Capitol Hill’s District 3 rep Kshama Sawant is soldiering ahead with a “Save the Showbox” concert and rally at City Hall despited a $40 million lawsuit against the city over a surgical preservation ordinance that has temporarily staved off the sale and redevelopment of the 1st Ave venue.
Seattle husband and wife rock band Smokey Brights will headline the Wednesday, September 19th, 5:00 PM “Concert/Rally” preceding a public hearing in Seattle City Council chambers. UPDATE: The bill has grown with Sol, Sassy Black, and Dude York joining the show.
CHS reported earlier on the Sawant ordinance passed by the council and at the heart of the $40 million lawsuit from the Showbox property’s owner, a Las Vegas company owned by Seattle strip club magnate Roger Forbes. Among the arguments in the suit are allegations Sawant and other council members “engaged in ex parte communications with Save the Showbox supporters but failed to disclose those communications as required by law” and that the ordinance represents an illegal “spot zone.”
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The concert and rally could add more fuel to the suit’s contention that Sawant and the council have violated the Appearance of Fairness doctrine by failing to “recuse biased members from voting” and actively campaigning “on behalf of a position on the issue” in addition to making “biased, prejudgment statements.”
But it is also a sign Sawant isn’t backing down in the face of criticism and expensive lawyers. A legal fight is still to come. The office of City Attorney Pete Holmes has yet to file its response to the lawsuit.
There is no word, meanwhile, if Death Cab for Cutie frontman and former Capitol Hill resident Ben Gibbard — who reportedly received coaching from the council before his public testimony in favor of the preservation ordinance and who met with Sawant in media appearances including a session on KEXP — will be part of next Wednesday’s show.