Our network of organizers coalesced after Cynthia Brothers wrote “Will Grandma have a place in the new Chinatown-International District?” for the Seattle Globalist and held their first organizing meeting on January 15, 2017. Brothers’ article signaled a clarion call to the CID community—residents and neighbors who depend on the community for housing, employment and culturally relevant goods and services—and what started as a small group of organizers quickly grew into a vast network of activists passionate about protecting the culture and people of the CID.
On Saturday March 11, 2017, the CID Coalition held their first community meeting under the hashtag #HumbowsNotHotels, inspired by the organizing and advocacy of Uncle Bob Santos. Nearly one hundred people turned out to the Bush Asia Center to voice their concern about speculative, corporate development like the proposed 8th and Lane hotel development, and a majority in attendance indicated they felt “bad” or “very bad” about the hotel.
After packing the May 23, 2017 ISRD meeting with record attendance, the community convinced the review board to delay approval of the hotel’s plans, suspending their ability to begin construction until numerous additional stipulations were addressed.
In the past, we have held regular community forums. We still plan to do this, but we have been focusing on our values, while pursuing community organizing at a more intimate level.
- We hosted a listening session in the CID Community Center with Seattle City Councilmember Harris-Talley.
- One of our comrades represented the CID Coalition at the National Housing Justice Conference.
- We’ve been working to preserve Bush Garden, a focal point of our neighborhood. In addition to policy work, we’re hosting events at Bush Garden to strengthen the community around this loved and historic institution.
- Standing in solidarity with Firs Mobile Home Park – where HotelConcepts is displacing a tightly-knit community and a hostile landlord.
- Organizing with partners across town to build grassroots strength and develop citywide strategies to end the displacement of Historically Redlined Communities of Color.
- Contributing to the City of Seattle’s neighborhood planning processes, including helping to lead the City’s anti-displacement work group.
- Continuing to bring democracy, transparency, and engagement to the ISRD Board.