Betty Taylor, left, stands with Sen. Claire Wilson and Deputy Mayor Susan Honda at a Federal Way National Night Out event in 2017. Courtesy photo

Betty Taylor, left, stands with Sen. Claire Wilson and Deputy Mayor Susan Honda at a Federal Way National Night Out event in 2017. Courtesy photo

Citizen of the Month advocates for community participation at National Night Out

Federal Way resident Betty Taylor helps organize the city’s event held from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Betty Taylor is a self-described calm person — until she begins to talk about her passions.

At a recent interview, the 17-year Federal Way resident excitedly spoke about National Night Out, a nationwide celebration of community. And she wants to make sure you know about Federal Way’s festivities.

“I love community. I love bringing people together,” she said. “I love networking and collaboration. Night Out is special, and it’s always been special to me.”

National Night Out is not just one neighborhood, one city, or one state — it’s a nationwide campaign for people to build community, promote police-community partnerships and enjoy neighborhood camaraderie, according to the website.

The annual event is held the second Tuesday of August, and Taylor, the Mirror’s two-time Citizen of the Month honoree, is gearing up for the Aug. 6 celebration.

“Getting the word out is important,” she said. “I don’t want people to not know, or for it to pass and you to not even know it happened.”

For more than a year, Taylor has been working with a passionate team of volunteers to organize this year’s free event at Town Square Park from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6.

“People don’t realize what goes on behind the scenes … that’s where the real work is because it takes people, it takes minds, it takes thinking, it takes tons and tons of meetings …”

In 2017, Mayor Jim Ferrell asked Taylor to take the lead of Federal Way’s National Night Out. Each year, it’s reached new heights of participation.

The numbers keep growing, Taylor said. In 2017, the Night Out event at the park hosted about 200 attendees and the following year, more than 300 people enjoyed the celebrations.

“This year, our goal is 500 and more,” Taylor said. “It would be good if the whole city of Federal Way would totally get on the hook and get involved.”

The Town Square Park event is not meant to replace any intimate neighborhood events, it’s simply an option for people to attend if their neighbor isn’t hosting an event.

“If you don’t have Night Out, then you’re welcome to come to ours,” she said.

Taylor said 29 neighborhoods in Federal Way will be hosting Night Out events, from block parties to barbecues to parades to simply meeting-and-greeting the people on your street.

“If my mouth was big enough, if I had a megaphone, I would just ride in a car and announce it all day, just ride up and down the street,” she said. “‘You don’t wanna miss this!’ I might just do that.”

It may seem crazy, she said, but “if you want to get things to happen, you have to step outside the box, do something that’s never been done before.”

Taylor said with a laugh as she opened her overflowing binder and presented National Night Out to-do lists, agendas and day-of plans: “What work have I been doing on this? Are you sure you want to ask that?”

This year’s Aug. 6 event will feature live and local entertainment of dancers, singers, rappers, spoken word presentations, vendor booths from community and resources groups including Federal Way Public Schools and Empowering Youth and Families, and more.

There’s truly something for everyone, Taylor said, adding there will be face painting, a children’s area and games for all.

South King Fire and Rescue and the Federal Way Police Department will also be at the event for people of all ages to ask questions and explore first responder vehicles.

Taylor’s daughter, Selena Taylor, will be the emcee of Federal Way’s National Night Out.

“When you don’t have finances, you depend on your community,” Taylor said.

It takes many behind-the-scenes individuals and generous donations to make National Night Out a success, she noted.

Dr. Dale Clark, executive director of Mom and Me Mobile Medical Clinic, donated all of the food for the Town Square Park event, which includes 400 hot dogs, buns and water bottles.

Taylor said she is so overwhelmed and grateful for the support people have shown so far.

“I’m excited, I’m so excited, I’m exhausted, but it’s for good reason,” she said, smiling.

When asked about her reaction to her July Citizen of the Month nomination, Taylor broke into tears and said she feels “numb … I’m so honored and so humbled.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Federal Way Public Schools reveals plan for reopening schools in fall

Depending on state guidelines, students will have a combination of in-person and remote learning days.

The Red Lion Inn at 1 South Grady Way in Renton is being used as temporary site to relocate individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo.
Renton battles King County over temporary shelter at Red Lion Hotel

County officials believe emergency health order will supersede city’s move.

Federal Way teacher pleads not guilty to child rape charges

A Tacoma man pleaded not guilty to three charges of second-degree child… Continue reading

Federal Way’s Pacific Bonsai Museum reopens to the public

Local gardens and exhibits are welcoming guests once again, now with additional safety measures.

Photo courtesy of South Sound News
One woman, two kids injured in serious car crash along Pacific Highway South

A 21-year-old reckless driver may have run a red light and crashed into the victim’s vehicle, police say.

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

File photo
Red light, speed zone cameras generate $3.8M for Federal Way

2019 annual report shows 36,789 citations issued for both red light cameras and school zone speed areas throughout the city.

The Chip-In fundraiser hopes to meet the $3 million goal to provide 5,000 laptops to FWPS students.
Former MLB player hopes to raise $3M for 5,000 laptops for FW students

The Chip-In fundraiser site provides 100% of the proceeds to Federal Way Public Schools

Most Read