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At our February 21 community council meeting, attendees voted unanimously for the existing board of directors to form an interim board to pursue the formation of a new community council. The new community council will apply for nonprofit 501C4 status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to the IRS, a 501c4 is “an organization…operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community. An organization embraced within this section is one which is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements.”

Those present at the February meeting were in total agreement that this seemed more in line with what the community wanted to do with their Council. Community members thought that the power to do some lobbying on non-partisan issues that affect the Island — which would be extremely restricted as a 501c3 — would empower the Council to make more tangible changes in the lives of islanders.

For more information on this effort and the transition, please contact Diane Emerson at dianeemerson@yahoo.com

In recent meetings, there has been discussion about whether a 501c4 designation is actually what we need to have, rather than 501c3. After looking more deeply into it, it appears that this is indeed the case, and we will be voting on this important topic at the February meeting. Here is the definition of a 501c4: sounds like us!

An organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community. An organization embraced within this section is one which is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements.

 

Here is the motion we will be voting on at the February meeting:

It has been moved and seconded that we begin the process to create a new community council with 501c4 status, and that the current board of directors act as the interim board of the new council, until elections are held for a new board in October of this year.

If you have questions about this issue, please contact board vice president Diane Emerson at diane@vmicc.net

Rachel  Rome is an urban planner and transportation planner with over ten years of professional experience in design development and review, including both private and public sector projects. She also has experience with zoning and public outreach, among her many skills. It was no wonder that the members of the community council endorsed her position on the Ferry Advisory Committee with a unanimous 27 to 0 vote at our January 17 meeting. Thank you, Rachel, for bringing your skills and experience to bear on a critically important aspect of life on our bridge-free island.

Climate crisis and racial justice motions pass overwhelmingly at the December 20 Vashon-Maury Island Community Council
– Updated King County Building Codes – the Community Council overwhelmingly voted to endorse updated building codes being considered for approval by the King County Council. These new building codes would restrict most uses of fossil fuels in new commercial and large multifamily buildings in unincorporated King County.

– Racial Justice and Equity motion – passed overwhelmingly. An Equity Committee is in the process of forming, as a result. If you are interested, please contact Kevin Jones at kevin@indivisiblevashon.org

Now that Zoom has made all the features we need affordable, we are switching to Zoom for our remote meetings, beginning with the October 18 Community Council meeting. We should have fewer technical issues, and Zoom will let us show our recordings directly to our YouTube channel. Progress!

For Vashon-Maury Island, King County is our local government. John Taylor is the director of King County’s Department of Local Services. He will be attending our meetings every other month, beginning in September. At our meetings, John has been very good at addressing Islander’s concerns and questions in the areas he covers:
You can submit your questions in advance to him at john.taylor@kingcounty.gov, or bring your questions to our meetings. You can learn more about the Department of Local Services here: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/local-services.aspx