I went to the Seattle North Precinct Safe Communities Conversation this evening at the North Seattle Community College. I was very impressed. All North Seattle neighborhoods were invited. All police officers representing this area were there and participated. Mayor McGinn was there, which was great! It was nice to hear him speak. I wish I could have met him in person.
There were large tables in the cafeteria to discuss issues. The goal was to prioritize concerns about public safety, share thoughts about police/community relations, offer ideas on enhancing community engagement, and select delegates to represent the groups.
We had five issues selected at our table that were a concern and received the most votes after generating around 30 ideas. The top issues were prostitution and pimping on Aurora, increased incidence of robberies and home break-ins in Fremont, pedestrian and bicycle safety in Northgate, aggressive homeless and public aggressive drunken behavior in Fremont and downtown, and street lighting in Northgate.
I believe strongly that anything that encourages better communication between police, city leaders, and the community is important. I believe strongly in participatory democracy and this was participatory democracy in action in one of the greatest cities in the world. Mayor McGinn is in charge of a great city. He doesn't duck problems. He faces them head-on. I'm impressed. He encourages dialogue.
I've been impressed with the phone calls that I get here in Seattle that notify me about criminal activity in my neighborhood. I have received a couple of these phone calls. This is great that this kind of alert would happen for the general public. There is a lot of construction in Northgate and I'm impressed that the police officers that are on the corners talk to the public.
I like being involved and that my opinions matter. I usually don't venture out at night but I'm glad I went.
I enjoyed the entertainment. There were three University of Washington students singing. I enjoyed them. It was unusual how they blended music. The girls would sing ballads and the guy would sing rap. They exchanged back and forth blending both genres of music. They were really good.