Steering Committee

Purpose

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) will convene a Steering Committee from February - July 2018 that will serve as an advisory body and working group for Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC): Parks & Streets.

The Steering Committee will focus on addressing key concerns related to equity, the funding structure, program outcomes, and accountability for YVYC. Steering Committee members were selected through an open and competitive process conducted by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) staff, past YVYC facilitators, and 2016 YVYC Steering Committee members.

Steering Committee Members

Jenny Chhim - Council District 1 (Highland Park)
"I'm a Cambodian American who grew up in the Seattle area for most of my life. I want to make sure that the voices of those that have been in this community for generations can be heard and represented when discussing plans for this community."

Jenny Chhim works as a kindergarten tutor at Sanislo Elementary where she attended as a child and where her son currently attends. Additionally, she serves as an Executive member of Sanislo Elementary PTA. Jenny is also a volunteer for Cambodian Cultural Alliance of Washington (CCAW), focusing on the Cambodian New Year White Center Street Festival.

Kim Schwarzkopf - Council District 1 (Delridge & South Park)
"I'm a snowboarder, filmmaker and mom of 2 sons. I believe it's possible to help reduce the violence and #increasethepeace in ourselves, families, schools and communities. Maybe even the world."

Kim Schwarzkopf founded a youth mentoring program called Across the Bridge where youth explore job opportunities in film, music and the creative industry and also co-chairs River City Skate Park in South Park.

Bereket Kiros - Council District 2 (Rainier Valley)
"As a longtime resident of Seattle and immigrant since 1991, I am involved in civic engagement to help the immigrant community to have a voice and publish articles online and newspapers to empower the immigrant communities through voter registration and candidate forums."

Bereket Kiros serves as a member of the Community Involvement Commission (CIC), a board member for Democracy hub, vice-chair for the Ethiopian Community Council (ECC), and is the founder of African Media Association Nonprofit.

Emily Tomita - Council District 2 (New Holly, Beacon Hill, Rainier Vista)
"I live in New Holly and work at the Refugee Women's Alliance (ReWA). I see lots of untapped human capital in my personal and professional life that could be channeled into civic engagement, but historically the strengths and needs of my neighbors and the youth I work with through ReWA have not been solicited."

Emily Tomita works as the Youth Program Manager at ReWA and is actively involved in New Holly activities such as the recent path beautification project near the Van Asselt community center and as a P-Patch steward at the New Holly Youth & Family garden.

Omari Amili - Council District 3 (Central District)
"I advocate for the rights of people from disadvantaged backgrounds and have participated in many events that raise awareness on the benefits of education for people from disadvantaged backgrounds."

Omari Amili is a father of six. He grew up in an unstable upbringing, attending over 15 schools before dropping out. He was later incarcerated on 30 felony convictions. Upon his release in 2008, Omari utilized post-secondary education as a tool to turn his life around, earning an AA degree in Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, a BA in Psychology and a MA in Community and Social Change. In graduate school, he began writing the book Transforming Society's Failure.

Jordan Remington - Council District 4 (U District)
"As a Quileute tribal member, I'd love to bring an indigenous voice to the Your Voice, Your Choice committee."

Jordan Remington is currently working for Friends of Waterfront Seattle on projects to represent Native American culture on the waterfront. In the past, he was a member of First Nations at the University of Washington and the Western Washington Indigenous Student Summit Committee.

César García - Council District 5 (Lake City, NE Seattle)
"I participated with last year's YVYC facilitation team. I'd like to bring that experience to the table and make the voices of my fellow community members heard, especially those who historically don't engage with city programs."

César García is an experienced state-certified medical, social and court interpreter. He currently works as an independent contractor with the Department of Neighborhoods' Community Liaison Program and is a member of the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) Environmental Justice Commission.

Tollahe Baharu - Council District 5 (Jackson Park, Meadowbrook)
"I see the Steering Committee as a huge step up into helping the larger community...this gives me an opportunity to reach out and use my knowledge and experience to better my community."

Tollahe Baharu is a 16-year old student who attends Nathan Hale High School and is currently involved in a club he founded called Safe Impact Schools. The goal of Safe Impact Schools is to bring people together.

Fern Renville - Council District 6 (Ballard, Magnolia, Sandpoint)
"I think this project has excellent potential to bring awareness and resources to urban Native Community needs, and highlight the enduring and wholly relevant power and resilience of Native cultural traditions and knowledge."

Fern Renville is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of Sisseton, South Dakota. She is also a storyteller, theatre director, teaching artist and nonprofit leader.  She previously served as the Executive Director of Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre and was a member of the Youth Voice, Youth Choice Steering Committee in 2015.

Kristina Sawyckyl - Council District 7 (Key Arena/Uptown, Capitol Hill)
"As a disabled veteran, I frequently am out in the parks and enjoy traveling within my Seattle streets and sidewalks. I have suggestions and have a passion for equity."

Kristina Sawyckyl is a multi-racial student at Seattle Central who is actively involved in both the disability and veteran community at the state and national level. As a veteran experiencing homelessness, Kristina is also locally active with her homeless neighbors.