Special CNU 25.Seattle Event: Combating the Suburbanization of Poverty

Lisa Schamess, Monday, April 24, 2017

More Americans now live below the poverty line in suburbs than in the nation’s big cities, as noted by Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube in their 2014 book, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America (Brookings Institution). Yet many practices for alleviating poverty were designed for inner-city or rural areas. What strategies do we need to combat poverty in the suburbs? How is the fight against suburban poverty transforming local services and policies?


On Tuesday, May 2, CNU and local partner King County Green Tools are co-sponsoring a special free session, Combating the Suburbanization of Poverty. With the generous support of the Bullitt Foundation, this event brings together nine diverse speakers to give the local and national perspective on the growing problem of poverty in the suburbs.


Like many regions, the Puget Sound basin is experiencing an increase in suburbanization of poverty. The trend of destabilization and relocation to the suburbs has only intensified as the area’s economy has soared, and in-city housing has become more expensive. As prosperous newcomers flock to the urban core, tremendous strains are placed on struggling families and communities, pushing more toward suburban communities where poverty alleviation services are weak, commute times are long, and social fabric may be thin. Even more nascent is a coordinated response on the part of key actors from the public, private, civic, and philanthropic sectors.

Combating the Suburbanization of Poverty offers the perspectives of local and national experts as they explore implications on governance and service provision, and find common ground in advancing pro-equity development in the face of economic dislocation. Local leaders from Seattle and Tukwila will share how they see impacts and trends, and national experts will shine light on how to strengthen housing, jobs, policies, businesses, and economic opportunities for low-income residents and communities of color.

Welcoming panelists and audience is nationally known singer and performer, Chenoa Egawa, a ceremonial leader and environmental activist, who will ground the discussion in local culture and traditions.

Combating the Suburbanization of Poverty

Sponsored by King County Green Tools, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Bullitt Foundation
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from
6:00 - 8:00 PM

at Benaroya Hall


Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Chenoa Egawa, Ceremonial Leader and Activist (Coast Salish of the Lummi and S’Kallam Nations of Washington State)

Rebecca Saldaña, Washington State Senator

Elizabeth Kneebone, Fellow, Brookings Institute

Scott Bernstein, Founder, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Charles Ellison, Correspondent, Politico

Kim Powe, Climate Justice Director and Acting Deputy Director, Puget Sound Sage

De’Sean Quinn, Councilmember, City of Tukwila

Gene Duvernoy, Founder, Forterra

TWEETS #thisiscnu