Roadside chat with Niki Seligman, Outreach & Creatives Intern

Today we say thank you and see you around to our fabulous Outreach & Creative Intern, Niki Seligman.

You may recognize Niki’s name, as she is the author of many posts on our blog. She has a knack for shining the spotlight on people working behind the scenes at SDOT. Today, we’re flipping the interview around and putting Niki in the hotseat.

Niki's golden retriever relaxing on the patio.
Niki’s golden retriever relaxing on the patio.

Lover of dogs (especially golden retrievers), coffee (even at night, against health expert advice), and reading (currently binging anything by Fredrik Blackman), Niki is just about the most joyful person you’ve ever met and is always eager to say yes to a new project or challenge.

She grew up in a small town in southern California and is proud to be from a family of educators. As of this past June, Niki holds a BA in Psychology and International Studies from the University of Washington.

Favorite weekly meeting: Planning out blogs and social media highlights for the week ahead with the Creative Services Team.
Favorite weekly meeting: Planning out blogs and social media highlights for the week ahead with the Creative Services Team.

What drew you to the Outreach & Creative Internship? 

I joined SDOT’s communication team in May 2019. I’ve always loved writing, but I have no delusions about making it in this world as a writer 😉. It’s a tough thing to succeed at, so I wanted to gather as much creative experience as possible.

When applying to the internship, I was also trying to figure out how I could apply and further my work towards equity and inclusion. SDOT is in such an important position when it comes to making our city safer and more just for everyone. I appreciate that my team at SDOT recognizes that equity and accessibility are at the heart of everything we should be doing. 

Waiting for the bus with a Regional Reduced Fare Permit poster for an outreach event.
Waiting for the bus with a Regional Reduced Fare Permit poster for an outreach event.

What does your day-to-day look like as the Outreach & Creative Intern?

My grandma thinks I’ve been working at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), so I’m no stranger to the “so, what is it you do?” question.

On the outreach side of my job, I organized SDOT’s presence at a series of community events, which gives folks the opportunity to talk with us, raise concerns, and learn about what we do as a department.

An outreach project I really loved working on was with our Transportation Equity group. We have a program called the Regional Reduced Fair Permit (RRFP) that offers seniors 65+ and people with specific needs ORCA cards at a reduced price per trip. As part of the outreach for this program, I went to senior centers in Seattle and helped get people signed up for the RRFP card. It was a real tangible way to bring necessary resources into community. 

I also create content for our blog, social media channels, and internal newsletter.


Some of Niki’s favorite blogs that she worked on are:


Niki and Carby, our wonderful communications office manager, back when we worked in an office together and were able to hug our friends.
Niki and Carby, our wonderful communications office manager, back when we worked in an office together and were able to hug our friends.

What learnings/tools/wisdom are you going to take with you from your time with SDOT? 

This job has meant so much to me. Here, I have learned what a Leading Pedestrian Interval is and managed to be pretty dang excited about it. My desk is next to our Media Lead, who runs in and out of TV interviews all day. Importance comes in proximity – I feel important here.  

Things I’ll take with me include:  

  • How to equitably engage communities and why it’s so important to do this  
  • Not to take any aspect of a street for granted – down to how many seconds appear at a crosswalk  
  • How stinking cool Seattle is   
  • The biggest thing: Transit intersects with so many parts of our lives and mobility is at the center of opportunity. If we can increase access so that everyone can safely and freely move about our streets, we’re one step closer to a more equitable and just society.  

We’re sad to see Niki’s internship at SDOT come to an end, but we are incredibly excited for her as she steps into her first full-time job after graduating college, where she will get to use her creative writing and storytelling skills!