Council Roundup: November 12, 2021

Joint Burien City Council and BEDP Meeting on Ways to Enhance Communication Between City Council and Business Community
Posted on 11/17/2021
Illustration of speech bubbles, businesses, and logo.

The Burien City Council hosted a joint special meeting with the Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP), an advisory board made up of local business owners and community members who advise the City Council on topics related to economic development.

Before the discussion started, staff presented some baseline information on the demographics of Burien’s business community, highlighting that more than half of Burien brick and mortar businesses have five or fewer employees. They also highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic, and a divisive political climate, has made having more challenging community conversations more difficult. Staff also shared that many people, from business owners to workers and residents to city officials, act as “community ambassadors” and can influence whether new businesses decide to locate here, existing businesses expand in Burien, or whether new families make Burien their home. The story our ambassadors tell has significant impact on community and economic development.

The discussion between the two groups centered on ways to enhance communication and collaboration between the City Council and BEDP. Key points raised included:

  • All voices want to be heard.
  • There is a need to clarify the roles of BEDP and City Council in communicating with the business community.
  • Diversity of Burien’s community needs to be reflected in advisory boards and other stakeholder organizations.
  • Challenging conversations can be made easier through more engagement.

It was decided that a joint City Council and BEDP meeting will be scheduled at a future City Council meeting study session to discuss potential next steps based on feedback and discussion from the November 12 joint meeting.

Watch the recorded meeting for the full discussion.