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Advocacy Guidance for Advisory Councils

In June of 2021, the Cedar River Group completed an 18-month project analyzing the opportunity available through advisory councils to advocate for Seattle Parks and Recreation and recreational needs of Seattle residents.  The project revealed critical lessons regarding the ARC, SPR and Advisory Council relationship as it pertained to political advocacy and a series of recommendations were provided within the report to support collaborative and ethical advocacy efforts.

City Ordinance No. 122588 authorizes the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation to enter into an agreement with ARC to coordinate and support the activities of advisory councils. The Master Services Agreement between ARC and SPR further details the contracted partnership and responsibilities of each party.  Under this model ARC is an extension of the Department, utilizing City resources and public funds, and that Advisory Councils, as groups of community-based volunteers, are doing business as (DBA) ARC therefore are also an extension of the Executive. This creates structural limitations to advocacy efforts and requires that the ARC Executive Director be included on all external written communications sent by Advisory Councils.  We want to work in collaboration with all Advisory Councils to ensure that advocacy efforts support the sustainability of the organization.

ARC will work collaboratively with the ACs within these limitations to lift community voices in support of equitable, dynamic, culturally relevant, and responsive recreation, childcare, and lifelong learning programs. At the same time, all individuals, whether volunteers on Advisory Councils, the ARC Board of Directors, or ARC staff, are free, in their own time, to engage in advocacy as long as it is clear that they are acting as an individual.

Example language: “I serve as a volunteer member of the ___________Advisory Council and care deeply about my community but am here today acting in my personal capacity as an individual resident of Seattle.”

ARC Contacts

Executive Director: Jackie Jainga Hyllseth, [email protected]

Board of Directors President: Justin Umagat, [email protected]

Advisory Council Manager: Sebastian Wilson, [email protected]

 Please visit the following pages to learn more: