Call for Community Volunteers: Join the FEPP Levy Oversight Committee to advise on over $80 million in annual education investments

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The Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) is currently accepting applications for three new committee members for the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise (FEPP) Levy Oversight Committee (LOC). Interested community members are encouraged to apply through the City of Seattle Boards and Commissions website. Applications are due by Friday, March 5, 2021.

About the FEPP Levy Oversight Committee

The FEPP levy is a seven-year, $619 million-dollar investment in Seattle children, youth, and families approved by voters in November 2018. Under the FEPP levy, DEEL partners with families and community to achieve educational equity, close opportunity gaps, and build a better future for Seattle students by investing in:

  • High-quality early learning services that prepare children for success in kindergarten;
  • Physical and mental health services that support learning;
  • College and job readiness experiences that promote high school graduation; and 
  • Postsecondary opportunities that promote attainment of a certificate, credential, or degree.

The LOC, established by city ordinance, is charged with monitoring the levy’s progress in meeting intended goals and making recommendations about FEPP-funded programs.

Since 2018, the LOC has reviewed and recommended legislation such as the FEPP Implementation and Evaluation Plan and the use of FEPP-funding to establish the Emergency Child Care program for essential workers in response to COVID-19. LOC members have also served on funding review panels for FEPP investments, such as the K-12 School-Based Investments and Opportunity and Access investments awarded to community-based organizations.

“The expertise our LOC members bring to the group about how to best serve Seattle students furthest from educational justice is incredibly valuable. I look forward to hearing their brilliance and learning alongside them as we invest FEPP funds to close race-based opportunity gaps in our City,” said Dwane Chappelle, DEEL Director. 

On September 8, 2020, four new LOC members —Shelby Cooley, Jennifer Matter, Princess Shareef, Stephanie Gardner—were appointed by Seattle City Council, and Erin Okuno was reappointed for an additional term. We invite you to get to know two of our members below. Learn more about the Levy Oversight Committee here.

Dr. Stephanie Gardner, LOC Member

“Now more than ever, it is critical to ensure diverse voices are represented in decision-making capacities, particularly in education.  Having served on multiple boards, I know that power and influence boards can wield resource allocation, advocacy, oversight, and decision-making. As a woman of color who has been afforded the opportunity to walk in decision-making circles, I want to ensure my voice continues to be at the table and provide the necessary advocacy and equity lens for the communities I represent.  It is not enough to sit on the sidelines during this critical time in our country and city.  I have decided to get involved and utilize my expertise for good.” —Dr. Stephanie Gardner, Appointed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, Senior Program Manager at Sova Solutions

Erin Okuno, LOC Member

“I look forward to serving on the LOC and supporting DEEL’s work around closing opportunity and achievement gaps. These gaps hurt all students, white and students of color, which I see often through my work in Southeast Seattle. I hope through my time on the LOC we can make informed decisions and focus investments to supporting students farthest from educational justice.”Erin Okuno, Appointed by City Council, Executive Director of the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (SESEC) 

How to Apply

To apply to join the FEPP LOC, please submit an application through the City’s Boards and Commissions website. Applications submitted by Friday, March 5, will be considered for appointments in 2021. Three new LOC members will be appointed by May 2021.

To access the application, click “submit your application” from the “Apply to a Board or Commission” bar.

Once in the application, be sure to select “FEPP LOC” from the drop down menu.

DEEL seeks applicants representing historically-underserved communities— specifically, African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islanders, underserved Asian populations, other students of color, refugee and immigrant, homeless, English language learners, and LGBTQ communities. Youth, young adults, and parents of students served by FEPP Levy investments are encouraged to apply.

Interested applicants should have:

  • Passion for working with local government officials to improve educational outcomes;
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity through prior volunteer experience;
  • Lived or professional experience related to FEPP Levy investments in preschool, health, K-12 academic achievement, cultural responsiveness, and postsecondary completion;
  • Desire and ability to dedicate five hours per month; and
  • An updated resume.

Please contact Mei-Li Thomas at or (206) 573-2241.

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