Neighborhood Leaders: Kari Quaas
Name: Kari Quaas
Number of years in your neighborhood:
28 (grew up here, moved away for school and jobs, and then returned in 2013)
What is your role in your neighborhood:
How old is the neighborhood association?
Association began in 1990
How long have you been a neighborhood leader?
Since April 2017
Why did you start volunteering for your neighborhood association?
Community grows when people get involved. I want my neighborhood to be a friendly, safe place. I have the time and I want to make an impact on where I live.
What are your biggest challenges running the neighborhood association?
Having enough time to get it “all” done. It’s important for community members to remember that the leadership of all of the 19 neighborhood associations are VOLUNTEERS! We are not paid for our time and we likely have full time jobs or kids or cats or partners who also need our time, love and energy. The more people who engage with their associations, the easier it can be for all to participate joyfully, and we can get more done.
What are the biggest rewards running the neighborhood association?
I have met some wonderful people who have stewarded the neighborhood association over the years and I get to ride on their shoulders. Also, across the city I have met other leaders and volunteers who care greatly about Everett and making it a liveable, safe and supportive place to reside. Lastly, I tend to know what’s going on. It’s nice when people ask about a topic because through the many streams of communication, I probably know.
What are the neighborhood accomplishments you are most proud of?
It seems that there are no firsts—or others like to claim them, but I am happy to have (re)kindled a stronger relationship with Whittier Elementary, my alma mater, through showing up at their events and coordinating with them on the Bike to School Day in 2019.
More importantly, I feel like I’ve created an environment within our monthly meetings, Steering Committee meetings, and events where people feel safe to share a diverse set of opinions without judgment and a group who supports new neighbors, communicates our fears and concerns in a respectful way, and continue to show why Northwest is a great place to live.
What help do you need from neighbors?
Sometimes I hear people ask why we don’t do this or that. And, in short, all it takes is a few volunteers to pull off an event. Our Mother of All Garage Sales committee is just five people. Leading up to the event, we get more volunteers, but it can be done with just a few. So if neighbors want us to do something more, they should step up and join in the fun!
When and where do meetings happen?
They are on the third Thursday of the month from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and typically include a police report, a special guest and news of the neighborhood. We meet all months but July, August, and December. They happen at Everett Community College in Whitehorse Hall, Room 105. Parking is free in Lot E!
How can neighbors find out more about the neighborhood association?
They can go to our website or follow our Facebook page. Also, all are welcome to come to our Steering Committee meetings - the officers and committee leads of the group - to share new ideas or be more involved. Location and dates via our e-news. People can sign up on our website.
Why do you love your neighborhood?
It’s beautiful. It’s walkable. It’s old. It’s home.
Where is your favorite place in your neighborhood to eat?
What is a hidden gem in your neighborhood?
Amazingly, there are many who have visited Legion Park for the many events and still don’t know about the Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens. I highly recommend a walk through this soothing and calming spot in Northwest.
Any good quotes on volunteering or community building?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
“If your dream only includes you, it’s too small.” - Ava Duvernay