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City of Seattle

February 10, 10:12 AM click here to comment > 0

What Are You Working On? Youth and Families Initiative Phonebank

“Hello, is this Allison O’Connor? Hi Allison, this is James Bush and I’m calling from the Mayor’s office to give you a personal update on our Youth and Families Initiative…”

It’s phonebanking night at the Mayor’s office. We’re getting in touch with hundreds of people who were delegates to our Kids and Families Congress last year. Since the Congress, we’ve taken the input we got from more than 3,000 participants in 130 community meetings to help shape the proposed Families and Education levy as well as realigning our existing funding and resources to fit with the priorities of the community. The Mayor made a personal commitment to let delegates from the Congress know how things are going, so tonight we are calling everyone to let them know about the Families and Education levy and other ways they can get involved to help support youth and families in Seattle.

“We are also calling to let you know about the Seattle Service Plan. We’re working with a handful of local non-profits whose work supports educational achievement to recruit volunteers. The areas we’re focusing on right now are early learning through Washington Reading Corps and mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters and the 4C Coalition. Would you be interested in volunteering to be a mentor or read to a child?”

Now that we have an idea of what the community’s priorities are for families and education funding, the next step is to get that funding on the ballot. The people we are calling are community activists, parents, teachers, students and others who care about kids and families in Seattle. Since it’s their work that helped shape the proposed levy, we want their voices to be heard as the City Council decides whether to support the levy.

“Speaking of the Families and Education Levy, next Thursday, February 17th at 5:30pm the City Council will be holding a special hearing on the subject to receive input from interested community members. It’s a great opportunity to let the Council know about your support for the levy. Could you make it down to City Hall to testify?”

If you’d like more information about the proposed Families and Education Levy, check out the recommendations of the Levy Advisory Committee. To volunteer to mentor or read to kids, send an email to

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the Youth and Families Initiative. Your hard work made all this possible. We hope to see you at City Hall next Thursday at 5:30 to support the Families and Education levy!

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Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance