From the Magnolia Community Council – public input needed for proposed Transportation Levy

June 5, 2024 – per the Magnolia Community Council.


The Mayor and City Council have once again increased the size of the much needed Move Seattle Levy renewal. Overall, the levy, the largest property tax levy in Seattle’s history, puts safety at the fore, with spending aimed at slowing drivers down, fixing old bridges, planning replacement of the BIRT Corridor bridges, building new sidewalks and bikeways, and maintaining and installing crosswalks. Each District will be allocated an additional $1M for its specific needs.

The Select Committee on 2024 Levy Renewal will discuss amendments in committee at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday (June 4th), and the public will have a chance to weigh in 4:30 p.m., either in person at City Hall, or remotely by phone or email. The council has two more meetings to amend the levy proposal, June 18 and July 12, before it sends it to voters on the November ballot. [emphasis added]

We recommend that Magnolia residents submit written comments to Councilmembers at Helpful comments will include concern about Magnolia’s infrastructure connections to the rest of the city, and appreciation that the levy proposal is directing appropriate funding to plan for the future. Mention that the Magnolia community is eager to engage in real dialogue about planning to the Magnolia Bridge replacement, since the last study was inadequate in its scope and assessments.

Thank you for your support of this important initiative!

The Magnolia Community Council

SDOT Seeking Your Comments NOW – new transportation levy

April 21, 2024, per the Magnolia Community Council

Three quick action steps and information Magnolia needs to know!

Dear Neighbors,

The draft Move Seattle Levy renewal proposes $218M for Seattle’s Bridges. The Magnolia Bridge is a “candidate bridge” among their list of five bridges for “structural repairs”, and there is also a proposed funding category of “early design of five structures to seek funding partnerships for replacement.”

The Magnolia Community Council welcomes its dedicated funding stream for what we know to be aging infrastructures such as the Magnolia and Ballard Bridges.

MCC is seeking more details in addition to the general themes of the draft proposal, particularly if and how the City is planning to leverage governmental grants and partnerships to move the Ballard-Interbay corridor work forward, leading to the 1:1 replacement of the Magnolia Bridge. There will be more opportunities for input to the final draft, and we advocate commenting early and often.

In the meantime, there are three easy actions to help the neighborhood:

  1. Complete the short Transportation Questionnaire (Deadline Friday, April 26th). Page one surveys bike and pedestrian improvements, Page two surveys road conditions, freight, and transit, and Page three concerns transit connections (east-west, light rail), electric vehicles, and expanding local input for street projects.
  2. Send a message to SDOT Join the upcoming community events, and mention the Magnolia Bridge, at the Ballard Farmer’s Market on Sunday, April 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  3. Please send an email to Magnolia’s Seattle Council members, CM Dan Strauss and CM Bob Kettle, about the Move Seattle Levy proposal. Suggested language from the Magnolia Community Council are accessed by clicking on links.
  4. The Magnolia Community Council appreciates your support of this important initiative and can be contacted for additional information by contacting the Magnolia Community Council here.

Mayor Harrell holds public forum to discuss Creating a Safer Seattle

March 20, 2024. Mayor Bruce Harrell hosted a public forum on March 14th to discuss his vision for creating a safer Seattle and to hear directly from community members on safety challenges, accomplishments, and opportunities. Other city leaders joined him in the Creating a Safer Seattle forum, including:

Chief Adrian Diaz, Seattle Police Department 
Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, Seattle Fire Department
Chief Amy Smith, Community Assisted Response and Engagement (CARE)
Director Tanya Kim, Human Services Department (HSD)

To watch the forum, click here.

Technology Assisted Crime Prevention Pilot Project – learn more, provide comments

March 20, 2024. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell is proposing a pilot program for the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to explore and evaluate the use of new technologies to assist in crime deterrence and prevention in specific locations where gun violence, human trafficking, and persistent felony crime are concentrated.

As proposed, the group of new technologies will help the City’s public safety response to aid victims, locate and preserve evidence and hold accountable those responsible for gun violence, alert real-time crime center staff to a serious criminal event, see multiple streams of information overlaid on a map view and convey that information to officers who are responding in the field.  

The city is nearing the end of a public comment period and encourages residents to learn more about the proposed technologies. You can learn more here, view a PowerPoint presentation, and provide your comments by Friday, March 22, 2024.

Mayor Harrell to hold Public Safety Meeting – March 14th, 6 pm to 7:30 pm

March 14, 2024. Public safety is not just the first charter responsibility of Seattle’s city government, it is the top issue for the Seattle community today. Mayor Harrell is hosting a meeting March 14th starting at 6 pm with constituents to hear concerns and ideas, and to share the actions the city under the Mayor’s leadership are taking, Seats are sold out, but you can watch on the Seattle Channel here.

In a press release on March 12th, Mayor Harrell says. “I am proud of our work to diversify public response options, address gun violence, and improve response times. But I know – we all know – that there is still more work to do. Community engagement, collaboration, and conversation is essential to our One Seattle vision for a safer city, because we can only make progress together.”

In case you can’t make the meeting tonight, there will be similar forums in April in each of the five Seattle Police Department Precincts. Magnolia is in Precinct 5. We will keep you informed, or you can check in with the Mayor’s office website and social media accounts for updates in the weeks ahead.

Free Mental Health First Aid Program Available to Employers

March 14, 2024. The Mental Health First Aid – or MHFA program – at Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care is partnered with King County to provide mental health first aid training that teaches participants how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. This training benefits organizations like the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce and its members by equipping employers, employees, and volunteers with the necessary tools to recognize when they, or someone they know, may need mental health support. 

The MHFA program offers one-day mental health training at no cost to employers. MHFA teaches how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adults. Participants build the skills and confidence they need to reach out and provide initial support to struggling people. Training participants also learn how to help connect them to appropriate support. To learn more details about the youth and adult training, click here.

The MHFA training is offered to employers on weekdays and Saturdays and is available in person and virtually. Currently, training is scheduled, and anyone can join. MHFA is also working on scheduling additional training dates for the remainder of 2024. The following are trainings currently scheduled:

English led trainings:  

  • Saturday, March 30thadult virtual class, click here to register 
  • Friday, April 5thadult virtual class, click here to register                             
  • Wednesday, March 20thyouth virtual class, click here to register
  • Thursday, April 11thyouth virtual class, click here to register

Spanish led trainings: 

  • Saturday, March 23rdyouth virtual class, click here to register
  • Saturday, April 6thyouth virtual class; click here to register 
  • Saturday, March 30thadult virtual class; click here to register 
  • Saturday, April 13thadult virtual class; click here to register 

In-person trainings:   

  • Friday, April 5th, in-person Youth training in Kenmore WA, click here for more information and to register.
  • Thursday, May 2ndAdult (English) class in Renton, WA; click here to register.   

If you’d like to learn more, have questions, or are interested in setting up a training, you can find more information and all upcoming trainings on the Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care website.  

Scam Alert from state Attorney General – heads up for small businesses

February 7, 2024. Washington State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, is alerting organizations statewide to a recent Consumer Protection Act enforcement action his office filed against a scammer targeting Washington small business owners.

Washington Labor Law Poster Service is deceptively posing as a governmental agency and sending hundreds of thousands of solicitations to Washington businesses. They advertise an Olympia address but are based out of Michigan. They mail the letters in envelopes with threatening language about legal consequences for not immediately purchasing the advertised poster products for $79.50 or more. These posters are available from government agencies free of charge.

This scam is likely targeted at some of our members. The Attorney General reports that more than 1,500 Washington businesses have fallen for this scam, which might be much higher.

We are linking the information provided by Attorney General Ferguson so you can learn more and protect yourself and your business from fraudulent and illegal scamming activities.

Information on Ballard Bridge & 15th Ave NW & W Safety and Paving Project

January 22, 2024. On Wednesday, January 17th, Seattle Department of Transportation representatives joined Magnolia Chamber members and guests to learn more about the Ballard Bridge & 15th Ave. NW & W Safety and Paving Project (the project). The project is slated to begin once final contractors are selected.

We thank SDOT’s Jules Posadas for his responsiveness and organizing the meeting held at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, who graciously opened their meeting hall for the information-sharing session. We also thank SDOT’s Marilyn Yim, Nyles Green, and Neftalie Gonzales for attending the meeting and providing information and support.

For those seeking detailed minutes from the meeting, please click here. Many thanks to Chamber board member Melanie Audette for taking thorough and informative meeting notes.

Other key documents and tips for staying informed and engaged:

Magnolia ranked the friendliest neighborhood in the U.S., finds new report

January 19, 2024. A just-released report from the home improvement services website All-Star Home named Magnolia the #1 most friendly American neighborhood. The report notes that a friendly location like Magnolia, which tops the list above 19 other high ranking neighborhoods in cities across the country, has qualities like easy access to a local shops, businesses, and services. Indeed, the report’s data shows that nearly 20 percent of reviews for businesses in Magnolia were described as “friendly.”

The All-Star Home list of the most friendly neighborhoods across the nation was developed by looking at the 200 most viewed city neighborhoods on Zillow in 2022. The report then analyzed nearly 150k Google reviews for businesses in those neighborhoods. They analyzed businesses in ten categories: banks, bars & pubs, beauty salons, car-repair shops, convenience stores, dry cleaners, grocery stores, pharmacies, and post offices. They then looked at the average number of reviews with the word “friendly” in them and Magnolia led the way! The report has been picked up by several news outlets across the country, including broadcast, cable, and print media.

We are delighted that the report found what we already know. Magnolia has the most friendly, accessible, and available shops, stores, businesses, and services not only in the city, but the state and now, the entire U.S. Pat yourself on the back Magnolia, and smile – let’s earn the #1 friendliest neighborhood in the U.S. moniker every year!

SDOT Meeting on Jan. 17th – Ballard Bridge, 15th Ave W. & NW Safety & Paving Project

The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce is holding an information meeting on the 15th Ave NW & W and Ballard Bridge Safety and Paving project (the project) with the Seattle Department of Transportation on Wednesday, January 17, from 6 to 7 pm at the Episcopal Church of Ascension, located at 2230 Viewmont Way W.

The event is in response to several Chamber members wanting to know more about the project, which is slated to begin in early 2024. The meeting will provide an opportunity for SDOT to explain the project that will create traffic challenges at different times for those entering 15th Ave W., primarily from the Emerson Street and Dravus Street bridges. Attendees will be able to ask questions from SDOT officials and seek a better understanding of traffic management in anticipation of lane closures, varying construction hours, and how SDOT plans to manage traffic in and out of Magnolia, primarily for those traveling on 15th Ave W & NW in and out of Magnolia.

The project is part of the Levy to Move Seattle, passed by voters in 2015. The project will be one of the last projects funded by the nine-year levy, which is set to expire this year. The project aims to restore the road condition of a critical piece of Seattle’s transportation network, extend the useful life of one of Seattle’s busiest streets and bridges, and contribute to a safer and more comfortable travel experience for all road users.

Please RSVP to Jason Thibeaux, Executive Director, at if you will attend the January 17th information meeting. For more information, contact Jason at 206.618.1589.