Lid I-5 Makes New Hire and Moves Forward

Lid I-5 Continues Our Work

Like everyone else in the Seattle community, Lid I-5 has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and public authorities’ guidance to stay at home. We have postponed our public events and in-person political advocacy, but we want you to know we’re still working behind the scenes to advance the campaign. We’re keeping up momentum with videoconferencing and remote working tools, and following Department of Health guidelines to keep ourselves and families safe.

In this newsletter:

  • Introduction of Lid I-5’s new hire
  • Resources for business owners and employees during this uncertain time
  • Toronto’s planned Rail Deck Park

 Employee and Business Resources

Representing business in the Center City (which includes both sides of Interstate 5), the Downtown Seattle Association is hosting a Friday webinar on the impacts of Covid-19. Their goal is to monitor the situation and keep you informed about the evolving economic effects, advocate for recovery resources at all levels of government, and plan for Downtown’s eventual economic recovery. Register online and watch here on Friday at 8am.

Retail and service businesses are being especially hard hit by closures and drops in customer traffic. Many restaurants, coffee shops, and bars are still open for takeout and delivery. Lid I-5 encourages our neighbors to support their local businesses and workers where they can during these unprecedented times.

The Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) has collected resources for employers and business owners, and employees affected by reduced income or layoffs can consult the Washington Employment Security Department.

Welcome Tracy Patton to the Lid I-5 Team

Like many nonprofit organizations do, Lid I-5 is evolving past the limited capabilities of volunteers. As public interest in our work has been steadily growing, we have decided to put more formal processes in place to help keep us focused and organized. Toward that end, we’re delighted to announce our first long-term hire, Tracy Patton, who will work part-time to help us manage our contacts and improve our systems so that when the time comes, we’re ready to advance Lid I-5 from vision to reality.

We look forward to working with Tracy on the long road ahead to reconnecting our urban communities and expanding public land. Tracy shared her background and interests:

Professionally, I’ve spent the past two decades, primarily in Seattle, as an independent communications consultant, working primarily with nonprofit marketing teams to create content and guide strategy that supports meaningful experiences and results. I received a journalism degree (from the University of Texas at Austin) that formed the foundation of my work philosophy: be kind and curious; keep asking questions to reveal important truths; use words and data responsibly to share those truths; and do what you can to inspire action that makes the world a better place.

I chose contract work because I deeply value flexible work arrangements, which have allowed me to be fully involved as a parent and community volunteer. In that capacity, I’ve contributed broadly and deeply to education, equity, ending homelessness, and building stronger, safer communities.

After volunteering to help complete some case studies for Lid I-5 earlier this year, I’m thrilled to join as a team member (on contract) to help continue the momentum that’s been building organically to turn an essential infrastructure project into something much more meaningful: a community-designed space to reconnect people and places. The imagined possibilities for affordable housing, green space, walkable/wheelable paths, and gathering spots are exciting, and I’m looking forward to being a grassroots contributor!

Toronto Works on Lidding Railyard

As cities grow, so does the idea of lidding over transportation infrastructure to make more space for people. Check out the Rail Deck Park from our neighbors to the north, where the Toronto city council has taken leadership on the study, design, and funding of a 20-acre lid over a railyard. We are closely following this project and many others for good data on best practices, cost, funding, and design.