Seattle City Council Proclaims May 20, 2014 “Norman B. Rice Day” The Seattle Foundation Honors Rice with new “Center for Community Partnerships”

by LP Green, II

Retiring after 40 years of public and community service, Former Mayor Norman B. Rice was honored with the Seattle City Council proclaiming May 20, 2014 “Norman B. Rice Day” and The Seattle Foundation announcing the creation of the new “Norman B. Rice Center for Community Partnerships.”

Both announcements were to be made at a reception honoring Rice, held this evening at the Museum of History and Industry.  Rice is retiring from his post as president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation, where he has served since 2009.

The Seattle City Council proclamation cites Norman’s election as the city’s first African-American mayor, his leadership in revitalizing downtown Seattle, launch of the Families and Education levy, creation of The Seattle Foundation’s “GiveBIG” campaign, his award as America’s Funniest Mayor and his moniker of “Mayor Nice.” It was signed by all nine City Council members and Mayor Ed Murray. Rice served as Mayor of Seattle from 1989-1997.

Ann Watson, vice chair of The Seattle Foundation’s board of trustees, announced the center’s naming, sharing that the Norman B. Rice Center for Community Partnerships will focus on efforts to advance collaborative, systemic change to achieve greater economic and racial equity in King County.  The center will be housed within The Seattle Foundation and is an evolution of the organization’s longstanding work in tackling community issues through collaboration and philanthropic investment. This work has supported many successful efforts, including the launch of the Community Center for Education Results, SkillUp, Business Partnership for Early Learning (Parent Home Program) and others.

“The Center is a place where all sectors – nonprofit, public and private – can come together with citizens to solve issues collaboratively,” said Watson, who is chief financial officer at Moss Adams.  “It will aim to address issues of social equity and economic opportunity, two ideals that Norman has championed throughout his career.”

The Seattle Foundation’s long-standing partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Northwest Area Foundation is providing multi-year support to launch the Center. The first effort of the center will be the Communities of Opportunity collaboration with King County, which will focus on aligning efforts across sectors to improve health, social, racial and economic outcomes for low-income individuals and communities.

To learn more about the Norman B. Rice Center for Community Partnerships, please visit our web site at

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