Seattle Foundation Blog

Element Notes

In this roundup, Seattle may need to expand its disability accommodations, we’re on the edge of 4 global famines and a new shelter offers accommodations for pets and partners.

April 20, 2017

Deep community knowledge is a key benefit of working with Seattle Foundation. Our team has extensive knowledge about community issues and trends, as well as an expansive network of relationships with nonprofit organizations working locally, nationally and globally. We track key developments in each element of our Healthy Community Framework:  Arts & Culture, Basic Needs, Economy, Education, Environment, Health & Wellness, Vibrant Communities and Global Giving. Every other week, we compile Element Notes to share the latest developments affecting efforts to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all.

Arts and Culture

Sales tax for arts? King County Executive Dow Constantine’s plan hits big hurdle
Metropolitan King County Council member Dave Upthegrove has put the brakes on a proposed 0.1 percent county-sales-tax increase intended to boost arts, science and culture programs.

Basic Need

Seattle neglected to collect $3.4M payment for affordable housing as two skyscrapers were built
Seattle officials neglected for years to collect a $3.4 million contribution for affordable housing from the developer of a high-rise condo project. That’s one of many findings from an audit of the city’s Incentive Zoning program.

Taller buildings coming: Seattle council approves upzone in downtown, South Lake Union
The zoning changes will trigger in downtown and South Lake Union the city’s new Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program, which requires developers to include rent-restricted units in their buildings or pay fees to help create such units elsewhere.

24/7 homeless shelter with room for partners and friends coming to First Hill
Unlike many shelters, Compass Housing Alliance’s new 100-bed shelter will include storage and welcome pets. These amenities and rule changes may reach those who have chosen not to stay in shelters in the past.


Will the last middle-class person leaving Seattle turn out the lights?
In Seattle’s massive economic and population boom this decade, the middle class has largely been left behind. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of Seattle residents who earn more than $75,000 grew at a rate 11 times faster than those earning less.


Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just 1 Famine, but 4
The United Nations announced this month that more than 20 million people in four countries are on the edge of famine, calling the situation “one of the biggest humanitarian disasters” since the end of World War II.

Child Deaths Drop From 14.2 Million In 1990 To 7.3 Million In 2015
“Mortality for children is on the decline worldwide due in large part to a focus on vaccinations, clean water, sanitation and antenatal care.”-- A new report from JAMA Pediatrics and Dr. Nicholas J. Kasselbaum of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation finds that global child mortality has decreased by nearly half in 15 years.

Health and Wellness

Foster care ‘on the cheap’ — Washington’s recipe for failure
A recent report by the Children’s Administration shows how many of the highest-needs foster children in its custody are falling through the cracks. Washington state faces a perpetual shortage of foster homes, and options to care for children with severe behavioral, mental health and medical challenges are stretched even thinner. 

Seattle may have to spend millions making sidewalks more accessible to people with disabilities
The city is headed toward a court settlement that could end up costing millions of dollars to make sidewalks more usable for people with disabilities.

Vibrant Communities

Young Somalis raise $5,000 for drought relief at Seattle fundraiser
In March, more than a hundred people died in just 2 days in Somalia’s drought. A group of Somali youth in Seattle organized “Somali Wild n’ Out 206,” as a fundraiser to benefit Horn of Africa’s services in Somalia.


Redefining Philanthropy: How African-Americans Give Back
A Kellogg study found that African-Americans give a larger share of their income to charities than any other group. Tracey Webb, founder of The Black Benefactors and, talks to host NPR Michel Martin about African American philanthropy.

Systems Change in a Polarized Country
A growing number of US foundations are adopting practices based on systems change to achieve their goals in the current political environment.



For Philanthropists


social equalityBasic Needseconomic opportunityhealthy community frameworkphilanthropistseducationChildren and youthcommunities of opportunityElement Notes news roundup

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