Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Newsletter

closeup of Rahwa Habte, smiling

Remembering Rahwa Habte

This past week, we were heartbroken to learn of the passing of Rahwa Habte, a former colleague, an incredible organizer, community builder, cultural worker, advocate for youth, immigrants, and refugees, and co-owner of the Central District’s Hidmo Eritrean Cuisine or, as her friend Gabriel Teodros described it: “a community center, cleverly disguised as an Eritrean restaurant.”

Rahwa previously worked for the Department of Neighborhoods and was also instrumental in helping create the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. But her impact went far beyond local government. She was a significant figure in so many creative and organizing spaces throughout Seattle – leaving an imprint all over our city.

Her friend Naomi Ishisaka put it best, “[Rahwa’s] ability to create spaces and connections that transcended barriers was unlike anyone else. Rahwa was always on the side of the people and justice.”

Rahwa’s passing is a devastating loss to this city and all that knew her.


City of Seattle to Offer Child Care and Teen Resource Hubs: These City-sponsored child care and resource hubs will supplement Seattle Public Schools school year preparations and ensure students are best-served in a virtual learning environment. (more)

Are You a Domestic Worker in Seattle? The Seattle Domestic Worker’s Standards Board is asking house cleaners, nannies, gardeners, cooks, home care workers, and household managers to fill out this survey to help better understand the need for portable benefits in our domestic worker communities. (more)

City of Seattle Surpasses $19 million in Federal Aid for Ongoing Food Assistance: Mayor Durkan has directed an additional $9 million towards grocery vouchers, $670,000 towards the Community Food Fund, and over $2 million towards Seattle’s food banks. (more)

Environmental Justice Fund Now Accepting Proposals:This is a grant opportunity for community-led projects that improve environmental conditions, respond to impacts of climate change, and get us closer to achieving environmental justice. The application deadline is September 25. (more)

Join Community Conversation and Vision for Cal Anderson Park: Seattle Parks and Recreation invites you to participate in the second of three online discussions for 2020 Cal Anderson Park, a project to engage the public on how changing assumptions and language can affect the design of park spaces and create a sense of belonging for everyone. (more)

Seattle's Heating Oil Tax Delayed: The City Council has passed an amendment to the heating oil tax ordinance and the new effective date will be September 1, 2021. Be sure your service provider doesn't pass the amount of the new tax along to you this year. (more)

West Seattle Bridge Update: Since March, the City of Seattle has implemented 175 changes to support communities affected by the West Seattle Bridge closure. (more)



Give Input on Renovation of Genesee Playfield Play Area and Comfort Station: This is an opportunity to provide feedback on the restroom renovation and let the design team know what types of play elements you would like to see in the new play area. (more)

Give Input on the New North Rainier Park: The goal of this engagement effort is to collect textile/fabric designs to be incorporated into the park and nearby street improvements that represent the diverse cultures and heritages of the neighborhood. (more)

Share How COVID-19 Has Affected You and Your Family: Take the CORONA survey so the Washington State Department of Health can understand how COVID-19 has impacted you. Health departments across the state will use the results of the survey to help our communities recover. (more)

Give Input on the Spruce Street Mini Park Play Area: Share your input on this play area project in the Central District and tell Seattle Parks and Recreation's design team what the community values about this park and and how it might be improved. (more)