Meet the New Team Members!

We've added some new faces over the past nine months at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and we couldn't be more excited. By way of introduction, we've asked our newest recruits a few questions about what drives their passion for safe streets / public spaces work in Seattle.

 Meet Clara Cantor, our new Community Organizer!

Joined SNG in March 2018. clara

How do you enjoy the public spaces in your neighborhood?  

I have a small apartment, so I spend a lot of my time in public spaces in my neighborhood! From sitting in the grass with a picnic or a beer, to walking the dog, to using the back alley or the sidewalk to do woodworking projects, I have met some of my closest friends just being outside at the right time. I even have a favorite street tree that I make a point of walking past as often as possible.

What is awesome about Seattle? 

I'm from Seattle, so I may be biased, but I've lived in a lot of places and traveled to many more, and Seattle is still one of my favorite places to be. I love the mountains and the water and the green, and I also love the people here. There's no place like it. Even when I was living elsewhere, I always knew that I'd be back.

Why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways?

I love the grassroots model here at SNG - that we are of, by, and for the people. And I love the all ages and abilities focus. I am a regular bike commuter and can be a fairly vehicular cyclist sometimes, but swerving through traffic (while better than being in a car) is still not a safe or pleasant way to spend time on a bike. One of my favorite things about the Central District (where I live) is that it's so pleasant to wander through, and I want that for everyone! Going to the library or the grocery store can be a chore, or it can be a pleasant stroll through a tree-lined street during which you stop to chat with neighbors and friends. That's the dream!

Clara's Ask: Have ideas about what can make your neighborhood a better place to walk, bike, or live? Interested in putting your talents to use as a volunteer? Hit me up!

Meet Susan Gleason, our Communications and Development Director!

Joined SNG in August 2017. Susan Gleason headshot

How do you enjoy the public spaces in your neighborhood?  

I live in the Hillman City neighborhood and I can honestly say it's my favorite place to be. The street I live on, one block off of Rainier Avenue, has a lot of neighborhood activity -- folks walking their dogs, groups of friends taking a stroll, parents and kids biking together. I love the community feel and inevitable interactions that come with just stepping outside our door. I treasure our summer block party (it's my 9 yr-old neighbor's favorite day of the year!), visiting the businesses and nonprofits in our local commercial hub, and getting in as much time as I can walking, biking, or swimming at nearby Seward Park.

What is awesome about Seattle? 

I've lived most of my adult life here, and over those decades I feel like I've seen many "Seattles". Far and away, what I value most about Seattle are the people I've met here and the community networks my husband and I share. There's a creative, solution-oriented, can-do culture I've experienced in a bunch of different settings, including my former work at YES! Magazine, and even much longer ago at Earth on the Air Radio Works, that really speaks to me. The progressive politics, passion for social justice, and breathtaking natural beauty -- well, these make Seattle a pretty remarkable city as well.

Why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways?

My favorite cities are some of the most walkable cities -- New York, DC, Montreal. I lived in Holland for a year, right out of high school, and I'll never forget what it felt like for daily life, school, and socializing to all take place via bike and trains. I share the dream that many people in Seattle have of this city being a wonderful place to get around by walking, biking, and transit. We have such a long way to go -- but there are incremental improvements, and signs of what may be possible. I started out with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways as a volunteer in the newly-formed Rainier Valley Greenways group, back in 2013, and I've been knocked out ever since by the community-driven model, the steadfast commitment to a city that works for people of all ages and abilities—and the coalition's amazing track record of success.

Susan's Ask: I'm looking for stories and storytellers! Please let me know about video, photos, and write-ups that you're willing to share or create.