By Jan Teague, President/CEO
Last week, the WRA Board of Directors reviewed a strategic plan for developing a strong grassroots in Seattle. The Board has authorized enough money to cover the costs for a Director, who is John Engber, and a grassroots developer.
I have hired an administrator, Jessica Tingle, who works in the office to help with details for the program. The Board is interested in the program becoming self-supporting by next year. The existing members will be asked to contribute to the Seattle grassroots effort.
One of the key observations the Board had was that what happens in Seattle often gets considered in nearby cities or larger urban areas of the state. The association needs to protect its retailers across the state. The Board believes that starting with Seattle will make a difference for the entire state.
Much of what happens in Seattle is driven by the liberal city council. These elected officials have a following of voters and the financial support of the unions. The unions have also managed to get people hired as city employees and have locked up most opportunities for real dialogue on city regulation.
You will be hearing more on this effort in the coming weeks. Watch for a letter that addresses the Board’s concerns. I hope you will all decide that we do need to make our concerns known in a stronger way in Seattle. I would appreciate your support.
Besides helping to fund the program, we will be looking for key contacts who can advise us on our best practices in various parts of the city. You can make a difference in our success. Stay tuned.