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Occupy Capitol Hill | Occupy coming back to 10th/Union for anti-gentrification protest

The door was open at 10th/Union earlier this month (Image: CHS)

If they want to win hearts and minds (and stomachs) the easy way, Occupy Seattle might want to think about targeting this development at 1650 E Olive Way. They’re going to do it the hard way. On Friday, the group says it is turning its attention from the ports back to Capitol Hill with a rally and march against gentrification and to save the “community center” at 10th and Union.

Here is the message sent to CHS via Facebook about the planned rally:

On Friday December 16th, there will be a rally at 5:15 outside of Seattle Central Community College to highlight the issue of for-profit development and gentrification in the neighborhood. 

It will be followed by a march to the 10th and Union Warehouse at 6 pm. The plans for demolition of this warehouse will be taking place within a month. The 10th and Union area will make way for a 20% affordable or 80% unaffordable 79 unit, 6 story apartment complex over ground floor retail.

According to the Multi-Family Tax Exemption Plan, developers will be exempt from paying property taxes for 12 years if 20-30% of their units are set aside as “affordable” at rents between $850-1100/month. Unfortunately, “affordable” caters to individuals who earn at least 65% of the Seattle median income. Most tenants in Seattle earn 55% of the median income, which means the rents are priced hundreds of dollars above what most people and especially low-income people can afford. In short, these are not affordable rents. Furthermore, who really suffers at the hand of these tax exemptions? At the rate developers are participating in the program, by 2013, the Multi-Family Tax Exemption will cost taxpayers 150 million dollars. Ultimately, our tax dollars are subsidizing apartments that are unaffordable for the majority of people in Seattle, allowing developers to make huge profits at taxpayers expense, and neglecting those who are truly in need of low-income housing.

This warehouse has also recently served as a site of contest. On December 3rd, around 4 a.m., fourteen participants of Occupy Seattle were arrested in the warehouse at 10th and Union during an action to reclaim public space. In the face of the recent slew of closures and cuts to libraries, community centers, and other public spaces, they sought to restore the warehouse, formerly the Union Cultural Center, to its use as a “supportive educational space for teaching, sharing and creating vibrant culture”.

This protest is to further mobilize the community in a fight for public spaces as well as a halt to the unaffordable developments taking place. This is a fight for community over capital.

The group has also posted about the effort here with a call to “Save the Community Center.”

At first blush, the empty 10th and Union converted warehouse might not be your first candidate for saving. We reported on the building’s impending demolition here. As the Occupy statements report, the developer does indeed plan to take advantage of the affordable housing tax credit. “We don’t have any significant changes to speak of, other than that we will be keeping 20% of the residential units rent affordable, as part of a program that the city is offering to selected new multifamily projects,” a representative for developer Seawest told us in June about the project being revived after sitting in planning stage for five years.


Seawest acquired the land in 2005 for $2.7 million, according to King County Records. DPD records indicate the planned construction is budgeted at nearly $12 million.

The 36,000 square-foot, 1904 warehouse has recently been home to wine business Cork House, which lasted one year in the space, the Museum of the Mysteries, which left last fallBlack Label Spirits, which was gone from the space before it started, and the Capoeira and Brazilian dance infused Union Cultural Center. While the Union Cultural space was lively, it was not a community center on par with something like the Miller Community Center. It was a gathering space, however, and the kind of place that is typically squeezed out as development spreads through a neighborhood.

On the night of Friday, December 2 following a judge’s decision to uphold a move to ban the group’s camp from the Seattle Central campus, a group of Occupy protesters, anarchists and the curious broke into the building and took the space over. In the early hours of Saturday morning, 16 people were arrested in a SWAT raid to clear the squat.

It’s not clear how many people will participate in Friday’s rally. Occupy organizers have claimed more than 700 people participated in this week’s Seattle port protest as Seattle Police cracked down using percussion grenades to disperse the protesters. Last Friday, most of the Occupy Camp was cleaned up and moved out as SCCC’s deadline arrived for an emergency rule banning camping. A few straggler tents remain.

The protest also comes as the city digest’s a planning commission report that shows that it is increasingly difficult for people to afford housing in Seattle:

Significantly, the study found that although only about a third (35 percent) of all households spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, about two-thirds of those who are very low-income (making 50 percent or less of the area’s median income, or about $29,500 for one person) or low-income (making up to 80 percent of median, or about $47,000 for one person) spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

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80 thoughts on “Occupy Capitol Hill | Occupy coming back to 10th/Union for anti-gentrification protest

  1. While I have supported most of the actions of Occupy Seattle and the overall Occupy Movement, I am concerned that their action on Friday along with the anticipated Police presence will disrupt the evening performances across the street at Odd Duck Studio. I absolutely need to sellout my 49-seat theater to pay the rent and electricity. Having patrons feel threatened or unable to safely get to my theater, an all volunteer organization, does not serve the 99% represented by the Cast & Crew of The Man in the Newspaper Hat and Hark! Hear The Bangs!

    Rik Deskin
    Actor/Vegan/Union Member
    Artistic Director
    Eclectic Theater Company

  2. Yes, rents are ridiculous here but I think this a bad (and lazy) target. If they want to protest crazy rents, why don’t they go target Cornell & Associates, or one of the other mega-landlords that have been snapping up otherwise affordable old buildings across the city for the last ten years then jacking up the rent by hundreds a year?

  3. to take an abandoned building and turn it into housing? It’s one thing if they’re buying up poor people’s homes and moving them out… it feels like an entirely different animal to buy unused space and actually make it useful.
    I’m sorry that it’s expensive to build an apartment building, but unless the city of Seattle is going to pay for the cost, they’ve got to try to recuperate some of that cost. Maybe it’d be better to not develop at all and just leave the building abandoned.
    Has it occurred to anyone that more buildings = more supply = more competition to offer somewhat competitive prices (relatively speaking)? Let’s stop them from building and allow a handful of buildings to have a monopoly? That won’t help prices.

  4. I’ve lived in Capitol Hill for 8.5 years in the Pike/Pine corridor. Yes things have changed and mostly for the better. The urban density plan is working here. The retail and resturants that have popped up are just what the neighborhood needed. These “protesters” obviously do not live in Capitol Hill. Please go away.

  5. This building has been a shithole for years….poor choice for a demonstration as this part o the hood really needs street improvements and safety improvements. I welcome new development here even if it is for high income earners. Occupy would be smart to ally themselves with folks already on the hill and working on affordability of the neighborhood, like CHH or HRG. Together they own more than 20 longterm affordable properties.

  6. As here in Oakland, Occupy Seattle has turned on me. I’m a young(ish), educated, middle-class, single, white guy, and Occupy Seattle, like Occupy Oakland, classifies me as some part of the 99% that is unwelcome in their movement. I created a non-profit corporation (yes, Occupy, non-profits are corporations) that performs sophisticated transactions for the betterment (I believe) of all society. I am paid well enough, but if I took my talents into the for-profit sector I’d be paid considerably more. I am fortunate enough, and smart enough, to be able to live debt-free, so I can afford, even on my modest salary, to live in the revitalizing downtown of Oakland. I am the first person to live in my unit, a former factory that had been vacant for the previous 30 years. It is an amazing space in a great neighborhood of restaurants, lounges, dive bars, art galleries, and auto shops. The building next door is a medical-marijuana grow site. Three blocks away is downtown’s only full-service grocery store, a Whole Foods which was recently vandalized by the black bloc element in Occupy Oakland because of nonsense rumors. Downtown Oakland is trying to become, I think, what a city should be – multi-faceted with everything in walking distance. We’ve got a long way to go, and a lot of historic momentum to shift in a more positive direction, but it is moving in the right direction. Yet for my participation in all this I am demonized by those with whom I once marched. Unfortunately, Oakland’s schools are pathetic, and most people who live in my neighborhood – who tend to be young professionals – will head to the suburbs once their children reach school age. I’d rather they stay and continue to pump tax dollars into Oakland – you know – as gentrifiers. I completely agree that we need a paradigm shift in our social and economic structure – and have promoted such long before there was an Occupy movement – but I will not support extremist nonsense whether it comes from the left or the right. When Occupy Seattle and Occupy Oakland immediately dismiss downtown redevelopment by the blanket term “gentrification” they miss a great opportunity to promote smarter redevelopment that benefits everyone. ‘Occupy’ is becoming the other 1%, and that is a sad state when I had such high hopes real change was in the wind. Yes, we could have.

  7. This is a dumb-headed and lazy protest. The warehouse has been under-utilized since I moved here (and I’ve lived in this neighborhood since 1999). Gentrification is not something to protest. One can mourn the loss of a neighborhood’s character and pine (ha!) for what once (and maybe never) was, but if the Occupy Seattle movement wants to borrow a page from the Tea Party’s playbook, don’t make it meaningless nostalgia for a perfect, unattainable past.

  8. Well put. LAZY is the best way to describe this protest. Returning to a convenient, comfortable “venue” to stage your increasingly unfocused rants.

    It’s like the O.S. people are doubling down on their cluelessness.

  9. Two thinggs:

    1. Why not do this protest in the CD, Chinatown, Rainier Valley, Columbia City, etc. You know, places actually facing real gentrification.

    2. The funniest thing is that most of these protesters are middle class white people.

    Seriously guys, do you put any thought into any of your protests? How will occupying an abandoned warehouse in a neighborhood long ago stricken by gentrification further your cause? Oh, it won’t? It’s for publicity and/or straight up attention? Ohhhhh I get it now.

  10. This building’s been at best only fractionally occupied by commercial tenants for as far back as I can remember — which is about 2000, 2001… so I don’t know what you mean by “protest the closing of this building” – it’s been closed and pretty much useless to the neighborhood for years.

    If you want to protest closing a building, protest closing one that’s actually occupied by a small business trying to make ends meet [the B&O *cough*] or by low income renters who’ll not be able to stay in the neighborhood or find new homes.

    Protesting breathing life into a dead corner of the hill is ridiculous. You’re hurting the folks that you’re supposed to be standing up for, the local people who need housing and the small businesses & organizations that the future tenants of this building will patronize. Stick with going after big banks, corporations, tax evaders…

  11. Seriously! The more of these new and overpriced buildings go up, the less appealing my great beat-up old apartment will be to the people who’d rather live in a shiny new place with all mod cons, and then my landlord will have less excuse to try to raise my rent. A housing glut is the best thing for this neighborhood and the people who don’t want to be priced out.

  12. it really is gentrification, at least in economic terms. check out ‘the new urban frontier’ by the geographer neil smith. he defines gentrification as a process that strives to equilibrate the amount of rent collected and the potential amount of rent that could be collected based on the parcel’s location. full disclosure: he’s a marxist, so you might not agree, especially if you think that building more apartment buildings might make finding decently priced housing available. nevertheless, he’s been studying this phenomenon for over thirty years.

    all that said, i’m for the density, but i don’t care a bit for the form it’s taking these days.

  13. Are people seriously asking how gentrification is a bad thing? Are sky-rocketing rents a good thing? Rents are already unaffordable in this city for many people, this would raise them more.

    Also, yes, CapHill is ALREADY gentrified, it went through a first wave of gentrification, which is why its rents are so high (although relative to downtown they might seem low), but gentrification is a multi-stage process which usually ends in fully sterilized zones such as downtown Seattle or the richest areas of inner-city NYC. THAT is what we are moving towards. Just because it’s mostly white and already expensive doesn’t mean it’s not still undergoing gentrification which will be bad for the rest of us, and by the rest of us I do mean those who have been forced out of the city center entirely, onto the fringes of south or west seattle.

    That said, I fully agree that we should begin focusing more heavily on the areas undergoing first-wave gentrification, such as the CD, Rainier Valley, Columbia city — as well as areas that are well into that first wave, such as Beacon Hill.

    But yeah, we’re going to protest gentrification, because when we’re talking about a Right to the City it means not just determining how public spaces will be public but how the city reproduces itself — this process is completely out of the hands of the people, it is driven by wealthy rentiers and real estate developers and abetted by all the nice liberal folks who think their walkability is hurting nobody.

    Final note; I hope we can get an occupation protest around B&O, as well. The idea with 10th&Union was actually more to take it as a central organizing space for Occupy Seattle itself as we were being evicted, not just to bring back whatever community center had existed there before (which had found a new space already). That’s why we targeted a building which had been so disused — we thought it would be better to bring a dead building back to life.

  14. You are the .01%. That is the very small portion of the 99% that actually hurts the other 98.99% who’s lives, businesses, and jobs are disrupted by these random and senseless occupations. Please stop it. YOU ARE HARMING THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CLAIM TO REPRESENT. Oh, and nice work turning an eye sore of a house on 23rd into a bigger eye sore of a house.

  15. “he defines gentrification as a process that strives to equilibrate the amount of rent collected and the potential amount of rent that could be collected based on the parcel’s location”

    This isn’t gentrification, it’s just capitalism. No private property owner ever tries to charge less for rent than they possibly can. It’s the same thing as selling goods and services for as much as the market will bear, and paying employees as little as humanly possible without losing them.

  16. If the apartments are too expensive to rent, then no one will rent them and the prices will drop. If they end up renting all of them, then obviously:

    1. There are people that need housing apartments in Seattle.
    2. The apartments are not too expensive.

    Multi-Family Tax Exemption Plan was created and pushed for by Democrats. You people need to look inwardly with some of your criticism. I am a democrat and I didn’t support that piece of legislation because of the loop-hole it creates for very very rich developers. High traffic areas will always be more expensive than lower traffic areas, it is ridiculous to think you can have the same price for rent in Seattle than, lets say lynnwood.

  17. I can tell you that the developers taking over the hill are definitely not concerned about walkability. Most developments that have come on line within the past 10 years have more parking units than housing units. They have brought larger retail spaces, which only large chain businesses can occupy. They encourage driving. They encourage the fast food culture.

    Making fun of walkability is making fun of everything that you stand for. Having a close knit and involved community full of thriving local businesses and services is the heart of walkability. Diversity and active streets are the heart of walkability. Lower-income neighborhoods are historically more walkable, and those that are more open and less closed off (no fences, no gates) are historically safer too.

    This is not what the Eastside developers on the hill are standing for. Look to Victoria or San Francisco for truly thriving walkable diverse urban neighborhoods. The Victoria waterfront is being transformed into a super green walkers’ haven complete with farming, compost/recycling facilities, natural elements, and small spaces for small local businesses.

    This is not what the majority of developers on the hill have sought.

    That being said, you can’t argue that there aren’t organizations that are striving to make Capitol Hill more people centric and less vehicle centric. Capitol Hill Housing has opened up/aquired many low income properties. The building on the corner of Broadway & Pine (above Walgreen’s) has garnered national attention and national awards for being such an amazing low income housing facility. There are plenty….
    read more

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    hers too. They are all over – abutting Cal Anderson Park, in the Harvard-Belmont Historic District, at the base of the hill, and there will be a completely low-to-mid income housing facility opened at 12th between Pine and Olive (Street) in the next few years. This development will not only be catering to people with harder lives, but also to the community. It will add community work spaces, art spaces, and a theatre. On top of that, this facility will be working to influence the area around it in more pedestrian and bicycle oriented ways (two main modes for people with less money).

    Tell me again how walkability hurts people and how it hurts communities?

    Nix this protest. Instead, head to city hall to protest what will be happening to Yesler Terrace. The city will be displacing a few thousand people below the poverty level to basically create “the projects” but in the “shabby chic” style some spots on the hill. I.E. they will be displacing these folks, building new facilities that aren’t truly low income, encouraging chain retail with larger retail spaces, and ultimately alienating former residents to the point where they won’t want to come back.

    Protest that, or better yet, occupy the design hearings. All hearings have open mic for the first part of the meeting.

    Oh, and by the way, downtown has more low income housing than most of the rest of the city. Research, perhaps?

  18. So after all this there are still people camping at SCCC? I’m surprised that no one has discussed this. The Honey Buckets, most of the signs, and the hay have been cleaned up, but why asre still people being allowed to camp there?

  19. Do they think police are unable to see their Facebook posts (and, by the way, kudos on using a service run by one of the largest, most 1%-iest companies in the nation to get your “grass roots” word out)? Does anyone think there won’t be a line of police horses on stand by for one-time animal rights activist protestors to pummel with their freedom rods?

  20. I’m just going to throw this out there too. I’ve been looking to rent in San Francisco for the better part of a year now and even the places with the lowest average rents are still higher than most of Capitol Hill (thus, I stay on the hill). Places like the Tenderloin and Bayview are even getting more expensive. I’ve looked at “low income” facilities in SF and still couldn’t afford those on the money that I make in Seattle. We are talking $850 for an efficiency studio in SF versus $850 for a one bedroom on the Hill or $850 for a two bedroom duplex in the CD.

  21. I think you’re missing the point here. If the current lot was occupied by a vibrant but say, under utilized or dilapidated apartment complex – making way for a demolition – then, you could call is gentrification. This situation is none of the described. It’s a useless plot of land in an area that can and will house people. Sorry if it’s not exactly what you propose but in your diatribe, you don’t. You go onto talk about gentrification leading to, “fully sterilized zones such as downtown Seattle or the richest areas of inner-city NYC” – in whose opinion? I wouldn’t jump to label downtown Seattle as sterile nor would I ever call anywhere in NYC the same (Have you even been to NYC? From the verbiage chosen, “inner-city NYC” – you haven’t, seeing that most, if not all of NYC is “inner-city”).

    Regardless, I am again baffled at your generalization and obvious ignorance about renting and real estate plans as it pertains to Seattle. While I agree that most investment companies are in it to rake in a profit and typically don’t care about the social ramifications a new building has on a specific neighborhood, without them, nothing new would ever get built (and some actually do care). I don’t even know what to say about the “wealthy renters” – seeing that Seattle (comparatively speaking) has some of the most reasonable rent prices anywhere in the country. Maybe if you spent more time working and less time blogging about a term you don’t truly understand, you could afford to pay some of what you think are astronomical rents.

    While I don’t mean to single you out specifically, your tirade caught my eye and left me with a retort I couldn’t keep to myself. I want to be clear that I am in the 99% and support the root cause of OWS almost to a point that I thought about camping out. The problem with many of these grassroots organizations is that without a clear message, it gets convoluted and exaggerated into causes that don’t really apply. This is a perfect example – OWS is about corporate greed, first and foremost – this has nothing to do with that and would actually assist in making the area it surrounds a more hospitable and vibrant place to live. Who doesn’t want that?

    All that said, I’d be interested to hear your proposal on what should happen with that land and why you detest liberals for wanting a nice, walkable neighborhood.

  22. more underground parking stalls encourage more people to drive. If you have two stalls for every unit of housing, then you have potential to have two cars. More cars in stalls means more cars on the road. More cars on the road mean more pedestrian interactions with cars on the road.

    Considering the city just released a study showing that the majority of car/pedestrian accidents over the past 4-5 years have been at the fault of the driver and are ever increasingly the fault of the driver, you can imagine that more cars on the road will lead to a less pleasant experience for people on two feet or two wheels.

    Don’t believe the data? Then check out past posts on this blog for anecdotal data. You don’t have to read any further than the posts about Boylston & Pine to figure out how more congested streets affects walkability.

  23. “I can tell you that the developers taking over the hill are definitely not concerned about walkability. Most developments that have come on line within the past 10 years have more parking units than housing units. “

    You are 100% totally full of shit on this. Go back through the last half-dozen postings right here on CHS describing new developments, and you will see that every single one of them has fewer parking spots than housing units. EVERY SINGLE ONE. And many of them, far fewer parking spots than apartments.

    And while we’re at this notion of “gentrification”… are you aware that when Seattle was founded, Capitol Hill was marketed as the most desirable location to live in, and that “everyone who was anyone” lived on CapHill? The rich/famous/well-to-do settled CapHill. Even if it went to hell-in-a-handbasket in between, is it really “gentrification” if it then gets resettled and improved by more affluent people after a depressed period? I’d say no.

  24. I think it’s pretty important to point out the Union Cultural Center still exists,and still provides all the same things, although no longer right in the “heart” of Capitol Hill, but at 803 south king st in the ID. I have heard multiple reports from staff and users of the facility that their new location is superior. Not sure if everyone who uses it agrees,(I think one of the most irritating things about OS is their tactic of saying, well one person says so, so EVERYONE must agree, so I won’t try to paint it that way) but I think it’s pretty egregious for OS to make it look like they are “saving” the center. From their facebook page it looks like multiple people are under this impression and think UCC no longer exists. Once again, good ideas from them, with insanely poor execution.

  25. This development has the same amount of stalls as housing units: 108

    This one has way more parking stalls than housing units: 354 vs. 235

    This one has other uses, but still, you called bullshit, so: 400 parking stales vs. 46 housing units

    Yep, you are right, some new developments are trying to minimalize parking, like the one down on Bellevue, or the one of the Undre Arms site (though they did increase parking from 20 spaces to 80). Though that’s happening, it’s apparent that out of scale parking is definitely happening.

    Oh, also, yep I knew that parts of Capitol Hill were (and still are) quite affluent, but not the entire hill. Come on, you accuse me of generalization?

  26. Here’s an idea; if you can’t afford to live here, move somewhere you can or go back to school to get a better paying job so you can afford that downtown apartment you desire so much.

  27. Lack of parking at that site on Bellevue Ave is going to be a mess. Almost all of those tenants will have cars and they’re just going to park them on the street. People don’t have cars because they get parking; they have cars because it’s a bitch to carry anything more than a backpack on the bus. It’s a bitch to be running 15 mins late for an appointment and then compound that by waiting on a bus. And it’s a bitch to take the bus during off peak hours. Everyone I know who hates cars sure jumps at the chance to mooch a ride any time they can. And I say this as someone who routinely uses the bus system.

  28. I happened to park near this building a few days ago and it was extremely gross. There’s garbage and debris littered around the building. Right next to the parking meter station was a doorway converted into a living space filled with random stuff that reeked of piss and shit.

    If gentrification is a means to clean this shit up and put in something else, then i’m for it. Maybe occupy should spend some time cleaning up the graffiti and trash while they stand around and attempt to act on my behalf.

  29. “not just determining how public spaces”

    They’re not public spaces though, they’re private. Like your iPhone, which I’m sure you don’t want me to take from you.

  30. @ BellevueAveGuy

    Maybe, maybe not. It’s the ony development coming online that really conforms to neighborhood scale (small retail spaces, what?) and the ideal of a dense well connected neighborhood directly adjacent to a metropolitan center. I suppose comfort is all subjective though. I’ve always taken the bus, walked, or biked everywhere. I don’t know how to drive. I do admit that for some things, cars are way more convenient. If I wanted to go to Costco, a car would be great. I don’t though. I can buy a week’s worth of groceries at one of the 5-7 grocery stores in the neighborhood or even at the farmers’ market. If I wanted to travel to another city, I can take a train or fly. I rarely leave the city in my personal time because I don’t need to. I do work in Bellevue, but I can still take the bus or ride my bike to work, so no biggie. Worried about being late? OneBusAway and leaving with enough time to make it to the bus stop works for a lot of us. When light rail comes, it will be even more reasonable to live car-free.

    Again, it’s all subjective though and totally situational.

    One downside of car-free-ness is that I can’t go camping that often. I will definitely admit that.

    Lastly, yeah dude, if you are going a long distance and a friend is traveling the same distance via bus or walking then of course the will ask for a ride. It’s convenient, but in a small area, like the Center City, it’s also pretty convenient to walk, bus, or ride a bike.

    We’ll see how that development works out. I’ve got high hopes for it.

  31. Good idea Paul.

    The developer at the site of the protest has owned the property five years, and the community center wasn’t there all too long and wasn’t really engaged with the neighborhood as far as I could tell. I’ve lived and worked in the immediate area since 2001 and barely new of the community centers existence. The protesters energies would be better spent at City Council meetings and Design Review meetings for projects at an earlier stage in the pipeline.

  32. 1. It costs money to bring in police and all that …

    2. Ease them off, last few, with some kindness, Christmas spirit?

    Of course, most left days ago with no problem.

    I think there is one tent like structure, maybe staff from SCCC using it?

  33. oiseau,

    People will need cars even with a world-class transportation system. See every city that has a world-class transportation system as examples.

    Without the parking stalls, you will just have more cars parking on the street and not less cars.

    Walkability will not be improved by having less parking stalls.

  34. I lived near 23rd downtown not too, too far from Berkeley. Back then I don’t recall any full-service supermarket downtown except a large Korean market. But Whole Foods? Is that what Oakland really needs and can afford? $8 granola bars and $12 bottles of shampoo only appeal to the top 15%.

  35. I just hope that they haven’t so badly compacted the soil around the roots of those trees that they’ve killed those marvelous things. Perhaps all the crap and piss will help fertilize and compensate for root damage.

  36. On a serious note, a lack of living wage jobs is a problem that needs addressing and the likelihood that Wall Street really does own congress is a problem beyond my ability to address briefly (and after a couple glasses of Syrah). In the face of that OWS offers us humor tonight: protest the demolition of the former home of the Cork Wine Bar! I may be down there with them. All that’ll be left are the gentrified wine bars- I mean they’re probably raising the per glass charge at Poco Wine Bar even as they’re reading the headlines, and don’t even dream of a carafe. It’s getting hard to even find a decent glass of Nebbiolo for less than $10 on the Hill!

  37. The Protests have gone on long enough, in my opinion. Now it’s just a bunch of homeless, lawless, and crazies with nothing better to do with themselves. Since Capital Hill and Seattle Police kicked the protesters off their “Occupy Sleeping Grounds”, they’re retaliating through yet another protest that will threaten local businesses from attaining daily customers to keep their business and pay the bills. If the Seattle Police arrive and start using any means necessary of cleaning the movement away from Capital Hill and the warehouse, I’ll be there to root the cops on and support their methods. And hopefully, the bill that allows the U.S. Military to take control of our country, gets passed effective immediately.

  38. Rik, I support Occupy, am a union member, poet and teacher. I will be at Odd Duck for the performance of “The Man in the Newspaper Hat” this Friday with a friend. I don’t feel threatened by anything Occupy will be doing. I will attend the Occupy rally first then be at Odd Duck for the 8pm performance. The woman I’m coming with fully supports Occupy too and isn’t fearful.

    Other people who support Occupy could turn up at Odd Duck too, you know. Here’s the info for anyone who’d like to do that.

    “The Man in the Newspaper Hat”. Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., through December 17 // Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave // $10 – $15, tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets.

    We can support all “the drama” as it happens. It all matters, but just takes skill, nerve, and cooperation. Break a leg, and lets hope the people in Occupy are not harmed either.

  39. “And hopefully, the bill that allows the U.S. Military to take control of our country, gets passed effective immediately.”

    So you’re supportive of a military dictatorship? Why, then, should I take anything else you say seriously?

  40. 1. The warehouse is crap. crap, crap, crap. The newer building will be an architectural improvement – which is not saying much, because it’s crap too.

    2. The only people I’ve seen on facebook and other blogs complaining about gentrification are – and I swear I am not making this up – white people who LIVE IN THE CENTRAL DISTRICT. Sheesh!

  41. After reading all the comments above, I’ll say this about Occupy: it sure stirs up a hell of an exchange of info and ideas between Americans; and that is good. If Occupy does nothing more than revive Democracy it will be successful, and in fact, it already has. It’s had a huge impact on the nation. So why discourage it now? Did anyone listen to the speech the President made last week? It reflected many of the concerns and demands of Occupy. Even the RepubliCONs are feeling the ripple effect. Romney and Gingrich were each calling the other “greedy” the other day. LOL! Do you think any of that would be happening if Occupy hadn’t happened? It’s having an impact, positive or negative in the long run is yet to be determined, but Occupy will go on, hopefully throughout the elections. If you don’t agree with what Occupy is doing, then do something better, but don’t sit on your ass behind your safe computers being critical of people who are pouring their spirits and guts into what they believe. What they are doing is honorable. Moaning and complaining while you don’t have the balls to do something better is not.

  42. Please do not confuse Occupy WALL STREET with this local bunch of pretenders. Note that OWS did not pick their based on where they happened to exit the subway system. They went and stayed in the belly of the beast to take on the greedy cynical architects of our collective ruin at the scene of the crime. They didn’t inconvenience a working-class to bourgie residential neighborhood and community college.

    This thread isn’t about disparaging the OWS movement. It’s about explaining–if you bothered to read the points raised above–how this is a wrongheaded, self-serving, and inconsiderate idea.

    And with all due respect, stop telling me to get off my ass to do something less stupid than OS just because OS is doing something stupid. Calling this proposed action “honorable” is debatable at best and laughably narcissistic at worst.

  43. Yikes! $47,000 with no state income tax. Being a student, I’m beyond poverty level. Even when I was making $37,000 in San Francisco (with no kids, student debt to be fair) I lived pretty nice. Roughly 1/3 of that went to taxes (Federal and State) and various other required deductions. Then another 10% went to sales tax, gas taxes, cigarette taxes, beer taxes, tolls etc… So $50,000 per year salary in Seattle is what it takes for a bachelor or bachelorette to not be considered low income? With no state income tax?

  44. “I do work in Bellevue, but I can still take the bus or ride my bike to work, so no biggie.”
    If you live on Cap Hill and bike to work in Bellevue, correct me if I’m wrong, you’f have to take the 520, I-90, Renton and up via the 405 or up to Lake City and back down through Kirkland. I’m new to the Puget Sound area so I’m learning more and more every day but I’m amazed that people can commute by bike to the Eastside.

  45. I agree with you, D Corcoran, but your suggestion will fall on deaf ears. Actually participating in civic process in a constructive way is way beyond what these OS protestors want to do…they would rather do their drama in the streets, provoking the police, vandalizing, etc….they don’t seem to realize these activities are totally useless as far as making change, and are at times counterproductive.

  46. Thank you, 99inOakland, for your insights into why “gentrification” is NOT an evil word. Your “hood” sounds like it has much in common with Capitol Hill here in Seattle.

    I agree with others that a protest at the 10th/Union building is the wrong location. It is beyond me why anyone could object to the re-development of an ugly, abandoned, graffiti-infested structure in favor of a new building with at least some affordable units and, hopefully, some great local, small business.

  47. I make $42K and I can tell you that it is tough. Between rent, food, an economy car, clothes, and trying to self-fund community college (supposedly affordable if you’re above $30K), my cash flow is negative. According to the government I’m somehow supposed to be able to afford a $1,200 apartment – I’m lucky my share is only $800, and even that is tight. So yeah, $47K a year sounds about right.

  48. Regarding the issue of new apartment/condo buildings and the number of parking spaces, I believe both Oiseau and JimS are correct. Until the past few years, most such developments contained at least a 1:1 ratio (units:parking), but there is definitely a trend towards a “less than 1:1” ratio. This is, in part, related to the City policy of “Transit-Oriented Development” which now allows developers to include fewer parking slots, at least in the “TOD” zones. Probably this is a good thing, but I have to ask this question: Does the construction of fewer parking places in new buildings really result in an overall decrease in car ownership?

    Oiseau, I don’t know where you got your figures on the 1200 Madison St development….the thread you linked to says that there will be 241 living units there, but only 107 parking spaces. Do you know otherwise? Also, even though the 230 Broadway development will apparently have 354 parking spaces (235 units), some of those spaces will be to accomodate the retail employees and customers.

  49. Earnest, it’s very doable. I can bike up Pine to 16th and then take 16th to Union and then Union to 18th and then 18th to Yesler and then Yesler to 20th and then 20th to Judkins Park and then Judkins Park to the Mountains to Sound trail over I-90 and then up Bellevue Way to 108th and then up 108th to downtown Bellevue. It’s about an hour ride.

    Also, Ohnooo I am not saying that cars aren’t neccesary. That’s a common assumption when people recommend lowering parking spots in dense urban areas isn’t neccesarily a bad thing.

    Yes, every major metropolitan area in the world has drivers. Some have less. Some have more. Over 90% of people in Hong Kong commute to work via public transportation, for example. There are more bikes than cars or people in Amsterdam (a city roughly the size of ours) for example. The majority of people in Dallas or LA drive, for example.

    The big difference between Amsterdam and Hong Kong vs. Dallas or LA? Lots and lots and lots of density. People don’t need to drive. People can elect to drive, but they don’t have to. We don’t have to here, either (living in the most transit-utilized neighborhood in the city), but some people elect to. People work far away, or people love their Costco membership, or people just like to have a car. Not demonizing driving, just suggesting that we don’t need 354 parking spots for 234 residential units in a neighborhood the size and density of Capitol Hill.

    @ Calhoun, I was looking at the project description in the DPD planning document that is embedded on the post.

  50. Our trail system is actually not too shabby. the Mountains to Sound Trail goes all the way down to Sodo now I think? Also, the Elliott Bay Trail is a nice no-car north to south corridor, but not super feasable if you want to go to Fremont or something. Another route to the Eastside is the Burke Gilman. You can basically follow the 49 route to the U-District and hop on from there, or head down to Dexter (via Pine-8th-Denny) you can go all the way up Dexter and it’s fancy new buffered bike lanes and hop on the Burke Gilman in Fremont. It’s a fun ride. You can get off at the Redhook Brewery and get some food or a beer. It’s a fun Saturday adventure.

  51. I suspect it’s the *economy* car. Maybe you need it for work but I bet any car is going to cost around $700/month in Seattle.

    Here are my conservative estimated for Seattleites:
    car payment on principal and interest $300
    insurance $75
    gas $75
    parking $125
    tickets parking and moving citations $5
    maintenance/repairs $50
    taxes/tags/tabs/registration $10

  52. Eff Off. My neighborhood is not your playpen to throw the toys on the ground and cry for people to fix it for you. Go home and scream at your parents. Go scream someplace else.

    We, the silent thousands who pick up after, put up with police presence because of, and in general did not invite your presence, continue to smile politely in person so you don’t beat us down.

    You are no different than the cops, different sides of the same bogus coin.

    Go the eff home. If you don’t have one, thats not my fault nor my problem. Stop making it be.

  53. Just a heads up.

    I failed to put that this was not an Occupy Seattle endorsed action. I put a lot of material up on the website and forgot to include that this was put together by people within Occupy, not Occupy as a whole.

    I would like to point out that within the message sent to CHS via Facebook, there’s no mention that Occupy Seattle is putting on this event. However, since it’s on the website, it was seen as our declaration. Again, my fault!

    This is normally how we do business: “Most work and decisions within Occupy Seattle are handled by individuals and groups within the Occupation. If you want to do something, do it; you don’t need permission from the General Assembly (GA). But some decisions — official statements, organizational changes, major resource commitments — require broad support. Such items must be brought to the GA as a Proposal.”

    I apologize for the confusion.

    There are several participants who are organizing this “direct action,” because they are energized and committed to creating space for discussion, awareness, and community.

  54. Yeah, the car is required for work, and quite frankly is what allows me to work 50 hours and also take almost a full course load. If I could find a job in the city that allowed me to go to school and make a decent wage I’d take it. Unfortunately in this economy I have to work on the other side of the lake, and I assume I’m not the only person in this situation. I’ve found that as my friends and I have earned more, our expenses get higher on prudent things, such as purchasing health insurance, etc. Either way, even on $42K it is difficult to live in the city.

  55. I didn’t click on all of your links but what does parking spaces for people who live in these condo’s have anything to do with the walkability of a particular neighborhood? Aren’t there parking spots for people that live there? Meaning, they are driving to get home and seeing as they live in a dense neighborhood, they’d walk to get most of what they need.

    I, for one, can’t stand buses so I choose to drive. Seattle, as far as I’m concerned, is a driving city. It’s compounded when you have a small child that needs to be with you, negating most options around taking the bus. I’ve lived in cities with fantastic public transportation systems (NY, Tokyo, London, even SF) and if I am given the choice – I would choose not to drive. Seattle is unlike any city I’ve lived in as the mountains and water are so close to downtown. Having a car and enjoying the outdoors is one of the reasons I love it here. I can’t imagine a life where I couldn’t hop in my car to go skiing or to go out to the smell the ocean.

  56. As a social documentary filmmaker (AND Occupyer) showcasing the work of local non profits in the city (and the folks they service!), I understand what it’s like to pour your blood, sweat, tears, energy and HARD earned dollars into a project. From the ground up, I am the writer, producer and director of my own work -(and as a woman of color/single mom, it’s no joke) BUT social change stops for no one. Because it can’t/shouldn’t! While I can understand the concern, I wouldn’t personally invest my time worrying about fearful patrons on opening night – I would consider the bigger picture and count my blessings – ANY of us who are making work at this time, are lucky – Break a leg – Christyx

  57. Eff Off. My neighborhood is not your playpen to throw the toys on the ground and cry for people to fix it for you. Go home and scream at your parents. Go scream someplace else.

    Play pen? This is fucking Cap Hill, where do you live? I live right behind SCCC, the junkies, prostitutes, dealers, filth and other bullshit, don’t constitute a “playpen”.

    We, the silent thousands who pick up after, put up with police presence because of, and in general did not invite your presence, continue to smile politely in person so you don’t beat us down.

    Are you proud to be this passive aggressive? What exactly have you “picked up”? Where you at the clean up on campus? You are not speaking for 1,000’s, you only speak for yourself. (And just barely).

    You are no different than the cops, different sides of the same b
    ogus coin.

    What’s the coin? Indefinite Detention round up? By all means, please volunteer for it. It’s your “coin” too. To compare Occupyers to the cops is comparing apples to oranges.

    Go the eff home. If you don’t have one, thats not my fault nor my problem. Stop making it be

    What does “off the eff home” mean? Stay in America? News Flash: it’s everyone’s responsibilty to either make this country better, or get out of the way for the folks who are trying – the shit or get off the pot theory applies here.

  58. Crap…until I read this article I didn’t know I was worse off than “low income”. My husband makes 45,000.00 a year and since I can not work because of my health, we both live off this amount. Two people on 45,000.00 is considered below low income? Seriously? Maybe I just am really out of touch, but I thought we were fortunate.

  59. They are…just a couple weeks ago an idiot vandal tagged a brand new house built in the central district in big letters “Gentrification Kills!”

    It was a childish and destructive act.

    OWS-Seattle, seems determined to make itself a pariah by attacking fellow members of the 99%.


  60. re. “random and senseless occupations”
    Just to note that the strategy of occupying vacant space and turning it into a free social center — (i.e., you don’t have to pay more than you want to for anything that goes on there) — is in fact an anti-capitalist strategy that has been current in other countries for 30 years. (see Wikipedia “social center). This is neither random nor senseless — the targets, if carefully chosen, can reveal aspects of the system of gentrification and capitalist property development that are corrupt, or just plain silly. If you don’t like the idea of anti-capitalism, here is a question. Why should only those with money get to make all the decisions about what happens in a city? Why can’t those who are organized, with only (only!) their own willing labors and energies, also develop space for use in the city? And further, why must everything cost money to use?
    FYI — my project is “House Magic” with 3 zines describing European social centers downloadable at:

  61. @disappointed “neighbor”:

    Zucotti Park is not in “the belly of the beast.” Wall Street is the “belly of the beast.” Many, many long-time organizers were frustrated from the beginning with the choice to stay somewhere further removed from the relative belly of the beast than, say, Westlake was with respect to Seattle’s beast.

    Point 2: How the hell is a protest where people make speak-outs and put up signs “self-serving and inconsiderate”? Seriously, when you respond to Rayn, you act like Occupiers are kicking you out of your own home, rather than initiating a direct action that opens up dialogue about community space.