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Unlike what happened at its May opening in Ballard, you probably won’t see protesters greet New Seasons when it opens at 23rd and Union in 2019.
A company spokesperson said it plans to meet Friday’s deadline for a response after positive talks with community groups aligned to push back on the Portland-based grocery chain’s labor practices and its ownership’s anti-LGBTQ politics as it readies to open in the Central District.
Friday’s deadline is part of a community coalition’s demands for the chain:
During their meeting, organizers gave New Seasons co-president Kristi McFarland and other local reps a list of demands. If the demands are met, they said, their campaign against the company would stop. Among other things, they asked New Seasons to sign a neutrality agreement to let interested workers unionize, disclose workforce demographics, let low-income customers use Fresh Bucks to buy produce, stock affordable staple foods, and donate some of their local profits to affordable housing projects and community land trusts.
Nicole Keenan, executive director of Puget Sound Sage, an advocacy group dedicated to low-income people, communities of color, immigrants and refugees, has been part of talks with New Seasons and also categorized the negotiations as positive in a conversation with CHS Friday afternoon. Keenan joined reps from groups like the Squire Park Community Council in the discussions with New Seasons.
While we don’t yet know the specifics of the New Seasons response, the community campaign against the store which has included a “newseasonstories.com” website and neighborhood yard signs, appears to be approaching a fruitful conclusion.
UPDATE 3:40 PM: A New Seasons representative sent over the company’s response to the community groups. We’ve added the full letter at the end of this post. A company representative also provided the following statement:
At New Seasons, we are proud of our established track record as an active civic partner that is committed to directly engaging in building community in a way that reflects our shared progressive values. We’ve been working with a Central District Advisory Council made up of business leaders, local nonprofit representatives and neighborhood council members to understand the needs of the neighborhood, but when we were contacted by this group we wanted to hear their perspective as well. At the meeting, we shared our commitment to championing higher wages, comprehensive benefits for all kinds of families, an inclusive culture, as well as using our voice to stand up for affordable housing, hunger relief and other important social justice and workplace issues that affect everyone. We also took away some valuable ideas from our conversation that we will be exploring further.
With reporting from Seattle City Council Insight
The march to complete Seattle’s 2019-2020 budget is proving a real slog at the top as the process now has about 95% of the plan in place after an epic nine-hour Seattle City Council meeting earlier this week that included votes on a mind-numbing 188 agenda items.
The final pushes around polishing the Durkan administration’s first budget proposal and setting Seattle’s next nearly $6 billion city budget pivot –unsurprisingly — around how to spend the small portion available out of those millions on improving the city’s approach to homelessness and affordable housing. Continue reading
There is still more money to raise but a Seattle Parks District grant will go a long way toward making the planned replacement of Volunteer Park‘s crumbling amphitheater a reality.
$900,000 in funding for the project was announced Thursday in a grant that will help the Volunteer Park Trust replace the park’s old masonry stage “with a modern structure that meets community needs for a versatile outdoor performance space” while enhancing “the historic Olmsted landscape” of the park and putting the facility in full ADA compliance. Continue reading
“Expect music, a blessing of the still, ribbon cutting, discounts on bottle sales, tastings and more,” the folks at HDC Capitol Hill — the “C” is for “company” — promise. Continue reading
The FBI confirms what Seattle already knows — citizens here are reporting more and more hate crimes.
The federal agency this week released its 2017 “uniform crime reporting” statistics for reported bias crimes across the nation showing a 17% jump over 2016’s totals. But the FBI’s data for Seattle shows a much larger issue — hate crime reports nearly doubled in the city in 2017 with reports of religious bias up a whopping 275%:
“The FBI’s Seattle Field Office serves a diverse community. In the wake of the tragic events in Pittsburgh that impacted the nation, we want to assure Washingtonians that their safety and civil rights are a top priority,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael F. Paul of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office said in a statement on the report’s release. Continue reading
After moving from St. Louis, Anne McCullough’s walks in her new, surprisingly leafy neighborhood are filled with reminders of what First Hill can be.
“There’s a lot of opportunities and I can’t help but think about the work that I do when I walk through the neighborhood,” McCullough tells CHS.
The new executive director of the First Hill Improvement Association is also focused on what First Hill is today.
First Hill has about one-third the residential population of Capitol Hill but its density is off the charts — only Belltown has squeezed more residents into a smaller space in Seattle. Continue reading
Efforts to combat gun violence as a public health crisis have inspired a push to require signs posted at King County firearm retailers warning of “the increased risk of suicide, fatal acts of domestic violence, and unintentional deaths to children in homes where a gun is present,” according to an announcement on the King County Public Health proposal.
The King County Board of Health is slated to take up the proposal in its meeting Thursday. Continue reading
The October 29th incident at 15th and Republican’s Ruckus marijuana shop went unreported by media and SPD but a recently released incident report includes details of the heist. Continue reading
Through the years, CHS has been part of a small but enduring Capitol Hill holiday shopping tradition of helping spread the word about neighborhood merchants and gift ideas. For free. Some years we’ve had some big help — yup, we might never have guessed we’d ever team up with a giant soda company, either. Some years, we’ve pulled it off on our own.
It’s Shop the Hill season.
CHS is once again teaming up with the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Broadway Business Improvement Area to share local gift ideas and deals from Capitol Hill area merchants at capitolhillseattle.com/shopthehill/
You can let us know about your favorite shops here via Facebook and we’ll add regular updates to share through the holidays.
If you want to help spread the joy, here are donation drives, feed the hungry, and volunteer opportunities around Capitol Hill.
Thanks for reading. And thanks for being part of CHS. Happy Shop the Hill.