Using advocacy & community engagement to support a long-marginalized neighborhood.

Uwajimaya is a family-owned Asian grocery store deeply rooted in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. When a new light rail station was proposed in the district, the family worried it would adversely affect their historically marginalized neighborhood. DH helped them successfully advocate for a station that provides tangible benefits to the community.

Community engagement

It wasn’t just Uwajimaya that stood to be affected by Sound Transit’s plans. We helped convene a diverse coalition of community voices, centering those most impacted by transportation decisions and making space for different opinions. This helped us find common ground that would inform our messaging and our strategy. It also allowed the coalition’s priority audiences to see and hear the community’s voices and perspectives authentically represented.

uwajimaya link train driving under overpass

Strategic advocacy

In partnership with the community, we developed core positioning and messaging for our client and the neighborhood coalition. We helped them translate into testimony to share at public meetings and talking points to share with elected officials and media, and on their own platforms. A unifying thread: This neighborhood had endured discrimination, displacement and the negative impacts of construction for a century. The light rail station presented an opportunity to make meaningful investments and contribute to the vibrancy of the neighborhood.

Media coverage

We helped Uwajimaya, the coalition and their supporters craft an op-ed and pitch coverage to local media, landing coverage in The Seattle Times, The Urbanist and other publications. This brought the community’s concerns to a broader audience outside the Chinatown-International District.

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