HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL PAGE 1
HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
Sep 2017- Oct 2017 | Hilltop Action Coalition | volunteer organized | www.hilltopactioncoalition.org
NOV. 7, 2017
AIGAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s civic engagement initiative, part of Design for Democracy. Learn more: aiga.org/vote Poster design by Keven Campos-Celaya, Las Vegas, Nevada
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HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
Hilltop Action and Journal our neighbors e partPublisher of the local Editor community. Each havePhotographer presentations formation Guest Writersabout ty events, activities, nd important news Corey Mosesly
HAC President’s Message
Kris “Sonics Guy” Brannon Monica Cysensky Christina Butcher Mario Lorenz Teresa Jackson Mario Lorenz Jennifer Stolle Jennifer Schaal Star Murray Kalina Miller Amy Howard Kristy Gledhill Anne Artman Erin Watlington Kristy Gledhill Joshua Krebsbach Teresa Jackson Julie Anderson Adriane Wilson
Community Priorities • • • • • • • • •
Good Jobs and Local Hires Safety through Community Policing Pathways to Home Ownership Sustain and Value Existing Community Organizations Programs for Youth and Seniors Peoples Center as a Cultural Hub of Information & Programs Create a Hilltop Neighborhood Library Community Journalism Keep Homes Affordable for Seniors and People with Fixed Incomes
Advertise with Us! Email: William Towey email@example.com Hilltop Action Coalition Hilltop Action Coalition is a community-based coalition and 501(c)3 nonprofit that is working to mobilize and empower diverse individuals, families, businesses and other public and community organizations to build a safe, clean, healthy resilient and united community. President Brendan Nelson Vice-President Ashley Sutton Secretary/Treasurer Jennifer Schaal Board of Directors Fletcher Jenkins - Emeritus Jo Davies Christina Blocker William Towey Teresa Jackson Ameedah Hasan
Interested in Writing? Contact William Towey - firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to submit articles for consideration. Neighborhood Distribution of the Journal -Routes available - Contact the HAC Office to learn more.
By Brendan Nelson Hello All, I am so happy about the amazing things that have been going on in the Hilltop. It has been so exciting to see community coming together this summer. I was absolutely overwhelmed by 20,000 people that came through to support the Hilltop Street Fair. This year’s event was bigger than ever and truly embodied the theme “Unity Through Diversity”. There were locally-produced films, music on four stages, a fashion show featuring clothing from local merchants, a procession with costumed representations from 21 Latin cultural empires and so much more. The event was truly spectac-
ular and made me so proud to be a Hilltop resident. There have also been a number of community conversations happening in response to the most pressing needs our residents are challenged with. While there are no easy solutions for homelessness, unemployment or education inequity, it is great to see people working together to challenge the systems and move our community forward. I believe these conversations can have concrete impacts in various ways, from informing district practices and government policies, to catalyzing collaborations across existing community organizations and programs, and creating new citizen-led initiatives.
In the past few months I have seen the Hilltop community provide different streams of support, strength, inspiration, companionship, and connection. And these are as vital, and as nourishing as food. I’m looking forward to the work that will continue to happen and the changes that will come as a result. In service, Brendan Nelson, President “In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” - Marianne Williamson
Hilltop Action Coalition
Monthly Community Meetings 3rd Mondays @ 6pm Community Healthcare Bldg.1202 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Meet your neighbors and become part of the local Hilltop community. Each month we have presentations and information about community events, activities, policy, and important news.
Hilltop ‘keeps it clean’ Everybody do your share: Community building and cleaning up on Hilltop
By Monica Cysensky According to the city of Tacoma, there has already been 17 clean up events this year. This program allows neighborhoods and organizations to apply for the city to bring dumpsters to the neighborhood, they “invite neighbors…to bring in authorized items and dump for free” says the city. Recently, Hilltop was one of these neighborhoods. On July 15th, the Hilltop community gathered together to clean up their neighborhood, build community spirit, and have a little fun in the process! Greg Walker a lead volunteer reports that “everybody involved displayed a sense of camaraderie as we all pitched in to make the
Hilltop a more beautiful place to live.” Jo Davies, a board member for neighborhood leaders says that “The Clean-up inspires the community to “keep it clean” and also provides neighbors with an opportunity to “meet and greet” and to work with neighbors from other neighborhoods on the Hilltop. This year alone, 160 households participated in the annual cleanup event, filling 30 dumping containers that equaled over 38 tons of garbage! This massive event was brought together by the hard work of over 25 volunteers. Local business, Red Elm Café, and Manifesto Coffee, provided coffee and refreshments for volunteers to “get the morning
started right” says Walker. Since there has been a significant increase in participation, volunteers look forward to growing the event in coming years. “Now that [we] have an idea of what to expect, we can make an even bigger impact next year by lining up more participants on site, to help speed the unloading and traffic control processes, and more importantly, we can coordinate additional volunteer teams to go out into the community to help clean up unsightly alleys and lots” says Walker. This event came together through the hard work of not only volunteers but city offices and representatives. Alex Gibilisco from the Neighborhood and
Community Services, and many other city offices worked in unison to bring this program to life! Walker says that his job was made simple due to support from the city, “Tacoma is extremely blessed to have such dedicated, helpful civil servants in our city offices.” The city of Tacoma is now accepting applications for 2018 community clean up events. As Walker said “It really doesn’t take a lot of time to pull off something this big if we all do what we can.”
HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
Pedaling (Not Driving) Community Development By Christina Butcher Community is something you build, not something you simply find or stumble into. You must work continually with the people around you to tend and water it, like a garden, otherwise it’ll wither or grow awry. Second Cycle, a community cycle center in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, knows all about building and guiding a strong sense of community. Its persistence in fostering community pride and awareness has served the Hilltop district well since the bike shop opened its doors there in 2008. “We’re different than an average bike shop,” says Noah Struthers, Second Cycle’s executive director. “We’re a non-profit (organization). We have an open workshop, which is the heart of our organization, and people come in and work on their own bikes. They also have access to tools, and we have hands-on tutoring.” But don’t let Second Cycle’s storefront fool you, the organization
is more than just a bike sales and repair shop. It serves as a true community center, offering bicycle education, support and advocacy to anyone interested in cycling. It has robust youth programming that includes a Summer Earn-A-Bike course, in which students learn how to build a bike that they can keep after completing eight-weeks of mechanical instruction. It also participates in the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) through Pierce County Juvenile Court’s Diversion Program. Through JDAI, Second Cycle gives juvenile offenders who “pose no observable threat to society” a chance to participate in community service or engagement at the bike shop instead of being sent to juvenile detention. In addition, Second Cycle works with the Jobs 253 and Next Move programs to offer paid summer internships to Tacoma High School students. “A lot of our youth programming came to fruition through connections with the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, which is a stalwart
Photo Credit: Raimundo Jurado
of our area,” says Struthers. “Our involvement with them has been transformational. The professional growth and development, the connections (we’ve made), and just being associated with GTCF has been huge. We also started working with the Puyallup Watershed Initiative four years ago … They basically funded our youth programs for the first couple of years.” Second Cycle’s involvement with the Puyallup Watershed Initiative (PWI), which is a communitycentered organization working to improve social and environmental conditions in the Puyallup Watershed, centers on the Active Transportation Community of Interest (AT COI). The AT COI’s mission is to increase safe, affordable and active transportation in the watershed area. “I believe in the bicycle. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your pocket book, it’s good for people’s health,” says Struthers. “I believe in an active lifestyle and having bicycles, as active transportation, be a part of daily life. It’s a no brainer.
Photo Credit: Raimundo Jurado Everyone should have a bicycle.” As the number of bicycle commuters continues to increase nationwide, and as Washington State maintains its title as the nation’s most “bicycle friendly state,” according to The League of American Bicyclists, Second Cycle’s role in the community becomes more relevant every day. “Biking, for a lot of people that come in here, isn’t an alternative transportation choice. It’s just transportation,” says Struthers. “We want to continue to be able to provide (people) access to that sustainable transportation.” In turn, Second Cycle depends on community participation and donations to sustain itself as a nonprofit organization. “We’re looking for new board members right now, and fiscal support, which makes it able for us to continue our programs,” says Struthers. In addition to volunteering time or making monetary donations, community members can also donate their used bicycles to the bike shop. Approximately 80% of the organization’s revenue comes from sales of donated bikes, parts and services. Second Cycle’s continued success as a self-sustaining organization, as well as its recent growth, has greatly affected the Hilltop neighborhood over the last nine years. “Second Cycle has very much been a cornerstone (of the neighborhood),”
Photo Credit: Raimundo Jurado Photo Credit: Raimundo Jurado
says Struthers. “We’ve helped prove viability here. People walk around and utilize the space, and just seeing that commerce and activity has been good for the block. People see that good things happen here. “And we want to see more businesses here. We want to see vitality, storefronts filled, commerce. We want to see our neighborhoods get more sidewalks and trees, we want to see it get nicer. But as it gets nicer, we don’t want it to be any less accessible. We want to stay in this neighborhood.” While the Hilltop area will always be Second Cycle’s home, the bike shop recently expanded to South Tacoma, where it established a satellite location at Tacoma’s iDEA School. The bike shop’s growth is also evident its board members plan its inaugural, annual fundraiser at the Museum of Glass on October 21. The event will include a live and silent auction and a “bike jump,” in which a neon glass installation created specifically for Second Cycle will be shattered as a cyclist jumps through it. “We’re here to educate and demystify the bicycle for people,” says Struthers. “We want to provide access to tools and resources so low income, working folks can continue to bike.”
HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
2017 Street Fair Success! By Mario Lorenz
Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbors into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, they improve our general psychological well- being. In short, they make cities better places to live. David Binder We have reached for a height beyond ourselves and have come to the edge of a mountain climbed,
looking below, above, and all around in absolute wonder. We have just begun our journey. We know we have something special. It is precious, and filled with Love. It is transformative, transcending and true. It is what Hilltop is, and who we are! “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” A silly quote, and from the beginning, in 2013 with three average concerts called “Hilltop Heat”, we have evolved to this event we call Tacoma’s Hilltop Street Fair with over 20,000 in attendance.
What can we say? What can I say? Well, it never was broken and did not need fixing and that is why it can become what it is becoming. Tacoma’s Hilltop Street Fair is taking on a life of its own. It truly is a happening thing. How many festivals have you seen that allow a homeless encampment of two, to exist right in the midst of this celebration of life, while business thrives, community gathers, and joy fills the air? I am proud to be part of this event, and I
am grateful for each of you who have given your time, talent and money. ”Unity Through Diversity” has a high purpose, is good for people, and does no harm to the planet. Our track is right. By now, most of the pieces have been picked up, and the bills paid. Our crew picked up the remaining miscellaneous garbage throughout the district and all the items (chairs, tables, barricades, generators, etc.) that were used in the event returned.
It is now time to relax and celebrate before we prepare for next year’s Street Fair and other events that will be sure to come to Hilltop. God Bless everyone and all who attended and worked to make this event a beautiful expression of Love. In Love and Service Mario Lorenz HBA Manager & Street Fair Producer/Coordinator.
Photo Credits: Raimundo Jurado, Rebecca Wadsworth & Laurie Jo Moore
HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
Where Will You Be When
The Shaking Starts? By Jennifer Schaal
Will you be at home in bed, or in your car, or at work? Do you know what to do to protect yourself and your loved ones? Experts say we are very overdue for a catastrophic earthquake in our region. No one can predict when the next big one will strike, but there are many things we can do to prepare. Just taking the time to think about where you might be, and having a simple plan for how you will react, could be the critical thing that could save your life or prevent serious injury when shaking starts. Thinking about how to react in an earthquake is the point of the Great Shake Out. It takes only a minute to Drop, Cover, and Hold On as though you were in a real earthquake. Just taking that minute to think will help you make a plan. How will you connect with your kids at school, or your spouse, or your parents? Do you have an out-of-area contact you can reach when the local phone calls won’t go through? Do you have food, water, medicines, and supplies for
your pets, enough to last a couple of weeks, before help is available? Take a minute to register for Washington’s Great Shake Out at this address: www.shakeout.org/ washington. Make a commitment to prepare. Take a few small steps each month to do these things:
warnings if you work outside of Pierce County. Download apps that can help keep you informed. Keep you cell phone charged. Have an out-of-area contact who can keep all family members informed of your whereabouts.
Talk with your family about where to meet, how will you contact each other, who will pick up the kids from school/day care, who can check on pets.
Talk to your neighbors. See who might need help in an emergency and who has generators that might help provide critical power, and who has medical training to help the wounded. Conduct a Map-Your-Neighborhood (MYN) block meeting. Take Community Emergency Response Training (CERT)--the next Tacoma Fire Dept CERT classes are starting in September! Volunteer for Search and Rescue (SAR) training. Become an amateur radio operator.
Make a Plan
Be “two weeks ready”. Have Grab ‘n Go Kits for each member of the family. Don’t forget pet supplies! Have at least a half tank of gas in your car at all times. Keep some spare cash at home for those times when credit cards and ATMs may not work. Have plenty of water stored: it’s easy to recycle plastic bottles, wash and fill with water to keep in the back of your fridge.
Sign up for Pierce County Alerts & Warnings, and other city/county
For more information, visit the Emergency Management website pages of Tacoma Fire Department; Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management, and the Washington State Emergency Management Division.
Tacoma Film in Nationwide Contest
Hub on the Hilltop” short film entered into nationwide film contest By William Towey What happens when an underrepresented community gets close access to a state-of-the art, technology-focused higher education facility? That is the story Tacomabased McGranahan Architects aims to share through the 2017 I Look Up Film Challenge, an American Institute of Architects-sponsored contest. This year’s theme, A Blueprint for Better, spotlights how architecture can bring positive changes to a community. The challenge calls for films that highlight architects and their projects that align with the theme. Voting is currently underway for the People’s Choice award, where anyone can vote for a film as frequently as once an hour until Friday, Oct. 6. The winner will receive exclusive screening at the Architecture and Design Film Festival in New York City. “With the theme in mind, we felt Bates Technical College’s new Advanced Technology Center, centrally located in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, was a fitting story to tell,” said Annie Ferguson, marketing coordinator at McGranahan Architects. Covering more than 51,000 square feet at the Central/Mohler Campus in the Central neighborhood, the twostory facility houses the college’s engineering, information technology and digital media programs. Some unique hands-on features include interactive electronic displays and a TV studio with a high-tech sound room, which help set the building apart from traditional learning facilities that focus on lecture rather than experiential learning. The four-minute documentary-style film titled “Hub on the Hilltop” tells the story of Information Technology student Will Ragin, who shares his experience living in the Hilltop neighborhood. The Foss High School graduate highlights how access to
quality higher education offered near his home helped set him on the path toward a successful career. “We wanted to craft a story that felt connected to the people and the culture of the neighborhood. By reaching out to various community organizations, students and faculty, we believe we were able to tell this story authentically,” said Ferguson. Through their outreach within the Hilltop community, McGranahan Architects filmmakers discovered that in the two years since its doors have opened, the Advanced Technology Center has become
player involved works diligently to keep the culture and the residents of Hilltop intact by providing the technological and educational resources necessary to thrive,” said Ferguson. Of the 257 films that architects submitted for the contest, 43 were chosen for public voting, and “Hub on the Hilltop” was one of 15 that were selected for official voting from an esteemed panel of judges, which included American Institute of Architects President Thomas Vonier, Associate Producer of Moonlight John Montague, and Dolby Institute
a hub for students, community organizations and Hilltop residents to have direct access to higher education.
Director Glenn Kiser. To vote for “Hub on the Hilltop” and to learn more about the contest, go to www.bit.ly/hubonhilltop. For more information about Bates Technical College, go to www. bates.ctc.edu. To learn more about
“What is special about Bates, this building, and this story, is that every
McGranahan Architects, go to www. mcgranahan.com. Brandt first encountered Medina and his ideas at an education conference in Portland in 2011. Under Brandt’s direction, Jason Lee teachers tested Medina’s principles by integrating exercise into the annual 4-week, summer academy program jointly hosted by Jason Lee and Peace Community Center. The summer program’s goal has been to ensure that students retain knowledge through the summer months and continue to progress academically in the fall. Results have been promising, so Brandt got the go-ahead to launch Thrive this fall. About 90 sixthgraders, almost half of the sixthgrade class, are enrolled. The plan is to expand to seventh grade next year and eighth grade in the third year. If successful, Brandt would like to make Thrive a schoolwide program at Jason Lee.
Throughout the year, Thrive sixthgraders rotate through four different exercise programs. They switch every nine weeks. Two of the options take place at Jason Lee: a traditional physical education curriculum, and
fitness training in the school’s stateof-the-art weight room. While about half of the sixth-graders work out at Jason Lee, the others take a quick bus ride to and from People’s Community Center, where Metro Parks Tacoma instructors oversee the swimming and martial arts programs. Jim Biles, Metro Parks aquatics program supervisor, has enthusiastically embraced the partnership with Jason Lee since this past spring when students joined the after-school Swim Club at People’s. “It’s important that we’re working together to provide this service to our community. Jason Lee doesn’t have a pool, but there’s one close by at People’s.” Brandt said the partnership is a great way to introduce nonswimmers to an aerobic exercise that can become a lifelong activity. The decision to incorporate martial arts was based in part the results of a Tacoma Public Schools survey that identified it as most popular activity that could be added to afterschool options for secondary-school students. Ralph Thomas, the Metro Parks recreation supervisor who oversees the martial arts program, said it’s a good way for kids to learn selfdiscipline, build self-confidence and develop a strong work ethic. Another benefit of the partnership between Jason Lee and Metro Parks is the potential to develop a sense of community pride and belonging among Hilltop students, Brandt said. To be successful, students need a healthy, supportive environment. “We know schools can’t do it alone,” Brandt said. Jason Lee’s network of community partners, such as Metro Parks, helps provide that. With family and community support, kids develop a sense of belonging, structure and purpose. That’s why it’s important to introduce students to Hilltop resources such as the People’s Community Center, where youth are welcomed and can feel comfortable. “The Hilltop has so much to offer,” Brandt said. “We need to show kids what in their community they can be proud of.”
HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
Link Light Rail Q & A w/Downtown On the Go! By Hally Bert
Where does the Tacoma Link currently go?
The Tacoma Link connects the Tacoma Dome Station to the downtown core. The Tacoma Dome Station is a major hub connecting: Sound Transit service throughout the region Pierce Transit service from all over Tacoma and Pierce County Amtrak service from Portland, Vancouver B.C., and all the way to California
How much does it cost? FREE
Whoa, what, why?
HAC-Links Working Group Meeting Update By Adriane Wilson On Tuesday, August 29th The Hilltop Action Coalition hosted its first HAC-Links Working Group meeting. HAC-Links (to Opportunity) provides Hilltop residents a chance to voice their opinion with the design process and the beautification of the sidewalks once the Link Light rail is built. With construction on this project right around the corner (projected date for construction to begin is 2018/2019), residents have the opportunity to choose possible design options for what the streetscape — the area from the building front to the sidewalk — will look like after construction. Sound Transit and the City of Tacoma is looking for community input and is working with several local organizations to participate in gathering ideas and suggestions from residents. Downtown on the Go, Tacoma Housing Authority, Sound Outreach, and the Hilltop Action Coalition are among of the organizations designated to reach out and gather input from the Hilltop community and from those that will be affected by the upcoming Tacoma Link Extension that will bring light rail through our neighborhood. The HAC-Links Working Group is comprised of local residents who explore the opportunity for local
residents to participate in the economic development and changes that the light rail extension will bring to our neighborhood. At the August 29th meeting residents discussed the possibility of having more trees, lighting, and plants, and having historically relevant ties in the area. The group also discussed crucial topics for the future such as ways to mitigate the negative affects of gentrification and what those solutions would look like. Affordable housing, business development, zoning modifications, accessory and detached dwelling units, infrastructure, and housing trust funds were all part of the conversation. There was a real desire to explore options that residents who fear being displaced can obtain. The Hilltop Action Coalition is committed to providing opportunities for the Hilltop community to be a part of a process that is socially, culturally, and economically relevant. There are many voices needed and If you are interested in being a part of the next discussion you are encouraged to do so. If you live, work, play, grew up, or have family that are residents of Hilltop you are openly and enthusiastically encouraged to attend. Ideas, concerns, questions are all welcomed. Contact the HAC Office to learn more about the HACLinks working group and how you can participate.
Let’s get started! STREETSCAPE IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT The City of Tacoma, in partnership with Sound Transit and Pierce Transit, is launching the Streetscape Improvements Project in your neighborhood! With your help, we want to design pedestrian spaces that fit your community, support local businesses, and make it easier to do the things you love. • WE’VE OPENED UP SHOP: Visit our storefront office at 1120 South 11th Street to learn more about the project, check out maps and drawings and understand how you can participate in the design. Our office is open Tuesdays 12-4, Wednesdays 9-1 and Thursdays 9-1 and 4-8. Hours may change based on community needs. • STAY TUNED FOR MEETING DATES AND OTHER EVENTS: We’ll be hosting several events and workshops so people can help us develop the design. Visit cityoftacoma.org/links for
The BIA pays the fare for everyone. The Downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a board of downtown property owners.
The Link is expanding, right?
You’re right! The Tacoma Link will expand up into the Stadium and Hilltop Neighborhoods next year and even further in the future!
Will it connect to the airport? Seattle?
The Tacoma Link will not connect directly to SeaTac airport or Seattle. The Tacoma Link connects to the Tacoma Dome Station, where people can access multiple ways to get all around our region. The Link Light Rail will eventually connect to Tacoma, thanks to the passage of ST3 in November 2016. You can learn more at soundtransit3.org.
When will the Tacoma Link into Hilltop be open?
Construction starts in 2018 and is scheduled to open in 2022. Final design of the project will be presented in the fall of 2017. There are opportunities for community members to shape how sidewalks and streets in the Hilltop will look and feel over the next year (July 2017 - March 2018).
What’s the deal with the sidewalk and street improvements?
The Links to Opportunity Project is a partnership between Sound Transit and the City of Tacoma. This collaboration actively engages the community to develop and design streetscape improvements along the Link Expansion route, including sidewalks, lighting, benches, trees, and landscaping.
What’s with all the walking, biking, and transportation changes?
When a community has more transportation options, people can use their cars less often or live without a car. This means saving money and being healthier. When communities are well connected with safe and accessible walking, biking, and transit resources it makes it easier to incorporate being active into commuting, running errands, and other neighborhood activities. How can I effect change in my neighborhood? Is it too late? When people from the community, who use the streets, transportation, and the neighborhood resources, are involved in the planning and development, the existing strengths and uses of the area can be reinforced and celebrated instead of replaced. Downtown On the Go is your independent nonprofit. Because we are separate from the City and Sound Transit, our mission is to advocate on behalf of the community’s interest. The City is working to better connect with community through the Links to Opportunity Project. The City is seeking the input of Hilltop residents and community members in designing the sidewalks along and around the Link Expansion. This is a thoughtful step taken by the City. However, it is only one piece in the puzzle of our changing neighborhood and our changing city. Ways to protect, support, and influence the change in your neighborhood can happen at many levels.Vote in the November local election for candidates you feel reflect you and your neighborhood. Connect with or support a local organization or grassroots group that strengthens your community. Go to local meetings where public input is being collected; and speak up Email, meet, or call your local elected officials, business leaders, and community leaders. To talk about these issues or to get connected to local advocacy work and resources, contact Hally Bert at email@example.com. Hally Bert is a coordinator at Downtown On the Go and our purpose is to be the transportation advocate for anyone whose daily life is downtown
more information and updated schedule.
HILLTOP RESTAURANT HIGHLIGHTS
The Fish House Cafe
1814 S Martin Luther King Jr Way Tacoma, WA 98405 (253) 383-7144
1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA (253) 627-4282
1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA (253) 272-6287
1012 M.L.K. Jr Way, Tacoma (253) 572-9491
1324 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma (253) 572-4549
HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
Live Stream Poem from Hilltop Founded in 2011, Write253 is a literacy arts organization that provides writing education throughout Pierce County, especially in underserved neighborhoods. Whether we are meeting after school for poetry, film or debate club, leading regular writing workshops at Remann Hall, or hosting Tacoma’s only teen poetry festival, we believe in the power of the written and spoken word to encourage creativity and transform lives.
At the Hilltop Street Fair on August 26, Write253 asked members of the community to add to a single, continuous roll of paper a line or two that would help build a collective poem called “Community Is.” There were many thoughtful additions from participants of all ages, culminating in a poem that measured nearly eight feet long. (Some minor editorial adjustments have been made to the poem along the way.)
COMMUNITY IS By - Street Fair Participants
Community is a group of people who come together to help each other, a group of people who have fun, a group of people who work together, caring 4 one another, providing love, support, respect, and understanding, treating the people around you the way you want to be treated, treating people how you think you should be treated and respecting people for who they are and not who you want them to be. Community is playing and finding rocks with Diego. Togetherness. Lots of gatherings and community events and climbing tall buildings, riding trollies up the hills and skateboarding down. The trees are humming. Community is standing together to lift each other up.
Community is getting acquainted, caring, sharing, being aware and involved in your neighborhood, improving one block at a time. It’s one love for all! Where everyone is different, we fit in.
Community is where people help each other without judgment, a place where kids can play, is displaying your heart on a daily basis. It’s what the world needs now.
It’s stopping by the table to write a rhyme.
It’s a place of love and joy, it needs people to need people, it’s where people come together, where people bond. Community means teamwork, watching out for one another, communication and growth.
It’s gathering together wherever. No matter the time or place, it should be an empathetic space. Community is where it’s at. Community means helping people who need help. It means helping people learn how to write. It means treating the community well. Community is a group of people that works together to accomplish something.
Community is I got your back. All you need is the right kind of love. Never lie. Work together: reconciliation requires relationships--let’s relate. Sunshine, community, sunshine, a home away from home. People working together. Try, try again.
Community is: I was here, but now I’m gone, I hope you like my little song. Community is living life to the fullest, keeping your head high, and believing in yourself. You are an awesome person! Community is peace, love, and guidance. It’s empowering others with the gift of sharing and understanding the knowledge of the complete cycle of life on earth as a one of a kind human being. Community is football (I like football), helping hands, sharing talents and resources, neighbors getting to know each other. It feels rugged. I feel happy that my sister is turning five.
We’re looking at how to serve you better City of Tacoma Environmental Service Update
By City of Tacoma Recently the City of Tacoma’s Environmental Services Department presented at the Hilltop Action Coalition Monthly Community Meeting. They were able to provide us with this follow up information. Do you know which department at the City of Tacoma treats the water and sewage once it goes down the drains at your home? Do you know who sweeps the streets? Are you familiar with the City’s stormwater management plan or where the street runoff in your neighborhood flows once it gets into the storm drains? Do you know what department provides curbside pickup of garbage, recycling and food/yard waste? Do you know who manages the City’s Recycle Center and Household Hazardous Waste facilities? All of these programs are managed by Tacoma’s Environmental Services Department. Environmental Services is also responsible for the EnviroHouse, the Recovery &
Transfer Center, making TAGRO low cost soil products, and environmental outreach and education, including the South Sound Sustainability Expo and the EnviroChallengers program aimed at educating local youth about the ways they can be more sustainable. Environmental Services is developing target priorities and goals for the next seven years to help fulfill Tacoma’s Vision 2025 Strategic Plan. When creating the new strategic plan, we would like to consider what matters most to the Hilltop Neighborhood. This is what we have heard from visiting with members of the Hilltop Action Coalition at the
monthly meeting in August: What Hilltop residents and businesses like: • City street sweeping • TAGRO • Trees on the Hilltop that provide color and improve aesthetics. • The City’s Recycle Center at the landfill - especially the addition of self-haul Styrofoam recycling What Hilltop residents and businesses want: • More access to discounts and assistance programs to help with side sewer replacement, flooding, etc., that can lead to unexpected costs, liens on the home,
• • •
or even loss of the home. Keeping our Hilltop residents in their homes is important Education on how to lower trash collection costs by increasing recycling efforts and getting a smaller trash can More support from the City to manage noxious weeds More rain gardens, education, and support for residents willing to plant vegetation on their own property that has a positive impact managing surface water Keep recycling glass Better notification for street sweeping schedules so residents can move their cars City share in the cost of main-
taining street trees and provide education and tools so property owners are better equipped to maintain them • Better planning for where to plant trees to minimize long term impacts to sidewalks and power lines • In favor of the City having an Arborist who residents can call for tree questions Do you have other things to add? Please email us at ThinkBig@cityoftacoma.org or visit our webpage at www.cityoftacoma.org/ThinkBig. We appreciate your opinion and look forward to your input.
HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
PAGE 8 residents. The community identified seven focus areas: health & safety, human & social needs, economic vibrancy & employment, education & learning, arts & cultural vitality, natural & built environment, and government performance. All focus areas are guided by four principles important to the community: opportunity, equity, partnerships, and accountability. Tacoma 2025 presented 22 very clear community priorities and accountability measures for the city and 6 of those goals would be directly impacted by a CWA with targeted hiring requirements. Tacoma 2025 Goals (6 of 22)
A Community Workforce Agreement to Help Families Access Family-Wage Jobs By Korbett Mosesly The City of Tacoma, local unions, and community leaders, are considering a Community Workforce Agreement (CWA) for its publicly funded construction projects to ensure that local residents, businesses, and communities of color have the opportunity to benefit from the economic growth of the area. CWA’s are designed to help low-income workers enter into the construction careers, by providing job quality standards and targeted hiring requirements. There are several factors that need to be considered to see if a CWA is right for Tacoma. Policy analyst will need to review local market information about workforce supply and local demand needs, identify the potential impact of increasing low-wage workers in the construction trades, review current available tools, and provide policy recommendations for a CWA. In cities across the country, publically funded construction projects offer real career opportunities that can be leveraged to help provide financial stability and economic growth for low-income residents and the communities they live in. One recent
example of how cities are trying to capture these opportunities is in Seattle. On January 29, 2015, the City of Seattle passed a “new priority hire ordinance that directs all city funded construction projects of $5 million or more will be required to have a percentage of project hours performed by workers living in economically distressed areas”. In addition, city projects have apprentice utilization requirements and women and people of color aspirational goals. (Priority Hire, 2017).
living in economically distressed zip codes; workers are earning more and bringing millions of dollars back into their community; work hours performed by women on city projects nearly doubled; and women and minority owned business (WMBE) utilization represented 15.9 percent of projects. The challenges noted mainly had to deal with increasing access to make the policy more effective. The priority hire agreement is moving Seattle in the right direction to maximize their economic growth opportunity for residents and Tacoma leaders are exploring their own policy tools for workforce development strategies in the construction trades.
“A Community Workforce Agreement in Tacoma means, hundreds of more family-wage jobs for Tacoma residents and millions of dollars circulating back into our neighborhoods.” - City of Seattle The results of Seattle’s new ordinance is already showing signs of success and acknowledging areas that were challenges. Highlights from the “Priority Hire 2016 Annual Report” showed that the program: almost doubled the amount of project hours that are being performed by workers
Vision for the City of Tacoma
Tacoma (population 203,446) is located in the Puget Sound Region, which is forecasted to reach a population of nearly five million people and grow to add more than three million jobs by 2040. (City of Tacoma, 2016) On January 27, 2015 the City Council approved the City of Tacoma’s ten-year citywide strategic plan and vision, “Tacoma 2025”. The plan resulted from a shared vision that was created with input from over 2,000 engaged
• Reduce poverty. Reducing poverty is the best way to ensure that all Tacoma residents have resources to meet their needs. • Increase the number and quality of jobs throughout Tacoma. Tacomans will have more economic opportunities—partners will strive to recruit, retain, and expand job opportunities throughout the community. • Diversify Tacoma’s living wage business base. Providing jobs at living wages is a top priority; wellpaying jobs helps the community meet multiple goals. • Prepare people to succeed in Tacoma’s workforce. All residents should be prepared to succeed at jobs that are located in Tacoma or anywhere. • Improve and maintain Tacoma’s streets. Tacoma’s residents are concerned about the condition of their streets; maintenance is a top priority. • Engage residents, stakeholders, and partners in the future of Tacoma. Creating a better Tacoma requires engaged residents and strong partnerships. (Tacoma 2025, 2016) In addition to the strategic goals of 2025, the City of Tacoma’s Economic Development Department has identified “strengthening the quality and competitiveness of Tacoma’s workforce and focusing on ethnic and economically challenged communities” as part a strategic framework to maximize the full economic potential of Tacoma. Over the next ten years, Tacoma estimates over $1 billion in planned development projects in
the Downtown/Hilltop area alone; a neighborhood with the highest percentage of households below the federal poverty level (FPL) and one of the most racially diverse areas of the county. Simultaneously, one of the biggest issues facing the construction industry is the lack of enough skilled workers to fill the jobs. Strengthening the local construction workforce pipeline has mutually beneficial effects to the industry with new work talent and communities that raise household income for families. Project labor agreements, community benefit agreements, and community workforce agreements are all some of the common tools that can be used to maximize economic growth opportunities through infrastructure and other capital projects. They also have the potential to help meet apprenticeship utilization and diversity goals that are important to a thriving diverse workforce. Considering a CWA for publically funded projects that could operate similar to Seattle’s policy could help ensure that more local residents, businesses, and communities of color have the opportunity to benefit from this economic growth – opportunities desperately needed in the Tacoma and Pierce County area. Potential Economic Impact Strengthening the local construction workforce pipeline has mutually beneficial effects to the construction industry and local economy. For every household that was previously below the federal poverty level that decided to move into the construction trades as a career, the economic benefit over a five-year period is as much as $235,000 in local purchasing power, sales tax revenue, and reduction in public benefits. If Tacoma were able to continue 3 percent (or 254) of the statewide annual openings in the construction trades, the local economic benefit could be as much as $59.8 million dollars over a five-year period. A CWA could mean hundred of more jobs. Leveraging the investment Tacoma makes in our roads, buildings, and construction projects for “Good Jobs; and Local Hires” in our community is an appropriate way to build the local economy.
Boeing helps new building take flight!
Boeing Employees to Award Tacoma Community House $500,000 Toward New Building By Kristy Gledhill On Thursday, August 31, 2017 (12:00-1:00pm), the Employees Community Fund (ECF) of Boeing will visit Tacoma Community House (TCH) to present a $500,000 check for TCH’s Embracing the American Promise: Uniting Communities Capital Campaign to fund a muchneeded new building. Tacoma Community House— which has served the community for 107 years, located on 13th and L Streets on Tacoma’s Hilltop—is working to raise $11M to replace the agency’s existing, outdated building and construct a new, two-story, 27,000 sq. ft. facility on the same block from which TCH has delivered services since 1910. ECF of Boeing’s half-million-dollar contribution brings fundraising to nearly $4 million with another $2.5M in funding pending in the State capital budget.
ECF of Boeing is an employeeowned, charitable giving program that has been awarding grants since 1951. ECF funds equipment, renovations and capital campaigns that positively impact the children, families and individuals who seek assistance and support from Puget Sound area nonprofit agencies. ECF is managed by a Board of Trustees made up of eight Boeing employees elected by those who contribute to the fund. Each year, TCH serves over 3,500 immigrants, refugees, and low-income South Sound residents through the four core programs of Education (English Language Acquisition, Basic Education for Adults); Employment (job search and placement assistance); Immigration (U.S. citizenship, adjustment of status); and Advocacy (for victims of crime).
The August 31st “Soaring Celebration” will include remarks by TCH Board President Colette Smith, Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, and ECF President Kevin Hanford; ice cream; and a paper airplane contest. The event is open to all friends and partners of TCH and the ECF of Boeing. About Tacoma Community House As one of the longest, continuously operating social service agencies in Washington State, TCH has
improved the lives of generations of immigrants, refugees, and other (predominantly low-income) community members through the four cornerstones of Education, Employment, Immigration and Advocacy. Founded by Methodist women in 1910 in the small room of a private home in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, TCH originally served a couple dozen neighborhood children. Today, TCH is a nationally respected, community-based
multiservice center providing 3,800 program services to 3,500 adults and youth from the U.S. and over 100 other countries. TCH’s service area of Pierce, South King, Kitsap, Thurston, and Mason counties represents a growing population of 1.7 million individuals, 11% of whom are immigrants. TCH is the only organization that provides a full range of services to immigrants and refugees between Portland and Seattle.
Vote: Return your Ballot Early By Julie Anderson Dear Pierce County Voter Leaves are turning. The Seahawks are playing. And voter registration events are in full swing. All signs that fall has arrived! There’s always a big push to register voters before the November Election. It’s no accident that National Voter Registration Day is September 26th, 2017. And now through October, the Pierce County Auditor’s Office is mounting a “500,000 Voters” campaign. We’re determined to break the half-million mark for active registered voters. Washington State’s voter registration rate is quite healthy, regularly in the top quarter of the nation. During the 2016 General Election we ranked 10th in the nation for voter turnout, with a registration
rate of 77.1%. Pierce County followed very closely with 76.8% voter registration. We shouldn’t rest on our laurels. Making voter registration easy is the first necessary step to- ward voting and it deserves our attention. If we narrow our focus to the voting eligible population, you’ll find that we’ve registered rough- ly 83% of the eligible population. That leaves just 17% eligible adults to register. The low hang- ing fruit has been harvested. We’re going to need a ladder to reach the rest! The legislature and election administrators are considering several different solutions: • Automatic Registration – individuals with an enhanced driver’s license, commercial license, etc. (where citizenship has been verified) would be automatically registered,
HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
Immigrant Legal Defense Fund unless they choose to opt-out. • 16 and 17-Year Old Preregistration – this in an expansion of Motor Voter. When teens apply for their driver’s license, they’d be offered to sign up to vote, when they turn 18. • Same Day Registration does exactly what it says. Eligible unregistered citizens could go to the Auditor’s Office on Election Day, register to vote, and then cast a ballot. Fifteen states allow some variation of same day registration. As election administrators evaluate these options, everyone should keep in mind that voter reg- istration doesn’t necessarily result in better turnout. As our voter registration universe grows, our turnout will drop. The fact of the matter is that people must want to vote. Voter registration deserves our attention, but motivating people to “return a ballot,” even in the effortless State of Washington, is the greater challenge.
By Star Murray Since the early part of 2017, Tacoma Healing Awareness Community, Tacoma Migrant Justice, and the Washington Dream Coalition have partnered to push for an Immigrant Legal Defense Fund and a permanent Commission on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. We know over 13,000 immigrants who reside within Tacoma are potential targets for immigration detention and deportation. Adding legal-specific aid will give our immigrant and refugee neighbors an over 1000% more likely chance at a successful outcome on their cases under current U.S. immigration laws. Last week, grassroots allies from Tacoma Educators, Indivisible Tacoma, and others, joined us to raise awareness at the Citizens Forum in conjunction with the first official City-wide proclamation of “Hispanic Heritage Month.”
Tacoma residents shared personal and institutional testimonies, calling on resources to be allocated for Tacoma residents detained at the Northwest Detention Center. These residents face the prospect of being summarily separated from their families and deported without adequate due process, as the vast majority of detainees are not represented by counsel in immigration proceedings. The legal defense fund would greatly benefit Tacoma residents and help ensure that our immigrant and refugee neighbors remain in our community with their families intact. On September 19, 2017, we invite you to join us again in Council Chambers, 747 South Market St. 1st Floor at 4:30 p.m. to sign up to speak. There will be another proclamation of “Welcoming Week” in Tacoma that aligns with our efforts to solidify city resources for an immigrant legal defense fund.
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By Kris “Sonics Guy” Brannon Well another season for the Rainiers is in the books. What a fantastic ride it has been. Even though the Rainiers fell short of making in into the Pacific Coast League playoffs finishing up their season this year with a four game road series in Las Vegas in September as they have been basically been playing the spoiler for weeks now. The highlights of the season this year are many. Starting with a 7 to 2 commanding win over the El Paso Chihuahuas in the home opener. The Rainiers started on a tear at home by winning 10 of their 11 home games in the month of April. Unfortunately they went 4-9 in road games that month.
The month of May saw The Rainiers remain competitive as it saw them go 8-5 at home and 9-7 on the road thereby giving them a 17-12 record for the month. The month of June had the Rainiers start their struggle as they went 8-8 at home, but on the road they went a bruising 2-9. July is always a great month for the Rainiers as they have the huge July 3rd Fireworks game. This game is one of the biggest celebrations of the season and is a guaranteed sellout. Luckily the Tacoma Rainiers destroyed the Albuquerque Isotopes which added to the fun before the fireworks finale. Of course it goes without saying that having the All Star Game and Home Run Derby is something special. The Tacoma Rainiers own Daniel Vogelbach breezed through the first two rounds of the derby until He faced Pawtucket’s Red
Sox Bryce Bentz in the final. Bryce went first in the final round and his 18 homers proved to be too much for Vogelbach who finished 2nd in the Home Run Derby. The All Star Game was also a sold out affair with an announced crowd of 7,024. It was definitely one of the hottest tickets in town. The PCL took and early 2-1 lead. During the 5th inning our former reliever (who was playing for us at the time) Jean Machi gave up two runs. Other Tacoma contributions came from Daniel Vogelbach who came in the 6th inning as first baseman. He then proceeded to strike out in the 7th inning, but the PCL still won it 6-4. As for the month the Rainiers went 6-5 at home and 8-10 on the road. One of the special events for August is Pink at the Park at Cheney Stadium where they partner with the Carol
Milgard Breast Center and the team honors breast cancer survivors by having them come out on the field, participating in the first pitch, letting balloons fly and they even have speciality jerseys that are auctioned off to go to mammograms to underserved women in the community. As for the baseball August has been another seesaw month with the Rainiers going
9-13. As of this writing the Rainiers are 10 games out of first with only 11 games to go. Part of the problems that affected the Rainiers this year was the Mariners pitching problems and injuries where they had to bring in 20+ pitchers through their system with a lot of them coming from the Rainiers. Well like they say “There’s always next year.”
Tamarek Wrinkle By Kris “Sonics Guy” Brannon One of the top achieving youths in sports on the Hilltop is Tamarek Wrinkle. Tamarek is a recent graduate of Lincoln High School graduationing in June of this year. Come fall Tamarek will be attending Green River for baseball and academics and then on to Oregon State for his last 2 years. He currently plays for the NW Tugs. Tamarek started playing baseball about 13 years ago. He jokingly says dating back to when he was a young man trying to figure out how to even throw a ball. He says picking his favorite playing postion is a tough question, because as he lovesto play multiple positions especially in the infield, but if he had to pick one position he says it would have to be pitcher. He says
the reason for that is because you’re in control of the tempo of the game and all eyes are on you. When he started out he took up many different sports basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, etc, but as he got older he said if you want to con-
tinue through you have to start to get serious about one sport. He says when he was coming up the only sports with organized leagues were baseball and
basketball. The funny thing is he likes basketball more than baseball, but his ability is what was the decision maker. He wasn’t that bad at basketball, but he had a greater skill level at baseball so that what he stuck with. His favorite game to have played in was his last high school game in the playoffs. He played his rival team Wilson High School. Where he went 3 for 3. Even though it was a loss he says it was a pretty good way to end his senior season. Baseball has also taught Tamarek other life lessons. Such as to give it your all no matter what. The most important thing he’s learned from the game is that you only have control of 2 things attitude and effort. He says if you have a positive attitude and give 110% effort you have nothing else to worry about because you did your part and that goes for anything in life.
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Household Budget & FinanceÂ Free Workshop September 30, 10:30 am - noon 2550 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma WA 98405 Increase your financial well-being Build a household budget Fresh start checking & savings accounts Learn about TPU programs & services Learn about personal financial coaching Learn about payment assistance
Call 253 383 2007 to register today!
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Exercise Boosts Brain Power By Metro Parks Metro Parks Tacoma has joined forces with Jason Lee Middle School to activate the brain power of Hilltop youth. Soon after the fall 2016 opening of the new People’s Community Center pool, a partnership between Metro Parks and Jason Lee Middle School began to evolve. It started with an after-school Swim Club for Jason Lee students. Since then, Metro Parks has become an integral part of Thrive at Jason Lee, a school-within-a-school pilot project now in its first year. “We are excited to partner with Jason Lee Middle School and the Hilltop community,” said Andrea Smith, president of the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners. “Kids have tremendous energy and our People’s Community Center staff is well prepared to help them channel it.” Jason Lee Middle School, in its landmark building on the corner of Sixth and Sprague avenues, anchors the education of a diverse group of about 550 11- to 14-year-olds from the Hilltop and adjacent neighborhoods. More than 60 percent of Jason Lee students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches and about 20 percent receive special education support. Thrive is the brainchild of Jason Lee Principal Christine Brandt who believes emphasizing exercise will help kids grow smarter, make positive decisions and perform better academically. “Exercise boosts brainpower,” she said. “That’s our mantra.” For Thrive students, every day begins with about an hour of exercise at either Jason Lee or the nearby People’s Community Center, where students either swim or practice martial arts. “The brain needs 60 minutes of physical activity a minimum of five days a week, and most kids do not get that,” Brandt said. The approach borrows its guiding principle from John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and affiliate professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. His book, “Brain Rules,” has been a New York Times bestseller. His approach was an easy sell to Brandt, whose background is in health education. Additionally, she recognized that consistent exercise was a key to her own positive development and that of her twin sister, Jennifer Kubista, now an Oregon school superintendent. Early in life, the sisters were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As an alternative to medication, their doctor recommended physical activity. They became gymnasts and later, high school and college athletes. Brandt played on Gonzaga University’s NCAA Division 1 volleyball team. Brandt first encountered Medina and his ideas at an education conference in Portland in 2011.
Image courtesy of metroparks Under Brandt’s direction, Jason Lee teachers tested Medina’s principles by integrating exercise into the annual 4-week, summer academy program jointly hosted by Jason Lee and Peace Community Center. The summer program’s goal has been to ensure that students retain knowledge through the summer months and continue to progress academically in the fall. Results have been promising, so Brandt got the go-ahead to launch Thrive this fall. About 90 sixth-graders, almost half of the sixth-grade class, are enrolled. The plan is to expand to seventh grade next year and eighth grade in the third year. If successful, Brandt would like to make Thrive a schoolwide program at Jason Lee. Throughout the year, Thrive sixth-graders rotate through four different exercise programs. They switch every nine weeks. Two of the options take place at Jason Lee: a traditional physical education curriculum and fitness training in the school’s state-of-the-art weight room.
While about half of the sixth-graders work out at Jason Lee, the others take a quick bus ride to and from People’s Community Center, where Metro Parks Tacoma instructors oversee the swimming and martial arts programs. Jim Biles, Metro Parks aquatics program supervisor, has enthusiastically embraced the partnership with Jason Lee since this past spring when students joined the after-school Swim Club at People’s. “It’s important that we’re working together to provide this service to our community. Jason Lee doesn’t have a pool, but there’s one close by at People’s.” Brandt said the partnership is a great way to introduce non-swimmers to an aerobic exercise that can become a lifelong activity. The decision to incorporate martial arts was based in part the results of a Tacoma Public Schools survey that identified it as the most popular activity that could be added to after-school options for secondary-school students. Ralph Thomas, the Metro Parks recreation supervisor who oversees the martial arts pro-
gram, said it’s a good way for kids to learn self-discipline, build self-confidence and develop a strong work ethic. Another benefit of the partnership between Jason Lee and Metro Parks is the potential to develop a sense of community pride and belonging among Hilltop students, Brandt said. To be successful, students need a healthy, supportive environment. “We know schools can’t do it alone,” Brandt said. Jason Lee’s network of community partners, such as Metro Parks, helps provide that. With family and community support, kids develop a sense of belonging, structure and purpose. That’s why it’s important to introduce students to Hilltop resources such as the People’s Community Center, where youth are welcomed and can feel comfortable. “The Hilltop has so much to offer,” Brandt said. “We need to show kids what in their community they can be proud of.”
October is Arts Month By Jennifer Schaal The arts are big in Tacoma! And in the month of October, they are even bigger! So many events will be going on, it will be hard to choose how to spend your time. The annual AMOCAT Awards will kick off Arts Month with a rousing community party and a tribute to local arts heroes. The AMOCAT (Tacoma spelled backwards) Awards party is free! This year’s party, called Kaleidoscope, takes place on October 4th, and Marilyn Strickland will presents awards to the 2017 winners. Location to be announced soon. Another annual event during Arts
Month is the Arts Studio Tour Weekend. Visual artists all over Tacoma graciously open their commercial or home studios to the public, give demonstrations, and explain their work. Many have hands-on activities that allow visitors to walk away with a little piece of art to take home.
This year’s Arts Studio Tour Weekend takes place Saturday, October 14th and Sunday, October 15th. Look for details such as the map of artists participating, what type of art they make, and whether they are open Saturday, Sunday, or both, in a booklet that will be published in September before the Arts Month
kickoff. Did you know there’s an easy way to find out about all the cool arts things going on in your community? Learn more at http://tacomaartsmonth.com/ Arts of all types: music, visual arts, poetry, live theater, film events,
festivals and so much more are posted to this listserv by the people putting on the events. Many of the events are free! This fall, make a point to take advantage of all that Tacoma arts have to offer.
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Local group helps people clear their criminal record By Kalina Miller
The Evergreen Empowerment Group is a nonprofit, community based organization of professionals assisting people with their criminal record through expungement of a conviction. Our current organization is nestled in Tacoma’s historic Hilltop neighborhood. The Evergreen Empowerment Group (also known as EEG) was birthed from legal clinics created at The Evergreen State College in 2010. At those clinics, we witnessed several members of our community experience success with having their criminal record(s) cleared. The formation of the organization is a direct result of our desire to continue serving those in need. The EEG of today is a consulting group that empowers citizens within our community and beyond. Here at the EEG we look forward to uplifting people in our communities. Throughout our 17 years of community involvement our organization has empowered people to go on to access employment and safe affordable housing. We at EEG strive to assist those who are in need and help people to achieve the American Dream offered to us all. The freedom to clear a criminal background is a new lease on life and here at EEG we welcome the opportunity to serve. Our mission at Evergreen Empowerment Group is to help people whose lives are affected by their criminal history. To give them hope and support in aiding them to obtain good jobs and housing. Our purpose is to help people with limited or no access to legal services. To find resources to obtain fair and equal employment along with housing op-
Evergreen Empowerment Group Our mission is to help people whose lives are affected by their criminal history; to give them hope and support, to aid in obtaining good jobs and housing. Expunge, vacate, and seal criminal record(s) Remove barriers to housing and employment Learn how to reduce fee's, fines & LFO's Contact us today to learn more. eegwash.org - 253 365 6311 firstname.lastname@example.org Like us on Facebook!
portunities, by sealing, vacating and expunging criminal records. Other services that we offer here at EEG include but not limited to; parenting plans, divorces, custody matters, and traffic violations. To best describe the people that work for EEG is a group of individuals who are also members of the Hilltop community in service with a single mind in purpose, conviction and empowerment.
Our services come from the heart to restore pride and dignity while we help build productive communities. We take pride in being able to empower citizens to become gainfully employed with the ability to take care of themselves and their families. Our reputation is measured by the numerous individuals we have helped to date, being regarded as a vibrant and growing pillar of the communi-
ty and we have received the TPCBA Young Lawyers Liberty Bell Award for non-lawyer volunteer community services. Our experience and primary area of expertise is in teaching and empowering clients to navigate the judicial system themselves so that they can go and have their criminal history cleared. We are trained in prose litigation in the above areas, however, we are not lawyers and do not
offer legal advice or representation. To find out if your convictions are eligible for vacation please contact the Evergreen Empowerment Group at 253.365.6311, evergreenempowermentgroup@ gmail.com and eegwash.org Also, you can like us on Facebook!
For many years, St. Rita maintained a rich food bank for those in need as well as partnered with Bellarmine and Phoenix Housing. St. Rita continues to provide resources for Care Net, Pregnancy Aid, and various ministries
at St. Leo Parish. Monthly, our Holy Name Society men, Sodality ladies, parishioners, and School of Religion children provide and serve a delicious Italian meal at the Nativity House.
Masses are said on Tuesdays at noon, Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. We welcome all to join us in prayer and fellowship. Our website will soon be updated: www.stritastacoma.org.
St. Rita of Cascia Catholic Church By Teresa Jackson St. Rita has strong roots in the Hilltop neighborhood. It is known for its hospitality and welcoming spirit. There is a diversity of parishioners and other worshipers who come together in prayer and fellowship every week. Membership is very reflective of the Church in general with people of all ages and backgrounds coming together in one faith. Our members include all ages and it is not uncommon for the babies and toddlers to be “adopted” by any of the parishioners, particularly the elderly. There is a strong sense of family at St. Rita which is reflected in its care for the greater community. St. Rita has a history as an immigrant church. In the early 1900s Tacoma was home to many immigrants including thousands of Italians from southern Italy who settled in the Hilltop area. Early on, they celebrated Mass at St. Leo, but longed to hear Mass in their native tongue. The Jesuits, who are known for their missionary work, sent a young priest, Fr. Athanasius Biagini, S.J., to St. Leo parish to minister to the Italian parishioners. In 1922, a group if Italians met with a newly assigned priest, Fr. Achilles
Bruno, S.J., to oversee a project of creating an Italian national parish in Tacoma. In two months, they raised enough money to purchase the land and adjacent house where the current parish sits at 1403 S. Ainsworth. Mass was said in the house with Fr. Biagini as pastor, while the Italians continued to raise money and two years later the new church was dedicated in 1924. In 1979, St. Rita was no longer considered an Italian national parish and became a neighborhood church with geographical boundaries. St. Rita parish was further enriched when immigrants from Vietnam came to Tacoma and settled in the Hilltop neighborhood. There were many years when liturgies were celebrated with the inclusion of the Vietnamese language, culture and rituals. As the Italian and Vietnamese immigrants became more assimilated into the American culture, the language of the Masses and liturgies changed to strictly English. However, there are still strong vestiges of both the Italian and Vietnamese cultures at St. Rita. St. Rita has always been very active in social justice causes. In the early years, the parish took good care of the physical as well as the religious needs of its people and the neighborhood.
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Quest to Understand Homelessness By Wendy Morris
When does a pallet, a tarp, rope and binder clips equal 75 points? When you are putting them together to create a shelter at the first-ever AMAZING QUEST event coming up on Oct. 7! That is just one of the unique activities that teams will participate in at Associated Ministries first AMAZING QUEST to Understand Homelessness. This brand new community event will bring together the Hilltop community and is designed to educate the entire Pierce County community as we raise funds to fight homelessness. Associated Ministries (AM) is an interfaith social service organization serving all of Pierce County. We’ve been part of Hilltop for decades, having moved into our current location at I and 13th back in 1988. We are proud to serve this community by uniting people of all faiths and goodwill to join with us to support the most vulnerable amongst us. So what is Amazing Quest? We wanted to create a new, unique family-friendly event that invites the community to learn and participate. Through this fun scavenger huntstyle challenge, our aim is to help people gain a better understanding of the realities faced by those who are homeless in our community. AM executive director Mike Yoder is excited about the event’s potential to move the needle on homelessness awareness in Tacoma and Pierce County. “There are so many misconceptions about homelessness,” says Yoder. “This event will address these misconceptions, illustrating the daily struggles of our homeless neighbors, while fundraising to inspire change and make a lasting impact.” This not-to-be-missed event will take place on Saturday, October 7, 2017, between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm, beginning and ending at People’s Park. There will be fun activities at the park for kids, live music, food trucks and more. To participate teams must be formed prior to the event (pre-registration is required); during Amazing Quest each team will visit various landmarks around the Hilltop neighborhood and participate in challenges to win points. Challenges such as “build a shelter” using only the items you are given, “fact or fiction” where you can test your knowledge about the issue of homelessness and other engaging activities to earn points.
the realities of homelessness,” says Yoder. “It’s our way of engaging them in an impactful and memorable way.” We are excited about this event and welcome all faith communities, businesses, service clubs and other organizations to sign up, as well as share about this fun event. How can you help? • If you are a business along MLK Jr. Way between 9th and 13th, consider being a partner stop. This is where you give us permission for a volunteer to be in your business to award bonus points to participants who stop in. (There will be a sign identifying you as an official stop.) This way people can check out your business and we will list you as a partner in our AMAZING QUEST. • Ask your staff to form one or more teams of 2-8 people and show up to demonstrate your concern about homelessness in Pierce County. This is a great way to show your support for those in need and interact with other participants and leaders, and a fun team-building activity. • Hang posters on bulletin boards, distribute flyers on counters and in break rooms, and post flyers in your window to encourage participation in this unique event. • Encourage your team to collect pledges from family and friends prior to the event; your business, faith community or organization could also make a donation to support your team and/or the event itself. • Consider being an official event sponsor, aligning your business with a compelling cause and showcasing your services before hundreds of participants. • Be a volunteer and help make this fun event be the happening place! Volunteers as young as 15 are needed for a variety of tasks. So join us for a day of fun, music, food and being part of a community who cares. Check out our website at associatedministries.org/amazing-quest to learn more and sign up!
You may even encounter random places and people throughout the neighborhood to gather bonus points! We will have prizes for the top point-getting teams, and a “spirit award” for the team that shows the
most spirit. Teams can consist of families and friends, church groups, office teams, and others, and individuals are welcome to participate as well. Funds raised before and during the event will benefit Associated
Ministries and its work to address homelessness and empower people to live stabilized lives off the streets. “Amazing Quest to Understand Homelessness is our way of not just telling Pierce County residents about
Sheridan and 9th Neighborhood Your tax dollars at work By Sailor Campbell In 2015, Tacoma voters said yes and passed Proposition 3 and Proposition A to fund repairs Tacoma’s streets. Together, these propositions will raise funds through an increase in taxes that are set to expire after ten years. Over this time frame, proposition funding will combine with city funds and matching funds with the goal of raising $325 million for Tacoma’s streets. When these factors come together they create the Tacoma Streets Initiative that will maintain city streets. To the delight of neighbors, Sheri-
many cases, neighbors were able to retain the historic brick gutters or the bricks were repurposed by residents for walkways and patios. The neighbors have nothing but praise for the crew who were kind enough to answer questions posed by the watchers. Neighborhood Block Leader, Sailor Campbell commented “We who are retired are the ones who get to see how these wonderful people do their job.” dan Avenue between 9th & 1th was resurfaced in early May in just 2 ½ days: goodbye potholes, hello smooth skateboarding, skating, and bike riding, and of course, vehicle traffic. In
HILLTOP ACTION JOURNAL
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