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

For more space to walk, run, and roll during COVID-19 restrictions, Seattle now issuing ‘Stay Healthy Block’ permits

Capitol Hill will not be getting a “Stay Healthy” street designed to give people more space to walk, run, roll, and spread out during the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions but your neighbors might want to join you in creating a Stay Healthy Block.

The city has announced it is making the permitting process free for non-arterial, residential street closures to encourage more open space in the city during the pandemic:

If your organization wants to apply for a permit, keep these things in mind:

  • You can go to our Stay Healthy Blocks website to apply now.
  • You’ll be responsible for notifying neighbors, closing the street with barricades and printable signs we developed, and monitoring for safety.
  • You’ll also be responsible for ensuring compliance with public health guidelines.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is also giving the effort a boost by offering a limited number of free signs and volunteer support to organizations looking to create their own Stay Healthy Block.

The new initiative builds on the Stay Healthy Streets effort that has created routes closed to “through motor vehicle traffic to provide more space for distancing, exercise, and recreation. Officials also hope the routes can help connect people to services and businesses without the need for cars or public transit. The streets remain open to “local traffic” and deliveries and the rules are in effect 24×7.

In the Central District, the route includes 25th S starting near Judkins Park north to E Columbia, E Columbia between 12th and 29th, and a finger on 22nd Ave stretching north to E Howell.

In May, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the routes will be a new permanent part of the city’s infrastructure. The Stay Healthy Blocks, meanwhile, are only temporary.

Learn more at the Stay Healthy Blocks website.

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City Council to vote on new $135M price tag for Madison Bus Rapid Transit project

The Seattle City Council Monday afternoon will vote on approving the new, higher budget for the Madison Bus Rapid Transit project.

In August, CHS reported on the upward revisions in local spending on the project needed to meet recommendations as the city vies for a $60 million federal grant.

The new total price tag on the project pencils out to $134 million, up from an originally approved $121 million. Continue reading

This week in CHS history | Tour buses arrive on Capitol Hill, Seattle Freeway Revolt anniversary, Capitol Hill ‘dog lounge’ building fire

Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:



In a temporary tribute to Friends, Seattle now has a Central Perk coffee house on Capitol Hill

Somewhere along the way, Capitol Hill became part of the Seattle tour bus route

Continue reading

GSBA’s Chernin announces retirement as business org starts search for new leader

The GSBA’s Louise Chernin, center, has been in the mix around Capitol Hill businesses for decades

A leader for the Seattle business community — and Capitol Hill — is ready to step aside.

The GSBA, the E Pine-headquartered LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce that manages the Capitol Hill Business Alliance advocacy group, said Friday that CEO and president Louise Chernin will step down after decades of work in the business community.

“A decision may be both right and difficult at the same time, which is true of my decision to retire as President & CEO of GSBA, a position I have held for nearly 19 years,” Chernin said in GSBA’s statement on the change. “It is not an overstatement to say that serving in a leadership role in GSBA has been one of the most impactful, fulfilling, and life-changing experiences of my life.”

The GSBA says it is launching “a national search to ensure an inclusive and successful recruiting process for the next President and CEO.” Continue reading

After longest stretch of unhealthy air we’ve seen in recent smoke seasons, Seattle forecast calls for Saturday relief


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The “Donut” sculpture at Volunteer Park last night. Through the thick smoke, you can barely make out the Space Needle!

A post shared by Jeff Green-Compass Washington (@jeffgreenseattle) on

Though the “super massive” smoke plume that covered the Pacific Northwest withstood the last bout of weather and kept Seattle socked in, forecasters say cleaner air is finally on the way after a run of unhealthy skies unlike anything we’ve seen in recent smoke seasons.

The state’s Washington Smoke Blog says the Seattle region should see significant clearing beginning early Saturday:

Encouraging reductions at Olympic Peninsula monitors today and smaller improvements since yesterday in the Puget Sound lowlands. But strong winds off the Pacific are MIA so we have take what the lighter, shifty winds with a little rain (minions!) dish out. These minions are bringing disorganized, mixed results. Some smoke from Oregon fires are now being transported to western WA due to a wind shift, and even though a lot of that smoke is still aloft, it delays the already slow scrubbing process. Expecting Good to Moderate air in much of western WA by Saturday.

In the meantime, Seattle’s air quality measures have improved to “unhealthy” levels Thursday with hoped for start of clearing Friday bringing further improvement. Continue reading

Capitol Hill cookie creator Hello Robin debuts new U Village shop

(Image: Hello Robin via Instagram)

In this season of closures, a Capitol Hill original is finally able to celebrate a new opening. 19th Ave E-born Hello Robin has debuted its first expansion, a new cookie shop in the University Village, a plan in the works since early last summer.

The new slightly larger shop and “cookie theater” where you can watch and mingle with the bakers in action will debut under ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Cookie fans have continued to line up along the sidewalk of the 19th Ave E original since its socially-distanced reopening. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum centers 2020 Local Sightings festival on underrepresented BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists

From Danny Denial’s CONDITIONER

By Lena Mercer

Though its home screens at 12th Ave’s Northwest Film Forum remain dark, the Local Sightings Film Festival will feature over 135 short films from the Pacific Northwest from September 18th to the 27th. The ten-day event will be fully online this year to accommodate COVID-19 pandemic gathering restrictions. In an effort to maintain affordability during the economic woes of the pandemic all festival passes and programs are available on a sliding scale.

In 2020, Local Sightings has a theme that will resonate after a summer of protests and the nearby CHOP as it “centers BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists” and examines “how film and mediamakers traditionally underrepresented in mainstream media hold perspectives which are vital to furthering the important conversations of the current moment.”

Local filmmaker Danny Denial says that kind of space is something that BIPOC and LGBTQ+ have been fighting for.

“It feels like each movement or wave such as this gets us one step closer. I love that NWFF is committing to that initiative and elevating the artists in that ‘othered’ category.” Continue reading

Scooter-share finally rolls onto Seattle streets

The first provider of pay by the minute electric scooters has launched in Seattle with the green and white scooters already part of the Capitol Hill and Central District landscape.

Lime rolled out the first in its fleet Wednesday as part of Seattle’s newly launched scooter-share pilot program. 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