All are invited to join the Seattle Human Service Department’s (HSD) community forum series on its new Safe and Thriving Communities Division. This new division will respond to community requests for the City of Seattle to shift funding away from traditional police response, and reinvest in community building efforts using nearly $22 million in annual investments. Through the community forums, you will learn about options to direct the work of the new division. Namely, design a hiring process for the new division director and a community structure that shares responsibility for decisions and outcomes.
Community is the core of this work. Establishing the division’s structure, function, and leadership, cannot happen successfully without community making critical decisions in partnership with HSD. Your leadership now and in the years ahead will allow HSD to fund community support so that all people living in Seattle are free from violence.
2020 elevated a number of long unaddressed needs from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. This stems from the strong community advocacy efforts that unfolded over time and this summer. Community advocacy originally created HSD and we are well positioned to work with community members in supporting safety in Seattle and addressing racial inequities.
We heard the desire to invest in BIPOC communities, social services, and alternatives to policing. The Mayor intends to guide $100 million a year in support of BIPOC communities. In addition, Seattle City Council recently invested $14 million for community safety programs. The new Safe and Thriving Communities Division consolidates HSD’s existing funding for community safety and prepares HSD to administer new programs and funding opportunities. We need your help to do that.
How you fit in
This work, establishing the division’s structure, function, and leadership, has not been defined—and cannot be defined—without you. Your leadership will contribute to how HSD invests in safe and thriving communities in the years ahead. To make this happen, we ask you join one of the forums from the series and consider how we can work together to design this new division.
This a lot of information and we are sure you have questions about the details. These forums allow HSD to go deeper into the broader context and work from a whole picture approach with you. We want to be responsive to community and this is the first of many conversations we will have in the course of this effort.
Here are the details and RSVP information for the forums:
- Friday, November 6 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.
- Thursday, November 12 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.
- Friday, November 13 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.
- Monday, November 16 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
- Tuesday, November 17 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 impacts, these meetings will be facilitated virtually over WebEx. If you have questions about this announcement, trouble RSVPing for the forums, or in general, please reach out to Terri Croft at Terri.Croft@seattle.gov or (206) 247-2472.