© 2018 Seattle Parks Foundation

Seattle Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Tax ID: 91-1998597

A stone archway.

Lake City Multicultural Engagement

Working across the many cultures in Lake City to build community members’ capacity to participate in planning and development efforts that affect them

Project Description

The Lake City neighborhood, and especially its Little Brook community, have experienced rapid population growth and an increase in ethnic diversity, including an influx of foreign-born residents. The newcomers are primarily renters, and many receive government assistance. Little Brook Park is the only park within a half-mile walk of nearly 4,500 people, of whom 23% are children, 45% are low income, and 51% are minorities. But many residents avoid the park due to contamination and safety concerns. Lake City Way bisects the neighborhood, severely limiting community building and safe pedestrian routes to schools. Many residents and minority-owned small businesses are at risk of displacement as new developments price people out. Indeed, many residents are recent transplants from other neighborhoods from which they were displaced.

Many public and nonprofit planning efforts aim to address these issues. But the neighborhood’s ethnic groups have not joined together in common purpose and have had limited involvement. Community leaders Peggy Hernandez, Cesar Garcia, and Tsegay Berhe formed the Lake City Collective to create a unified voice for these groups. They plan to cultivate grassroots leaders who can act as ambassadors to their respective communities, meeting residents in their religious institutions and businesses to engage them on their own terms. Once these lines of communication are established, the group will work to build consensus on and advocate for shared needs and goals that address a spectrum of issues, from economic development, affordable housing, and displacement to early learning and access to open space and recreation.