Belltown is home to a thriving retail and entertainment corridor featuring over 250 retail small business merchants, 50 major employers, 14,000+ units of housing, and 25,000 jobs. Growth also brings challenges related to people who need a home, displacement of small businesses and middle-income residents. To prosper during this growth, Belltown United provides a single, focused voice, coordinated advocacy, and a stronger community identity.
The Belltown neighborhood is part of Downtown Seattle, WA positioned approximately between Elliot Bay, Denny Way, 5th Avenue, and Stewart Street. It was named after William Nathaniel Bell, who originally owned the land, though he left the area in 1855. At first Belltown was isolated from the rest of Downtown because of Denny Hill, one of Seattle’s largest hills. This isolation resulted in low rent and underdeveloped economy in Belltown.
In 1892 Reginald Herber Thomson became Seattle’s city engineer. To achieve straight and level boulevards he leveled Denny Hill, thus connecting Belltown to the commerce of downtown. In came new businesses, followed by artists and musicians looking for low rent apartments. The movement of creatives to Belltown can be credited with the neighborhood’s trendy and boho spirit to this day.
In the early to mid 1900s Second Avenue in Belltown was known as “Film Row”. Zoning concerns over the flammability of film restricted theaters to single neighborhoods. The Rendezvous and The Crocodile Café are two of the iconic venues remaining from the age of “Film Row”.
Today Belltown is bustling with condos, boutiques, galleries, cafes, and trendy bars and restaurants. Outdoor highlights of the neighborhood include the Belltown P Patch, the Olympic Sculpture Park, and Cottage Park, the last wood framed residences in Seattle built in 1916.
Belltown United deeply values its community of volunteers and network of partnering organizations, including charities, schools, associations, businesses, and faith-based organizations that participate in our volunteer programs. We are committed to creating a friendly environment where each individual is welcomed and respected.
We believe that no person should be excluded from agency services, employment, or volunteer participation on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, or for any other discriminatory reason. Accordingly, we will not knowingly refer volunteers to organizations that engage in unlawful discriminatory practices.
Belltown United is expressly nonpolitical and is not aligned with any political party, creed, organization, or movement.
Belltown United does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, the appointment to and termination from its Board of Directors, hiring and firing of staff or contractors, selection of volunteers (both directly and through referrals to partnering organizations), selection of vendors, and providing of services.
Belltown United is an equal opportunity employer. We shall not discriminate and will not discriminate in employment, recruitment, Board membership, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, or for any other discriminatory reason.
We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all volunteers, partners, staff, contractors, and Board members. We endeavor to create a diverse Board of Directors. We aim to build relationships with a wide spectrum of partner commercial, individual, and non-profit organizations as we work to promote and activate volunteers to do good in our Belltown neighborhood and community.
Board of directors
Tom Graff, Board Chair
David Levinson, Co-Chair
Valerie Heide Mudra, Secretary