Representatives from JPMorgan Chase & Co. presented a $500,000 grant today to Sue Taoka, board president of a new organization formed to support and promote equitable and sustainable development at Yesler Terrace and in surrounding neighborhoods.
Yesler Community Collaborative (YCC), a nonprofit formed in 2014, will use the grant to fund its operations in support of community partners and the Seattle Housing Authority over the next four years, as the ambitious redevelopment of Yesler Terrace unfolds on 30 acres of prime property in the heart of the city.
“We are excited by the vision of the Yesler Community Collaborative.” said Phyllis Campbell, Chairman of the Pacific Northwest. “By bringing together community leaders from the neighborhoods adjacent to downtown, we can support holistic and effective urban development that benefits all residents.”
In accepting the grant on behalf of the collaborative, Sue Taoka emphasized that the organization sees its role as connector, coordinator and convener as partners work for positive change in their communities. “Our goal is to articulate a common vision for these diverse and historic neighborhoods. As population and development pressures increase, we want them to be able participate in this once-in-a-lifetime redevelopment effort at Yesler Terrace, and to benefit from these transit-, service- and employment-rich connections without losing access to affordable housing and business opportunities.”
The $500,000 grant was allocated from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s national philanthropy pool. Campbell noted that this enhances the bank’s commitment and preserves the capacity of the bank’s Northwest Division to make grants to local organizations.
The grant award was presented at the Collaborative’s first community partners’ meeting in 2015, held at Capitol Hill Housing’s new 12th Avenue Arts building at 12th Avenue and E. Pine Street.
Yesler Community Collaborative also serves as a clearinghouse for funding opportunities for Yesler Terrace and its surrounding neighborhoods, which include First Hill, Capitol Hill, the Central District, Little Saigon, Chinatown/International District and Pioneer Square. “We are seeking out resources at both a local and national level to support this important community development work,” noted Taoka.
The Collaborative’s work is focused in six issue areas, including housing, environment, creative place-making, education, health and well-being, and economic opportunity. For each issue area, YCC is convening a group of key stakeholder organizations to articulate a common vision and action steps. Core partners include the Seattle Housing Authority and Seattle University Youth Initiative.
Yesler Community Collaborative is governed by a three-member board. Board president Sue Taoka is an experienced nonprofit executive and serves as executive vice president at Craft3, a nonprofit, non-bank community development financial institution. Other board members include Tom Tierney, former executive director of Seattle Housing Authority and Michael Brown, vice president for community leadership at The Seattle Foundation.
The new organization was launched in mid-2014 with The Seattle Foundation serving as incubator and funder. The Boeing Company and The Bullitt Foundation also provided startup funding. Its day-to-day work is carried out by a consultant team, headed by Doris Koo. Ms. Koo is the former president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners, a leading national nonprofit specializing in affordable housing finance, advocacy and community development. She also served as development director of the Seattle Housing Authority in the 1990s, where she led pioneering redevelopments at NewHolly and Rainier Vista. Other team members include urban planner Ellen Kissman and communications consultant Virginia Felton.
For more information
Virginia Felton | Yesler Community Collaborative Communications
c 206-979-7539| virginia@YesCollab.org
Darcy Donahoe-Wilmot | Chase Media Relations
p 206.500.2828| c 425.444.2500| firstname.lastname@example.org