Print this Page  
City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: City’s leadership program graduates new class of civic organizers

5/21/2014  12:00:00 PM
Christa Dumpys (206) 684-4812
Lois Maag  (206) 615-0950

City’s leadership program graduates new class of civic organizers
Congratulations to the 26 graduates of People’s Academy for Community Engagement

SEATTLE – On May 20, 26 “up-and-coming” community leaders celebrated their graduation from the People’s Academy for Community Engagement, a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON). Known as PACE, the nine-month program provides leadership training in community involvement and civic engagement to emerging leaders interested in serving their community. Deputy Mayor Andrea Riniker, City Councilmember Sally Clark, and Bernie Matsuno, director of DON, attended the event at Seattle City Hall along with family members, community leaders, and city staff.

The graduating class represents all sectors of the city and more than half are from historically underrepresented communities. “This PACE experience, along with their personal understanding of the opportunities and challenges of various cultures, will make their efforts to engage others in civic processes extremely successful,” said Bernie Matsuno, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “The graduates will strive to ensure that ALL people have a voice.”

In addition to attending sessions held at Seattle University, the participants had monthly homework assignments and put their skills to the test as they worked collaboratively on community-based projects which were presented at the celebration. A PACE graduates describes her experience with the program. “What I really have gotten out of the program is what it means to be an American,” said Muriel Lawty, one of the PACE graduates.  “Government is us! It’s all of us together finding ways to make it work. PACE really brought that home to me, and has given me the skills and inspiration to go out and do ‘neighborhood’ work.”

Information about PACE and future seminars which are open to the public will be available later this year. To learn more contact Wendy Watson at 206.684.0719 or visit

2014 PACE Graduating Class

PACE Graduate - Organization/Community Group
Matthew Anderson - Senior Housing Assistance Group Resident Council
Eileen Canola - Victory Heights Community Council
Angela Davis - African American Community Advisory Council
Lloyd Douglas - Cascade Neighborhood Council
Jim Erickson - East District Council
Dinorah Flores - South Park Information and Resource Center
Alexis Gallegos - Greater Duwamish District Council
Connor Haffey - Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce
Yemaya Hall-Ruiz - ELLA (Empowering Latina Leaders in Action)
Amanda Kay Helmick - Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council
Michelle Hippler - Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
Katherine Idziorek - Uptown Alliance
Cheryl Klotz - Community Gathering Space Movement
Michael Lanthier - Squire Park Community Council
Muriel Lawty - Lake City Neighborhood Alliance
Damaris Pearson - Leo Street P-Patch
Andrea Perr - Roosevelt Neighbors Alliance
Tod Rodman - Morgan Community Association
Paul Sivesind - Ballard District Council
Mark Temmel - Mt. Baker Community Club
Julianna Tesfu - GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully)
Jodee Thelen - Seattle Housing Authority
Olu Thomas - Central Area Cherry Street Development
Jennifer Tippins - Seattle Chinatown International District PDA
Ralph Weathers - Fremont Neighborhood Council
Shelby Weitzel - Seattle Public Schools Family Connectors

# # #

Back to News Release Home Page and News Release Search