Mayor Durkan’s One Weird Budget Trick: You’ll Hate It!
The Seattle Mayor’s office has announced over $90 million in funding around homelessness next year. Notice the “around” and not “for” our unhoused neighbors. Early into her administration, Durkan promised to give a small cut of publicly-owned land in South Lake Union to Vulcan and handouts to landlords. Very little of it focused on housing. It’s a dang Greek tragedy.
The kicker is that over 10% of that $90 million for next year is a budget trick. Durkan’s books are cooked. The miserly accounting includes encampment sweeps themselves as “help” and “solutions” for the unhoused. Counting abuse and forced expulsion of a marginalized population towards the total? By that logic, US imperialism provided trillions of “help” to Iraq’s funeral director business over the last couple of decades.
Mayor Vulkan, you’re not helping. Get outta here.
Red Rover, Red Rover, Don’t Deploy to the Border
The US is sending thousands of troops to the border — including nearby Joint Base Lewis-McCord — in an act of brutal theater to harass refugees. Compounding this, far-right militias are road-tripping across the country, escalating the odds of violence.
Imperialist violence is not new. Deploying active duty military within US Borders, however, is rare. It’s almost always used to attack minorities (like the Wounded Knee Massacre) or the poor (such as the Bonus Army March). This deployment sets a precedent for far worse things. I mean, it was literally called Operation Faithful Patriot.
If you or a loved one is being asked to deploy to the border, don’t. You have more in common with an immigrant in want of a new home than you do the billionaire class. No bosses nor borders. Sin jefes ni fronteras.
NIMBYs go Non-Profit
Safe Seattle is a brigade of local homeowners whose circle of friends uses the pretext of neighborhood safety to catalog & harass the unhoused, encourage acts of aggression, and antagonize local press who question their motives. Now it has incorporated into a non-profit. They’re retained legal counsel from Richard Stephens, the lawyer for Respect Washington: an SPLC-recognized hate group that is probably most famous for having circulated flyers around Burien listing the home addresses of purported undocumented immigrants. Guess hate recognizes hate?
Disappointed in the Midterms? You’re Not Alone.
Votes still tallying, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for bipartisanship from Democrats in co-signing the reactionary edicts of the Republican-controlled Executive, Senate, and Judiciary. Children ripped from families at a record pace, judiciaries fighting union protections, and the wholesale dismantling of our social safety nets that foster cohesion across race, gender, and among the working poor. Calls for bipartisanship only throw fuel on the fire. It’s disappointing. Tuesday night also demonstrated the outright suppression of voter registration and polling machines in many states, despite historic turnout that skewed progressive.
Can workers survive by limiting civic participation to Tuesdays in November? No. It’s time to organize: not for DC but at home.
The working class deserves better. That’s why socialists build power all year. Organizing workplaces and apartments are one method. In such dangerous times, we need fewer rulers. Be unruly. We can’t rely on moralistic rhetoric alone either; brow-beating workers to choose between a rock and a hard place isn’t an electoral strategy. If the socialist movement can improve lives, it needs to start local, keep focused on building popular support, and dismantling the capitalist state’s foundations in our communities, workplaces, and homes.
Washington maintains the most regressive tax structure in the country. This influenced state ballot initiatives on carbon taxation and banning soda taxes. As written, both were regressive by exempting large businesses and footing the bill on the workers. While the police accountability/trial initiative passed, politicos wrote opposition to counties outside King being deeply conservative. That isn’t the case. It erases grassroots organizing. Latinx communities and organizers like Community to Community, outside King, organized and helped draft the carbon fee. The campesinxs see the effects first-hand. When big business interfered, it mortally wounded popular support. There’s potency to the question: “why should the worker pay if Boeing and Amazon don’t?” Nevertheless, changing to renewables will be essential to our survival long-term.
The Libertarian and Republican parties are uncomfortable but not enough to revoke his participation in their movements. Their boy won re-election. The Biblical Basis for War, which Shea took credit for, alleging a secret “Maoist Insurgency” (good band name, btw) advocates for killing “only the men” among the left. Rep. Shea, at time of publishing, did not explain what he intended to do with “the women.”
To everyone else: stay safe, preach love and liberation — but also learn to defend yourself, your loved ones, and those vulnerable in your community from hate.
Note: The Seattle Hellhole represents the views of its writers and does not represent official positions of Seattle DSA at large. Its writers are a collective working on independent pieces, editing, and design to deliver this each week. If you want to volunteer, join us in #wg_comms_design on Slack or email [email protected]