Cynthia Knox

MPNA Board Experience

It has been a pleasure to serve as an MPNA board member 2014-2018 and Treasurer 2016-2018. During that time have spearheaded creation, volunteer recruitment, and organization of multiple community events (Outdoor Movie Night, Spring Essentials Drive, SummerSet Arts Festival, Used Book Sale, Ice Cream Social) as well as worked to further develop MPNA's social media presence for connecting residents. Have been trained in logistical duties of office of president/chair by long-term chair. Founded and directed SummerSet Arts Festival, an all-day free to the public art-making event at Ronald Bog 2012-2015, sponsored in part by MPNA. 15 years experience interfacing with Shoreline City Council and Staff. Created the non-discrimination policy for the MPNA board member application.

 Residency in Meridian Park
Lived in Meridian Park since 2003 and enjoy being steward of a portion of the banks of Ronald Bog. Previous to living in Shoreline, lived in Capital Hill and West Seattle for 15 years and experienced the growing pains that urbanization brought. My commitment with MPNA leadership is to support the preservation of the very best qualities of Meridian Park community and environment, including our tree canopy, as our neighborhood undergoes the changes that accompany increasing population and industry.

Work Experience
Creativity and service have defined career. A formally trained visual artist, professional chef, as well as an elder-carer, gives creative and empathetic responses to problem solving. Began life and education on the East coast of the U.S., moved to the Rocky Mountains, then settled in Puget Sound 30 years ago. Career history includes special event facility management/booking/sales, public and commissioned artworks, festival creation/direction including fundraising and budgeting, cooking gourmet food for crowds, and eldercare case management. Education includes a B.A. in visual arts, Restaurant Management School, and Business Management classes.

Additional Service to Community
Volunteer work has included food preparation and service for people in need, caroling at the Kent Detention Center, teen support at Youth are, art classes for low income schoolchildren, Shoreline Arts Crush, and Shoreline Historical Museum. Dedicated to equality and justice for all.

Vision for 2018/2019 MPNA Board of Directors and Neighborhood
To support the protection and expansion of the quality of life for residents of Meridian Park Neighborhood. This to be accomplished by increasing awareness by Meridian Park Neighbors that the Association belongs to all residents of Meridian Park and that there is power in numbers when creating neighborhood initiatives, events, as well as when approaching Shoreline City government with requests.

Dedicated to recreating the MPNA with current Board as a listening post for all residents of Meridian Park Neighborhood and generating programs and events based on neighbor interests and requests.

As a result of listening to neighbors in the last year in person and online, the following programs/events/initiatives appear to  require focus in the near term (subject to change as residents make requests):

- Providing new programs and information to combat package/mail/home and car thefts

- Connection of residents through fun activities. Possibilities include: bike ride meet-ups, community gardening, ice cream socials, wintertime luminaria stroll, summertime block parties, outdoor movies, community picnics, barter meet-ups, group garage sales, community art projects, parks weed removal parties, and more. Ideas welcome!!

- Increased safety in our streets and working to increase number of sidewalks

- Increasing safety in our parks and public spaces by reducing overnight camping and needle debris

- Preservation of green spaces and tree canopy as well as offering info/programs on earth friendly practices

- Facilitate and empower residents to communicate with Shoreline City Staff and Council including getting timely information regarding impactful development plans 

- Support long-time residents facing challenges with the rapid changes occurring in Meridian Park

- Provide back-up for Meridian Park Elementary School programs that supply students in need with weekend food, winter clothing, and school supplies.

- Lobbying for efficient, affordable, and streamlined commuting options including

- Block and neighborhood preparedness for earthquakes, floods, and extended power outages

- Any other ideas/concerns put forward by other MPNA Board members or neighbors

Tom Karston

Residency & experience. Tom first lived in Shoreline during all of the 1980s, and then returned, to the same house, in 2014. He has gained quite a few insights from  having lived  and worked in a wide range of civic environments, Los Angeles, Toronto, Victoria, Ohio, Germany, & Kirkland. He came to Seattle for grad school at the UW and subsequently was a professor, teaching economics at Ohio Wesleyan and at WWU. He then became a bank VP specializing in financial risk management & public relations. Most recently he has been a publisher of medical books, the director of capital budgeting for British Columbia, and a public utility economist for King County, while also involved with a wide array of advisory projects past and present. He was earlier licensed as a CPA in the State of Washington.

Tom has enjoyed volunteering with the NW Boy Choir for about seven years, and has two sons in their mid-20s, living in Vancouver and London, as well as a stepson at home, who attended Einstein MS, is currently a sophomore at Shorewood High School and has been a NW Choirs member since age six.

Meridian Park board history: He has been on the MPNA board for about four years, serving as vice president since 2016. He brings a collaborative leadership style to this role, helping to create an innovative and validating framework, which encourages other volunteers to participate and contribute their ideas.

 Some of Tom’s accomplishments with the MPNA:

- Design, development & administration of the MPNA website for 4 years

- Four years managing MPNA’s volunteer database & sending notifications of meetings & events

- Three years video taping meetings & placing them on the website for those who are not able to attend

- Four years volunteering at Outdoor Movie Night (parking, setup/cleanup, booths)

- Three years sorting books/sales at the Annual Book Fair

- Four years helping to execute the National Night Out as part of a team assigned to visit several block parties in the Meridian Park neighborhood during the NNO

- For the last two years Tom has been the backup for the current president by running meetings or attending the Council of Neighborhoods events as the MPNA representative when the president could not attend

Examples of initiatives Tom would be interested in discussing at MPNA in the coming year:

- Improving the quality of life in Shoreline for both current residents and future generations coming up, partly by empowering volunteers to develop strong relationships with city staff & council, and in particular to have greater input regarding major capital projects - including a future aquatic center, which might be sited directly in our neighborhood.

- Finding ways for the MPNA to work productively with the City on the crisis of homelessness, camping on public and private property, burglaries and other issues seriously affecting our area 

- Developing and expanding programs for families, such as encouraging more block parties, “progressive dinners” among neighbors to encourage fellowship & support, developing more family-oriented community events such as ice cream socials, an evening candle-lit 'river-walk' such as in Redmond or at Green Lake, and possibly child-oriented sing-alongs/games at Cromwell Park

- Exploring ways we can support the ability of our residents to work at home if they wish, to reduce commuting time and provide greater family flexibility regarding childcare 

- Increase the ability of MPNA residents to smoothly handle emergencies, especially regarding extended power outages

- Working with the Y, the churches, service organizations and our elementary school to provide even more support for families with kids, and encourage our residents, especially those who are retired, to participate in on site supervised tutoring efforts.

- Tom has many other suggestions, also regarding how to help better enable home ownership by the younger generation, but feels that the MPNA as a whole should agree on what is important for the organization to emphasize in its work over the coming year.

We have a somewhat unusual situation.  Last month's elections for board members was straightforward, except for the role of president, which resulted in a tie.

Therefore at the June 19th meeting there will be another election, for this position only. Attendees who live within the Meridian Park boundaries will be given ballots, and the program for this meeting will begin directly after the election.

Backgrounds of the two candidates:

Meridian Park Neighborhood Association