Seattle Foundation Blog

Element Notes

In this Element Notes: a victory at Standing Rock, Seattle schools face major budget shortfalls and experts and protestors alike try to predict the impact of the election across environment, education, healthcare and more

December 12, 2016

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. We hope you find it useful and let us know what you think!

Post Election Coverage


Trump’s Federal-Workforce Plans Will Blow Up the Black Middle Class … and a Lot More
Planned cuts in federal funding under Trump will disproportionately affect the Black middle class, who are more likely to have government jobs.


What unified government and electoral politics might mean for education policy
With the surge of support from white working class voters, there may be bipartisan support for more vocational training and higher education.


Climate, energy, and Trump: Progress is still possible
Despite major concerns of environmental backsliding under the new political power structure, environmentalists find hope with states and cities’ leadership, market forces and climate oriented finance.

Health and Wellness

Keeping tabs on a potential ACA repeal: Three questions to watch
With Trump in the White House and Republican control of the House and Senate, the Affordable Care Act has a real chance of being repealed. Here’s what to watch.

Vibrant Communities

Seattle mayor signs 7-point Thanksgiving ‘sanctuary city’ order
Despite Trump’s threat to defund such cities, Murrays’ order reaffirms Seattle’s status as a sanctuary city which will not actively prosecute undocumented immigrants

Seattle women (and others) march against hate
Thousands gathered on Capitol Hill Saturday to march for equal rights for all in light of Trump’s election.

Black Lives Matter protesters march through Seattle on crowded shopping day
The 3rd annual Black Friday protest brought out a large crowd to stand up for black lives in the wake of police violence and the election.

Basic Needs

Seattle rents now growing faster than in any other U.S. city
Rents in the Seattle area are rising about four times faster than the national average and have topped $2,000 a month.


Seattle schools project $74 million shortfall next year, could mean teacher layoffs
Seattle Public Schools faces a budget shortfall of as much as $74 million for the 2017-18 school year, and the district is planning for the worst-case scenario, which could include teacher layoffs and program cuts.

Early learning program emphasizes teaching moments are everywhere, even in the syrup
KUOW focuses on a unique partnership with Highline District, public housing and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to increase early childhood learning

Vibrant Communities

How to Get Your Free Money from Seattle's New Public Campaign Financing System
Last year, Seattle voters approved a new public campaign finance system that includes a small property tax levy to fund "democracy vouchers." All Seattle residents, whether or not they're registered to vote, will be eligible for $100 in vouchers each election year, going out on January 3rd, and the application process for non-voters officially opened this week. (Note that The Stranger may have ads or language that not all might find appropriate. As always, click with care.)

In quest for diversity, Seattle now has a Community Involvement Commission
The Seattle City Council this week finalized its cut of connection with district councils and the City Neighborhood Council. The cut is meant to highlight marginalized groups’ voices over overrepresented homeowners.

National Movements

Protesters Gain Victory in Fight Over Dakota Access Oil Pipeline
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a major victory on Sunday in its battle to block an oil pipeline being built near its reservation when the Department of the Army announced that it would not allow the pipeline to be drilled under a dammed section of the Missouri River.


2016 Philanthropy Trends: Americans Donate Record $373 Billion
Megadonors are the main source of the surge with a decline in middle to low income donors, leading to concerns of volatility and mission drift.



For Philanthropists


social equalityBasic Needseconomic opportunityhealthy community frameworkphilanthropistseducationChildren and youthcommunities of opportunity

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