Seattle Works

A blog that documents all things Seattle Works…and much much more!

Millennial Generation Active in Washington! June 30, 2011

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 7:47 pm
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The program that brought me to Seattle Works enabled me to go to some great talks this past week. With the election season coming up, and our first elections committee meeting tonight, getting to listen to Thomas Bates, the Vice President for civic engagement at Rock the Vote, was a real treat!

Rock the Vote is the largest voter registration organization in the country, which uses music, pop culture and experimental techniques to encourage young people to register to vote. The 2008 general election had the largest voter turnout for young people since 1972; a great result given that even slight increases in turnout lead to exponential results in terms of impact, due to large population numbers. But how do you keep those of the Millennial Generation engaged when it is not election season? This is where Rock the Vote works hard to help re-registering people to their new homes (did you know that by 2012 over half of those who voted in 2008 will have moved to a different state, and need to re-register?!). Rock the Vote also uses various media outlets and celebrity endorsements to keep young people interested.

The other problem facing young people trying to vote is that some states have strict photo ID laws, which often isolates certain demographics. For example, we often assume that everyone has a driving license, which would enable them to vote, but we forget that this can exclude young people, old people, minorities, and those from low-income homes. This is where Rock the Vote petitions to stop this voter suppression, and try to increase online voting and same-day voting to make it as easy as possible to cast your ballot.

But even the clouds in Washington have a silver lining! Washington State actually ranked first in a national poll comparing how easy it is to vote in the state, which is largely attributed to high school civics programs. Nevertheless, our score was a 68% (in real terms the equivalent of a D-), and the national average was 41% (a definite failing grade). There is definite room for improvement, and here are 3 easy ways to help:

1. REGISTER TO VOTE! It’s easy to register online through national and local voter organizations such as Rock the Vote, or the Washington Bus. Rock the Vote can help anyone sign-up. The Washington Bus works especially with the state of Washington, and also holds fun events throughout the year. Check out their websites and sign-up today! http://www.rockthevote.org/ or http://washingtonbus.org/get-on-the-bus/register-to-vote

2. TELL YOUR FRIENDS! Research suggests that people are more likely to vote if their friends are voting – so start pestering your friends!

3. STAY POSTED! Look out for some great elections events coming up through Seattle Works in the next few months! Bring friends, have fun, and get excited! Feel free to read up on our past elections events here: http://www.seattleworks.org/AboutUs/index.php/elections/intro.html

 

Success Story in the Fight Against Invasive Plants at Mount Baker Park! June 28, 2011

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 5:29 pm
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A team of 13 Seattle Works volunteers spent their Saturday helping out at Mt Baker Park. The goal was to remove some invasive plants, such as English ivy and Himalayan blackberry, as well as carrying out other nature-related tasks. We just received word from Del Davis, via email, that the volunteers did an excellent job and carried out the work in a quick time:

“On behalf of the Mt Baker community and all those that enjoy Mt Baker park, many thanks to you and your Seattle Works team for a job well done. Your team’s hard work enabled us to remove a “ton” of invasive plants, to lay coffee sacks over approximately 1600 sq ft of previously planted area and to spread 25 cubic yards of mulch; a total work product that would have normally taken more time to accomplish. Thanks again to you and the team.”

Thank you to Michael Beenen who was the co-ordinator for this project, and thanks to Mt. Baker park for having us! It’s important to help maintain the green spaces in our city and provide a safe and fun environment for visitors; Seattle Works was happy to help! And of course, a huge thanks to the team!

 

This Just In – Another Emerging Leader Matched to a Board! June 24, 2011

Filed under: Bridge Partners,Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 11:00 am
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Not long ago we featured Le Ann Langston, a graduate of the Fall 2010 Bridge session, who has been serving on the Northwest Girls Coalition (NWGC) board. We are pleased to announce that we just got word of another connection made – Stacy Oda, a recent grad of our April 2011 training, was elected this week to the board of The School of Acrobatic and New Circus Arts (SANCA).

Read more about what they do here: www.sancaseattle.org.

Congratulations Stacy!

It’s great to hear success stories where Bridge participants can be matched to a board. The Bridge provides a great opportunity for those interested to learn about joining a board, as well as why it is so important to have a diverse group of individuals willing to serve. This article by Jeff Marcoux, Beyond ‘Doing Good’ – Benefits for Young Professionals of Sitting on a Non-Profit Board, highlights some important information to those who would ask the question: Why should I join a non-profit board? He mentions the numerous networking possibilities, and how connections made on a non-profit board can even lead to opportunities in the for-profit world. If you’re interested in exploring what being on a non-profit board could do for you, it’s definitely worth a read!

If you would like to hear more information about The Bridge and non-profit boards, or to get on the email list for future trainings, please contact Tegan Hollen (Tegan@seattleworks.org).

 

New Summer Intern June 23, 2011

Filed under: Our Team — seattleworks @ 10:44 pm
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Hey everyone, my name is Claire and I’ll be joining Seattle Works as a DukeEngage intern for the summer! I’m currently an undergraduate at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where I just finished my sophomore year. I’m double majoring in History and Public Policy Studies. Alongside 14 other Duke students, I’ll be spending the summer in Seattle to work in the community. I’m joining the Seattle Works team where I’m excited about getting involved!

I didn’t want to waste my summer at home so decided to apply for the DukeEngage program, where Duke undergraduates go through an application process to embark on different community outreach projects across the US and various international locations. I decided upon Seattle; I have never visited the city before so it sounded like a great opportunity! I’ll be here for 8 weeks doing various tasks for Seattle Works. As I enter the second half of my college experience I’ve started thinking more about what I want to do once I graduate, so I really hope that this summer will help me explore the non-profit realm so I can see how everything works and decide if it is something I want to become involved in.

Other things about me: I was born in London and have lived in Beaconsfield, a town about 30 minutes away from the city, my whole life. Being from the UK I’m pretty used to the rain and, as such, I love the weather in Seattle. I also don’t drink coffee, which is kind of weird. At Duke I spend a fair amount of my time in the library (sad, but true) but otherwise I work part-time on campus, and I enjoy going to cafés, spin class, baking and mint tea. My favorite color is lime green. I look forward to meeting everyone!

 

Missing Pet Partnership gets the help of Lebowski’s Back June 22, 2011

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 12:24 am
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Team Lebowski’s Back that is.  The summer round of Team Works had their first project last Saturday and we’re highlighting one of the team’s experiences.
Lebowski’s Back was at Missing Pet Partnership – an organization dedicated to reuniting lost companion animals with their owners/guardians.  The team of volunteers helped paint signs for lost dogs and cats on neon poster boards to give out to people with missing animals.  Missing Pet Partnership gives these posters away to families who have lost their animals because this is the best way to get the word out.

From Blog Photos

Thank you Natasha for leading your team.  And thank you Missing Pet Partnership for hosting a team of volunteers.  We love your mission and are happy to be able to help you out.

 

Remote Fridays! June 17, 2011

Filed under: Grab bag,Our Team — seattleworks @ 11:00 pm
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Have you heard about this thing we call a “flexible workspace”?  If you follow our blog it’s possible that you have!  We rent a pretty small space from the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center which we call our office, or our home base.  If every single person that works in some capacity for Seattle Works (staff, AmeriCorps, intern, contractor, work-study, bookkeeper, Percival, etc.)  were in that office at once it would be quite crowded.

Enter “flexible workspace” to save the day.  Everyone is equipped with a refurbished laptop and empowered to work from the places that make the most sense for them!  Often that’s in our office, but because we like being out and about in our community we instituted something called Remote Fridays.  Every Friday you can find Seattle Works out at a different coffee shop.  We try to switch up the neighborhoods and are open to going just about anywhere that has free wi-fi and allows us to camp out for 8+ hours at a time.

Today we’re at the Cherry Street Museum which is awesome!  They even had a chalk wall so we could mark our territory:

From Blog Photos

What’s your favorite coffee shop?  Any suggestions for where we should go next? 

 

Green Belts Give Back! June 14, 2011

Filed under: Seattle Works Day,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 5:03 pm
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We love seeing stories and write up like these.

Thank you Starwood Hotels for your continued support of Seattle Works and our community!