On the Bright Side: Gratitude and Highlights from 2020

  Community Interest

By the WHCA Board

Hello friends, neighbors, and community partners! 

Our hearts are full of GRATITUDE for all the people and organizations who are working together and working tirelessly in these trying times to make Skyway-West Hill a healthier, stronger, more equitable place. West Hill Community Association (WHCA) is grateful to be part of this resilient community, and we want to take a moment to share some WHCA bright spots from the past year.

In the midst of a year chock-full of chaos, stress, and ongoing health crises and injustice—across the country and right here at home—we believe EVERY positive action we take makes a difference in the shift toward true justice and a healthier, more vibrant community. Thank you for ALL that you do to care for our neighbors, advocate for our community’s needs, provide services and resources, and more. And thank you to those who have given generously to support WHCA’s mission! 

Over the past year, like you, WHCA has been busy as ever, albeit mostly virtual. Here are some highlights!

Through our Civic Engagement program, WHCA:

  1. Hosted a Virtual Voter Town Hall on September 23, moderated by Ms. Bridgette Hempstead, founder of Cierra Sisters, and co-moderated by two of Skyway Youth Network’s Youth Leadership Council members, Alicia Ing and Mia Dabney. Skyway-West Hill residents heard from candidates running for two 37th District state congressional seats about how they will advocate for improvement and investment in our community, without displacement. 

2. Participated in the Skyway Coalition, which is focused on engaging community in taking back power and advocating for affordable housing, economic development, and investment without displacement in Skyway. Together, the entire community has successfully advocated for significant investments in King County’s upcoming two-year budget, including $10M toward a Skyway community center, 32,000 hours of transit, and $5M toward purchase of community-owned land for affordable housing! Reach out to [email protected] to get involved.

3. Hosted another Election Day Voter Assistance Booth at Skyway Library for the November 4th Presidential Election, where we helped folks with whatever they needed to cross the voting finish line – replace their envelopes, reprint their ballots, get questions answered, and celebrate with “I Voted” stickers and candy. In an election with historic turnout, we were thrilled to be able to help one voter print their ballot and get it in the drop box mere seconds before it was locked up!

Through our Community Vibrancy program, WHCA:

  1. Launched a new community art project—Rain-Activated Sidewalk Art. We appreciate all residents who voted for their favorites (virtually)! The top five selections will be featured on our sidewalks and will appear when it rains and disappear as the sidewalk dries. We are currently creating stencils to spray designs and positive messages around the neighborhood, including “Black Lives Matter”, “I Love Skyway”, and “Honor This Coast Salish-Duwamish Land”.

2. Shifted to a virtual Summer Skyway Virtual Cinema in place of Skyway Outdoor Cinema. Over four Fridays in August, we featured streaming movies in partnership with King County Library’s Kanopy video platform and kept members engaged with interactive trivia games afterward. For Halloween, we broadcasted two live-streamed movie events on Facebook.

3. Is creating community message boards! We are working with King County to fabricate and install message boards at high-traffic locations around our neighborhoods. These will provide a space for residents, local businesses, and organizations to post important updates and ways to connect. We’ll keep you updated as the final plans come together. We are excited about incorporating these into our community as a way to share information!

We are so grateful to be part of such a unique and vibrant community. Stay tuned and visit our website for updates and upcoming virtual events!

P.S. Please stay safe and healthy out there as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our neighborhood. Stay up to date with COVID-19 resources and updates on Seattle-King County Public Health’s website