The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Jessyn Farrell Q&A

CHS: Alright, I’m a professional, you’re a professional, we’re ready to roll!

Farrell: Alrighty! Good! Good, good! Excellent!

CHS: So tell me about your district. Who do you represent right now?

“There are fewer Title 1 schools in my district now. Title 1 schools are schools where there’s 50% free or reduced lunch or higher. There are fewer than there were when I started out as a legislator because it’s really hard for poor people to afford to live in the city.”

Farrell: Up until when I resigned from my seat, I represented Northeast Seattle, Lake Forest Park, and Kenmore in the legislature. I’d done that for five years. I have been a transit advocate for my career. I’ve gone to law school, worked at WashPIRG, and then, ran Transportation Choices Coalition. When I ran Transportation Choices Coalition, our motto always was, “Holding the line until 2009,” when light rail would open, and then, we would be able to stop fighting over whether Sound Transit should exist or not. We’re still having that fight, but it’s a little different now that people actually get to take light rail and see what it’s like.

CHS: Well, can you tell me about the people you have represented in that part of the city? Way north, that’s super north! It’s like in Canada.

Farrell: North of the Ship Canal, what is it? It is, it’s almost Canada. Okay, so Northeast Seattle is, basically, I have the athletic portion of the U-Dub, not the academics. So that’s very important. I have football and baseball and all the other programs. And then, it goes all the way up to 145th, including all the way out west to Aurora. So there’s Northgate. It’s a really diverse district in that it has some very, very rich parts of town like Laurelhurst and Windermere, and then, some real pockets of poverty in the far north end. I actually grew up there. I was born in very glamorous Lake City.

CHS: I have friends in Lake City. Lake City’s more of my people than Windermere.

Farrell: I’ve lived in and out of that part of town my whole life. I have lived on Capitol Hill as well. And the real issues that people are facing in the north end are not unlike what people are facing in the rest of the city around affordability, as an example, and it comes, I think, in three different flavors.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

In this Q&A, CHS talks with Jessyn Farrell, the three-term state legislator who stepped down from her Northeast Seattle post to be part of the 2017 mayoral race. CHS had questions about transit, development, and, of course, affordability for the urbanist-leaning Lake City native. You can learn more at jessynformayor.com.

Farrell (cont’d): If you’re a renter, you’re really concerned about rising rents, and that’s the case all throughout my district. If you are living on a fixed income, and you own your house, you’re probably worried about property taxes. That’s something that people are worried about. And then, I think traditionally, that’s been a place where families could actually go buy a house. A young family in like the Lake City neighborhood, Pinehurst, a lot of those communities up farther towards 145th, — those are getting really, really expensive as well.

So I think the affordability crisis is hitting my district. It is hitting the rest of the city. And one of the things that really propelled me to actually get into this race was that I am seeing this play out in my district in a really unfortunate way. There are fewer Title 1 schools in my district now. Title 1 schools are schools where there’s 50% free or reduced lunch or higher. There are fewer than there were when I started out as a legislator because it’s really hard for poor people to afford to live in the city. And that’s happening everywhere, right?

CHS: How do we fix it? Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Affordable Seattle: Housing for People, Not Profit!

From Kshama Sawant

Friends,

The for-profit housing market is failing the majority of Seattleites: 92% of new units built in the last 10 years have been Luxury units! We need a Seattle that benefits the many, not the few on Wall St. 

To fight skyrocketing rents we need to build a movement, like we did to win $15 an hour minimum wage, to challenge the big developers and landlords.  Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative initiated Affordable Seattle to organize our communities to fight for a Seattle affordable for all.

Come join us at 1:00 on Saturday, July 29 for our official campaign launch at Washington Hall (153 14th Ave) to learn how you can get involved! 

Since the beginning of June, the Affordable Seattle Campaign have gone to hundreds of doors across the city to build support for three demands for addressing the affordable housing crisis: Continue reading

Capitol Hill gay bar Purr’s new home? Montlake

Capitol Hill is down one gay bar. Purr’s July “going away” party included an announcement of its surprising new home neighborhood…

Montlake.

Seattle Gay Scene has the scoop:

After nearly a 12 year run on Capitol Hill’s 11th Avenue between Pike and Pine Streets, Purr Cocktail Lounge will be packing up the video screens and vodka bottles for a new location in…Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood. That was the surprise announcement at Wednesday night’s “Purr Going Away Party” where owner Barbie Roberts thanked her regulars and staff for a great run at the 11th Avenue location but then made the announcement that everyone had been waiting to hear…where was Purr moving to? While most expected that the new location would be either on Capitol Hill, Seattle’s primary LGBTQ neighborhood or at least adjacent to the ‘hood, no one expected to hear “Montlake” as the new location.

Owner Barbie Roberts has said the move is an economic one with the more-than-a-decade-old lounge escaping soaring Pike/Pine rents. A former employee of Manray and The Wildrose, Roberts opened Purr in 2006 in the former home of the Bad JuJu lounge. In 2011, CHS talked with her about the features of a successful gay bar and surviving the changes of growth in Pike/Pine.

While Purr’s adventure off the Hill will bring more affordable rent and more than a few interesting rides on the 43, we’re sure, its new home will also come with some economic challenges. The Montlake Pub closed in the space after a rocky year of business — it closed so abruptly, CHS never had the opportunity to run a post on the new restaurant last spring. Before the pub, the Traveler family of neighborhood grills gave 24th Ave E a run after taking over for longtime favorite the Montlake Pub in 2014. 24th Ave and Montlake, meanwhile, are set for major changes with a new 520 lid and bridge work slated to completely overhaul the road network at the key interchange. Meanwhile, the approach from the north to the area is also planned for major changes in future stages of the 23rd Ave corridor “road diet.”

No opening date for Montlake Purr has been announced.

You can keep track of things on Purr’s Facebook page.

 

San Francisco’s Good Vibrations acquires Capitol Hill-created Babeland

Born 24 years ago on E Pike when sex toys for women were still entrepreneurial concepts, iconic Capitol Hill retailer Babeland is joining a larger family of sensual positivity.

Bay Area-based Good Vibrations has announced it is acquiring the Capitol Hill-headquartered chain of three stores and the company’s online assets:

 In a merging of two of the most iconic sex toy retailers, Good Vibrations, one of the first shops to create a friendly and welcoming environment catering to women and founded 40 years ago, has entered into an agreement to acquire Babeland, co-founded by Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning 25 years ago as an affirming, feminist, lifestyle brand. Cavanah and Venning are ready to say goodbye and move on to other pursuits after a momentous run of helping countless customers discover new pleasures and greater enjoyment in their sex lives.

Born Toys in Babeland just down the street from its current location at 707 E Pike, the first Babeland shop celebrated the business’s 20th anniversary in 2013.

“Capitol Hill in 1993 was the hub of emerging Seattle culture,” co-founder Rachel Venning told CHS at the time. “The neighborhood was packed with gay people, musicians artists, and creative people of all stripes. It was a great place to start a business that was based on a new concept: sex toys for women.”

Good Vibrations operates nine stores in five cities and will expand to include the Babeland shops including Capitol Hill’s flagship store and two Babeland stores in New York City.

“It’s been a joy and an adventure to start and grow Babeland,” Venning said in the announcement of the deal. “I have enormous gratitude for all the customers, staff, and community that have been part of this. I’m ready for a new adventure. Having Good Vibrations take over makes it easier to let go because we share so many of the same feminist values.”

According to the announcement, the Babeland brand will live on after the acquisition.

 

Capitol Hill Community Post | ‘We believe Mayor Murray should complete his term in office’ — Former Seattle mayors open letter

From Charley Royer

The undersigned former Seattle Mayors released the following statement regarding the balance of Mayor Ed Murray’s term:

“We have been saddened by the recent allegations against Mayor Murray. He made the honorable, but personally painful decision to drop out of his re-election campaign, a decision that underscores his commitment to Seattle.”

“We firmly believe Mayor Murray should continue to lead the city through the remainder of his term. A transition merely months before electing a new mayor would be messy and time consuming, and would present serious challenges to the day-to-day operations of the city. As former mayors, we know transitions are long, difficult, and important processes, which is why Mayor Murray and his team have already begun the job of preparing for the new mayor to be sworn in next year.”

“We should now thank the mayor for his service to our city and look forward to him coming to work every day on behalf of the people of Seattle throughout the remainder of his term and an orderly transition.”

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Bob Hasegawa Q&A

Hasegawa: We were lied to.

CHS: So, this is about Sound Transit and the way it’s run? Not light rail?

Hasegawa: When it went to the ballot I said “I support ST3. Even though it’s $54 billion, we need it.”

CHS: It’s an interesting fine point, and it’s a big dollar fine point and it just…

“It’s about accountability from leadership. That’s what my whole campaign is about right now.”

Hasegawa: It’s a crucial fine point. If you’re not being told the truth, when we’re passing legislation that has the huge financial impact on people who are fixed income that are already being gentrified and priced out of the city, and mind you, we had the McCleary… We knew we had to find another $4.5 billion just to fund McCleary, so how likely are we going to be able to pass a revenue package now with all the email that I’m getting with people who are angry about the price of their car tabs and all this other taxes that they’re getting hit with.

CHS: But at the same time you said you wouldn’t have done anything different.

Hasegawa: No I wouldn’t have. I didn’t.

CHS: That’s, I think, the hard part.

Hasegawa: I just wanna be told the truth. If you are coming to us, don’t lie. Tell me the truth and let me make up my mind for myself.

CHS: Alright. Alright, well we will try…

Hasegawa: See that’s why I didn’t want to get into it, because it’s too fine…

CHS: You’re telling me it’s not about factual Sound Transit package, it’s about the agency.

Hasegawa: It’s about accountability from leadership. That’s what my whole campaign is about right now.

CHS: Alright. I wonder if people will care. I’m curious to see if people will care.

Hasegawa: Accountability?

CHS: Yes.

Hasegawa: I think people want to be told the truth.

CHS: Yeah? Well I wouldn’t wanna be told the truth. I wonder if people will care that it costs $54 instead of $15 billion.

Hasegawa: You don’t think so? [laughter]

This testy exchange was just the start of things in one of the feistiest conversations in CHS’s interviews with the mayoral candidates. State Sen. Bob Hasegawa didn’t like being labelled anti-transit — his issue is with the way the transit agency is run, he told CHS, not trains. We also talked with the longtime labor leader and 11th District senator about his push to create a municipal bank and his belief that the city needs a champion for South Seattle and underserved communities in City Hall. You can learn more at bobhasegawa.com.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

CHS: I hear people sometimes say that we should put every penny we can towards…

Hasegawa: Education. Continue reading

Police search unsuccessful after woman robbed on 24th Ave

Police are investigating a reported armed robbery after a woman was mugged and thrown to the pavement on the backside of the Midtown Center commercial block at 23rd and Union Tuesday night.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the suspect grabbed the victim and claimed to have a gun pressed against her as he shoved the woman down and stole her wallet on 24th Ave just after 10:30 PM Tuesday.

Police spread out across the area and a K9 unit searched for the suspect described as a black male around 5’6″ and heavyset, wearing a white tank top, and dark jean shorts, last seen fleeing the area on foot to the east.

The search was not successful and there were no arrests. No serious injuries were reported.

CHS Crime Dashboard — Reported robberies by month — East Precinct (Source: SPD)

With a rise in gun incidents and shootings across the city, robberies are down so far this summer in the East Precinct and the area around the Midtown Center has seen fewer incidents of gun violence after a spike earlier this year.

In May, developers announced a $23.25 million deal to acquire the Midtown block for long-planned redevelopment.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Mayor Murray signs Executive Order requiring body cameras on patrol officers

From the City of Seattle

SEATTLE (July 17, 2017) – Today, Mayor Ed Murray, working with City Attorney Pete Holmes, signed an Executive Orderrequiring all Seattle Police patrol officers to wear body-worn video cameras (body cameras). The order requires the SeattlePolice Department (SPD) to equip West Precinct bike patrol officers with cameras by July 22 and all West Precinct officers bySeptember 30, putting the department on track to fully implement a program that has undergone multiple pilot programs. All other officers will get body cameras on a monthly precinct by precinct basis. Mayor Murray is directing prompt implementation of the program to ensure no further significant uses of force by police officers go undocumented by a video record. Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Cary Moon Q&A

CHS: Alright lets jump in. Yeah, I don’t know. Do you ever read interviews with candidates? I always find them kind of boring.

Moon: Yeah. Because everybody’s so careful, they say all the positive things.

CHS: Yeah. And there’s not anything that has to change that at all. But I do try… Well, I’ll try and ask more Capitol Hill kinda, Central District kinds of things. I’m curious to know — can you set the stage for me instead of me trying to write… Where are we in Seattle’s history? And what’s going on? What’s the state of this city right now?

Moon: Yeah. I think what started off as feeling like, “Wow, we’re so popular. Wow, we’re thriving when so many places aren’t.” And the feeling of excitement and satisfaction and being part of the winning team. I think that quickly turned to, “Oh my God. What’s going on?” And, “Can I afford to live here?” And, “Are my kids going to be able to live here?” And, “What are we doing to our creative soul?” And you know everybody is freaking out because all of a sudden, it doesn’t feel like we’re in control of this. We’re not guiding the future of our city. It’s happening to us, not by us and for us and that is scary and people feel all kinds of insecurity. They feel housing insecurity. They feel economic insecurity. They feel like, “Is this my culture? Is this like the Seattle I love?” Or, “Is that completely evaporating?” And so people are scared.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

“That wealth is being extracted away from the community…”

Below, CHS talks with Cary Moon, the urbanist and civic leader who was the Co-Founder and Director of the People’s Waterfront Coalition. Moon carries the endorsement of The Stranger into the August Primary. CHS spoke with her about the state of the city, her approach to building our way out of the affordability crisis, and whether City Hall should help make sure Pike/Pine bars and restaurants can pay their rent. You can learn more at carymoonformayor.com.

CHS: But these are the good times, aren’t they? I mean we’re doing financially very well.

Moon: Okay, if you look at GDP, style gross metric, sure. But that doesn’t tell a story of what’s happening on the ground. Because on the ground we’re creating credible wealth through our sky rocketing property values through the profits that are being made by mostly big corporations — some small businesses, too — but that corporation wealth is not circulating back into the community. That wealth is being extracted away from the community and so instead of a healthy economy where everybody benefits and everybody who’s part of building the profits gets to share in the profits and businesses are locally owned so wealth they create gets circulated back in new investment or expansion. That’s what we typically think of, of a booming economy. That’s not what’s happening here. Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Nikkita Oliver Q&A

CHS: We already spoke to you way back when. It felt good to be out in front of the buzz around your campaign, so I’m glad we had a chance to get you on. These are boom times for the city, but clearly boom times aren’t necessarily happy times. There seems to be a lot of concern and worry when I talk to the candidates, and I know that’s part of the reason you’ve got involved. So, what’s going on in the city? Why are we this way? Why is it a bummer to be so successful in the way we are structured now? What’s broken and what’s the start of fixing that from your perspective?

“I do feel moved in terms of knowing that there are some incredibly wealthy people in our city who do want to see equity become a reality.”

Oliver: Yeah. I think what’s beautiful about Seattle is people are attracted to our city. It’s green. It’s next to water. There’s an incredible amount of culture here, and some attempts to preserve that and so I think it’s what make it an attractive city. I think the struggle is, is we have lacked a vision for equitable development. We have a race and social justice initiative. We use a lot of equity terms, but in practice we don’t really know what that looks like, and also have not been willing to ask our developers and corporations to invest in that. Also having such an upside down tax system and in some ways legally being relegated to using those structures has really put us in a bad place.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

Below, CHS talks with Nikkita Oliver, the poet, teacher, lawyer, and community activist whose campaign has also formed a movement in the Seattle Peoples Party. We asked Oliver about how her social justice vision applies to issues as ranging as development and transit — and if her views of the city and its issues around race and equity have changed as she nears City Hall. You can learn more at seattlepeoplesparty.com.

Oliver (continued): But also, I just think all in all our city has lacked a vision, not just in terms of urban planning but also in terms of the city we want to grow into be. We have a lot of great language around it and so I could see where people maybe would see it as a bummer but I also see an incredible opportunity for Seattle to take the lead and show what it looks like to see where your city maybe has been failing and admit that, acknowledge it, be accountable for it, and then actually make a real plan forward that challenges this placement and makes our city more affordable and more equitable. So, while I could see where people who maybe share your sentiments are coming from, I also just see an incredible opportunity. There’s so much wealth in this city, and I’m incredibly moved by the number of people who have access to that wealth, who do desire to see our upside down tax situation corrected.

CHS: Has your perspective changed in that regard? You’ve got a chance now… You’ve been exposed to maybe some of the power brokers of the city. Do you feel better about Seattle now that you’re in the race than you did before? Continue reading