Dispatches, Hellhole

The Hellhole – Week of 5/20

Image reads "Seattle Hellhole" with subtitle "Build more dang housing at Fort Lawton" on a backdrop of a crane and a construction site.

The Tragedy of Fort Lawton

Housing activists have fought to build something useful on Fort Lawton ever since that barren parking lot was returned to the commons in 2005 from the US Army. Fighting back just as hard, various nearby property-owners have spent the last decade and a half trying to prevent any public, social, or affordable housing from being built in the area for a range of reasonable reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with their home valuations. This coalition of the gentry use every trick in the book to preserve and deepen the power of the ownership class: whether by lawsuits, calling for unnecessary studies, or general concern trolling.

An SDSA member livetweeted the most recent redevelopment hearing. It’s a deep dive into the Seattle Process; fighting against the many for the benefit of an enriched & bloated few:

Fair scheduling win for Unite Here! Local 8 workers

Unite Here! Local 8 members have been organizing like hell lately: from fighting against workers being forced to walk through raw sewage at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse to taking a stand against rampant sexual assault & harassment in the hotel industry. Low and behold, labor organizing may be hard work — but it also works for workers.

Embassy Suites workers with Unite Here! Local 8 detailed their recent win here:

Embassy Suites workers won a victory for fair scheduling! After using their legally protected sick time, two lobby…

Posted by Unite Here! Local 8 on Thursday, May 23, 2019

Interested in organizing your workplace? Or strengthening rank-and-file, democratic control of your existing union? Taking direct action against the bosses for a skosh of that bread? Regardless of union affiliation, join our Workplace Organizing Collective where experienced organizers and fellow workers are trading ideas to make Seattle’s jobs work — for the people doing them.

Heatin’ Up

If you’re new to Seattle, our past couple summers have been something else: toxic algae plumes, early heat waves — and oh yeah — record-setting wildfire smoke pollution staining the sun red. This week, Governor Inslee declared a drought emergency throughout most of the state.

The goal is to draw down resources earlier, but whatever eco-friendly tweaks the city/county/state might make, our dog days are the new norm. These smokey summers mean rough times ahead for city dwellers both housed & especially unhoused, and dystopian labor conditions for farmworkers. This photo was taken just outside Vancouver Washington two years ago.

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]

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