In mid-October, Weber Shandwick’s (WS) Seattle office launched a research effort to probe attitudes and gain insights on the topic of equitable development. This effort was part of the company’s Impact Project, for which they chose Yesler Community Collaborative (YCC) as the beneficiary of $100,000 in pro bono consultation.
Through desktop research, focus groups, in-depth interviews and an online survey, this global integrated communications firm invited residents to “Add your voice to the conversation about Seattle’s future.” Autumn Lerner, Vice President, Health and Social Impact Practice at WS notes, “As consultants, our objective is to help YCC and partners describe and communicate how Seattle can grow in a way that retains its racial, cultural and economic diversity, with access to opportunity for everyone who calls Seattle home.”
The WS team has distilled their research into an equity narrative that can assist nonprofits and others in communicating the issue of displacement in Seattle more effectively. Their creative studio has also been developing a short video that will serve as a visual representation of the narrative to focus attention and concern around the issue.
“We are looking forward to finalizing the narrative and video asset with YCC, and starting 2017 with the launch of the research results, narrative and video,” said Lerner.
Meanwhile, the company’s on-going research has pinpointed several relevant articles that may be of interest, available in print and online, listed below with short descriptions:
- Is Tacoma the paradise people are leaving Seattle for? (KUOW) – Provides a perspective on the regional impacts of rising home prices and increasing rents.
- Section 8 tenants flee Seattle’s high rents, compete for housing in smaller cities (The Seattle Times) – Illustrates how far-reaching the impacts of higher rents can be.
- “Cities will be a powerful antidote to Donald Trump”: Social scientist Benjamin Barber on the emergence of a new urban radicalism (Quartz) – On the importance of cities, particularly in light of the election. This piece opines that cities are largely more progressive, “the one institution today that still works, where government functions, where trust levels are double the levels of other institutions,” and noted that mayors are coming together to push for policies that are priorities for their cities.
- Portland’s plan to limit McMansions in favor of affordability (City Inspired) – An interesting piece on how Portland is taking on affordable housing.
Virginia Felton, YCC’s communications lead notes, “We look forward to the results of this effort and amplifying our collective voice in 2017 using our equity narrative and messaging.”