Capitol Hill EcoDistrict will sponsor a heavy-duty civic event featuring the Mayor, Nick Licata, Frank Chopp, and other luminaries “to start working on a plan to represent renters in our neighborhoods and at City Hall.”
At first glance, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict looks like an urbanist outfit. They support HALA, MHA, and the dissolution of the District Councils. Their sources are Erica Barnett, Josh Feit, and Kathy Nyland.
But if you look on their Projects page, you’ll see one called the “Land Use Review Committee,” the description of which includes this:
Community concerns such as affordability, sustainability, and overall neighborhood character are not addressed through the formal design review process, leaving residents feeling helpless in shaping Capitol Hill’s future and leading to negative interactions between developers and residents. We will initiate conversations with potential developers much earlier so we can address these issues.
And when you look at their steering committee, you don’t see a lot of developers or financiers (unlike our old buddies Seattle For Everyone). I think their Renter Initiative is a sincere effort to address the problems faced by participants in the new economy. (They don’t use the “N-word,” NIMBY!)
We will need to have a dialog about how young renters and older homeowners can work together. We will have to suggest that the yammering of Erica Barnett and Josh Feit is not helpful to anyone. We will need to identify our common interests in the face of the market fundamentalism that is stealing our city.
I think these people are potential allies.