Thursday night, Capitol Hill residents and community members gathered at First Baptist Church for a “Gentrification Conversation” to formally discuss the radical and rapidly occurring changes in the neighborhood.
Organized by the Capitol Hill Community Council, the forum’s panel featured Tricia Romano — a Seattle Times lifestyle writer and author of the recent front page story on the Hill’s gentrification — and a slew of various community members, many of whom were interviewed for her story, including performer Ade Connere, Michael Wells from the Chamber of Commerce, co-owner of the Wildrose bar Shelley Brothers, Diana Adams (owner of the Vermillion bar and gallery), and Branden Born, an associate professor of urban design and planning at the University of Washington and Capitol Hill resident.
With Romano’s nerve-touching article as a springboard, panelists discussed their own experiences with the influx of capital and “bros” on the Hill, neighborhood identity, and public safety amongst increasing incidents of violence and LGBTQ hate crimes in Pike/Pine.
Here are 16 things CHS heard Thursday night:
- “People are coming here specifically to party. I’ve actually heard people call it ‘party mountain’,” said Romano.
- “The idea that you hear all the time is ‘that’s just the way the market works.’ Don’t believe that,” said Born. “Your economics professor was lying to you.”
- Born said that the city has an organizational flaw in having the DPD and the Department of Neighborhoods separate from one another, adding that DPD is funded via developer fees which incentivises them to approve frenzied development projects. Continue reading