Capitol Hill Community Post | Help guide the future of Terry Avenue

From the First Hill Improvement Association

Join the First Hill Improvement Association and your neighbors online via Zoom tonight (Tuesday, October 20th) at 6PM for the second community visioning event to share ideas and priorities for the future of our neighborhood greenway. The meeting link is:
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Capitol Hill Community Post | Free neighborhood Pumpkin Patch Pop up on First Hill

From Birch Road Cellar

Let’s celebrate fall! Join us for a socially distanced Pumpkin Patch Pop-Up hosted by our friends at Birch Road Cellar and Burke & Butler Real Estate (Windermere Mount Baker Seattle). Kids, dogs, families are welcome to a complimentary pumpkin and family photo with our professional photographer and autumn backdrop. RSVP required for timed entry to keep everything safe and socially distanced. Birch Road Cellar opened over a year ago as your private “home away from home” right here in First Hill. This is a great opportunity to tour the club and learn more about this Third Place where you can safely meet a friend for drinks or co-work comfortably.

RSVP required to maintain social distancing standards. RSVP here.

Saturday, October 17th 1PM-4PM
1212 Minor Ave (parking lot in front of Birch Road Cellar at the Stimson Green Mansion)


Capitol Hill Community Post | An Amphitheater for Everyone

From the Volunteer Park Trust

The Volunteer Park Amphitheater is about to undergo a major transformation. By next summer, the park will have a new venue with a roof, new restrooms, and many amenities for performers and performances. Funded by hundreds of donations from community members and public funding for arts and recreation projects, the new amphitheater is this generation’s contribution to the historic and beloved park.

Over the past five years, the Volunteer Park Trust has led the effort to assess the existing structure, gather community input, and raise funds to design and construct the new amphitheater. Read below for more information about project.

Why is Seattle Parks and Recreation replacing the Amphitheater in Volunteer Park now, at a time when there are so many social and economic concerns?

The short answer is that the existing stage doesn’t work for the community, and Volunteer Park Trust raised over 99% of the needed funds before the pandemic struck, starting in 2015 and engaging years of extensive outreach to the community.

The Volunteer Park Amphitheater is an important community resource for everyone. Anyone may attend for free more than 50 events produced here each year, such as hip hop and world music concerts, Shakespeare in the Park, children’s theater, the Pride Festival, social justice rallies, and dozens of other celebrations and performances. Continue reading

Cal Anderson Park Alliance Letter

Seattle Parks & Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre:

As residents and community stakeholders of Capitol Hill, we are writing to request a meeting with you to discuss how we can work together to safely and immediately reopen Cal Anderson Park. Despite the current COVID-19 closure, we must reopen the park so that regular maintenance can resume and the community can organically come together to activate their public space and counter the dangerous decline we’ve sadly witnessed.

The Cal Anderson Park Alliance (CAPA) represents a broad and diverse group of Capitol Hill neighbors, businesses, and community leaders who have for decades successfully brought our community together to focus on the park that connects us all. Invested neighborhood organizations like CAPA are integral to a city’s future, and we believe we are uniquely positioned to help the City guide the safe opening of our park. We represent neighbors, community organizations, and businesses in properties immediately surrounding the park, including leaders from the Capitol Hill Farmers Market, the GSBA, Capitol Hill’s EcoDistrict, and  Seattle Central College. Many of us live within a block and have been intimate first-hand witnesses to the evolving events of the summer of 2020.

Thanks to the hard work of community members before us, Seattle and Cal Anderson Park were honored in 2009 by Forbes as having one of “America’s Best City Parks,” affirming CAPA’s unique efficacy. Capitol Hill has a long track record of successful citizen involvement: Since our beloved park was established in 1901 (then known as “Lincoln Park”), those surrounding it have been deeply enmeshed in its affairs and invested in its outcome. In 1993, CAPA (then known as Groundswell Off Broadway) was responsible for advocating for park improvements that resulted in the redevelopment of the grounds we are familiar with today, ultimately re-naming the park in 2005 to honor Washington’s first openly-gay legislator.

CAPA hopes to carry forward the passion and dedication of those who came before us as well as those who have been historically left out of community dialogue. We share the belief that this public park is vital to the health and wellbeing of Capitol Hill and visitors to our city. 
Our uniquely urban environment is an immensely popular and natural gathering space, and the park’s history, design, and accessibility combine to serve a wide number of people who need access to safe open spaces as a respite from pandemic confinement. In recent years CAPA has sponsored and organized programs and events to activate Cal Anderson Park and inspire healthy, safe, and diverse usage. Sadly, with the park officially closed, we are not able to engage our community in the rebuilding of our shared space or healing from recent events. In fact, for those who pass by the park today, it’s nearly unrecognizable. Park garbage cans are currently overflowing, lights are broken or not working, and water features remain turned off, inviting graffiti, vandalism, and damage to critical community infrastructure that has certainly incurred more cost to repair than any funds saved. As a result of these disturbing developments, our dense neighborhood of people who live and work here (ranging in age from children to seniors) stays away from the park, fearful for their health and safety.

Together, we know our community can find constructive solutions… but only if the park is officially opened and maintained. We strongly believe that, aligned with the latest pandemic-related guidance from our public health officials, the community can work in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation and other City departments to safely re-open Cal Anderson Park. We are hoping to find a time to meet with you to discuss the current untenable conditions of the park and to chart an action plan for reopening the park again this fall. Issues we would like to discuss include:

  • Continued public health and safety concerns
  • Damaged and nonfunctioning park and community infrastructure, including Seattle’s first all-gender public restrooms
  • Ongoing and unaddressed backlog of maintenance issues
  • Opportunities for better communication with neighborhood and community organizations

On behalf of all Capitol Hill residents, visitors, and stakeholders, we would like to meet with you and urge you to address these issues immediately before more damage and harm occurs. We need your leadership to ensure that Cal Anderson Park is welcoming and safe at a time when the Capitol Hill community needs it more than ever. We are uniquely capable of galvanizing our community to ensure solutions are authentically community-owned, and we stand ready to work with you.

Cal Anderson Park Alliance (CAPA)

Jennifer Antos, Executive Director, Capitol Hill Farmers’ Market
Thatcher Bailey, President, Seattle Parks Foundation
Don Blakeney, Neighbor
Louise Chernin, President & CEO, GSBA/Capitol Hill Business Alliance
Jill Cronauer, Chief Operating Officer, Hunters Capitol
Taha Ebrahimi, Neighbor, Historian
Dr. Sheila Edwards-Lange, President, Seattle Central College
Erin Fried, Senior Community Development Associate, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
Akeyla Jimerson, Community Development Associate, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
Brie Gyncild, Board Member, Capitol Hill Champion
Michele Hasson, Board Member, AIDS Memorial Pathway
Julia Levitt, Neighbor
Donna Moodie, Executive Director, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
Jason Plourde, Executive Director, AIDS Memorial Pathway
Jill Sherman, Partner, Gerding Edlen
Michael Wells, Board Member, Capitol Hill Champion

Capitol Hill Community Post | Councilmember Sawant: Mayor Durkan’s Austerity Budget Fails Working People and Black and Brown Communities, Fails to Defund Police

From the Seattle City Council

SEATTLE – Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council’s Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee, issued the following statement on Sept. 29 upon the Mayor’s release of her proposed 2021 city budget:

“Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan, who has given us torrents of tear gas, blast balls, and pepper spray, who has staunchly defended Amazon and billionaires from even minimal taxation, and who has presided over brutal austerity budgets, is now offering a 2021 budget that will only double down on hard times for Seattle’s working people and marginalized communities.

“Behind her gauzy rhetoric about ‘reimagining policing’ and the ‘largest-ever investment in racial equity and justice,’ Mayor Durkan is proposing a business-as-usual budget that fundamentally fails working people, especially in Black and Brown communities. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Seattle Pride Launches ‘Vote with Pride’ Campaign; Capitol Hill Events Planned for Sundays through Election Day

From Seattle Pride

Seattle Pride is launching a new month-long Vote with Pride campaign in an effort to grow LGBTQIA+ voter registration and participation in the upcoming general election.

Beginning at noon on Sunday, Oct. 4, on the Seattle Central College campus (at the corner of Broadway & East Pine Street) on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, LGBTQIA+ advocacy group Seattle Pride (organizers of the annual Seattle Pride in the Park and Seattle Pride Parade) will host the first of five weekly pop-up events in which people can register to vote and receive free Vote with Pride yard signs, window signs and campaign stickers.

“The LGBTQIA+ community has made great strides in recent years, but now human rights in all forms are being challenged at every turn – so we need to come together with a powerful voice, and it comes in the form of a ballot,” said Seattle Pride Executive Director Krystal Marx. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Councilmember Sawant Denounces Secretly-Negotiated Durkan Budget That Reverses Even Modest Reductions in Bloated Police Spending

From the Office of Councilmember Kshama Sawant

Capitulation to Durkan and big business ‘will demonstrate to the world that Seattle’s Democratic establishment is unwilling to defend communities of color and working people, and will cave under big business pressure in the context of the Trump administration’s dangerous threats’

SEATTLE – Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council’s Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee, issued the following statement on Sept. 22 in advance of the City Council’s anticipated vote later today on a new 2020 budget bill:

“Seattle’s Democratic politicians are shamefully on the verge of reversing even the small reductions in police spending, the stopping of homeless sweeps, and other progressive budget amendments our movement was able to win in the August City Council budget vote.

“Rather than joining our movement in fighting to defeat corporate Mayor Durkan’s shameful veto, and refusing to support a gutted budget, City Council Democrats – led by Councilmember Gonzalez – instead have themselves put forward a gutted budget that the Council President secretly negotiated with …. Mayor Durkan! Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | After Court’s Shameful Ruling in Favor of Right-Wing Recall Campaign, Kshama Sawant and Movement Vow to Defend Her Seat and Fight on to Defund SPD and Cancel Rent

From Socialist Alternative

Hundreds of supporters rallied in support of Councilmember Sawant. Watch Councilmember Sawant’s speech here.

Today, over 300 supporters joined online rallies to defend Councilmember Kshama Sawant against the right-wing campaign as the court ruled to accept the recall petition in a legal review.

“While working people should be angry at this outcome, we should not be surprised,” said District 3’s Councilmember Kshama Sawant. “The laws and courts and police under capitalism do not serve working people, people of color, those already marginalized under capitalism. They are made to hold up the status quo of deep inequality, of violence, of racism, sexism, of ruthless exploitation of the whole working class and the environment.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Councilmember Sawant’s Statement in Response to Police Chief Best’s Resignation

From the Office of Councilmember Kshama Sawant

SEATTLE – Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council’s Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee, released the following statement in response to the resignation announcement by Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best:

“When Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announced her pending retirement earlier this week, she joined more than half a dozen police chiefs around the country who have stepped down under pressure from the historic #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd uprising. The protest movement has been nothing short of an earthquake in American politics, exposing the endemic racism and police violence of US capitalism and putting mayors, police chiefs, and political establishments across the country on the defensive.

“Like many of the other soon-to-be ex-police chiefs, Chief Best has repeatedly lashed out at the movement and its demands, calling the protests a “riot” and blaming activists for police violence. She also directed her fire at the City Council for its passage of minuscule cuts to Seattle Police Department (SPD) funding for the remainder of 2020, declaring that she was unwilling to carry them out. This meager 2 percent reduction in the police budget has fallen shockingly short of the 50 percent defunding promised only weeks before by 6 of the 8 Democrats, but it was too much for Best. Continue reading