Help Wanted: Beautification Team Member

The UDP is hiring a Beautification Team member to keep the sidewalks, curbs, and other areas of the physical environment of the U District Business Improvement Area (UDBIA) clean and free of litter, trash, and other forms of debris. Beautification Team Members will be tasked with implementing and maintaining beautification efforts throughout the U District Business Improvement Area. Apply on Indeed.com here.

New REACH Mental Health Outreach Program Coming to the U District

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The U District Business Improvement Area (UDBIA) and U District Partnership (UDP) are excited to announce the launch of our new contract with Evergreen Treatment Services to bring their successful REACH mental health outreach program to the U District. Starting on March 18th, REACH will provide a full time Outreach Care Coordinator dedicated to building relationships with members of our community suffering from various forms of mental illness and connecting them with the care and services they so desperately need. Bringing this program to our neighborhood is a critical and important step towards addressing the regional mental health crisis. To read our full announcement, go here.

"The REACH program will provide a critical wrap around community service that provides much more than a Band-Aid to our ongoing mental health crisis.  It is a proven, effective program that provides Seattleites who are struggling with long-term solutions and pathways to medical care, housing and job opportunities." - Maureen Ewing, Executive Director of the University Heights Center and UDBIA Chairperson

Report on Prolific Offenders in Seattle’s Criminal Justice System

Dear U District Community Member:

On February 25, several of Seattle’s neighborhood business districts, including the U District, transmitted a report to municipal elected officials that analyzes the impact of prolific offenders in our city.

“System Failure – Report on Prolific Offenders in Seattle’s Criminal Justice System” was commissioned by neighborhood business districts in Pioneer Square, Chinatown/International District, SODO, Downtown, Ballard, the University District, and Seattle’s tourism industry. It analyzes a sample of 100 individuals with high-frequency levels of criminal activity (four King County Jail bookings within the past year), community impact, root causes of problem behaviors, and why Seattle’s criminal justice system fails to reduce their recidivism. Report data was compiled from publicly available databases.

Why was the report conducted?

  • The report follows up the neighborhood public safety forum last fall where prolific offenders were discussed among residents, elected officials, criminal justice system representatives and police. The neighborhoods took it upon themselves to investigate further.

  • Neighborhood business leaders across the city want to understand why public safety conditions have not been improving and to document prolific offenders’ impact

  • Offenders with dozens of state and local criminal cases, some compiled in just a few years, are repeatedly returning to Seattle’s busiest neighborhoods and inflicting more crime

  • A large amount of criminal behavior seems to be carried out by people who have been cycled through the criminal justice system with little impact on their behavior

  • Neighborhood businesses, residents and visitors are asking for help in the face of thefts, assaults, and other crimes

Key Report Findings

  •  A substantial portion of the criminal activity that has the greatest impact on Seattle’s busiest neighborhoods is committed by a relatively small number of prolific offenders who have a large number of criminal cases in Seattle and King County courts. This data aligns with the Seattle Police Department’s SeaStat which addresses crime hotspots based on analysis of crime data and community reports of incidents

  •  Many individuals profiled in the report have 10 or more bookings into jail in the past year and 50 or more criminal cases over a multi-year span

  •  Prolific offenders repeatedly victimize Seattle’s busiest neighborhoods as they cycle through the criminal justice system, creating ongoing public safety hazards and possibly causing harm to themselves  

  • Many are drug-addicted, have mental health problems and do not, or cannot, comply with the terms of their sentences and deferrals.  They continuously cycle through the criminal justice system with no changes in their behavior, and are repeatedly returned to Seattle’s streets to commit more crimes and may often pose harm to themselves and others

  • Many prolific offender crimes involve theft to pay for drugs

  • Prolific offenders frequently manipulate the system to evade jail bookings

  • Case filing delays hamper Seattle’s retail theft program; it takes the city attorney’s office an average of six months to file theft cases from major retailers, allowing offenders to remain on the streets in the interi

For several years, our organizations have raised concerns about growing public safety challenges in our neighborhoods. And many of you, your customers and visitors are asking for help in the fac of thefts, assaults, and other crimes.

Recommendations

  • Based on this report, Seattle’s criminal justice system is not meeting its obligation to protect public safety in our communities

  • We fully support a policy that includes alternatives to incarceration and access to behavioral health treatment - but for that system to work there must be accountability for outcomes within the justice system and for the people who continue to repeatedly cause harm in our communities

  • The answer, we believe, is wholesale reform of our city's criminal justice system that facilitates greater accountability in dealing with prolific offenders effectively and humanely

What are the neighborhood business districts asking for?

  • We expect our municipal leadership to begin working on a long-term solution, and take immediate action to reduce the impact these prolific offenders have upon our neighborhoods

  • This issue is of paramount importance to our organizations and the tens of thousands of businesses, residents, and visitors that we collectively represent. As such, we are committed to working together collaboratively with you in the days and weeks ahead

  • Seattle’s neighborhoods are in need of immediate relief from the impact of these prolific offenders – we need the criminal justice system to demonstrate accountability

  • We want to work with Mayor Durkan to fix this broken system, improve outcomes for these offenders and improve public safety throughout the city

  •  We understand that this is a complex issue. By no means do we consider ourselves experts in criminal justice reform. However, as leaders of our respective neighborhoods, we are acutely familiar with the results of this system failure 

We have shared this report with Seattle’s elected officials, including the mayor’s office, city council, city attorney, municipal judges, and others – and we have asked Mayor Durkan for her leadership in finding long-term, sustainable solutions to this issue. We hope you’ll raise your voice as well.

Speak Up

Please send your comments via email to the city officials listed below.  It is critically important that we take this opportunity to have our views on public safety known to the elected leadership of our city:

Mayor Jenny Durkan, Jenny.Durkan@seattle.gov

Pete Holmes, Seattle City Attorney, Pete.Holmes@seattle.gov

Honorable Ed McKenna, Presiding Judge, Seattle Municipal Court, Ed.Mckenna@seattle.gov

Seattle City Councilmembers:

Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov

Lisa.Herbold@seattle.gov

Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov

Rob.Johnson@seattle.gov

Debora.Jaurez@seattle.gov

Mike.Obrien@seattle.gov

Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov

Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov

Teresa.Mosqueda@seattle.gov

Sincerely,

Mark W. Crawford
Interim Executive Director
U District Partnership 1415 NE 45th Street Suite 401
Seattle, WA 98105 
Office:  
206-547-4417


Public Meeting: The U District 2020 t­o 2030

The U District Business Improvement Area (UDBIA) and the U District Partnership (UDP) hosted a public meeting on Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the University Masonic Lodge, 4338 University Way NE.

Thank you to everyone who attended and filled out our survey. If you missed the meeting, we still want to hear from you. Take our online survey here. The survey deadline is March 31, 2019.


UDP Interim Executive Director Mark Crawford shared information on the U District BIA and its current work; major change influences impacting the U District; and proposals for meeting those change influences. UDP staff asked for input from community members at the meeting through direct dialogue and surveys. If you were not able to attend or would like to review the presentation slides, those are available here. You can also find information about the meeting on our Facebook event page.

U District Partnership Working in Temporary Office Space

Temporary office address: 1415 NE 45th St., Suite 401, Seattle, WA  98105

On January 19, 2019, the UDP office was damaged due to fire. We are thankful that there were no injuries and appreciate the excellent response by the Seattle Fire Department. We also thank the city's Office of Economic Development for sending a representative within 24 hours to reach out and work with affected businesses. Executive Director Mark Crawford said, “We had so many offers of help from folks in our community and we deeply appreciate this assistance. This is what makes this community such a great place to live and work.”

We have moved to a new space right down the street while our offices are being renovated after a fire. Our new address is 1415 NE 45th St., Suite 401, Seattle, WA  98105. The building is secure so please call our office in advance at 206-547-4417 for access if you are visiting. 

Thank you to the University of Washington for helping us locate temporary office space. We are very grateful to Director of Sales & Marketing Theresa Raleigh and the team at the Graduate Hotel for making a meeting room available to us for two weeks while we were displaced. We also appreciate WSECU for providing the Rita Koontz Community Meeting Space for meetings. Many thanks to these great neighbors for their support! 

If you need to reach us, please email us at info@udistrictpartnership.org or call us at 206-547-4417.


New Cleaning Contractor for the U District

The UDP has selected Elm Grove as the new cleaning company for the North and South Cleaning Areas starting on September 1. You will see Elm Grove staff working in the same purple UDP vests our Ambassadors and Beautification team members wear. We appreciate the seventeen years that Recology provided neighborhood cleaning services.

Elm Grove will provide the following services:

  • Seven day a week cleaning of the South Cleaning Area

  • Two day a week cleaning of the North Cleaning Area

  • Litter and leaf removal for sidewalks and streets

  • Graffiti on a case-by-case basis

  • Removal of stickers and illegal postings

  • 24-hour biohazard removal (human waste pickup and body fluid cleanup). To report a biohazard, email s.elmgrovellc@gmail.com or call 206-371-4486. Elm Grove is trained to ensure safe disposal of these dangerous items.

  • 8 hours of pressure washing per month throughout the cleaning areas as scheduled by our office; call Marcus Johnson at (206) 547-4417 to schedule additional pressure washing for a fee

  • Snow removal and salt application

Elm Grove has worked on other cleaning jobs in the U District since 2017. Owner Oliver Campos says, “We’re excited to be working in the U District again. It’s a great atmosphere.” Campos stresses the availability of the Elm Grove team: “We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365. We can dispatch any time.”

To learn more about the cleaning services within the BIA Cleaning Areas, contact Marcus Johnson by phone (206) 547-4417 or by email marcus@udistrictpartnership.org. Anyone is welcome to join the U District Partnership on our monthly BIA Walk where we walk the cleaning area with our contractor and other stakeholders. We meet at the UDP office (4507 University Way NE, Suite 209) on the third Friday of the month at 9:00 am.


The U District Partnership Seeks Qualified Candidates for Board of Directors Position

The Board of the U District Partnership (UDP) is recruiting candidates to fill a vacancy on its Board. Qualified candidates must have resided in the U District in either an apartment or condominium for a minimum of three years with the intent to continue living in the District for the foreseeable future.

Requirements for to be a Board member include: a belief in the UDP mission and a commitment to support its goals; regular attendance and participation at Board meetings (usually meeting once a month on the third Tuesday at 11:30) and a commitment to prepare for those meetings using materials that are distributed beforehand; active participation in at least one committee; and a willingness to serve as an ambassador for the U District and the UDP.

Requirements for to be a Board member include: a belief in the UDP mission and a commitment to support its goals; regular attendance and participation at Board meetings (usually meeting once a month on the third Tuesday at 11:30) and a commitment to prepare for those meetings using materials that are distributed beforehand; active participation in at least one committee; and a willingness to serve as an ambassador for the U District and the UDP.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest, which includes address, phone number and email address, to Mark Crawford, UDP Interim Executive Director at mark@udistrictpartnership.org by January 15, 2019.

Mission: The UDP serves all who work in, live in, and visit the U District by fostering and sustaining a vibrant, diverse, and healthy neighborhood for the common good.