ED Corner

Looking Ahead in 2016

EDCornerSeattleShotBy HDC Executive Director, Marty Kooistra

Over the holidays I managed to fly back to Iowa for a few days to see family. Landing and leaving in the usual winter snowfalls reminded me why I don’t get excited about re-positioning mountains of snow just to get around anymore. I did, however, anticipate at least some conversation about the upcoming presidential caucuses, but there was really no enthusiasm for the topic…maybe due to the field or the exhaustion of the long drawn out media affair it has become.

In the first few days of the new year, interactions I have had with people in our region have tended to focus more on the outlook for 2016. There is a sense of optimism that 2016 will be a productive and opportunistic time to move the affordable housing agenda forward, balancing the ever-present reality of how challenging and complex each small victory is.

It certainly seems like the stage is set, and HDC’s Board of Directors (equipped with 7 highly gifted new members) and staff (committed, capable and collaborative) are planning to move forward with an aggressive approach to match this moment in time:

  • On the policy and advocacy front, we are launching a strong campaign-oriented approach to change public policy and garner additional public resources King County-wide, focused on (among other things) the renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy and funding for ARCH.
  • In South King County, HDC and our partners will be focused on intensive healthy housing and preservation strategies, and have secured funding for three years of dedicated staff support.
  • HDC’s Housing and… series will receive more attention and focus, with renewed efforts spent on the intersection of housing and education through a cross-sector collaborative effort.
  • Our Leadership Development Initiative will continue to expand and reach more members in search of discounted and brokered professional development opportunities.
  • HDC membership will continue to grow in size, participation, commitment and benefits for existing members.

We are busy, and we have a positive outlook with maybe a jaded sense of curiosity about how much impact that upcoming presidential race could have on the issues we are working on today. We know the power of and potential for local policy change, regardless of DC gridlock. There is no doubt in our minds about what you as HDC can and will accomplish right here, right now in our communities. See you at the table, onsite and at the happy hours!