The year 2020 was certainly one of new challenges and trying times. On behalf of the Highlands Council Board of Trustees, I want to thank you for your trust in Highlands Council to keep you informed and engaged in community events safely.
Communications have never been more important as we continue to partner with our sponsors to develop new digital features to better meet the communities evolving daily demands. This focus on enhancing our digital assets will allow us to be more agile and engage in a variety of ways.
Be cost-effective and reach a broader audience.
- Move Connections to four printed issues in 2021 so we may focus on improving our digital media presence. Digital engagement has become one of the most effective methods to engage the most community members possible.
Reach more people and those of diverse voices.
- Provide original digital content and helpful resources, created by the Issaquah Highlands Cross-Cultural Committee, as we continue to prioritize issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Encourage community engagement via art projects, service projects, and virtual social events.
- Welcome online participation for all community members, including those who may be wary of public meeting formats. Virtual platforms can be a medium for broader, more moderate views than those of traditional planning meetings sometimes attended primarily by more passionate activists. Everyone has a voice.
Engage more people in a digital format, leading to higher participation, more data, and knowledge.
- Continue and grow the momentum of initiatives started in 2020, including the Issaquah Highlands Community Fund, transportation solutions, and the Branding Committee.
- Meet the community’s needs as we remain in the pandemic using Blakely Hall, our media, and our strong community partner relationships.
2020 was challenging, but in some ways, it brought us closer together, making us more aware of how we spend our time. We love that community members can engage with us digitally anytime, anywhere, as long they have internet access. Your virtual involvement better informs our decision-making process and can make the difference between a good and a poor decision on a project. Be sure to share your voice with us online in our 2021 community survey (see page 3 for details). Many people simply don’t have the time to participate in live engagement activities. Online engagement platforms solve this issue by allowing access to tools virtually at any time.
In the words of my grandmother, “In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.” Highlands Council and the board of trustees greatly care about the community decisions we develop today, as well as for those tomorrow.
We are “Stronger Together.”
Best wishes for a better, brighter 2021!
Kimberly Kapustein is the Highlands Council Board of Trustees President and an Issaquah Highlands Resident.