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C200: Leadership for Great Neighborhoods

2011 April 4
by Jessie Clawson and Dan McGrady

< Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood; photo: Dan Bertolet >

We all know that cities are the way to go. The better the city, the better off we, and the planet, are.

Founded three years ago, Leadership for Great Neighborhoods (LGN) is a coalition of community and neighborhood leaders, residents, business owners and other stakeholders that shares the Citytank philosophy that cities are the answer. But while Citytank’s vital role is to educate, inspire, to contradict orthodoxy and to shake things up, the mission of LGN is to engage at the neighborhood and city-wide level, with the goal of making Seattle more livable, more exciting, more fun.

The question is how will LGN do it?

To paraphrase Mary Elizabeth Lease, we are going to write fewer white papers and raise more hell.

What does this mean? We engage at the neighborhood level on planning, land use and zoning issues to make sure neighborhoods have the proper tools to shape their community. We also work with city leaders to make sure proper funding tools are available to pay for the things that make neighborhoods livable and attractive to people from all walks of life. We hold city leaders accountable in our quest to help Seattle achieve it’s full potential.

We look forward to Citytank and LGN working as a complementary pair: Citytank provides the insight, the ammunition, the information, and the creativity to help advocates bring about the changes we need to make Seattle work better for its people. LGN deploys the foot soldiers working in communities and at City Hall to make Seattle live up to its ideals.


Jessie Clawson and Dan McGrady are conspiring to get the City of Seattle in gear through Leadership for Great Neighborhoods.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Seattlist permalink
    April 4, 2011

    I know your hearts are in the right place and I support your goals. But real neighborhood leadership has to come from neighbors, not from McCullough Hill or from Vulcan.

    • Jessie permalink
      April 5, 2011


      But aren’t we all neighbors? I’m part of LGN, but I’m also a neighbor in my own neighborhood, and a neighbor to other parts of the City. If we compartmentalize I find that instead of an overall good City-level planning situation you end up with some well-planned areas (downtown), some not so well-planned areas (station areas), some areas that don’t have the time or money to advocate for livability necessities for their neighborhood (south seattle), and certain areas that are too protective, are resistant to good change and say no to everything (magnolia, roosevelt). What we’re hoping is to get neighbors and neighborhoods to advocate for each other, for the good of the City.

      • Holly permalink
        April 6, 2011

        Jessie – we should have drinks sometime.

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