Power does not come from the City. The Mayor did not take away our power when he cut the City’s ties to the District Councils on July 13. He took away room-rental money and some minor staff support. We feel powerless because we have let power slip away from us into the hands of money-worshiping ideologues.
Machinations and arrangements in the halls of power.
Starbucks employees nationwide are reporting reduced hours and a systematic speed-up of work, resulting in insecurity and exhaustion for workers, and declining service for customers. Meanwhile, sales and profits at the company are up.
The Mayor impugns the District Councils as racist and ineffective, but a 2009 report by the City Auditor puts blame for the system’s shortcomings on the City. The report says:
Seattle’s district council system only partially fulfills the purposes established for it… The citizen-participants’ activities in the district councils and City Neighborhood Council generally fulfill the responsibilities assigned to them… However, we found…significant issues that Seattle City government (City) needs to address:
[T]he City is not performing several responsibilities assigned to it … including maintaining a mailing list of community organizations, assisting in the production of neighborhood newsletters, and maintaining an interdepartmental committee to optimize responsiveness to the concerns of neighborhood organizations. Furthermore, the City does not provide standardized services to district councils, leaving participants unclear about what to expect from the City. [emphasis added]
The Auditor further notes that the City has meddled in the governance structure of the District Councils, and has failed to follow State law that mandates the retention of District Council records.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant hosted a public forum on July 11 with the group REI Employees for Real Change, in the City Council Chambers. REI employees told stories of personal hardship and corporate mismanagement. We are transcribing and publishing some of their statements.
Good evening, everyone. Thank you for coming out to support REI employees.
For those of you who are not familiar with our movement, I’m known as Alpine Anderson. I am the founder and creator of REI Employees for Real Change. I am a Sales Specialist who has been cross-trained in footwear, clothing, and front-line, where I’ve worked most recently.