Voices Forum Notes & Attendance
History of WS Voices and Restructuring:
WSCO is a district council (Council 3), which means that we are part of city decisions around development and land use, historically those topics have been the majority of the Voices monthly meeting. Currently, the regular Voices attendees average older, whiter, homeowners. WSCO wants to ensure that all our West Side neighbors are represented and welcomed to Voices - we want to make this space more accessible and representative of the full diversity of our neighborhood.
Voting members are any residents of the WS who have attended three consecutive Voices meetings and all Board members.
We want to move strong and collectively, not necessarily faster and more efficiently.
We are going to be discussing a reset to make this space truly reflective.
- Question for Breakout groups: How do we engage those who are left out of our meetings (accessibility via internet, culture of voices, racial makeup, etc.) ?
- We are also hoping to implement a leader led model, where WSCO members take on leadership roles in facilitating and planning Voices.
Action circles that are currently facilitated in the Voices Space are:
- Housing Justice - renter rights
- WS 100 - voter participation, non-partisan GOTV
- Health and Environmental Justice (HEJ)
- Community Care - life-affirming public safety and how we keep eachother safe
- Land Use - wide array of issues around zoning, planning, bike lanes, lighting, business licenses, etc.
Expanded definitions of these action circles can be found on the website. These circles have historically been different and could change in the future depending on collective will and desires!
Request for Letter of Support: Taco N Madre:
WSCO as a district council is often asked for letters of support from businesses (for example, liquor licenses or sound permits. Usually temporary requests are fielded by the Land Use committee and more permanent ones are fielded by the whole Voices meeting.
Taco N Madre, a Mexican restaurant at 63 Winifred, has applied for a liquor license to allow them to serve beer and wine until midnight, just inside the restaurant. Business owners Maria Gonzalez and her husband have asked WSCO for a letter of support.
Maria Cortez Gonzlez, born in Mexico and grew up in the West Side. Very excited to have her new restaurant on the West Side. Wants this to be a family-safe space, and alcohol will only be served with an order of food (so one couldn’t use the space as a bar).
- Voting Members vote in favor of a letter supporting Taco N Madre’s request for a limited liquor license. Members used fist-to-tive (0-5) voting system, all members vote 4 or 5 (PASSES)
Announcements and Updates
- WS Farmers is looking for board members! Apply today via Facebook WS Farmers Market or contact Mackenzie - 651.253.5905 or https://westsidefarmersmarket.net/wes-side-farmers-market-board/
- La Clinica is working on a mural project with Goodspace murals. Currently in the design stage, they are looking for input on content and subject for the mural to express our neighborhood.
Take the survey before the end of February here to share your thoughts: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QNDBSPB
And check out a short video on La Clinica’s mural project here: https://youtu.be/BEm0Yo1ZHn4
Or contact Jo Pineda at [email protected] with more questions
- Beautiful Laundrette is hiring a Project Associate for programming within the laundromat. Project Associate for Wash and Learn Initiative learn more and apply here
- Health and Environmental Justice (HEJ) is looking to create a sign for the Garden of Good Hearts. If you have access to wood or paint, let Ellie know at [email protected]
- Land Use has a lot of projects coming down the pipeline, and looking for a time to meet outside the regular Voices meeting.
- First training for the Scorecard team begins this week: a busy time with organizing trainings, processing, and meetings with developers.
Review and Approval of Meeting Notes
In interest of transparency and public participation, WSCO is now bringing our Voices notes to be approved by the Voices voting members.
November Notes: https://bit.ly/39pINtE
December Notes: https://bit.ly/35QEqXJ
- Clarification around labor abuse and Reuter Walton from November notes.
- We amend the note in red from November notes that read “not sure about this”
- November notes approved for website with amendments.
- December notes approved for website.
Break-out Group Updates
HEJ (Health and Environmental Justice):
- Discussed Solar on the schools project
- Making Voices more accessible: feeling that Land Use sometimes takes up a lot of space at Voices (We need more HEJ meetings/things are too rushed, choosing between too many options)
- Speakers of diverse backgrounds
- How could we have more “bite-sized” things… small videos on FB, smaller gatherings, not committing to coming to a two hour zoom meeting… digestible
- Need to go more door-to-door (find different ways to reach out)
- One way to make Voices more accessible would be to get to the action circles earlier, as the meeting often feels very administrative and procedural which can be alienating or dry for new attendees.
- Discussed 2021 focus areas: SAFE Tenant Ordinance outreach, Eviction Defense, and Rent Stabilization
- Making Voices more accessible: personal invitations go a long way in getting people to Voices, or maybe a big outside banner.
- Voices Reset - Communicate what we do. Tables in public places. Recruit - ask people to add to calendar.
- Put sign in businesses about Voices Meetings
- Digital Divide - Drop off big signs - put up Voices invitation. Perhaps use Teen job corp this summer promoting voices. Right Track City program for youth.
- How do we feel safe and know our neighbors? What does it feel like when someone makes you feel unsafe, and when that is someone you know?
- People need to see their own interest in issues, collaborating with the HENS campaign.
- Having buddies inviting them to Voices and check-in with them.
- We have to talk about our values, understanding that many immigrant communities have more conservative politics, so how do we center our values not our politics.
What are we going to do about white supremacists who surrounded Carlos Mariani’s house recently? Discussion on peaceful response in case this happens again. Many people indicated interest in being added to the rapid response Signal thread for neighbors.
Attendees: Becky Dale, Martin Hernandez, Elizabeth Dickinson, Sherilyn Young, Gail Merriam, Signe Hushagen, Monica Bryand, Leticia Silva, Sebastian Ellefson, Derek Johnson, Laurie Sovell, Jen Crea, Donna Maeda, Bob Craft, Anna Ferris, Mike Herndon, Kareem Smith, Dan Conlan Alicia Lucio, Hokan Miller, Lauren Glass
Leah Shephard, Michael Mcdowell, Charlotte Colantti, Monica Bravo, Genevieve Roudané, Elizabeth Leonardsmith, Mackenzi Dolo-Tolstoy, Maria Gonzalez, Marcus Troy, Brian and Debbie Madson, Karen Reid, Augustina Borroel, Kathleen Ganley, Yasmin Muridi, Sue Letourneau, Jo Pineda, Kendra Kallevig, Kayla Rivera, Eve Onduru, Katerina, Gustavo Lira Garcia