Many thanks to all of you who wrote wanting to be part of a reinvigorated Capitol Hill Community Council. I heard from several previous Council officers: their explanatory remarks and offers of support are appended below. Looks like we need some sort of hybrid between the old type of "meet in a room every month" Council and the various electronic forums that are proliferating in our neighborhoods.
I propose that we gather in the meeting room at the Capitol Hill Library ( 425 Harvard Ave E., behind the QFC on Broadway) from 6 to 8 PM on Wednesday January 30th or Thursday January 31st ( date to be decided by VOTING HERE by Jan 22nd ) and decide how to proceed.
The meeting will be publicized by the usual blogs and E-mail lists. The Capitol Hill Times hopes to do an article about the Community Council in its January 23rd issue (and I will send a meeting announcement for the January 30th issue). That should help get the word out to those without ready computer access (as can you by word of mouth).
There is a Discussion Board for the Community Council (kindly set up by Justin) that we can use to post/exchange ideas ahead of the meeting. BTW here's the old Council website (for background), here are the council bylaws and here are some thoughts from the CHS blog.
I'm willing to do what I can to help reinitiate things. I'm really pressed for time so I can't lead but I'm totally willing to share any insight, information -- and of course records as I have the CHCC's filing cabinet at my house.
From Phil Mocek
In case you don't already know: the Community Council still exists but is on hiatus -- not dead, just hibernating. All it should take to revive it is leadership and public participation. There is still a bank account, and I assume we're incorporated. When Ann Donovan stepped down after many years of hard work building the organization, no one who was willing to step up could be found. I am technically the secretary, as I agreed to take the position shortly before we decided to stop holding monthly meetings a couple years ago (because hardly anyone -- sometimes no one besides officers -- showed up for them). I think Catherine Brumbaugh is the treasurer, and Gary Clark may still be vice-president. None of this means much, as we have been inactive since the last election, and we're surely operating (I use that loosely) outside the by-laws by now.
I've thought for some time that someday the Community Council should come back in a more Web-based form. There was a time when a big face-to-face meeting was the best way to disseminate neighborhood-level information and to facilitate discussion of neighborhood issues by neighbors. Nowadays, it's difficult to convince people to stop whatever they're doing and go to a meeting to get some information that they could just as well read from a mailing list or find on the Web. Obviously there are some advantages to face-to-face interaction, but it's probably not needed on a monthly basis.
I registered the capitolhillcommunitycouncil.org and capitolhillseattle.org Internet domains a couple years ago in case something like this were to develop. I also have a Web hosting account that allows me to use more storage and data transfer than I'll ever need, and my Web host makes it very simple to set up all kinds of Web-based software -- blogs, forums, wikis, etc. This could be used to get something rolling with the intention of handing it all over to CHCC sometime in the future.
Due to a drastic change in my work situation last year and having bitten off more than I can chew, I'm overextended as it is, and already feeling guilty about not devoting as much effort as I think I should to the Neighborhood Plan Stewardship Council (I'm the current president, somewhat by default, as I'm a terrible leader) and the new Chamber of Commerce (I'm on the board of directors). I'm willing to try to help some, especially if that mostly involves providing some initial technical assistance.
I agree with Phil's comments. Meetings per se don't really work much of the time and the internet is an alternative. Plus, I'm currently on several local non-profit boards of directors and I'm committed--as I hope you all are--to sweeping the Republicans at all levels under the bridge in November. But I would come to meetings as time allows.