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City needs school traffic safety and Parks & Rec volunteers, PayByPhone fee eliminated, Democracy Vouchers on their way

The Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee is accepting applications for new members. The volunteer board advises the Mayor and City Council on how to make walking and biking to school safer and easier, including where to place adult crossing guards, school traffic signs and signals, school safety patrols, bicycle facilities, sidewalks and student traffic safety education. Board members serve a three-year term, with an opportunity to serve a second term. Members must be Seattle residents and not employed by the city. The board meets the fourth Friday of each month with occasional meetings at school sites or school crossings. If interested, send a resume and cover letter by 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 to Serena Lehman at [email protected]
Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting a Volunteer Information Fair from 12-3 p.m. on Jan. 25 at Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S., and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 2 at Northgate Community Center, 10510 5th Ave. NE. Free lunch will be served. Representatives from several Parks units will be on hand to describe their volunteer needs, including the Green Seattle Partnership, Environmental Learning Centers, Community Advisory Councils, Adopt a Park and more. For questions or to sign up to attend, call Cheryl Brown at 206-615-0619.
Seattle Department of Transportation is eliminating the 35-cent transaction fee for those who use the PayByPhone smart phone app for on-street paid parking. PayByPhone allows users to receive text messages when parking is about to expire and, if time is still available, to extend parking without returning to their cars. According to SDOT, about 14 percent of all on-street paid parking is paid for using the PayByPhone app (about 1.4 million transactions in 2016). You can download the free PayByPhone app through the Apple Store or Google Play. The city plans to eventually add Apple Pay and Android Pay to the app’s payment options.
The new Democracy Vouchers should hit mailboxes soon. The vouchers were approved by voters as the first of its kind public campaign finance program. The vouchers are distributed by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.

All registered voters in Seattle and those who have applied for the program will receive $100 in Democracy Vouchers. Seattle residents may only give Democracy Vouchers to participating candidates running for Seattle City Council or City Attorney in the 2017 elections. The program will expand to include the Mayor’s race in 2021.
Seattle residents are urged to keep their Democracy Vouchers in a safe place. Democracy Vouchers may be assigned to candidates beginning January 3, 2017 to November 30, 2017. New candidates have until June 2, 2017 to enter the program.
Seattle residents who are not registered voters are encouraged to apply for Democracy Vouchers. To be eligible for the $100 in Democracy Vouchers, residents must live in Seattle, be at least 18 years of age, and be either a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident “green card holder”.
Seattle registered voters do not need to apply for the program and will automatically receive their Democracy Vouchers by mail after January 3. While most vouchers will arrive within seven days, some may take longer.

For a list of candidates eligible to receive Democracy Vouchers, see the website, or call 206-727-8855 for a recorded list. The list will be updated as new candidates enter the program.
Seattle Parks and Recreation is asking for community input on its 2017 Development Plan, Gap Analysis and Long-term Acquisition strategies for open space. You can provide your two cents at a Housing Affordability and Livability (HALA) Open House from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at Optimism Brewing, 1158 Broadway.

This open house is being held in conjunction with other City departments and provides an opportunity for the community to learn about SPR’s walkability mapping and to give input on priorities for long-term open space acquisition goals.
The 2017 Development Plan is a 6-year plan that documents and describes SPR facilities and lands, looks at Seattle’s changing demographics, and lays out a vision for the future. A goal in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan is to consider access to our parks by transit, bicycle, and on foot when acquiring, siting and designing new park facilities or improving existing ones. SPR manages approximately 11% of the City’s land area, and is proposing a new mapping approach based upon walkability to inform the City’s long-term acquisition strategies for future open space.
For more information on other Housing Affordability and Livability (HALA) community events and to see which City departments will be attending, please visit https://www.seattle.gov/hala/calendar.