Group forms to bring public's concerns to Renton officials

Renton residents have come together to form an advocacy group that will bring citizens’ concerns to the Renton City Council and other city officials.

Formed at the urging of City Council member Greg Taylor and members of the public, the group will focus on the downtown library renovation and other city projects, said Beth Asher, a group member who will research issues.

This new advocacy group vows to keep watch on the City of Renton and the King County Library System’s actions concerning libraries, but that’s not all it plans to do.

“There are more issues of concern in Renton than the library, and we want to provide a platform for citizens to communicate with the city about them,” wrote Asher in an email. “However, the library renovation will be an ongoing project for us.”

The advocacy group seeks to act like an ombudsman but provide residents with a place to take their concerns where they’ll be listened to and helped, Asher said.

She will help to research concerns and distribute information creating “a forum and a positive means for the city and its residents to communicate.”

They have plans to become a non-profit organization. So far, some members have experience in project management, change management, architecture and real estate.

“All of us are committed to making our city a better place to live,” Asher said. “We’ll tackle whatever Renton residents bring to our table and research and help to the best of our abilities.”

One of the issues that sparked the group’s creation was the vote on the downtown library site location. To Asher, it was clear that the majority of voters that secured the site over the Cedar River was not just a minority voice in the city, as some City Council members stated, she said.

Seeing an opportunity to connect council with citizens, the group was formed with this in mind.

All of the members have other full-time jobs aside from this project, but Asher says they hope to create a large working group.

To get in contact with the citizens advocacy group, email Beth Asher.

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