Public Realm Perspective

Meet Sara:

Sara, our Public Realm Manager, tackles projects that improves the streets, parks, and public spaces. She diligently works to enhance the streetscape, coordinate construction, and manage parking, along with anything else that is needed. Her efforts make the neighborhood a safer and cleaner place for everyone to enjoy and for businesses to thrive.  She enjoys connecting with the community and building relationships.

Post Alley Mural:

Sara (and canine companion, Chelsea) stand in front of “Friends of Post Alley,” a mural completed by artist Billy King in 2002 at the intersection of Post Alley and Yesler Way. The mural was commissioned by the Friends of Post Alley to embellish a sliding WWII metal blackout door. At 9’x25’, the large mural is an example of the robust public art presence in Pioneer Square.

Sara this Week:

This week, Sara is focusing on kicking off the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s work around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), utilizing her past experience and extensive knowledge set. During her undergraduate career, Sara studied how privilege and oppression impact individuals at the systemic and personal level. “I became involved with DEI work because I was frustrated, angry, and moved by systemic injustice,” Sara states. Motivated by that feeling, Sara obtained a minor in Community Action and Social Change as part of her bachelor degree.

Sara continues to develop how she approaches her work at the Alliance for Pioneer Square using a DEI lens. In the fall of 2019, Sara participated in a multi-session training jointly facilitated by the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and Department of Neighborhoods. The training was intended to inculcate Seattle business district staff with a better awareness of their social identities, an understanding of systemic and institutional racism, and the tools to work toward racial equity in their area of the city. “The training was well designed—starting with individual reflection activities to the examination of racial equity at the organizational level,” Sara reflects. “The training proposed that to understand systemic injustices and create change, individual understanding must come first.” After three learning-based sessions and an additional reflection session, Sara is now implementing a DEI project. “The project is an exciting opportunity to apply my DEI training towards the work we do at the Alliance for Pioneer Square,” Sara says.

In January of 2020, the Alliance for Pioneer Square opened a survey intended to better the organization’s understanding of the business owner population in the neighborhood. Sara played a central role in designing and implementing the survey. “Through the survey, we are trying to obtain the demographic makeup of business owners, their communication preferences, and the general perception of the neighborhood in terms of it being a welcoming and inclusive place to own and operate a business.” The survey is called “Getting to Know Our Neighborhood Better” and is the first piece of a larger DEI effort the Alliance for Pioneer Square is undertaking. Sara says that “as Pioneer Square grows, we have to keep social equity at the forefront of all our organizational activities.”

The Alliance for Pioneer Square’s “Getting to Know Our Neighborhood Better” survey is open until February 18th to all Pioneer Square business owners and can be found here. Note, business owners are asked to only take the survey once to ensure data integrity.