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OUR STORY

The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict brings together a range of talents, backgrounds, and experience to shape community development in Seattle’s center city.

Capitol Hill is the heart of the LGBTQ community in Seattle and is home to more artists than any other neighborhood in the city. Its residents, more than 80% of whom are renters, represent a range of identities, backgrounds, and experiences. Over the past two decades, Capitol Hill has faced unprecedented growth spurred by a new light rail station and proximity to South Lake Union, one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the country.

The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict began in 2011 as an effort to address runaway growth in Seattle by ensuring that community priorities are reflected in the significant developments changing the neighborhood. By engaging community leaders, small business owners, government agencies, and local media, the EcoDistrict has grown its capacity to shape development amid rapid growth, gentrification, and the displacement that threatens residents, businesses, and community institutions.

 

We focus on making this densely populated neighborhood livable and sustainable for all people by piloting new and innovative ideas at the neighborhood level that can then be scaled throughout the city or region.

 

Founded by Community Roots Housing, the EcoDistrict serves as a test lab for innovative problem solving, offering expertise in community engagement and development, research, and advocacy.

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TEN YEARS OF CELEBRATED WINS:

2014


The EcoDistrict implements an Affordable Solar program in partnership with Seattle City Light and Community Roots Housing (formerly known as Capitol Hill Housing).




2015


EcoDistrict pilots pedestrian-only streets in the Pike-Pine corridor. EcoDistrict creates the Capitol Hill Renter Initiative, a grassroots group of 354 renters living on Capitol Hill.




2016


The EcoDistrict develops the Pike Pine Conservation Overlay in partnership with Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council (PPUNC) and City agencies.




2018


Community Roots Housing (formerly Capitol Hill Housing) integrates sustainability principles across its portfolio and asset management. EcoDistrict partners with the City of Seattle to implement an affordable ORCA transit pass for Community Roots residents. Coalition secures an $80 million community benefits package from the Washington State Convention Center addition, including $29 million for affordable housing.




2019


EcoDistrict works with Seattle for Everyone to secure passage of Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA).

EcoDistrict leads Urban Livability Masterclass delegation to Copenhagen and Malmo.




2020


In January of 2020, the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict celebrates an important milestone as Donna Moodie, local restaurateur and community advocate, becomes Executive Director. A natural relationship-builder, Donna leads the EcoDistrict team in implementing a more equitable and restorative model for community development.

The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict plays an integral role in the coordination of the Community Kitchens for Affordable Housing Residents program, funded by Bank of America. The program pays local restaurants to prepare portable, nutritious meals, which volunteers then deliver to residents experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic. The EcoDistrict distributes 8,000 meals over four months.

The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict team works in partnership with Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and Country Doctor Community Health Center to initiate the first-phase build-out for a school-based health center at Lowell Elementary School.




2013


The EcoDistrict enters into a MOU with Seattle 2030 District. The agreement stipulates a shared goal to "achieve district wide 50% reduction in building-related energy and water use and transportation emissions by the year 2030." The EcoDistrict partners with Sustainable Capitol Hill, Schemata Workshop, and Dominique Juleon to map fruit trees in the right of way.