Seattle Works

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

Civic Boot Camp whips us into shape! August 30, 2013

Filed under: Influence,LeadNOW,Our Team — seattleworks @ 3:39 pm

photoLast week, our friends at City Club and History Link teamed up for the second round of their new project, Civic Boot Camp. We can’t stop talking about what a great experience it was! Boot Camp was built out of the idea that to make a difference in your community, you need four key things: knowledge, connection, trust and action. In turn, Boot Camp was equal parts history lesson, policy briefing, networking session and call to get off the couch and do something–all focused around the issue of the history and development of Seattle’s Waterfront. Seattle Works Program Manager Katie Tiehen and LeadNOW Committee Member Kristin Elia both attended and had this to say:

What did you think of Civic Boot Camp?

Kristin: I found the concept of the boot camp really intriguing–the idea that civic engagement should come from knowledge, connection, trust and action. I think structuring the entire day around that concept and bringing in something very tangible–like the waterfront–was the perfect combination for engagement. You could instantly connect the past, present, and future of the waterfront to various components of civic life in the city and how a more engaged public makes a big impact. And better than that, you could see how structuring future boot camps in other neighborhoods or areas could be based on something current that is directly impacting the community we live in.

Katie: I’m a history nerd, so was completely drawn into Boot Camp with the prospect of a Seattle history lesson–what I didn’t expect and was so excited to get–in addition to a crash course in urban development–was a really clear understanding of the players and paths to action in the current debate over the waterfront. The caliber of the guest speakers we had throughout the day was inspiring–and the group of fellow Boot Campers was really one of the most diverse and challenging (in the best way) groups I’ve encountered in a while! It was amazing to see and talk about how the past has really informed our present and future with regards to how we treat and see our downtown. It was also so inspiring to talk with a group of Seattleites about our shared vision for this place we live and love–we were a diverse group that shared a lot of the same values when it comes to the community in which we live!

What do you think was the most valuable takeaway?

Kristin: I thought the overarching waterfront component was one of the best pieces of the boot camp, but I also found direct action at the end of the day very valuable. We were able to engage with a community organization around the issue of the waterfront and create solid action by voting on a grant to support their work and the larger campaign overall. I found that to be a perfect, concrete end to a day filled with knowledge and engaging conversation.

Katie: I agree on the waterfront theme–I think it’s one thing to talk about civic engagement broadly and another to explore it through a really concrete, pressing issue that is affecting our community right now. I thought the idea of knowledge, connection, trust and action as the foundation for engagement was really interesting when it was introduced, but even more compelling when I really saw those pieces come together throughout the day. It’s really empowering to know the history, know the players and know the routes to change–I’m so excited to see which issue Civic Boot Camp tackles next year!

Want to learn more about Civic Boot Camp? Check out City Club–and stay tuned for announcements in the Seattle Works Weekly Email!


The Primary Election is Coming Up – Are You Informed? July 18, 2013

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 2:07 pm

Tuesday night was a one-two political punch! First we attended CityClub’s Mayoral Debate at the downtown library, followed by Washington Bus’s Candidate Survivor at Showbox at the Market.

city club debatesurvivor(photos courtesy of Deborah Wang/KUOW Photo)

The two events presented information regarding the Primary Election in VERY different contexts. For example, at Candidate Survivor, we learned that Peter Steinbrueck is the only candidate who has (admittedly) gone skinny-dipping in Lake Washington.

The agenda of the quick, ninety minute CityClub event was driven by the audience, both in advance to determine the topics and during the debate, as each audience member had cards to hold up to choose which candidate needed to elaborate on their ideas. One hot topic among the candidates was the selection of Seattle’s next police chief. They agreed that the police force needs to be held accountable for their actions on the job.

Following the debate, six mayoral candidates let their guard down and participated in Candidate Survivor, presented by The Washington Bus. McGinn, Murray, Harrell, Steinbrueck, Martin, and Gray all vied to gain support from the young people of Seattle. Currently, 48% of Seattle residents are UNDER the age of 35.

This was also an audience-driven event. After each round, the audience had the chance to text in to choose which candidates “survived” to the next round. McGinn, Murray, and Harrell all made it to the final round, with McGinn eventually winning Candidate Survivor.

Mayoral Debate                                            Candidate Survivor


Look for your Primary Election ballot in the mail!

Be informed.

The Seattle Voter’s Guide:

The Municipal League of King County Candidate Ratings:

Track your ballot! They’re on their way:

Mark your calendars for One Stop Ballot Shop – Tues 10/15 for the General Election.


How Does Social Media Engage Influencers? April 19, 2013

Filed under: Influence — seattleworks @ 12:31 pm

I recently read a report by Waggener Edstrom Worldwide called “DIGITAL PERSUASION: How Social Media Motivates Action And Drives Support For Causes.” And the question is, with social media allowing any individual to be an influencer today – what does influence really mean? And when you have a definition, how do you attract the unique breed of causes supporters – the ones who have potential to be true influencers?

Naturally, a study was conducted and four categories of influencers were established: Mainstreeters, Minimalists, Moderates and Maximizers. The report adds that no one group is better than another; in fact, each of these groups can be extremely beneficial to a cause, as long as organizations know how to engage them – and keep them engaged.
Below are a few interesting facts the from the survey:

– “Among digitally engaged, charitable Americans today, the decision to visibly support a cause or social issue apparently has less to do with appearing knowledgeable or charitable to their peers, and more to do with influencing others to join them in their support of the cause.” Wait, not only are those engaged individuals passionate about a cause – but they’re also passionate about spreading the word? We give those people two thumbs up.

– “Although respondents seem to understand the importance of using their personal brands to secure others’ support for their chosen causes, they still rank this well below more traditional means of support – such as volunteering or donating money – as the single best resource they can contribute to a cause.” Well, we couldn’t agree more.

– “Respondents themselves recognize the role of social media in effectively getting the word out about both local and global causes. More than 8 in 10 (82%) agree that it’s effective in getting more people talking about causes or issues.” Hooray social media!

And here’s a little hint for organizations: “What’s the most effective platform in an organization or cause’s arsenal? According to respondents, it’s Facebook.”

So, what should you take from this? Well, if you’re an organization – get a social media guru stat! If you already have one – pat them on the back.

If you’re an engaged individual who interacts via social media – woot! Spread the word, create awareness and show your support – you’ll see, people will listen!

And speaking of social media – connect with us via Twitter, Facebook, and our blog!

This survey is long, detailed and extremely interestingread the full report for more facts! 


Civic Dialogue + Cocktails = Winning Combo! March 8, 2013

Filed under: Influence — seattleworks @ 3:15 pm

Earlier this week a group from Seattle Works’ Election Committee met up at an event called Civic Cocktail, along with 150+ people who are also interested in civil conversations.

This event is designed to be a monthly conversation about Northwest current events. The topic for March was the proposed SODO arena and public education.

A sampling of tweets to give you a feel for the event:


Thanks to City Club, Crosscut and the Seattle Channel for this new event. If you missed it, you can watch the tape and see what you missed.

Want to come to the next one?  They’ll be held monthly on the first Wednesday and April’s registration is already open!


Election Committee Debriefs and Looks To Next Year! November 3, 2012

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 10:00 am

Thursday night the dedicated volunteers of the Election Committee met across the alley from the gum wall to debrief our election season events and their experience on the committee!

We discussed what went well at One Stop Ballot Shop:

– attendance (over 275 people)!

– location: Seattle Center was awesome

– photo booth was a hit

– candidate participation was impressive and appreciated

– and the list goes on for pages…

And we talked about what we should improve upon next year:

– different interactive elements to keep things lively

– better understanding of what people want out of the event

– more outreach earlier on so that we can include more groups into one event instead of having multiple debate watch parties across the city

– and so much more!

From left: Holly, Anna, Ivan, Jessica, Bevin, Megan and Carlo

And because we’re Seattle Works, and the quality of volunteer experience we provide is incredibly important to us, we asked for feedback on their committee experience.  We have some things to work on, like a longer lead time for planning, more actionable items for each member of the committee and working meetings.  Overall though, there was a lot of pride in the event that these volunteers crafted and executed!

The committee is amped about the mayoral race coming at us next year, but for now we have a current election to focus on!  If you’re interested in getting involved with this awesome (and fun) group of people, email and we’ll get you connected early next summer.

BIG THANKS to the committee volunteers: Ivan Barron, Neely Beltran, Anna Boone, Carlo Caldirola-Davis, Holly Decker, Nathan Hambley, Jessica Jones, Eric Shellan, and Megan Szerwo!


Informed Voting is the Best! Recap of One Stop Ballot Shop October 18, 2012

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 2:47 pm

Tuesday night featured a debate double header! First up was the Presidential Debate followed up by the Gubernatorial Debate (aka the Washington State race for Governor). We livened things up a little by adding interactive polling, a live twitterwall, raffle prizes, sound off station for people to give their thoughts to the next governor, a photo booth, food vendors and of course a beer garden.

We had a great turn out! Over 275 interested people came out to watch the debate with fellow community members. Plus a ton of candidates and measure representatives to talk to people about what they’ll be voting on. See the full list below! This kind of involvement and turnout warms our civic heart.

Our live twitterfall and polling questions were entertaining.  Check out our storify recap! Or search for #1StopBallotShop to see it all.

And we got some great photos! Thanks to Seattle PI for sending a photographer and capturing great shots of the event.

We even had news coverage! King5 did a story on the event and captured the thoughts from both sides. Big thanks to the folks at King5 and Natalie Swaby for coming out and covering the story.

The One Stop Photo Op was a hit!


Round of applause for our volunteer committee for help making this event possible: Ivan Barron, Neely Beltran, Anna Boone, Carlo Caldirola-Davis, Jacob Day, Holly Decker, Nathan Hambley, Jessica Jones, Eric Shellan and committee lead: Megan Szerwo.

And thank you to our partners at The Next50, Seattle Center and CityClub!

 Thank you to all the candidates and ballot measures that joined us!

-Ron Bemis, US Congress 7th Congressional District

-Jim McDermott, US Congress 7th Congressional District

-Bob Hasegawa, State Senate 11th Legislative District

-Kristin Thompson, State Senate 11th Legislative District

-Reuven Carlyle, State Representative 36th Legislative District (Pos 1)

-Noel Frame, State Representative 36th Legislative District (Pos 2)

-Gael Tarleton, State Representative 36th Legislative District (Pos 2)

-Steve Strachan, King County Sheriff

-John Urquhart, King County Sheriff

-Sheryl Gordon McCloud, State Supreme Court, Justice Position 9

-Yes on 1240, Charter Schools Initiative

-No on 1240, Charter Schools Initiative

-People for our Public Schools, no on 1240, Charter Schools Initiative

-Vote No on 1-502, Marijuana legalization

-New Approach Washington, yes on I-502, Marijuana legalization

-Preserve Marriage Washington, no on Referendum 74: same-sex marriage

-Washington United for Marriage, yes on Referendum 74: same-sex marriage

Did you make it? What did you think? We’d love to hear. Email


What Has Seattle Works Been Up To? September 12, 2012

Filed under: Influence,Innovation Hub,Invest,Lead,Support Seattle Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 4:30 pm

Great question!  We’re so glad you asked.

For the first half of the year (Jan – Jun 2012) here’s what we’ve accomplished with your help:


Impressive right?  Why thank you, we think so too!

The second half of 2012 is looking to be just as good as the first half, if not better:

Stay Connected:

The image version is a little fuzzy we know, so here’s the PDF version for a super sharp read.

Seattle Works strives to be a transparent organization. This means that if you’re ever wondering what we’re up to, what we’re spending money on, how many Bridge graduates we’ve trained in a year, or anything else just give us a shout!  We’re happy to answer any and all questions that you have: