Thanks to four members of the City Council and over 75 individual emails to councilmembers, we have a real chance to get the community center we need!
Background: Over the past several weeks, the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance has been steadily advocating for a full-service community center in Lake City, to serve children, youth, seniors, and all of us. Lake City offers pitifully few services for our children, youth, and older adults. Those of us with means and mobility can go to other neighborhoods, but our many neighbors who don’t are left behind. We need and deserve the recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities that come with a full-service facility here in Lake City.
Three of our City Council members, Sally Clark, Tim Burgess, and Mike O’Brien, are sponsoring a “Statement of Legislative Intent” that calls upon the Parks Department to report back to the Council by August 2015 with alternatives, including funding plans, for rehabilitating or rebuilding Lake City Community Center. Councilmember Nick Licata has been the driving force behind this, but because he is the council budget chair and needs to be a neutral negotiator, he did not sign on—although he can still vote to support. Many, many Lake City residents, business-owners, councils, and faith organizations sent pleas to the Council to support this effort.
On November 12, we received the following response from CM Mike O’Brien:
Dear Lake City residents,
Thank you for your overwhelming response in support of a full-serviced community center for Lake City. It is clear to me that Lake City residents are united on this front and share a desire to build strong community connections, by developing a safe multi-functional center that accommodates the needs of a culturally diverse and growing neighborhood.
I hear your need to build a stronger and brighter future for Lake City, and fully support a full-serviced community center. I am sponsoring a Statement of Legislative Intent, along with Councilmembers Burgess and Clark, requesting the Department of Parks and Recreation to prepare a report that outlines the next steps for improvements at the Lake City Community Center.
We are asking for Parks to provide an evaluation and assess the current Lake City Community Center with recommendations to complete in 2015. The recommendations will include options for rehabilitating or rebuilding of the current center, and also provide an alternative for construction of a new facility, along with an implementation schedule for the proposed recommendations.
My office will keep you apprised of any new updates after the report is complete. Thanks again for contacting my office and sharing your concerns.
Councilmember Mike O’Brien Chair, Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee Seattle City Council