Know Your Board

Your Neighborhood Council

The Squire Park Community Council is a community organization for all people from 23rd to 12th, and from Union to Jackson,  --- homeowners, renters, students, young, old --- all are welcome.  The council can help your voice be heard in local government. SPCC can be a place for you to get to know your neighbors and build community dozens of different ways.  Check out one of the quarterly meetings, including the next one on July 9 where the major “task” is to have fun.  (10 AM, at Centerstone.) The SPCC board meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month.  (7:00 PM.  Frequently at the Seattle U. community room, 824 12th Avenue.  Location can vary so check SPCC Web site.) All are welcome. 

To learn a little bit more about the council, meet the president and vice-president of the board who responded to a few questions:

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Meet Your Board: Board President, Rahael Lassegue

Rahael Lassegue

Board President, Rahael Lassegue has lived in Squire Park 2 years and on the board a year and a half.

Q.Over 3,000 households in Squire Park get our SPCC Newsletter every three months.  Not everyone who gets the newsletter comes to a meeting.  What moved you to attend a SPCC meeting and to volunteer to be on the board?

A. friend of mine lived in Squire Park and after receiving a copy of those wonderful volunteer delivered newsletters, I asked her about it and she encouraged me to go. In terms of volunteering for the board, I did it because I really love the neighborhood I am a part of and it is a way to pay it forward.

Q.What would you like to see Community Council do for and in the neighborhood?

A.It would be wonderful if we could have more community based events (not just our spirited quarterly meetings) like neighborhood cleanups, book clubs, and block parties. With summer right around the corner and the concern of increased crime, bringing block watches back would kill many birds with one stone (social, crime prevention, etc).

Q.Two recent Seattle Times article about the "changing" Central Area quoted several people saying words to this effect:  "It (the Central Area) was friendly.  Its' different now.  People come down the block --- they look straight ahead and walk past They don't speak."  Do you find this to be true in your part of the neighborhood"?  Do you have any comment about that?

A.Here's the thing, Seattle has become a less friendly city over time and all of the neighborhoods are feeling the chill. It pains me that I while I am out and about some neighbors scowl and refuse to show any human characteristics, but it is what it is, they don't owe me anything.  I suggest that for those who feel the neighborhood getting chillier, take time to smile and say hello anyway. You'll occasionally be pleasantly surprised.

Something I've taken great notice in is that SP is filled neighbors that are passionate about our neighborhood and many take that passion to online forums (FB or Nextdoor). I invite you to bring your passion to our next neighborhood quarterly meeting. All of us on the board would love to meet you and learn what your concerns are and connect you with resources to assist you. In addition, neighbors who think the neighborhood has become less friendly have a home with the board of the SPCC.

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Meet Your Board: Board Vice President, Jack Holland

Jack Holland

Board Vice President, Jack Holland has lived in the Central Area for 8 years and has been a member of the SPCC board for 2 years.  

Q.Over 3,000 households in Squire Park get our SPCC Newsletter every three months.  Not everyone who gets the newsletter comes to a meeting.  What moved you to attend a SPCC meeting and to volunteer to be on the board?

A.I decided to attend my first SPCC meeting because I was curious to know what were the issues that concerned my neighbors. While reading the newspaper and staying current on the local blogs gave me a sense of the city-wide issues of the day, I was looking for a source of information for what was happening directly in MY neighborhood. Turns out--SPCC is that source! And so, I chose to volunteer because I had the time and willingness to pitch-in.  

Q.What would you like to see Community Council do for and in the neighborhood?

A.I would like to see the Community Council take a larger role in promoting and preserving public works of art. Between the vibrancy of Capitol Hill, the energy of Seattle U and Garfield High School, the gems that are Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Washington Hall and Pratt Center for the Arts--Squire Park is rich with artistic talent and immersion--SPCC strives to connect its neighbors with all artistic opportunities and events. 

In addition, I would like for there to be 100% safe pedestrian crossings in the neighborhood. Squire Park is a great place to go for long walks--but there are some busy streets that run through our boundaries. And, residents know best where the dangerous crossings exist. So, please bring your troublesome crossings to the attention of the council. We'll try to work with the City to get them fixed up.  

Q.Two recent Seattle Times article about the "changing" Central Area quoted several people saying words to this effect:  "It (the Central Area) was friendly.  Its' different now.  People come down the block --- they look straight ahead and walk past They don't speak."  Do you find this to be true in your part of the neighborhood"?  Do you have any comment about that?

A.Good Question. First, as transplant who was born and raised in the Midwest, I do not notice the antisocial behavior in my part of the neighborhood which the articles suggest. My neighbors on my block stop to say 'hello' and talk about each others' gardens. On the other hand, I fully appreciate the sentiment that the articles suggest: a change in character as a result of changing socioeconomic and racial demographics of the Central District--specifically the character of a historically black neighborhood. Understanding the history of the neighborhood is critical--in order for our Community Council to inform and educate our newest neighbors of the historical vibrancy of the neighborhood and to celebrate that history among our neighbors who have the deepest and longest roots. At a minimum, the Community Council serves to facilitate that conversation--the past meeting the present--and through that process, maybe neighbors stop to talk with one another. Maybe. 

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