Capitol Hill Community Post | Councilmember Sawant Introduces Bill Requiring Voter Registration Cards Be Provided to All New Tenants

From the City of Seattle

Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) introduced a bill to require that landlords include a voter registration card and voter registration information among the required documents provided to all new tenants in Seattle.

Seattle’s voters need to update their registration every time they move to participate in Washington’s vote-by-mail system. Renters move more frequently than homeowners, and studies show that renters are less likely to be registered to vote than homeowners. This bill will provide renters with the tools they need to re-register, or register for the first time. 

“In a system that is overwhelmingly stacked against us, working class people, young people, and communities of color are routinely disenfranchised. This is especially true of Seattle’s renters, who are increasingly being uprooted by skyrocketing rents, and forced to re-register to vote every time they move. This legislation will take one step toward helping working people fight for their rights, including for rent control,” said Councilmember Sawant. 

“The tenants who reach out to us face regular displacement, sometimes as often as every few months. These moves are disruptive to all areas of life, and regularly updating voter registrations is a challenge. Including these forms with the packet already mandated at the start each new tenancy is a small but significant way of facilitating community involvement and civic engagement for renters, who make up the majority of the city’s residents,” said Hana Aličić from the Tenants’ Union of Washington State. 

“Renters make up 80% of people living in my neighborhood, Capitol Hill. We end up moving more frequently to keep up with rising rents, which can make it hard to remember to maintain an up-to-date voter registration. Today’s legislation will bring access to those whose voices we so often exclude from our political and civic process. This is the right move for renters, for our city, and our democracy,” said Zachary DeWolf from the Capitol Hill Community Council. 

“Nearly every tenant that we work with wants to be engaged one way or another, but many simply don’t have the time or resources to register to vote. Giving them the option to register upon move-in will remove that barrier and provide every Seattle renter with the opportunity to shape our city,” said Devin Silvernail from Be:Seattle.

“At the Washington Bus we are consistently trying to find more opportunities to lower the barriers to access in our democratic process. Studies show that voting is a habit — meaning those that vote from one address consistently over time tend to get contacted more frequently by campaigns and candidates, and thus are reminded to vote more often. As an organization of young people, by young people, for all people we know that young people, low income communities, and communities of color often rent and change addresses at higher rates than older, wealthier demographics. By requiring landlords to provide voter registration opportunities upon move-in, we can make our local elections and local representation much more inclusive and more accurately reflect our local population. Over the last 10 years, we’ve registered over 52,000 people to vote — and a significant number of those were due to a change in address. This is a small, but significant step towards making the voting process easier for thousands of residents across the City,” said Emilio Garza from The Washington Bus. 

“LGBTQ low-income communities have high rates of displacement in Seattle and therefore move around a lot. Often LGBTQ renters have not updated their voter registration, making it more difficult to express their voice in elections. This ordinance is a great solution to ensuring LGBTQ renter’s voices are still participating in our electoral system,” said Debbie Carlsen from LGBTQ Allyship.

“APACEvotes believes this new ordinance will make voter registration more accessible and convenient for refugees, immigrants, People of Color, and working folks living on limited-incomes who are disproportionately impacted by rising rents and the need to move more frequently. One of the biggest barriers to civic engagement that our community faces is the need for translated voter materials in Limited-English-Proficiency homes. This new rule would provide voter registration forms and information to all new tenants in the appropriate translated languages available. This is an exciting opportunity for our city to ensure more voices are represented in the democratic process,” said Christina Reiko Shimizu from Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment Votes (APACEvotes). 

Sawant’s legislation will be discussed in the Energy and Environment Committee on June 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Capitol Hill Community Post | King County Metro and Sound Transit debut reduced summer ORCA youth fares

“I was at Ingraham High School today to hand out the first ORCA Youth Cards that offer 50-cent rides all summer on King County Metro Transit routes. Sound Transit fares are reduced to $1. ” From King County Executive Dow Constantine via Facebook

From King County and Sound Transit

Metro and Sound Transit will offer reduced fares from mid-June through Labor Day to all youth who use an ORCA Youth card to pay their fares. Metro will provide free cards to youth who do not already have one. All youth between the ages of 6-18 are eligible.

Metro will offer free ORCA Youth cards and a special 50-cent reduced fare for young people who ride Metro buses this summer. Sound Transit will offer a $1 youth fare. Regular prices are $5 for ORCA Youth cards; $1.50 per ride for youths on Metro services; and $1.50 to $4.25 for youths riding Sound Transit trains and buses.

Metro established the pilot program to encourage more King County youth to ride transit and make it easier for young people to get around town.

“By making it easier to take Metro this summer, we help young people get to jobs, parks, libraries and all the region has to offer. We know that mobility is key to opportunity, and these reduced fares will open doors to the next generation of transit riders,” said Executive Constantine, who also serves on the Sound Transit board. “More people are taking public transportation than ever before. With expanded services and more buses, Metro is meeting the needs of a growing region. Encouraging young people to ride Metro and Sound Transit this summer will help them learn our transit network, and develop commuter habits to last a lifetime.”

In King County, youth riders can save up to $36 per month on Metro Transit, based on the price for a monthly pass. Metro and Sound Transit established the pilot program to encourage more youth to ride transit and make it easier for young people to get around.

Executive Constantine joined Seattle City Council and Sound Transit board member Rob Johnson to announce the ORCA Summer Youth Promotion during an event at Ingraham High School in North Seattle.

“As a region we are committed to combating climate change, increasing economic opportunity, and decreasing housing costs.  The single best way to achieve all three of those goals is to create frequent and reliable access to public transportation,” Councilmember Johnson said. “Today’s announcement that we will be decreasing the cost to ride transit for all kids in King County between 6-18 from $1.50 to 50 cents is a huge step in the right direction, and a victory I am thrilled to celebrate today with Dow.”

“Sound Transit is proud to join with King County Metro in providing reduced summer fares for area youth. Whether they are traveling to work, play or summer classes, this promotion will encourage young people to see how easy it is to get around on our region’s interconnected network of trains and buses,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff.

During the school year, many students rely on ORCA cards issued by their schools. Five school districts in King County provide students with free ORCA passes as part of their student transportation programs, but those cards expire when the school year ends. Metro averages above 400,000 ORCA youth boardings per month during the school year, but that drops to less than 130,000 during summer months.

Youth also can enjoy 50-cent fares on the Seattle Streetcar when using an ORCA Youth card.


How to get a free ORCA Youth card

Go to, fill out the online form and submit along with a scanned copy of one of the following: a student ID, state ID, driver’s license or birth certificate. Cards will be mailed for free.

ORCA Youth cards also are available in person at the Metro sales office at the King Street Center in Pioneer Square at 201 South Jackson Street and at various public events and locations where Metro sets up “ORCA to GO” booths to provide customer assistance. Check Metro’s website for times and locations.

The ORCA Youth card’s e-purse will need to be loaded with monetary value or a monthly pass before it can be used. Cards can be loaded at participating retailers around King County, ORCA vending machines at Link stations, the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, major transit centers, and at the Metro pass sales office at King Street Center.

Laughing Buddha moving into new home at Broadway and Pine

If you are looking for the heart of Capitol Hill, you might want to follow Laughing Buddha. After 20 years on Broadway, the tattoo and body piercing studio is moving into a new home this summer closer to Pike/Pine.

“The area was the epicenter,” Laughing Buddha owner Christy Brooker says of the shop’s longtime home on the north end of Broadway. “Over time, we follow where Capitol Hill moves.

CHS talked to Brooker in 2016 after she took over Laughing Buddha and celebrated the studio’s 20 years of business on Capitol Hill. Her next big move will take Laughing Buddha into the Seattle Central-owned South Annex/International Programs building at Pine and Broadway into a new space designed by 15th Ave E-headquartered Board and Vellum. Continue reading

Rain City Fit will bring former home of Crypt kink shop back to life with new gym

The crew from the Stranger might pick up new, healthy habits as a long-empty retail space across the street from the alt media outfit’s Capitol Hill office is about to kick back into motion.

Rain City Fit is preparing to move into the former home of The Crypt, the west coast chain kink shop that folded in Pike/Pine in the summer of 2015.

“It’s a real big space and a tough time for retail. For me, I’m just trying to build a nice gym that is going to fit well with the Capitol Hill community,” owner Ben Koenigsberg tells CHS. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Count Us In 2017 report offers comprehensive look at regional homelessness in Seattle-King County

A new, more comprehensive point-in-time homelessness report released today provides critical information on homelessness in Seattle and King County. Utilizing a nationally recognized count methodology, a countywide canvas of census tracts, and a person-to-person survey of people experiencing homelessness, the 2017 Count Us In tally counted a total of 11,643 people experiencing homelessness countywide. The total includes 6,158 people sheltered in transitional housing or emergency shelters and 5,485 people on the streets, sleeping in vehicles, tents or encampments (both sanctioned and unsanctioned). Obtaining reliable, accurate and actionable data through the annual point-in-time count is a requirement for federal funding, and imperative to informing local strategies to address homelessness.

“This year’s count reflects what we already know: skyrocketing rents and the growing demand for behavioral and mental health services continue to make homelessness a regional challenge. We are already moving more people into housing faster, while cutting in half the number of people slipping back into homelessness. With comprehensive data from Count Us In, we can do even more to target resources where they are needed most,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We have a plan to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time, and the renewal of the Veterans and Human Services Levy is a big part of it – increasing homeless outreach and connections to treatment while creating more affordable housing to move people permanently out of homelessness.”

“We set out to do a more rigorous, comprehensive, and thorough count than ever this year so we could assess the specifics of this crisis and develop concrete solutions to it,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “Since this count was taken, we’ve aggressively implemented a hands-on approach to addressing this crisis. Our Navigation Team of social workers, health professionals, and police officers have successfully engaged with more 600 people and connected services and housing to more than 250. This is how individualized services can help and how having a complete picture of this crisis helps us better service those experiencing it.”

A new, more comprehensive count
The 2017 count, coordinated by All Home and Applied Survey Research (ASR) is substantially different from previous years. It includes a street count held on January 27, 2017 that covered virtually every census tract in King County, a shelter count the same night, a youth and young adult count, and a person-to-person survey completed by 1,158 people reflecting a representative sample of the sheltered and unsheltered population across the county. The results of the survey can be generalized to the entire population of people experiencing homelessness with 95% confidence.

Continue reading

Capitol Hill gunfire? Two incidents overnight

Gunfire echoed around north Broadway early Sunday morning after a Capitol Hill service station worker said he opened fire to ward of a robbery attempt. Meanwhile, police were investigating more gunfire earlier Sunday after an apparent gun battle near Pine and Broadway in the middle of nightlife crowds overnight.

There were no reported serious injuries in the incidents.

Officers rushed to the area of Broadway and Roy just before 6 AM to reports of gunshots. Arriving police were told the 76 Station worker opened fire on two males attempting a robbery, according to East Precinct radio reports. At least one shot struck the back window of a tan van as the suspects reportedly attempted to flee on 10th Ave. There were no immediate arrests.

Earlier, a wave of violence across Seattle continued with a bout of gunfire near the Broadway parking lot between Pike and Pine just before 1 AM.

Police responded to a report of around eight shots in the area and found at least one bullet-riddled car and a victim who apparently not seriously injured. The female was reported as “uncooperative” by police and refused to stay at the scene, according to radio dispatches.

Witnesses told police of an SUV-type vehicle that sustained bullet damage, another car, and a possibly armed male fleeing the area on foot. Police were checking with area businesses that may have video evidence from the shootout. Seattle Fire was called to the scene for possible injuries from the gunfire but quickly released.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Sharply Menswear Opens 1st Retail Location on Cap Hill

From Sharply

SHARPLY, a men’s lifestyle brand, will open their first full retail store on Capitol Hill on June 1st

Just after their successful pop-up in University Village, SHARPLY, a lifestyle brand of casual sportswear for men, is set to open its first full retail storefront on June 1st in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The store aims to be the destination for the regular guy to purchase essential clothing items that will make him look and feel great in what he is wearing. The store will be officially open to the public on June 1st with a store opening celebration on June 8th featuring an in-store raffle for merchandise. RSVP for the Grand Opening event at

The SHARPLY store will feature a collection of private label shirts, as well as, carefully selected, high- quality essentials necessary for every man’s wardrobe, including shorts, premium denim, and accessories like, sunglasses, luggage, bracelets, and watches. The retail store will feature an exclusive in-store gift with purchase, the SHARPLY Growler and one complimentary fill from a local brewery, for customers who spend over $250.

SHARPLY came to life after founders Joe Blattner and Molly Kuffner noticed the significant growth in the men’s apparel e-commerce space and discovered the need to simplify the shopping experience for well-dressed and busy men. The brand was originally only available online. However, seeing the success of the pop-up market across the country and learning about the strong desire for men to have an easy, low maintenance shopping experience, the next logical step was to open a SHARPLY retail location. Capitol Hill is known for being one of Seattle’s hip and fashion savvy neighborhoods, and was a perfect match for a made in the US men’s lifestyle brand.

“SHARPLY was created to give guys a simpler shopping experience. We don’t want to overwhelm them with things they don’t need,” said Blattner. “We’re looking to create an experience for men that’s easy and fun. The approach is straightforward – essentials available at a one-stop-shop. It’s for the guy who dresses smartly, and most importantly—SHARPLY!”

SHARPLY’s goal is to create a unique and fun experience for men not currently in the marketplace. As everyone’s life becomes busier and busier, many men don’t like or have time to shop and need a destination to find essential items.

“We offer only the essentials for men who are busy living their life. Our guy is probably not shopping in his spare time, but when he does come into our store, we want to provide great value product along with an experience for him that’s low maintenance and fun! Perhaps he needs a super comfortable, sharp looking t-shirt to replace the branded polo he wears to every weekend BBQ. We’ll probably offer him a cold one or a shot of whiskey from a local brewery or distillery”, said Kuffner.

The products offered at the store range from $38 -$595 and all items are offered with free shipping and free returns.

Location: 500 E. Pike St, Suite 100B, Seattle WA 98122 Store Hours: Monday through Saturday 10-7PM; Sundays 12-5

Finally, a $23.25M deal — and plans for inclusive development — at 23rd and Union

It is a riskier bet than most $23.25 million land deals in Seattle. But new neighbors and longtime community members are probably happy to see real progress. Africatown, again in partnership with sustainability nonprofit turned in-city housing developer Forterra, will still be part of inclusive development component in the deal. And the buyers seem to know what they are doing.

Lake Union Partners announced Tuesday that it is surging ahead with a plan to redevelop 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center block and has already closed on a purchase of the land — a riskier approach than national shopping center developer Regency Centers and its partner Lennar were apparently willing to take in their failed deal to acquire the property and build a grocery-focused project.

“Given our other investments at 23rd and Union, we’ve worked hard to connect well with the neighborhood and as always, we simply try to do good work with our design, be respectful of the community, and create projects with neighborhood retail that residents of the area need and want,” Patrick Foley of Lake Union Partners said in the announcement. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Some FoodArt News

From FoodArt Collection 2017

Now on view at Cupcake Royale (1111 E. Pike St) May 11th to June 4th

95 Works of Art, 38 Artists, 2 Galleries


Michael Alm, Jennifer Ament, Ashley Armitage + Derek Erdman, Craig J Barber, Ben Beres, Cassandria Blackmore, Maria Bruzas-Zinkus, Lina Cholewinski, Samantha Corcoran, Kevin Drake, Jon Feinstein, Terry Furchgott, Becca Furhman, Aleister Gnarly, Ethan Jack Harrington, Mike Hopcroft, Claire Johnson, Kelly Lyles, Mark Takamichi Miller, Kathleen Kemly, Kristen Reitz-Green, John Rizzotto, Amy Salowitz, Lynda Sherman + Spark Awesome, Amy Simons, Genevieve St. Charles-Monet, Kellie Talbot, David Teichner, Siolo Thompson, Lara Wallace, Christie West, Supriya Wickrematillake, Keven Furiya, Rachel Maxi, Terry Siebert, Shawn Parks


We will be keeping gallery hours at the Cassandria Blackmore Gallery on Mondays & Wednesdays from noon to 4. Feel free to stop by and say hi!The artworks in the gallery can be easily viewed 24 hours a day.


Cupcake Royale is located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on E. Pike Street between 11th and 12th Avenues.

The Cassandria Blackmore Gallery (on generous loan from the artist) is located next door at 1115 E. Pike St.
The FoodArt Collection will be on view now through Sunday June 4.

All works are available for purchase.

Curated by Jeremy Buben

How they dust the Capitol Hill Station jets

(Image: Sound Transit)

Since its opening in March 2016, Capitol Hill Station has helped move thousands of people through their lives in the city. Every descent to the platform has left neat freaks a little more freaked out. Jet Kiss, the work by artist Mike Ross that turned A4 fighter jet war machines into sexy pink gloss love machines, often looks like it needs a good dusting. Hopefully it will help you to relax to know Sound Transit has an expert on the case.

Meet “Art Collection Specialist” Tim Marsden:

As the person in charge of more than 100 art installations at bus and train stations and other Sound Transit facilities from Everett to Lakewood, Marsden is the chief caretaker of a collection of museum-quality work by nationally-renowned artists.

His official title is “Art Collection Specialist.” That’s a catchall for everything the Seattle artist juggles to maintain an art collection exposed to the elements, passing trains, buses and thousands of riders every day.

“In a nutshell, I am responsible for the care and maintenance of the public art collection – which to my mind is to identify problems before they become problems,” Marsden said. “I like to get eyeballs on the work and a good method for this is to schedule regular cleanings.”

More on Marsden and the special challenges of keeping Jet Kiss shiny bright here.

Station development update
Meanwhile, you will have the opportunity to see the updated designs for the development projects set to rise around Capitol Hill Station in an open house on June 6th. The projects including four seven-story buildings with a combined 427 market-rate and affordable apartment units, plus more than 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space are lined up for a second and possibly final round of design review this summer — likely in August — following a first review session last December.

The Capitol Hill Champion community group reports that lead developer Gerding Edlen is in the process of interviewing potential anchor tenants for the project. Also, Gerding Edlen and the Capitol Hill Farmer’s Market “have agreed on a tent layout that accommodates approximately 70 stalls for the large weekend market in the plaza and festival street and approximately 30 stalls for the smaller weekday market” in the project’s plaza, the group reports.