Futurewise in 2017: a year of wins and progress

December 14, 2017

In spite of many challenges, 2017 has been a year of wins and progress for growth management across Washington.  Take a a look at some of what your support has made happen:

Caitlyn Taylor
Posted In News

Futurewise is hiring a Housing Outreach & Mobilization Coordinator!

December 13, 2017

Calling all community organizers with a passion for housing affordability! We're seeking a Housing Outreach & Mobilization Coordinator to work closely with our staff on housing affordability advocacy in Seattle from January through June 2018. We're especially seeking candidates with previous campaign or grassroots organizing experience, strong self-direction, and excellent written and verbal communications skills. 

Erin House
Posted In News

Beth Cocchiarella: Celebrating a life of service

November 21, 2017

Futurewise lost a great friend and supporter in September. We were saddened to learn from our Spokane office of the passing of Elizabeth Cocchiarella due to pancreatic cancer. She lived life fully, gave generously and anonymously – and in this season of thanksgiving, we celebrate her life with gratitude.

Caitlyn Taylor
Posted In News

One Year Later - Put 'Em Up Solid

November 8, 2017

It was but a year ago that I sent a message out to all of you, lamenting what had transpired the night before on election day 2016.  We were eating doughnuts in the conference room - comforting one another, and suggesting that maybe it wasn't as bad as it looked.  Looking back, it seems we were quite naïve.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Futurewise convenes local leaders around innovative financing

October 25, 2017

This October, Futurewise brought together state and local agency stakeholders for a day-long convening focused on the use of innovative financing and funding approaches for solving environmental challenges.  Field experts from across the county – from Maryland, to Chicago to California – presented a wide range of financing approaches, including the use of public-private partnerships and credit trading, to advance the construction of green stormwater infrastructure, improve the resilience of forests against wildfires, and solve surface water quality issues.  Futurewise will beworking with stakeholders over the coming year to identify and advocate for pilot projects here in the Northwest that take advantage of these tools – including how they may be used to improve land-use outcomes in urban and rural areas of Washington.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Futurewise is hiring a Community Outreach & Education Coordinator!

October 24, 2017

Are you a sharp, energetic self-starter with excellent communication and interpersonal skills?  Do you know someone else who is? We're seeking the perfect fit for a new team member who will educate and engage the public on the benefits of environmental quality, working directly with community members, partner organizations and decision makers. 

Caitlyn Taylor
Posted In News

Convening to finance the environment we want - and need

September 25, 2017

This October, Futurewise will be hosting a convening on innovative financing tools such as pay for success, credit trading, environmental impact bonds, and community-based public private partnerships - with the hopes of inspiring local governments and agencies to start thinking creatively about how to solve some of our region's most pressing environmental and infrastructure challenges.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Working on the ground in the Tri-Cities

September 25, 2017

The City of Pasco - one of the cities in the Tri-Cities region - was the 10th fastest growing city in Washington State last year.  The city, as well as the region in general, is seeing a huge influx of residents from other parts of the state, as well as young families and retirees in search of reasonable home prices and fair weather.  All that growth means that urban development is more likely to start spreading out - an easy prospect in an area surrounded by seemingly limitless development potential.  However, the sprawl protections enabled through the state's Growth Management Act limit that potential, which means that cities and counties in the region need a proactive strategy for economically viable growth in the coming decades.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Futurewise on KEXP

August 16, 2017

Futurewise Executive Director, Chris Wierzbicki, and Darcy Nonemacher, Government Affairs Director for the Washington Environmental Council talk with Diane Horn of KEXP about the wrap up of the 2017 legislative session on this "Sustainability Segment."  Click hereto listen.

Caitlyn Taylor
Posted In News

Superior Court Judge Denies Okanogan County Motions to Dismiss and Stays Appeals

June 26, 2017

On June 21, 2017, Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Christopher Culp denied motions by Okanogan County to dismiss Futurewise and the Methow Valley Citizens Council appeals of the Okanogan County comprehensive plan and zoning regulations. If granted, these motions would have ended the appeals.

Caitlyn Taylor
Posted In News

Don't blame GMA for supressing housing in Washington

June 8, 2017

If someone tells you the Growth Management Act is responsible for a housing shortage, do not believe them. According to just issued Census data, Washington State ranked sixth in the number of total building permits issued in 2016 -  see a very short article from Planetizen here.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Join us at the Growing Seattle Candidate Forum!

June 5, 2017

The next four years of Seattle's City Council and Mayor's Office will have a lot to contend with as our region continues to grow, especially in terms of housing and transportation. Come join us and other local groups to make your voice heard and learn where the candidates stand on the land-use issues that impact the daily lives Seattleites.

Caitlyn Taylor
Posted In News

Pierce County Farm Land Under Threat

May 3, 2017

Despite years of work on behalf of Futurewise and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative partners, and thousands of dollars of investment, the Pierce County Council is ready to scrap protections for local farms.  This piece from King 5 tells the story. 

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

A letter from our Executive Director

April 11, 2017

Believe it or not, I started out my career by determining how to best pave over farmland to make room for new big box retail stores.  This was New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the late 1990’s, and the “birthplace of the mall” was riding a wave of commercial sprawl that was eating up soybean and corn fields far outside the urban core.  I was an engineer-in-training, tasked with figuring out how big of a hole needed to be dug in the ground in order to contain all the runoff generated from the endless acres of asphalt parking.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

"Futurewise Awards Celebrate Equity-Centered Environmentalism"

March 10, 2017

Doug Trumm of The Urbanist takes a look at Futurewise’s Spring Breakfast and Livable Community Awards, featuring keynote speaker Dwayne Marsh of the Center for Social Inclusion and awardees Kittitas County, the City of Bellevue, Beacon Food Forest, Roosevelt Neighborhood Association, King Conservation District, and Yesler Community Collaborative—six groups that have excelled in community-building to advance equity and environmental causes. Check out the article!

Erin House
Posted In News

Futurewise spring breakfast features race and equity keynote

March 7, 2017

On March 2, 2017, Futurewise hosted our annual spring fundraising event - which this year was a breakfast hosted at the Westin hotel in downtown Seattle.  We were please to host 350 guests, and honor a number of partners with a Livable Communities Award (see the previous blog post for details on the awardees).

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Announcing Our 2017 Livable Communities Awardees!

February 27, 2017

Each year, Futurewise presents its Livable Communities Awards to programs and projects that are helping to make Washington State a better place for all. This year's awards will be given out at our Spring Breakfast this Thursday, March 2 (register here), but here's a sneak peak of our dedicated and diverse group of awardees!

Caitlyn Taylor
Posted In News

Futurewise in Olympia - 2017 Legislative Agenda

December 22, 2016

Futurewise works closely with legislators and partners every year during the legislative session to protect and enhance Washington State’s growth management laws.  This year, our legislative agenda covers a wide range of urban livability and natural resource protection issues.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Seattle for Everyone coalition partners and neighbors come together to support affordability

November 17, 2016

Seattle for Everyone's broad coalition of affordable housing developers and advocates, for-profit developers and businesses, labor and social justice advocates, environmentalists and urbanists joined neighbors from across Seattle and U District residents to support a more affordable and inclusive city at the Seattle City Council public hearing on the U District upzone. 

Erin House
Posted In News

Sound Transit 3 is a huge win for the region - and climate change

November 9, 2016

The work is just beginning!  Together we can make Sound Transit 3 a successful investment - not just in transit - but for how the region tackles land-use and regional transportation that will combat the impacts of climate change.  In the next few days we'll be posting more about how our region can leverage this incredible opportunity.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Futurewise staff speak at the WA AWRA 2016 Conference

October 27, 2016

Futurewise’s Director of Planning and Law, Tim Trohimovich, was invited to speak at the Washington Section of the American Water Resources Association’s Annual State Conference on October 26, 2016. Tim’s presentation documented that the water levels in wells in Washington State are going down, that overdevelopment in rural areas and on farmland is causing the wells of rural residents and farmers to go dry, and that rapidly increasing permit-exempt wells are threatening the water fish need for their survival. Tim explained solutions that address these serious water problems and that comply with the Washington State Supreme Court’s landmark Whatcom County decision that Futurewise and its local partners won on October 6, 2016. The Whatcom County decision was widely discussed at the conference.

Tim Trohimovich
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Futurewise "Scenario Planning" with WSDOT

October 27, 2016

Futurewise participated in "scenario planning" with other state-wide transportation partners to determine how the Washington State Transportation Plan (WTP) could be updated to deal with an uncertain future.  In accordance with the graphical image shown here, WSDOT determined that two factors in the future with the highest level of uncertainty and the highest level of importance were "technological change" and "natural disasters and climate change."  The four teams involved in the planning exercise discussed the opportunities and challenges resulting from four scenarios:

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Plans for U District rezone released

October 4, 2016

The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) is a comprehensive strategy for addressing Seattle’s housing affordability crisis. HALA contains 65 recommendations aimed at increasing the city’s supply of both affordable and market-rate housing, increasing protections for vulnerable tenants and homeowners, and creating streamlined processes to reduce the time and cost of housing development.