Ed Murray, Mayor
SUBJECT: Seattle Youth and Families Initiative plans Community Caucuses
2/23/2010 9:30:00 AM
Elliott Bronstein (206) 684-4507
Seattle Youth and Families Initiative plans Community Caucuses
City seeks input from Seattle's diverse communities
SEATTLE - The five large group workshops for city residents to discuss the Seattle Youth and Families Initiative are underway - but that's not the only way you can participate.
The Youth and Families Initiative, announced by Mayor Mike McGinn during his inaugural address, will shape the city of Seattle's agenda on youth and family issues. The Youth and Families Initiative is committed to eliminating racial disparities in key indicators such as education, child care, children's health and the criminal justice system.
The Youth and Families Initiative plans to hold up to 100 Community Caucuses around the city between March 22 and April 30. These caucuses are part of the city's commitment to active involvement by Seattle's diverse communities and neighborhoods, including communities of color and immigrant and refugee households.
"I am pleased to serve as co-chair of the Youth and Families Initiative," said Estela Ortega, executive director of El Centro de la Raza. Ortega also sits on the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative Community Roundtable. "As a community organizer, I know how important it is to reach out in different ways to diverse communities, to ensure that all voices are heard. We are a great City when we work to end race-based inequities."
Community Caucuses are an opportunity for groups that want to make their voices heard to meet, with a facilitator, in living rooms, coffee shops, community centers—anywhere where people gather naturally. Each Community Caucus will elect one delegate to send on to the broader Kids and Families Congress on June 5 at Seattle Center.
"Inclusive outreach and public engagement is a cornerstone of the Youth and Families Initiative," said Glenn Harris, who manages the city's Race and Social Justice Initiative. "Our communities' racial, cultural, and socio-economic complexity is one of our greatest assets. The 50 to 100 small Community Caucuses are crucial for reaching those Seattleites who may not normally have their voices heard in an important process like the Youth and Families Initiative."
"Community outreach is essential for a strong public process," said McGinn. "I am confident that the good work of those in the Office for Civil Rights, Office for Education, the Department of Neighborhoods and many others will ensure that all those in our city who want to participate in the Youth and Families Initiative will get their voices heard."
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