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Capitol Hill EcoDistrict joins Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

Seattle, WA (September 21, 2023) – At the end of September, a beloved sustainability- and equity-focused community program will find a new organizational home as the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict relocates to the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.  

Founded in 2011 by Community Roots Housing, the EcoDistrict began as an effort to address dramatic growth in Seattle by ensuring community priorities were reflected in significant developments changing the neighborhood. For over a decade, Community Roots Housing has served as an incubator for the bold, ambitious work of the EcoDistrict, including programmatic successes such as the Capitol Hill Renter Initiative and the resulting Seattle Renter’s Commission, advocacy for the passage of Mandatory Housing Affordability, an affordable housing transit pass pilot, the creation of the Lowell school-based health center and community hub, and REVIVAL Market Street pop-ups. In 2020, Donna Moodie joined the EcoDistrict as its new Executive Director, bringing years of deep experience in community engagement to the role. 

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) is an organization with nearly 100 years of experience in direct services and advocacy for the Black and other under-represented communities. Led by Michelle Merriweather and sharply focused on equitable community development, ULMS is ideally poised to support the next chapter of the EcoDistrict.

“This next phase of partnership with the Urban League is an opportunity for the EcoDistrict to co-create a future for equitable community development at scale,” said Donna Moodie, Executive Director of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict. 

The EcoDistrict and ULMS join forces at a significant moment. EcoDistricts.org, the national organization advancing a new model of urban development that certified the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict in 2021, was recently acquired by the Partnership for Southern Equity, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that promotes racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the American South. According to Moodie, their shared commitment to setting a national “Just Growth agenda has laid the groundwork for the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and ULMS’s collaboration. 

“The Urban League team and our board of directors could not be more thrilled to join forces with the EcoDistrict to expand its programming and advocacy,” said Michelle Merriweather, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. “I consider it an honor to co-labor with Donna, the team, EcoDistrict advisory committee, and community as we dream and implement programming that supports environmental justice, small businesses, and community. I can’t think of a better partnership.” 

During its time at Community Roots Housing, the EcoDistrict served as a test lab for innovative, community-led solutions to neighborhood priorities. As the program embarks on its next chapter, it leaves a legacy of expertise in community engagement, research, advocacy, and public life planning for Community Roots Housing to build upon. 

“Community Roots Housing is honored to have worked alongside the EcoDistrict and achieved so many common goals, and we eagerly await what they will accomplish next at the Urban League,” said Christopher Persons, CEO of Community Roots Housing. “Community Roots has been the beneficiary of the EcoDistrict and Donna Moodie’s expertise, and we will carry these lessons with us as we continue our work in community development at the intersection of equity and affordable housing.”

To learn more or support the EcoDistrict, visit capitolhillecodistrict.org.

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About the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict

The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict is a neighborhood-based sustainability initiative dedicated to improving the connectivity, public health and wellness, and environmental resilience of Seattle’s center city. The EcoDistrict works in partnership with the local community to test and deploy innovative solutions that address the city’s most pressing sustainability challenges. We look to cities around the globe for inventive approaches to centering neighborhood development around long-term health for people and the planet. 

About the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

With a vision of equity for all, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) empowers those we serve by providing programming and services designed to support and encourage self-sufficiency in all aspects of life. Our five areas of focus include advocacy & civic engagement, education, housing, public health and workforce development. As the second-oldest civil rights organization in the state of Washington, ULMS is one of the region’s essential economic first responders, helping families cope with challenges through a variety of programs designed to support and encourage self-sufficiency in all aspects of life. ULMS also serves as a liaison between community members, local businesses, city and county government, and other service-based organizations that share our concern for the welfare of the Black community and other disadvantaged residents in the Greater Puget Sound area.

About Community Roots Housing

Everyone has the right to a quality, affordable home. At Community Roots Housing, this truth drives our work. By embracing community-led development and engaging in deep-rooted partnerships, we’re fostering vibrant, equitable communities where everyone has access to safe, affordable, and welcoming homes. Today, with nearly 50 apartment buildings and over 2,000 residents, we continue our commitment to build community with and for people. Learn more at communityrootshousing.org.