Everything you always wanted to know about Sawant’s rent control bid but were afraid to ask

Sawant’s check boxes from 2017 could add another check in 2020 — though “TAX THE RICH” needs more work

Monday night, the Seattle City Council’s Renter’s Rights Committee, chaired by District 3 representative Kshama Sawant, will discuss draft legislation for rent control at City Hall during a public hearing. It’s a cornerstone moment in the final months of her term and in her race to retain her seat in November.

Sawant’s draft legislation follows her six-year-old call for rent control, a 2015 City Council resolution supporting the repeal of a State-wide rent control ban, plus an April letter from the Seattle’s Renters’ Commission urging the council and Mayor Jenny Durkan to pass a rent control ordinance in Seattle.

In the letter, the commission’s co-chairs noted that “the unpredictability and rate of rent increases in the past decade has caused a massive burden on renters which has led to both homelessness and displacement of Seattleites.”

So, what does rent control mean to Sawant?

It’s an umbrella term that can mean different things depending on specific rules and regulations. Overall, rent control, in some cases also called rent stabilization, means limiting rent increases. This can happen in various ways: it can be tied to inflation, the cap can apply only per tenancy or beyond the duration of a tenancy, and come with or without restrictions on evictions. Some include only buildings of a certain age and exempt new buildings.

Here are a few more questions about the whole thing — and as many answers as we have heading into Monday night’s session.

What does Sawant propose? Sawant’s office remained tight-lipped about the details of the draft legislation ahead of the committee meeting on Monday. What is clear: rent limits would be tied to inflation (around 2% or 3% per year), and the legislation will be “free of corporate loopholes.”  Continue reading

With anger, impatience, and youthful energy, thousands march from Capitol Hill in Seattle Climate Strike

“My name’s Darrius, I’m 17 years old, I attend Rainier Beach, and I love my city and my country.” — Darrius, center

With reporting and photography by Alex Garland

Some 3,000 or so students and supporters rallied in Cal Anderson and marched downtown where they met with thousands more Friday as Seattle joined the global Climate Strike effort.

Dozens of student speakers took a few minutes at the mic in the Capitol Hill park to call for officials to do more — and do more a heck of a lot faster — about climate change.

“I should be stressed about the acne on my face,” one 12-year-old said during their turn at the microphone. “I shouldn’t be stressed about how hot the earth is.”

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Here’s why WSDOT paid $1.9M for this Montlake house — UPDATE

(Image: WSDOT)

In the middle of the Montlake neighborhood bracing for big changes and years of construction as WSDOT completes the replacement of SR 520, one building got a lot of attention as the landowners finally struck a $16 million deal to sell the Montlake Market property to the state. But it wasn’t the only private property in the neighborhood to change hands for the 520 project.

Turns out, in May, the state also struck a deal to pay $1.9 million for a two-story, three-bedroom, single family-style Lake Washington Blvd E home. The property will be unveiled Saturday to start a new chapter in its life as the state’s Montlake Project Information Center:  Continue reading

Somewhere along the way, Capitol Hill became part of the Seattle tour bus route

Somehow, sometime, Capitol Hill became part of the tour of visitors from around the country and around the world checking out Seattle from aboard a hop on, hop off, open-top, double-decker bus. With the buses plying the tight turns of Pike and Pine daily, CHS got on board and checked in on what it’s like to be a tourist in the neighborhood.

“You are now entering the Capitol Hill neighborhood,” the recorded tour message informs riders as they make their way up the Hill. “This area is the unofficial center of Seattle’s LGBTQ community and features some of the city’s hippest restaurants, bars, and boutique shopping.”

“Stop #13,” the voice says. “Capitol Hill and Jimi Hendrix statue.”

Boasting its historic LGBTQ+ support and ample nightlife, Capitol Hill is highlighted as one of many must-see spots in Seattle by City Sightseeing and other city tours. Since 1999, the UK-based City Sightseeing has been busing tourists and locals around more than 100 cities across the world, Seattle included. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Northwest Film Forum’s 22nd Annual Local Sightings Film Festival

(Image: Patrinell)

From the Northwest Film Forum

Programmed closely with community partners as curators, Northwest Film Forum’s 22nd Annual Local Sightings Film Festival invites regional artists to experiment, break, and remake popular conceptions around filmmaking and film exhibition. Over the course of 10 boundary-pushing days, the festival showcases the growing complexity of creative communities in the Pacific Northwest, by uplifting new talent, providing educational opportunities for youth and adults, supporting the regional film industry, and promoting diverse media as a critical tool for public engagement. Below are just a few of the feature films, short film programs, special presentations, and panels & workshops happening over the course of the festival.

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CHS Pics | ‘Hot Guys Serving Hot Coffee’ — Behind the Dreamboyz Espresso counter on Broadway

The boys at Dreamboyz Espresso are feeling like stars these days. Less than a week after CHS broke the news on the Capitol Hill-appropriate switch-up from bikinis to six-pack abs  and short shorts behind the counter at this Broadway drive-thru coffee shack, business is booming and the “baristos” are being asked to appear in selfie videos by coffee fans that want to show off “that I got one with you.”

“Fitness is what my passion is,” Brandon tells CHS. “I worked at Starbucks a couple years back, enjoyed being a barista, however it wasn’t enough money, so when I saw this opportunity, I was like, in a way, I get to bring those things together.” Continue reading

Feed Co.’s new owners read the CHS comments: Central District joint sticking with burgers, adding booze

Don’t read the comments. Unless you’re the new owner of a favorite neighborhood restaurant exploring a concept change. Then, you might want to tune in, and work with the feedback.

“The area loves feed co so much, we can’t change that. :),” new owner Thanh Nguyen tells CHS about the decision to simplify planned changes to the 24th and Union restaurant after a new group of investors got together to take over Central District burger joint Feed Co.
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Mayor’s ‘Fare Share’ plan would add minimum wage for drivers and 51 cent fee to every Uber and Lyft ride in Seattle to pay for streetcar, housing, and industry regulation

(Image: CHS)

Seattle is preparing to target one of the most lucrative — and easily the most traffic-bloating — corners of the city’s “app” economy to raise more money for public transit, affordable housing, and, yes, further regulating and monitoring the industry.

Mayor Jenny Durkan has rolled out a 2020 “Fare Start” budget proposal calling for new legislation that would add 51 cents to the cost of every Uber and Lyft ride in the city and set new minimum wage requirements for the industry’s freelance drivers.

“Economic models really vary from app to app,” Mayor Durkan said Wednesday in a media briefing outlining the new proposal and explaining why the “transportation network company” industry tax and regulation ended up in Seattle’s fast lane. Continue reading

Sorry, Seattle Public School kids, your Climate Strike attendance will not be excused

Seattle Public Schools students attending Friday’s Climate Strike at Cal Anderson are going to learn the first lesson of advocacy and public service: self sacrifice.

The district won’t be excusing any absences Friday.

Wednesday, District 3 representative Kshama Sawant joined students at S Jackson’s Washington Middle School in calling on the district to release its thousands of students from class on Friday so they can attend the rally without chalking up an unexcused absence. Continue reading