By Billy Thomas
The City of Olympia announced on Friday that it is looking for citizens interested in serving on the Heritage Commission.
“The commission provides a structured way for citizens to share opinions and perspectives, study issues, develop recommendations, and provide the Olympia City Council advice from the citizen perspective,” said Kellie Purce Braseth, strategic communication director for City of Olympia.
What does the Heritage Commission do? First, it meets once per month to discuss ways to raise community awareness of Olympia’s historic spaces. Second, it initiates and maintains a roster of historic resources, reviewing proposed changes to registered properties. Lastly, it serves as the City’s primary resource in matters of history, historic planning and preservation of historic spaces.
The Heritage Commission was founded by the Olympia City Council in 1983 to identify and encourage the preservation of historic spaces. Since then, the commission has inducted 400 buildings and five districts around the city into the Olympia Heritage Register.
Braseth says while she can’t choose a favorite committee, she does have a soft spot for history. “There’s a saying that a [community] who is without knowledge of their past, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. The Heritage Commission helps the City Council make sure the people of Olympia know who they are, where they came from and why they are part of something meaningful.”
All Olympia citizens who feel they are a good fit for the Heritage Commission is encouraged to apply through the City’s website. People of color are especially encouraged to apply, to increase the diversity in community representation and public opinion. The application period is open until 5 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2019. Membership terms generally run for three years, with appointments ending March 31. As of this article’s publishing, two positions are open.
Heritage Commission applications and details are available at the City’s website.
City of Olympia Heritage Commission
Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Avenue E, Room 207
Meetings are the fourth Wednesday of each month
Photo courtesy City of Olympia.