Community Survey FAQs


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About the PNA


What is the PNA?

The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) is a community non-profit organization committed to a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive Northwest Seattle community that offers quality of life to all who live, work, go to school, and visit here.

PNA offers memberships that help support our work. Anyone can become a member–we have members that live as close as across the street and as far as Brownsville, Texas. You don’t have to be a member to participate in programs or events. All are welcome!

What does the PNA do?

With everything from a senior center and a tool library to the popular Bingo Karaoke and myriad events, we turn strangers into neighbors and neighbors into a welcoming and caring community.

  • Classes and Events: Whether you live, work or play in the neighborhood, you’ll find classes and events to match or expand your interests
  • Community: Resources, programs, and tools to make your life easier and better
  • Seniors: Inclusive and fun programs to keep you active and engaged, as well as age in your own home
  • Kids: Our programs help children thrive, including four parent-run cooperative preschools and a licensed child-care program and preschool at Whittier Elementary
  • Business: Supporting, networking, and promoting your business
  • Social Services: meal programs, support groups, and counseling

Explore our programs.

Have an idea for a new program, event, or class offering for the community or collaboration? Give us a shout. We’d love to talk!

See our Locations & Service Map

What is the PNA’s mission?

Mission: The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) builds, engages, and supports our diverse community through programs, services, and activities that connect neighbors and foster civic engagement.

Vision: We envision strangers becoming neighbors, and neighbors becoming a welcoming and caring community.

Values: We believe the values of Belonging, Inclusivity, Intentional Engagement, and Responsiveness create a stronger more connected community.

How was PNA started?

The PNA was formed in 1980 by neighbors who came together to build a better community. In 1978, the area received a Community Development Block Grant of $200,000 to be used between 65th and 75th from Aurora to 3rd Avenue NW. At that time, this was a low to moderate-income area with mostly seniors on fixed incomes. An excerpt from the group’s visioning sessions reads:

“A number of the participants were aging, long-term residents who were concerned about the rising cost of energy, food, property taxes, and home maintenance. Many were concerned about getting around when they could no longer drive. There were also new, younger residents who were concerned about the lack of early childhood education and trees in the community. There was a general desire to connect with neighbors and to bring the community together.”

From that initial community engagement effort came the opening of a community center we now call Phinney Center, along with the creation of many of the programs now associated with the PNA, including the Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op, the PNA Tool Library, and many of our popular annual events such as the Winter Festival & Crafts Fair.

In the last 41 years, the PNA has expanded. We now offer programs at five sites, which include the Greenwood Senior Center. We host many more community events, such as Día de los Muertos, Holi Festival of Colors, book exchanges, and more. Read more from founding PNA Executive Director, Ed Medieros.

What is PNA’s approach to EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)?

The PNA recognizes and acknowledges that inequity and exclusion are present within Northwest Seattle and is supported by both historic and current policies and actions in our society. People have been marginalized by their race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration status among other factors. This has reduced access to the great amenities and services we have in Northwest Seattle.  We are aware of demographic changes in Northwest Seattle that have changed from 90% white to 80% white in recent years and are taking this into account. We acknowledge and recognize that PNA has areas for growth to become more inclusive as an organization, and have an active EDI working group.


About the Community Survey


What is the Community Survey?

The Community Survey is a way to better understand key issues and concerns of people who live, work, go to school in, and visit Northwest Seattle today.

Why now?

PNA’s Community Survey, Needs Assessment, and Strategic Planning work responds to several recent developments:

  • The sunsetting of PNA’s existing strategic priority statement (2019-2021)
  • The recent transfer of ownership of the Greenwood Senior Center building from the City of Seattle to PNA
  • A sense of urgency around community wellbeing, social and racial justice, and the housing crisis
  • Our recognition that “we don’t know what we don’t know.” We need to have earnest conversations with our neighbors if we want to understand how to help!

By reaching out now we hope to learn from our community and get to know it better. Plus, introduce the PNA of 2022!

What are the goals of the project?

The main goal of the project is to learn more about our community’s health and to try to answer these questions:

  • How can the PNA support social connections between people in Northwest Seattle?
  • What are barriers to inclusive services and events?
  • How can PNA support thriving business districts?
  • How can PNA support safe, stable housing?

With feedback from the community, the PNA can then further explore the ways PNA can address the questions as we work on a strategic plan for the coming years.

Why are we asking these questions?

PNA began this project by looking at a wide range of available data about factors that can impact length and quality of life. This includes the physical environment in your neighborhood, connections to services, and systemic factors like income, education, and access to health care. After mapping and analyzing available data, four key areas where the PNA’s services could have the most positive impact were identified.  We developed the above research questions related to each topic to guide our continued explorations:

  • Social Cohesion and Inclusion: How can PNA Support social connections between people in Northwest Seattle?
  • Access to Essential Services and Community Assets: What are barriers to inclusive services and events?
  • Local Businesses and Employment Opportunities: How can PNA support business districts?
  • Housing: How can PNA support safe, stable housing?

We recognize the limitations of relying on publicly available data to paint a picture of a community. One important goal of this survey is to gather information about your lived experience and values that can’t be summarized in numbers. We also want to use these questions to confirm some of the findings of our data analysis.

  • Social Cohesion and Inclusion: Connecting neighbors and fostering civic engagement is a pillar of PNA’s services. Research has shown this can have a positive impact on health and quality of life. Questions in this section are aimed at determining how well PNA is doing at achieving our goal of turning strangers into neighbors. We are also interested in learning if specific groups feel excluded from PNA events or the NW Seattle community.
  • Access to Essential Services and Community Assets: We know that NW Seattle offers good schools, outdoor recreation, and beautiful residential neighborhoods. However physical access, cost, and not feeling welcome can all limit access to these opportunities. We are interested in learning more about barriers to accessing the community assets we know about, and whether there are gaps in the services and programs in NW Seattle that PNA could help fill.
  • Local Businesses and Employment Opportunities: There are two purposes for questions in this section. First, PNA offers programs that support local and small businesses. We want to learn more about how we can these small businesses succeed and contribute to thriving business districts. Second, we know that income is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of health in public health research literature. We want to learn more about how PNA can support access to employment opportunities so that more people can have rewarding careers that provide a stable future for their families.
  • Housing: Seattle is in the middle of a historic housing crisis, the evidence of which can be seen all around us. We know that housing prices have increased rapidly across Seattle, pushing some residents into homelessness, and increasing stress for many households. We want to learn more about which groups are being pushed out of our neighborhood by rising costs, and how PNA can support safe, stable housing.

Why should I take the survey?

Your responses will help us to offer services and events that address the changing needs of our community. We want to hear about how our existing programs, services, and events can be tailored to your values and interests. We also want to know about issues you see in Northwest Seattle that PNA might help address. Your insights will help us to help our community thrive!

If you complete the survey, you have the option to enter to win a $100 Visa gift card.

How long will the survey take?

The survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete.

What will we do with this information?

Together with interviews and community conversations, this survey will help PNA learn about current community realities – good or bad – that influence quality of life. The results will help inform how PNA uses its resources for community programs and services moving forward. A summary of the results will be shared back to the community.

How will PNA use my personal information?

No identifiable information will be collected, all responses are anonymous, and won’t be shared by individual. If you would like to provide information about your perspective, it will help us better understand the range of experiences in Northwest Seattle and how they are shaped by various identities. The survey contains several demographic questions which are optional. Also, at the end of the survey, there is an opportunity to provide an email address to enter a drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card. Your email address will not be attached to your survey responses.

Do you have to be a member of the PNA to participate?

No! We encourage everyone to participate and share your perspective on the Northwest Seattle community, especially if you live, work, or access services here.

I don’t live in Phinney…can I take the survey?

Yes! We encourage everyone to participate and share your perspective, especially if you live, work, or access services anywhere in Northwest Seattle—not just Phinney.


Land Acknowledgment

The PNA would like to acknowledge that we are on the unceded and traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.


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