Since 2020, Sightline’s Development team has focused Giving Tuesday, the national day of philanthropy, on highlighting organizations in our local communities. Guided by the principles of community-centric fundraising, we believe that Sightline’s mission of creating a global model of sustainability can only happen when the whole community is strong. In the list below, our staff has suggested some organizations that are close to their hearts. We hope that Sightline supporters and fans, just like you, will give to one of them. Here is who motivates your favorite policy nerds to keep working toward a brighter tomorrow!
Alan’s picks: Climate Justice Initiative and Na’ah Illahee Fund
The Climate Justice Initiative, founded by Seattle-based Sightline friend Karla Brollier, supports the leadership of Indigenous women with a special focus on climate justice. Through investments in innovative projects across the United States, the Climate Justice Initiative works to protect the protectors.
Na’ah Illahee Fund, directed by former Sightline board member Susan Balbas, supports the leadership of Indigenous women in the regeneration of their communities across Cascadia. I find the organization’s projects both visionary and pragmatic. I especially like the focus on strengthening green infrastructure.
Catie’s pick: Parking Reform Network
In just a few months, affordable housing providers across Oregon will no longer have to reduce the number of homes in a project to comply with excessive local parking mandates. That’s just one part of a precedent-setting policy adopted in Oregon this summer. The Parking Reform Network was there every step of the way, connecting the people who made that victory possible. The Parking Reform Network is a national organization that educates the public about the impact of parking policy on climate change, equity, housing, and traffic. In partnership with allied organizations, they accelerate the adoption of critical parking reforms through research, coalition-building, and direct advocacy.
Emily’s picks: Musang Community Kitchen and El Centro de la Raza
One of my favorite places to celebrate birthdays or other special occasions is Musang, a Filipino restaurant founded by the inimitable chef and leader Melissa Miranda. With firm roots in the Beacon Hill community, Musang doesn’t just offer delicious food and a warm and inviting space for its visitors. It also runs a community kitchen to provide meals to community members in need, partnering with organizations like Seattle Southeast Senior Center, Real Change, Wasat, Food Intentions, and more.
Our work is made possible by the generosity of people like you!
Thanks to Eleanor Klauminzer for supporting a sustainable Northwest.
Another pillar of Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood is El Centro de La Raza, a community-driven, social justice organization grounded in the Washington state Latino community. Founded in 1972 with the peaceful occupation of the then-abandoned Beacon Hill Elementary school, El Centro de La Raza now offers a wide range of programs and services. These include a bilingual after-school mentoring and tutoring program, support for seniors, tax assistance, affordable housing development, an eviction prevention program, a food bank, and much more. El Centro de la Raza has also served as a critical safety net during the pandemic, including distributing more than $1.2 million in rental assistance in 2020 to individuals and families facing eviction.
Jeannette’s picks: Bike Anchorage and Alaska Black Caucus
Bike Anchorage is a growing political force in Anchorage. A mainstay of the bike community, it helps do everything from encouraging people to make more trips by bike to showing people who are new to biking how to successfully ride in traffic and use new bike infrastructure. The organization is also at the forefront of pushing for parking reform in Alaska’s largest city, using its advocacy skills and network of pro-bike peeps to build a durable coalition and connect with local lawmakers. Bike Anchorage also tracks the progress of road construction projects, highlights any concerns relevant to folks who support biking, and makes sure everyone knows how and when to submit public comments. Bike Anchorage is a critical organization for diversifying Anchorage’s transportation mix and helping people save money, improve their health, and feel more connected to their community simply by hopping on a bike.
The Alaska Black Caucus (ABC) reemerged in Anchorage during the pandemic and proved critical as a place to process pain, take political action, and help the community better understand public policy. ABC continues to hold community conversations every week, covering important topics such as health, voting, and education. It not only highlights the inequities that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in America, but also triumphs and progress as we move toward a more just society. Stay tuned: During Anchorage’s upcoming Solidarity Weekend, held in January over the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, ABC will host Hoops4Unity, a basketball game between youth and cops to help build relationships and trust in the community and an MLK Community-wide Cultural Celebration at the Performing Arts Center on January 16 to showcase Anchorage’s diversity as ABC works to build the beloved community King envisioned.
Nashrah’s pick: The Recovery Café
Building community is incredibly difficult at baseline, and with the added pressure and stress of day-to-day trials and tribulations secondary to the lack of systems available, it can feel nearly hopeless. The Recovery Café supports people on their journey to recovery from crisis, addiction, homelessness, and other mental health obstacles, reigniting hope for many locals. I highly admire that they prioritize radical hospitality and inclusion towards those most vulnerable in our communities. With access for housing, social, and health services, they also nurture opportunities for connection and relationship-building. As volunteers or Members, you can support all their initiatives by bringing your skills and gifts to share with them. Folks have organized events like open mic nights and game nights!
Rachel’s pick: People of Color Outdoors
People of Color Outdoors has been a critical lifeline for BIPOC folks in Portland and the surrounding area. The organization provides a safe space for BIPOC of all ages to enjoy the outdoors with an emphasis on learning and protecting the land. During COVID, it hosted more than 30 events to keep people connected to their community, meet others, and find peace in a troubled world.
Webster’s pick: InterIm CDA
InterIm CDA’s WILD program checks off so many things that I would love to introduce. Developing future community leaders through hands-on experience in urban-wilderness and environmental justice, focusing on immigrants and refugee in the AAPI community, and providing historical and cultural connections of the neighborhood? That’s a lot of bells ringing in my head right now!