Snohomish County’s Office of Recovery & Resilience is launching a countywide engagement effort to guide investment strategies for the county’s $160 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation.
According to a county announcement, the effort will include one in-person recovery event in each Snohomish County Council district that will include “key partners” across major recovery issue areas – such as human services and economic development – along with local elected officials.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Snohomish County communities have come together to do what’s best for all of us,” said County Executive Dave Somers. “We want to hear directly from our residents and businesses on what recovery means to them. Our goal is to ensure we make smart and sustainable investments that are responsive to community needs, with a focus on people most impacted by the pandemic.”
“As a community, we have come a long way towards recovering from the impacts of COVID, but there is still so much to be done,” said District 3 Councilmember Stephanie Wright, whose district includes the cities of Edmonds, Lynnwood and Woodway. “Hearing directly from the people is a crucial step in addressing the needs of our families, neighbors, and businesses. Learning from their stories and ideas will help us target these resources in a way that makes us stronger as a county for years to come.”
As part of this countywide engagement effort, Somers and the Office of Recovery and Resilience led facilitated discussions with the following groups to solicit their feedback on priorities and strategies for the county’s federal recovery funds:
- Economic Recovery Advisory Group, which includes economic and workforce development leaders from across the county, co-chaired by Economic Alliance Snohomish County President and CEO Garry Clark and Port of Everett CEO and Executive Director Lisa Lefeber;
- Community Services Advisory Council, which advises the county on all matters relating to the causes of poverty and to a reduction in the effects of poverty;
- Human Services Executives Board, a coalition of human services leaders from across the county;
- A cohort of community-based organizations that serve county communities furthest from opportunity, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and immigrants and refugees;
- A diverse group of faith leaders from across the county;
- Board members from the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County; and
- A cohort of arts and culture organizations convened by the Snohomish County Arts Commission
In addition, meetings are being held with local mayors, city administrators and community organizations in at least 18 cities across the county.
To further involve Snohomish County residents and businesses in recovery planning, the Office of Recovery and Resilience will host five in-person recovery events. These events will take place throughout May and June in each county council district.
Recovery events will have three parts:
- Resource tables where attendees can connect directly with Snohomish County and community-based services and resources. Participating organizations include – but are not limited to – the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Planning and Development Services, and Volunteers of America Western Washington.
- Voting session where attendees can vote for their top three recovery investment priorities to help guide county decision-making.
- A deep-dive recovery discussion on the top-voted issues. Residents can provide feedback on how they have been impacted by the pandemic and work alongside county staff to start to develop solutions and programs.
Child care or kids activities as well as dinner will be provided on-site at no cost to attendees. These events are free and open to the public, and they will include an opportunity to connect directly with local elected officials and county staff on important pandemic recovery issues. Attendees do not need to stay for the entire event to participate.
Details on events for local cities are included below.
District 4 recovery meeting for the cities of Bothell, Brier, Mill Creek and Mountlake Terrace
Wednesday, May 25; doors open at 6 p.m., event ends at 7:30 p.m.
Mountlake Terrace City Hall, 23204 58th Ave. W, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
District 3 recovery meeting for the cities of Edmonds, Lynnwood and Woodway
Thursday, June 2; doors open at 6 p.m., event ends at 7:30 p.m.
Lynnwood Library – Sno-Isle Libraries; 19200 44th Ave. W., Lynnwood, WA 98036
For more information and to RSVP for either meeting, visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/recovery
After the recovery events, resident and business feedback will be collected into a report and released publicly. This report will help inform the spending plan for the county’s remaining ARPA funds. County programs using the recovery funds will be directly responsive to community priorities, the county said.
Snohomish County residents and business can find more information on these events, as well as additional relief and recovery resources, at www.snohomishcountywa.gov/recovery.