by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
Seattle's Capitol Hill, the city's neighborhood with the most LGBTQ community services, nightlife locations, and nonprofit organizations in one area, has had some growing pains over the past few years. Not only has the cost of living (particularly rent) skyrocketed but the influx of new people moving into the thousands of condos for sale or rent on the Hill has left the neighborhood with somewhat of an identity crisis.
Still, as the LGBTQ community digs its heels in, local nonprofits renew leases, and rainbows are painted at crosswalks, the fact remains that the community is stuck with Capitol Hill and the neighborhood is stuck with us. Now what?
Offering some insight into what she sees as a way forward, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sierra Hansen recently reached out to supporters of the neighborhood business chamber, saying, 'Capitol Hill will continue to grow, and looking to the future, the Chamber will work to implement new programs and ideas to harness this energy and vitality to address ongoing and new challenges, in partnership with our members, community organizations, and residents.'
'Change is the best word to define the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce in 2016,' said Hansen, who is Lesbian. 'We welcomed more than 20 new members from throughout the neighborhood; hosted an exciting series of activation, networking, and community-building events; and advocated for a clean, safe, and vibrant business district.'
'As our region continues to grow, Capitol Hill remains the coolest place to eat amazing food, drink perfectly crafted cocktails, buy amazing books and clothes, and earn a degree,' she reminds us.
'Inevitably, growth leads to challenges, and Capitol Hill neighbors, visitors, employees, and property owners frequently contact us to share their concerns, such as public safety and reduced mobility,' said Hansen. 'Currently, the Chamber leads a monthly Clean and Safe Committee meeting the third Wednesday of the month at 4 p.m. to work on a range of neighborhood issues, and we host monthly events to give folks a chance to meet their neighbors and colleagues.'
Additionally, Hansen says the Chamber partners with social workers, 'helping folks in need, and we work with the Capitol Hill Community Council to ensure programs benefit all who call Capitol Hill home.'
Hansen concludes, 'If you have ideas or concerns, please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to consider joining one of our committee meetings or attend an upcoming event.'
The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce office is located in Suite 204 of the 12th Avenue Arts Building (1620 12th Avenue).
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