Community

The U District community has a strong tradition of coming together and for collective action that benefits the whole. Getting involved in your community isn’t always intuitive, but we hope that this page helps to create a one-stop shop for those wanting to plug-in and support the great things that are currently happening in the U District.

Ways to get involved

University Park Community Club (UPCC)

upcc.org

Founded in 1975, the University Park Community Club (UPCC) is a residential community organization that primarily focuses on various neighborhood issues in the northeast portion of the U District called University Park. Membership is open to all persons residing in University Park and all meetings are open to the public and are held quarterly in the “lounge” of the University Lutheran Church (NE 50th Street and 16th Ave NE).

The U District Partnership

udistrictpartnership.org

Founded in 2014, The U District Partnership (UDP) is the lead economic development organization that works to improve and promote the U District. In addition to providing economic development services, UDP oversees neighborhood cleaning, safety, and homeless outreach teams and coordinates marketing and events for the U District. UDP also advocates on behalf of its constituents with respect to a host of public policy, planning, and quality‐of‐life issues. UDP was organized by (and evolved out-of) the Greater U District Chamber of Commerce which was originally founded in 1914. Today, UDP hosts the U District Street Fair, Seattle Boba Fest, the U District Cherry Blossom Festival, and the U District $4 Food Walk. UDP’s Board has about 20 directors who usually meet on the third Tuesdays of the month at 11:30 a.m. via zoom or in-person with a hybrid option. Meetings are open to the public.

U District Community Council (UDCC)

www.udistrictcommunitycouncil.org/

The U District Community Council (UDCC) is a part of Seattle’s network of community councils and has been active for over 50 years advocating for neighborhood interests. The current board is composed of U District residents, businesses, workers and property owners and meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at Bulldog News (4208 University Way NE) but also offers a hybrid option. All meetings are open to the public.

U District Business Improvement Area (UDBIA)

www.udbia.org

The U District Business Improvement Area is one of Seattle’s 11 business improvement areas and is administered by the U District Partnership. The UDBIA was established by the Greater University District of Commerce, who originally administered the fund to provide regular cleaning on University Way NE. In 2014, the fund was reestablished to expand the program offerings and cleaning area to a greater geography in the U District. The UDBIA funds a variety of programming today including daily cleaning and safety services, homeless outreach, marketing, events, placemaking and economic development. The UDBIA has a Board of 20 ratepayers that advise and provide high-level strategic direction for the use of the funds. The ratepayer advisory board Board meets quarterly via zoom. Meetings are open to the public. 

U District Advocates

www.udistrict.org/ 

The U District Advocates is a volunteer-led advocacy organization that advances projects and policies on behalf of the U District. Over the years their advocacy has focused on public realm and mobility improvements, policy initiatives, and from time to time, outdoor performances and street parties. Information about these activities can be found here. They currently do not have any public meetings, but participate in the annual U District Street Fair.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (NE/University District)

university.seattlegreenways.org/ 

Founded in 2011, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a coalition of 16 local volunteer-led chapters, one of which is in the U District. These groups work with their communities to reclaim Seattle’s streets and make them safer for all ages, ethnicities, genders and abilities–essentially making them great places for people to walk, roll, and live.

Rotary Club of the University District

www.udrotary.org/ 

The Rotary Club of the University District provides service to the community, promotes integrity, and advances world understanding through their network of business, professional, and community leaders. They focus on community issues that include but are not limited to fighting for peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, supporting education and children, growing local economies and protecting the environment. This group meets every Friday at the Seattle Yacht Club over lunch. 

Northeast District Council (NEDC)

northeastdistrictcouncil.wordpress.com/ 

The Northeast District Council (NEDC) was initially a part of the City’s neighborhood district council system, which was set up as a place for neighborhood organizations to come together and provide input and advocacy for their local geography–in this case Northeast Seattle. While the district council system was dismantled by Mayor Ed Murray, this group of neighborhood organizations still continues to meet monthly on the first Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. via zoom. All meetings are open to the public.

Northeast Design Review Board 

www.seattle.gov/sdci/about-us/who-we-are/design-review/boards-and-staff#northeast 

The Northeast Design Review Board is one of the eight Seattle design review boards and is made up of volunteer members who are appointed by the Mayor and City Council. The five seats on the board are selected to represent the following interests: design professionals, community and residents, developers, businesses and/or landscape designers. Upcoming meetings can be found here. There are regularly open seats on this committee for those who are interested in getting involved.

City / University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC)

www.washington.edu/community/cucac/ 

The City / University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC) consists of representatives from the University of Washington (UW) and the surrounding communities. The committee meets on the second Tuesday of every month to advise the City and the University on campus planning and development associated with the University of Washington. This group meets periodically on the second Tuesday of the month. There are regularly open seats on this committee for those who are interested in getting involved.

 

Community Services

There are a variety of community services organizations that support our community. While this is not an exhaustive list, these are a few of the notable and important organizations that do great service work in the U District.

University Heights Community Center

www.uheightscenter.org/ 

The University Heights Center (UHeights) promotes life-long learning, creativity, culture, community activism, and the preservation of the historic elementary school building in which they host a variety of community organizations and operate several community and social services including food, hygiene and vehicle residence programs.

U District Food Bank

www.udistrictfoodbank.org/ 

The University District Food Bank works to build a hunger-free Northeast Seattle by providing neighbors with reliable access to healthy food and life-changing resources. The Food Bank operates a series of walk-in pantries across North Seattle that are open daily as well as a food delivery program (in partnership with Cascade Bikes) that brings food to people in NE Seattle who have physical difficulties, disabilities, medical conditions, or other barriers that prevent them from coming into the walk-in food bank.

University District Family YMCA

www.seattleymca.org/locations/university-family-ymca 

One of the first nonprofits in the area, the University District Family Y offers a variety of services to the community including social services, physical fitness facilities, classes, volunteer opportunities and community building activities.  

Community Initiatives

From time to time, community members come together to advance policy priorities, new initiatives, and major community projects. Below is a list of recent initiatives and links to their reports and outcomes. 

NE 42nd Street Green Street Visioning Project Committee

green.udistrict.org/42nd

In 2023, the U District Partnership, the U District Community Council and the U District Advocates co-led a grant-funded community-visioning effort to develop a conceptual ‘10% design’ plan for NE 42nd Street (between 15th AVe NE and Brooklyn Ave NE). The aim of this visioning effort was to identify viable interventions for NE 42nd Street that would realize a better pedestrian friendly pathway to and from the University of Washington campus while making the core of the U District more walkable and more supportive of the small restaurant businesses. This project will inform future City of Seattle Green Street designs. The project steering committee is longer active, but the 10% design for NE 42nd Street can be found here and will eventually be implemented. It also will continue to inform the City’s Green Street design guidelines.

U District Mobility Group / Steering Committee

mobility.udistrict.org/ 

A group of community members and U District organizations came together in 2017 and 2018 to look at ways to leverage the arrival of new bus and light rail service to better create safe and reliable access to U District Station for all. The U District Mobility Steering Committee met for over a year to engage stakeholders and offer feedback on evolving public plans to city, county and regional leaders. The steering committee produced a document that outlined the priorities and feedback from the community. This group is no longer active, but the report can be found online.