John Pehrson

If you’ve been anywhere around the South Lake Union neighborhood over the past 8 years, especially in places where concerned residents are gathered, you have most likely run into John Pehrson.  From the early days of the neighborhood rezone to his current involvement in the Denny Substation project, John has been a tireless voice for all of the people who call this area home.  A resident of Cascade’s  Mirabella community, he has served actively on councils that help form and shape the heart and soul of SLU and has actively advocated for community input and pedestrian friendly gathering spaces which bring life to a neighborhood  Previously serving on the Cascade Neighborhood Council, John has most recently been involved in the SLU Community council, most recently as Secretary, and on the Cascade Park Activation Committee.

John’s impression of SLU today is that it is a dynamic and rapidly growing diverse neighborhood, with the many non-profit organizations, social service agencies, markets, restaurants and cafes, low income housing and life science organizations that make up the SLU neighborhood. He loves the energy and dreams that within five years, the Cascade neighborhood and all of SLU will continue to have open spaces, great streets and pedestrian-friendly, interactive sidewalks, biking and continue to foster the small business and residential neighborhood, built around Cascade Playground and the streets connecting the park to other parts of the neighborhood.

Those things are very evident whenever you talk with John, however, there are a few things that you may not know about him.  John worked for 33 years at Boeing, as an engineer on the Apollo Saturn Program, working on several spy satellites and strategic missiles. His involvement in local communities began way back when he was on the Bellevue School Board, 55 years ago.

John’s contributions to the community continue to be invaluable, as he is a very thoughtful, strong advocate, hard worker and a wonderful neighbor to many who have had the chance to work with him on many community projects.  He continues to be a wonderful example of those who make up the heart and soul of this ever changing neighborhood.

Patty Turnberg

Patty celebrating the new van recently donated by Boeing

Patty celebrating the new van recently donated by Boeing


What is her SLU connection?

Patty is the recently retired Executive Director of Immanuel Community Services (ICS).  ICS is based out of Immanuel Lutheran Church in the Cascade section of SLU.  They are able to utilize their facilities as “rent free” guests of the church.  They exist to provide services to homeless individuals and others in need through services including a food bank, men’s shelter, and hygiene center.  During her time leading ICS Patty has had the privilege of collaborating with businesses large and small as well as other area non-profits to insure that their community has access to resources and services.  Just recently she was able to celebrate with ICS the generous gift of a new van, donated by Boeing.  (see photos).  She has also been able to effectively build relationships with the many companies and non-profits that partner with ICS through volunteering, providing weekly meals, and support to homeless individuals living at ICS or accessing their services.

It is all of the amazing people she has gotten to know while working in the Cascade/SLU neighborhood, and collaborating with the Immanuel Lutheran Church that have made her time in the community so special.

What one word would you use to describe SLU?:



In 5 years I can see SLU …..  including a diverse population makeup, including many families, children, working groups, along with those working themselves out of homelessness, that can continue to be able to access services and call SLU home. In a city that is continually growing, that it would also continue growing responsibly and mindfully in regard to our most vulnerable populations.


What we might not know about her:  She just recently finished training to become a yoga instructor and she will be putting that to good use in her retirement.   Patty is looking forward to retiring and enjoying all the amazing things she loves to do in her free time, including traveling with her husband and helping her sister host French foreign exchange students.