NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Approximately 50 people attended a special meeting of the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC).
The May 16 meeting, attended by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Deputy Mayor Michael Fong, Assistant Police Chief Steve Hirjak, and Office of Economic Development Director Bobby Lee, was a discussion on what the City of Seattle has done for the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community.
Moderated by Michael Itti and Janice Deguchi, Durkan said her office is tracking several issues impacting the International District (ID), particularly the Sound Transit alignment proposals and public safety.
Durkan and Hirjak mentioned a lighting study underway to improve public safety, after the community expressed concerns about the rise in break-ins.
They also asked about recruiting more API police officers to support the ID.
When asked about displacement in the ID, Durkan and Lee acknowledged the need to ensure the neighborhood is accessible to middle- and low-income families. The new Community Preference policy will prioritize community members first, and the City is looking at strategies to promote affordable commercial space.
The community urged the mayor and City to utilize the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) framework and disaggregated data by race and ethnicity when making decisions. Community members questioned if the RSJI was used in siting the Navigation Center and trolley line in the neighborhood.
RSJI is a citywide effort to end institutionalized racism and race-based disparities in City government, and to achieve racial equity.
Community members also urged the City to use RSJI when implementing programs, especially those that impacts the elderly and limited English speaking individuals.
Seattle Colleges Chancellor Shouan Pan said, “I think [Michael Itti] did a very good job facilitating the exchange between APDC members and the mayor and her staff. It is good to raise those questions, but in order to truly move forward the issues APDC cares about, we need to follow up, perhaps with the Deputy Mayor (Fong).”
APDC meetings are held the second Wednesday of February, April, June, September, October, and December from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. at NVC Memorial Hall on 1212 South King Street.
Staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.