Outreach and Engagement

Outreach and Engagement program is designed to increase access to information, resources, and civic processes for historically underrepresented populations on behalf of City departments.

Department of Neighborhood's Outreach & Engagement Efforts

As a city, we value the wonderful diversity of races, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations and socio-economic status that represent the people in our neighborhoods and business districts. To ensure that all voices of community members are heard, it is especially important that the city's outreach and engagement efforts are respectful and appropriate for everyone.

We do this work through the Public Outreach and Engagement Liaisons and our Neighborhood District Coordinators, a team of professionals located throughout Seattle who serve as resources and liaisons for community members. Together they assist other City departments in their outreach and engagement needs ensuring that City government provides information to all community members, forges connections, fosters relationships, and receives rich, diverse, and meaningful civic participation.

Historically underrepresented groups served by the Outreach and Engagement Program

  • Afaan-Oromo Speakers
  • African Americans
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives
  • Amharic Speakers
  • Cambodian (Khmer Speakers)
  • Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese Speakers)
  • Filipino (Tagalog and English Speakers)
  • Hispanic and Latino Communities
  • Hmong
  • Laos Community
  • Mien
  • People Living with Disabilities
  • Renters
  • Seniors
  • Small businesses
  • Somalis
  • Tigrinya Speakers
  • Vietnamese
  • Youth

Public Outreach and Engagement Liaisons

Public Outreach and Engagement Liaisons (POELs) are expert "bridge-builders" who are part of their respective cultures, are fluent in their respective languages, and are bi-cultural and bi-lingual. Outreach and engagement work is conducted in a culturally-specific manner allowing participants some comfort and familiarity while navigating the City's processes. POELs are also charged with providing:

  • Quality translations
  • Fair and equitable facilitation (in native language)
  • Simultaneous interpretation
  • Constituent support at City-hosted events
  • Feedback and expertise on cultural concerns and barriers
  • Accurate records and reports of participant feedback and concerns
  • Community workshops and events that parallel larger City-hosted meetings

POELs are contractors who are compensated for their work through an agreement between a fiscal agent and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. This arrangement creates a high level of neutrality and trust for the POELs as they work with community members.