If not for Chris and Irene, I would be as uninformed as the next person regarding neighborhood issues in Seattle. Sometimes I get electronic messages from Sally and even Jean. But if not for Chris and Irene, I wouldn't know there was a Seattle Neighborhoods Summit on Tuesday, October 28 at City Hall. Chris and Irene are members of the City Neighborhood Council, the volunteer advisory group comprised of District Council members.
The mayor is scheduled to deliver the Summit's keynote address, followed by 14 focus groups (repeated twice!) and then a panel with City Council members. But I wouldn't know about this event by checking the mayor's Web site, Department of Neighborhoods home page, the Planning, Land Use, Neighborhood Committee (PLUNC) Chair Sally Clark's Web site, or even Seattle highlights. Provided that you know to look, details are supposedly available on the Web site for the City Neighborhood Council, but I couldn't find them.
Still, if Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, shouldn't a summit be advertised to everyone who lives and/or works in a neighborhood? Unfortunately, I am finding that city government operates on a need-to-know basis, and their criteria are not the same as mine.
More about Chris and Irene: Chris Leman is chair of the City Neighborhood Council and the man most likely to be present at every PLUNC meeting in Council chambers. He sends out information about meetings, opportunities to provide public testimony, and opinions as an individual. He keeps me in the loop, along with his extensive distribution list of all District Councils. Irene Wall is Chair of the Neighborhoods Committee of the City Neighborhood Council (CNC). Chris and Irene are the sources of most information regarding neighborhood issues, and often involved in the planning of these forums.
The Seattle Neighborhood Summit is a goal of the CNC's 2008 work plan. Since updating the neighborhood plans has started and the Neighborhood Planning Advisory Committee (NPAC) convenes, what better time to rally the citizens? So what if it's not on the Seattle's home page or even the Department of Neighborhood's — they plan to provide a "light supper." What else do you really need to know except that events that could be crucial are the ones you are most likely to learn about afterword? Doors open at 5:15; formal program from 6-9 p.m.