SLU Community Council News - May 2014

Submitted by: Lisa Moore, Executive Director, Queen Anne Helpline

As we work, live, and play in our South Lake Union neighborhood we’re surrounded by rapid upscale development. In sharp contrast is what we often don't see - neighbors in need. The Queen Anne Helpline is all too aware of this need because every year, as a neighborhood social service non-profit, we provide financial and other basic needs assistance to thousands of residents living in South Lake Union, Queen Anne and Magnolia. Residents including seniors living on fixed incomes, working families struggling to make ends meet, and many others who lack a safety net during times of hardship. These are people we shop with, sit next to in the coffee shop and attend church with.

Over 30 years ago Dick Rhodes, who owned the Queen Anne Thriftway, saw seniors were coming into his store and purchasing pet food because they could not afford anything else. His shocking discovery and realization that there are people in need in our relatively affluent neighborhoods led to the creation of the Queen Anne Helpline in 1982. Thirty-two years later the Helpline continues to provide critically needed aid to our most vulnerable neighbors.

Every day at the Helpline we see how unexpected events like losing a job or a medical emergency can undermine the stability of local residents. Residents like Barbara, a 76 year old widow, who after living in the same apartment for 30 years found herself unable to pay rent after an unexpected increase. Or Gail, who after a life-threatening illness was forced to make a choice between paying medical bills or her utility bill. Partnering with other local agencies to leverage resources and maximize our impact, we work closely with clients to provide targeted, short-term assistance.

The Queen Anne Helpline's programs prevent 300 evictions every year through our rental assistance, ensures people stay warm through our utility assistance, provides 240 meals every weekend to feed hungry children in our public schools, supports individuals in continuing education or job training, and much more. We look forward to working together to continue making the South Lake Union community a vibrant and a humaneneighborhood. For more information please visit:

CWB Opens Workshop and Warehouse

The Center for Wooden Boats has announced the May 4th & 5th opening of the North Lake Union Workshop and Warehouse. The facility is land-based at this time, but the CWB hopes to build public access to the water in the future, to complete their vision for the Northlake Community Wharf. Help the CWB celebrate at the opening ceremony and tours on May 4th from 5:30pm – 7pm.  Community tours are also available on May 5th from 10am – 2pm.  For more information contact Dan Leach at The Center for Wooden Boats, 206-382-2628 x31 or

Improving Communication for Non-Profits

Non-profit summit South Lake Union is known as a home base for biotech, online retailers and global health. It also is home to over 40 non-profits—both large and small. Approximately 70 representatives from these organizations recently met for a networking forum, which provided an opportunity for the more established non-profits to share best practices and experiences with those that have fewer resources.

"I really enjoyed the information that was shared and I enjoyed the structure of the event," said Cyrus Khambatta, artistic director of Khambatta Dance Company. "I felt like I got to know the community of non-profits in South Lake Union."

The Improving Communication forum was delivered through an interactive peer-to-peer learning environment—as opposed to a formal structure of a speaker addressing the audience. Each table had a particular subject matter, guided by a non-profit expert. After the brainstorming session, a representative from each table reported their discussion to the entire group. Attendees agreed that the format created a supportive environment in which organizations could problem solve as a group and individuals could gather information that was tailor fit for their situation.

For those who were unable to attend the forum, the highlights from each table group follows:

Your Road Map: Crafting a Simple Communications Plan. Define the audience that you want to communicate to and identify tactics to use to reach that audience. Make a plan on who will do what and assign deadlines for that work.

Hyper Local: Delivering Your Message to a Highly Focused Audience. Start local when promoting; and remember the importance of person to person marketing.

Business and Underwriting Support: Communicating Support Opportunities to Your Audience. Craft a good elevator speech to define your organization and its mission.

Storytelling: Delivering Your Message in 30 Seconds. Tell a human-interest story—don’t just report the facts. Use every medium—written, video, audio and distribute items that are done for you. (for instance, when you are mentioned in the media)

Social Media: Simple Social Media Strategies Engage Your Audience. Develop a social media strategy to build the brand; and develop a social media policy. Focus on person to person connections.

Your Communication Toolbox: Tools for Presenting Your Organization Professionally. Prepare a toolkit that contains branded letterhead, annual report and hand outs.

Identifying Skilled Volunteers: They're out there, but where? Write a job description for each volunteer role; remember to thank volunteers.

Moderator Lee Schoentrup, Director of Communications at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute and also a Communications Instructor at UW Extension, left the group with some suggestions for future thought.

  • Always present your organization in a professional manner
  • Maintain consistent messaging and branding
  • Know your audience
  • Have a plan, stick to it, evaluate it, measure it, adjust it
  • Manage expectations—be realistic about possibilities
  • Be prepared—practice prior to speaking opportunities

Non-profit summit

The SLU Non-Profit Network was founded by Mike McQuaid and Pearl Leung, both of whom also serve as South Lake Union Community Council Board Members. To receive the latest information and to continue the conversation, join the SLU Non-Profit Network Facebook group.

Jackie Durbin, Director of Marketing & Communications at MOHAI, shares information with the attendees as Cyrus Khambatta, of Khambatta Dance Company, looks on.

Photos by Lifestring Photography

Enjoy the Holidays in SLU

Naughty, Nice or Nautical?Enjoy a nautical twist to your holiday celebrations with Cookies, Crafts & Carols, to be held on December 10 from noon to 4pm at Lake Union Park. It is your opportunity to board historic vessels such as the Tug Arthur Foss, Steamship Virginia V, Schooner Adventuress, Queen of Seattle and others; to decorate cookies and make hand-crafted cards and ornaments; and to enjoy music by the Village Carolers and others.

Virgina V

"The event is a combined effort of all of the vessels on dock to open their boats," said Dan Leach, with the Center for Wooden Boats (CWB). "It is a fun event for us and an opportunity for organizations to be introduced to more people." He added that the CWB will have their dock house open and pond boats available for sailing in the model boat pond.

The event is sponsored by the At Lake Union Park Working Group. Admission to the event and to board the vessels is free; some crafts and food items have a suggested donation. For more information, refer to the CWB website or the activities calendar at Lake Union Park.


Shop Locally With the holidays coming up and the Mercer construction continuing, remember retail businesses and restaurants are still open and easily accessible. "The construction has created a perceived barrier between north of Mercer and south of Mercer," said Tom Larvis, Executive Vice President of Operations for Schwartz Brothers, which manages Daniel's Broiler and Chandler's Crab House. Larvis explained that the occasional closures of the I-5 Mercer ramp, the lane closures and the street closures have also added  to the perception that SLU is difficult to get to. "The construction has confused people," said Larvis. He is working with other neighborhood businesses and the WA DOT to minimize the future disruptions as construction continues into mid-2013. In the meantime, support you local businesses—they are still very accessible.


Give Back with Your Talent, Donations or Corporate Sponsorship For over 30 years, SLU's Morningside Academy has been changing lives for students who otherwise are not successful in school. The private, non-profit elementary and middle school has 80 full-time students with learning differences, who benefit from the small class sizes and high academic expectations.

Morningside's annual gala and fundraiser will be held March 23 and they are currently seeking local talent to participate in auditions—the registration deadline is December 16, so don’t delay. Consult the auction website for an audition application, or to donate an item for the silent auction, or to offer corporate sponsorship.

What's New in SLU featured Morningside Academy in a previous issue.


Cascade Neighborhood Council Needs You

The Cascade Neighborhood Council (CNC) is looking for some great people, with great ideas and an ability to put plans into action. Nominate yourself or someone else by March 23, with elections in April for President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The CNC’s purpose is to create a forum through which residents, employees, business owners, and property owners can find common ground as they define and develop the community. Cascade mapThe boundaries of Cascade neighborhood, as defined by the CNC bylaws, are I-5 on the east, Denny Way on the south, Fairview on the west, and the Mercer St. interchange on the north.  If you are a stakeholder in this community, Dominick A. Lucia, Director of the Cascade Neighborhood Center, says that your help is needed and that the time is now to get involved.

"The upcoming executive team and council membership will be more relevant and inclusive than it has in the past in order to welcome the area's tremendous growth, to manage the challenges it brings, and to embrace ensuing opportunities," Lucia said.  The CNC will also be working with Lucia to manage the Cascade Neighborhood Center.

"The CNC is looking for a middle ground — we need a vital economy in order to preserve social services," said Lucia.  "We recognize that there is change and we want to use it to benefit the community."

Molly Franklin, resident, who serves on both the South Lake Union Community Council and the CNC, says that both councils are important for different reasons.  The CNC is a voice for a part of the South Lake Union (SLU) geographic area — but the Cascade area is historically significant.

"The character development of SLU needs to stand on the shoulders of Cascade, which is more rooted in a history of residents and people working together for the good of the place they call home," said Franklin. "The CNC is the democratic crossroads for that kind of activity and it stewards the community center where diverse people of the neighborhood can connect for the common good. Hopefully the community engagement in Cascade can spill over into SLU as it is developed."

If you are interested, you can attend the CNC meetings on the third Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Cascade Neighborhood Center at 309 Pontius Ave. N. You can also contact CNC through their website.

MOHAI Thrilled to Begin Construction

After successfully ratifying their agreement with the city, MOHAI is thrilled about moving ahead with the construction phase of the Naval Reserve Building (Armory) in Lake Union Park.  In January of 2011, construction crews will begin upgrading the building to museum quality standards, while preserving its significant historical attributes. The Grand Opening is planned for mid-2012 and will coincide with MOHAI’s 60th Anniversary of service to the community. MOHAI estimates that 120,000 visitors each year will tour the new Museum of History and Industry.

"We were so heartened and humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support for the museum," said MOHAI Executive Director Leonard Garfield, in regard to the public discussion during the recent dispute with the City of Seattle.  "The support was across the board – and frankly we were surprised by the breadth and passion of the support we received from people who said they believe in us."

The disagreement with the city is complex and there has been some misinformation. The one thing that Garfield wants to stress is that the monetary resources needed to transform MOHAI are coming from the state – not the city. No city money is being taken away from other projects to fund MOHAI.  MOHAI’s current Montlake location was needed for the State Route 520 floating bridge expansion project. The state compensated MOHAI for the property and expenses involved in relocation.

This summer Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn asked to renegotiate the plan when MOHAI received more state money than was expected from the mitigation negotiations. In September the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to hold the city to the original deal that allows the museum to receive up to $7 million from the state. "The money from the state was intended for MOHAI.  The city council clearly understood this," said Garfield.

The physical move is one part, but MOHAI is taking the opportunity to upgrade the museum as well. "Private fundraising will transform the museum into a whole new way of telling Seattle’s history," said Garfield.  The new space has 35,000 square feet in exhibit space, as opposed to 20,000 square feet currently, and there will be more multimedia and interactive exhibits. In addition to the permanent collection, the new space will also house a traveling gallery, with changing exhibits from other museums. For a sneak preview of the new space, check out this video tour.

In the meantime, the visitor experience remains robust at the Montlake location, which will stay open into 2012. MOHAI is dedicated to enriching lives by preserving, sharing and teaching the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region and the nation.

Welcome to PATH: A Catalyst for Global Health

In PATH’s new offices in the 2201 Westlake building, the large inscription, “We envision a world where health is within reach for everyone,” guides the work of the over 300 employees who occupy 3 floors and 112,000 square feet of office space.

PATH, the international nonprofit organization, moved their headquarters to SLU in January. Their mission is to improve the health of people around the world, by focusing on: emerging and epidemic disease, health technologies, maternal and child health, reproductive health, and vaccines and immunizations.

The new office space is innovative in design, offering small individual cubicles with multiple spaces for meetings and group collaboration.  In addition to housing the leadership and experts in various fields, PATH also contains a  laboratory and product development shop.

"PATH is very pleased to be in our new home in South Lake Union," said Eric Walker, vice president, Corporate Services at PATH. "Our new location puts PATH closer to our partners in the global health community and the region's leaders in research, health, and technology."

Come meet PATH at the SLU Chamber meeting

You have a chance to learn more about PATH at the February 17 SLU Chamber of Commerce meeting, held from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the REI conference room.  Ellen Cole, Director, Visibility and Marketing, will speak on “From Seattle to the World: The Story of PATH.” Cole increases PATH’s visibility as a leader in global health, leading the institution’s marketing efforts, and directing the range of its online communications.

"We are delighted to welcome PATH as another new world-class neighbor in the South Lake Union community, joining other innovators who call the area home," said Ada Healey, Vulcan's vice president of real estate.  "PATH will be a vital part of South Lake Union's creative class workforce that will help drive a new economic engine for our entire region, attracting new investment and jobs to the area."

PATH has offices in 28 cities and 19 countries and employs more then 800 people. PATH’s Seattle staff has doubled in the past decade, and the new offices leave room for growth.