EastPAC is dependent on both the Central Area District Council (CANDC) and East District Councils to communicate to our constituents. The East District Council in particular is at risk due to the Mayor's actions as reported in the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
Citing a lack of equity, Mayor Murray has chosen to preempt the city council by attempting to flatten and replace the existing district council system. This was just days before a response was due from the Department of Neighborhoods (DoN) on the council’s statement of legislative intent. For years the city has failed to address or implement even one of the twelve recommendations of the City Auditor’s 2009 report that sought to address the lack of engagement and inequity in the system, and to top the disgust off, the mayor’s press conference displayed an appalling and shocking lack of diversity. Many in the community described being “blinded by the white” (click here or on the photo at the right ro enlarge it) by the group of supporters who appeared on the stage with Mayor Murray. The City Neighborhood Council and the district councils have long been frustrated by a lack of action by the city to improve equity and engagement and now are feeling disenfranchised in what has been characterized as retaliation for not supporting the mayor's pet projects. Blaming volunteers for the city’s failure to engage is certainly not going to bring more people to the table. Rather than being an effort to increase engagement and voice, it appears to be an effort to divide and conquer communities who might question the mayor's proposals.
The only thing we really know for sure at this point is the Mayor wants to replace a bottom-up, grass roots, small-d democratic process with yet another hand-picked commission, with appointees, that are supportive of the Mayor’s efforts. Even with no formal announcements, rumors and allegations of a quid pro quo system are rampant.
Despite the Mayor’s stated intentions, many in the Central Area are concerned that his actions will result in additional disparity for those most at risk in our community. Please contact Councilmembers Sawant, Burgess, and González. Tell them this process is happening too fast and with no transparency or community input.