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Upcoming Community Council Meeting


Mark your calendars! The next public meeting of the Madison Valley Community Council is on Tuesday, November 15th, at the MLK F.A.M.E. Community Center. We hope you’ll join us to catch up on events over the last few months, get involved in making some new projects happen, and share your thoughts on where we should be focusing our efforts.

Topics we’ll be covering include:

Proposals for short-term and long-term community projects / committee sign-up

Clarification of distinctions between Madison Valley Community Council (MVCC), Madison Valley Merchants Association (MVMA), and Save Madison Valley (SMV)

Changes to MVCC board and open officer position

Pending revisions to MVCC by-laws

Treasurer’s report

New public meeting schedule

The meeting will be only an hour long, so bring a few bucks for the donation jar, grab a cookie, and enjoy some quality time with your neighbors. See you there!

Penelope Karovsky
Madison Valley Community Council


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Charles McDade: The Kindness Man


Charles McDade was the vice president of the Greater Madison Valley Community Council (GMVCC) for 20 years. That term must be some kind of a record for voluntary community service! For Charles, service and kindness to others are the guiding principles of his life.




Charles grew up on a family farm in Winnfield, Louisiana during the 1940s. He found life extremely difficult during this period. His family struggled financially, racial tensions were stressful, and corporal punishment was a household norm. He was miserable. Even as a child, Charles frequently contemplated death as a deliverance from what he viewed as a hopeless existence.

Then one day, Charles had an experience that changed his life.

At the age of 11, Charles had a vision of a great tree falling and crushing him into the ground. Over the next two years, he had this exact vision on multiple occasions. He began to think that perhaps this was the death and release for which he had yearned.

When Charles was 13, he was helping his brother chop down a tree on their property. Suddenly, the tree snapped prematurely and came crashing down towards him. He recognized it as his vision and felt the weight of his whole life, both past and future. Instead of embracing the death he had sought, Charles leapt from harm and saved himself. He describes this experience as an epiphany. In that instant in which he chose life, Charles matured and felt in control of his destiny. “I decided then to start living. I had a realization that if I led a life of kindness towards others that everything would go well for me.”

Charles moved with his family to Portland, Oregon when he was 18, and then on to Seattle a couple months later. He began work collecting garbage for a Seattle disposal company and quickly became a favorite among the customers. One couple offered him a job with their advertising company. His facility with people enabled him to assist the company as a worldwide representative. He traveled not only for business but was able to visit many countries for pleasure. These experiences served to confirm his belief that we are all one people and deserve only kindness from each other.

After other employment and retirement, Charles sought community service in his neighborhood as a means to practice his beliefs in kindness. He boldly confronted sex workers, violent gang members, and drug dealers, asking them to take their business out of the neighborhood. He has offered assistance to the elderly and has helped organize block parties. His calm presence has often been requested at the bedside of a dying neighbor. He is well loved and appreciated by all who know him.

As our community council vice president, Charles served as a voice for all volunteers. He reminds members that service as a volunteer does not mean overextending yourself or stressing about projects. Our responsibility is to serve as a forum for neighbors to come together and to create interest groups in order to accomplish goals together.

After the 16 years of service, this reporter hypothesized that Charles would be our vice president for life. Alas, this was not to be. He served us in that capacity for another four years and then: Enough!! He now enjoys himself with friends and family but does keep up with community issues.

Gratitude is an inadequate word for our heartfelt feeling for Charles.


7 Comments, Join In | Topics: Community Council, People

Community Council Minutes 14-Jun-2016


The meeting minutes are available in this PDF.

The City Planning report is can be read here.



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Upcoming MV Community Council Meeting


The Madison Valley Community Council will be holding its next meeting on June 14.

Arboretum Neighbors for Safer Streets will present an update of their project which includes a grant, traffic study, and engineering to reduce traffic speeds and improve bike and pedestrian safety on the north side of Madison St. The traffic engineers and representatives from SDOT will be present to share the results of the study.

Also, MVCC will be holding annual officer elections. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a volunteer officer of the Community Council, or simply being more involved in the community council please contact Lindy Wishard and/or attend the Tuesday’s meeting. Come out and vote! 

Read the meeting agenda at

Read the Board Member Duties at

Tuesday, June 14 7:00 PM
Madison Valley Community Council Meeting
Bush School Community Room


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Notes and Public Comments from the Architect’s Presentation


Thank you to everyone who attended the architect’s presentation of the new development. Below are written notes taken by Frank Nam, Neighborhood District Coordinator Supervisor at the City of Seattle. 

Photos of the community comments were taken after the roundtable discussion (View Photos). These photos have been shared with the architect, who will be addressing many of these comments during the Seattle Design Review Process. 

If you’d like to learn more about the Design Review process, please visit the City’s website. Your comments on proposed land use actions must be submitted in writing to the Public Resource Center either by email to (preferred method), by fax to (206) 233-7901, or by mail to:

Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections
ATTN: Public Resource Center or Assigned Planner
700 Fifth Ave, Ste 2000
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

Frank Nam’s Notes

Madison Valley Community Council Meeting that invited the Architect Charles Strazzara to come present to the community.

Roughly 125 people in attendance.

The developer and architect submitted an Early Design Guidance package two months early in order to garner community feedback. This is something they did not have to do and not a requirement of the EDG.

They will submit a final EDG package after receiving feedback in about 1.5 months.

Jeffrey Floor was also in attendance and he is a member of the Land Use Review Committee. He was here to help facilitate the meeting and the Q&A.

The architect Charles Strazzara showed his 3 options. The first two were larger massings that were obtrusive into the Dewey Place frontage which faces single family homes. Those were to code but the architect did not like it as it felt obtrusive to the community.

The third option had a number of cut backs and stepped the building away from Dewey Place. They also provided over a 1:1 resident unit to parking space ratio and a larger than necessary retail parking space ratio. 

They also are allowed to develop all the way to the property line but had setbacks all along the perimeter.

Q&A Main Questions

  • Questions about zoning and not having to go as high as code allows for size/space/etc. 
  • Questions about brick façade – earthquake proof?
  • Drainage questions and not adding any cars at all?
  • Transit Reduction can be up to .5 – they can apply for this in this area. 

Then there was time for people to write down some thoughts about what the project would need to be welcomed in the neighborhood. Some of the most raised topics were:

  • Affordable Housing +3
  • Manage construction to minimize traffic impacts +6
  • Aesthetics - quality of materials and outdoor spaces - enhanced Dewey side buffering +4
  • Noise of large building concerns - refrigeration noise - acoustic studies with greenbelt loss +3

Save Madison Valley Spoke:

  • Community of neighbors committed to the livability, safety, and vibrancy of the Madison Valley neighborhood.
  • Non-Profit Org.
  • 563+ members on Facebook.
  • Launched
  • Hired Land-Use attorney.
  • Partnership with Peter Steinbrueck.
  • Direct engagement with Architect & Developer.
  • Built connections with other groups in the city.
  • Concerned with size of the project.
  • SMV will host meeting in mid-June.
  • Organize for Design review meeting on 7/27


Bob from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways / Madison Park Greenways spoke about a loose coalition for safe walking and biking routes around the McGilvra Elementary School area.


4 Comments, Join In | Topics: Community Council, Construction

PCC: A Presentation from the Architect


Charles Strazzara, lead architect on the building that will replace City People’s, is giving a public presentation. He will show renderings of the preliminary design, and speak about the results of the recently completed geotechnical study. A moderated Q&A session will follow.


Madison Valley Community Council May Meeting
Tuesday May 17th
7:00 PM
Bush School Community Room
3400 E Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98112


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MV Community Council Evening Meetings


The Madison Valley Community Council has scheduled two evening meetings to accommodate the schedules of residents wishing to participate. Important new topics include the City People’s development, the Rapid Ride study, the greenways project on 29th, and others.

Tuesday May 17th 7:00-9:00 PM
Tuesday June 14th 7:00-9:00 PM

Bush School Community Room
3400 E Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98112

If there are any questions please let me know.

Thank you, Lindy Wishard
President, Madison Valley Community Council
206 349-9037


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MV Merchants Assoc. and Community Council Meeting


As we welcome spring, we welcome you to our first Madison Valley Merchants Association and Community Council meeting of the year this Wednesday at Café Flora starting at 8:30 am.

We will be discussing the BIA, Spring Clean, the Greenway project on Madison and 29th Ave East, and of course the City People Redevelopment. Coffee and pastry provided. Please be on time and feel free to bring a friend or business colleague.

Rob Liebreich
Madison Valley Merchants Association


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Madison Valley Community Council Meeting


Read the minutes from the Feb. 18 Meeing of the Madison Valley Community Council.


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Community Council: Lack of Participation Means Changes are Coming


At this month’s Madison Valley Community Council meeting, I will propose that the Council change its schedule from monthly meetings to one annual meeting, with additional sessions as needed. 

Low turnout is the reason. At a typical council meeting only four to five people show up. There does not seem to be any widespread neighborhood interest in attending council meetings or tackling more significant community improvement projects. 

Catherine Nunneley and I will continue to organize Sip & Dine events in the neighborhood. These social events are well attended and are a great way for neighbors to meet one another. 

The Community Council will partner with the Merchants Association and local schools for the Madison Valley Spring Clean and this year’s Bastille event (which will NOT be the same event as in past years; another casualty of low volunteerism — more information on that to come).  

We are trying our best to keep the website ( up and running, but even this is uncertain. Articles are written by volunteers (and our sincere thanks to them), but participation has been low generally. Without enough content there really isn’t a purpose for the site. 

If residents have concerns, grant proposals, ideas, etc., they can contact me directly or attend the monthly Merchants Association Meeting, where I am usually in attendance and we cover most of the topics, troubles, and gossip as it relates to the Valley. 


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No Community Council Meeting Tomorrow


There will be no Madison Valley Community Council meeting this month. Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting of  the Madison Valley Merchants Association, held at 8:30 AM at Cafe Flora on the third Wednesday of each month.

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Madison Valley Community Council Monthly Meeting


The MVCC will be holding its regular monthly meeting. You are invited to attend.

Nov 19th, 7:00 PM
Bush School Community Room

Holiday Happy Hour
Holiday Lights
Neighborhood Updates


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Actor Tom Skerritt to Speak at Madison Park Community Council “Extraordinary Neighbors” Event


The Madison Park Community Council is offering a series of talks from people in the neighborhood who have or have had interesting careers. The program is called “Meet your Extraordinary Neighbors.” The next talk is by actor Tom Skerritt, who lives in Madison Park. 

Tom has starred in 44 movies, including Alien, Contact, Mash, A River Runs Through It, and Top Gun. He has also been in innumerable TV shows, including Bonanza and Gunsmoke. He will talk about his movie and TV experiences and his current passions.

The event is free and all neighbors are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, Nov 12, 7:30 pm
Park Shore Retirement Community
1630 43rd Avenue E, just south of the Madison Park beach.


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Community Council Minutes 18-June-2014


Read the minutes from the Madison Valley Community Council meeting.


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Community Council Minutes 28-May-2014

MAY 28, 2014 | EDITOR
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Meeting Minutes MVCC Apr 16, 2014


Read the minutes of the latest Madison Valley Community Council meeting.


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Meeting Minutes MVCC Mar 19, 2014


Read the minutes of the latest Madison Valley Community Council meeting.


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Meeting Minutes MVCC Feb 19, 2014

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MVCC's History of Accomplishments


People often ask what the Madison Valley Community Council does.

The purpose of the council is to represent the residents of our neighborhood, to provide a democratic forum for all members, and to protect and advance the interests of the community before municipal, state and federal agencies. 

The Community Council is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). All participants are volunteers. Everyone is welcome to attend community meetings and participate.

Community Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM. Meetings are held at the Martin Luther King F.A.M.E. Community Center, 3201 East Republican Street, Seattle, Washington 98112

Over the years the council has worked on many neighborhood improvements. Following is a list created by the founding members of the council:


Community Work

Annual Events:

Bastille Bash
Spaghetti Dinner
Pancake Breakfast
Madison Street Art Walk
Progressive Dinner at Neighborhood Restaurants
Holiday Bazaar
Courtyard Rummage Sale
Spring Cleanup
Night-out Block Parties
Winter Festival of Lights throughout the Neighborhood
Diversity Fair
Publication of the Valley View Newsletter


Garden/Green Projects

Reforestation of the Harrison Ridge Greenbelt
Planting of trees along MLK Way
Establishment of community compost stations for yard/food          
Repair and removal of vegetation for neighborhood sidewalks
Garden Tours
Pea Patch Installation


Community Interest Groups

Teen Work Opportunity Group
Writers’ Workshops
Parenting Workshops
Madison Valley Family Project
Youth Group


Community Improvement Efforts

Sidewalk repair
Madison Valley Triangle Project
Greenways Project
Parklet Project
Design Community Home at the WA Park Field house
Design Tunnel under Madison Connecting Madison Valley and the Arboretum
Establish new crosswalk on Madison at 29th Ave E
Establish Restricted Parking Zone in Madison Street Corridor
Participation in the Seattle City Comprehensive Planning
Information kiosk at the Madison Valley Retention Pond
Eliminate flooding on 32nd Ave E at E John
Graffiti Removal
Fundraising for AME Church after fire damage


Martin Luther King Jr.  Elementary School

Village Schools Project
Built new playground twice
Purchased a van for school transportation
Established safe biking routes to the school

School Programs:

Before and After School Program
Chess Club
Dance Classes
Computer lab
Homework Center
NW Historical Course including Forest Evolution


Special thank you to Catherine Nunneley and Charles McDade for providing this list.


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Community Council Minutes Nov 20, 2013

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Community Council Minutes Oct 16, 2013

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Sep 18, 2013 Community Council Minutes


Read the minutes (PDF) from the Sep 18, 2013 Madison Valley Community Council meeting.


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Minutes from the Community Council

JUNE 21, 2013 | EDITOR
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Meeting Minutes

MAY 16, 2013 | EDITOR

Read the minutes (PDF) from the May 15, 2013 Madison Valley Community Council meeting.

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Madison Valley Merchants Association Receives Grant


The Madison Valley Merchants Association received a $15,000 grant from the Department of Economic Development to help with a variety of projects in the Valley, including promotion for Bastille Bash, website maintenance, and administrative help. 

Mayor McGinn was present to present the award to the 17 neighborhoods who received grants from OED. Accepting for the neighborhood were Molly Van Nostrand, Lindy Wishard, and Larry Levine.

Read the full press release.

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