Community Post

New city budget putting some neighborhood services at risk

Last week we told you how the Central District and surrounding areas fared pretty well in the lean new city budget, preserving existing levels of service in parks, police, and fire protection. But the folks at the Seattle Neighborhood Group have dug into the details and found that some of the programs they provide are at risk of being cut.

The Seattle Neighborhood Group is a social service agency that promotes public safety, helps people with addictions, and helps to organize neighborhoods to build stronger communities. Although they serve the whole city, their headquarters is on Yesler near 18th Avenue.

The mayor’s proposed budget cuts $60,000 in their community building contract, which they’ve used to fund park concerts, community barbecues, community gardens, and more. In an email, SNG’s Executive Director  Kay Godefroy says that they’ll be unable to continue those services in 2011 if the full cut remains in the final budget. She’s asking people to contact the city council and urge restoration of at least $30,000, which would be enough to continue at a smaller scale than in previous years.

But it’s not all bad news. The GOTS program, which works to take long-term drug addicts off the streets and into treatment, is recommended for full funding in the mayor’s budget. That’s the first time in recent years that the program has received mayoral support.

0 thoughts on “New city budget putting some neighborhood services at risk

  1. Please contact the City Council to advocate the restoration of the funds. During this time of cuts to public safety and social service programs, grassroots organizations, which facilitate community involvement in preventing and ensuring safety within their own neighborhoods are essential. It is much less expensive on many levels to actively involve citizens in preventing crime and promoting public safety at the neighborhood and precinct levels than it is to address each crime and safety issue one by one with no common understanding among the communities, the police, the prosecutors, and social services. Without this coordination the crime rate would likely climb and citizen anxiety regarding safety would increase. Fear, by itself, severely negatively impacts communities.

    Below is a list of the City Council members:
    Jean Godden Jean.Godden@seattle.gov
    Richard Conlin Richard.Conlin@seattle.gov
    Nick Licata Nick.Licata@seattle.gov
    Tim Burgess Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov
    Sally Clark Sally.Clark@seattle.gov
    Sally Bagshaw Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov
    Bruce Harrell Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov
    Tom Rasmussen Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov
    Mike O’Brien Mike.Obrien@seattle.gov

    Remember that SNG facilitates and supports the activities of East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition and coordinates meetings that include community members, the Seattle City Attorney and Seattle Police Department to address the many different strategies that make our community safer and more livable. Without this support the (EPCPC), a grassroots non-profit group established in 1989 would be severely challenged to be effective. As stated on SNG’s web site ( http://www.sngi.org/welcome/
    read more
    hp), “SNG’s role with the EPCPC is to provide community organizing and outreach expertise, general staff support, leadership development, and fiscal sponsorship.”

    SNG and EPCPC are necessary for programs such as the Drug Free Communities (DFC),a prevention program addressing needs of middle and and high school youth and their families, to be effectively supported by the community.

    SNG coordinates the First Hill/Capitol Hill Safety & Security Group, to ensure safety coordination among the security directors from Swedish Medical Center, Group Health, Harborview Medical Center, Virginia Mason, Northwest Kidney Center, Seattle Central Community College, and Seattle University.

    SNG supports the Drug Market Initiative and ensures that the community is updated.

    For more details visit: http://www.sngi.org/welcome/index.php

  2. So SPD has Crime Prevention Outreach coordinators and Seattle Neighborhoods claims to so something similar. Please cut this six figure amount that the city gives to SNG!

  3. Have you ever attended an East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition meeting?
    While the crime prevention coordinators were and are a piece of the community activities coordinated between SNG and SPD, the issues here are different. Crime Prevention Coordinators do not organize the East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition meetings where citizens can come together to advocate for and support a variety of strategies to increase the safety and livability of a neighborhood,or mediate broader community concerns. The first time I met a Crime Prevention Coordinator was at an EPCPC meeting. He was among a number of persons there to meet with the community.

    The East Precinct (SPD) lost their crime prevention coordinator position in this area and is currently sharing with another precinct.
    The crime prevention coordinator works with individual citizens, businesses, and block watch groups on security and safety issues. Most often these are very specific such as how to better secure individual property or in response to community concerns expressed at an EPCPC meeting. I’m sure that they also work with officers who become concerned about an individual property.

  4. I hope you mean “duplication” – “the action or process of duplicating something.”

    and not “duplicity” -“deceitfulness; double-dealing.”

    (definitions from Mac OS X dictionary)