Join Our Team!

November 8, 2018

Futurewise is hiring for two positions -- a Water Resources Project Coordinator and an Events and Communications Intern. Check out the job descriptions below for more information.

Kate Brunette
Posted In News

Using Surplus Properties for Affordable Housing

August 16, 2018

Many of our communities publicly owned land that is no longer a necessity; with our State’s desperate need for more affordable housing, it makes sense for jurisdictions to sell that excess land to below market rate for the production of income-restricted affordable homes and other public goods

Kate Brunette
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Pierce County Council Votes to Double Protected Working Farms

August 14, 2018

On August 14, 2018, the Pierce County Council voted to double amount of working farmland county policy will conserve long-term. The recent Pierce County Fresh Look report concluded that “[t]here’s near-consensus support for protecting Pierce County’s best farmland and sustaining the economic viability of local agriculture.”

Kate Brunette
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A DAM Good Time!

August 10, 2018

Wow, what a great night! We were thrilled to see over 100 people turn out to learn about Woody Guthrie and the Grand Coulee Dam, and listen to music from local artists Trentalange, Matt Tilghman-Havens, and Naomi Wachira.

Kate Brunette
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If it works in China...

July 30, 2018

Futurewise is serving on the Advisory Committee for the Ultra High-Speed Ground Transportation Study - a WSDOT effort to investigate  intercity passenger transportation system traveling at speeds of 250 mph or more between Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR (with several possible stops in between).  The committee includes a mix of local, state and international leadership, including legislators and representatives from the Governor's office, and the office of the BC Premier, and will be meeting over the course of the next year to provide guidance and feedback.  While this concept has been around for at least a decade or more, the most recent effort was given new life by interest from the private sector, including Microsoft, who are participating in the study phase of the project funding.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Futurewise Recommends Changes to Riparian Ecoystem Management

July 23, 2018

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is updating their recommendations for scientifically sound management of riparian ecosystems (rivers, streams and surrounding areas). Futurewise largely supports these changes and the attached comment letter outlines our suggestions for improving them further.

Kate Brunette
Posted In News

Complete Streets Nominations

July 16, 2018

Complete street policies and implementation are key elements of a safe, sustainable, and equitable transportation system in Washington - both the urban and rural areas.  

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Seattle for Everyone Update

June 19, 2018

For over a year, Futurewise has been leading the outreach work for the Seattle for Everyone Coalition’s support of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). Within the HALA are 65 distinct policy recommendations that work together to address the housing affordability crisis Seattle is facing.We know that people are happier when they are able to live close to jobs, schools, parks and other amenities; and that living in dense urban areas reduces our environmental footprint. That’s why we have pushed for key policy recommendations from the HALA that will help to increase our housing stock, reserve homes for our low-income neighbors as well as curb sprawl.Since its creation in 2015, Futurewise and Seattle for Everyone have worked to pass many of the HALA policy recommendations. Some of the key policy highlights that have passed to date include:

Kate Brunette
Posted In News

Futurewise Hosts Panel Discussion for Affordable Housing Week

May 18, 2018

Futurewise partnered with S4E and Welcoming West Seattle to host a panel discussion for Affordable Housing Week 2018. The discussion was held at Southwest Youth and Family Services in West Seattle and covered the topics of transit oriented development and affordable housing – specifically, the role that the City of Seattle and Sound Transit can play to help facilitate affordable housing around future light rail stations in West Seattle and across the City.

Kate Brunette
Posted In News

Tacoma City Council Approves Mall Neighborhood Plan with Support from Community

May 17, 2018

Futurewise is excited to announce that the Tacoma City Council voted unanimously to approve the Tacoma Mall Subarea Plan on Tuesday, May 15. The plan is an innovative example of smart urban growth, including increases in transportation access, implementation of affordable housing incentives, and promotion of resident and environment health by encouraging green infrastructure.

Kate Brunette
Posted In News

Seeking Volunteers!

May 10, 2018

Futurewise is helping coordinate the 2018 Stormfest in Des Moines Beach Park. Stormfest is an interactive stormwater science festival that provides experiential field lesson to 6th grade students from the Highline School District.

Marisol Diaz
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Sound Transit is advancing affordability

April 27, 2018

On April 27th, the Sound Transit Board updated the agency transit oriented development (TOD) policies to implement equitable transit oriented development (eTOD) and adopted a plan that allows for land to be discounted for affordable housing. This is the culmination of 3 years of work, starting with the 2015 transportation package, to update and incorporate affordable housing requirements in the Sound Transit TOD policy. With the passage of ST3 in 2016, Futurewise went straight to work with Sound Transit and partner organizations to advocate with staff and Sound Transit Board members to shape the policy. 

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Grow with Algona!

April 24, 2018

As part of our collaboration with the City of Algona and the Algona Public Awareness Action Coalition (APAC), Futurewise has kicked off Grow with Algona and we have gotten some great environmental stewardship projects literally in the ground!  In just one day, Algona residents planted 22 Pacific dogwood trees all around Matchett Park in collaboration with City staff, as part of a tree planting effort we are leading. We carefully selected dogwoods for the high-water table in Algona and the maintenance and beauty requirements of the City.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Futurewise is Supporting the Tacoma Mall Plan

April 24, 2018

The Mall Subarea Plan has the potential for transforming a critical Tacoma neighborhood into a model of positive urban growth, as well as implementing ground-breaking policies that could influence planning in other areas of the city.  Futurewise supports the policies and goals as outlined in the city’s plan materials: investment in job growth; increases in transportation access; implementation of affordable housing incentives, and promotion of resident and environment health by encouraging a variety of green infrastructure.  Click here for a link to the city's plan. 

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

More Housing for People, Less for Cars

April 20, 2018

Imagine a policy that could help lower the cost of rent, relieve congestion, reduce our transportation emissions and air pollution, and also improve bicycle parking. By changing Seattle’s rules for off-street parking in new buildings, Futurewise and our community partners were able to achieve all of these goals.  Legislation to update parking requirements in Seattle passed through Seattle City Council on April 2nd.   This new legislation will:

Chris Wierzbicki
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Futurewise Challenging Benton County Planning

April 20, 2018

On April 19, 2018, Futurewise filed an appeal of the Benton County Comprehensive Plan on the grounds that sprawling development is unsustainable in rural areas without adequate planning for drinking water. The county’s comprehensive plan assumes the high end of state population growth projections, or 6,794 more people in the rural area in the next 20 years.  Water resource planning efforts in the lower Yakima River have made clear that water in Benton County is already allocated and flows in the river are too low for salmon and steelhead outmigration and rearing.  

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Seeking Volunteers!

March 30, 2018

StormFest is a unique 2-day, interactive, stormwater science focused educational festival for 6th grade students at Highline School District. Environmental Science Center is adapting the hands-on Drain Rangers curricula to create 5 different 25-minute innovative, in-field, experiential lessons focused on local water quality and stormwater solutions that meet Washington State Common Core and NGSS 6th grade standards. We are seeking individuals with varying levels of experience in environmental science (including watershed science), education (formal or informal) or working with children. For more information, click here.

Tiernan Martin
Posted In News

Rental Inspection Policy Comes to Kent

March 23, 2018

A powerful new set of health and safety protections are coming to the renters of Kent, Washington. At its March 20 meeting, the Kent City Council voted unanimously to adopt the Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance before a packed audience. The ordinance establishes a proactive system for ensuring that rental housing owners maintain their properties and provide healthy and safe living environments to their tenants. The adoption of this ordinance by the Kent City Council culminates a year of hard work by Futurewise staff, our partners at Living Well Kent, and a diverse group of community stakeholders.

Tiernan Martin
Posted In News

2018 Legislative Wrap-Up

March 12, 2018

It was a short session this year, but a rather productive one.  See some highlights below on the bills we worked to support and prevent this year.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Legislative Update - Feb 16

February 16, 2018

With policy committee cutoff soon approaching on February 23rd, today it appears that we're achieving success with our legislative agenda.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Legislature's action on Hirst is inadequate

January 19, 2018

Last night - Thursday, January 18th - the Washington State Legislature effectively overturned the State Supreme Court Hirst decision by passing SB 6091.  See our press release on this issue here.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Legislative Update - Jan 12

January 12, 2018

This was the first week of the 2018 Legislative Session, and we were hard at work reviewing and testifying on a number of bills.  Here is a brief summary of some of the highlights:

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

Thank you for your patience while we upgrade our systems

January 9, 2018

We’re getting a new database at Futurewise specifically designed to help organizations like ours “engage and change the world.” And while we couldn’t be happier, it is an exacting and complicated process to convert our files to the new format. While this is happening, we’ve had to slow down some of our donor communications to be sure that our record-keeping doesn’t get confused between systems.  If you’ve made a gift to Futurewise recently, we want to thank you for your contribution and your patience.

Connie Moffit
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Futurewise 2018 Legislative Priorities

January 9, 2018

This week kicks off the 2018 Washington State Legislative Session, and Futurewise will be present in Olympia working to serve the people of our state by advocating for important land-use and environmental issues.

Chris Wierzbicki
Posted In News

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

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
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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 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

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