As you may know by now, City Light is exploring options to locate an Electric Vehicle (EV) fast charging station on a city owned site (E Olive Way and 22nd). Though the City Light EV team provided outreach to the immediate local community, the Central Area Collaborative (CAC) felt something was missing in the messaging. Since the CAC is undergoing the EcoDistrict certification process, it looked through both an Equity and Climate Protection imperative lens to understand how this potential EV station addressed cultural and environmental concerns. What was the equity proposition being addressed by locating an EV station at that particular site?

As a member of the Mayors Environmental Justice Committee, the Program Manager (Dennis Comer) reached out to Ximena Fonseca-Morales, the newly appointed Equity & Environment Program Coordinator. The Environmental Justice Committee had seen this type of community concern before in the Beacon Hill neighborhoods and did not want to replicate some of the missed opportunities realized when Beacon Hill received an EV station.

The Program Manager, Ms Fonseca-Morales and Members of this City Light Project gathered one afternoon and had a discussion with some of the community concerns in an effort to ensure full community participation and support. We won’t go into the details of the meeting but the results of the meeting were:

  • I (Victor Couto, the City Light Project Lead) reached out directly to Wyking Garrett and Africatown to seek input on our Olive & 22nd site proposal.
  • We (City Light Team) looked at the list of sites you (Central Area Collaborative) suggested as options for a Central District or Mt Baker location, and we added some to our list of potential sites.
  • Seattle City Light is working on a forthcoming, broader outreach strategy for engaging communities on future sites.  This outreach is still in development and our intention is to include information on City Light’s transportation electrification plans, EV charging & vehicle education, an opportunity to provide input on City Light’s EV programs, and an opportunity to engage City Light to consider their community for public fast EV charging.  We are still building out the outreach plan and tools for helping the public identify feasible EV charging sites.  The Central District and Mt Baker will be included in this forthcoming outreach work and I will keep you informed as this work gets developed.
  • Seattle City Light has extended the survey through 7/26 to gather input on our E Olive Way and 22nd St site proposal.  City Light plans to continue evaluating this site as a location that serves Capitol Hill, Central District, Madison Valley and the major arterial roads 23rd and Madison. We do not see this site precluding another site in the Central District or Mt Baker.

I welcome you to share this message with your community:

Seattle City Light is installing public, fast electric vehicle chargers throughout the City and they are proposing a site on E Olive Way and 22nd St.  The project would include two curbside fast chargers installed in the furniture zone between the sidewalk and street and would transition two parking stalls into EV charging-only parking stalls.  This project is early in the design phase and Seattle City Light would like your input. Learn more and provide your input by 7/26/19 here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/CDcharging.  If you want to contact City Light directly or want to be involved in helping City Light select future charger sites, contact SCL_ElectricVehicles@seattle.gov.

Many times, we go about our busy lives and don’t realize there are organizations that provide a service to both the community and the City by ensuring entities come together and work in a manner that enables equity, deference, respect of the cultural norms and transparency. The Central Area Collaborative doesn’t necessarily do big things that make a loud noise. Our role is to set in motion the elements, that allow the Community to do BIG things and have its voices heard, through our values of alignment, collaboration, collective responsibility and transparency.