Seattle Police Chief O'Toole to Speak at Jan. 6 SLU Community Council Meeting

SOUTH LAKE UNION – The South Lake Union community will welcome Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole for a neighborhood conversation at the South Lake Union Community Council's Tuesday, Jan. 6 meeting beginning at 4 p.m. at the Museum of History and Industry. A one-time Boston police commissioner and former inspector general for Ireland's national police force, Chief O'Toole will share her vision for public safety in the City of Seattle and the importance of community policing in Seattle neighborhoods as a part of the meeting hosted jointly by the South Lake Union Community Council and Chamber of Commerce.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole (left), speaks after being introduced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray as his nominee to be Seattle's new Chief of Police, May 19, 2014 in Seattle. (Photo:  AP/Ted S. Warren)

"The South Lake Union community is especially honored to welcome Chief O'Toole to our neighborhood," said South Lake Union Community Council president Mike McQuaid.

Chief O'Toole was appointed in May 2014 by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and confirmed in late June by the Seattle City Council.

She has already set ambitious markers for herself and the some 1,300 SPD officers including a pledge to craft a policing plan "for every neighborhood in the city" within 30 to 60 days of her confirmation.

Speaking at a South End community forum this spring, Chief O'Toole shared her vision and expectations for working together with neighborhoods throughout the City.

"I intend to spend a lot of time in the neighborhoods," she said in a June 23 story. "I will expect my commanders to do the same."

Since her confirmation, McQuaid, along with other South Lake Union neighborhood leaders have responded enthusiastically to the Seattle Police Department's outreach.

Together with West Precinct community police team's Sgt. Paul Gracy and Officer Sam Cook, neighborhood leaders have already been working to strengthen the flourishing neighborhood's bonds with community police team officers.

Activities have included hosted public safety meetings in South Lake Union and nearby Cascade along with the inclusion of a regular public safety discussion topic at community council meetings.

"Chief O'Toole is a genuine, neighborhood-minded leader who understands our communities from the bottom up," McQuaid said. "Her vision for community engagement and trust building is exciting for not just South Lake Union but the entire City of Seattle.

Chief O'Toole is a career police officer and lawyer who has earned an international reputation for her principled leadership and reform strategies.

In 2012, she completed a six-year term as Chief Inspector of the Gardia Síochána Inspectorate, an oversight body responsible for bringing reform, best practice and accountability to the 17,000-member Irish national police service.

Prior to serving in Ireland, Chief O'Toole rose through the ranks of local and state policing in the United States. During her police career, she was assigned to numerous patrol, investigative, undercover, supervisory and management positions.

She served as Superintendent (Chief) of the Metropolitan District Commission Police and Lieutenant Colonel overseeing Special Operations in the Massachusetts State Police. She was later appointed Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety (1994) and Boston Police Commissioner (2004).

Chief O'Toole is among a number of City of Seattle officials to join the South Lake Union Community Council for community discussions this year. Among them are Seattle City Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Tom Rasmussen, Washington State Representatives Brady Walkinshaw (D-43rd) and Gael Tarleton (D-36th) while King County Councilmember Larry Phillips recently participated in the South Lake Union and Cascade neighborhood walking tour.

To learn more about the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole, please visit the Seattle Police Department website.

WHAT:       South Lake Union Community Council (January Meeting) WHEN:      Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 – 4 p.m. WHERE:    Museum of History and Indudstry (860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 at Lake Union Park) HOSTS:      SLU Community Counciland SLU Chamber of Commerce

About The South Lake Union Community Council

The recognized South Lake Union neighborhood leadership organization by the City of Seattle, the South Lake Union Community Council is the steward of the SLU neighborhood plan and collaboratively with community stakeholders authored theSLU Urban Design Framework and the SLU / Uptown Mobility Plan. The South Lake Union Community Council meets monthly (4 – 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month) at the Museum of History and Industry in South Lake Union. To learn more visit

South Lake Union Public Safety Update

Join the South Lake Community Council and Sergeant Paul Gracy of the Seattle Police Department's West Precinct Community Police Team for a neighborhood public safety conversation during our regular meeting, at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 5 at the Museum of History and Industry in Lake Union Park. This is an opportunity for to weigh in on public safety in the neighborhood and ask questions about how you can play an active role in crime prevention and keeping your South Lake Union neighborhood safe.

What: South Lake Union Public Safety Update Where: South Lake Union Community Council Regular Meeting at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) When: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 (4 p.m.) Who: Sgt. Paul Gracy, Seattle Police Department Community Police Team, South Lake Union Community Council, South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce Why: Meet you Seattle Police Department – West Precinct Community Police Team / Weigh in on public safety concerns / Learn how you can play an active role in keeping your South Lake Union neighborhood safe.

Learn More: South Lake Union Community Council

Seattle Department of Transportation Launches New Construction Hub Coordination Team

With all of the ongoing construction in South Lake Union, have you ever been frustrated by a traffic lane closure when it looks like nothing is taking place there? Or when walking, found yourself at an intersection and unable to cross the street because of a crosswalk closure? Or while on your bicycle, seeing the bike lane suddenly blocked with heavy equipment and a sign saying "Bikes Merge With Traffic" without much notice? Wouldn't it be nice if projects were coordinated and managed to minimize mobility impacts on our community? I think so!

The Seattle Department of Transportation thinks so, too. SDOT recently announced its new Construction Hub Coordination Team to work with communities to actively manage and minimize cumulative impacts: South Lake Union is one of these identified construction hubs according to Brian DePlace, SDOT Right of Way Manager. DePlace presented to the SLU Community Council last month and shared some of the team's 2014 objectives including:

  • Providing resources via a Hub Coordination website
  • Coordinated construction maps of hub areas
  • Fact sheets with updated construction schedules
  • Education to prepare travelers
  • Collaboration with business owners, community members and other stakeholders to ensure the best mobility possible.

South Lake Union's site coordinator, Ken Ewalt, encouraged community members to contact him each time they see an issue so he can document and address the concern. You can reach him at

Looking Out for Road Safety in SLU

When I'm on my way to or through our South Lake Union neighborhood, getting where I'm going safely is important to me. And given all the hustle and bustle on our city streets, being attentive to safe travel—regardless of mode of transportation— is more important than ever. In fact, for your South Lake Union Community Council's transportation committee, it's a priority!

In September of 2013, our community partnered with the City of Seattle, PATH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UW Medicine and others to pilot a Road Safety Forum launching our City's Neighbors for Road Safety.

Neighbors who attended learned about safety hot spots in and around South Lake Union, the circumstances that contribute to crashes, and what we can each do to improve our safety and the safety of others in our community.

"Whether you are a driver like I am, take the bus or streetcar, ride a bike, or walk, it's important that people understand how to look out for each other," said my colleague and South Lake Union Community Council president Mike McQuaid at a recent Seattle City Hall press conference announcing the initiative. "This program will help us all be more safe."

This year I'm encouraging each of you to help our transportation committee build on the South Lake Union/Uptown Mobility Plan as we partner with the City of Seattle and local organizations such as Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce and others to facilitate this important conversation around mobility and safety in our community.

Please join me in bringing your ideas and concerns to the February 4th South Lake Union Community Council meeting at MOHAI. Or, if you would like to be further involved with improving safety and a part of the transportation dialogue in our neighborhood, please e-mail me today.

See you in the neighborhood!

Robbie Phillips Transportation Committee Chair, South Lake Union Community Council

Next Meeting

WHAT: South Lake Union Community Council Monthly Meeting

DATE: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2013

TIME: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m

WHERE: Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) 860 Terry Ave. North, Seattle, WA  98109

GETTING THERE: Walk, pedal or ride the Seattle Streetcar to the Lake Union Park stop. Public parking available through City of Seattle paid street-side parking.


Be Super Safe in SLU!

Join us September 12th at 5:30 p.m. at the South Lake Union Discovery Center to help kick off SLU's exciting Look Out for Each Other street safety campaign.

On an average day on the streets of Seattle there are 33 collisions involving people walking, biking, or driving. These crashes snarl traffic and create real headaches for everyone. Crashes are costly, requiring a significant use of public resources. But the biggest impact is on the crash victims—their families, health care costs, lost wages, increased insurance premiums.

And yet, 90% of these collisions are preventable. By whom? By all of us— if we would simply Look Out for Each Other. By taking personal responsibility for our preventable behaviors like speeding, moving about while distracted and operating bicycles and cars and scooters while impaired, we would reduce the risk to ourselves and one another. The city's 2012 Road Safety Summit Action Plan is moving into Seattle neighborhoods through the Be Super Safe public awareness campaign—South Lake Union is leading the safety parade!

"Growth is coming so fast in South Lake Union—the Community Council is committed to guiding development of this neighborhood to create a liveable, sustainable and safe community for all of us to enjoy, whether as employees, residents or visitors," notes South Lake Union Community Council board member Robbie Phillips.  "However we choose to move about in the South Lake Union neighborhood—whether on foot, pedaling a bike, riding the streetcar or driving a car—we must be thoughtful and predictable in our behaviors."

The Be Super Safe Road Safety Forum kicks off its citywide tour on September 12 at the Discovery Center with interactive presentations to raise awareness about what's happening on our city streets, including information about new roadway features like bicycle boxes, collisions in our neighborhood, and the top safety tips for all modes of transportation. This is the information you need to know to Be Super Safe on our street.

"Road safety is a significant public health issue and has been a priority of my administration," notes Mayor Mike McGinn. "Too many families are impacted every year by collisions that are entirely preventable. I encourage people to come out and learn about what you can do that will be most effective in reducing fatalities and serious injuries on our streets, whether you choose to travel on foot, by bike, by transit, or by car."

Since we all have a right to use our streets and sidewalks safely, no matter how we choose to get around, it's time we start looking out for one another – building a culture of empathy. The father pushing the stroller across Westlake might be your co-worker; the young woman biking to her Cornish dorm room on 7th Avenue could be your daughter or sister; and the couple driving home to Capitol Hill might be you and your partner. If you knew these folks personally, you would surely give them a safe distance to cross, turn or pass. Well, guess what? You do know them, because they could be you!

Let's learn to Look Out for Each Other in the coming South Lake Union Be Super Safe presentation on September 12 at the Discovery Center and show the City once again that SLU leads the way in livability!

Be Super Safe:

For more information, click here.

Health Care for SLU

The SLU neighborhood is growing with great places to live, work, eat and play. But where do you go if you need healthcare? A new amenity in the neighborhood—Swedish South Lake Union Primary Care – is now serving the medical needs of the people that live and work here. "We recognize that people have a fast-paced schedule with busy lives, and we are doing as much as we can to support them," said Tommi Rainey, clinic administrator.

The new 14,000-square-foot facility, located at Boren Ave. N. and Mercer, features primary care and a walk-in clinic and has extended hours to serve patients before or after work. "A lot of intention went into the clinic design," said Rainey. "It is very nice to work in an environment that is calm, grounded and beautiful."

The primary care clinic offers internal medicine, family medicine, pediatric care, adolescent care, annual physicals and preventive screening. "This clinic is unique—offering a care team approach designed to enhance the patient experience. Each

Exam Room provider has their own dedicated staff and strives to ensure the patient sees the same team each time they come in," explained Rainey. "We recognize that people are getting lost in the shuffle and missing the personal touch of having a relationship with their doctor."

Swedish SLU also offers a walk-in clinic for patients to receive same day services for common ailments. “The walk-in model serves the acute needs of the community. It offers the same-day, immediate service that people need," Rainey said.

The Swedish Medical Group has 17 primary care clinics, with the SLU location being the newest and the first one with a walk-in clinic. "Swedish is very excited to be here in the in South Lake Union neighborhood," said Dr. Warren Fein, medical director for primary care clinics. "This is in line with Swedish’s mission to deliver healthcare to the community."