The City is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for their Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. You have the opportunity to comment on the “scoping” of the EIS, to suggest what issues the City should address. The Eastlake Community Council has prepared an excellent briefing on scoping issues. Please read it, then email your comments by 5:00 PM on Friday, Sept. 9. (Eastlake CC asks that you send additional suggestions to them at email@example.com.)
Archives for August 2016
— Ansel Herz (@Ansel) August 23, 2016
Thursday, September 15 at 2:00 in the afternoon, the Seattle City Council committee on Planning, Land Use and Zoning (PLUZ) will hold its one public hearing for something called the 2035 Comprehensive Plan. This is the core planning document for the city for the next 20 years – the policy basis for municipal legislation like the Land Use Code. The Comp Plan will guide what gets built and where, determining what our city will look like, and what it will be like to live in, far into the future.
The outburst of opposition to building the North Precinct “Police Bunker” was more than a protest against an overly expensive municipal construction project. It was more, even, than a protest against police abuse of racial minorities in Seattle.
The #BlockTheBunker campaign is a local expression of a national agenda that aims to deliver power to Black people and communities, and to remedy deep social grievances with origins stretching back centuries. The agenda was codified in 2015, when a national collective of more than 50 organizations called “The Movement for Black Lives” came together in Cleveland, Ohio. In the year since that convening, the group’s “Policy Table” has created a “platform” called A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom, and Justice, which was released nationally on Monday, August 1, 2016.
The Community Police Commission just won a huge victory. On Monday, August 15, Federal judge James Robart cleared the way for the City Council to consider legislation that will create a permanent civilian oversight structure for the Seattle Police Department. This decision is the culmination of a 5-year struggle during which the Commission has fought with the judge, the Mayor, and the powerful police union.
Immediately following the judge’s decision, the Commissioners spoke to the public via “Facebook Live” from the steps of the courthouse. (This is an innovative and powerful use of this new service!)
I’ll admit it: I’m bummed. I’m a newbie neighborhood activist; I’m a little green. I just joined this fight in January of this year.
I really thought we might get the City Council at least to delay a vote on Mandatory Housing Affordability – Residential (MHA-R). Delay until the HALA Focus Groups were finished meeting. Delay until there was a count of naturally occurring affordable housing that is at risk of redevelopment. Delay until the Environmental Impact Study was complete.
So I’m bummed that last Monday the full City Council voted to pass MHA-R.
The Mayor decided to cut ties with the District Councils because the Councils are composed largely of white people over 40 who own a home. This, supposedly, is sufficient indictment to jettison the entire system, which has been in place for 30 years, and which – not incidentally – was created by the City Council.
But is there any evidence to show that the demographic composition of the District Councils has resulted in racial discrimination or inequity? Has anyone even suggested that the District Councils have acted as purveyors or protectors of white privilege? If so, the Mayor did not present any such evidence, nor is there any to be found in the two recent reports from the Department of Neighborhoods on which the Mayor’s decision was supposedly based. (Report 1, Report 2)
In fact, the contrary is true.
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.
Reprinted from SaveMadisonValley.org.
Save Madison Valley was one of many voices at the July 13th Early Design Guidance meeting for the City People’s property. We expressed concerns that mirrored many others’ in the greater community regarding the current plans to develop this property. We also said that rather than simply opposing development, we hope to support and encourage responsible development. But what does this mean? Before offering an alternative, let’s review some of the facts.