for our coalition’s mailing list at the Complete Communities Coalition website: https://www.housingconsortium.org/policy/complete-communities-coalition/

Futurewise Staff Member: Tiernan Martin, Livable Communities Program Manager

Spokane

Futurewise’s Spokane Office has been facilitating the Shaping Spokane Together Housing Coalition since April 2022. Since March of this year 11 organizations have signed our letter calling for housing action from Spokane City Council on in support of these four policy priorities.

  • Passing the permanent implementations of Building Choices and Opportunities for All (BOCA)
  • Inclusionary Zoning
  • Increasing the number of accessible units in Multi-Family Buildings
  • Creation of a Proactive Rental Assistance Fund

At our June meeting we discussed campaign strategies around the creation of a Proactive Rental Assistance Fund. Work continues on increasing the number of accessible units in Multi-Family Housing and we are excited how these two programs will effect thousands of families in Spokane. We also hosted a testimonial training for people to learn how to share their personal narrative with decisionmakers. We’re building power across Spokane for action on housing affordability!

Futurewise Staff Member: Michelle Pappas, Spokane Program Manager

Mid-Year Program Updates!

Streetscape in Redmond WA, featuring a red floral mural

Wow, we’re already halfway through 2023. Now that we’ve officially reached the summer solstice, we wanted to give some short updates on what Futurewise staff are up to around the state.

East King County

Futurewise’s work in East King County continues full speed ahead with major Comp Plan decisions looming over the next year. There are currently three main areas of focus:

  • Providing staff capacity for policy conversations between diverse organizational stakeholders to build agreement housing affordability policies in Eastside cities. Futurewise supports an approach to housing affordability that balances the urgent need to produce housing to address the regional supply shortage while also using an analysis-supported framework to maximize housing affordable to middle- and low-income households in developments.
  • Mobilizing and building up grassroots supporters and coordinating advocacy in Bellevue as the City contemplates a preferred alternative for their 2044 Comprehensive Plan Update. We believe that public decisions should be informed by the full community, not just those who have traditionally had the privilege to participate in public processes.
  • Reviewing and commenting on the early stages of Comprehensive Plans in Eastside cities, especially regarding housing, transportation, and climate change.

Futurewise Staff Member: Brady Nordstrom, Eastside Program Coordinator

Port Angeles

Over the last several months, the Water Fish and Wildlife Program staff have been busy working to wrap-up the deliverables for the NEP grant funding GreenLink Port Angeles, setting the stage to pursue the daylighting of lower Valley Creek and possibly other Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects.

An in-depth Feasibility Assessment of creek routing options was completed, and the Advisory Committee selected their preference, and after months of research, writing, editing, and formatting, the Draft Valley Creek Master Plan was sent out for review. The Master Plan attempts to tell the complex history of this urban watershed while sharing the vision and potential for restoring salmon habitat, water quality, and fostering community revitalization.

Futurewise Staff Members: Susannah Spock, Water, Fish, and Wildlife Program Manager, and Nicole Harris, Water, Fish, and Wildlife Program Coordinator

Everett

As Sound Transit prepares to extend its light rail network to Everett, Futurewise staff are working closely with communities along the rail line that are at risk of being displaced. The Casino Road neighborhood of Everett is home to one of the highest concentrations of immigrants from Central and South America. The neighborhood is known throughout the region as a shopping destination, a cultural hub, and an affordable place to live. Futurewise is providing technical assistance to Connect Casino Road, one of the neighborhood’s community-serving organizations, as it advocates for a light rail station that will minimize displacement pressure on the local residents and businesses. In June, the Sound Transit Board of Directors voted to study three station alternatives for this neighborhood and to forgo selecting a preferred alternative—two process outcomes that will create a solid foundation for anti-displacement advocacy in the next phase of the project. Sound Transit will now begin preparing an environmental impact statement for release in 2025; the station itself is not expected to open until 2041.

Futurewise Staff Member: Tiernan Martin, Livable Communities Program Manager

Seattle

Along with cities and counties across the Puget Sound region, Seattle is updating its comprehensive plan for the next twenty years of growth. Futurewise, in partnership with the Housing Development Consortium and a diverse group of other organizations, has formed the Complete Communities Coalition in order to amplify our advocacy and organizing power throughout the update process. The coalition plans to build awareness around the comprehensive plan and to push the City to tackle the inter-related challenges of climate change, housing unaffordability, and racial inequity. The City will kick off a round of community engagement this September when it publishes its draft environmental impact statement and asks the public to share their feedback on it. To learn more about the comprehensive plan or to get involved, sign up for our coalition’s mailing list at the Complete Communities Coalition website: https://www.housingconsortium.org/policy/complete-communities-coalition/

Futurewise Staff Member: Tiernan Martin, Livable Communities Program Manager

Spokane

Futurewise’s Spokane Office has been facilitating the Shaping Spokane Together Housing Coalition since April 2022. Since March of this year 11 organizations have signed our letter calling for housing action from Spokane City Council on in support of these four policy priorities.

  • Passing the permanent implementations of Building Choices and Opportunities for All (BOCA)
  • Inclusionary Zoning
  • Increasing the number of accessible units in Multi-Family Buildings
  • Creation of a Proactive Rental Assistance Fund

At our June meeting we discussed campaign strategies around the creation of a Proactive Rental Assistance Fund. Work continues on increasing the number of accessible units in Multi-Family Housing and we are excited how these two programs will effect thousands of families in Spokane. We also hosted a testimonial training for people to learn how to share their personal narrative with decisionmakers. We’re building power across Spokane for action on housing affordability!

Futurewise Staff Member: Michelle Pappas, Spokane Program Manager

Meet Brooke Frickleton, Deputy Legal Director!

  Futurewise is thrilled to welcome Brooke Frickleton to our team as our new Deputy Legal Director! Brooke will be working with our long-time staff attorney, Director of Planning & Law Tim Trohimovich, on the upcoming comprehensive plan updates. Tell … Continue reading

Kate Brunette
April 22, 2024

March 2024 Executive Director Note – The Seattle Comprehensive Plan Needs Your Help

I have a rule at Futurewise: don’t focus on Seattle. There are so many great places across the state where important planning decisions are being made. Many of those places and decisions get too little attention from the media and … Continue reading

Marcella Buser
April 1, 2024