RBAC held a Strategy Session in December and we asked ourselves a number of strategic questions e.g.. What assets do we need to secure, how do we handle external requests that ask for Rainier Beach representation, what does an efficient volunteer support model look like, what are the tools every RBAC worker needs to know how to use. We referred to these as purposes for our session. An additional purpose of the session was to determine the top five things RBAC must do to be around for the next 20 years. A good number of ideas came out, in fact, there were 24 ideas. Most of the ideas were combined to fall under three categories which are personnel development, succession planning, and fund development. The remaining two, to round out the top five ideas are to implement the Food Innovation Center as an anti-displacement strategy and to develop a community outreach team that creates partnerships with local businesses.
I want to talk more, in this space, about implementing the Food Innovation Center as an anti-displacement strategy. Here is a link https://southseattleemerald.com/2017/02/16/op-ed-the-need-to-move-toward-food-innovation-in-rainier-beach/ to an op-ed written by our very own David Sauvion where among other things he says “Rainier Beach needs jobs with low barriers to entry in industries that allow pathways for existing residents and newly arrived immigrants to enter the workforce and become entrepreneurs. Something we are all hearing daily is critical to the U.S. economy. A Food Innovation District has the potential to satisfy these needs, and would be a smart investment for the City of Seattle”. For starters, this idea has been formally embraced by the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development as an anti-displacement strategy. They followed up this declaration by supporting it through the Equitable Development Initiative which helped RBAC acquire land to place the Food Innovation Center on. If you are wondering what it is click here https://www.rbcoalition.org/food-innovation-center-update-the-report-is-out/. So RBAC is going all in on the Food Innovations Center because according to RBAC staff it is one of the top five things needing to be done in order for RBAC to be around for the next 20 years and beyond.