Last Wednesday’s RBCA Meeting – Agenda, Impressions, Next Steps

Yours truly made it to a Ravenna-Bryant Community Association meeting at long last! Huge success.

The following is my report to you, the community-at-large, in three parts (which is why this is a Friday post and wasn’t a Thursday post).


  • There were two women from the Seattle Department of Transportation present to discuss an upcoming road project (15th Avenue NE Reconstruction + the 22nd/Ravenna Ave/55th “scramble”; all to be covered in a later post).
  • There was an update on the SR 520 project from the Resident Expert on the subject (I seriously think she’s been to every meeting held for that bridge).
  • A charming elder from Sustainable NE Seattle (read his blog here) read a piece he’d written about being old, the history of the downtown Ravenna area (NE 65th St), and changes he sees coming.
  • A fairly distraught foot soldier of the 46th Legistlative District Democrats was there, asking for help before the main election. (Looking back, he could have used a group hug.)
  • Ellen Stoecker, Chair of the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association’s Sustainability Group was looking for the RBCA’s support in aligning the RNA’s Urban Village Design Guildlines (2000) with the Draft Citywide Design Guidelines (2010). She got it.
  • Recruiting new board members for 2011, finding issue followers (ex. Sisleyville, 520, Children’s expansion), forming committees around issues as well – just general talk on these
  • Planning for the BIG Fall Community Meeting in October – speakers on three or so topics, a big location (I offered to find that piece), and getting the word out


As a member of the hyperlocal, hyper-plugged-in community, I have to say that — up to this point — I’ve found the group very frustrating.  The website’s been stagnant for years. Contact information had lead to dead ends or nothingness. I didn’t even know how many people served on the board until that night (5 officers, 5 at-large). And finding meeting information was merely serendipitous (I spied the about sign at the library last month, the day before July’s meeting).

Now that I’ve been to a meeting, I feel SO MUCH better.  These are passionate people — passionate about their neighborhood, passionate about issues affecting the neighborhood.  But they’ve been at this a while (some for a long while).  Issues come and go, interest wanes, board members get graduate degrees and their time is sucked away…it happens.  I’m certainly not blaming anybody — it’s the nature of the community association beast.

Next Steps

I’m a firm believer in “See a problem? Help fix it.” Some trash on the ground? I’ll pick it up! My new neighborhood doesn’t have a blog? I should start one! My neighborhood’s community association needs some energy? I’ll join up and help supply some!

The next RBCA meeting is September 15, at the NE Branch (6-7:45pm) again (agenda includes more discussion of the BIG Community Meeting in October).  I’m going to be there again. You should join me.


YOUR TURN: What would it take to get YOU more involved in your neighborhood association?


  1. If your answer is “SNACKS,” I’m bringing them to the next meeting!


  1. […] was fortunate enough to meet Irv Thomas at last week’s Ravenna-Bryant Community Association meeting, where he shared some of his writings about the history of Ravenna and more (“Reclaiming the […]

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