The Hellhole – Week of 7/8

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Still of an Everett Mansion with the words Seattle Hellhole and “And Damn Fine Housing-for-All” overlaid.

Everett community & SnoCo DSA rally for supportive housing.

This week, the Everett City Council held public hearing on whether or not to continue its moratorium on supportive housing. We reported on the godawful moratorium weeks ago and are proud to see that regular people, DSA or otherwise, showed up to support housing high schoolers and their families struggling to find adequate shelter.

Unfortunately, the city council voted to keep the moratorium in place, but the fight is far from over and we have to continue to fight back. Want to help? Join SnoCo DSA.

Vulcan & Yesler Terrace: Let’s not do this again.

As the subject of affordable housing is a critical focus on the local and national level this year, let’s look at one of Seattle’s most famous affordable housing redevelopments: Yesler Terrace. In an ideal world, we’d have billions of dollars in social housing funds to build without a sleazy middleman. This twitter thread illustrates how a good thing can go bad as rents fly through the roof and original residents are displaced.

Read about Yesler Terrace “As America’s First Racially Integrated Housing Project Is Rebuilt, Ripples of Displacement Follow.”

More Concentration Camp funding

According to the Department of Homeland Security, conditions for detainees at a border station in El Paso have become so hellish that agents have begun to arm themselves on the job in preparation for a potential riot. Per NBC News: 

Border agents remained armed in holding areas because they were worried about the potential for unrest, the report said.

Agents typically put their weapons in a lockbox when they enter holding areas, a DHS official said.

A cell meant for a maximum of 35 held 155 adult males with only one toilet and sink. The cell was so crowded the men could not lie down to sleep. Temperatures in the cells reached over 80 degrees, the report said.

Sounds pretty awful, right? What are local Dems doing to stand in the way of Trump’s brutal agenda?

Here’s a pop quiz: Which Washington Democratic representatives have both declined to cosponsor M4A and just voted to fund more concentration camps with no additional oversight? Time’s up: it’s Kim Schrier & Susan Delbene! Insultingly, “Doctor in the House” Schrier tried to spin it as a humanitarian thing. Funding for cages is still putting people in cages.

With Congress broken and many states complicit, laws and elections aren’t enough. Direct action and disrupting ICE actions is needed. Want to help? The DSA Immigrant Justice Working Group is for you.

Chamber of Commerce is predictable

In late June, CASE, the political arm of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, announced its endorsements for the upcoming City Council election, naming Alex Pedersen as its pick in District 4. It’s no shocker that the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (which represents the biggest of Seattle’s big businesses) is backing Pedersen ─ with his deep ties to real estate and the Democratic Party establishment ─ over DSA-backed contender Shaun Scott

Pedersen’s career has been a revolving door of housing-related positions in the public and private sector: HUD, PNC Bank, City of Oakland, Bank of America, Alliant Asset Management, City of Seattle, and most recently CBRE Real Estate Group. CASE no doubt sees Pedersen as someone who is business friendly and has the affordable housing bonafides to win.

According to a report in the Stranger, CASE has an election war chest totaling nearly $800,000 in donations from industry giants, including $200,000 from Amazon and $50,000 from Expedia. Pedersen’s own fundraising game is formidable. 

A huge source of Peterson’s funds come from friends in the real estate and finance industry, especially coworkers at CBRE. He’s also getting donations from some Democratic heavy hitters, such as Oakland Mayor Elizabeth Schaaf and Ohio DNC Superdelegate Mary Jo Neville. 

When it comes to donors inside District 4, Scott and Pederson are in a dead heat. It’s still anyone’s race. Grassroots organizing could be the deciding factor.

Make a difference: Canvass for Shaun Scott this Sunday with DSA!

And check out Shaun’s newest plan on police accountability.


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]